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Title: A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention - For Proposing Amendments to the Constitution of the United - States, Held at Washington, D.C., in February, A.D. 1861
Author: Chittenden, L. E. (Lucius Eugene), 1824-1900
Language: English
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[Transcriber's Note: A table of contents has been provided for the reader's
convenience.]



A REPORT

OF THE

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

IN THE

SECRET SESSIONS

OF THE

CONFERENCE CONVENTION,

FOR PROPOSING

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES,

HELD AT

WASHINGTON, D.C., IN FEBRUARY, A.D. 1861.


BY

L.E. CHITTENDEN,

ONE OF THE DELEGATES.


NEW YORK:
D. APPLETON & COMPANY,
443 & 445 BROADWAY.
1864.


ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by
D. APPLETON & CO.,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District
  of New York.



CONTENTS.


INTRODUCTION.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONFERENCE.
SECOND DAY.
THIRD DAY.
FOURTH DAY.
FIFTH DAY.
SIXTH DAY.
SEVENTH DAY.
EIGHTH DAY.
NINTH DAY.
TENTH DAY.
ELEVENTH DAY.
TWELFTH DAY.
THIRTEENTH DAY.
FOURTEENTH DAY.
FIFTEENTH DAY.
SIXTEENTH DAY.
SEVENTEENTH DAY.
EIGHTEENTH DAY.
NINETEENTH DAY.
APPENDIX.
INDEX.
INDEX TO THE APPENDIX.



INTRODUCTION.


If I had been guided by my judgment alone it is not probable that
these notes of the debates in the Conference, held upon the invitation
of Virginia, at Washington, in the month of February, 1861, would have
been made public. From the commencement of its sessions, a portion of
the members were in favor of the daily publication of the proceedings.
I was disposed to go farther and have the sessions open to the public;
but this proposition was opposed by a large majority. Strong reasons
were urged for excluding the multitude which in the excitement of the
time would have thronged the hall wherein the Conference held its
sessions. But these reasons did not apply to the publication of the
debates, and a considerable minority were strongly of opinion that the
people should be informed daily, of the votes and remarks of their
representatives in that body.

I commenced taking notes on the first day of the session. For the
first few days, and until the reports were presented from the general
committee, there was but little discussion, and that related to
questions incidental to the general subject. On the 15th of February,
and before the committee reported, Mr. ORTH offered a resolution
authorizing the admission of reporters, which, after some discussion,
by a close vote was laid upon the table. On the 18th, finding the
labor of taking notes greater than I had anticipated, and desiring
that a complete record should be preserved; I introduced a resolution
providing for the appointment of an official stenographer, who should
report the proceedings and hold them subject to the order of the
Conference. I urged the adoption of this resolution as strenuously as
was proper, but the feeling of the majority appeared to be still
adverse to its passage, and it shared the fate of its predecessor. I
then revised the notes already taken, and finding them more complete
than I had anticipated, determined to make as accurate a report as I
was able of the general discussion. I could not then anticipate
whether such a report would be useful to the country or not; but I
thought if the Conference should propose amendments to the
Constitution, and these should be ultimately submitted to the States
for adoption, a knowledge of the motives and reasons which influenced
the action of the Conference as well as the construction which the
members gave to the propositions themselves, might become of as great
importance as the same subjects were in the convention which framed
the present Constitution. I attended every session of the Conference,
and, so far as my strength would permit, made as full and accurate
notes as I could, both of the action of the Conference and the
observations of its members.

These notes were carefully examined and revised immediately after the
close of each daily session. After the passage of the resolution
introduced by Mr. BARRINGER, removing the injunction of secrecy and
authorizing their publication, I determined to write them out for the
press. I was engaged in this work when the rebellion commenced, and
was shortly after called to the performance of the duties of an
official position, which for many months left me no leisure for other
employments.

My notes were then laid aside. As it was known by every member of the
Conference that I had taken them, I was often pressed to permit
selections from them to be made. These requests I invariably declined,
as I desired the publication, if made at all, to be entire, as well as
accurate. As time passed, these appeals became more frequent and
pressing, and claims were made in relation to the course of several of
the members which could only be sustained or refuted by a publication
of their remarks. At length I was earnestly requested to write out one
of these speeches, and after some weeks of delay consented to do so.

After the publication of this speech, which took place about the time
of the fall elections of 1863, previous to which the action of the
Conference had been much discussed, the desire to see a full report of
the proceedings of that body appeared to be excited anew. Letters and
personal interviews upon this subject became very numerous. I finally
determined to take the advice of a number of gentlemen who were
prominent in the convention and the country, as to the propriety of
yielding to this desire, and to be guided by it. I did so, and found
among them a remarkable unanimity of expression in favor of making the
history of the Conference public.

When this question was settled, I desired to avail myself of every
opportunity to secure the highest degree of accuracy and fidelity. I
addressed notes to such of the members as were accessible, asking them
to transmit to me such memoranda of the proceedings of the Conference
as they had preserved. The response to these letters was very
gratifying; not because the materials furnished were very full, but
because so general a purpose was shown by all the members thus
addressed, to furnish me every facility and aid in their power.

I have found much difficulty in determining what control each member
ought to be permitted to exercise over his own remarks. The most
agreeable course to me would have been, to have written out each
speech and submitted it to its author for correction or revision; but
to this there was a decisive objection. It would have depreciated, if
not destroyed, the accuracy of the report. Although I do not believe
that any gentleman would have been tempted to change the tenor of his
remarks by subsequent events, the view of the public might not have
been so charitable.

I have therefore made my own notes the standard of authority, and have
admitted nothing into the report which has not been justified by them
aided by my own recollection. The manuscript has not been changed or
added to, except by my own hands. The few instances in which I have
availed myself of the materials furnished by others, are distinctly
stated either in the notes or the appendix.

During the sessions of the Conference I was able to secure but little
practical assistance from the members. Although many of them desired
that my purpose should be accomplished, and some were taking brief and
general notes, I soon discovered that an accurate report of a speech
required an amount of labor and a degree of attention to the subject,
which few gentlemen were inclined to give. The work, therefore, was
thrown almost exclusively upon myself. Some idea of its amount and
severity may be formed when it is stated, that the sessions usually
commenced at about ten o'clock in the morning, and with a brief
intermission were continued late in the evening, in one instance as
late as the hour of two o'clock, A.M. The necessity of these long
daily sessions, arose from the fact, that the Congress then in
existence terminated on the fourth of March, and but few days
remained in which to discuss and perfect the report, and to submit it
to that body for its action.

I do not claim to have furnished a _verbatim_ report of the speeches
delivered in the Conference of 1861, but I insist that I have given an
accurate account of all its official proceedings, and the substance of
the remarks made in the course of those proceedings. I think, also,
that I have preserved nearly all the propositions made in the course
of the debate, and generally have presented the ideas in the very
language used. The gentlemen who have critically examined the report,
all concur upon the question of its general accuracy, and I am content
in this respect to rely upon their testimony.

I have suggested these considerations simply by way of explanation,
and not for the purpose of avoiding criticism. I have endeavored to
follow, so far as was in my power, the example of the illustrious
Reporter of the Constitutional Convention of 1787; and while my notes
lack the beauty and felicity which characterize his, I trust they are
not less full and accurate. I submit them to the country as the best
contribution which I can make to its history, at a most important and
interesting period of our national existence.

The three short years which have passed since the Conference of 1861,
have witnessed singular vicissitudes among its members. Many of them
have entered into the military or civil service of the country, or of
the rebellion which it was the avowed purpose of some members of that
Conference to nourish into vigorous life. Death, also, has been busy
with the roll. BALDWIN, BRONSON, SMITH, WOLCOTT, TYLER, and CLAY, are
no more. ZOLLICOFFER fell at the head of a rebel army. HACKLEMAN
sealed with his blood his devotion to the principles he advocated
upon the field of Corinth, and now, while I am writing these pages in
a morning of beautiful spring, when tree, and shrub, and grass, and
flower, are bursting into life and beauty; from the roar of cannon,
the rattle of musketry, and the deadly storm of lead and iron, which
bearing destruction upon its wings is waking the echoes of the
"Wilderness," comes the mournful tidings that WADSWORTH has fallen. In
that Conference or in the world, there was never a purer or a more
ardent patriot. Those of us who were associated with him politically,
had learned to love and respect him. His opponents admired his
unflinching devotion to his country, and his manly frankness and
candor. He was the type of a true American, able, unselfish, prudent,
unambitious, and good. Other pens will do justice to his memory, but I
thought as I heard the last account of him alive, as he lay within the
rebel lines, his face wearing that calm serenity which grew more
beautiful the nearer death approached, after having given so
abundantly of his goods, now yielding his life to his country in the
hour of her trial, that hereafter the good and true men of the nation
would emulate the illustrious example of his patriotism, and would
prize the blessings of a free government the more highly, as they
remembered that it could only be maintained and perpetuated by such
expensive sacrifices.

L.E.C.

_May_, 1864.



PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONFERENCE,

Washington, D.C.


MONDAY, _February 4th, 1861._

Commissioners representing a number of the States, assembled at
Willard's Hall, in the City of Washington, D.C., on the fourth day of
February, A.D. 1861, at 12 o'clock M., in pursuance of the following
preamble and resolutions, adopted by the General Assembly of the State
of Virginia, on the nineteenth day of January, A.D. 1861:

     _Whereas_, It is the deliberate opinion of the General
     Assembly of Virginia, that unless the unhappy controversy
     which now divides the States of this confederacy, shall be
     satisfactorily adjusted, a permanent dissolution of Union is
     inevitable; and the General Assembly, representing the
     wishes of the people of the commonwealth, is desirous of
     employing every reasonable means to avert so dire a
     calamity, and determined to make a final effort to restore
     the Union and the Constitution, in the spirit in which they
     were established by the fathers of the Republic: Therefore,

     _Resolved_, That on behalf of the commonwealth of Virginia,
     an invitation is hereby extended to all such States, whether
     slaveholding or non-slaveholding, as are willing to unite
     with Virginia in an earnest effort to adjust the present
     unhappy controversies, in the spirit in which the
     Constitution was originally formed, and consistently with
     its principles, so as to afford to the people of the
     slaveholding States adequate guarantees for the security of
     their rights, to appoint commissioners to meet on the fourth
     day of February next, in the City of Washington, similar
     commissioners appointed by Virginia, to consider, and if
     practicable, agree upon some suitable adjustment.

     _Resolved_, That ex-President JOHN TYLER, WILLIAM C. RIVES,
     Judge JOHN W. BROCKENBROUGH, GEORGE W. SUMMERS, and JAMES A.
     SEDDON are hereby appointed commissioners, whose duty it
     shall be to repair to the City of Washington, on the day
     designated in the foregoing resolution, to meet such
     commissioners as may be appointed by any of said States, in
     accordance with the foregoing resolution.

     _Resolved_, That if said commissioners, after full and free
     conference, shall agree upon any plan of adjustment
     requiring amendments to the Federal Constitution, for the
     further security of the rights of the people of the
     slaveholding States, they be requested to communicate the
     proposed amendments to Congress, for the purpose of having
     the same submitted by that body, according to the forms of
     the Constitution, to the several States for ratification.

     _Resolved_, That if said commissioners cannot agree on such
     adjustment, or if agreeing, Congress shall refuse to submit
     for ratification, such amendments as may be proposed, then
     the commissioners of this State shall immediately
     communicate the result to the executive of this
     commonwealth, to be by him laid before the convention of the
     people of Virginia and the General Assembly: _Provided_,
     That the said commissioners be subject at all times to the
     control of the General Assembly, or if in session, to that
     of the State convention.

     _Resolved_, That in the opinion of the General Assembly of
     Virginia, the propositions embraced in the resolutions
     presented to the Senate of the United States by the Hon.
     JOHN J. CRITTENDEN, so modified as that the first article
     proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United
     States, shall apply to all the territory of the United
     States now held or hereafter acquired south of latitude
     thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes, and provide that
     slavery of the African race shall be effectually protected
     as property therein during the continuance of the
     territorial government, and the fourth article shall secure
     to the owners of slaves the right of transit with their
     slaves between and through the non-slaveholding States and
     territories, constitute the basis of such an adjustment of
     the unhappy controversy which now divides the States of this
     confederacy, as would be accepted by the people of this
     commonwealth.

     _Resolved_, That ex-President JOHN TYLER is hereby
     appointed, by the concurrent vote of each branch of the
     General Assembly, a commissioner to the President of the
     United States, and Judge JOHN ROBERTSON is hereby appointed,
     by a like vote, a commissioner to the State of South
     Carolina, and the other States that have seceded or shall
     secede, with instructions respectfully to request the
     President of the United States and authorities of such
     States to agree to abstain, pending the proceedings
     contemplated by the action of this General Assembly, from
     any and all acts calculated to produce a collision of arms
     between the States and the Government of the United States.

     _Resolved_, That copies of the foregoing resolutions be
     forthwith telegraphed to the executives of the several
     States, and also to the President of the United States, and
     the Governor be requested to inform, without delay, the
     commissioners of their appointment by the foregoing
     resolutions.

     [A copy from the rolls.]

     WM. F. GORDON, JR.,
       _C.H.D. and K.R. of Va._

The Conference was called to order by Mr. MOREHEAD, of Kentucky, who
proposed the name of the honorable JOHN C. WRIGHT, of Ohio, as
temporary Chairman.

The motion of Mr. MOREHEAD was unanimously adopted.

Mr. WRIGHT was conducted to the Chair by Mr. MEREDITH, of
Pennsylvania, and Mr. CHASE, of Ohio, and proceeded to address the
Conference as follows:

My warmest thanks are due to you, Gentlemen, for the undeserved honor
which you have conferred upon me, in selecting me for the purpose of
temporarily presiding over your deliberations. We have come together
to secure a common and at the same time a most important object--to
agree if we can upon some plan for adjusting the unhappy differences
which distract the country, which will be satisfactory to ourselves
and those we represent. We have assembled as friends, as brothers,
each, I doubt not, animated by the most friendly sentiments.

If we enter upon, and with these sentiments carry through, a patient
examination of the difficulties which now surround the Government, the
result will be, it must be, a success, earnestly hoped for by every
lover of his country; a result which will establish the Union
according to the spirit of the Constitution.

For myself, I may say that I have come here with the earnest purpose
of doing justice to all sections of the Union. I will hear with a
patient and impartial mind all that may be said in favor of, or
against such amendments of the Constitution as may be proposed. Such
of them as will give to the Government permanence, strength, and
stability, as will tend to secure to any State, or any number of
States, the quiet and unmolested enjoyment of their rights under it,
shall receive my cordial support. My confidence in republican
institutions, in the capacity of the people for self-government, has
been increased with every year of a life which has been protracted
beyond the term usually allotted to man. That life is now drawing to a
close, and I hope, when it ends, I may leave the Government more
firmly established in the affections of my countrymen than it ever was
before. To this end I have always labored, and shall continue to labor
while I live. I pray GOD that He will be with us during our
deliberations, and that He may guide them to a happy and wise
conclusion.

Mr. BENJAMIN C. HOWARD, a commissioner from the State of Maryland, was
unanimously appointed temporary Secretary.

The Roll of the States was then called over, and commissioners
representing the following were found to be present:

New Hampshire,
Rhode Island,
New Jersey,
Pennsylvania,
Delaware,
Maryland,
Virginia,
North Carolina,
Kentucky,
Ohio,
Indiana.

Mr. PRICE, of New Jersey:--I am informed that a number of Reporters
for the press are at the door of the hall, desiring admittance to this
Conference, for the purpose of reporting our proceedings. Whatever may
be the ultimate action of the Conference in this respect, I can see no
objection to the admission of reporters to-day, for our business will
relate wholly to organization. I hope we shall admit them, and I make
that motion.

Mr. SEDDON, of Virginia:--I hope this motion will not prevail. I do
not see that any good can possibly come of giving publicity now, to
our proceedings. On the contrary, in the present excited condition of
the country, I can see how much harm might result from that publicity.
It is not unlikely that wide differences of opinion will be found to
exist among us at the outset. These we shall attempt to harmonize, and
if we succeed, it will only be by mutual concessions and compromises.
Every one should be left free to make these concessions, and not
subject himself to unfavorable public criticism by doing so. If our
deliberations are to attain the successful conclusion we so much
desire, it certainly is the course of wisdom that we should follow the
illustrious example of the framers of the present Constitution, and
sit with closed doors.

The motion was thereupon, by _viva voce_ vote, decided in the
negative.

Mr. MEREDITH:--I move the appointment of a committee to consist of one
member from each delegation present, to be named by the delegation and
appointed by the President, who shall recommend permanent officers of
this, body, and also report rules for its government.

Which motion was agreed to.

The following gentlemen were then appointed such Committee on Rules
and Organization:

Kentucky, Charles A. Wickliffe, _Chairman_; New Hampshire, Amos Tuck;
Rhode Island, William W. Hoppin; New Jersey, Joseph F. Randolph;
Pennsylvania, Thomas E. Franklin; Delaware, George B. Rodney;
Maryland, John W. Crisfield; Virginia, William C. Rives; North
Carolina, Thomas Ruffin; Ohio, Reuben Hitchcock; Indiana, Godlove S.
Orth.

The Conference then adjourned to meet at 12 o'clock M. to-morrow.



SECOND DAY.

WASHINGTON, TUESDAY, _February 5th, 1861._


The Conference was called to order by the Chairman _pro tem._,
pursuant to adjournment, and the journal of the proceedings of the
first day was read and approved.

Mr. FRANKLIN, of Pennsylvania:--It is usual in bodies of this
description to take measures to ascertain who are and who are not duly
accredited members. We should have the names of all the Commissioners
present brought on to our records. I therefore move that a Committee
of five be appointed by the Chairman, to whom all credentials of
members shall be referred for examination and report.

The motion of Mr. FRANKLIN was adopted unanimously, and the Chairman
announced as such Committee Mr. Summers, of Virginia; Mr. Franklin, of
Pennsylvania; Mr. Guthrie, of Kentucky; Mr. Morehead, of North
Carolina, and Mr. Smith, of Indiana.

Mr. WICKLIFFE, of Kentucky:--I rise at this time for the purpose of
making the report of the Committee on Organization. I am instructed to
report that we recommend that the permanent officers of the Convention
be a President and Secretary, and that the Secretary have leave to
appoint assistants, not exceeding two in number, to assist him in the
discharge of his duties; and that the President of this Convention be
JOHN TYLER, of Virginia, and that CRAFTS J. WRIGHT, of Ohio, be its
Secretary. The committee also report a series of rules for the
government of the Convention.

Mr. CLAY, of Kentucky:--I move that the question upon accepting the
report be divided, and that it be first taken on that part of the
report which relates to the officers of the Convention.

Which was agreed to without objection.

It was then moved, and unanimously voted, that the part of the report
relating to officers, be accepted, and the officers designated be
appointed.

The President _pro tem._ then appointed Mr. EWING, of Ohio, and Mr.
MEREDITH, of Pennsylvania, to conduct the President elect to the
chair.

President TYLER upon taking his seat proceeded to address the
Convention as follows:

Gentlemen, I fear you have committed a great error in appointing me to
the honorable position you have assigned me. A long separation from
all deliberative bodies has rendered the rules of their proceedings
unfamiliar to me, while I should find, in my own state of health,
variable and fickle as it is, sufficient reason to decline the honor
of being your presiding officer. But, in times like these, one has but
little option left him. Personal considerations should weigh but
lightly in the balance. The country is in danger; it is enough; one
must take the place assigned him in the great work of reconciliation
and adjustment. The voice of Virginia has invited her co-States to
meet her in council. In the initiation of this Government, that same
voice was heard and complied with, and the results of seventy-odd
years have fully attested the wisdom of the decisions then adopted. Is
the urgency of her call now less great than it was then? Our godlike
fathers created, we have to preserve. They built up, through their
wisdom and patriotism, monuments which have eternized their names. You
have before you, gentlemen, a task equally grand, equally sublime,
quite as full of glory and immortality. You have to snatch from ruin a
great and glorious Confederation, to preserve the Government, and to
renew and invigorate the Constitution. If you reach the height of this
great occasion, your children's children will rise up and call you
blessed. I confess myself to be ambitious of sharing in the glory of
accomplishing this grand and magnificent result. To have our names
enrolled in the Capitol, to be repeated by future generations with
grateful applause--this is an honor higher than the mountains, more
enduring than the monumental alabaster. Yes, Virginia's voice, as in
the olden time, has been heard. Her sister States meet her this day at
the council board. Vermont is here, bringing with her the memories of
the past, and reviving in the memories of all, her Ethan Allen and his
demand for the surrender of Ticonderoga, in the name of the Great
Jehovah and the American Congress. New Hampshire is here, her fame
illustrated by memorable annals, and still more lately as the
birthplace of him who won for himself the name of defender of the
Constitution, and who wrote that letter to John Taylor which has been
enshrined in the hearts of his countrymen. Massachusetts is not here.
(Some member said "She is coming.") I hope so, said Mr. TYLER, and
that she will bring with her her daughter Maine. I did not believe it
could well be that the voice which in other times was so familiar to
her ears had been addressed to her in vain. Connecticut is here, and
she comes, I doubt not, in the spirit of ROGER SHERMAN, whose name
with our very children has become a household word, and who was in
life the embodiment of that sound practical sense which befits the
great lawgiver and constructer of governments. Rhode Island, the land
of ROGER WILLIAMS, is here, one of the two last States, in her
jealousy of the public liberty, to give in her adhesion to the
Constitution, and among the earliest to hasten to its rescue. The
great Empire State of New York, represented thus far but by one
delegate, is expected daily in fuller force to join in the great work
of healing the discontents of the times and restoring the reign of
fraternal feeling. New Jersey is also here, with the memories of the
past covering her all over. Trenton and Princeton live immortal in
story, the plains of the last incrimsoned with the hearts blood of
Virginia's sons. Among her delegation I rejoice to recognize a gallant
son of a signer of the immortal Declaration which announced to the
world that thirteen Provinces had become thirteen independent and
sovereign States. And here, too, is Delaware, the land of the BAYARDS
and the RODNEYS, whose soil at Brandywine was moistened by the blood
of Virginia's youthful MONROE. Here is Maryland, whose massive columns
wheeled into line with those of Virginia in the contest for glory,
and whose state house at Annapolis was the theatre of the spectacle of
a successful Commander, who, after liberating his country, gladly
ungirthed his sword, and laid it down upon the altar of that country.
Then comes Pennsylvania, rich in revolutionary lore, bringing with her
the deathless names of FRANKLIN and MORRIS, and, I trust, ready to
renew from the belfry of Independence Hall the chimes of the old bell,
which announced _Freedom_ and _Independence_ in former days. All hail
to North Carolina! with her Mecklenberg Declaration in her hand,
standing erect on the ground of her own probity and firmness in the
cause of public liberty, and represented in her attributes by her
MACON, and in this assembly by her distinguished son at no great
distance from me. Four daughters of Virginia also cluster around the
council board on the invitation of their ancient mother--the eldest,
Kentucky, whose sons, under the intrepid warrior ANTHONY WAYNE, gave
freedom of settlement to the territory of her sister, Ohio. She
extends her hand daily and hourly across _la belle riviere_, to grasp
the hand of some one of kindred blood of the noble states of Indiana,
and Illinois, and Ohio, who have grown up into powerful States,
already grand, potent, and almost imperial. Tennessee is not here, but
is coming--prevented only from being here by the floods which have
swollen her rivers. When she arrives, she will wear the badges on her
warrior crest of victories won in company with the Great West on many
an ensanguined plain, and standards torn from the hands of the
conquerors at Waterloo. Missouri, and Iowa, and Michigan, Wisconsin,
and Minnesota, still linger behind, but it may be hoped that their
hearts are with us in the great work we have to do.

Gentlemen, the eyes of the whole country are turned to this assembly,
in expectation and hope. I trust that you may prove yourselves worthy
of the great occasion. Our ancestors, probably, committed a blunder in
not having fixed upon every fifth decade for a call of a general
convention to amend and reform the Constitution. On the contrary, they
have made the difficulties next to insurmountable to accomplish
amendments to an instrument which was perfect for five millions of
people, but not wholly so as to thirty millions. Your patriotism will
surmount the difficulties, however great, if you will but accomplish
one triumph in advance, and that is, a triumph over _party_. And what
is party, when compared to the work of rescuing one's country from
danger? Do that, and one long, loud shout of joy and gladness will
resound throughout the land.

Mr. EWING:--I move that the remaining portion of the report of the
Committee on Organization be postponed until to-morrow.

The motion of Mr. EWING was agreed to.

Mr. WICKLIFFE. I offer the following resolution:

     _Resolved_, That the Conference shall be opened with prayer,
     and that the clergymen of the city of Washington be
     requested to perform that service.

The resolution offered by Mr. WICKLIFFE was adopted, and prayer was
then offered by the Rev. Dr. P.D. GURLEY, of Washington.

The PRESIDENT:--I have received a communication from the Messrs.
Willard, placing the Hall in which the Conference is now sitting at
the service of the Conference, while its sessions may continue; also,
a communication from the Mayor and Common Council of the City of
Washington, offering police officers to attend our sittings.

It was moved, and agreed to, that these offers be severally accepted.

Mr. JOHNSON, of Maryland:--I move that the President of the Conference
be requested to furnish a copy of his address to the Conference upon
taking the Chair, that it be entered upon the journal as a part of
this day's proceedings, and that the same be published.

Which motion was unanimously agreed to.

Mr. GRIMES, of Iowa:--I have received from the Governor of the State
of Iowa a communication, requesting myself and my colleague in the
Senate of the United States, and also the members representing that
State in the House of Representatives, to represent the State of Iowa
here. I desire to present his communication, that it may be referred
to the Committee on Credentials.

The communication was so referred, and on motion of Mr. WRIGHT, of
Ohio, the Conference adjourned.



THIRD DAY.

WASHINGTON, WEDNESDAY, _February 6th, 1861._


The Conference met at twelve o'clock, at noon, and was called to order
by the PRESIDENT.

The Journal of yesterday was read, and after amendment, was approved.

Mr. SUMMERS:--I am instructed by the Committee on Credentials to make
a report. That committee has examined the credentials which have been
submitted to it, and finds the following-named gentlemen duly
accredited as members of this Conference:

_New Hampshire._--Amos Tuck, Levi Chamberlain, Asa Fowler.

_Vermont._--Hiland Hall, Lucius E. Chittenden, Levi Underwood, H.
Henry Baxter, B.D. Harris.

_Rhode Island and Providence Plantations._--Samuel Ames, Alexander
Duncan, William W. Hoppin, George H. Browne, Samuel G. Arnold.

_Connecticut._--Roger S. Baldwin, Chauncey F. Cleveland, Charles J.
McCurdy, James T. Pratt, Robbins Battell, Amos S. Treat.

_New Jersey._--Charles S. Olden, Peter D. Vroom, Robert F. Stockton,
Benjamin Williamson, Joseph F. Randolph, Frederick T. Frelinghuysen,
Rodman M. Price, William C. Alexander, Thomas J. Stryker.

_Pennsylvania._--Thomas White, James Pollock, William M. Meredith,
David Wilmot, A.W. Loomis, Thomas E. Franklin, William McKennan.

_Delaware._--George B. Rodney, Daniel M. Bates, Henry Ridgely, John W.
Houston, William Cannon.

_Maryland._--John F. Dent, Reverdy Johnson, John W. Crisfield,
Augustus W. Bradford, William T. Goldsborough, J. Dixon Roman,
Benjamin C. Howard.

_Virginia._--John Tyler, William C. Rives, John W. Brockenbrough,
George W. Summers, James A. Seddon.

_North Carolina._--George Davis, Thomas Ruffin, David S. Reid, Daniel
M. Barringer, J.M. Morehead.

_Kentucky._--William O. Butler, James B. Clay, Joshua F. Bell, Charles
S. Morehead, James Guthrie, Charles A. Wickliffe.

_Ohio._--John C. Wright, Salmon P. Chase, William S. Groesbeck,
Franklin C. Backus, Reuben Hitchcock, Thomas Ewing, Valentine B.
Horton.

_Indiana._--Caleb B. Smith, Pleasant A. Hackleman, Godlove S. Orth,
E.W.H. Ellis, Thomas C. Slaughter.

_Iowa._--James W. Grimes, Samuel H. Curtis, William Vandever.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I move that the Secretary be authorized to employ one
or more assistants. I am advised that the Secretary cannot perform his
duties without assistance, and I see no objection to giving him this
authority.

The motion of Mr. WICKLIFFE was agreed to.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I now desire to call up the remaining portion of the
report of the Committee on Rules and Organization, and to move its
adoption at the present time. These Rules are substantially the same
as those which were adopted by the convention which proposed our
present Constitution. The rule which we have reported securing
secrecy, so far as our proceedings are concerned, has been made the
subject of much discussion in the committee; and it was at first
thought best to recommend a modification of it. But upon reflection
and consideration, and in view of the fact that, while the rule
reported requires that secrecy should be preserved in regard to all
that is said or done in this Conference, it does not prevent any
member from expressing his own hopes or predictions upon the final
result of our deliberations, we have thought best to let it remain as
it is.

Mr. SEDDON:--I desire to offer an amendment to this portion of the
report of the committee, which I will read for the information of the
Conference. It is as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That no part of the Journal be published
     without the order or leave of the Conference, and that no
     copies of the whole or any part be furnished or allowed,
     except to members, who shall be privileged to communicate
     the same to the authorities or deliberative assemblies of
     their respective States, when deemed judicious or
     appropriate, under their instructions, and that nothing
     spoken in the House be printed or otherwise published; but
     private communications respecting the proceedings and
     debates, while recommended to be with caution and reserve,
     are allowed at the discretion of each member."

It may be thought, that in offering this resolution, I am seeking a
different end from the one I proposed yesterday, when I advocated the
proposition of excluding reporters from our sessions, and insisted
that our proceedings should be at all times under the seal of secrecy.
Such, however, is not my purpose. But some discretion must be allowed
us, in order that we may conform to and carry out the spirit of the
resolutions under which we respectively act. This is especially true
in relation to myself and my colleagues. The resolutions under which
we are acting, require that we should from time to time communicate to
the legislature of Virginia the proceedings of this body, and to
express our own opinions of the prospect which may exist of the
settlement of existing difficulties. The Commissioners from Virginia
would be placed in a delicate, not to say an awkward position, by the
adoption of a rule here which would absolutely prohibit such
communications. I hope my amendment may be adopted.

Mr. TUCK:--Would not the purpose of the gentleman from Virginia be
answered by giving any delegation leave to communicate any action
actually taken by the Conference, with their own opinions as to the
probable result of our deliberations?

Mr. SEDDON:--Those opinions would possess no value, unless the facts
and circumstances are communicated upon which they are founded. It is
very clear to me, that the best course will be to entrust to the
discretion of each member the privilege of making these
communications, trusting that he will not abuse the confidence thus
given.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I hope we have all come here with an earnest desire to
harmonize our conflicting opinions, and to unite upon some plan which
will settle our troubles and save the union of the States. The South
has spoken of the North in very severe terms, and the North has not
been slow in returning the compliment. If we come finally, to any
definite result satisfactory to either side, it must be by mutual
concessions, by confessing our sins to each other, and endeavoring to
live harmoniously together in future. In my judgment, secrecy is
absolutely indispensable to successful action here. I do not wish to
be precluded from abandoning a position to-morrow, if I see cause for
it, which I have taken to-day. If the proceedings, and especially the
debates of this Conference, are made public from day to day, they will
go into the newspapers and be made the subject of comment, favorable
or otherwise. The necessary result will be, that when a member is
understood to have committed himself to a particular proposition, or
any special course of policy, that pride of opinion, which we all
possess, will render any change of policy on his part difficult, if
not impossible. I should sincerely regret the adoption of the
resolution of the gentleman from Virginia.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--I move that the portion of the committee's report under
consideration, together with the resolution of Mr. SEDDON, be
recommitted to the Committee on Rules and Organization.

The motion of Mr. RANDOLPH was agreed to.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I have an idea relating to the plan which should be
adopted to carry into effect the purpose of this Conference. I wish to
propose it. We have come together upon the invitation of the glorious
old commonwealth of Virginia, the mother of States and Statesmen. We
have come from the North and the South, from the East and the West, to
see whether our wisdom can devise some means to avert the dangers
which threaten to destroy this noble Republic, founded by the wisdom
and patriotism of our ancestors. I hope we are animated by a common
purpose. The storm is threatening. The horizon is covered with dark
and portentous clouds. Section is arrayed against section, and already
_seven_ of our sister States have separated from us and are proceeding
to establish an independent Confederation. War! Civil War! is
impending over us. It must be averted! Who does not know that such a
war, among such a people, must be, if it comes, a war of
extermination.

Mr. PRESIDENT, I move the adoption of the resolution which I now send
to the chair.

The resolution of Mr. GUTHRIE was read as follows:

     _Resolved_, That a committee of one from each State be
     appointed by the Commissioners thereof, to be nominated to
     the President, and to be appointed by him, to whom shall be
     referred the resolutions of the State of Virginia, and the
     other States represented, and all propositions for the
     adjustment of existing difficulties between States, with
     authority to report what they may deem right, necessary, and
     proper to restore harmony and preserve the Union, and that
     they report on or before Friday next.

Mr. SEDDON:--It appears to me that the mode pointed out by the
resolution introduced by the gentleman from Kentucky, is neither the
one most appropriate nor expeditious for accomplishing the result
desired. We are convened under the invitation of the State of
Virginia; and the same invitation that brings us here, proposes the
basis for our deliberation and action. Virginia has stated what will
be satisfactory to her; not as an _ultimatum_, but as a basis of
adjustment. It appears to me that the proper course would be, to take
up the propositions of Virginia--propose amendments to them--discuss
them, and in the end determine how far they shall be adopted. The
adoption of the resolution proposed, transfers the labors of this
Conference, not in itself too large for convenient deliberation, to a
committee. That committee is to discuss the various propositions
offered and report the result. What, in the mean time, is this
Conference to do? Nothing whatever! We are to meet here from day to
day and adjourn, no one knows how long, until this committee reports,
and then the discussion will commence which ought to commence now. Mr.
PRESIDENT, if any thing is accomplished, it must be accomplished
speedily. Events are on the wing. Already in my State the delegates
are elected to a Convention, which is to meet next week, to consider
the subject which now engrosses the minds of the American people. I
hope my suggestion may meet with favor in the Conference.

Mr. EWING:--I cannot agree with the gentleman from Virginia, for
reasons which must be obvious to all. I do not think Virginia intended
to dictate the terms upon which we were to act. I am in favor of the
resolution, but would make one suggestion in relation to it. By its
terms the committee is to report on Friday, if it can properly do so.
I suggest that the committee should have leave to sit during the
sessions of the Conference. In this way our business may be greatly
expedited.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--It gives me pleasure to accept the modification proposed
by the gentleman from Ohio. I should have incorporated it into my
resolution.

The resolution as modified was then adopted by the Conference without
a division.

The PRESIDENT:--I will take this occasion to announce a committee to
carry into effect the determination of the Conference relating to the
obtaining of the services of clergymen to open the proceedings of the
Conference daily with prayer. The Chair appoints as such committee,
Mr. RANDOLPH, of New Jersey, Mr. WICKLIFFE, of Kentucky, and Mr.
JOHNSON, of Maryland.

Mr. JOHNSON:--It appears to me very appropriate, in view of the
occasion which has brought us together, that the members of this
Conference should pay their respects in a body to the President of the
United States. I therefore move that we call upon him in a body at
such a time as will be most agreeable to him; such time to be
ascertained by the President of this Conference.

Which motion was unanimously agreed to.

Mr. CLAY:--I move the reconsideration of the vote by which the portion
of the report of the Committee on Rules and Organization not yet
adopted was recommitted to that committee. I do this in order that the
Conference may now proceed to the consideration of those rules which
may be adopted without much difference of opinion.

The vote was thereupon reconsidered, and the following rules were
severally read and adopted. The remaining rules recommended were
recommitted to the committee:


RULES.

I. A Convention to do business, shall consist of the Commissioners of
not less than seven States; and all questions shall be decided by the
greater number of those which be fully represented. But a less number
than seven may adjourn from day to day.

II. Immediately after the President shall have taken the chair, and
the members their seats, the minutes of the preceding day shall be
read by the Secretary.

III. Every member, rising to speak, shall address the President; and
while he shall be speaking none shall pass between them, or hold
discourse with another, or read a book, pamphlet, or paper, printed or
manuscript; and of two members rising to speak at the same time, the
President shall name him who shall first be heard.

IV. A member shall not speak oftener than twice, without special
leave upon the same question; and not a second time before every other
who had been silent shall have been heard, if he choose to speak upon
the subject.

V. A motion made and seconded, shall be repeated; and if written, as
it shall be when any member shall so require, read aloud by the
Secretary before it shall be debated; and may be withdrawn at any time
before the vote upon it shall have been declared.

VI. Orders of the day shall be read next after the minutes, and either
discussed or postponed, before any other business shall be introduced.

VII. When a debate shall arise upon a question, no motion, other than
to amend the question, to commit it, or to postpone the debate, shall
be received.

VIII. A question which is complicated, shall, at the request of any
member, be divided and put separately upon the propositions of which
it is compounded.

IX. A writing which contains any matter brought on to be considered,
shall be read once, throughout, for information; then by paragraphs,
to be debated, and again with the amendments, if any, made on the
second reading, and afterwards the question shall be put upon the
whole, as amended or approved in the original form, as the case may
be.

X. Committees shall be appointed by the President, unless otherwise
ordered by the Convention.

XI. A member may be called to order by another member, as well as by
the President, and may be allowed to explain his conduct or
expressions supposed to be reprehensible. And all questions of order
shall be decided by the President, without appeal or debate.

XII. Upon a question to adjourn for the day, which may be made at any
time, if it be seconded, the question shall be put without debate.

XIII. When the Convention shall adjourn, every member shall stand in
his place until the President pass him.

XIV. That no member be absent from the Convention, so as to interrupt
the representation of the State, without leave.

XV. That Committees do not sit while the Convention shall be, or ought
to be sitting, without leave of the Convention.

XVI. That no copy be taken of any entry on the Journal, during the
sitting of the Convention, without leave of the Convention.

XVII. That members only be permitted to inspect the Journal.

XVIII. _Mode of Voting._ All votes shall be taken by States, and each
State to give one vote. The yeas and nays of the members shall not be
given or published--only the decision by States.

After the adoption of the foregoing Rules, the Conference adjourned
until 10 o'clock to-morrow morning.



FOURTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, THURSDAY, _February 7th, 1861._


The Conference convened, pursuant to the adjournment yesterday, at 10
o'clock A.M.

It was called to order by President TYLER, and prayer was offered by
Rev. Dr. PYNE, of Washington.

The Journal of yesterday was read, and after sundry amendments, was
approved.

Messrs. J.H. PULESTON, JOHN STRYKER, W.W. HOPPIN, Jr., and ----
Olcott, took their places as Assistant Secretaries.

President TYLER:--Gentlemen of the Conference, as directed by the
resolution which you adopted yesterday, I addressed a note to the
President of the United States, asking at what hour it would be
agreeable to him that this Conference should call on him in a body. To
this note I have received a reply which will be read by the Secretary.

The Secretary then read the following note from the President:

     EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 6th, 1861._

     My DEAR SIR:--I shall feel greatly honored to receive the
     gentlemen composing the Convention of Commissioners from the
     several States, on any day and at any hour most convenient
     to themselves. I shall name to-morrow (Thursday) at 11 or 3
     o'clock, though any other time would be equally agreeable to
     me. I shall at all times be prepared to give them a cordial
     welcome.

     Yours, very respectfully,

     JAMES BUCHANAN.

     His Excellency, JOHN TYLER.

The PRESIDENT:--What order will the Conference take upon the subject?

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I move that the members of this Conference call in a
body upon the President of the United States this morning, at 11
o'clock.

Mr. GUTHRIE'S motion was adopted unanimously.

Mr. SUMMERS:--I am instructed by the Committee on Credentials further
to report, that the committee have examined the credentials of the
following gentlemen, and find them duly accredited as members of this
body:

_New York._--William E. Dodge.

_Tennessee._--Samuel Milligan, Josiah M. Anderson, Robert L.
Carruthers, Thomas Martin, Isaac R. Hawkins, R.J. McKinney, Alvin
Cullom, William P. Hickerson, George W. Jones, F.K. Zollicoffer,
William H. Stephens, A.W.O. Totten.

_Illinois._--John Wood, Stephen T. Logan, John M. Palmer, Burton C.
Cook, Thomas J. Turner.

Which report was accepted, and the names of the Commissioners were
entered upon the record.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--Certain printing has been ordered, but no provision
has been made for paying for it. The Committee on Rules have therefore
requested me to report the following resolution:

     _Resolved_, That the Secretary procure for the use of the
     Convention the necessary stationery, and also provide for
     such printing as may be ordered. That the Journal, up to and
     including this day's proceeding, as well as the Rules, be
     printed for the use of the members.

The resolution of Mr. WICKLIFFE was agreed to.

The PRESIDENT:--The respective delegations have recommended, and the
Chair announces the names of the following gentlemen to compose the
committee ordered to be raised under the resolution of Mr. GUTHRIE,
which was adopted yesterday:--New Hampshire, Asa Fowler; Vermont,
Hiland Hall; Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Samuel Ames;
Connecticut, Roger S. Baldwin; New Jersey, Joseph F. Randolph;
Pennsylvania, Thomas White; Delaware, Daniel M. Bates; North Carolina,
Thomas Ruffin; Kentucky, James Guthrie; Ohio, Thomas Ewing; Indiana,
Caleb B. Smith; Illinois, Stephen T. Logan; Iowa, James Harlan;
Maryland, Reverdy Johnson; Virginia, James A. Seddon.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--The Committee on Rules have further considered the
rule relating to the secrecy of the debates and proceedings of this
body, and their convictions as to the necessity and propriety of its
adoption remain unchanged. The prospect of an ultimate agreement among
the Commissioners composing this body, in the opinion of the
committee, would be materially lessened if all or any of its debates
should be made public, for reasons which have already been stated. If
any gentleman should desire to communicate with the Executive or
Legislative authorities of his State any facts, during the progress of
our business, I apprehend little difficulty would be experienced in
obtaining the leave of the Convention. We therefore recommend the
following Rule:

     XIX. That nothing spoken in the Convention be printed, or
     otherwise published or communicated, without leave.

Mr. SEDDON:--I do not desire to discuss the adoption of the rule under
consideration any further than I have already. The Commissioners from
the State of Virginia are appointed under resolutions which make it
their duty to communicate from time to time with her deliberative
assemblies. We do not wish to have our right to do so subject to the
action of this or any other body. It is no answer to this to say, that
there is no doubt that the leave to make the necessary communications
will be accorded to us when we ask it. We do not wish to ask it. We
insist upon our rights in this respect, as it is our duty to the State
that sent us here to do.

The rule was adopted upon a count of the members voting.

On motion, the Convention adjourned.

After the adjournment, the Convention in a body called upon the
PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES, when the several delegations were
introduced by President TYLER, and the several Commissioners were
presented by the chairmen of the several delegations.



FIFTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, FRIDAY, _February 8th, 1861._


The Convention was called to order at 12 o'clock by President TYLER.
Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. BUTLER. After sundry amendments, the
Journal was approved.

Mr. SUMMERS:--I am directed by the Committee on Credentials to report
that they find the following gentlemen duly accredited as members of
the Convention:

_New York._--David Dudley Field, William Curtis Noyes, James S.
Wadsworth, Erastus Corning, Amaziah B. James, James C. Smith, Addison
Gardner, Greene C. Bronson, John A. King, John E. Wool.

_Massachusetts._--John Z. Goodrich, John M. Forbes, Richard P. Waters,
Theophilus P. Chandler, Francis B. Crowninshield, George S. Boutwell,
Charles Allen.

_Missouri._--John D. Coalter, Alexander W. Doniphan, Waldo P. Johnson,
Aylett H. Buckner, Harrison Hough.

On motion of the respective delegations the following gentlemen were
added to the committee raised on the resolution of Mr. GUTHRIE:

_New York._--Mr. Field.
_Missouri._--Mr. Doniphan.
_Tennessee._--Mr. Zollicoffer.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I am instructed by the committee raised upon the
resolution introduced by myself, to inform the Convention that that
body is not able to report to-day, agreeable to the suggestion made at
the time they were appointed. Several States are yet unrepresented on
the committee, and delegations from some of them have only arrived
this morning. I am therefore directed to ask for further time to make
a report, assuring the Convention, at the same time, that a report
will be made at soon as a proper regard to the interests of all
sections will permit it to be done.

Mr. CLAY:--I move that the time for the report of the committee be
extended until Monday next. As in the mean time there will be little
business for the Convention to do, and that of a formal character, it
might be as well to adjourn from this time until Monday; and I move
further, that if delegates arrive from States now unrepresented, they
may present their credentials to the committee, and if no question
arises on them, they may then select a member of the committee on Mr.
GUTHRIE'S resolution, and report his name to the Secretary of that
committee.

Mr. SEDDON:--I object to an adjournment until Monday. We can meet here
to-morrow and do any business which may come before us.

The several motions of Mr. CLAY, with the alteration suggested by Mr.
SEDDON, were then agreed to without a division.

Mr. ELLIS:--I move that the President be requested to issue cards of
admission to the members and officers of this Convention.

Which motion was adopted.

Mr. HITCHCOCK:--I would like to understand whether we all construe the
rule referring to the secrecy of our transactions alike. I am told
that different constructions are placed upon it by different members,
and would suggest the propriety of the PRESIDENT'S giving his views of
the meaning of the rule.

The PRESIDENT:--I understand, by the correct interpretation of the
rule, that nothing which is said or done in the Convention having
reference to any subject of business in it, can be spoken of or
disclosed to any but members.

The Convention then adjourned.



SIXTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, SATURDAY, _February 9th, 1861._


The Convention was called to order by the PRESIDENT. Prayer was
offered by Rev. Dr. BULLOCK. The Journal was read, corrected, and
approved.

Mr. SUMMERS:--I am directed by the Committee on Credentials to report
as members of this Convention the names of the following gentlemen
from the State of Maine:--William P. Fessenden, Lot M. Morrill, Daniel
E. Somes, John J. Perry, Ezra B. French, Freeman H. Morse, Stephen
Coburn, Stephen C. Foster.

Mr. MORRILL, of Maine, and Mr. CROWNINSHIELD, of Massachusetts, were
announced as members of the committee under the resolution of Mr.
GUTHRIE.

Mr. TUCK:--I offer certain resolutions, which I desire to have printed
and referred to the Committee on Resolutions.

The resolutions of Mr. TUCK were read, ordered to be printed, and
referred. (These resolutions will be found on a subsequent page.)

Mr. CLAY:--I hold in my hand the proceedings of a very large
Democratic meeting recently held at New Haven, in the State of
Connecticut. Among them are certain resolutions, breathing a spirit of
fervent devotion to the Union, and expressing an anxious desire for
the settlement of the difficult questions now before the country. They
have been sent to me with a request that I should lay them before this
Convention. Why I was selected by them for the performance of this
duty, I do not know, unless it was because, from my name and
associations, they thought an assurance might be found that I
participated in the sentiments expressed in the resolutions. I present
them with great pleasure, and ask that they may be referred to the
Committee on Resolutions.

The motion of Mr. CLAY was agreed to.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--I move that the Secretary be requested to furnish for
the use of the members a printed list of the delegates to and officers
of this Convention.

Which motion was adopted, and the Convention adjourned.



SEVENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, MONDAY, _February 11th, 1861._


The Convention was called to order by the PRESIDENT. Prayer was
offered by Rev. Dr. GURLEY.

After the reading and amendment of the Journal, Mr. GUTHRIE, from the
Committee on Resolutions, asked for further time to make a general
report of the matters submitted to them, which was given; and
thereupon Mr. GUTHRIE, from the same Committee, made the following
report upon the resolutions of a meeting in the State of Connecticut,
which were referred to that committee on motion of Mr. CLAY:

     The committee to whom were referred certain resolutions of
     the Democratic party of the State of Connecticut, report
     that in the opinion of the committee it is inexpedient for
     this Convention to act upon any resolution purporting to
     emanate from any political party whatever; and that the
     member of the Convention by whom they were presented have
     leave to withdraw the same.

The PRESIDENT:--I take this opportunity to announce to the Convention
that the Door-keeper of the House of Representatives has transmitted
to the Chair cards admitting members of this body on to the floor of
the House. These cards will be delivered by the Secretary to such
members as call for them.

Mr. CHASE:--I move that any propositions or resolutions which members
of this Convention desire to have considered by the Committee on
Resolutions and Propositions, may be presented to the committee
through the Secretary, without being presented in Convention.

The motion was agreed to, and on motion the Convention adjourned until
Wednesday the 13th instant, at 12 o'clock M.



EIGHTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, WEDNESDAY, _February 13th, 1861._


The Convention was called to order by the PRESIDENT, and prayer was
offered by Rev. Dr. EDWARDS. The Journal, after sundry amendments, was
approved.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--The Committee on Resolutions, &c., have labored
diligently, and held protracted sessions, in the hope of being able to
make their report to-day. This they find themselves unable to do. They
are fully impressed with the necessity of immediate action, in view of
the short time that will remain for Congress to consider the action of
this Convention, if it shall become necessary to submit any
proposition of this body to be acted upon by that. I have no doubt we
shall be able to report on Friday, and I ask that we may have until
that time to make a report.

The request of Mr. GUTHRIE was acceded to.

Mr. SEDDON:--The time has now arrived when, as one of the
Commissioners from the State of Virginia, I find it necessary to ask
the leave of the Convention to communicate to the Legislative
authorities of Virginia, and to her Convention now in session, the
state of the proceedings before this body, and the committee. I ask
for liberty to do so, and believe that a proper regard to the
instructions of the Legislature of the State under which my
appointment is made, requires that my request should be granted.

Mr. BARRINGER offered the following resolution:

     _Resolved_, That the Commissioners of any State represented
     in this Convention, upon their joint application, have leave
     to communicate to the Legislature, Governor, or Convention
     of said State, the proceedings of this body, or so much
     thereof as they may deem expedient.

Mr. SEDDON:--The passage of this resolution is all I ask.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN:--I move to amend the resolution by adding thereto:
"But not to communicate what has transpired in the committee, before
said committee has reported to the Convention."

Mr. SEDDON:--I do not deem the passage of the resolution at this
moment as very important. At the suggestion of several gentlemen, I
will move to lay it on the table, subject to be called up after
Friday.

The Convention then adjourned to Friday at 12 o'clock.

On the evening of February 13th, the members of the Conference were
informed of the death of Hon. JOHN C. WRIGHT, of Ohio, who officiated
as temporary chairman previous to the permanent organization. In view
of the anxious desire of all the members to recognize their
appreciation of this act of Divine Providence, in removing from the
sphere of his earthly labors one of the most valued Commissioners in
attendance, President TYLER was requested to summon a special meeting
of the Conference. In pursuance of his invitation, all the members
attended on the morning of February 14th, when the following
proceedings were had:

THURSDAY, WASHINGTON CITY, _February 14th, 1861._

The Convention met in special session, pursuant to the call of the
President.

The proceedings were opened with prayer by the Rev. Dr. HALL.

The following letter from the Secretary, CRAFTS J. WRIGHT, was read,
and ordered to be entered upon the minutes:

     WILLARD'S HOTEL,                        }
     WASHINGTON CITY, _February 13th, 1861._ }

     _Hon._ JOHN TYLER, _President of Conference Convention._

     DEAR SIR:--I grieve to communicate to you the fact, that the
     delegate from Ohio to this Conference Convention, the Hon.
     JOHN C. WRIGHT, departed this life this day, the 13th
     February, at half-past one o'clock.

     Judge WRIGHT came to this Convention with a heart filled
     with fear for the safety of the Union. Though at an advanced
     age and nearly blind, he was filled with an earnest desire
     to add his efforts to that of others of the Convention
     called by the State of Virginia, and seek to agree on some
     measures honorable to each and all, to effect the object.
     Since the arrival of my father in Washington, he has been
     constant in his efforts to effect the end in view, and he
     has had his heart cheered with the belief that the object
     would be accomplished. Almost the last words that he uttered
     were, that he believed the Union would be preserved. He
     desired me to say, if the Union were preserved, he would die
     content. He called me to read to him, at 12 o'clock, the
     sections in the Constitution in regard to counting the
     votes, and this request, and this reading, terminated his
     knowledge on earth. In this desire of my father to do what
     he could, he pressed me to accompany him on account of his
     blindness. Since the Convention honored me with the
     appointment of Secretary, he required of me a promise that I
     would not leave the position. When I read the section of the
     Constitution to him, he required me then to leave him for
     the Convention. Whatever my personal feelings may be, I deem
     the pledge made sacred. I therefore ask that I may have
     leave of absence, until I carry the remains home to Ohio,
     and return to my duty.

     Respectfully,

     CRAFTS J. WRIGHT.

     P.S.--J. HENRY PULESTON will act for me in my absence.

The PRESIDENT informed the Convention that the request of the
Secretary had been complied with. The PRESIDENT asked what action the
Convention proposed to take on the subject for which they had been
specially assembled.

The Hon. SALMON P. CHASE, of Ohio, then said:--Mr. PRESIDENT, since we
assembled yesterday in this Hall, it has pleased God to remove one of
our number from all participation in the concerns of earth. It is my
painful duty to announce to the Convention that JOHN C. WRIGHT, one of
the Commissioners from Ohio, is no more. Full of years, honored by the
confidence of the people, rich in large experience and ripened wisdom,
and devoted in all his affections and all his powers to his country,
and his whole country, he has been called from our midst at the very
moment when the prudence and patriotism of his counsels seemed most
needed. Such are the mysterious ways of Divine Providence. Judge
WRIGHT was born in Wethersfield, Connecticut, on the 10th of August,
1784. The death of his parents made him an orphan in infancy; and he
had little to depend upon in youth and early manhood, save his own
energies and God's blessing. He was married, while young, to a
daughter of Thomas Collier, of Litchfield, and for several years after
resided at Troy, New York. When about twenty-six years old he removed
to Steubenville, in Ohio, where he commenced the practice of the law,
and rapidly rose to distinction in the profession. In 1822 he was
elected a representative in Congress, where he became the associate
and friend of Clay and Webster, and proved himself, on many occasions,
worthy of their association and friendship.

After serving several terms in Congress, he was elected a Judge of the
Supreme Court of Ohio, and, in 1834, removed from Steubenville to the
city of Cincinnati. Resigning his seat soon afterwards, he resumed
the labors of the bar, and, ever zealous for the improvement and
elevation of the profession, established, in association with others,
the Cincinnati law school.

In 1840, upon the dying request of CHARLES HAMMOND, the veteran editor
of the "Cincinnati Gazette," Judge WRIGHT assumed the editorial
control of that Journal, and retained that position until impaired
vision, in 1853, admonished him of the necessity of withdrawing from
labors too severe.

Thenceforward engaged in moderate labors, surrounded by affectionate
relatives, enjoying the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens,
and manifesting always the liveliest concern in whatever related to
the welfare and honor of his State and his country, he lived in
tranquil retirement, until called by the Governor of Ohio, with the
approbation of the Senate, to take part in the deliberations of this
Conference Convention.

It was but a just tribute, sir, to his honored age, illustrated by
abilities, by virtues, and by services, that he was unanimously
selected as its temporary President. His interest in the great purpose
of our assembling was profound and earnest. His labors to promote an
auspicious result of its deliberations were active and constant. And
when fatal disease assailed his life, and his enfeebled powers yielded
to its virulence, his last utterances were of the Constitution and the
Union.

Mr. PRESIDENT, Judge WRIGHT was my friend. His approval cheered and
encouraged my own humble labors in the service of the State. Pardon me
if I mingle private with public grief. He has gone from his last great
labor. He was not permitted to witness upon earth the result of the
mission upon which he and his associates, who here mourn his loss,
were sent. God grant that the clouds which now darken over us may
speedily disperse, and that through generous counsels and patriotic
labors, guided by that good Providence which directed our fathers in
its original formation, the Union of our States may be more than ever
firmly cemented and established.

Mr. PRESIDENT, I offer the following resolutions:

     _Resolved_, That in the death of our late venerable
     colleague, the Hon. JOHN C. WRIGHT, we mourn the loss to the
     State of Ohio, and to the nation at large, of one of our
     most sagacious statesmen and distinguished patriots; and to
     the cause of Union and conciliation, one of its most
     illustrious supporters.

     _Resolved_, That while we deplore with saddened hearts the
     affliction with which an All-wise Providence has visited us,
     we know that no transition from life to immortality could
     have been more grateful to him who has fallen than this, in
     which his life has been offered a willing sacrifice in an
     effort to restore harmony to his distracted country.

     _Resolved_, That the members of this Convention tender their
     heartfelt sympathies to the family of the deceased in this
     their great affliction.

     _Resolved_, That these resolutions be spread upon the
     records of this body, and a copy of the same be transmitted
     to the family of the deceased.

Mr. CHARLES A. WICKLIFFE, of Kentucky, moved the adoption of the
resolutions, and said:

Mr. PRESIDENT, I rise to tender my most cordial sanction and second to
the resolutions which have just been read.

Mr. WRIGHT and myself entered the councils of this nation thirty-seven
years ago. We served together during a period when party excitement
ran high upon questions more of a personal than a constitutional
character. I can bear witness not only to his ability, but to his
personal integrity, and his purity of political action through our
term of service in the House of Representatives. I have seldom met him
since we separated at the termination of his service and mine in that
body, which occurred at pretty near the same period; but whenever I
have met him, I have found him the same stern advocate of the Union
and of constitutional liberty. I rejoiced, therefore, when I found him
in this hall on the day we first assembled here. I knew his
conservative disposition and principles, and I promised myself that
with his aid I could be more useful to my country and to my State than
without him. In conversing with him upon the difficulties which now
divide and distract our common country, I found him ready and willing,
conscientiously and patriotically, to do that which I thought that
portion of the country which I represent has a right to demand and
expect of those who represent a different portion of our Union. And if
my friend from Ohio (Mr. CHASE) and his colleagues will permit me to
mingle my sorrow at the public loss, I will say nothing of the private
bereavement of the family of our deceased colleague. I leave him to
his country, and to you, with this testimony which I leave to his
memory, his honesty of purpose and his patriotic love of country.

The Hon. A.W. LOOMIS, of Pennsylvania, said:

Mr. PRESIDENT, I desire to mingle my sincere regrets with those of the
members of this assemblage at the sad and unexpected occurrence which
deprived us of an able, experienced, and patriotic associate. My
relations with the deceased were, for many years, probably more
intimate than those which existed between him and any other member of
this Convention. Forty years have elapsed since I first made his
acquaintance. He was then in full, active, and extensive practice; a
learned lawyer, an accomplished, skilful, and successful advocate.
During the succeeding year I came to the bar, and resided and
practiced in the same judicial circuit with our departed friend. For
many years the most kind and intimate relations existed between
us--sometimes colleagues, but usually opponents. So kind and genial
was his nature, so fair and liberal his practice, that during our
entire intercourse not an unkind word was uttered, and, so far as I
know or believe, not an unpleasant feeling existed in the bosom of
either.

Though not gifted with the highest order of eloquence, he was clear,
distinct, and persuasive. His style of speaking resembled not the
babbling brook or the dashing cataract, but usually the limpid stream,
gliding gracefully amid fields and fruits and flowers, though
sometimes assuming the power and proportions of the majestic river,
cutting its sure and certain way to the mighty ocean.

His professional position, his kindness of heart, and genial humor,
made him an object of high respect and warm regard among his
professional brethren. And now, sir, as memory passes in review the
pleasant incidents which marked our social and professional
intercourse, the smitten heart shrinks in sadness and sorrow from the
contemplation of our bereavement. He adorned, sir, the bar, the bench,
and the halls of Legislation. He discharged, in all the relations of
life, his obligations with fidelity. Of him it might be truly said:

     His life hath flowed a sacred stream, in whose calm depths
     The beautiful and pure alone are mirrored;
     Which, though shapes of ill may hover o'er the surface,
     Glides in light, and takes no shadows from them.

But, sir, the great crowning virtue and glory of his life was his
acceptance of the mission which brought him here. Though whitened by
the frosts of nearly eighty winters, neither lofty mountains nor
intervening space could restrain his patriotic heart from a prompt
response to the call of his country to mingle his influence in a
sincere and sacred effort to save the Constitution and perpetuate the
Union. He accepted the great trust; he mingled in our deliberations,
and has fallen in the discharge of his duty. He has justly earned a
title to the gratitude and respect of his country. May we not, sir,
fondly hope that he, who was called from the discharge of such duties
to the presence of his God, has passed from the sorrows of earth to
the happiness of Heaven, and to the full fruition of joys pure,
perfect, and eternal?

The Hon. THOMAS EWING, of Ohio, said:--I rise to bear my tribute of
respect to the memory of the deceased. I have known him long. On my
first entrance into active life, at the bar, I found him an able and
distinguished member. Since that time down to the present day, he has
been largely associated, in mind and person, with all the acts and
progress, professional and political, of my life. I feel his loss
intensely; and I feel it with more regret, because I know that on this
occasion his voice would have been potential in our counsels, and
would have been united with all of us who labor most earnestly for the
preservation of the Union.

I tender my sympathies to the family of the deceased. I unite with
them in their regrets and in their hopes of the happy future to which
he may have attained.

The Hon. WILLIAM C. RIVES, of Virginia, said:--Though wholly
unprepared to say any thing worthy of the solemnity of this occasion,
I feel that I should be wanting, sir, in that sentiment of respect
which is due to the character of a distinguished citizen, if I were
not to add to what has been so eloquently spoken by others, a few
words of personal recollection in regard to our deceased friend Judge
WRIGHT. It so happened that we entered the public councils of the
country at the same moment, and continued in them for the same period
of time. It is now just thirty-seven years since I had the pleasure of
meeting Judge WRIGHT, for the first time, in the House of
Representatives of the United States. I may be permitted to say, that
there were giants in those days. My honorable friend from Kentucky
(Governor WICKLIFFE), who has already so feelingly addressed the
Convention, will recollect that on the roll of the House of
Representatives at that time stood the names of WEBSTER and EVERETT,
of OAKLEY and STORRS, of SARGEANT and of HEMPHILL, of LEWIS McLANE, of
the immortal CLAY, and BARBOUR and RANDALL, and other gentlemen known
to fame from the State which I have the honor to represent in this
body, and LIVINGSTON of Louisiana, McDUFFIE and HAMILTON of South
Carolina, and other gentlemen who, on the spur of the occasion, I am
not now able to recall, but whose names will forever shine upon the
rolls of their country's glory. And yet in that body Judge WRIGHT,
then in the maturity of his powers, though not previously known to the
nation, vindicated an equal rank in debate with those gentlemen whose
names I have mentioned. Sir, I shall never forget with what
earnestness, with what manliness, with what integrity, with what
ability, he ever uttered his convictions of public duty, whatever they
were, in that consecrated hall.

After remaining here, I think, for six years, he retired to his own
State for the purpose of assuming the duties of a highly-important and
dignified office, which was soon followed by his retirement into the
bosom of private life, where he met a rich and ample solace for the
storms of his public career. He was followed there by the respect of
his fellow-citizens throughout the country, and the confidence of his
own State, as we have recently seen, by his being called from that
honorable retirement to take part in the grave and solemn duties of
this assembly. Sir, he came among us in obedience to the solemn call
of patriotic duty, at a most exigent and distressing period in our
national annals. He came here on an errand of peace, in the spirit of
peace and conciliation. Such was the feeling entertained toward him by
the whole of this assembly, that without the slightest preconcert, so
far as I know, he was invited by general consent to preside during the
preliminary stages of the organization of this Convention. I had an
opportunity, from time to time, of private conversation with the aged
statesman. I found no member of the assembly I met here, and, indeed,
I have found nowhere any citizen of this wide Republic of ours, whose
heart was more deeply imbued with the spirit of conciliation and of
peace--of that spirit which was so solemnly and impressively uttered
in his last prayer, "May the Union be preserved." Sir, it is not
given to mortal man to choose the manner of his death; but if such
were the privilege accorded to any human being, what more glorious end
could he, appreciating a true fame, covet, than that which has been
the lot of our departed friend? Sir, I speak what I feel, and I dare
say I express a sentiment which has impressed itself upon many other
bosoms in this assembly, when I say that his sudden death in the midst
of our deliberations, seems to me to exalt--in some degree to
canonize--our labors. This manifestation of the visible hand of God
among us, brings us in the immediate presence of those solemn
responsibilities which attach themselves to the discharge of our
duties here. I doubt not that every member of this assembly is already
deeply impressed with the solemnity of those duties, and I feel
convinced that there are few, if any, in this assembly, who would not
lay down their fleeting and feverish existence, and follow our
deceased brother to his final account, if by doing so they could
restore peace and harmony to this glorious Republic of ours.

It does not become me to make any professions of devotion to my
country--to my whole country--but this I will say, in the spirit of
the last prayer of my friend, that I should regard my poor life, such
as it is, a cheap purchase--the cheapest imaginable purchase--for that
great boon to our country, the restoration of its peace, of its
harmony, of its unity, of its ancient confederated strength and glory.

The question was taken, and the resolutions were unanimously adopted.

The body of Judge WRIGHT was then brought into the hall, preceded by
Rev. Dr. HALL, who read the impressive service of the Episcopal
Church. A number of the members of the family, and of the friends of
the deceased, were present during the services.

The funeral cortege proceeded from the hall to the depot of the
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

The following gentlemen were designated to act as pall-bearers on the
occasion:

Mr. Ewing,
Mr. Hitchcock,
Mr. Chase,
Mr. Loomis,
Mr. Backus,
Mr. Wolcott,
Mr. Sherman,
Mr. Vinton,
Mr. Groesbeck,
Mr. Stanton,
Mr. Harlan,
Mr. Gurley.

The proceedings upon the death of Judge WRIGHT were, by the
Conference, ordered to be published, and the special session closed.



NINTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, FRIDAY, _February 15th, 1861._


The Convention was called to order by President TYLER, and prayer was
offered by Rev. Mr. RENNER. The Journals of the 13th and 14th were
read and approved.

The PRESIDENT:--I have this morning received several communications
from different persons, which will be laid before the Convention. One
is an invitation from HORATIO STONE, inviting the members of the
Convention to visit his studio; also, a resolution of the House of
Representatives, authorizing the admission of members of this
Convention to the floor of the House. Also, a letter from J.E. SANDS,
offering to the Convention certain flags which possess historical
interest, from the fact that they were used in the convention which
adopted the present Constitution of the United States. Also, a
communication from HORATIO G. WARNER.

The communications were severally read and laid upon the table.

Mr. SUMMERS:--I am instructed by the Committee on Credentials to
inform the Convention that the committee has received satisfactory
evidence of the appointment by the Executive of Ohio of C.P. WOLCOTT,
as a delegate to this Convention, in the place of JOHN C. WRIGHT,
deceased.

Mr. ORTH:--I desire to offer the following resolutions, which I ask to
have read for the information of the Convention. I have no purpose to
admit spectators to seats on this floor, but in my judgment it is the
right of the country to know what we are doing here. My constituents
will not be satisfied with my course, unless I take means to give the
public knowledge of all our transactions. I am aware that this is an
invasion of the rule already adopted, requiring secrecy, but in my
opinion no possible harm can come from the daily publication of our
debates. It is far better that true reports of these debates should be
made, than that the distorted and perverted accounts which we see
daily in the New York papers should be continued.

The resolutions were read, and are as follows:

     _Resolved_, That Rules Sixteen (16) and Eighteen (18) of
     this Convention be, and the same hereby are, rescinded.

     _Resolved_, That the President is hereby authorized to grant
     cards of admission to reporters of the press, not exceeding
     ---- in number, which shall entitle them to seats on the
     floor of the Convention, for the purpose of reporting its
     proceedings.

     _Resolved_, That no person be admitted to the floor of the
     Convention, except the members, officers, or reporters.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I do not wish to prolong this discussion myself, nor
to cause it to be prolonged by others. I am sure that if we permit our
debates to be reported, we shall never reach a conclusion which will
in the slightest degree benefit the country. Every member will in that
event wish to make a set speech, some of them three or four. I wish to
have our time used in consultation and in action, not consumed in
political speech-making. I do not care what the newspapers say of us.
I know their accounts are distorted; but they would be distorted if we
admitted reporters. Some of them assail us as a convention of
compromisers--as belonging to the sandstone stratum of politics.

Mr. CHASE:--That is the formation which supports all others.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I know it, and I hope this Convention will prove to be
the stratum which supports and preserves the Union and the country.
Let us go on as we have begun, preserving secrecy; keeping our own
counsels; making no speeches for outside consumption or personal
reputation. Let us all keep steadily in mind the accomplishment of the
great and good purpose which brought us here, and nothing else.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--New Jersey does not wish to have time consumed in
making speeches. I think we should proceed at once to hear the report
of the committee. I move that the resolutions offered be laid upon the
table.

Mr. ORTH:--I suppose this motion cuts off debate. I should much have
preferred to discuss the resolutions. I hope the motion will not
prevail.

The motion to lay on the table passed in the affirmative by a _viva
voce_ vote.

The PRESIDENT:--Is the General Committee upon Propositions prepared to
report? If it is, their report is now in order.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--That committee has given earnest and careful
consideration to the subjects and propositions which have from time to
time been presented to it. It has held numerous and protracted
sessions, and the differences of opinion naturally existing between
the members have been discussed in a spirit of candor and
conciliation. The committee have not been so fortunate as to arrive at
an unanimous conclusion. A majority of its members, however, have
agreed upon a report which we think ought to be satisfactory to all
sections of the Union, one which if adopted will, we believe,
accomplish the purpose so much desired by every patriotic citizen. We
think it will give peace to the country. In their behalf I have now
the honor to submit, for the consideration of the Conference, the
following:

     PROPOSALS OF AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED
     STATES.

     ARTICLE 1. In all the territory of the United States not
     embraced within the limits of the Cherokee treaty grant,
     north of a line from east to west on the parallel of 36
     degrees 30 minutes north latitude, involuntary servitude,
     except in punishment of crime, is prohibited whilst it shall
     be under a Territorial government; and in all the territory
     south of said line, the status of persons owing service or
     labor, as it now exists, shall not be changed by law while
     such territory shall be under a Territorial government; and
     neither Congress nor the Territorial government shall have
     power to hinder or prevent the taking to said territory of
     persons held to labor or involuntary service, within the
     United States, according to the laws or usages of the State
     from which such persons may be taken, nor to impair the
     rights arising out of said relations, which shall be subject
     to judicial cognizance in the federal courts, according to
     the common law; and when any territory north or south of
     said line, within such boundary as Congress may prescribe,
     shall contain a population required for a member of
     Congress, according to the then federal ratio of
     representation, it shall, if its form of government be
     republican, be admitted into the Union on an equal footing
     with the original States, with or without involuntary
     service or labor, as the Constitution of such new State may
     provide.

     ARTICLE 2. Territory shall not be acquired by the United
     States, unless by treaty; nor, except for naval and
     commercial stations and depots, unless such treaty shall be
     ratified by four-fifths of all members of the Senate.

     ARTICLE 3. Neither the Constitution, nor any amendment
     thereof, shall be construed to give Congress power to
     regulate, abolish, or control within any State or Territory
     of the United States, the relation established or recognized
     by the laws thereof touching persons bound to labor or
     involuntary service therein, nor to interfere with or
     abolish involuntary service in the District of Columbia
     without the consent of Maryland and without the consent of
     the owners, or making the owners who do not consent just
     compensation; nor the power to interfere with or prohibit
     representatives and others from bringing with them to the
     City of Washington, retaining, and taking away, persons so
     bound to labor; nor the power to interfere with or abolish
     involuntary service in places under the exclusive
     jurisdiction of the United States within those States and
     Territories where the same is established or recognized; nor
     the power to prohibit the removal or transportation, by
     land, sea, or river, of persons held to labor or involuntary
     service in any State or Territory of the United States to
     any other State or Territory thereof where it is established
     or recognized by law or usage; and the right during
     transportation of touching at ports, shores, and landings,
     and of landing in case of distress, shall exist. Nor shall
     Congress have power to authorize any higher rate of taxation
     on persons bound to labor than on land.

     ARTICLE 4. The third paragraph of the second section of the
     fourth article of the Constitution shall not be construed to
     prevent any of the States, by appropriate legislation, and
     through the action of their judicial and ministerial
     officers, from enforcing the delivery of fugitives from
     labor to the person to whom such service or labor is due.

     ARTICLE 5. The foreign slave-trade and the importation of
     slaves into the United States and their Territories, from
     places beyond the present limits thereof, are forever
     prohibited.

     ARTICLE 6. The first, second, third, and fifth articles,
     together with this article of these amendments, and the
     third paragraph of the second section of the first article
     of the Constitution, and the third paragraph of the second
     section of the fourth article thereof, shall not be amended
     or abolished without the consent of all the States.

     ARTICLE 7. Congress shall provide by law that the United
     States shall pay to the owner the full value of his fugitive
     from labor, in all cases where the marshal or other officer,
     whose duty it was to arrest such fugitive, was prevented
     from so doing by violence or intimidation, or when, after
     arrest, such fugitive was rescued by force, and the owner
     thereby prevented and obstructed in the pursuit of his
     remedy for the recovery of such fugitive.

Mr. BALDWIN:--I have not been able to concur in opinion with those
members of the committee who have presented the propositions just
submitted. I do not deem them fair or equitable to the Free States,
nor do I think they are likely to secure approval in those States. As
one member of the minority, I have drawn up a report embodying my own
views and perhaps those of some of my colleagues, which I now present
for the consideration of the Conference:

     MR. BALDWIN'S MINORITY REPORT.

     The undersigned, one of the minority of the committee of one
     from each State, to whom was referred the consideration of
     the resolutions of the State of Virginia, and the other
     States represented, and all propositions for the adjustment
     of existing differences between the States, with authority
     to report what they deem right, necessary, and proper to
     restore harmony and preserve the Union, and report thereon,
     entered upon the duties of the committee with an anxious
     desire that they might be able to unite in the
     recommendation of some plan which, on due deliberation,
     should seem best adapted to maintain the dignity and
     authority of the Government of the United States, and at the
     same time secure to the people of every section that perfect
     equality of right to which they are entitled.

     Convened, as we are, on the invitation of the Governor of
     Virginia, in pursuance of the resolutions of the General
     Assembly of that State, with an accompanying expression of
     the deliberate opinion of that body that, unless the unhappy
     controversy which now divides the States shall be
     satisfactorily adjusted, a permanent dissolution of the
     Union is inevitable; and, being earnestly desirous of an
     adjustment thereof, in concurrence with Virginia, in the
     spirit in which the Constitution was originally formed, and
     consistently with its principles, so as to afford to the
     people of all the States adequate security for all their
     rights, the attention of the undersigned was necessarily led
     to the consideration of the extent and equality of our
     powers, and to the propriety and expediency, under existing
     circumstances, of a recommendation by this Conference
     Convention of any specific action by Congress, whether of
     ordinary legislation, or in reference to constitutional
     amendments to be proposed by Congress on its own
     responsibility to the States.

     A portion of the members of this Convention are delegated by
     the Legislatures of their respective States, and are
     required to act under their supervision and control, while
     others are the representatives only of the Executives of
     their States, and, having no opportunity of consulting the
     immediate representatives of the people, can only act on
     their individual responsibility.

     Among the resolutions and propositions suggesting modes of
     adjustment appropriate to this occasion which were brought
     to the notice of the committee, were the resolutions of the
     State of Kentucky recommending to her sister States to unite
     with her in an application to Congress for the calling of a
     Convention in the mode prescribed by the Constitution for
     proposing amendments thereto.

     The undersigned, for the reasons set forth in the
     accompanying resolution, and others which have been herein
     indicated, is of opinion that the mode of adjustment by a
     General Convention, as proposed by Kentucky, is the one
     which affords the best assurance of an adjustment acceptable
     to the people of every section, as it will afford to all the
     States which may desire amendments, an opportunity of
     preparing them with care and deliberation, and in such form
     as they may deem it expedient to prescribe, to be submitted
     to the consideration and deliberate action of delegates duly
     chosen and invested with equal powers from all the States.

     The undersigned did not, therefore, deem it expedient that
     any of the measures of adjustment proposed by the majority
     of the committee, should be reported to this body to be
     discussed or acted upon by them, and he respectfully submits
     as a substitute for the articles of amendment to the
     Constitution, reported by the majority of the committee, the
     following preamble and resolution, and respectfully
     recommends the adoption thereof.

     ROGER S. BALDWIN.

     _Whereas_, unhappy differences exist which have alienated
     from each other portions of the people of the United States
     to such an extent as seriously to disturb the peace of the
     nation, and impair the regular and efficient action of the
     Government within the sphere of its constitutional powers
     and duties;

     _And whereas_, the Legislature of the State of Kentucky has
     made application to Congress to call a Convention for
     proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United
     States;

     _And whereas_, it is believed to be the opinion of the
     people of other States that amendments to the Constitution
     are or may become necessary to secure to the people of the
     United States, of every section, the full and equal
     enjoyment of their rights and liberties, so far as the same
     may depend for their security and protection on the powers
     granted to or withheld from the General Government, in
     pursuance of the national purposes for which it was ordained
     and established;

     _And whereas_, it may be expedient that such amendments as
     any of the States may desire to have proposed, should be
     presented to the Convention in such form as the respective
     States desiring the same may deem proper;

     This Convention does, therefore, recommend to the several
     States to unite with Kentucky in her application to Congress
     to call a convention for proposing amendments to the
     Constitution of the United States, to be submitted to the
     Legislatures of the several States, or to conventions
     therein, for ratification, as the one or the other mode of
     ratification may be proposed by Congress, in accordance with
     the provision in the fifth article of the Constitution.

Mr. FIELD:--I do not concur in the conclusions to which the majority
of the committee have arrived. I may say that I wholly dissent from
them. I have not deemed it necessary to make a separate report. At a
suitable time I shall endeavor to make known to the Conference my
views upon the topics which have occupied the attention of the
committee.

Mr. CROWNINSHIELD:--I occupy substantially the same position as Mr.
FIELD, and shall make my views known at a proper time.

Mr. SEDDON:--The report presented by the majority, I think, is a wide
departure from the course we should have adopted. Virginia has
prepared and presented a plan, and has invited this Conference to
consider it. I think we ought to take up her propositions, amend and
perfect them, if need be, and then adopt or reject them. To avoid all
misconstruction as to my individual opinions or position, I have
reduced my views to writing, which, with the leave of the Conference,
I will now read.

No objection being made, Mr. SEDDON proceeded to read the following:

     REPORT OF MR. SEDDON.

     The undersigned, acting on the recommendation of the
     Commissioners from the State of Virginia, as a member of the
     committee appointed by this Convention to consider and
     recommend propositions of adjustment, has not been so happy
     as to accord with the report submitted by the majority; and
     as he more widely dissents from the opinions entertained by
     the other dissenting members, he feels constrained, in
     vindication of his position and opinions, to present on his
     part this brief report, recommending, as a substitute for
     the report of the majority, a proposition subjoined. To this
     course he feels the more impelled, by deference to the
     resolutions of the General Assembly of his State, inviting
     the assemblage of this Convention, and suggesting a basis of
     adjustment.

     These resolutions declare, that "in the opinion of the
     General Assembly of Virginia the propositions embraced in
     the resolutions presented to the Senate of the United States
     by the Hon. JOHN J. CRITTENDEN, so modified as that the
     first article proposed as an amendment to the Constitution
     of the United States shall apply to all the territory of the
     United States now held or hereafter acquired south of
     latitude 36° 30´, and provided that slavery of the African
     race shall be effectually protected as property therein
     during the continuance of the territorial government, and
     the fourth article shall secure to the owners of slaves the
     right of transit with their slaves between and through the
     non-slaveholding States or Territories, constitute the basis
     of such an adjustment of the unhappy controversy which now
     divides the States of this Confederacy, as would be
     accepted by the people of this Commonwealth."

     From this resolution, it is clear that the General Assembly,
     in its declared opinion of what would be acceptable to the
     people of Virginia, not only required the Crittenden
     propositions as a basis, but also held the modifications
     suggested in addition essential. In this the undersigned
     fully concurs. But, in his opinion, the propositions
     reported by the majority do not give, but materially weaken
     the Crittenden propositions themselves, and fail to accord
     the modifications suggested. The undersigned therefore,
     feels it his duty to submit and recommend, as a substitute,
     the resolutions referred to, as proposed by the Hon. JOHN J.
     CRITTENDEN, with the incorporation of the modifications
     suggested by Virginia explicitly expressed, and with some
     alterations on points which, he is assured, would make them
     more acceptable to that State, and, as he hopes, to the
     whole Union. The propositions submitted are appended, marked
     No. 1.

     The undersigned, while contenting himself, in the spirit of
     the action taken by the General Assembly of his State, with
     the proposal of that substitute for the majority report,
     would be untrue to his own convictions, shared, as he
     believes, by the majority of the commissioners from
     Virginia, and to his sense of duty, if he did not
     emphatically declare, as his settled and deliberate
     judgment, that for permanent safety in this Union, to the
     slaveholding States, and the restoration of integrity to the
     Union and harmony and peace to the country, a guarantee of
     actual power in the Constitution and in the working of the
     Government to the slaveholding and minority section is
     _indispensable_. How such guarantee might be most wisely
     contrived and judiciously adjusted to the frame of the
     Government, the undersigned forbears now to inquire. He is
     not exclusively addicted to any special plan, but believing
     that such guarantee might be adequately afforded by a
     partition of power in the Senate between the two sections,
     and by a recognition that _ours_ is a Union of freedom and
     consent, not constraint and force, he respectfully submits,
     for consideration by members of the Convention, the plan
     hereto appended, marked No. 2.

     Whether he shall feel bound to invoke the action of the
     Convention upon it, may depend on the future manifestations
     of sentiment in this body.

     All which is respectfully submitted,

     JAMES A. SEDDON.
     _Commissioner from Virginia._

     _February 15th, 1861._


     No. 1.

     _Joint Resolutions proposing certain amendments to the
     Constitution of the United States._

     _Whereas_, serious and alarming dissensions have arisen
     between the Northern and Southern States, concerning the
     rights and security of the rights of the slaveholding
     States, and especially their rights in the common territory
     of the United States; and _whereas_, it is eminently
     desirable and proper that those dissensions, which now
     threaten the very existence of this Union, should be
     permanently quieted and settled by constitutional
     provisions, which shall do equal justice to all sections,
     and thereby restore to the people that peace and good will
     which ought to prevail between all the citizens of the
     United States: Therefore,

     _Resolved_, by this Convention, that the following articles
     are hereby approved and submitted to the Congress of the
     United States, with the request that they may, by the
     requisite constitutional majority of two-thirds, be
     recommended to the respective States of the Union, to be,
     when ratified by Conventions of three-fourths of the States,
     valid and operative as amendments of the Constitution of the
     Union.

     ARTICLE 1. In all the territory of the United States, now
     held or hereafter acquired, situate north of latitude
     thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes, slavery or
     involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, is
     prohibited, while such territory shall remain under
     territorial government. In all the territory south of said
     line of latitude, slavery of the African race 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 territorial government during its
     continuance; and, when any territory, north or south of said
     line, within such boundaries as Congress may prescribe,
     shall contain the population requisite for a member of
     Congress, according to the then federal ratio of
     representation of the people of the United States, it shall,
     if its form of government be republican, be admitted into
     the Union on an equal footing with the original States, with
     or without slavery, as the Constitution of such new State
     may provide.

     ARTICLE 2. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery
     in places under its exclusive jurisdiction, and situate
     within the limits of States that permit the holding of
     slaves.

     ARTICLE 3. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery
     within the District of Columbia, so long as it exists in the
     adjoining States of Virginia and Maryland, or either, nor
     without the consent of the free white inhabitants, nor
     without just compensation first made to such owners of
     slaves as do not consent to such abolishment. Nor shall
     Congress at any time prohibit officers of the Federal
     Government, or members of Congress, whose duties require
     them to be in said District, from bringing with them their
     slaves, and holding them as such during the time their
     duties may require them to remain there, and afterwards
     taking them from the District.

     ARTICLE 4. Congress shall have no power to prohibit or
     hinder the transportation of slaves from one State to
     another, or to a Territory in which slaves are by law
     permitted to be held, whether that transportation be by
     land, navigable rivers, or by the sea. And if such
     transportation be by sea, the slaves shall be protected as
     property by the Federal Government. And the right of transit
     by the owners with their slaves, in passing to or from one
     slaveholding State or Territory to another, between and
     through the non-slaveholding States and Territories, shall
     be protected. And in imposing direct taxes pursuant to the
     Constitution, Congress shall have no power to impose on
     slaves a higher rate of tax than on land, according to their
     just value.

     ARTICLE 5. That, in addition to the provisions of the third
     paragraph of the second section of the fourth article of the
     Constitution of the United States, Congress shall provide by
     law, that the United States shall pay to the owner who shall
     apply for it, the full value of his fugitive slave, in all
     cases, when the marshal, or other officer, whose duty it was
     to arrest said fugitive, was prevented from so doing by
     violence or intimidation, or when, after arrest, said
     fugitive was rescued by force, and the owner thereby
     prevented and obstructed in the pursuit of his remedy for
     the recovery of his fugitive slave, under the said clause of
     the Constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof. And
     in all such cases, when the United States shall pay for such
     fugitive, they shall reimburse themselves by imposing and
     collecting a tax on the county or city in which said
     violence, intimidation, or rescue was committed, equal in
     amount to the sum paid by them, with the addition of
     interest and the costs of collection; and the said county or
     city, after it has paid said amount to the United States,
     may, for its indemnity, sue and recover from the
     wrong-doers, or rescuers, by whom the owner was prevented
     from the recovery of his fugitive slave, in like manner as
     the owner himself might have sued and recovered.

     ARTICLE 6. No future amendment of the Constitution shall
     affect the five preceding articles, nor the third paragraph
     of the second section of the first article of the
     Constitution, nor the third paragraph of the second section
     of the fourth article of said Constitution, and no amendment
     shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or
     give to Congress any power to abolish or interfere with
     slavery in any of the States, by whose laws it is or may be
     allowed or permitted.

     ARTICLE 7, Sec. 1. The elective franchise and the right to
     hold office, whether federal, State, territorial, or
     municipal, shall not be exercised by persons who are, in
     whole or in part, of the African race.

     And _whereas_, also, besides those causes of dissension
     embraced in the foregoing amendments proposed to the
     Constitution of the United States, there are others which
     come within the jurisdiction of Congress, and may be
     remedied by its legislative power: and _whereas_ it is the
     desire of this Convention, as far its influence may extend,
     to remove all just cause for the popular discontent and
     agitation which now disturb the peace of the country, and
     threaten the stability of its institutions: Therefore,

     1. _Resolved_, That the laws now in force for the recovery
     of fugitive slaves are in strict pursuance of the plain and
     mandatory provisions of the Constitution, and have been
     sanctioned as valid and constitutional by the judgment of
     the Supreme Court of the United States; that the
     slaveholding States are entitled to the faithful observance
     and execution of those laws, and that they ought not to be
     repealed, or so modified or changed as to impair their
     efficiency; and that laws ought to be made for the
     punishment of those who attempt, by rescue of the slave or
     other illegal means, to hinder or defeat the due execution
     of said laws.

     2. That all State laws which conflict with the fugitive
     slave acts, or any other constitutional acts of Congress, or
     which in their operation impede, hinder, or delay the free
     course and due execution of any of said acts, are null and
     void by the plain provisions of the Constitution of the
     United States. Yet those State laws, void as they are, have
     given color to practices, and led to consequences which have
     obstructed the due administration and execution of acts of
     Congress, and especially the acts for the delivery of
     fugitive slaves, and have thereby contributed much to the
     discord and commotion now prevailing. This Convention,
     therefore, in the present perilous juncture, does not deem
     it improper, respectfully and earnestly to recommend the
     repeal of those laws to the several States which have
     enacted them, or such legislative corrections or
     explanations of them as may prevent their being used or
     perverted to such mischievous purposes.

     3. That the act of the 18th of September, 1850, commonly
     called the Fugitive Slave Law, ought to be so amended as to
     make the fee of the Commissioner, mentioned in the eighth
     section of the act, equal in amount, in the cases decided by
     him, whether his decision be in favor of or against the
     claimant. And to avoid misconstructions, the last clause of
     the fifth section, of said act, which authorizes the person
     holding a warrant for the arrest or detention of a fugitive
     slave, to summon to his aid the _posse comitatus_, and which
     declares it to be the duty of all good citizens to assist
     him in its execution, ought to be so amended as to expressly
     limit the authority and duty to cases in which there shall
     be resistance, or danger of resistance or rescue.

     4. That the laws for the suppression of the African
     slave-trade, and especially those prohibiting the
     importation of slaves into the United States, ought to be
     made effectual, and ought to be thoroughly executed, and all
     further enactments necessary to those ends ought to be
     promptly made.


     No. 2.

     _Proposed Amendments by Mr. Seddon._

     To secure concert and promote harmony between the
     slaveholding and non-slaveholding sections of the Union, the
     assent of the majority of the Senators from the slaveholding
     States, and of the majority of the Senators from the
     non-slaveholding States, shall be requisite to the validity
     of all action of the Senate, on which the ayes and noes may
     be called by five Senators.

     And on a written declaration, signed and presented for
     record on the Journal of the Senate by a majority of
     Senators from either the non-slaveholding or slaveholding
     States, of their want of confidence in any officer or
     appointee of the Executive, exercising functions exclusively
     or continuously within the class of States, or any of them,
     which the signers represent, then such officer shall be
     removed by the Executive; and if not removed at the
     expiration of ten days from the presentation of such
     declaration, the office shall be deemed vacant and open to
     new appointment.

     The connection of every State with the Union is recognized
     as depending on the continuing assent of its people, and
     compulsion shall in no case, nor under any form, be
     attempted by the Government of the Union against a State
     acting in its collective or organic capacity. Any State, by
     the action of a convention of its people, assembled pursuant
     to a law of its Legislature, is held entitled to dissolve
     its relation to the Federal Government, and withdraw from
     the Union; and, on due notice given of such withdrawal to
     the Executive of the Union, he shall appoint two
     Commissioners, to meet two Commissioners to be appointed by
     the Governor of the State, who, with the aid, if needed from
     the disagreement of the Commissioners, of an umpire, to be
     selected by a majority of them, shall equitably adjudicate
     and determine finally a partition of the rights and
     obligations of the withdrawing State; and such adjudication
     and partition being accomplished, the withdrawal of such
     State shall be recognized by the Executive, and announced by
     public proclamation to the world.

     But such withdrawing State shall not afterwards be
     readmitted into the Union without the assent of two-thirds
     of the States constituting the Union at the time of the
     proposed readmission.

Mr. COALTER:--It is proper that I should say a word in relation to the
position of Missouri in this Conference. It is expressly referred to
in the resolution under which we hold our appointment, passed by the
Senate and House of Representatives. It is believed by the people of
Missouri that the rights and privileges of the slaveholding States are
in danger, and that the time has arrived when they should be secured
by additional guarantees. Those guarantees must be such as will secure
the honor and equal rights of the slaveholding States.

I wish to say, further, that we, as Commissioners, must act at all
times under the control of the General Assembly or the State
Convention of our State. Before we can act definitely upon either of
the propositions submitted, I think it will be our duty to transmit
them to the General Assembly for instructions.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--The several reports are now before the Conference. I
presume it will be the desire of every member to give them a careful
examination. In order to prevent all unnecessary delay, I move that
the several reports be laid upon the table, that they be printed at
once and distributed to the members, and made the special order of the
Conference for 12 o'clock to-morrow.

The motion of Mr. WICKLIFFE was agreed to.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I have drawn up a preamble and a resolution which I
wish to offer for the consideration of the Conference. I shall not
press action upon them to-day, but desire to have them laid on the
table and printed. I shall call them up after the report of the
General Committee is disposed of. It would gratify me much, and I
think greatly tend to the peace and harmony of the country, if they
could be adopted at once, and published. It is well known to most of
you that there is nothing in all the legislation or action of the Free
States, which has created so much excitement and alarm among the
people of the slaveholding States, as the passage of the so called
"personal liberty" acts. They are regarded as deliberate infractions
and breaches of the Constitution, and as attempts to nullify the
operation of a constitutional enactment of Congress. But I do not wish
to invite discussion upon the subject now; I hope my motion will not
meet with objection.

The motion of Mr. WICKLIFFE was adopted, and the preamble and
resolution were presented as follows:

     MR. WICKLIFFE'S PREAMBLE AND RESOLUTION.

     _Whereas_, the second section of the fourth article of the
     Constitution of the United States declares, "that no person
     held to service or labor in one State, under the laws
     thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any
     law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service
     or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to
     whom such service or labor may be due."

     This clause is one of the compromises without which no
     Constitution would have been adopted. It was a guarantee to
     the States in which such labor and service existed by law,
     that their rights should be respected and regarded by all
     the States; and it is not within the competency of any State
     to disregard the obligation it imposes, or to render it
     valueless by legislative enactments. And _whereas_, the
     House of Representatives of the United States did, on the
     ---- day of February, by unanimous vote, declare that
     neither the Congress of the United States nor the people or
     government of any non-slaveholding State, has the
     constitutional right to legislate upon, or to interfere with
     slavery in any slaveholding State in the Union.

     This declaration is regarded by this Convention as an
     admission that the statutes of those States, passed for the
     purpose of defeating the provision of the Constitution
     aforesaid, and the laws of Congress made to enforce the just
     and proper execution of this constitutional guarantee, are
     in violation of the supreme law of the land.

     The provisions of the statutes in many of the
     non-slaveholding States, commonly known and called "personal
     liberty bills," amount in their consequences to a practical
     nullification of the acts of Congress of February 12th,
     1793, and September 18th, 1850, and are in violation of the
     second section of the fourth article of the Constitution, as
     before stated. That the spirit of those statutes appears to
     be repugnant to the principles of compromise and mutual and
     liberal concessions which dictated the section of the
     Constitution in question, and which pervades every part of
     that instrument. It is, therefore, respectfully requested by
     this Convention that the several States abrogate all such
     obnoxious enactments.

     That the spirit of comity between the States, and the spirit
     of unity and fraternity which should actuate all the people
     of these United States, require that complete right and
     security of transit with all persons who owe them service or
     labor should be allowed to the citizens of each State by the
     laws of every other State.

     _Resolved_, That a copy of the foregoing be sent by the
     President of this Convention to the Governors of each of the
     free States, as the deliberate judgment and opinion of this
     Convention, and that he request the same be laid before
     their respective Legislatures.

Mr. CHASE:--I move that all the resolutions, of the States, under
which Commissioners have been appointed, or relating to subjects to
come before this Conference, be printed. I think this course
convenient and necessary, and one reason that I may assign is this:
The opinion of the Legislature of the State of Ohio, as expressed in
one of the resolutions adopted by that body, is, that it would have
been wiser and better if the time for holding this Conference had been
deferred until a later period. Ohio has expressly said in her
resolutions that she is not prepared to assent to the terms of
settlement proposed by Virginia, and has expressed the opinion that
the Constitution as it now stands, if fairly interpreted and obeyed,
contains ample provision for the correction of all the evils which are
claimed to exist. Nevertheless she is willing to meet in a friendly
spirit and consult with her sister States. But the opinion extensively
prevails that this Conference ought not to have been called upon so
short a notice and before the inauguration of the incoming
administration. We, the Commissioners from that State, are instructed
in the resolutions, to which I have referred, to use our influence to
procure an adjournment of this Conference, before final action is
taken, to the 4th of April next. I shall feel it my duty, at some
future time, to make a motion to that effect. The extent to which I
shall urge its adoption will depend in some measure upon the course of
events and the opinions of my colleagues. In the mean time I wish to
see all the resolutions printed.

The motion of Mr. CHASE was agreed to. The resolutions as printed will
be found in the appendix.

Mr. ALLEN, of Massachusetts:--Before the adjournment to-day I desire
to know what will be the order of business when these various reports
come up for discussion. By the general rules governing parliamentary
proceedings, to which I suppose we are subject, I understand the first
question will be upon the substitution of the minority report
presented by the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. BALDWIN) for the
report of the majority; and that, upon that question, amendments may
be offered, and either accepted or rejected, both to the reports of
the majority and the minority. I think it would be well to have this
matter understood. Am I right in this?

The PRESIDENT:--The Chair understands that the gentleman from
Massachusetts has correctly pointed out the manner of proceeding.

On motion of Mr. HACKLEMAN, the Conference then adjourned until 12
o'clock to-morrow.



TENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, SATURDAY, _February 16th, 1861._


The Conference was called to order by the PRESIDENT at 12 o'clock M.

Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. SUNDERLAND.

The Journal was read by the Assistant Secretary, Mr. PULESTON, and,
being corrected, was approved.

The PRESIDENT:--I have received a communication from Mr. W.C. JEWETT,
which I am requested to lay before the Conference. Should any member
desire to have it read, it will be presented upon motion. I am not
inclined to occupy the time of the Conference by reading it, unless
some member specially requests that it be read.

Mr. SEDDON:--Let it be laid on the table without reading.

The PRESIDENT:--That disposition will be made of it.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I am instructed, by the Committee on Rules and
Organization, to propose an amendment to the Eleventh Rule which has
been adopted. As the Rule now stands, no appeal is allowed from the
decision of the Chair upon questions of order. It is not probable that
either the Chair or the Conference would wish to be bound in that way.
The purpose of the resolution is to assimilate the Rule in this
respect to the practice in parliamentary bodies, and to allow an
appeal from the decision of the Chair to the Conference itself. I
offer the following resolution:

     "_Resolved_, That the Eleventh Rule of this Convention be so
     amended as to allow an appeal from the decision of the
     PRESIDENT, which appeal shall be decided without debate."

On the passage of this resolution a division was called for, and upon
a count by the Secretaries, the PRESIDENT declared it adopted.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I now offer another resolution--the following:

     "_Resolved_, That in the discussions which may take place in
     this Convention, no member shall be allowed to speak longer
     than thirty minutes."

We must all by this time be impressed with the necessity of prompt,
immediate, and efficient action. I do not charge any member of the
body with any purpose unnecessarily to consume the time of the
Convention in making speeches. I have no reason to believe that any
such purpose exists. But the present Congress is rapidly drawing to a
close. If any plan is adopted it will be nugatory, unless recommended
by Congress. If we are to sit here until each member of the Conference
has spoken upon each question presented, as many times and as long as
he pleases, I fear the Congress will close its labors before we do
ours.

Mr. DAVIS:--I think thirty minutes quite too long. Our opinions are
formed. Before this time probably every member has determined his
course of action, and it will not be changed by debate. I move to
strike out the word "thirty," and insert the word "ten."

Mr. HITCHCOCK:--I am altogether opposed to this attempt in advance to
cut off or limit debate. I am sure it cannot meet with favor from the
Conference, for reasons so obvious that I will not occupy time in
stating them. I move to lay the resolution on the table.

Several gentlemen here interposed and appealed to Mr. HITCHCOCK to
withdraw his motion, as it would cut off all debate upon the merits of
the resolution. Mr. HITCHCOCK accordingly withdrew it.

Mr. SEDDON:--We have one rule already which prohibits any member from
speaking more than twice upon any question without special leave, and
a member cannot speak a second time until every other, who desires to
speak, has spoken. This was the rule, I believe, in the Convention
that formed our present Constitution, and no one complained of its
operation there. I am as much impressed with the necessity of
expediting our action as any one can be, and should be among the last
to protract our sessions. But this resolution looks too much like
suppressing discussion--like cutting off debate. I desire at the
proper time to be heard upon the report which I have submitted. It
will be impossible to discuss the grave questions involved in it in
the space of a brief half hour.

Mr. CHASE:--I hope Governor WICKLIFFE will consent to a postponement
of his resolution for the present. It is anticipating a necessity that
may not arise. As yet no one has abused the privileges of debate. It
is not well to assume in advance that any one will do so.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I have no wish to press this resolution upon the
Convention, and it may be as well to postpone it for the present. I
will move its postponement until Tuesday morning next.

The motion to postpone was unanimously agreed to.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--I move that the hour of meeting hereafter be ten
o'clock in the morning.

Mr. JOHNSON, of Maryland:--I am sure that we shall all agree that this
hour is quite too early. I wish to make all reasonable progress, but I
think we shall find it difficult to secure a quorum at that hour. I
move to amend by inserting _eleven_ o'clock.

Mr. EWING:--I think we had better let the hour of meeting remain where
our rules leave it. We shall find our labors severe enough if we
commence at twelve o'clock.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--I will accept the amendment of my colleague. Let the
time of meeting be eleven o'clock.

The motion of Mr. CRISFIELD as amended was agreed to without a
division.

Mr. CHASE:--I have a motion which I desire to make, and as I do not
wish to press it to a vote at the present time, I will move to lay it
on the table. But I wish to have it before the Conference. It is
apparent to me that we ought to pass it at some time, in order to give
members who may belong to delegations in which differences of opinion
exist, an opportunity of appearing on the record as they personally
wish to vote. I move to amend the first rule by inserting after the
word "representing," the words, "The yeas and nays of the delegates
from each State, on any question, shall be entered on the Journal when
it is desired by any delegate."

On motion of Mr. CHASE, the amendment was laid upon the table.

The PRESIDENT:--The Conference will now proceed to the order of the
day, the question being upon the several reports presented by the
General Committee of one from each State.

The chair was taken, at the request of the PRESIDENT, by Mr.
ALEXANDER, of New Jersey.

Mr. BALDWIN:--I move to substitute the report presented by myself for
the report of the majority of the Committee. I will consent to strike
out that part of it which relates to--

Mr. TURNER:--Before the gentleman from Connecticut proceeds with his
argument I trust he will give way for the introduction of a
resolution. I am sure the time has come when we ought to pass such a
resolution as I now offer. I am unwilling to sit here longer unless
some means are taken to secure a report of our proceedings.

The PRESIDENT:--A resolution is not now in order.

Mr. TURNER:--I ask that the resolution may be read for the information
of the Conference, and also ask the leave of the Conference for its
introduction.

The resolution was read. It provided for the appointment of a
stenographer.

The question was taken, and upon a division the leave to introduce it
was refused.

Mr. BALDWIN:--I rise for the purpose of supporting my motion to
substitute the report presented by myself for that presented by the
majority of the committee. As I was about to remark, when the
resolution just disposed of was introduced, I will consent to strike
out all that portion of my report which precedes the words "whereas
unhappy differences," &c., in order that the substitute offered may
conform more nearly in substance to the proposition of the majority.
It seems desirable on all hands that whatever we adopt here should be
presented to Congress; and if it receives the sanction of that body,
should be by it presented to the States for their approval. My report
when thus amended will be in a proper form for such a disposition.

My report, it will be noticed, is based mainly upon the action of the
Legislature of Kentucky. I have adopted those resolutions of Kentucky
as the basis of my recommendation, on account of the short time which
remains for any action at all, and because it appears to me that the
kind of proceeding indicated in them is best calculated to meet with
favor in the States which must approve any action taken here before it
can be made effectual.

The resolutions of Virginia, under which this Convention is called,
were adopted on the 19th of January last. The resolutions of Kentucky
to which I have referred were adopted on the 25th of the same month.
It is not only the necessary presumption that the latter were passed
with a full knowledge of the action of Virginia, but I understand from
their reading that they were adopted in consequence of the proposition
of the latter State. I am disposed to favor the line of policy
initiated in the resolutions of the State of Kentucky.

There are two ways of presenting amendments to the Constitution
provided in that instrument. By the first, by Congress whenever
two-thirds of both Houses shall deem such amendments necessary: or by
the second, the same body, upon the application of the Legislatures of
two-thirds of the States, may call a convention for the purpose of
proposing amendments. These two are the _only_ modes in which, under
that instrument, amendments can be proposed to the Constitution.
Either of these is adequate, and it was the manifest intention of its
framers to secure due consideration of any changes which might be
proposed to the fundamental law of our Government.

It is conceded on all hands that our action here will amount to
nothing, unless it meets the approval of Congress, and such proposals
of amendment as we shall agree upon are recommended by that body to
the States for adoption. The session of the present Congress is
drawing to a close. There remain only fifteen or sixteen days during
which it can transact business. Can any one suppose that in the
present state of the country, with the large number of important
measures before Congress and awaiting its action, any proposition of
real importance emanating from this Conference could be properly
considered by either House in this short time? I am assuming just now
that this is a Convention which has the right, under the Constitution
or by precedent, to make such propositions. But if we do not remember,
most certainly Congress will, that however respectable this body may
be, however large may be the constituency which it represents, it is,
after all, one which has no existence under, and is not recognized by
the Constitution. In a recent speech in the Senate, Judge COLLAMER, of
Vermont, one of the ablest lawyers in that body, has more than
intimated a doubt whether Congress could, under the Constitution,
entertain proposals of amendment presented to it by such a body as
this. But, waiving all technicalities, the substantial objection which
influences my mind is, that the course of action proposed by the
majority of the committee is contrary to the spirit of the
Constitution. When the people adopted that instrument and subjected
themselves to its operation, they intended and had a right to
understand that it should be amended only in the manner provided by
the Constitution itself. They did not intend that amendments should be
proposed under, or the existence of the Constitution endangered by any
extraneous pressure whatever. They wisely provided a way in which
amendments might be proposed, or rather two ways. Under either of
them, due examination and consideration was secured. They would not
have consented to any other way of proposing amendments. The General
Government, on the adoption of the Constitution, for all national
purposes, took the place of the State Governments. The people of the
United States from that time, in the language of a distinguished
Senator from Kentucky, owed a paramount allegiance to the General
Government, and a subordinate allegiance only to the State
Governments. Changes in the Constitution, then, can only be _properly_
made in the manner provided by the Constitution. Propositions for
changes in it must come from the people, or their representatives in
Congress. Any attempt to coerce Congress, or to influence its action
in a manner not provided by the Constitution, is a disregard of the
rights of the people.

Why are we assembled here to urge these amendments upon Congress? to
induce Congress to recommend them to the people for adoption? Are we
the representatives of the people of the United States? Are we acting
for them, and as their authorized agents, in this endeavor to press
amendments upon the attention of Congress? Because, if our action is
to have any effect at all, it must be to induce Congress to conform to
our wishes--to propose the very amendments which we prepare.

The members of the House of Representatives were elected by the
people. They were selected to perform, and they do perform, their
duties and functions under the obligations of their official oaths.
There is no question about their agency, or their right to act in the
premises. The Constitution makes them the agents of the people. The
Legislature of the State of Kentucky, well understanding and
appreciating the only true method in which constitutional amendments
should be proposed, with all the formality of a legislative act
approved by the Executive of that State, has applied to Congress for
the call of a convention for proposing amendments to the Constitution
of the United States, and has requested the President to lay those
resolutions immediately before Congress. She wishes other States to
unite with her in the preparing and proposing of amendments to the
Constitution. This is the correct, the legal, the patriotic course.
This was what Kentucky had the right to ask, and this is all she has
asked.

Mr. BALDWIN here read the Kentucky resolutions, as follows:

     _Resolutions recommending a call for a Convention of the
     United States._

     _Whereas_, The people of some of the States feel themselves
     deeply aggrieved by the policy and measures which have been
     adopted by some of the people of the other States; and
     _whereas_ an amendment of the Constitution of the United
     States is deemed indispensably necessary to secure them
     against similar grievances in the future: Therefore,

     _Resolved_, by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of
     Kentucky, that application to Congress to call a Convention
     for proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United
     States, pursuant to the fifth article thereof, be, and the
     same is hereby, now made by this General Assembly of
     Kentucky; and we hereby invite our sister States to unite
     with us, without delay, in a similar application to
     Congress.

     _Resolved_, That the Governor of this State forthwith
     communicate the foregoing resolution to the President of the
     United States, with the request that he immediately place
     the same before Congress and the Executives of the several
     States, with a request that they lay them before their
     respective Legislatures.

     _Resolved_, If the Convention be called in accordance with
     the provisions of the foregoing resolutions, the Legislature
     of the Commonwealth of Kentucky suggest for the
     consideration of that Convention, as a basis for settling
     existing difficulties, the adoption, by way of amendments to
     the Constitution, of the resolutions offered in the Senate
     of the United States by the Hon. JOHN J. CRITTENDEN.

     DAVID MERIWETHER,
     _Speaker of the House of Representatives._

     THOMAS P. PORTER,
     _Speaker of the Senate._

     Approved January 25, 1861.
       B. MAGOFFIN.

     By the Governor:
       THOMAS B. MONROE, JR.,
         _Secretary of State._

Mr. BALDWIN continued:--Now, what are we asked to do by the majority
of the committee? It is not to unite with Kentucky or to accede to her
wishes for a convention of the States, under the Constitution, but to
thwart the wishes of Kentucky, and to induce Congress itself to
originate and propose amendments, or to propose those which we may
originate. Kentucky asks that the people of the States themselves
might elect delegates to a convention, who should carefully consider
the whole subject. The Kentucky resolutions were transmitted to the
President, who sent them to Congress, as he said, with great pleasure.
Kentucky stated that she was in favor of the so-called Crittenden
resolutions, but she did not request Congress to propose them as
amendments to the Constitution.

How is this body constituted? Do we, its members, represent the people
of the several States? Have they had an opportunity to elect
delegates, to select those in whom they had confidence and whom they
could trust? Not at all. Why should we assemble here and express our
wishes to Congress in reference to the Constitution without permitting
California, Oregon, or many other States not here represented, to
unite in our deliberations? I cannot assent to such an unfair
proceeding toward other States.

Suppose one-half the States should request Congress to propose
amendments, will Congress agree to it? No, sir. The Constitution
provides that Congress shall not propose amendments without the
consent of two-thirds of the States. Congress has not deemed any
amendments necessary, so far as we know, and yet a majority of the
committee of this body ask Congress to propose the amendments on our
responsibility alone. It appears to me, then, that this proceeding
must be regarded not as one known to the Constitution, but as a
revolutionary proceeding. All the States are not represented here, nor
have all had an opportunity to be so represented. Some of us are
acting under the appointment of the Legislatures of our States; other
delegates are simply appointed by the Executives of their States and
are acting without any legal authority. We are not standing upon equal
ground; some are only acting upon their own judgment; others are
acting under instructions from their several Legislatures. If the
Virginia Legislature itself were here, its action would differ
materially from the present views of the delegates from that State.

But how is this? The Resolutions of the Legislature of Virginia make
the statement that unless these questions are settled, and settled
soon, there is danger of the disruption of the Union. Admit this to be
so, and it furnishes no reason for changing the mode of proposing
constitutional amendments. The Constitution knows no such danger. It
is a self-sustaining Constitution, and was supposed to contain within
itself the power to secure its own preservation. The Constitution
ought not to be amended without the deliberate action of the people
themselves. I cannot and I will not disregard their rights. I cannot
recognize the claim that the secession of a State, by an ordinance of
its Convention, can carry either the State or its people out of the
Union. There is no such thing as _legal_ secession, for there is no
power anywhere to take the people out of the protecting care of the
Government, or to relieve them from their obligations to it.

And where is the clause in the Constitution that authorizes the call
upon Congress to do what Congress is asked to do here? The
Constitution was adopted "to form a more perfect Union." The people
were not to be allowed to alter it, except in the two modes prescribed
in it. The Convention which adopted it did not propose that changes
should be made in it without ample time for deliberation and
discussion. We are here, then, simply as conferees from States
expressing our individual opinions. We are now asked to recommend to
Congress amendments to our fundamental law; we have no more right to
do so than members of the so-called Southern Confederacy. We, a mere
fraction of the people, propose to unite in bringing a pressure upon
Congress, which shall induce it to propose these amendments. This was
not one of the modes contemplated or provided by the framers of that
sacred instrument.

General WASHINGTON presided over the Convention which prepared our
Constitution. None knew better than he the reasons which made its
adoption necessary to the preservation of the Government--none knew
better the dangers which would probably surround it in after years. In
that last counsel of his to the American people--his Farewell
Address--a paper drawn up with the greatest deliberation, embodying
opinions which he entertained as the result of a long life of active
study and reflection, he warns us against all such proceedings as
those contemplated by the majority of the committee. I am sure the
delegates from Virginia will not now refuse to listen to the words of
that illustrious man, uttered upon the most solemn and momentous
occasion of his life. Hear his words:

     "Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your
     welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the
     apprehension of danger natural to that solicitude, urge me
     on an occasion like the present to offer to your solemn
     contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review,
     some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of
     no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me
     all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a
     people. These will be offered to you with more freedom, as
     you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a
     parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to
     bias his counsel."

Again:

     "But as it is easy to foresee, that from different causes
     and from different quarters much pains will be taken, many
     artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction
     of this truth; as this is the point in your political
     fortress, against which the batteries of internal and
     external enemies will be most constantly and actively
     (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of
     infinite moment that you should properly estimate the
     immense value of your national union to your collective and
     individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial,
     habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming
     yourselves to think and speak of it as the Palladium of your
     political safety and prosperity; watching for its
     preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever
     may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be
     abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning
     of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from
     the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link
     together the various parts."

Are not these admonitions at the present moment peculiarly worthy of
our attention? And with them before us, can we invoke the action of
Congress for the alteration of the fundamental law of the Government
in any other ways than those provided in the Constitution? I earnestly
hope not. If we act at all, let us act in that regular method which
gives time for consultation, for consideration, and for action among
the people of all the States. It appears to me, that in adopting the
line of policy proposed by the majority of the committee, we are doing
the very thing which WASHINGTON warned us not to do.

He said further:

     "To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government
     for the whole is indispensable. No alliances, however
     strict, between the parts, can be an adequate substitute;
     they must inevitably experience the infractions and
     interruptions which all alliances in all times have
     experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have
     improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a
     Constitution of Government better calculated than your
     former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious
     management of your common concerns. This Government, the
     offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unmoved,
     adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation,
     completely free in its principles, in the distribution of
     its powers, uniting security with energy, and _containing
     within itself a provision for its own amendment_, has a just
     claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its
     authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its
     measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of
     true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the
     right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions
     of Government. But the Constitution which at any time
     exists, _till changed by an explicit and authentic act of
     the whole_ people, is sacredly obligatory upon all."

And again:

     "Toward the preservation of your Government, and the
     permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not
     only that you should steadily discountenance irregular
     oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you
     resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its
     principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of
     assault may be to affect in the forms of the Constitution
     alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and
     thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all
     the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time
     and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true
     character of governments, as of other human institutions."

And still further:

     "If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or
     modification of the constitutional powers be in any
     particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the
     way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no
     change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be
     the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which
     free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always
     greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or
     transient benefit which the use can at any time yield."

If we adopt the majority report here, we attempt to correct the
Constitution by an amendment in a way which, the Constitution does
_not_ designate. WASHINGTON says if there is any thing wrong, let it
be corrected in a constitutional way; and that, sir, is just what
Kentucky has said, and that is what every loyal State will say.
Kentucky has inaugurated this proceeding, and it is one eminently
worthy of her--true as she has always been to the Union. I cannot
disregard this action of her Legislature. I do not think any exigency
exists which requires us to disregard it. I am ready, and my State is
ready, to confer with other States in reference to the Constitution,
when asked to do so in any of the modes pointed out by that
instrument.

Entertaining these opinions, and with these convictions, I should be
untrue to my sense of duty to the Government and the State I
represent, and to the people of the United States, if I should consent
to disregard the Constitution and my obligations to it.

I have stated these considerations because they are powerful enough to
influence and control my course. Others must act upon their own
convictions. I have come to the conclusion that I ought to submit this
minority report with distrust, and with distrust only, because so many
of the able statesmen composing the majority of the committee have
seen fit to adopt different views. My report leaves every thing to the
people, where I think every such question should be left. When they
consult together and decide in the constitutional way I shall bow to
their decision, whatever it may be.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I do not propose to follow the gentleman (Mr. BALDWIN)
through all the ramifications of his speech. I have made the
Constitution my study for many years, and I have looked at the causes
which give it strength and the causes which give it weakness. I
believe that our fathers organized this Government in great wisdom.
Its strength was in the affections of the people. It never had any
other strength, and it was never intended it should have. It was not
intended to be sustained by standing armies. Its strength was intended
to be placed in the affections of the people, and I had hoped it would
endure forever. Without the affections of the people it is the weakest
Government ever established. The people! What a spectacle do we
witness now! One portion of the people has lost confidence in the
Government, and now seven States have left it. The Government cannot
realize that they are gone. We have established the right of
revolution, and that right gave to the world this splendid Government.
This was the first precedent; it will stand for all time. It will
always be acted upon when the people have lost confidence in the
Government. I _hate_ that word secession, because it is a cheat! Call
things by their right names! The Southern States have framed another
Government; they have originated a _revolution_. There is no warrant
for it in the Constitution, but it is like the right of self-defence,
which every man may exercise. The gentleman from Connecticut has
forgotten that the Government made Congress the recipient of
petitions. Why was this? It was that Congress might be influenced by
the wishes of the people and act upon them.

We are twenty States assembled here. Congress has been in session more
than two months. The Government is falling to pieces. Congress has not
had the sagacity to give the necessary guarantees, the proper
assurances to the slaveholding States. This session will make a
shameful chapter in the history of this Government, to be hereafter
written. Why should this Congress refuse to give the people
guarantees? The proudest Governments in the world have been compelled
to give their people guarantees.

We are assembled here to consult, and see what can be done; to consult
as representatives of the States. Is there any impropriety in our
stating what would restore confidence, to our putting this in writing,
and to our proposing the plan of restoration we think should be
adopted to Congress, and asking Congress to submit that plan to the
people? Are we not the representatives of the people, sent here to do
what we think ought to be done, and to ask Congress by way of petition
to repair the foundations of the Government? It is all legitimate,
and legitimate in the most technical sense.

Suppose we ask Congress to act on this proposition. We come directly
from the people. We ask Congress to submit a plan which we think will
save the Government, to the people. Is this taking any advantage of
the States? _They_ can take all the time they wish for deliberation,
and we can bring no pressure to bear on them. In these times of great
peril and trouble, we ask Congress, backed by the moral force of the
States we represent, to act and save the country.

Two or three years hence will not answer. The foundations of the
Government are undermined and growing weaker every day, and if the
people who may give to it the necessary repair and strength do not do
so, they will be called to a fearful account. When the building is on
fire, it is no time to inquire who set it on fire. The North say the
South did it, and the South say the North did it.

We are all interested in this Government; we love the Constitution; we
love the Union; we want to repair it--we want to lay the foundation
for bringing back the States who have left us, by reason and not by
the sword. The delay which the gentleman proposes is too long; the
Constitution has provided a shorter way. In adopting that we are only
recognizing the right of petition.

I, sir, will answer to Kentucky; I don't want the gentleman to come
between me and the people of Kentucky. He has no right to speak for
the people of that State--her representatives here have that right and
will exercise it. Why were these resolutions passed? Because Congress
had failed to provide the means needful to our safety. The resolutions
under which the Kentucky delegation came here were passed on the 29th,
not the 25th of January. They were passed after the resolutions to
which the gentleman refers. They ought to be regarded, as they are in
fact, as the deliberate expression of the Legislature of Kentucky in
favor of this Conference. In them it is stated that Kentucky heartily
accepts the invitation of her old mother Virginia. She acts in no
unwilling spirit, she hastens to avail herself of any opportunity to
save the Government. She believes a favorable opportunity is offered
by this Conference. I repeat again: Adopt the report of the majority
of the committee and I will answer to Kentucky. I will go farther. I
will answer that Kentucky herself will adopt the very proposals of
amendment to the Constitution contained in the committee's report.

But the gentleman insists that the action proposed is not only
improper but that it is _revolutionary_. I deny that it is
revolutionary. It is no more revolutionary than any other form of
petition. It is a petition sustained by the moral force of twenty
States--a petition which Congress will not disregard.

But if the report of the majority is revolutionary, what of the
gentleman's report? Is that provided for by the Constitution? Is that
according to the forms of the Constitution? No, sir. Every argument he
has brought against the report of the majority, applies with equal
force to his own. His views will answer for those who are willing to
stand by and see this Government drift toward destruction--to see this
country involved in civil war. It will answer for those who will
oppose all action, and who wish to do nothing at all. His report is a
new excuse for inaction. It will not answer for us.

Sir, we are acting under a fearful responsibility. The eyes of every
true patriot in the nation are turned toward this body. The people are
awaiting our action, with anxious and painful solicitude. They know
and we know that, unless the wisdom of this Conference shall devise
some plan to satisfy the people of the slaveholding States--to quiet
their apprehensions, a disruption of the Government is inevitable. If
we adopt the gentleman's views, go home and do nothing, we take the
responsibility of breaking up the Government.

I do not propose to discuss the merits of the majority report at the
present time. I have only sought to answer the arguments of the
gentleman against our acting at all. But I claim that this way of
proceeding is entirely irregular. The report of the gentleman is not
in order. The report of the majority was first presented, and should
be first acted upon. I move to lay the report of the gentleman from
Connecticut upon the table.

Mr. LOGAN:--I would ask Mr. GUTHRIE to withdraw his motion. If the
motion were adopted it would prevent discussion. It was expected that
we were to discuss the subject to-day. It is not of much consequence
which report is first acted upon. They are all before the Conference,
and the merits of all of them are under discussion.

Mr. GUTHRIE withdrew the motion to lay on the table.

Mr. MOREHEAD, of Kentucky, took the chair.

Mr. CURTIS:--I am a member of the present Congress; I have faithfully
attended its deliberations, and have anxiously watched its course. Mr.
GUTHRIE will find that there are other and different objections to the
line of policy he proposes, to which he has not alluded, and which he
does not understand. But they are objections which have determined,
and will determine, the action of Congress. I would ask Mr. GUTHRIE if
the adoption of his propositions, previous to their action, would have
prevented the States which have already seceded from going out.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I think it would have prevented them; all but South
Carolina. I did not intend to assail Congress, or any member of it,
personally.

Mr. CURTIS:--I do not agree with the gentleman. We know, and the
gentleman knows, that there has been for a long time a purpose, a
great conspiracy in this country, to begin and carry out a revolution.
That has been avowed over and over again in the halls of Congress. Can
you expect a member of Congress to do more than reflect the will of
his constituents, the will of his people? Would you have him do any
thing different? There were forty or fifty different propositions
before the Congressional Committee of Thirty-three. There are many
here. There are many difficulties attending the solution of this
question in every respect. But we may as well speak plainly. I cannot
go for the majority report of the committee, and among other reasons,
for this reason: Their proposition makes all territory we may
hereafter acquire slave territory.

Mr. JOHNSON:--No; such is not the fact.

Mr. CURTIS:--I have read it, and such is my construction.

Mr. JOHNSON:--Such is not the intention.

Mr. CURTIS:--Any future territory which we acquire must be from the
south; we have extended as far as we can to the north and the
northwest.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--Will you agree to divide all future territory?

Mr. CURTIS:--I will do almost any thing to save the Union. I will
reflect the will of my constituents. I think it ought not to be
divided equally, but the South ought to have its share. There is
another trouble. Look at the difficulty of getting any proposition
through Congress. Congress has only fifteen days of life. I ask you,
even with general unanimity, if you can hope to pass at this session
any new proposals of amendments? If you do, you will get along faster
than is generally the case. There is one proposition before Congress
that I believe can pass. It is the Adams proposition, to admit all the
territories south at once. It is already slave territory. It is now
applying for admission. If this is acceptable to the South, I will go
for it. We are bound to admit it under the ordinance of 1789.

Mr. GOODRICH:--Do I understand my friend to claim that the ordinance
of 1789 involves a proposition to divide the territory?

Mr. CURTIS:--I understand that in connection with the subsequent
legislation it does.

Mr. GOODRICH:--The concession of territory from North Carolina
contains a prohibition from acting on the subject of slavery in the
territory ceded.

Mr. CURTIS:--I agree entirely with the gentleman. I am opposed to
slavery, but we must divide the territory. Let us leave slavery where
it is, and admit the territory for the purpose of settling the
question. I do not agree with Mr. GUTHRIE that this Government depends
on the will of the people. It is a self-supporting government; it will
support itself. There is no justification for the action of the
seceded States, and I cannot agree that Congress is responsible for
their action. The secession plot was formed before Congress assembled.
There _was_ a power to check it. If our President had acted as Jackson
did, there would have been an end of it. The day for hanging for
treason has gone by. We must look at things as they are. Even in
battle the white flag must be respected. Let this subject be frankly
discussed in a conciliatory manner. If any State has the right to go
out of the Union at its own volition, then this Government, in my
opinion, is not worth the trouble of preserving. The President is
sworn to protect and uphold the Government. So long as there is a
navy, an army, and a militia, it is his sworn duty to uphold it--to
uphold it as well against an attack from States as from individuals.
The Government is one of love and affection, it is true, but it is
also one of strength, and power. Where was there ever a more indulgent
people than ours? Our forts have been taken, our flag has been fired
upon, our property seized, and as yet nothing has been done. But they
will not be indulgent forever. Beware, gentlemen, how you force them
further. Gentlemen talk about the inefficiency of Congress; I wish
there was some efficiency in the Executive. If there was, or had been,
our present troubles would have been avoided.

Mr. TURNER:--I do not understand that the report of the majority is
applicable to future territory. I move the recommitment of the report,
to have that question settled.

Mr. JOHNSON:--It is true there are different constructions which may
be placed on the report. I think if it had been understood to apply to
future territory, it could not have received the support of a majority
of the committee. Mr. CRITTENDEN'S proposition applies to future
territory. I submitted a proposition to the committee also intended to
apply to future territory. A majority of the committee was opposed to
it. Mr. EWING drew this part of the amendment, and there is some
difference of opinion about it. In my opinion the amendment would not
apply to future territory, and I intended at the proper time to offer
an amendment which should make it plain, and not leave it open to
construction. Personally, I should be glad to apply it to future
territory, but I shall yield. I think if we can settle the question
now, there will be no further trouble. I do not believe any territory
will be acquired hereafter without great unanimity. It is not quite
true, although it may be probable, that the future territory will be
south of the line proposed.

Mr. TURNER:--I am still more confirmed that it was the intention of
the committee to have the amendment only apply to existing territory.
If this is settled now, it will shorten the debate. If the gentleman
will move to amend now, I will withdraw my motion.

Mr. JOHNSON:--I move to amend by inserting the word _present_ before
the word _territory_ in the first line of Section I., with such other
verbal amendments as may make the sense conform, and to adopt that
amendment now. This covers the whole ground. I wish to discuss these
amendments, but am physically unable to speak to-day, and would
prefer to have the discussion deferred.

Mr. JOHNSON then moved an adjournment, which was carried on a
division, and the Convention adjourned at two o'clock and fifty
minutes.



ELEVENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, MONDAY, _February 18th, 1861._


The Convention was opened with prayer by Rev. P.D. GURLEY.

The Journal of yesterday was read and approved.

Mr. CHITTENDEN offered the following resolution:

     _Resolved_, That the rules of this Convention be so far
     modified as to require the Secretary to employ a competent
     stenographer, who shall write down and preserve accurate
     notes of the debates and other proceedings of this body,
     which notes shall not be communicated to any person, nor
     shall copies thereof be taken, nor shall the same be made
     public until after the final adjournment of this Convention,
     except in pursuance of a vote authorizing their publication.

Mr. CHITTENDEN:--I have no desire to occupy time in debating this
resolution, much less to waste it in a fruitless attempt to oppose
what seems to be the settled purpose of a majority of this Convention.
But if this body will consider the purpose which the resolution seeks
to attain, it may, perhaps, be found less objectionable than other
similar ones which have been defeated. The objection heretofore made
is, that a publication of what transpires here would lead to an
excited criticism in the country, which would be unfavorable to the
calmness and ultimate success which should attend our deliberations.
While I entertain no such apprehensions, permit me to observe that
this resolution contemplates no present publication of our debates,
but a publication at such a time, and in such a manner, as will be
unobjectionable. That time may not come till after our adjournment. I
am free to say, that when we are dealing with the important issues now
before us, I prefer to have our action, our words, our whole conduct,
all that we do and say, open and public. We should fear no criticism
when we are right; we ought to be held to account when we are wrong.
But if gentlemen will not consent to this, at least let the daily
record of each of us be made up now: let it be full and perfect. When
a question comes up hereafter which concerns the sentiments or the
action of a member, let its decision depend upon no uncertain
recollection, a recollection which must fade and grow dim with each
one of us, as the time of this Convention recedes into the past. Such
a record can injure no one; it may be of infinite service hereafter. I
could not justify myself to my conscience, or to those who have a
right to hold me responsible for my acts here, if I failed to do all
that lays in my power to have the true history of this Convention laid
before the country. A naked journal amounts to nothing. It is a
skeleton. Our discussions alone will give it form and comeliness. I
have prepared this resolution upon consultation with many members,
whose ideas of what should be done here agree with mine. They concur
with me in the propriety of offering it. If it fails, the
responsibility of keeping our discussions from the people will not
rest with us.

Mr. POLLOCK:--I move to lay the resolution on the table.

Mr. CHITTENDEN:--Let the vote be taken by States.

The vote was so taken, and the following States voted in the
affirmative: Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware,
Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Missouri, Virginia, and
Pennsylvania--11.

The following States voted in the negative: Maine, Vermont, New
Hampshire, Massachusetts, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and New York--8.

So the motion to lay on the table prevailed.

When the State of Ohio was called, a member of her delegation stated
that it was equally divided.

Mr. TUCK:--I ask the unanimous consent of the Conference to introduce
a proposition in the form of an address to the people of the United
States. I do so after having consulted a considerable number of
members; and having found that it meets their approval, I desire to
read it, and will then move that it be laid on the table and printed.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--Is the gentleman's motion in order?

Mr. EWING:--I object to the reading.

Mr. CLAY:--Certainly; I object also.

Mr. TUCK:--I will acquiesce with a single word. I certainly hoped no
curt objection would be made to the reading of _any_ proposition which
any member might deem it his duty to offer. As gentlemen differ from
me in this respect, I will hand the paper to the Chair. I hope at
least it may be permitted to lay on the table.

The PRESIDENT:--I hold it the gentleman's undoubted right to read the
paper if he chooses.

Mr. TUCK:--Very well.

He commenced reading when he was interrupted by

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I hope Mr. TUCK will withdraw this paper. If the
Convention agrees to any result, I shall favor its submission to the
people with an address. I will pledge myself to suggest the
gentleman's name as one of a committee to prepare the address at the
proper time.

The PRESIDENT:--The gentleman from New Hampshire has the floor.

Mr. TUCK then completed the reading of the paper, as follows:

     TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES:

     This Convention of Conference, composed in part of
     Commissioners appointed in accordance with the legislative
     action of sundry States, and in part of Commissioners
     appointed by the Governors of sundry other States, in
     compliance with an invitation by the General Assembly of
     Virginia, met in Washington on the 4th of February, 1861.
     Although constituting a body unknown to the Constitution and
     laws, yet being delegated for the purpose, and having
     carefully considered the existing dangers and dissensions,
     and having brought their proceedings to a close, publish
     this address, and the accompanying resolutions, as the
     result of their deliberations.

     We recognize and deplore the divisions and distractions
     which now afflict our country, interrupt its prosperity,
     disturb its peace, and endanger the Union of the States; but
     we repel the conclusion, that any alienations or dissensions
     exist which are irreconcilable, which justify attempts at
     revolution, or which the patriotism and fraternal sentiments
     of the people, and the interests and honor of the whole
     nation, will not overcome.

     In a country embracing the central and most important
     portion of a continent, among a people now numbering over
     thirty millions, diversities of opinion inevitably exist;
     and rivalries, intensified at times by local interests and
     sectional attachments, must often occur; yet we do not doubt
     that the theory of our Government is the best which is
     possible for this nation, that the Union of the States is of
     vital importance, and that the Constitution, which
     expresses the combined wisdom of the illustrious founders of
     the Government, is still the palladium of our liberties,
     adequate to every emergency, and justly entitled to the
     support of every good citizen.

     It embraces, in its provisions and spirit, all the defence
     and protection which any section of the country can
     rightfully demand, or honorably concede.

     Adopted with primary reference to the wants of five millions
     of people, but with the wisest reference to future expansion
     and development, it has carried us onward with a rapid
     increase of numbers, an accumulation of wealth, and a degree
     of happiness and general prosperity never attained by any
     nation.

     Whatever branch of industry, or whatever staple production,
     shall become, in the possible changes of the future, the
     leading interest of the country, thereby creating unforeseen
     complications or new conflicts of opinion and interest, the
     Constitution of the United States, properly understood and
     fairly enforced, is equal to every exigency, a shield and
     defence to all, in every time of need. If, however, by
     reason of a change in circumstances, or for any cause, a
     portion of the people believe they ought to have their
     rights more exactly defined or more fully explained in the
     Constitution, it is their duty, in accordance with its
     provisions, to seek a remedy by way of amendment to that
     instrument; and it is the duty of all the States to concur
     in such amendments as may be found necessary to insure equal
     and exact justice to all.

     In order, therefore, to announce to the country the
     sentiments of this Convention, respecting not only the
     remedy which should be sought for existing discontents, but
     also to communicate to the public what we believe to be the
     patriotic sentiment of the country, we adopt the following
     resolutions:

     1st. _Resolved_, That this Convention recognize the
     well-understood proposition that the Constitution of the
     United States gives no power to Congress, or any branch of
     the Federal Government, to interfere in any manner with
     slavery in any of the States; and we are assured by abundant
     testimony, that neither of the great political organizations
     existing in the country contemplates a violation of the
     spirit of the Constitution in this regard, or the procuring
     of any amendment thereof, by which Congress, or any
     department of the General Government, shall ever have
     jurisdiction over slavery in any of the States.

     2d. _Resolved_, That the Constitution was ordained and
     established, as set forth in the preamble, by the people of
     the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union,
     establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for
     the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure
     the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity;
     and when the people of any State are not in full enjoyment
     of all the benefits intended to be secured to them by the
     Constitution, or their rights under it are disregarded,
     their tranquillity disturbed, their prosperity retarded, or
     their liberty imperilled by the people of any State, full
     and adequate redress can and ought to be provided for such
     grievances.

     3d. _Resolved_, That this Convention recommend to the
     Legislatures of the States of the Union to follow the
     example of the Legislatures of the States of Kentucky and of
     Illinois, in applying to Congress to call a Convention for
     the proposing of amendments to the Constitution of the
     United States, pursuant to the fifth article thereof.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I object to printing this paper. If that course is
taken, every member may offer his disquisitions on the Constitution,
and they will be printed at our expense.

Mr. TUCK:--Unanimous consent was given that it be read, laid on the
table, and printed.

The PRESIDENT:--There were three motions involved in one. Now the
question is upon laying the paper on the table and printing it.

Mr. ALEXANDER:--I call for a division of the question.

The PRESIDENT:--The question will be on the motion to lay it on the
table.

Mr. TUCK:--Are we not entitled to have the question taken on the
motion to print? I supposed all these questions would be taken in a
spirit of conciliation. But if not, I will withdraw the motion to lay
on the table, and move that the paper be printed.

Mr. MOREHEAD, of Kentucky:--I came here in a spirit of conciliation,
and I shall act in that spirit. Let us all do so. I disagree entirely
with Mr. TUCK and his proposition, but I am in favor of receiving
every proposition that is offered, of printing them all, and at the
proper time of considering them all. I trust that unanimous consent
will be given to printing this paper.

The PRESIDENT then put the motion upon printing the address, and it
was carried upon a division.

Mr. GUTHRIE offered the following resolution, which was adopted
unanimously:

     _Resolved_, That if the President shall choose to speak on
     any question, he may, for the occasion, call any member to
     preside.

Mr. MEREDITH:--I wish to offer a proposition, and hope for the present
it may lie on the table, and be considered hereafter. I do not desire
to move it as an amendment to the report of the committee, but think
it better to present it as a direct and independent proposition. I
present it now only for the purpose of having it before the
Convention. It is as follows:

     ARTICLE.--That Congress shall divide all the territory of
     the United States into convenient portions, each containing
     not less than sixty thousand square miles, and shall
     establish in each a territorial government; the several
     territorial legislatures, whether heretofore constituted, or
     hereafter to be constituted, shall have all the legislative
     powers now vested in the respective States of this Union;
     and whenever any territory having a population sufficient,
     according to the ratio existing at the time, to entitle it
     to one member of Congress, shall form a republican
     constitution, and apply to Congress for admission as a
     State, Congress shall admit the same as a State accordingly.

The proposition of Mr. MEREDITH was laid on the table without
objection.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--There appears to be a misunderstanding between the
Secretary and myself upon the question of printing the Journal. To
avoid question, I move that the Journal be printed up to and including
to-day.

Mr. GOODRICH:--I move to amend by adding "and from day to day during
the session."

The amendment and the motion were adopted without objection.

Mr. ALEXANDER, of New Jersey, took the chair.

The PRESIDENT:--The Convention will now proceed to the order of the
day--the consideration of the report of the committee.

Mr. REID, of North Carolina:--I wish to move an amendment to the
amendment offered by Mr. JOHNSON. It is to add to his the words "and
future." If adopted, the language will be "present and future
territory."

Mr. EWING:--This will render a division of the question necessary. The
gentleman had better withdraw his amendment for the time.

Mr. REID:--I am instructed by the Legislature of North Carolina to
offer it, and I think best to do so in this regular manner.

Mr. CLEVELAND:--I think the motion of Mr. REID is out of order. I
suggest that if adopted, with Mr. JOHNSON'S amendment, the sense of
the proposition as it now stands will not be changed.

Mr. RUFFIN:--I rise merely to make a suggestion to my colleague. This
motion must be made at some time, by some one, so that we may have a
regular vote upon it. Now, as it is not certain how the report of the
majority of the committee is to be construed, I propose at a suitable
time to move an amendment which will make the proposition applicable
to territory hereafter acquired. If this will suit my colleague, I
hope he will withdraw his motion.

Mr. REID:--I came here not to deceive the North or the South. I intend
to be plain and unambiguous. Why should we send forth a proposition
that is uncertain, vague, and, as gentlemen admit, open to different
constructions? If we are to pour oil upon the troubled waters, let us
do so to some purpose; above all, let us be definite, plain, and
certain. I cannot consent to withdraw my motion. I must insist upon
its consideration.

Mr. LOGAN:--I had hoped the question on Mr. JOHNSON'S amendments would
have been taken on Saturday. It is an important one, and one which
must be met. I would suggest that it would be best to let the question
be taken on Mr. JOHNSON'S amendments now. The subject presents itself
to my mind in this way: The proposition of the majority, as it now
stands, is uncertain. The friends of the proposition ought to be
allowed to perfect it, to make it satisfactory to themselves. If there
is a doubt about it, let us make it clear that it applies only to the
present territory. Then we can have a clear and decisive vote upon it.
The substance of the proposition is what I wish to arrive at, and it
will be more in order if the vote is not taken till we know what that
substance is. I shall not object to its application to future
territory. I hope the gentleman from North Carolina will withdraw his
amendment, and let the question be taken on that of Mr. JOHNSON.

Mr. SEDDON:--One word only. I fear we are being placed in an awkward
position. I am desirous to have the language of the proposition clear
and not delusive. The amendment of Mr. JOHNSON embarrasses me; I
hardly know how to vote upon it. If I vote for Mr. JOHNSON'S motion, I
shall have the semblance of favoring the limitation of the proposition
to present territory. Mr. RUFFIN and myself both want the same thing,
but on Mr. JOHNSON'S motion he will vote one way and I the other.

Mr. RUFFIN:--Will the gentleman allow me to explain? I voted against
the proposition in committee because, as it now stands, it applies
only to existing territory. I wish to carry this proposition, but not
by the vote of the South alone. I want Northern votes, and assurances
that the people of the North will vote for the proposition and adopt
it.

Mr. SEDDON:--I shall feel disposed to vote against Mr. JOHNSON'S
motion.

The question was here stated by the President as follows:

The vote will be taken upon the motion of Mr. REID to amend the
amendment offered by Mr. JOHNSON.

Mr. REID:--It strikes me that the question is this: My proposition is
to add the words "and future," but Mr. JOHNSON'S amendment is to add
the word "present." Can this be treated as an amendment to his motion?
I must say that my duty to my country and State will prevent my voting
for the proposition as he proposes to limit it.

Mr. COALTER:--I think the committee ought to be permitted to amend and
complete their report. Let us, by general consent, agree to have the
word "present" inserted.

Mr. REID:--I object to that all the time.

Mr. TURNER:--I move that the report be recommitted for amendment.

Mr. COALTER:--Shall we adjourn over simply for this? That will use up
another day.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I hope it will not be recommitted. We can settle the
question here in a moment.

The PRESIDENT:--The vote will now be taken.

Mr. McCURDY:--I call for the individual names of members voting.

The PRESIDENT:--The call is not in order.

The question was then taken on the amendment of Mr. REID, and resulted
as follows:

     AYES--New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee,
     North Carolina, Missouri, and Virginia--8.

     NAYS--Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts,
     Connecticut, Rhode Island, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
     Pennsylvania, New York, and Iowa--12.

So the amendment failed.

The PRESIDENT:--The question now recurs on the motion of the gentleman
from Maryland.

Mr. JOHNSON:--I trust that I shall not trespass upon the time of the
Conference, but the subject now before it is one of great importance,
and it involves the consideration of many important questions. The
amendment which I offer is for the purpose of making the proposition
of the committee clear and plain. I was aware that a construction
might be placed upon it different from that which the committee
intended; and it is due to the frankness which is manifested here,
that the purposes of the committee should be made plain. There ought
to be no ambiguity in a constitutional provision. Some of the most
important constitutional questions decided by the Supreme Court have
been questions of construction. Lawyers would differ about the
construction to be given the committee's proposition. I think the
Supreme Court has placed a construction upon the terms used here,
which would be conclusive. A similar question arose in the Dred Scott
case. There the question was upon that article in the Constitution
which confers on Congress the power "to dispose of and to make all
needful rules and regulations respecting the _territories_ or other
property belonging to the United States." The Court in that case
decided that the provision had no bearing on the controversy in that
case, because the power given by that provision, whatever it might be,
was confined, and was intended to be confined, to the territory which,
upon the adoption of the Constitution, belonged to or was claimed by
the United States, and was within their boundaries, as settled by the
treaty with Great Britain. With this clause in the Constitution,
therefore, it could have no influence upon the territory afterward
acquired from a foreign government. I think this decision conclusive,
and that the proposition, if incorporated into the Constitution, would
refer only to the territory now owned by the United States.

It was the wish of the representatives of some States in the committee
that the word "future" should be inserted in the report. I was opposed
to it: it was so odious to me to put words into the Constitution, or
to propose to do so, which should go forth to the world as an
indication that this Government proposes to acquire new territory in
any way. I have said that the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case
decided that the words "the territories" in the Constitution only
applied to the then existing territory. I think they decided wrong in
this respect, though I agree to the correctness of the decision in
that case in the main; but such as it is, the decision is binding
upon this Conference and the people.

Mr. JOHNSON here read a portion of the opinion of Judge TANEY
delivered in the Dred Scott case, and continued:

You perceive that Judge TANEY turns the question upon the construction
of the word "the." Had the word "any" been used in its place, he must
have held that the provision applied to future, as well as the then
existing territory.

Knowing that it was the purpose of the majority of the committee to
exclude future territory from the operation of this proposition, and
that it was due to the committee and the Convention that their
purposes should be carried out, I offer my amendment as applicable to
the sixth line of the proposition as well as the first.

In discussing the merits of this report, in its application to the
existing condition of the country, I have to say a word to my Southern
friends. You have sought to extend this provision to territory which
shall be hereafter acquired. You have had a decisive vote and have
been beaten in this Conference. The fight has been a fair one; the
question has been thoroughly understood. We ought to acquiesce in the
decision of the majority. We cannot change this decision if we would;
and if we could change it, the proposition amended as you would prefer
to have it, would never pass Congress. The repeated action of that
body, during its present session, shows this conclusively. Accepting
this decision then, as definitive, can we not settle the question with
reference to existing territory? Shall we settle it? Settle it
fairly--recognizing and acknowledging the rights of all, and remain
brethren forever with the Free States! From my very heart, I say yes.
(Applause.) The proposition as it now stands covers all the territory
we have. The whole ground, the whole trouble, which has brought this
country into its present lamentable condition--has arisen over this
question. I believe if it had been disposed of or settled in some way
before, many States would have been kept in the Union that have now
gone out. And why should we not settle it?

We have now a territory extensive enough to sustain two hundred
millions of people--embracing almost every climate, fruitful in almost
every species of production--rich in all the elements of national
wealth, and governed by a Constitution that has raised us to an
elevation of grandeur that the world has never before witnessed. That
we should separate to the destruction of such a Government, on account
of territory we have not got, and territory that we do not want, is
not, I believe, the patriotic sense of the South.

But this proposition does not stand by itself alone. It is connected,
and must be construed, with the provision relating to the acquisition
of future territory. The second section of the committee's proposition
provides that territory shall not be acquired by the United States,
unless by treaty, nor, with unimportant exceptions, unless such treaty
shall be ratified by four-fifths of all the members of the Senate. Is
not that guaranty enough for us? Should we not act unreasonably if we
required further guaranty in this respect? For myself, I should have
preferred that the consent of two-thirds of the Senate only should be
required, and that that two-thirds should comprise a majority both
from the free and slave States.

Mr. RUFFIN:--At the proper time I shall move such an amendment.

Mr. JOHNSON:--If such an amendment is proposed I shall vote for it. I
know there will be objections raised to it, but they will be far
outweighed by the advantages it will give to the South.

But the objection of Mr. BALDWIN is opposed here, and it is one which
must be answered. He says this is the wrong way to propose amendments
to the Constitution--that our action is inconsistent with that
instrument. He does not claim that it is prohibited by the letter, but
by the spirit of the Constitution. Where does he get the spirit but
from the letter? There are two methods of proposing amendments to the
Constitution provided by that instrument. Let us see what they are.

Mr. JOHNSON here read the article of the Constitution providing for
amendments, and continued:

One is where two-thirds of Congress deem it advisable to propose
amendments; the other is where the States themselves propose them. My
learned brother would have us believe that the members of Congress,
acting under their official oaths, must each be satisfied that each
amendment proposed is proper to be incorporated in the instrument,
before they should propose them; and he maintains that there is a
difference, in fact, in the two methods prescribed. What right has
this body, if there is any force in this objection, to submit _his_
proposition to the States? If what we propose is revolutionary, then
what he proposes is revolutionary. I reply to him, with all respect
for his legal ability, and with all the humility which becomes me, and
insist that he is wrong. He refers to the opinion of Judge COLLAMER. I
hold Judge COLLAMER in much respect, and his opinion in great honor
here, but his statements are at war with the objections made by the
gentleman from Connecticut. Judge COLLAMER maintains that it is the
duty of Congress _to propose_ amendments, not to _recommend_ them. It
would be entirely proper, according to his opinion, for Congress to
propose amendments which they would not adopt themselves. I go
somewhat farther, and insist that it is the duty of Congress to
propose amendments whenever desired by any State or any considerable
section of the Union. If we have no right to suggest a line of action
to Congress, no right to petition Congress, no right to ask Congress
to propose amendments, as the gentleman insists, we had better go
home, or rather, I should say, we should never have come here.

There are twenty States represented in this Conference. I have no
doubt other States would have been here, but for the shortness of the
time. But how and why are we here? We have come here on the invitation
of Virginia; her resolutions are our constitution. We have come here
at her instance. For what purpose did she ask us to come here? under
what circumstances did she pass these resolutions? Virginia saw that
the country was going to ruin--that one State had already seceded, and
several others were about to follow. She saw there were circumstances
affecting the condition of the South which aroused her to frenzy--not
madness, but the frenzy which falls on every patriotic mind when it
witnesses a country going to destruction. She saw the country was
going to ruin with rapid steps, and that its ruin must be accomplished
unless her friends in the free States would come forward, and consent
to put into the Constitution additional guarantees which would satisfy
the people of the slave States that their rights were secure. See what
she did--what she said. She expresses it as her deliberate opinion,
"that unless the unhappy controversy which now divides the States of
this Confederacy shall be satisfactorily adjusted, a permanent
dissolution of the Union is inevitable; and the General Assembly,
representing the wishes of the people of the Commonwealth, is desirous
of employing every reasonable means to avert so dire a calamity, and
determined to make a final effort to restore the Union and the
Constitution, in the spirit in which they were established by the
fathers of the Republic."

Therefore she invites all States, whether slaveholding or
non-slaveholding, who were willing to unite with her in an earnest
effort to adjust the unhappy controversies in the spirit of the
Constitution, to come together to secure that adjustment. She asks us
to agree to some suitable adjustment. She does not leave us to suggest
what that adjustment shall be. She tells us herself. She requests us
to adopt it, and to submit it to Congress. She does not ask that
Congress should call a convention, for Congress could not. Try, if we
can, says Virginia, to come to some settlement of these unhappy
controversies, and send that settlement to Congress, that Congress may
submit it to the country.

Virginia invited you here. She told you just what she wanted. She says
if you cannot consent to that, then let her commissioners come home
and report the result. If this cannot be done, if the mode of
adjustment indicated by her cannot be substantially carried out, then
our whole authority is at an end.

This matter of amending the Constitution is not as intricate and
difficult a work as gentlemen imagine. Are there not twelve amendments
to the Constitution already? Were they submitted to the people by each
member of Congress acting under his official oath? Or were they
submitted in the very way the gentleman would avoid? Were they not
brought into the Constitution by outside pressure?

The Constitution has been amended. I wish to mark how it was done, and
then note why it was done.

There was a time when fears were entertained that wrongs might be done
to different sections of the Union under the Constitution as it then
stood. Congress listened to those fears, and did not hesitate to
propose amendments suggested from outside its own body--to submit them
to the people for adoption. It was necessary, in the judgment of
Congress, to do this, in order to restore confidence. It was done, and
confidence was restored. Is not that precisely our case now? Is not
confidence lost in the North and in the South?--not exactly lost,
perhaps, but shaken. The credit of the Government is gone. Even our
naval commanders are unable to negotiate Government bills abroad--are
reduced to the degrading alternative of asking the endorsement of
foreign States, in order to such negotiation. Some brilliant
individuals have suggested that we have already become so poor that
our widows and wives must bring out their stockings.

Our last loan was negotiated at twelve per cent. discount. The present
loan is not to be taken at any rate, unless the Government descends to
the humiliating alternative of securing State endorsements. Our credit
is going lower and lower every day, and it will soon come to the point
where our bonds will be worth no more than Continental money was.

Suppose we do nothing here. Are gentlemen blind to the consequences?
Gentlemen, honest and patriotic as I know you are, have you no love
for this Union?--have you no care for the preservation of this
Government? God forbid that I should say you have none! I know you too
well. My relations have been too intimate with you, and have existed
too long, for me to suppose it. You do love the Union. I speak for the
South and to the South. I know that we can still labor to keep this
Government together. If we follow the plain dictates of our judgment,
any other course would be impossible.

The Virginia Convention is even now in session, and what a convention
it is! Disguise as we may, deceive ourselves as we will, it is a
convention which proposes to consider the question of withdrawing the
State from the Union. Kentucky and Missouri, if we do nothing, will
soon follow. If there ever was a time in the history of the Government
for conciliation, for patriotic concession, that time is now. The time
has come when parties must be forgotten. Let not the word party be
mentioned here. It is not worthy of us. Representatives of the States,
you are above party--high above. The cords that bind you together are
a hundred times as strong as those which ever bound any party. Unless
we do something, and something very quickly, before the incoming
President is inaugurated, in all human probability he will have only
the States north of Mason and Dixon to govern--that is, if he is to
govern them in peace.

I think there is no right of secession; such is my individual opinion.
But there is a right higher than all these--the right of
self-defence, the right of revolution. It is recognized by the
Constitution itself. The Constitution was adopted by nine of the
States only. What right had those nine States to separate from the
other four?

Mr. SEDDON:--The right of secession.

Mr. JOHNSON:--I won't dispute about terms. In all such discussions,
Heaven save me from a Virginia politician!

The opinions of Mr. MADISON upon the Constitution are certainly
entitled to value. He had more to do with making it than any other
statesman of the time. I desire to read an opinion of his, which will
be found in number forty-two of the Federalist:

     "Two questions of a very delicate nature present themselves
     on this occasion:--1. On what principle the Confederation,
     which stands in the solemn form of a compact among the
     States, can be superseded without the unanimous consent of
     the parties to it? 2. What relation is to subsist between
     the nine or more States ratifying the Constitution, and the
     remaining few who do not become parties to it?

     "The first question is answered at once by recurring to the
     absolute necessity of the case, to the great principle of
     self-preservation, to the transcendent law of nature and of
     nature's God, which declares that the safety and happiness
     of society are the objects at which all political
     institutions aim, and to which all such institutions must be
     sacrificed."

Now, apply these principles to the present condition of the country.
The cases are exactly parallel. Mr. MADISON says in substance, that if
one section of the Union refuses to recognize and protect the rights
of another--in other words, if the free States now refuse to guarantee
the rights of the South, that there is a right of self-preservation, a
law of nature and nature's God, which is above all Constitutions. I am
not here to inquire whether the South has a right to go out if these
guarantees are not given. That is a question which I will not argue.
Some of the States have already gone. I hold that to be a fact
established.

Now, I put it to my friends of the North: Do you want us to go out?
You are a great people, a great country--a powerful people, a rich
country. No threat or intimidation shall ever come from me to such a
people. I ask you in all sadness whether, in the light of all our
glory, of all our happiness and prosperity, whether you will, by
withholding a thing that it will not harm you to grant, suffer us,
compel us to depart? Let me read what was said by the same great man
of Virginia, in anticipation of the existence of the present state of
things:

     "I submit to you, my fellow-citizens, these considerations,
     in full confidence that the good sense which has so often
     marked your decisions will allow them their due weight and
     effect; and that you will never suffer difficulties, however
     formidable in appearance, or however fashionable the error
     on which they may be founded, to drive you into the gloomy
     and perilous scene into which the advocates for disunion
     would conduct you. Hearken not to the unnatural voice, which
     tells you that the people of America, knit together as they
     are by so many cords of affection, can no longer live
     together as members of the same family; can no longer
     continue the mutual guardians of their mutual happiness; can
     no longer be fellow-citizens of one great, respectable, and
     flourishing empire. Hearken not to the voice which
     petulantly tells you that the form of government recommended
     for your adoption is a novelty in the political world; that
     it has never yet had a place in the theories of the wildest
     projectors; that it rashly attempts what it is impossible to
     accomplish. No, my countrymen, shut your ears against this
     unhallowed language. Shut your hearts against the poison
     which it conveys. The kindred blood which flows in the veins
     of American citizens, the mingled blood which they have shed
     in defence of their sacred rights, consecrate their Union,
     and excite horror at the idea of their becoming aliens,
     rivals, enemies. And if novelties are to be shunned, believe
     me, the most alarming of all novelties, the most wild of all
     projects, the most rash of all attempts, is that of rending
     us in pieces, in order to preserve our liberties, and
     promote our happiness."

Grant us then, gentlemen of the North, what we are willing to stand
upon--what we will try to stand upon, and what we believe we can. At
least, this will save the rest of the States to yourselves and to us.
The States that are now in the Union will continue there.

What is it we ask you to do? It is to settle this question as to our
present territory. To settle it--how? By dividing it. And how by
dividing it? By the line of 36° 30´. Apparently, you think we are
asking the North to yield something. I tell you it is we who are
yielding. By the decision of the Supreme Court we have the right to go
North of this line with our slaves. Now, all we ask you to give us
here is the territory south of that line; and even as to that, we give
you the right to destroy slavery there whenever a State organized out
of it chooses to do so. We are, in fact, yielding to you. We abandon
our rights North. Will you not let us retain what is already ours,
South?

Is it quite certain that the territory south of the line will be slave
territory? Those who repealed the Missouri Compromise, believed that
Kansas would be a slave State. It did not turn out so. All we ask is,
that you should leave the territory south of the line where it has
been left by the decision of the Supreme Court. We freely yield you
all the rest.

I do not propose to discuss all the amendments proposed. I confine
myself to the single one which, if satisfactorily disposed of, will
settle all our troubles.

In conclusion, I ask, oppressed by a consciousness which almost
overmasters me--which renders me unfit to do any thing but feel--will
you not settle this question here? I feel, and I cannot escape the
feeling, that on your decision hangs the question, whether we shall be
preserved an united people, or be broken to atoms. The States now
remaining in the Union may possibly get on for a few years with
something like prosperity; but if this question is not settled in some
way, man must change his nature or _war_ in the end will come. War!
What a word to be used here! War between whom? There is not a family
at the South which has not its associations with the North--not a
Northern family which has not its Southern ties! War in the midst of
such a people! God grant that the future, that the events which must
inevitably follow dissension here, may at least spare this agony to
ourselves, our families, and our posterity.

Mr. SEDDON:--It is very clear to me that I ought not to make a
prolonged address upon a question which I favor. The only question now
before us is: Shall this amendment be made plain? We should deal
honestly among ourselves; there should be no cheat--no uncertainty--no
delusion here. Our language should be so clear that it will breed no
new nests of trouble.

But the address of the gentleman from Maryland requires a brief notice
from me. I listened with sadness to many parts of it. I bemoan that
tones so patriotic could not rise to the level of the high ground of
equality and right upon which we all ought to stand.

I appeal not to forbearance--I ask not for pity. I feel proud to
represent the grand old commonwealth of Virginia here, and prouder
still that I only come here to demand right and justice in her behalf.
Aye! and it is more complimentary to you to have it so. I ask for such
guarantees only as Virginia needs, and as she has the right to demand.
It is far more complimentary to you to appeal to your sense of
justice, to your sense of right, than to your forbearance or pity.

Virginia comes forward in a great national crisis. When support after
support of this glorious temple of our Government has been torn away,
she comes--proud of her memories of the past--happy in the part she
had in the construction of this great system--she comes to present to
you, calmly and plainly, the question, whether new and additional
guarantees are not needed for her rights; and she tells you what those
guarantees ought to be.

Nor does she stand alone. She is supported by all her border sisters.
The propositions she makes are familiar to the country. They were made
by a patriot of the olden time, a time near to that of the foundation
of our Government. They were such as he thought suited to the
exigencies of his time. They have since then received a larger meed of
approval, north and south, than any other plan of arrangement.

My State offers these resolutions of her Legislature as a basis for
our action here, with certain modifications acceptable to her people.
One of these modifications has since been accepted by the mover of
these resolutions himself. Most important among them is the provision
as to future territory. The gentleman seems to think that Virginia
would not insist on this provision as applicable to territory we may
never have. It behooves not me to answer such a momentous question. I
am only the mouthpiece of Virginia. She insists on the provision for
future territory. She and her sister States plant themselves upon it.
What right have I to strike out a clause which she makes specific?
What right have I to esteem it of so little weight that it may be
thrown aside and disregarded? I do not propose to give my reasons,
though they would not be troublesome to give. It was an element in the
Missouri Compromise that it should apply to future as well as to
existing territory.

Does not the gentleman assert that under the laws as they now stand,
we have the right to go north of the compromise line with our slaves?
What, then, is our position? Under the decision of the Supreme Court
we are entitled to participate in _all_ the territory of the United
States. We are offering to give up the great part and the best part of
it, and in payment we are to take the naked chance of getting a little
piece of the worthless territory south of the proposed line! Such an
idea was never entertained by those who made the Compromise. The idea
which governed their action was, beyond all doubt, not that present
territory alone should be thus divided, but that the question should
be removed from doubt and difficulty for all time, and to give us at
the South a chance whatever change might come.

Shall we be rewarded for all we give up, and find full compensation in
a clause which itself prevents the acquisition of future territory?
The statement is in itself a sufficient answer to the question.

But there was another element in the propositions of the Legislature
of Virginia. That, was security against the principles of the North,
and her great and now dominant party; it was intended to put an end to
the discussions that have convulsed the country and jeopardized our
institutions.

It was the policy of our fathers to settle these questions. They
determined to make a final and decisive line of demarkation, and to
let that be conclusive. But this young people could not be restrained,
and when new territory was acquired the same question arose again. It
now comes up once more. Virginia early saw the seeds of trouble in it,
because she saw that the tide of emigration would continue to press
toward the fertile lands of the South. She saw and she acted. In
consequence of her action we are here. Would it not be wise and well
as statesmen and as patriots, that you should do what you can for
adjustment? do what you can to bring back your sisters of the South
who have departed? It is the part of wisdom to settle. Virginia was
wise to ask it.

There is another thing. A great and mighty party has arisen at the
North that is determined to exclude the institution of slavery, not
only from all future, but from all _present_ territory. We know that
in all ways this party has declared that it would not consent to let
slavery go where it does not now exist. More heated zealots, also
animated and sustained by this same party, have determined that this
natural and patriarchal institution of the South should be surrounded
by a cordon of free States, and in the end be extinguished altogether.

Is it not wise in Virginia, that she should see that this project of
surrounding the South with free States should be guarded against--most
effectually guarded against now and in time to come, and so preserve
her dignity and power?

This amendment adopted, and the proposition to Virginia will be a
farce. Gentlemen, we hold that as the soul is to man, so is honor to a
nation. Honor is the soul of nations. Without it, no nation can have a
place in history or among the nations. We of Virginia must have in
this Confederation the position of an equal. Equal in dignity--equal
in right. In the Congress of the States of this Union, we insist on
this as our right. We must have the same protection as the States of
the North. Otherwise we are a dishonored people. We might live for a
time otherwise, but we should be unworthy a place among the nations.
We hold _property_, yes, _our property in slaves_, as rightful and as
honorable as any property to be found in the broad expanse between
ocean and ocean.

We feel that in the existence, the perpetuity, the protection of the
African race, we have a mission to perform, and not a mission only,
but a right and a duty.

Upon this subject I have a word to say in all seriousness. Think not,
gentlemen of the North, that we propose to deceive or mislead you. We
of the South are earnest in what we say. This is a question which we
answer to ourselves. We hold that these colored barbarians have been
withdrawn from a country of native barbarism, and under the benignant
influence of a Christian rule, of a Christian civilization, have been
elevated, yes, _elevated_ to a standing and position which they could
never have otherwise secured. In respect to the colored race we
challenge comparison with San Domingo, with the freed regions of
Jamaica, with those who have been transferred to the coast of Africa.
Ask the travellers who have visited those distant shores to contrast
the condition of the colored people there with that of those on our
Southern plantations, and they will give you but one answer--they will
say, we have redeemed and kept well our high and our holy trust.

But this is a matter with our own consciences, not with yours. We
appeal to you to leave it where it is, to leave the colored people
where they are. Why should you undertake to interfere with the policy
of a neighboring State concerning a people about which you know
nothing? We feel, we know that we have done that race no wrong. Deep
into the Southern heart has this feeling penetrated. For scores of
years we have been laboring earnestly in our mission. In all this time
we have contributed far more to the greatness of the North than to our
own. Yet all this time we have been assailed, attacked, vilified and
defamed, by the people of the North, from the cradle to the grave, and
you have educated your children to believe us monsters of brutality,
lust and iniquity.

I tell you, that from the time the abolition societies aroused the
latent anti-slavery spirit of the North until now, nothing but evil
has come of the excitement and discussion. It has spread a horrid
influence far and wide; it has for years distilled, and is now
distilling its poison and venom all over the land.

It was under English, yes, British, Anglo-Saxon instigation that it
first commenced. By this instigation it has been fed, been given life,
continuity and power. Think you the English authors of this
instigation had any purpose but to disrupt this Republic? They
professed to regard slavery as an evil and a sin. The fruits of their
action were first manifested in religious societies--first in the
largest churches in New England, in the Presbyterian or Congregational
churches, next the Methodist, then the Baptist, and finally, the venom
spread so widely, its influence separated other churches. What has the
moral influence of this power done? It has made the abstraction of our
slaves a virtue. Societies have been formed for that very purpose,
inciting their members and others, by the vilest motives, to steal our
slaves, to destroy our property.

Nor have they been sufficiently modest to cloak their designs under
the veil of secrecy. These people advocated their pernicious doctrines
openly in your leading cities, even within the consecrated walls of
Fanueil Hall.

Openly among your people, in the very light of day, these efforts were
carried on for the destruction of your sister States. There has not
been an effort of the law nor an exertion of public opinion to put
them down.

These efforts culminated in the actual invasion of my own old honored
State, and your people thought they were doing GOD service in signing
a petition to our authorities for mercy to John Brown and his ruffian
invaders of our soil. And when these men met the just reward of their
crime, there was, throughout the North, in your meetings and your
public prints, expressions of sympathy for these robbers and
murderers. They were looked upon as the victims of oppression, as
martyrs to a holy and righteous cause. Gentlemen, consider these
things, and tell me, is there not to-day reason for suspicion; on the
part of the South for grave apprehension?

But the half is yet to be told; I have looked only at the moral aspect
of the question. Dangerous enough hitherto, it becomes far more
dangerous when it culminates on the arena of politics, and asks, with
the powerful aid of a majority, the interference and the aid of the
Government.

As soon as it became the party of one idea it began to draw to it,
first the support of one, then another political party. It went on
securing the assistance of one after another until it demoralized,
until it brought each to ruin. It destroyed the grand old Whig party.
Fanatic enough before, when it had brought that party to its grave, it
thrust upon the arena of politics this question of slavery in the
territories. Then for the first time it raised the cry of "Free Soil,"
and brought to its support the hearts of a majority of the people of
the northern States.

The people of the North and Northwest have long been noted for their
acquisitive disposition, especially for the acquisition of lands. This
has been manifested in every form. Carried into effect it has made
them powerful, until, not long since, they thought they might get
entire dominion at no distant day. Then arose in their hearts a desire
greater than the greed of land--the greed of office and power. They
then saw that perhaps the North alone might control the national
government, and with it the South. Then, too, the great class of
protected interests at the North--always greater at the North than at
the South--joined with them. All these protected classes, whose
advantages had been diverted from other classes to which they
belonged, joined with landseekers to secure power. Influence after
influence of this sort combined, until it produced your great
Republican party; in other words, your great Sectional party, which
has at length come to majority and power.

I do not wish to dwell upon the principles of that party, or to
discuss them; I simply assert that their principles involve all the
sentiments of abolitionism. They may be summed up in this: you
determine to oppose the admission of slave States in the future.

You say that the whole power of the country, the whole power of the
administration, shall be used in future for the final extinction of
slavery.

This, now, is the ruling idea of your great sectional party. It is
simply the rule of one portion of the country over another. There is
no difference between attacking slavery in the States and keeping it
out of the territories. It is only drawing a parallel around the
citadel at a more remote point.

Now, see how the South is placed. The South has forborne as long as it
can, just as long as party organization existed, and as long as the
South could keep it in existence. It was only when we saw that the
whole united Government was to be turned against us, that we began to
think of taking the subject into our own hands.

What are we to expect now, when the power, direct and indirect, of
this great Government is to be used in the most effective manner
against us? A power which claims that we shall not exercise the rights
of States even, a power which seeks to coerce us, when we propose to
protect ourselves against this lowering and impending danger. You of
the North are descended from men who honored the scaffold for the very
rights we now seek to exercise. So are we. You would deserve to be
spurned by the maids and matrons among you, if you refused to protect
yourselves against the dangers thus drawing around you. Can you expect
less of us?

Do you tell me that this is an artificial crisis? Would seven States
have abandoned all the grand interest they possessed in a glorious and
happy Confederacy like ours, but for more serious and vital interests,
the interests of safety, security, and honor? Think well of these
things, gentlemen!

I have hastily endeavored to show you where I conceive we of the South
stand. The feelings which I express are entertained likewise by the
border States, by all the citizens of the South, by every householder
of my State in a greater or less degree.

The State to which I refer, Virginia, is now met in solemn convocation
to consider whether she shall remain in the Union or go out of it; and
with the most earnest desire to secure to herself a longer connection
with the American Union, a Union of so much honor and pride, and with
an equally earnest desire to bring back the wandering States of the
South which have already left us, she, my own, my native State, comes
here to ask for these guarantees. In my deliberate judgment, the Union
and the Constitution, as they now stand, are unsafe for the people of
the South, unsafe without other guarantees which will give them actual
power instead of mere paper rights. Her stake in this controversy is
too deep. In my judgment she has asked too little; I think fuller and
greater guarantees ought to be required, and that this Convention
should not stand upon ceremony, but in a free and liberal spirit of
concession should yield to us all that we ask. Be assured we shall ask
none but adequate guarantees.

But I am told that Virginia is content with the Crittenden
Resolutions--I say this because I am instructed to say so--that is, if
we are to treat these resolutions, not as the principles of the man
who offers them, but as the principles of the great party just come
into power.

Gentlemen, remember that we of the South are already stripped of
one-half our sister States; our system is dislocated; the Union is
disrupted.

How can you expect now to retain Virginia, to retain the border
States, when they stand in the face of such a great, such an immense
party? How can you expect Virginia to remain in the Union without
these added guarantees?

I told you I would make no appeals to your pity. If we are not
entitled to the guarantees we ask, according to the principles of
sound philosophy, of right and justice, then we do not ask them at
all.

Mr. BOUTWELL:--I have not been at all clear in my own mind as to when,
and to what extent, Massachusetts should raise her voice in this
Convention. She heard the voice of Virginia, expressed through her
resolutions in this crisis of our country's history. Massachusetts
hesitated, not because she was unwilling to respond to the call of
Virginia, but because she thought her honor touched by the manner of
that call and the circumstances attending it. She had taken part in
the election of the sixth of November. She knew the result. It
accorded well with her wishes. She knew that the Government whose
political head for the next four years was then chosen, was based upon
a Constitution which she supposed still had an existence. She saw that
State after State had left that Government--seceded is the word used;
had gone out from this great Confederacy, and were defying the
Constitution and the Union.

Charge after charge has been vaguely made against the North. It is
attempted here to put the North on trial. I have listened with grave
attention to the gentleman from Virginia to-day, but I have heard no
specification of these charges. Massachusetts hesitated I say; she has
her own opinions of the Government and the Union. I know
Massachusetts; I have been into every one of her more than three
hundred towns. I have seen and conversed with her men and her women,
and I know there is not a man within her borders who would not to-day
gladly lay down his life for the preservation of the Union.

Massachusetts has made war upon slavery wherever she had the right to
do it; but much as she _abhors_ the institution, she would sacrifice
everything rather than assail it where she has not the right to assail
it.

Can it be denied, gentlemen, that we have elected a President in a
legal and constitutional way? It cannot; and yet you tell us in tones
that cannot be misunderstood, that as a precedent condition of his
inauguration we must give you these guarantees.

Massachusetts hesitated, not because her blood was not stirred, but
because she insisted that the Government and the inauguration should
go on, in the same manner they would have done had Mr. Lincoln been
defeated. She felt that she was touched in a tender point when invited
here under such circumstances.

It is true, and I confess it frankly, that there are a few men at the
North who have not yielded that support to the grand idea upon which
this confederated Union stands, that they should have done; who have
been disposed to infringe upon, to attack certain rights which the
entire North, with these exceptions, accords to you. But are you of
the South free from the like imputations? The John Brown invasion was
never justified at the North. If, in the excitement of the time, there
were those to be found who did not denounce it as gentlemen think they
should, it was because they knew it was a matter wholly outside the
Constitution--that it was a crime to which Virginia would give
adequate punishment.

Gentlemen, I believe, yes, I know, that the people of the North are as
true to the Government and the Union of the States now, as our
fathers were when they stood shoulder to shoulder upon the field,
fighting for the principles upon which that Union rests. If I thought
the time had come when it would be fit or proper to consider
amendments to the Constitution at all, I should believe that we would
have no trouble with you except upon this question of slavery in the
territories. You cannot demand of us at the North any thing that we
will not grant, unless it involves a sacrifice of our principles.
These we shall not sacrifice--these you must not ask us to abandon. I
believe further, and I speak in all frankness, for I wish to delude no
one, that if the Constitution and the Union cannot be preserved and
effectually maintained without these new guarantees for slavery, that
the Union is not worth preserving.

The people of the North have always submitted to the decisions of the
proper constituted powers. This obedience has been unpleasant enough
when they thought these powers were exercised for sectional purposes;
but it has always been implicitly yielded. I am ready, even now, to go
home and say that, by the decision of the Supreme Court, slavery
exists in all the territories of the United States. We submit to the
decision and accept its consequences. But in view of all the
circumstances attending that decision, was it quite fair--was it quite
generous for the gentleman from Maryland to say that, under it, by the
adoption of these propositions, the South was giving up every thing,
the North giving up nothing? Does he suppose the South is yielding the
point in relation to any territory, which by any probability would
become slave territory? Something more than the decision of the
Supreme Court is necessary to establish slavery anywhere. The decision
may give the _right_ to establish it, other influences must control
the question of its actual establishment.

I am opposed, further, to any restrictions on the acquisition of
territory. They are unnecessary. The time may come when they would be
troublesome. We may want the Canadas. The time may come when the
Canadas may wish to unite with us. Shall we tie up our hands so that
we cannot receive them, or make it forever your interest to oppose
their annexation? Such a restriction would be, by the common consent
of the people, disregarded.

There are seven States out of the Union already. They have organized
what they claim is an independent Government. They are not to be
coerced back, you say. Are the prospects very favorable that they will
return of their own accord? But _they_ will annex territory. They are
already looking to Mexico. If left to themselves they would annex her
and all her neighbors, and we should lose our highway to the Pacific
coast. They would acquire it, and to us it would be lost forever.

The North will consider well before she consents to this--before she
even permits it. Ever since 1820 we have pursued, in this respect, a
uniform policy. The North will hesitate long before, by accepting the
condition you propose, she deprives the nation of the valuable
privilege, the unquestionable right, of acquiring new territory in an
honorable way.

I have tried to look upon these propositions of the majority of the
committee, as true measures of pacification. I have listened patiently
to all that has been said in their favor. But I am still unconvinced,
or rather I am convinced that they will do nothing for the Union. They
will prove totally inadequate; may, perhaps, be positively
mischievous. The North, the free States, will not adopt them--will not
consent to these new endorsements of an institution which they do not
like, which they believe to be injurious to the best interests of the
Republic; and if they did adopt them, as they could only do by a
sacrifice of principles which you should not expect, the South would
not be satisfied; she would not fail to find pretexts for a course of
action upon which I think she has already determined. I see in these
propositions any thing but true measures of pacification.

But the North will never consent to the separation of the States. If
the South persists in the course on which she has entered we shall
march our armies to the Gulf of Mexico, or you will march yours to the
Great Lakes. There can be no peaceful separation. There is one way by
which war may be avoided and the Union preserved. It is a plain and a
constitutional way. If the slave States will abandon the design, which
we must infer from the remarks of the gentleman from Virginia they
have already formed, will faithfully abide by their constitutional
obligations, and remain in the Union until their rights are in _fact_
invaded, all will be well. But if they take the responsibility of
involving the country in a civil war; of breaking up the Government
which our fathers founded and our people love, but one course remains
to those who are true to that Government. They must and will defend it
at every sacrifice--if necessary, to the sacrifice of their lives.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I came here with my colleagues representing a Southern
State. I have had full and free communication with the people of all
portions of the South, before, during, and since the election of the
sixth of November, and I state here, that I have never dreamed that
there was the slightest objection anywhere to the inauguration of Mr.
LINCOLN. To-day is the first time I ever heard the question raised,
and yet I do not believe that any such objection now exists.

It is said that this is not a fit time to hold such a conference--not
a suitable time to consider the questions now before us. Is there any
reason why we should not consider the rights of any section of the
country, whether a President is going out or coming in? As one
delegate I will not consent to postpone the action necessary to secure
our rights for any such reason as this.

Now, as to this question of slavery in the Territories. It is true
that the Supreme Court has decided it in favor of the South. It is
equally true that parties have repudiated that decision both in
platforms and on the stump.

When territory has been acquired by the blood and treasure of the
common Union, you cannot exclude one portion of the _cestuis que
trust_ from its rights. The Supreme Court so decided, and its decision
was just and equitable.

At the South, we ask for our rights _under the Constitution_. We say,
let all questions which affect or concern them be decided. The
gentleman from Massachusetts says he will not give them up, that his
State will not yield. Well, if this is so, let us go to the ballot
box. If the question is decided in the gentleman's favor there, _we
know how to take care of ourselves_.

The gentleman from Massachusetts does not understand this question. He
does not understand why we of the South want it--why we must have it
settled. There _was_ a time when the embargo law threw our slaves out
of employment. The North then contemplated a dissolution of the Union.
Why? Because she thought the Government wanted power--was
inefficient. Now, there is a sense of insecurity felt throughout the
South. Our property is depreciating, going down every day. We feel
this want of security very deeply, this want of faith in the
Government under which we live. The South is in agitation.

Suppose some event should in some way strike down the value of your
property at the North. Would you not wish to have its security
restored? Would you not call for guarantees? If you would not, you are
not men. This is all we want; all we ask for, is security. There is
nothing in the territorial question that we may not settle by a fair
compromise.

The commonwealth of Virginia called this Conference in high
patriotism. I have an earnest faith in her sincerity and her purity in
doing so. She hoped to meet her sisters animated by the same
patriotism--that they would join with her in granting the assurances,
in giving the securities we need. Gentlemen, you can give us these
securities--these assurances. We shall then go home and tell our
people that we can still live on together, in security. Will it do to
say that this cannot be done before the inauguration of Mr. LINCOLN?
No! No such answer should go to the people of any of the States--no
such answer will satisfy them. Give us the guarantees _here_. We will
satisfy the people of the whole nation as to the appropriateness of
the time.

There is no truth in the assertions of the gentleman from
Massachusetts. We are willing to go before the old commonwealth of
Massachusetts with all her glorious memories, willing to go before New
York with her half million of voters, confident that both will do us
justice. Why stand between us and the people? At least, let us ask
their judgment upon our propositions.

We come here to confer, to propitiate, not to awaken old troubles and
differences. If there are such existing and which must be settled, why
should we not settle them here? We all wish to bring back the seven
States which have left us; we have a common interest in them. I think
they should not have deserted us; that they should have consulted us
first, and then there would have been no necessity. If they were here,
their presence surely would not have weakened us, nor would their
presence have disturbed the North. We come not here to widen our
separation--to drive them further off. We come to consult together, to
give and receive justice.

I confess I am not much in favor of the second proposition of
amendment. We must regard this as a progressive country. From four
millions of people we have risen to thirty millions! Where will we be
in eighty years more? There will be in that time a great population in
our now unsettled territory--perhaps greater than all our present
population. I thought the amendment unwise, but I consented to it, for
if we would agree we must all yield something.

And now I hope, and hope most earnestly, that without crimination or
recrimination we shall vote in good temper and in good time, so that
our proposals may in due time go before Congress and before the
people.

Do not let us give up to revolution anywhere, in any section of the
Union! Do not you of the North impose upon us the necessity of fleeing
our country! God knows this same necessity may come to you of the
North, and sooner than you expect it. If disruption--if war must come,
one-half your merchants, one-half your mechanics will become bankrupt.
You are marching that way with hasty steps. Not one man, North or
South, but must suffer if the sad conclusion comes. Our products will
depreciate. Next year not one-half the fields now whitened by the rich
growth of cotton will be cultivated if this unhappy contest goes on.

The people of my section, the people of the South, are restless and
impatient. They are already in the way of revolution--all these
influences are leading them on. Can they remain quiet when the
fortunes of one-half of them are struck down? Can you at the North
remain quiet under like provocations? And yet harmony may even yet be
restored. All these differences may be settled harmoniously. We
believe they may be settled now.

Mr. TUCK:--If we should agree to all your propositions, and Congress
still should not act upon them, would not these difficulties be still
more complicated?

Mr. GUTHRIE:--No, sir! No! We would then tell our people that this
Conference would, but Congress would not do any thing to save the
country. In such an event we would wait for the ballot box and a new
Congress.

Mr. GOODRICH:--Permit me one question to the gentleman from Kentucky.
Would this Convention, in his opinion, have been called by Virginia,
if either Mr. DOUGLAS or Mr. BRECKENRIDGE had been elected?

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I do not think it would have been called in that event.
Let me say, however, one thing which escaped me. It is not a divided
Democracy--not the existence of a Whig party, but it is the union of
all discordant elements combined, which have brought the abolitionists
into power, which has produced this sense of insecurity in the South.
It is their combined power which the people of the South feel, and
which they wish to guard against.

Mr. CLEVELAND:--I feel bound to say to all here present, that unless
this debate stops now, we might as well go home. I have pondered much
upon the remark of my worthy friend from Kentucky, that if we could
not do good here, at least we ought not to do harm. Why should we do
any thing to aggravate these unhappy circumstances? Let us not widen
our dissensions; let us do nothing to postpone or destroy the only
hope we have for the settlement of our troubles.

Let us be gentle and pleasant. Let us love one another. Let us not try
to find out who is the smartest or the keenest. Let us vote soon, and
without any feeling or any quarrelling.

Mr. SEDDON:--I fear from some remarks that have been made during this
discussion, that not only my motives, but the terms in which I have
expressed them, have been misapprehended. I have been untrue to every
purpose of my mind, if I have spoken with any bitterness or acrimony.
I thought it was my duty to be plain--at the same time temperate
though emphatic. I thought I had been so. Nothing is farther from my
purpose than the irritation of any section, much less of any member
here. Most assuredly I did not intend to create dissension or to give
the slightest occasion for personal feeling or recrimination.

The PRESIDENT finding it necessary to leave the Conference, now called
Mr. ALEXANDER to the chair.

Mr. CLEVELAND:--I did not mean to stir up anybody. I want to settle
these unhappy points of difference here. I want to settle them to-day,
now, this very hour. Suppose we do not settle them! Does not border
war follow? does not civil war come? I speak to all of you, both
North and South. What becomes of your property in such a case? Who
wants to stake it all on such a hazard? We settled this question once
fairly, and, as everybody thought, finally. That was in 1850. Why was
not that settlement permitted to stand? Nothing but the ambition that
has sent so many angels down to hell could have ever brought it up
again.

It is too late to bring charges against either section now--too late
to bring charges against individuals. The question now before us
is,--Which is the way to lead the country out of her present danger?
We want faith and good works--these alone will do it. If these fail,
we have no hope elsewhere. I am in favor of the propositions of
amendment submitted. These we can stand upon throughout the land. The
people will adopt them. In the name of all that is good and holy let
us settle these differences here.

Why talk about territory to be acquired hereafter? We have just the
same title to it that the devil had to the territory he offered our
Saviour on a certain remarkable occasion--just the same title, at all
events, no better. For Heaven's sake, gentlemen, let us act for the
good of the country! let us give to every section its rights--to every
man his rights, and let this be remembered through all time as the
Convention of Patriots which sacrificed every selfish and personal
consideration to save the country!

Mr. GOODRICH:--I wish to make one remark to the Conference, and
especially to the gentleman from Kentucky. Much is said here about
equal rights. We have always believed in that doctrine. We believe
this to be a country of equals. We went into the last Presidential
contest as equals--and as such we elected Mr. LINCOLN. Now, when we
have the right to do so, we wish to come into power as equals--with
that superiority only which our majority gives us. When we are in
power and disturb or threaten to disturb the rights of any portion of
the Union, then ask us for security, for guarantees, and if need be
you shall have both. How would you have treated us if we had come to
you with such a request at the commencement of any Democratic
administration?

Mr. LOGAN:--I want to refer the report of the majority, and the
substitute proposed by the minority, back to the committee. I believe
that it is better to have action upon all these questions at the
earliest possible moment. The question now is, not which section of
the Union is suffering most--all sections are suffering; all are
feeling the influence of this agitation; all look with fear and
trembling to the future; all desire a speedy and a peaceful conclusion
of our differences. If we cannot settle them here--if we cannot induce
Congress to submit our propositions of amendment to the people, then I
pray from my heart, I hope and believe, that our friends in every
section will wait patiently until these propositions can go before the
State Legislatures and receive proper consideration there.

The PRESIDENT here stated the proposition, to refer the reports of the
majority and the minority of the committee back to the committee, with
instructions.

Several members objected to the motion, declaring it not in order.

The motion was thereupon withdrawn.

The PRESIDENT:--The question recurs upon the amendment offered by the
gentleman from Maryland, to insert the word "present" before the word
territories, in the first line and the fifth line of the propositions
of the amendment to the Constitution submitted by the majority of the
committee.

The amendment was adopted without a count of the yeas and nays, and
the first section of the majority report, after the adoption of the
amendment, is as follows:

     ARTICLE 1. In all the present territory of the United
     States, not embraced within the limits of the Cherokee
     treaty grant, north of a line from east to west on the
     parallel of 36° 30´ north latitude, involuntary servitude,
     except in punishment of crime, is prohibited whilst it shall
     be under a Territorial Government; and in all the present
     territory south of said line, the status of persons owing
     service or labor as it now exists, shall not be changed by
     law while such territory shall be under a Territorial
     Government; and neither Congress nor the Territorial
     Government shall have power to hinder or prevent the taking
     to said territory of persons held to labor or involuntary
     service, within the United States, according to the laws or
     usages of the State from which such persons may be taken,
     nor to impair the rights arising out of said relations,
     which shall be subject to judicial cognizance in the Federal
     Courts, according to the common law; and when any territory
     north or south of said line, within such boundary as
     Congress may prescribe, shall contain a population required
     for a member of Congress, according to the then Federal
     ratio of representation, it shall, if its form of government
     be republican, be admitted into the Union on an equal
     footing with the original States, with or without
     involuntary service or labor, as the Constitution of such
     new State may provide.

Mr. ROMAN:--I move that when this Conference adjourn, it adjourn to
meet at seven o'clock this evening.

Mr. CHITTENDEN:--I move an adjournment of the Conference.

Mr. ROMAN:--Is not my motion first in order?

The PRESIDENT:--The question is on the motion of the gentleman from
Vermont.

The motion to adjourn was put and carried.



TWELFTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, TUESDAY, _February 19th, 1861._


The Conference was called to order by the PRESIDENT at eleven o'clock.

The proceedings were opened with prayer.

The Journal was read by Assistant Secretary PULESTON, and, after
sundry amendments, was approved.

Mr. SUMMERS:--The Committee on Credentials have received and
considered the credentials of Mr. FRANCIS GRANGER, of New York,
appointed to fill a vacancy in the delegation from that State,
occasioned by the resignation of Mr. ADDISON GARDINER. They are
satisfactory, and if no objection is made, the list of delegates from
New York will be altered accordingly.

No objection was made, and Mr. GRANGER'S name was added to the list of
delegates from New York.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I ask now that the resolution limiting the time to be
occupied by each member in debate be taken up. I have become satisfied
that unless we place some restrictions, in this respect, upon the
discussions, we shall occupy much more time than we wish to have
expended in that way. The session of the present Congress will soon
terminate. Our labors will be useless, unless we submit the result of
them to Congress in time to secure the approval of that body. The
propositions will be debated there, and that debate must necessarily
occupy time. I am sure no gentleman wishes to defeat the main purpose
of the Conference by delay. The resolution is as follows:

     _Resolved_, That in the discussions which may take place in
     this Convention upon any question, no member shall be
     allowed to speak more than thirty minutes.

Mr. DAVIS:--I move to amend the resolution by inserting _ten_ minutes
instead of _thirty_ minutes.

Mr. FIELD:--Is it seriously contemplated now, after gentlemen upon one
side have spoken two or three times, and at great length--after the
questions involved in the committee's reports have been thoroughly and
exhaustively discussed on the part of the South--and when only one
gentleman from the North has been heard upon the general subject, to
cut us off from all opportunity of expressing our views? Such a course
will not help your propositions.

Mr. BOUTWELL:--Massachusetts will never consent to this.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--If we cannot get Massachusetts to help us, we will
help ourselves. We got along without her in the war of 1812; we can
get on without her again. The disease exists in the nation now. It is
of no use, or rather it is too late to talk about the cause, we had
much better try to cure the disease.

Mr. FIELD:--New York has not occupied the time of the Conference for
three minutes. Kentucky has been heard twice, her representative
speaking as long as he wished. I insist upon the same right for New
York. I insist upon the discussion of these questions without
restriction or limitation.

Mr. DODGE:--I wish to speak for the commercial interests of the
country. I cannot do them justice in ten minutes.

Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina:--I am very desirous to reach an early
decision, and yet I do not quite like to restrict debate in this way.
Suppose, after holding one morning session, we have another commencing
at half-past seven in the evening?

Mr. CARRUTHERS:--We have come here for the purpose of _acting_; not to
hear speeches. There is no use in talking over these things; our minds
are all made up, and talking will not change them. I want to make an
end of these discussions. I move that all debate shall close at three
o'clock to-day, and that the Conference then proceed to vote upon the
propositions before it.

Mr. ALLEN:--The object which brought us together I presume we shall
not disagree about. We came here for the purpose of consultation over
the condition of the country. If this is true, nothing but harm can
come from these limitations upon the liberty of speech. The questions
before us are the most important that could possibly arise. Before our
present Constitution was adopted it was discussed and examined in
Convention for more than three months. We are now practically making a
new Constitution. Though we as members differed widely when we came
here, I think progress has been made toward our ultimate agreement. I
think the general effect of our discussions is to bring us nearer
together. I think our acquaintance and our association as members lead
to the same end.

The gentleman from Kentucky says that we have come here to heal
disease. I don't quite agree with him as to the disease. I differ
widely from him as to the proper method of treating it. He seems
disposed to apply a plaster to the foot, to cure a disease in the
head. If these debates should continue for a week, the time would not
be lost, the effect would be favorable. We should have more faith in
each other, a more kindly feeling would be produced. Do not let us
hurry. You may _force_ a vote to-day, but the result will satisfy
none. Such a course will give good ground for dissatisfaction. You may
even carry your propositions by a majority, but what weight will such
a vote have in Congress or with the people?

Mr. CHITTENDEN:--We who represent smaller States intend to be very
modest here, but you will need our votes when you seek to place new
and important limitations upon a Constitution with which we are now
satisfied. I will answer for one State, and tell you that she will not
listen to a proposition that comes to her with a taint of suspicion
about it. If you will not allow her representatives to participate in
the examination and discussion of these propositions here, her people
will reject them without discussion, if they are ever called to act on
them. She has not occupied the time of this Conference for one minute
upon the general subject. She may not wish to do so. I submit whether
it is wise for you to cut off her right to be heard here, if she
chooses to exercise it.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--I agree with the gentleman from Tennessee, that we came
here to act and not to talk. We have had talking enough, perhaps too
much already. I have drawn up a resolution which I think covers the
whole subject, I move its adoption. The resolution was read as
follows:

     _Resolved_, That this Convention will hold two sessions
     daily, viz., from ten o'clock, A.M., to four o'clock, P.M.;
     and from eight to ten o'clock, P.M.; and that no motion to
     adjourn prior to said hours of four and ten, P.M., shall be
     in order, if objection be made; and that on Thursday next,
     at twelve o'clock, noon, all debate shall cease, and the
     Convention proceed to vote upon the questions or
     propositions before them in their order.

The PRESIDENT commenced a statement of the various propositions
relating to the subject now pending, when Mr. ALEXANDER moved to lay
the whole subject on the table.

The motion to lay on the table was negatived by the following
vote:--ayes, 48; nays, 54.

Mr. GOODRICH:--I call for the division of the question.

The PRESIDENT:--So many motions have been made that it is somewhat
difficult to decide, by the rules of Parliamentary law, which is in
order.

I will divide the questions as follows:

1st. Will the Conference hold two sessions daily?

2d. Shall the debate be closed on Thursday at twelve o'clock?

3d. Shall each member be limited to ten minutes in the discussion?

Mr. JOHNSON, of Missouri:--I hope the questions will be decided
affirmatively.

Mr. CHASE:--It appears to me that we can arrange this whole subject
without serious difficulty. If Mr. WICKLIFFE will adhere to his
resolution, and the other proposals are withdrawn, we can then
proceed. If any gentleman finds it necessary to ask for an extension
of his time, it will no doubt be granted to him. Mr. RANDOLPH'S
proposition exacts too much labor. I think the Conference had better
limit the time of each member. I am opposed to fixing a time for
terminating the discussion. It will not be agreeable to many who may
be cut off. It is contrary to the spirit of the rules we have already
adopted. I hope we shall not be compelled to vote on the questions one
by one, and I will suggest to Mr. RANDOLPH whether it would not be
better that his resolution should be withdrawn.

Mr. HOPPIN:--I hope the resolution will pass as it is. We have come
here to act. We are all ready to take the vote now. The sooner we vote
the better. There is every necessity for prompt action.

Mr. MOREHEAD:--If the proposition had emanated from another quarter, I
should feel at liberty to urge its adoption. As it is, I would pay the
highest respect to it. I regret extremely to hear the talk about
_sides_ in this Conference. I came here to act for the Union--the
whole Union. I recognize no sides--no party. If any come here for a
different purpose I do not wish to act with them; they are wrong. I
hope from my heart that we can all yet live together in peace; but if
we are to do so we must act, and act speedily.

Mr. CHASE again stated his proposition.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--If I understand rightly, the question should be on
striking out the latter clause of the resolution, so as to perfect it
and make it meet the case. I make the point and--

Mr. RANDOLPH:--I think the gentleman from Maryland is right.

Mr. ALEXANDER:--I desire to ask whether a resolution to supersede the
motion to adjourn is in order?

The PRESIDENT:--I think the question should first be taken on the
motion to strike out the last clause in the resolution.

Mr. STOCKTON:--If the Conference felt as I do, it would at once
establish such peremptory orders as would bring a speedy termination
to this whole business. Upon what, let me ask gentlemen, does the
salvation of the Union depend at this moment? What is it alone that
prevents civil war now? I answer, it is the session of this
Convention--this august Convention! We stand in the presence of an
awful danger! We feel the throes of an earthquake which threatens to
bring down ruin on the whole magnificent fabric of our Government! Is
it possible that we should suffer this ruin to take place? Would it
not impeach the wisdom and good sense of our day and generation to
permit the edifice which our fathers constructed--to crumble to
pieces? No! fellow countrymen, it is necessary that we, by trusting in
God, who guided our ancestors through the stormy vicissitudes of the
Revolution, should this day resolve that the Union shall be preserved!

In the execution of that resolve let us unfold a new leaf in our
national history, and write thereon words of peace. Peace or war is
in our hands--an awful alternative! Peace alone is the object of our
mission; to restore peace to a distracted country. I have spent my
whole life in the service of my country. I love the people of every
State in it. They have been under my command and I have been under
theirs. I know them, and I know that this Union can never be dissolved
without a struggle. Will you hasten the time when we shall begin to
shed each other's blood? No! gentlemen, no!

There seems to be but one question which gives us any difficulty in
adjusting. That is, about the right of the South to take their slaves
into the territories. Is it possible that we can permit this Union to
be broken up because of any difference on such a question as this?
Better that the territories were buried in the deep sea beyond the
plummet's reach, than that they should be the cause of such a
deplorable result.

But it is not the value of the territories which is in dispute; it is
not whether the North or the South shall colonize them, because, as
the gentleman from New York has said, that though the territory south
of 36° 30´ had been ten years open to Southern colonization, only
twenty-four slaves had been introduced into it. No, the real question
is, whether pride of opinion shall succumb to the necessities of the
crisis.

The Premier of the incoming administration has declared that parties
and platforms are subordinate to, and must disappear in the presence
of the great question of the Union. This gives me hope. Let him and
his friends act upon that, and this Conference can in six hours, in
conjunction with a committee of his political friends, adjust such
terms of settlement as will save the Union.

The Roman Curtius offered himself as a sacrifice to save Rome, when
informed by the oracle that the loss of his life would save his
country. We are now in greater danger than Rome was then; but is there
no Curtius for our salvation? We are not called upon to give up life,
property, or honor, but to concede justice and equal rights to our
Southern brethren. We only want the courage to yield extreme opinions.
What power, after victory, refuses to lower the lofty terms which were
asserted on the eve of the battle for the sake of peace? But the
Republicans say, shall we surrender the fruits of victory to the
vanquished? I answer, how are you to enjoy your fruits without
pacification? You expected to govern the whole country. You aspired to
the control of the whole empire. Without peace you will not succeed in
establishing possession of that magnificent country which your
predecessors governed, but you will govern a little more than half of
it, and with that you have to provide for war.

It is easy to dispose of the threatening attitude of the South by
denouncing it as a rebellion--as treason. It is idle to disguise the
danger. The revolt of a whole people, covering a territory equal to
half of Europe, is a revolution. You cannot dwarf the movement by
stigmatizing it as treason. Its magnitude and proportions make the
sword, and not the law, its arbiter. Is it possible that people can be
so infatuated as to contemplate the use of the sword to conquer
secession? Will you hasten the time when we shall begin to shed each
other's blood? Coerce! force fifteen States! Why, you cannot force New
Jersey alone! Force the South? They won't stop to count
forces--neither side can be frightened. Don't think of it. You cannot
frighten either, no more than the hero could be frightened whom the
Roman poet has immortalized. Suppose after the expenditure of a
thousand millions you shall have stopped dismemberment and subjugated
the South, what is to become of the country then? what is to become of
the army and its chiefs who have conquered? When the Long Parliament
had murdered Charles, subdued Ireland and Scotland, and compelled the
deference of all Europe, they supposed they would enjoy the fruits of
their victories. They began to discuss the expenses of the army, and
the expediency of its reduction. They had hardly commenced when
Cromwell entered Westminster Hall and turned out the Republican party
of that day. The whole country, tired of war, crouched under the iron
heel of the Puritan soldier. The Republican party of England
succumbed; Cromwell died; his son resigned the Protectorate, and the
Republican party of England rose to the surface and made its last
struggle for its power. General Monk and his army approached London,
and Parliament with servility waited the pleasure of the army. The
army declared for the King, and the King was restored.

When men meet to save the country, they must be prepared to give up
every thing--to give their lives if necessary. How can men stop for
party platforms when their country is in danger? But will the country
consent to be dragged into civil war to maintain the Chicago Platform?
It will not. That Platform was erected upon a perishable foundation.
In the language of the New York Senator, it must "disappear."

I appeal to the brotherhood, to the fraternity of the North. My
friends, peace or war is in your hands. You hold the keys of peace or
war. You tell us not to hasten in this matter. But you do not realize
the facts--no one does. It is said that the South challenges and
invites war. No such thing. The mad action of South Carolina does not
truly represent the South. There are disunionists South as well as
North. It is the duty of patriotic men to checkmate the disunionists
of both sections. By a proclamation of war, we shall effectually play
into the hands and gratify the disunionists of both extremes. Civil
war consolidates the South as a unit for disunion. The gallant
southern men who have so nobly battled for the Union against great
odds, will then be overpowered and forced into the ranks of the
defenders of the South. While the South will thus be undivided and
stand in solid phalanx, what will be our condition here at the North?

Can it be supposed that the Union men of the Democracy of the North
will stand by and see the country plunged into civil war to maintain
the Chicago Platform? Will they acquiesce in the demolition of this
Union by these means, when it can be preserved by peace? No, sir! Do
you talk here about regiments for invasion, for coercion--you,
gentlemen of the North? You know better; I know better. For every
regiment raised there for coercion, there will be another raised for
resistance to coercion. If no other State will raise them, remember
New Jersey. The Republican leaders of the North, with hot haste, have
worked through the Legislatures of the several States resolutions of a
belligerent character, offering the military power of those States to
the Government to subdue the South. Did the people of the North
authorize those Legislatures to make any such tenders? Would the
people of the North sanction any such nefarious policy? I know well
the enormous bribe with which the Republican leaders would seduce the
North into fratricidal war. The expenditure of uncounted millions, the
distribution of epaulets and military commissions for an army of half
a million of men, the immense patronage involved in the letting of
army contracts, the inflation of prices and the rise of property which
would follow the excessive issue of paper money, made necessary by the
lavish expenditure;--these, indeed, are the enormous bribes which the
Republican party offers.

How arrogant it is for the Republican leaders to tender the military
power of their States! Who gave them or their States authority to
raise armies? For national purposes the whole militia of the Union is
subject to Congress. Congress alone has power to declare war and to
call out the militia, and Congress can only call upon the militia to
suppress insurrection or repel invasion. Pause, gentlemen! Stop where
you are! You will bring strife to your own doors, to your very
hearthstones--bloody, disheartening strife. War will be in your own
homes, among your own families. Under ordinary circumstances you would
hesitate. If the question was about tariff, you would hesitate and
look at the awful consequences. That there is a diversity between us
is very true. What of it? It lies in a nutshell. We can fix it in a
minute, if you will be calm and act like brothers.

The only question, as I understand it, for I have thought and studied
upon it, is this: You of the North will not yield to the South the
small privilege of taking their slaves into the territories of the
common Union. You will not give them a fair chance with you, even in
the Government property--the territories. When the territories become
States they will have to take care of themselves. You cannot theorize
slave soil into free soil, nor _vice versâ_. Am I not right? Does the
South ask any control or power over these territories after they have
become States? No, gentlemen; the South demands no such thing. It is
not demanded by her, and never will be. All I ask for the South, and
all she asks for herself, is this: Let us be free to come with our
slaves into all your territories, and hold them there until the
territory is made up into States.

I have shown that if peace be not secured, the uprising of the South
would be a revolution, and cannot be treated as mere insurrection. The
bravado, therefore, of offering armies to the Government, can only
have the effect, at this crisis, of preventing a peaceful adjustment.
Against all such demonstrations we must fix our faces like flint.
Peace we must have. The Union can only be preserved by peace. The
South asks no more than the North will concede, if the people of the
North can express their sentiments. The South only asks for equal
rights, and to be let alone. For thirty years she has asked no more.
The South will soon present its cause in an authoritative shape. Their
conventions will soon declare their propositions. Let the North be
prepared to consider them in conventions representing their people
fairly. If this is done, there is no doubt the present crisis will
pass without danger. Until time for these results can be taken, let
warlike demonstrations be resisted. Let the Government abstain from
collision, even with South Carolina. There is as much of loyalty to
the Union at the South as anywhere. It has only disappeared in the
presence of danger which threatened their domestic tranquillity, their
safety, and their honor. Let the hostile attitude which the North
assumed at Chicago give place to the recognition of the rights of the
South, and we shall see an outburst of loyalty to the Union throughout
the entire South, like that which welcomed to old England its
constitutional sovereign after a long and bloody civil war, forced
upon the English people by the Puritans. It is the spirit of the same
fanatic intolerance which has caused our present troubles.

Intelligent citizens should abandon platforms and stand up for peace.
Peace with all nations has been the master policy. It has elevated our
country to its present condition of power and prosperity. Do not let
us sacrifice peace, and suffer violence and discord to usurp its
reign. We have a magnificent future if we can only preserve the Union
as our fathers constructed it. While it lasts there is a great light
in the firmament in which all may walk in security, hope, and
happiness. It is a light reaching far down the depths of futurity
cheering and guiding the steps of our children. It is a light shining
to the remotest corner of the earth--raising up the down-trodden and
illuminating the homes of the victims of oppression. But let that
light be now eclipsed, go out in blood and darkness, and the hopes of
mankind are forever blasted.

Gentlemen, will you not consider? Shall we not settle the question
here, and not trouble the rest of the Union with it? We will settle it
fairly and squarely. It is too small a matter to get mad about--to set
about destroying the Union. Why quarrel over such a simple question?
No, gentlemen, you shall not do it. I am going to talk to you as
individuals--as men--as patriots. I know too many of you and too much
about you. You love your country too well to destroy her for such a
cause. You are too patriotic. The North will never dissolve this Union
on any such pretexts. You cannot destroy your country for that. You
love it too much. I call on you, WADSWORTH and KING, FIELD and CHASE
and MORRILL--as able men, as brothers--as good patriots--to give up
every thing else if it is necessary, to save your country. But we
don't ask you to give up any thing in the way of principles.

Now that Chicago Platform of yours is a nice paper. It has many good
things in it. But it must not control this question. You can keep that
platform and save your country: but you must save your country. Shall
we go into war upon this little question about the Territories. No!
No!!

Under the most favorable circumstances possible for the experiment of
self-government, with every possible inducement to preserve our
country, we must not give it up. The years of civil war which will
succeed dismemberment of the Union will cause true men to seek refuge
and security, from military despotism, in some other country. Some
Cæsar or Napoleon will spring from the vortex of revolution and war,
and with his sword cleave his way to supreme command. If all history
is not a failure, and if mankind are now what they have always been,
such will be the fate of free government in the United States, in the
event of war. Shall we bring such a catastrophe upon us to vindicate
the Chicago Platform? No! the American people will rise in their
omnipotence and trample into dust the man who dared to put in jeopardy
this Union, in order to maintain such demagogism. Away with parties
and platforms and every thing else which would obstruct the free and
patriotic efforts now making for the salvation of the Union. It shall
not be destroyed. I tell you, friends, I am going to stand right in
the way. You shall not go home; you shall never see your wives and
families again, until you have settled these matters, and saved your
good old country, if I can help it. Spread aloft the banner of stripes
and stars, let the whole country rally beneath its glorious folds,
with no other slogan on their lips but the unanimous cry, THE UNION,
IT MUST BE PRESERVED!

Mr. GRANGER:--New Jersey has addressed New York as though she supposed
the delegation from that State to be united in its opinions, and its
action. Let me set the gentleman himself and the Conference right on
that point at the commencement. The members composing that delegation
do not agree; very far from it. The vote of that delegation hitherto
has been determined by a majority only; a majority reduced to the very
smallest point possible now, since the delegation is full. It may be
said that New York voted at the last Presidential election against us
by a majority of fifty thousand; but let me assure you that if the
noble propositions of the majority of your committee, which I read for
the first time yesterday, could be submitted to them, the people of
New York would adopt them by even a larger majority.

These _are_ noble propositions; they are worthy the eminent and
patriotic committee from which they have emanated. They present a fair
and equitable basis for the adjustment of our difficulties; they are a
shield and a sure defence against the dangers which threaten us. They
are such as the people expect and such as they want. They know that
the politicians who have brought the country to the verge of ruin can
be trusted no longer. The time has come when they must act for
themselves. Be assured, gentlemen, they will do so.

I wish to say a few words about the last election in New York, for it
has been widely misrepresented and misunderstood. How did we go into
that canvass? Upon what principles was it conducted? What
representations were made? I am one of the men who have struggled to
meet and oppose this Republican party from the outset--to avert, if
possible, the adoption of its pernicious principles by the people of
New York. I took my stand upon the Compromise of 1850, and separated
myself politically from all men who could not stand with me on that
platform. We struggled on until that Compromise was adopted by the
Baltimore Convention.

The Kansas bill was introduced at a most fatal hour. It was
distasteful to the whole country; satisfactory nowhere. In due time
the Charleston Convention was assembled, and the Democratic party was
broken up forever.

What next? Next came the Chicago Convention. It may have been
conducted with dignity, and it nominated a candidate. I differ widely
from that candidate in my principles and my policy. And yet I believe
in him although I opposed his election. I would trust his Kentucky
blood to the end, if all else failed. I think he is honest. I have no
idea that he will permit the policy of his administration to be
controlled by the hotheaded zealots who have been so conspicuous in
the last canvass. I expect to see him call to his council board, cool,
dispassionate, and conservative men; not men who are driven to the
verge of insanity upon this question of slavery.

What next? The Baltimore Convention was held. The tragedy was
consummated; the contest was ended. The mere scuffle to secure the
control of the Convention which ended in its division, has brought the
country into all its present difficulties. If that Convention had
presented to the people a good conservative Democrat, there were
seventy-five thousand good old line Whigs who would have buckled on
their armor and would have won the battle for him.

When the Southern papers began to threaten disunion because LINCOLN
did not suit the South, I was not one who abused or denounced them. I
knew the temper of some of the politicians in the free States. I knew
the action of the South was not impulsive. I knew there was a reason
for it. They said their capital was to be rendered worthless--their
property to be destroyed, and their country made desolate. God forbid
that I should chide them for thinking so!

The Northern mind is in some respects very different from the
Southern. It is not started by slight scratches, but strike the rowel
deep, and there is a purpose in it that nothing can conquer or
restrain. The people of the North will carry that purpose into
execution, with a power as fierce as that of the maddest chivalry of
South Carolina. The rowel _was_ struck deep and the consequences were
not considered.

Subjects have been introduced into this discussion which I should have
been glad to have avoided, which it would have been better every way
to have avoided. The gentleman from Virginia has referred to the JOHN
BROWN invasion. That is one of those subjects. He spoke of the feeling
at the North regarding insurrections. I assure you that the North
regarded the invader in that case as a foe in your homes--uncurbed and
unrestrained--a terrible enemy. I would say to the gentleman from
Virginia, that although too many instances among extreme men may have
been found of attempts to justify that invasion, such was not the
general feeling at the North. Those instances were rare exceptions;
and because they were so few and so exceptional, acquired a degree of
notoriety and received a degree of attention to which they were never
entitled. Such instances as these have always served to prejudice the
South improperly against the North. Men are too much given to forming
opinions of us from the intemperate acts of a few meddling men.

How do we stand at the present moment in this respect. You will find a
few men among us, even now, rash enough to say, "Let these Southern
slaveholders go. The 'nigger' will rise upon them and cut their
throats!" The action of such men, I admit, gives some color and
justification to your charges and prejudices against the whole
Northern people.

I agree with you, gentlemen, that this is now a question of peace or
war. I believe it to be so from my very soul. The North has been much
to blame in bringing it upon us. What has been the language used at
the North? Men have used such expressions as this, "The South secede?
Why, you can't kick out the South." And men who knew no better
believed the statement to be true. I appeal to northern men to say
whether this has not been so. I myself thought four States would go,
but I believed secession would stop there. We had more to hope from
Louisiana than from any other Gulf State. She has gone, and has now
taken up a most offensive and threatening position. Virginia to-day is
in more danger of immediate secession than Louisiana was a few short
months ago.

My friend from New Jersey says that if this Convention does not
prevent it, there must be war. I agree with him. War! what a fearful
alternative to contemplate? War is a fearful calamity at best,
sometimes necessary I admit, but always terrible. It cannot come to
this country without a fearful expenditure of blood and treasure. It
will leave us, if it leaves us a nation at all, with an awful legacy
of widows' tears--of the blighted hopes of orphans--with a catalogue
of suffering, misery, and woe, too long to be enumerated and too
painful to be contemplated. For God's sake! let such a fate be averted
at any cost, from the country. If it comes at all, it will be such a
war as the world never saw. War is commonly, and almost universally,
between nations foreign to each other--whose individuals are strangers
to each other, and whose interests are widely separated. But we are a
nation of brothers, of a common ancestry, and bound together by a
thousand memories of the past--a thousand ties of interest and blood.
It will be a war between brothers--between you who come to us in
summer, and we who visit you in winter. It will be a war between those
who have been connected in business--associated in pleasures, and who
have met as brothers in the halls of legislation and the marts of
commerce. Save us from such a war! Let not the mad anger of such a
people be aroused. And, gentlemen, if war comes it must be long and
terrible. You will see both parties rise in their majesty at both ends
of the line. They will slough off every other consideration and devote
themselves, with terrible energy, to the work of death. Oh ye! who
bring such a calamity as this upon this once happy country! Pause,
gentlemen, before you do it, and think of the fearful accountability
that awaits you in time and in eternity.

But I am here to answer for the State of New York; the Empire State
and the people of the Empire State. I have never been classed with the
rash men of that State who have aided in bringing about this condition
of things. I will not be classed with those who now thrust themselves
between the Empire State and those glorious propositions of your
committee. They are in the smallest possible majority even in our
delegation. All I ask is, that we may have the judgment of the people
upon these propositions, and I will be answerable for the rest; and
these gentlemen who rely upon the fifty thousand (50,000) majority of
last November, will have a fearful waiting for of judgment. Fifty
thousand majority! Who does not know how that majority was made up? It
was not a majority upon the question of slavery at all. It came in
this wise: The opposite party was divided and distracted. The
Republican party united all sorts of discordant elements; men voted
for Mr. LINCOLN from a great variety of motives. Some, because they
wanted the Homestead law; some because they wanted a change in the
Tariff; and, gentlemen, let me assure you, there were more men who
voted for Mr. LINCOLN--solely on account of the Tariff--than would
have made up this fifty thousand majority. I know the people of New
York, and I know I can answer for them when I say, Give us these fair
and noble propositions and we will accept them with an unanimity that
will gratefully surprise the nation.

How does the nation stand to-day? Look at Kansas! She is a State and
yet in beggary. She is stretching out her hands to us for relief. We
have relieved her for the time, but she will need more aid again. The
whole country is excited and agitated. The press, North and South, is
full of misrepresentation and vituperation. Sections are arrayed
against each other. Men fear to trust each other. The very air is full
of anxiety and apprehension. Such, gentlemen, is the miserable
condition of the country. The nation is in great peril. Its interests,
its institutions, its property, are all in great and common peril.
Paralysis has seized upon the whole country. In vain now shall we
argue about causes. The effect is upon us. Business is stagnated.
Those who have capital do not dare to move it. But we here must do
something. Mr. LINCOLN is coming, and all along the route the people
are doing him honor. But that triumphal march is insignificant
compared with the anxiety felt throughout the country that this
Convention should agree upon some plan that will save the Government
and the Union.

In one thing, under other circumstances, I would agree with the
gentleman (Mr. BOUTWELL) from Massachusetts. Had the border States
elected their members of Congress, I would wait. But the elections in
the border States are yet to be held. And upon what idea? Why, sir,
upon the idea that their whole interests and their whole property are
in danger. Aspiring and dangerous men will go before an excited people
full of anxiety and uncertainty for the future, and by them be elected
instead of the sound, wise, and conservative gentlemen usually
selected to represent those States. Those elections would be a mad
scene of aspersion and vituperation. I cannot, I will not trust them.
Rather give me in those States the glorious results of years gone by.

I say, and I am proud to declare here, that I had no association with
the dominant party in the old Empire State at the last election. I
struck every other name from the ticket, except those who voted for
Bell and Everett. Glorious names! which received the triumphant
endorsement of the mother of Presidents--the grand old commonwealth of
Virginia.

Sometimes I meet with men who tell me what is going to be done. They
talk of retaking forts now held by seceded States by force, of
restoring things to their former condition, as they would about
sending a vessel for a cargo of oranges to Havana. But they forget
that the next administration, like the philosopher who would move the
world with a lever, has no holding spot--no place whereon to stand. It
is one thing to hold a fort where you have it, but quite another thing
to take it when held by the enemy.

Who can magnify the importance of this Conference to all the nation?
It is the most important ever held in this country. It holds the key
of peace or war. The eyes of the whole people are turned hopefully
upon it. By every consideration that should move a patriot, let us
agree. Let us act for the salvation of our common country. I came here
very unexpectedly to myself. Long withdrawn from political circles,
living in comparative retirement, at peace with the world and myself,
I would have preferred to remain there; but when I heard of my
appointment as a delegate to this Conference, I felt it my duty to
come here and say these few things to you.

And now let me close by again assuring you, that if all you ask of New
York is the adoption of the propositions which I heard here yesterday
as the propositions of a majority of your committee, New York will do
you justice. She will answer "YES" by a most triumphant majority--a
majority compared with which any heretofore given will seem
insignificant! I will occupy time no farther. There is much which I
would add, but this is a time for action and not for words.

Mr. RUFFIN:--There are few members of this Conference who attend its
sessions with greater interest than myself. I presume that we have
come together influenced by various considerations. There are some, I
have no doubt, who do not desire the preservation of the Union--who do
not care for the safety of the Government which our fathers founded.
They may not avow their purposes, they may even conceal them under
specious words, but their purpose will be disclosed when we see them
arrayed against all projects of settlement--all measures to quiet the
existing excitement. Others may think there is no necessity for any
action at all, may think so honestly. But let me assure them they are
mistaken--sadly mistaken.

Now, I do not care what motives influence others. It is of no
consequence to me what their designs or purposes may be, I have no
concealment and no deception. I came here for a purpose which I openly
and distinctly avow. I proclaim it here and everywhere. I will labor
to carry it into execution with all the strength and ability which my
advanced years and enfeebled health have left me. _I came to maintain
and preserve this glorious Government! I came here for Union and
peace!_ (Applause.)

My health is such that if I could avoid it, I would not mingle in this
discussion. I would not say one word, if I did not know perfectly well
that life or death to my part of the country was involved in the
action of this Conference. If gentlemen felt as deeply as I do,
they would deprecate as I do the introduction of party or politics
into this discussion, or the slightest reference to them. Of what
importance is party, compared with the great questions involved here?
Parties or men may go up or down, and yet our country is safe. But
such Conferences as this, in such emergencies as the present, must
act, if our country is to be saved. Let us discard politics and
party--let us be brethren and friends.

A gentlemen asked yesterday whether the Convention would have been
called, if a Democrat had been elected President. Certainly not. But
considerations of a party character would not have prevented it. The
true necessity that called us here, is that a President has been
elected by a large majority, and a new and strong party is coming into
power, which our people believe entertain views and designs hostile to
our institutions. Do not understand me as charging the fact upon the
new Government. Perhaps I might say that I do not believe it myself.

But that will not answer. Our people are agitated and excited, and we
have come here to tell you all, with sorrow in our hearts, that if you
will not do something to restore a confidence that is shaken, we are
ruined, and we must see this noble Government go down.

We ask you for new constitutional guarantees; and what are the
propositions we make? Is there any thing in them which you cannot
grant? Is there any thing which it would be dishonorable for you to
yield? You reply to us, that you will consent to call a convention to
discuss and adjust matters. That will not do. We must act on the
existing state of facts. Seven States are already in rebellion--in
revolution! I don't care which you call it; either word is bad enough.
Tennessee and North Carolina already form fourteen hundred miles of
what is virtually a frontier. We are now the border States; we are to
be the theatre of war, if it comes. The slave property we speak of
will be in still greater peril than it is now. Now think of these
things, and tell us whether we can wait for all this complicated
machinery of a convention to be put into operation. At the very
shortest, it will take three or four years to accomplish any thing.

But my friend from Massachusetts says he does not wish to do any thing
at all; that the North is under duress, and her people would despise
themselves if they acted under duress. No! no! This is not true in any
sense. We respect the people of the North too much to attempt to drive
them, or to secure what we need by threats or intimidation. We want
the aid of the people of Massachusetts, and we will appeal to their
sense of right and justice.

I believe that these propositions, if adopted, will not only satisfy
and quiet the loyal States of the South, but that they will bring back
the seven States which have gone out. I must be frank and outspoken
here. We cannot answer for these States. We cannot say whether they
will be satisfied. But we can even stand their absence. We can get on
without them, if you will give us what will quiet our people, and what
at the same time will not injure you.

Gentlemen, we of North Carolina are not hostile to you; we are your
friends--brothers in a common cause--citizens of a common country. We
are loyal to our country and to our Constitution. We lose both of
them, unless you will aid us now.

As for me, I am an old man. My heart is very full when I look upon the
present unhappy and distracted condition of our affairs. I was born
before the present Constitution was adopted. May God grant that I do
not outlive it. I cannot address you on this subject without
manifesting a feeling which fills my heart. Let me assure you, in
terms as strong as I can make them, that we cannot stand as we are;
that unless you will do something for us, our people will be drawn
into that mad career of open defiance, which is now opening so widely
against the Government. All I ask of you is to let these propositions
go to the people--to submit them at once to their conventions, and not
wait the action of the Legislatures of all the States. We want the
popular voice--the decision of the people, and the whole people; and
if it is to avail us at all, we must have it at once and speedily.

Mr. NOYES:--I did not design to trespass upon the time of the
Conference at this stage of the debate. But statements have been made
upon this floor to-day which I cannot permit for a single hour to
remain unanswered. I should be recreant to my conscience, and
especially to my State, if I did not answer them here and now.

I came here for peace, prepared to do that justice to every section of
the Union which would secure peace--prepared to go to the farthest
limit which propriety and principle, and my obligations to the
Constitution, would permit me, to satisfy our southern friends. I did
not wish to commit myself to any thing, until I had patiently seen and
heard all that was to be said and proposed. Even now I regret that
this incidental discussion upon a subject entirely collateral has
arisen. How thoroughly it shows the idleness and folly of attempting
to limit, or trammel, or hamper discussion upon the general questions
which are presented for our action!

Sir, I speak for New York! Not New York of a time gone by! Not New
York of an old fossiliferous era, remembered only in some chapter of
her ancient history, but young, breathing, living New York, as she
exists to-day. Full of enterprise, patriotism, energy--her living
self, with her four millions of people, among whom there is scarcely
to be found a heart not beating with loyalty to the Constitution and
the Government.

In behalf of that New York, the one and only one alive now, I propose
to reply to some of the statements made here by one of her
representatives.

In the name of the popular voice of that State, recently uttered in
tones that I supposed any one could understand, I tell you, gentlemen
of this Convention, beware of false prophets. _This day_, the
Scripture is fulfilled among you. [Pointing to Mr. GRANGER.] "A
prophet is not without honor save in his own country, and in his own
house!"

New York must stand upon this floor, and upon every other floor, as
the peer of every other State. Her representatives must have the same
rights as any other--and they must be treated like any other. If, in
her judgment, New York ought not to give her assent to these
propositions, that assent shall not be given; it can never be secured
by threats or intimidations. She must have the same rights as any
other State, certainly the same rights as New Jersey.

Mr. STOCKTON:--I am sure the gentleman is mistaken; I said nothing
intended as a threat or an intimidation.

Mr. NOYES:--Well, let me say it once for all, New York will yield
nothing to intimidation.

Now, what is the question which has led to this most extraordinary
discussion? It is simply whether debate shall be hampered, or
practically cut off, by short limitations as to time, after one
section has had an opportunity of expressing its views.

Virginia has called this Conference together. We thought she had no
right to do so, and that no possible good could come from her doing
it. But we waived all considerations of that kind, and upon her
invitation we came here.

She asks us to consider new and important amendments to the
Constitution, alterations of our fundamental law; and in the same
breath we are told that we must not discuss them--that we must take
them as they are offered to us, without change or alteration.

We take time to make treaties. We do not even enter into private
contracts without taking time for consideration and reflection. We
have been here a little more than a week. The greater part of that
time has been occupied by the committee in preparing these
propositions. The discussion has scarcely commenced. I submit to the
Conference, is it kind, is it generous, is it proper to stop here? Is
it _best_ to do so?

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--The gentleman seems to think my resolution was aimed
at the delegation from New York. That is not true in any sense. I did
not wish to cut off debate at all. I thought we might economize time
and still have debate enough to satisfy everybody.

Mr. NOYES:--I believe I perfectly understand your proposition.

Mr. CHASE:--I have agreed to support the resolution, and must adhere
to my agreement.

Mr. NOYES:--Personally I might be in favor of the adoption of the
half-hour rule, for I think I could say all I desire to say in
relation to these propositions within that time. I have certainly no
desire that this discussion should be unreasonably protracted. But
such limitations are always embarrassing. Other gentlemen do not wish
to have them imposed. Mr. FIELD objects to them; and if gentlemen
really think they need more time, I think it ungenerous not to yield
to their wishes. And I insist that such a course is least calculated
to promote conciliation. The more free and full you make this
discussion, the more will your results find favor elsewhere. It has
been my belief from the beginning, that by careful comparison of our
views, by a discussion of all our points of difference, we should, in
the end, come to an agreement. I had hoped that such sentiments would
have universally prevailed, and that no desire would be shown to force
the action of any delegation. I am willing to say for myself that if
the thirty minute rule be adopted I will give way at once.

But I must proceed to notice some statements which have been urged
here as reasons why we must adopt--

Mr. FIELD:--Will my colleague yield to me for one moment? I have a
communication to make which I think will make every lover of his
country in this Conference rejoice. It is news from a slaveholding
State. It shows that her heart beats true to the Union.

Missouri has just elected delegates to a convention to consider the
questions now agitating the Country. I hold in my hands a telegram,
stating that a very large proportion of the delegates elected are
_true Union men_.

The PRESIDENT:--I will assume it to be the pleasure of the Conference
that the telegram be read.

Mr. FIELD then read the telegram announcing that Union delegates to
the Convention in Missouri had been elected by heavy majorities. The
announcement was received with much applause.

Mr. NOYES:--This news is indeed cheering. It is an additional evidence
of the depth to which love for our country has struck into the hearts
of its people--another inducement to make us agree--another reason why
we should not be led off upon false issues.

The Constitution has provided the only proper way in which amendments
may be made to it. If these methods are followed, amendments will be
thoroughly discussed and considered, and they will not be adopted
unless the interests of the nation shall be found to require their
adoption.

The State of Virginia seeks to precipitate action; to secure these
vital changes in our fundamental law in a manner unknown to it, and in
a manner which, in my judgment, it is not advisable to adopt. I make
no complaint of Virginia. It is the right and privilege of any State
to make such a request, but it is none the less unconstitutional.

Shall we be told that Virginia cannot wait, that her people are so
impatient that they will not give the country time to consider these
important changes in its form of Government? Why should there be such
indecent haste? Why not wait a week--month, and even six months, if
that time is necessary? Be assured, gentlemen, that no substantial
alteration of the fundamental law of this Government will ever be made
until it has been discussed and considered by the Press and the people
in all its details. The thing is impossible!

I have a few words to say for New York, as I said in the
commencement--for the New York of the present day. Where, I ask, is
the gentleman's (Mr. GRANGER) warrant of attorney to speak for the
people of that State? Where is the evidence upon which he founds the
assertion which he makes on this floor that New York will adopt the
propositions to which he refers? Let me assure you, gentlemen, that
the political principles of the people of New York do not sit thus
lightly upon their consciences. They gave a heavy republican majority
at the last Presidential election, not because they were carried away
upon collateral issues, but because the principles of the Chicago
Platform met their approval--because they thought the time had come
when the destinies of this nation should no longer be left in the
hands of men who would use them only to promote the interests of one
section of the Union. Do not mistake, sir, the effect of that great
demonstration! The people of New York were in earnest; they went into
the election with a strong, determined purpose, and it is too late now
to misconstrue or misunderstand that purpose. They were not influenced
by collateral issues. Their action was upon the great principles
involved. They believed that the platform of the Republican party
embodied the true principles upon which the Government should be
conducted, and they said so. You will find that their minds are to-day
unchanged.

But the gentleman says, the result of recent elections shows that a
change in their minds has taken place; that it indicates a strong wish
on their part for conciliation and peace. Sir, I deny that such a
change has taken place. There may have been slight changes in a few
cities where the whole power and strength of the Democratic party has
been put forth. But the country, upon the great issues before it, is
unchanged. The county of St. Lawrence has just elected every
Republican candidate for supervisor. In other counties, nearly the
same unanimity prevails. The great heart of the country is still loyal
and Republican.

And, sir, these threats of dissolution will all react against you.
They operated in the Presidential election only in one way. I have no
doubt that these threats gave Mr. LINCOLN five thousand votes in New
York City alone. The people are sick of them. They know that if they
once yielded to them, they would be forced to do so again. They do not
like these insinuations against the Government involved in the
propositions made here. If you wish them to be considered favorably by
the people of New York, you must send them out free from all suspicion
of duress or intimidation; you must permit them to be examined,
discussed, and dissected here, by the representatives of New York and
of every other State. I am opposed decidedly to cutting off or
limiting these discussions. Let all parties be heard; give them time,
and time enough, to deliberate, and the result will be peace and
harmony to the country.

Mr. RIVES:--I rise for the purpose of answering some of the
observations of the gentleman from New York; and first of all I wish
to say a word about the motives and purposes of Virginia in calling
this Convention. She has called this Convention together because she
believed it would exert a powerful influence for the safety and honor
of the country, and the perpetuity of its institutions. She is met _in
limine_ with the reproach that her action is unconstitutional. How
unconstitutional?

Is not our Government based upon the sovereignty of the people? Is not
that the idea upon which this Government rests? And when the people
act, are they to be told that their action is unconstitutional or
improper? Cannot Virginia and her people, acting through their
representatives, suggest the means of amendment or improvement in our
Constitution to Congress?--the Congress which represents the people,
and whose members are servants only of the people? Can she not call
together a convention of this kind and suggest measures to be
considered by it for the purpose of saving an imperilled country?
Virginia knew well that this was to be an advisory Conference merely.
She invited commissioners from all the States to come here and present
their views, to compare and discuss them, to devise measures for the
benefit of the country, in the same way that any assemblage of the
people may lawfully do. Has the gentleman looked into the history of
our present Constitution? Virginia did the same thing previous to the
adoption of that Constitution, which she is doing now.

Some State must invite a Conference, if one is to be had. If it was
proper that Virginia should do it before the adoption of our present
Constitution, it is eminently proper that she should do it now. There
are occasions, sir, in the history of nations, when men should rise
far above the rules of special pleading. This is one of them. Let the
gentleman look into the history of the old articles of Confederation;
let him read the debates which arose upon their adoption. Virginia
originated measures then, far more important than any before us now;
and there were gentlemen then, who took the same ground that gentlemen
do now, who sought by the use of dilatory pleas, by interposing
objections, temporary in their nature, to prevent and delay action
upon the great national questions then under consideration. Now, in a
time of great peril, when the whole country is convulsed, when the
existence and perpetuity of the Government is in danger, Virginia has
invoked her sister States to come here and see whether they cannot
devise some method to avoid the danger and save the country.

In the preamble to the first ten articles of Confederation, there is
to be found an express reference to the action of the State
Legislatures in initiating proposals of amendment. Every amendment
that has hitherto been made to our Constitution originated with the
people, and directly or indirectly through the action of State
Legislatures. What purpose can gentlemen have in interposing these
dilatory pleas, objections merely for delay, when we all know that
Congress is now waiting for--actually inviting the action of this
Conference?

Senator COLLAMER, in his speech already referred to, makes the
distinct proposition, that when any considerable portion of the people
(certainly a much smaller portion than is here represented) desire to
have amendments submitted, it is the duty of Congress to propose them,
and to do so without committing that body either for or against them.
Governor CORWIN, also of the Congressional Committee of Thirty-three,
having this subject in charge, is understood to have stated that the
committee desire to consider the propositions which may here be
adopted.

Now, as I said, these dilatory objections were interposed previous to
the adoption of our present Constitution.

Mr. NOYES:--Are we to understand that Virginia then asked for a
General Convention to consider amendments to the Constitution?

Mr. RIVES:--No! The Annapolis Convention met. The invitation under
which that body was convened was addressed to all the States. Five
only responded, and they proposed a General Convention of all the
States, to meet at Philadelphia. Virginia was the first to act and to
appoint her delegates. I repeat, that the same objection was then
urged, that Congress _or_ the States should propose the amendments.
The first Convention was just as unconstitutional as this. The two
cases were perfectly alike. The crisis is infinitely more important
now than it was then. Then, there was no disintegration of the States.
They still held firmly together. How are we now? Seven States are out
of the Union. _The Union is dissolved!_ Virginia loves the Union. She
cherishes all its glorious memories. She is proud of its history and
of her own connection with it. But Virginia has no apprehension as to
her future destiny. She can live in the Union or out of it. She can
stand in her own strength and power if necessary. Her delegates come
here in no spirit of supplication, nor do they propose to offer any
intimidation. She has called you here as brothers, as friends, as
patriots. If the future has suffering in store for Virginia, be
assured all her sister States must suffer equally.

Mr. PRESIDENT, the position of Virginia must be understood and
appreciated. She is just now the neutral ground between two embattled
legions, between two angry, excited, and hostile portions of the
Union. To expect that her people are not to participate in the
excitement by which they are surrounded; to expect that they should
not share in the apprehensions which pervade the country; to expect
that they should not begin to look after the safety of their interests
and their institutions, were to expect something superhuman. Something
must be done to save the country, to allay these apprehensions, to
restore a broken confidence. Virginia steps in to arrest the progress
of the country on its road to ruin. She steps in to save the country.
I am here in part to represent her. I utter no menace; intimidation
would be unworthy of Virginia, but if I perform my duty I must speak
freely. The danger is imminent, _very_ imminent.

Our national affairs cannot longer remain in their present condition;
it is impossible, absolutely impossible that they should. My
Republican friends, will you not take warning? Were there not
pretended prophets of old, who cried, "Peace! Peace! when there was no
peace"? Political prophets to-day say there is no danger. Have their
counsels been wise heretofore? Can you not see that there is danger,
and imminent danger in them, now?

Look, sir, at our position! I mean the position of the loyal South. By
the secession of these States we are reduced to an utterly helpless
minority; a minority of seven or eight States to stand in your
national councils against an united North! It is not in the nature of
the Anglo-Saxon race thus to stand in the face of a dominant and
opposition party. Were the case reversed, you would not do it
yourselves. We cannot hold our rights by mere sufferance, and we will
not; we do not ask you to hold yours in that way. If the other States
had kept on with us--had remained in the Union--we might have secured
our rights in a fair contest. Now other paths are open to us, and one
of these we must follow.

I desire to say a word in answer to the propositions of my honorable
friend from Connecticut. What did he tell us? He said that this was a
self-sustaining Government; a Government that possessed the power of
securing its own perpetuity, and one that must not yield or make
concessions. Sir, let me say that ideas, that principles, that
statements of that kind have led to the downfall of every Government
on earth which has ever fallen. What but ideas and language of this
kind, forced our colonies into rebellion, and lost America to the
British crown?

Sir, I have had some experience in revolutions in another
hemisphere--in revolutions produced by the same causes that are now
operating among us. What causes but these led to the two revolutions
in France? One of them I saw myself, where interest was arrayed
against interest, friend against friend, brother against brother. I
have seen the pavements of Paris covered, and her gutters running with
fraternal blood! God forbid that I should see this horrid picture
repeated in my own country; and yet it will be, sir, if we listen to
the counsels urged here!

It is too late to theorize, too late to differ theoretically. I do not
believe in the constitutional right of secession. I proclaimed _that_,
thirty years ago in Congress. I have always adhered to my opinions
since. But we are not now discussing theories; we are in the presence
of a great fact. The South is in danger; her institutions are in
danger. If other excuses were necessary, she might justify her action
in the eyes of the world upon the ground of self-defence alone.

I condemn the secession of States. I am not here to justify it. I
detest it. But the great fact is still before us. Seven States have
gone out from among us, and a President is actually inaugurated to
govern the new Confederation.

With this fact the nation must deal. Right or wrong, it exists. The
country is divided. Wide dissensions exist. A people have separated
from another people. Force will never bring them together. Coercion is
not a word to be used in this connection. There must be negotiation.
Virginia presents herself as a mediator to bring back those who have
left us.

The border States are not in revolt; and by border States I mean
States on both sides of the border. They are here, and they came here
to unite with you in measures that will reunite the country, and save
it from irredeemable ruin.

There was one observation of the gentleman from Massachusetts that
surprised me. He complained of Virginia for thrusting herself between
the Republican party and its victory. It is not so.

Mr. BOUTWELL:--I said that Massachusetts thought her action had that
appearance.

Mr. RIVES:--Let me say to you, Republican gentlemen, we wish to make
your victory worthy of you. We wish to inaugurate your power and your
administration over the _whole_ Union. We wish to give you a nation
worth governing. Do us at least the justice of supposing we are in
earnest in this. We are laboring to relieve you from the difficulties
that hang over you. War is impending. Do you wish to govern a country
convulsed by civil war? The country is divided. Do you wish to govern
a fraction of the country? Behold the difficulties that you must
encounter. You cannot carry on your Government without money. Where is
the capitalist who will advance you money under existing
circumstances?

Gentlemen, believe me, as one who has given no small amount of time
and careful reflection to this subject, when I tell you that you
cannot coerce sovereign States. It is impossible. Mr. HAMILTON'S great
foresight made him assert that our strength lay in the Government of
the States--of the undivided States. Look at New York. She herself is
a match for the whole army of the United States. Look at the South.
She stands now almost upon an equality with you. You may spend
millions of treasure, you may shed oceans of blood, but you cannot
conquer any five or seven States of this Union. The proposition is an
utter absurdity. You must find some other way to deal with them. In
the wisdom of the country some other way must be found.

Several gentlemen have referred to our army and our navy. As a citizen
of the United States, I am proud of both. I am proud of the country
they serve. I have enjoyed at times her honors, at others endured her
chastisements. I respect the power which our army and our navy give
to our nation, but our army and navy are impotent in such a crisis as
this.

Mr. PRESIDENT, even England herself has been shaken to her centre by
rebellions in her North with which she has been forced to contend. In
Paris, too, I have myself seen regiment after regiment throw down
their arms and rush into the arms of the people, of their
fellow-citizens, and thus oppose, by military strength, the government
under which their organization was formed. Will you repeat such
occurrences here? Will you 'destroy the imperishable renown of this
nation'? No! I answer for you all--you will not. Now, we,
representatives of the South and of Virginia, ask of this Convention,
the only body under heaven that can do it, to interpose and save us
from a repetition of the scenes of blood which some of us have
witnessed.

Our patriotic committee have labored for two weeks--have labored
earnestly and zealously. Their report, though not satisfactory to
Virginia in all respects, will yet receive her sanction, and the
sanction of the border States. The representatives of Virginia know
they are yielding much, when they tell you that they will support
these propositions. We will do it because they will give peace to the
country. Now, sir, when we are just in sight of land, when we are just
entering a safe harbor, shall we turn about and circumnavigate the
ocean to find an unknown shore? No, sir! no! Let us enter the harbor
of safety now opened before us.

Mr. PRESIDENT, I know Massachusetts well. She is a powerful
Commonwealth. She has added largely to the wealth, the power, and
glory of this Union. I respect the gentleman who has addressed this
Convention in her behalf; but when he went out of his way and stated
that he abhorred slavery, the statement grated harshly on my ears. We
of the South, we of Virginia, may not and do not like many of the
institutions of Massachusetts, but we cannot and we will not say that
we abhor them.

Let me recall to the gentleman from Massachusetts who has addressed
us, a fact from history. Let me show him that his own State was
powerful in colonial times in extending the time for the importation
of slaves! Let me tell him that his State has helped to fasten the
institution of slavery upon a portion of this nation. Is it for a son
of Massachusetts now to complain of the result of the acts of his own
State? Is it for him to use these reproaches, which, if not
ungrateful, are at least wanting in charity? It was a representative
of Massachusetts, Mr. GORHAM, through whose motion and influence the
time for the importation of slaves was extended in that period of our
colonial history. Virginia ever, in every period of her colonial
existence, exerted herself to close her ports against the importation
of slaves. It was the veto of her Royal Master alone that rendered her
efforts nugatory. It was New England that fastened this institution
upon us. Shall she reproach us for its existence now?

Mr. BALDWIN:--At the time of the adoption of our present Constitution,
it was well understood that Georgia and South Carolina would not enter
the Union without slavery. The only question then was, should slavery
have an existence inside the Union or out of it.

Mr. RIVES:--No, sir! The gentleman is mistaken. In the Constitution,
as first proposed to the Convention, an unlimited right was given to
import slaves. Mr. ELLSWORTH declared that it would be an infraction
of _State rights_ to prohibit this importation. New England, engaged
in commerce, found an advantage in the right of importation, and she
endeavored to force it upon the South.

I regard the present course of New England as very unfair. She is
herself responsible for the existence of slavery--she is now our
fiercest opponent; and yet New Jersey and Pennsylvania, who have not
this responsibility, have always stood by the South, and I believe
they always will.

It is not by _abhorring_ slavery that you can put an end to the
institution. You must let it alone. We are responsible for it now, and
we are willing to stand responsible for it before the world. We
understand the subject better than you do. It has occupied the
attention of the wisest men of our time. In fact, it is not a question
of slavery at all. It is a question of race. We know that the very
best position for the African race to occupy is one of unmitigated
legal subjection. We have the negroes with us; you have not. We must
deal with them as our experience and wisdom dictate; with that you
have nothing to do. The gentleman from Massachusetts may congratulate
himself that there are no negroes in that Commonwealth. I ask him what
he would do, if he had the race to deal with in Massachusetts as we
have it in Virginia?

I said, twenty years ago, in the Senate of the United States, and my
whole experience since having confirmed the truth of the statement I
repeat it now, that candid minds cannot differ upon this proposition,
that the present position of the negroes of the United States is the
best one they could occupy, both for the superior and inferior race.

And to the people of New England I have this to say: Your ancestors
were most powerful and influential in fastening slavery upon us. You
are the very last who ought to reproach us for its existence now. We
do not indulge reproaches toward you. It is unpleasant for us to
receive them from you. Their use by either can only serve to widen the
unhappy differences existing between us. Let us all drop them, and, so
far as we can, let us close up every avenue through which dissensions
may come. We call upon you to make no sacrifices for us. It will cost
you nothing to yield what we ask. Say, and let it be said in the
Constitution, that you will not interfere with slavery in the
District, or in the States, or in the Territories. Permit the free
transit of our slaves from one State to another, and in the language
of the patriarch, "let there be peace between you and me."

Let us all agree that there shall be landmarks between us; the same
which our fathers erected. Let us say that they shall never be
removed. I think upon this point I can cite an authority that will
command universal respect. I discovered it in my researches into the
history of the very Constitution we are now considering.

Mr. RIVES here read an extract from a letter written by Mr. MADISON
after his retirement from public life. I have not a copy of this
letter, but the substance of the portion read by Mr. RIVES was a
statement by Mr. MADISON, that upon the passage of the Missouri
Compromise, President MONROE was much embarrassed with the question of
the constitutionality of the prohibition clause; that he took counsel
with Mr. MARTIN, who declared that, in his judgment, Congress had no
power over the subject of slavery in the territories.

Mr. JAMES:--Will you leave that question just where the Constitution
leaves it, upon your construction of that instrument? If so, we will
agree to give you all necessary guarantees against interference.

Mr. RIVES:--No! I will not leave it there, for it would always remain
a question of construction. I prefer to put the prohibition into the
Constitution.

The gentleman from Massachusetts speaks for the North. Massachusetts
does not constitute the North. I venerate the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts. I have many friends there. I look with pride upon her
connection with the Revolution; upon her public men, her manufactures,
her public institutions. Her people who have accomplished so much,
will not turn a deaf ear to our wants now. We wish to go to her people
and obtain their judgment upon our propositions. But Massachusetts is
not all the North. Rhode Island constitutes a part of it. She has
always spoken for us. She will speak for us to-day. What does New
Jersey say? What does the great State of Pennsylvania and the greater
Northwest say? Surely they do not echo the sentiments of the gentleman
from Massachusetts. They are with us, and we will trust to them.

I dislike this way of answering for sections of the country. I have
heard similar language from Mr. CALHOUN. He was fond of saying, "The
South says--The South thinks--The South will do," this or that. I did
not like it then. It stirred up all the rebellious sentiments of my
nature; for I knew the statement was not true. I do not like such
language better now. Let the _people_ of Massachusetts speak. I know
they will not refuse to fulfil the compact of their fathers.

We are brothers. I feel we can settle this important question which
portends over us like an eclipse; we can leave this glorious country
to our posterity. Once more let me refer to the noble and eloquent
counsels of MADISON, and I am done. As children of the same family, as
fellow-citizens of a great, glorious, and proud Republic, he invoked
the kindred blood of our people to consecrate our common Union, and to
banish forever the thought of our becoming aliens.

Mr. EWING:--I have never in any manner countenanced the discussions of
slavery and the questions connected with it, at the North. I have
always, so far as possible, discouraged those discussions. No good can
possibly come from them. Is the North the _censor morum_ of the
South? We have faults enough ourselves; let us consider and try to
correct them, before we interest ourselves so much in those of our
neighbors.

If there was any danger that slavery would be extended at the North, I
would oppose its extension there, and I would teach my sons to oppose
it. But this danger has never existed. Does any one fear that slavery
will go into New York or Massachusetts? No sane man thinks or ever
thought so.

But it exists, and we must deal with it as it is. As one northern man,
I do not want the negroes distributed throughout the North. We have
got enough of them now. I have watched the operation of this
emigration of slaves to the North. Ten negroes will commit more petty
thefts than one thousand white men. We cannot permit them to come into
Ohio. Wherever they have been permitted to come, it has almost cost us
a rebellion. Before we begin to preach abolition I think we had better
see what is to be done with the negroes.

Thirty years ago the subject of abolishing slavery was agitated in
Virginia. Some of the most eloquent speeches were made in favor of the
abolition movement that I ever read. The act providing for gradual
abolition, was, I believe, lost by a single vote. I thought then that
the result was an unfortunate one. But there is something to be said
on both sides of the question. Had the act passed, the negroes would
have been sent South, and we should have had plantation slavery,
instead of the humane form which now exists in Virginia. But Virginia
would have had one great, one powerful advantage. Her power would have
increased tenfold. Free labor would have come in to take the place of
slave labor, and the banks of the Potomac and the James would have
blossomed as the rose.

The North has taken the business of abolition into its own hands, and
from the day she did so, we hear no more of abolition in Virginia.
This was but the natural effect of the cause. Now, we can never coerce
the Southern States into abolitionism. It is not the way to convert
them to our views by saying that we _abhor_ their institutions. But
these northern men will not listen to reason. They keep on making
eloquent speeches--their pulpits thunder against the sin of
slaveholding. All grades of speech and thought are made use of, and
the sickening sentimentalism of some of them is disgusting. They
repeat poetry. They say:

     "I would not have a slave to till my ground,
     To watch me when I wake--to fan me when I sleep;"

and much more of the same stuff!

In this way false ideas are inculcated throughout the North. The whole
scheme is full of falsehood. It would be far better for each man to
look for the beam in his own eyes before he troubles himself about the
mote in his neighbor's.

England, also, has been very fierce in denouncing slavery in this
country, and yet we have no slavery or misery to be compared with that
existing in the India provinces. It is said that in a single season
two hundred thousand of her subjects were starved to death in one
province of Hindostan.

I might say the same thing almost of Ireland. Two millions have died
there from famine, and God knows how many more would have perished but
for the relief sent from this country. I say, and I have abundant
reason for saying, that I never have, and I never will, favor any of
these denunciations of southern slaveholders and slavery.

Let us rather look at this subject as members of a common family--let
us acknowledge our mutual faults. The slave trade was once fostered by
the North. That was when it was profitable, and when large fortunes
were made in that trade by northern men. When it became unprofitable
the North began to denounce it, and to call it sinful. Now, we
fastened this institution upon the South, cannot we permit her to deal
with it as she chooses?

I do not say that there is a necessary conflict between the white and
the black races, but I assert that they cannot unite--that they cannot
occupy the same country upon an equality. Our free laborers of the
North will not work with slaves or with blacks. I have had experience
in this matter, and I know I am right. The only way we can do, is to
divide the common territory--divide it fairly, honestly.

Suppose there were two sons who succeeded to a joint inheritance of
lands. One says to the other, "Your family is not so moral as mine,
therefore your sons shall have none of the lands." Would this be right
or honest? Would any one attempt to justify it? And yet this is what
extreme men of the North are practically saying to the citizens of the
South.

The Missouri Compromise was intended to settle the rights of the
respective sections in the territories. The line adopted was not
unfair to the North. The same line will answer now. I am for adopting
it and arranging this difficult subject finally.

But one and another says, "Don't let us extend slavery." To that I
answer, that our action will not make one slave more or less. There is
no question of humanity involved in our propositions. I cannot see
what question is involved so far as the North is concerned. We need no
more territory. We do not want New Mexico. We have territory enough
now for one hundred and fifty millions of people, and enough for the
expansion of our people for one hundred and fifty years.

If gentlemen are found here who wish to make trouble, who cannot see
the peril we are in, and how easily we can avoid the danger which
threatens us, I shall be much pained, but not half so much as I shall
be, to see this Union broken up and the Government destroyed.

I was surprised to hear the assertion of the gentleman from
Connecticut, that this was an unconstitutional assembly. I hear to-day
the statement made that it is a revolutionary assembly. If these
assertions were true I would not be a member of it for one moment. If
revolutionary, it is either treasonable or seditious. But it is
neither. These gentlemen forget the constitutional right of petition.
We have the right to meet here. We have the right to do just what we
are proposing to do, and the right is to be found in the Constitution.

I am surprised, too, at the assertion, that there is a wish here to
limit or cut off debate--that this resolution would cut off New York.
Would it not cut off Ohio? I have no intention of depriving any
gentleman or any State of any right. I do not believe such an
intention exists in the Conference.

Mr. MORRILL:--In my judgment many subjects have been considered here,
and many things said to the North especially, that are superfluous,
and much more that is useless. I have listened to the gentleman from
Ohio and to some gentlemen who have preceded him. They have all
referred, in terms which I do not choose to characterize, to the
action and the opinions of the North.

The gentleman from Ohio refers in strong terms to what he calls the
sentimentalism of the North. He has recited poetry which he says is
popular there.

Now, once for all, let me ask those gentlemen who are proposing
various methods of settling our differences: Do you propose to make
war upon the _sentiments_, the _principles_ of the North? If you do,
we may as well drop the discussion here. Our people, and we, their
representatives, cannot meet you upon that ground. Our principles
cannot be interfered with; we carry them with us always. Our
consciences approve them. We can negotiate with you, and treat with
you upon subjects which do not involve their sacrifice. If it is your
purpose to attack them, you may abandon all other purposes so far as
this body is concerned. The people of the North will never sacrifice
their principles. It is useless for you to ask them to do so. It is
entirely useless for you to urge war upon the sentiments or opinions
of the North.

Again; let me tell you there is no disloyalty in the free States. The
word dissolution has not been thought of there during the last half
century. In all your discussions, in all your action, remember that we
are loyal to the Constitution and the Union.

Strong appeals are made here to the free States. You call them by the
general name of the Northern States. Gentlemen undertake to pledge
different sections to this or that policy. We are told that New
York--that Massachusetts--that Pennsylvania will adopt or will not
adopt various propositions that are made here.

Sir, in my judgment all such questions are unworthy of our
consideration. We spend time to little purpose upon them. The true
question here is, "What will Virginia do? How does Virginia stand?"
She to-day holds the keys of peace or war. She stands in the gateway
threatening the progress of the Government in its attempts to assert
its legal authority. Evade it as you may--cover it as you will--the
true question is, "What will Virginia do?" She undertakes to dictate
the terms upon which the Union is to be preserved. What will satisfy
her?

Mr. CLAY:--Has not Virginia spoken? Has she not already told us what
she wants?

Mr. MORRILL:--I am coming to that point very soon. I assert again that
Virginia must not be misunderstood in this matter.

The peril of the time is _Secession_. Six States are already in
revolution. A distinct confederacy, a new government, has been
organized within the limits of the United States.

Does Virginia to-day, frown upon this atrocious proceeding? No! so far
from that she affirms that these States have a right to do what they
have done. She boasts that she has armed her people, that she has
raised five millions of money, and that she will use both to prevent
the interference of the National Government with these States, now in
revolution. Whether her course will conciliate the free
States--whether under such circumstances the free States will
negotiate with Virginia or others in her position, I leave for others
to consider. It is my opinion that the people of this country will
first of all _demand the recognition of the supremacy of the
Government_.

Mr. RUFFIN:--No! I do not understand such to be the position of
Virginia. She appeals to both sides to refrain from violence while
these negotiations are pending.

Mr. SEDDON:--No! A little farther than that. Virginia _will not permit
coercion_. She has plainly declared she will not. But in the very
highest spirit of patriotism, she has asked for this Convention, and
she proposes to exhaust the very last means of restoring peace to the
Union. This is exactly her position. She hopes, and I hope, that this
Convention will interpose to preserve the peace and to save this
country from war.

Mr. MORRILL:--I thought I did not misunderstand the position of
Virginia. She is armed to the teeth, and she now proposes to step in
between the Government and the States. I understand her attitude. It
is an attitude of menace. It gives aid and comfort to those who
trample upon the laws and defy the authority of this Government.

No action of the Conference can be consummated for months: I might
almost say for years. Any propositions we may make must go to the
people. They must and will take time for consideration. Endeavor to
force their action and you will secure the rejection of the terms
proposed. While the people are acting you will have a Government and
it must operate. It must operate not upon a section only, but upon the
whole country. During this time, does Virginia propose to maintain the
position she has assumed? To prevent by force of arms the execution of
the laws of the Union in the seceded States? Yes, and we are told that
her position is one exhibiting the highest patriotism. In my judgment
her position is one of menace, and not of pacification. If I rightly
understand her, nothing that is here proposed to be done will satisfy
her even if adopted.

And now I wish to ask the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. SEDDON) a plain
question, and I wish to receive a frank answer. If this Conference
agrees to the amendments proposed by the majority of the committee,
will Virginia sustain the Government and maintain its integrity, while
the people are considering and acting on the new proposals of
amendment to the Constitution? If she will not do this, if this
proposition does not meet the heart of Virginia, there is no use--

Mr. SEDDON:--I can let Virginia speak for herself. She has spoken for
herself in most emphatic language. She has told you what will satisfy
her in the resolutions under which this body is convened. I have no
right whatever to suppose that she will accept less. She is solemnly
pledged to resist coercion. She will resist it to the very last
extremity. She arrived at that conclusion after grave deliberation,
and it was attended with every manifestation of concurrence on the
part of the people. I have no reason to suppose there was any
hesitation at the time, or that there has been any change since, or
that there is any hesitation in her purpose now.

Now, if the gentleman wants my private opinion, I will tell him that
whether the propositions of the majority of the committee or her own
be adopted here, or by the people, the purpose of Virginia to resist
coercion is _unchanged_ and _unchangeable_.

Mr. HITCHCOCK:--I rise to a point of order. It appears to me that this
discussion is very foreign to the subject before the Conference. It is
so long since that subject has been named, that many have doubtless
forgotten it. The question is upon the adoption of the resolution
limiting the debate. I think we had better keep to the question.

The PRESIDENT:--The gentleman is undoubtedly correct in his statement
of the question, but the discussion of the general subject has been
permitted to go on without objection by the Convention, and I do not
think it would be right to stop it now.

Mr. SEDDON:--I said the position of Virginia was unchanged. She
considers this a Government of love and not of force. She thinks there
should be no force or coercion used toward any sovereign State acting
in its collective capacity. She does not propose to permit such
coercion to be used.

And now, having answered the gentleman frankly, as he desired, I wish
to ask him a question, and I wish also an explicit and frank answer.
My question is this: Is it the purpose or is it the policy of the
incoming administration to attempt to execute the laws of the United
States in the seceded States by an armed force? The answer to this
question involves information of the utmost importance to my State and
others whose interests are involved with hers. It should be at once
communicated, and especially to my part of the country. I now ask the
gentleman, if he knows what the purpose of the incoming administration
is in this respect, to state it here, and now. His relations to some
of the officers elected will entitle his opinions to grave
consideration. I invite a full and frank answer to my question.

Mr. MORRILL:--There is a point in the gentleman's answer which may as
well be met, but I will not be diverted from the question I was
discussing. I will show him in a moment why I cannot answer his
inquiry from any personal knowledge of my own.

Sir, I was endeavoring to ascertain what was the present position of
Virginia; to find out what she would accept and be contented. I wanted
her to speak emphatically. She has done so. I now understand from Mr.
SEDDON, that he has no assurances to give that Virginia will accept
the propositions of the committee, and that while any propositions are
pending she will resist the enforcement of the laws in the seceded
States.

Then let it be understood that Virginia _has_ spoken. That she makes
the Crittenden resolutions her _ultimatum_, that she must have them
and all of them, that nothing less will satisfy her. As I said at the
beginning of my remarks, it is idle for us to stay here, useless for
us to discuss the various propositions which are made here, unless we
expect to satisfy Virginia.

It is important for us to understand her position. I do not
under-estimate her influence. When the propositions of this Conference
are presented to the people of the free States, the first question
they will ask is, "Will Virginia adopt them? Will she be satisfied
with them?" If she will not, there will be no action upon them. If she
will, her position will exercise a powerful influence upon the people
of the North in favor of their adoption.

But if Virginia puts her ancient Commonwealth across the path of the
Government, if she stands between the administration and the
enforcement of the laws, the execution of its official duty, its
positive obligations--if this is the manner in which she proposes to
mediate, her mediation will be accepted nowhere. Such I understand to
be the position she assumes. It is a position of menace.

Mr. STOCKTON:--If the gentleman from Maine wants to get up a row, we
are ready for him. He shall have enough of it right here! I should
like to know why he makes such charges against Virginia? They are
unfounded; we don't wish to hear them.

(There was at this point considerable confusion in the Conference,
which was promptly suppressed by the PRESIDENT.)

Mr. MORRILL:--Gentlemen need not be disturbed or excited. I have
accomplished my object. I know now what to expect from Virginia; the
North will know what the course of Virginia is to be, and we can all
act understandingly. I do not propose to waste valuable time in idle
discussions in this hall, when we can come to the true point at once.
I do not propose to talk around this question, nor to deceive or
mislead the Conference. Other gentlemen may think differently, but I
now understand Virginia to say, that the Federal authority shall not
be reëstablished by the ordinary means, (where it is resisted) in
certain of the States comprised in the Federal Union.

I will now answer the question of the gentleman from Virginia, in
relation to the proposed policy of the incoming administration. I have
no personal knowledge upon this subject. Mr. LINCOLN I never saw in my
life. I know nothing of his opinions, except from his speeches; but I
will say, that if he and his administration do not use every means
which the Constitution has given them to assert the authority of the
Government in all the States--to preserve the Union, and the Union in
all its integrity, the people will be disappointed. I have felt and
now feel the importance of the action of Virginia, and I have done
what I could to learn here what we may expect from her.

In conclusion, let me say, that unless we can have the earnest
concurrence of the slave States in whatever we do, and especially
unless we have the heart of Virginia with us, our action will give no
peace to the country.

Mr. ZOLLICOFFER moved that the Conference adjourn. The motion was lost
by a _viva voce_ vote.

Mr. BROWNE:--I think we have debated these matters long enough. Let us
come back to the question before us. Personally I am in favor of
limiting debate to the shortest time, for I feel the necessity for
prompt action. I think if Mr. RANDOLPH would strike out the latter
clause of his resolution, requiring the final vote to be taken on
Thursday next, we should have no difficulty in agreeing to it. Its
adoption in its present form might cut off some delegation or some
gentlemen from speaking at all. I would not do this. Let every one
speak, but let the speeches be short. I move to strike out the last
clause of the resolution.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I did not expect to raise such a storm by introducing
this resolution. I now ask to withdraw it and stop the debate.

Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina:--The gentleman cannot do that, as
several motions are involved. I object to his proposal to withdraw the
resolution. I move to lay the whole subject on the table, and to make
it the special order for ten o'clock to-morrow.

The motion of Mr. MOREHEAD was carried.

Mr. SUMMERS:--I move that when the present session of the Conference
adjourn, its next meeting be at seven o'clock this evening.

A MEMBER:--Say eight o'clock.

Mr. SUMMERS:--Well, then, let it be eight o'clock. But let me ask you,
gentlemen, not to protract or unnecessarily delay our action here.

Mr. PRESIDENT, my heart is full! I cannot approach the great issues
with which we are dealing with becoming coolness and deliberation!
Sir, I love this Union. The man does not live who entertains a higher
respect for this Government than I do. I know its history--I know how
it was established. There is not an incident in its history that is
not precious to me. I do not wish to survive its dissolution. My hand
or voice was never raised against it. They never will be. The Union is
as dear to me as to any living man; and it would be pleasant, indeed,
if my mind to-day could be as free from fear and anxiety about it, as
the minds of other gentlemen appear to be. But, Sir, I cannot shut my
eyes to events which are daily transpiring among a people who are
excited and anxious, who are apprehensive that their rights are in
danger--who are solicitous for--who will do as much to preserve their
rights as any people. They must be calmed and quieted. It is useless
now to tell them they have no cause for fear. They are looking to this
Conference. This Conference must act. If it does not, I almost fear to
contemplate the prospect that will open before us.

Sir! this Conference has now been in session fifteen days. While I
have felt reluctant to do any thing which should have the appearance
of precipitating our action, of cutting off or limiting debate, I have
all the time been pressed with this conviction; that if we are to save
this country we must act speedily. I have been in constant
communication with the people of Virginia since I have been here. I
know that this feeling of apprehension which existed when I came away,
has been constantly increasing in my State since; and even last night
I received letters from members of the Convention now in session in
Richmond; gentlemen who are as true to this Union as the needle to the
pole, informing me that every hour of _delay_ in this Conference was
an hour of _danger_.

I do not agree with some of my colleagues in their construction of the
resolutions of the Virginia Legislature inviting this Conference. I
understand that she suggests the resolutions of Mr. CRITTENDEN as
_one_ acceptable way of settling our present difficulties. She says
that she will be satisfied with a settlement on the basis of those
resolutions. But she has not made them her _ultimatum_. She has not
said she will not consent to any other plan of arrangement. Her
purpose was not to draw up certain articles of pacification; to call
her sister States together, and say to them, "These or nothing! We
have dictated the terms upon which the matter between us may be
arranged. We will have these or we will not arrange at all!" I
understand her as offering no restrictions whatever. She invites a
conference--she asks the States to _confer_ together. She expects
reasonable concessions, reasonable guarantees, and with these she will
be satisfied.

Nor do I know why the gentleman from Maine places Virginia in the
position he described, nor upon what authority. I reply to him that he
makes a grave assumption when he attributes to Virginia a dictatorial
position. I have come here, and I trust my colleagues have also,
animated by a single purpose:--that purpose is to save the Union.
Virginia claims no greater rights than any other State. She would not
take them if they were offered.

Let me say here, that it is my purpose to carry out the wishes of the
people of Virginia; that exercising the best judgment I have I shall
try to ascertain what that purpose is, and shall do all I can to
accomplish it. When the proper time comes I shall cast my vote for the
proposals of amendment offered by my colleague (Mr. SEDDON); I shall
do so for several reasons. The first and most important of them all is
this: The Union is our inheritance--it is our pride. To preserve it,
what sacrifice should we not make? Its preservation is the one single
desire that animates me. Can I not be understood by my Northern
friends? Will you not yield something to our necessities--to our
condition? Will you not do something which will enable us to go back
to our excited people and say to them, "The North is treating us
fairly. See what she will do to make our Union perpetual!"

Again; I shall vote cheerfully for Mr. SEDDON'S propositions, because
the Legislature of my State has said that such amendments will satisfy
the people of Virginia. I think the Legislature is right. I think in
this respect it reflects the will of the people of Virginia. Remember,
sir, that these propositions have been for some time before the
country, that they have been discussed and commented upon by the
public Press--that they will probably settle our difficulties, now and
forever. They were introduced into Congress by a distinguished and an
able man--a statesman, whose integrity and fidelity no one has ever
questioned, and no one will question. It is my firm belief that the
States can adopt them without any material sacrifice, and that they
will adopt them if they have the opportunity.

But if the CRITTENDEN resolutions--if the propositions of my colleague
cannot be recommended by this Conference--do not find favor with the
majority here? What then? Shall we dissolve this body, and go home?
Shall we risk all the fearful consequences which must follow? No, sir!
No! We came here for _peace_. Virginia came here for _peace_. We will
not be impracticable. You, representatives of the free States, will
not be impracticable. Therefore, I tell you that it is my firm belief
that the people of Virginia WILL accept the proposals of amendment to
the Constitution as reported by the majority of the committee. I
believe these propositions would be acceptable to our people. I
believe if we should pass them here, that the Convention now in
session in Richmond would at once adopt them and recommend them to the
people of that honored member of the Federal Union. Can you not? Will
you not give us one chance to satisfy our people, and to save us from
that other alternative which I almost fear to contemplate?

I feared when the result was announced, that the late election in
Virginia of the delegates to the Convention now in session, would be
misapprehended and misunderstood at the North: that the North would
regard it as a triumph of the Union sentiment in Virginia. In one
sense it was such a triumph. The advocates of immediate and
unconditional secession were defeated, were defeated by a heavy
majority.

But the members comprising that Convention represent the true feeling
of the people who elected them, and they represent the present feeling
of Virginia. The people of that State are full of anxiety. They fear
that the new administration has designs which it will carry into
execution, fatal to their rights and interests. They are for the
Union, _provided_ their rights can be secured; provided, they can have
proper and honorable guarantees. It is useless to discuss now whether
they are right or wrong. Such is the condition of affairs now, and it
is too late to enter into the causes which produced it. We must deal
with things as they are.

I have known many gentlemen who have represented the interests of New
England long and well. I know what sentiments filled their hearts
years ago, and I do not believe those sentiments are changed now. I
appeal to Vermont. Among her representatives here, I see a gentleman
with whom, for a long time, I was upon terms of peculiar intimacy. In
the whole course of that intimacy I cannot recall a single occurrence
which did not impress me with his integrity, his ability, his justice.
I appeal to him. I appeal to him by every consideration which can move
a friend, which can influence a patriot, which can govern the action
of a statesman. I appeal to Massachusetts, to all New England, which I
know possesses many like himself; and I ask you to consider our
circumstances, to consider our dangers, and not to refuse us the
little boon we ask, when the consequences of that refusal must be so
awful. Can you not afford to make a little sacrifice, when we make one
so great? Can you not yield to us what is a mere matter of opinion
with you, but what is so vital with us? Will you not put us in a
position where we can stand with our people, and let us and you stand
together in the Union? I have no delicacy here. The importance of our
action with me, transcends all other considerations. I do not hesitate
to appeal to New England for help in this crisis.

If New England refuses to come to our aid, it will not alter my course
or change my conviction. In no possible contingency which can now be
foreseen shall these convictions be changed. _I will never give up the
Union!_ Clouds may hang over it, storms and tempest may assail it, the
waves of dissolution may dash against it, but so far as my feeble hand
can support it, that support shall be given to it while I live!

When the dark days come over this Republic, and there is nothing in
the future but gloom and despondency, I will do as WASHINGTON once
said he would do in similar circumstances: I will gather the last
handful of faithful men, carry them to the mountains of Western
Virginia, and there set up the flag of the Union. It shall be defended
there against all assailants until the friends of freedom and liberty
from all parts of the civilized world shall rally around it, and
again establish it in triumph and glory over every portion of a
restored and united country.

Sir, the questions which now agitate and alarm the country do not
affect the interests of all sections of the Union, or if they do
affect all sections, certainly not in the same proportion. The farther
sections are removed from each other, the less do the interests and
the principles of their people assimilate. Maine and Louisiana, far
distant from each other, differ widely. Approaching the line between
the slave and free States all these differences grow less. This is
shown by the action of this Conference. The border States can settle
these questions. They will settle them if you will let them alone.
Pennsylvania and Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey, States along the
line, whose people are most vitally interested, can have no difficulty
in coming to an agreement. With all the possible political interests
which you may have, not only are the relations of society, of
business, and commerce, to be interrupted, but these States are to
form the long frontier between two foreign nations, if that fearful
contingency is to happen, so often and so confidently referred to
here.

Why, then, should remote sections interfere to prevent this
adjustment? If they cannot aid us, why not let us alone? Let them look
along the valley of the Ohio River, one of the most fertile sections
of the continent, in itself great enough and fruitful enough to
support a nation. It has already a large population, and that
population is increasing every day. The people are attached to each
other by every tie that binds society together. They now live in
harmony and friendship; their property is secure. They are prosperous
and happy. Such a people _cannot be, must not be divided_.

And therefore, I say, that if we are driven to that alternative; if
the representatives of the two extremes will not give us the benefit
of their counsel and assistance, the Central States, and the great
Northwest, must take the matter into their own hands. North Carolina,
Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, with Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and
other States near them, must unite with Ohio and the Northwest to save
the country. They have the power to do it--they must do it.

Remember, sir, that I only refer to this as a last alternative. It is
one to which I hope and pray we may never be driven. I cannot yet
give up the hope, that all we need here is patient and thorough
discussion and examination of the subject; that when the true
condition is understood, we shall unite together to restore confidence
to the country. It must be so. The consequences of farther
disagreement are too great, the crisis is too important to permit mere
sectional differences, mere pride of opinion, party shackles or party
platforms to control the action of any gentleman here. The Republic
shall not be divided. The nation shall not be destroyed. The
patriotism of the people will yet save the country against all its
enemies.

Mr. RUFFIN gave notice, that at the proper time he wished to offer two
amendments to the second section of the propositions reported by the
committee.[1]

[Footnote 1: Mr. RUFFIN stated the substance of the amendments he
proposed in a voice so low, as not to be audible to the greater part
of the Conference. They are not to be found in the Journal, nor in the
documents printed by order of the Conference, nor were they heard by
me.]

Mr. FIELD and Mr. DODGE rose and made motions at the same time.

The floor was given to Mr. DODGE, who moved, that when the Conference
adjourn, it adjourn to meet at ten o'clock to-morrow.

Mr. RANDOLPH moved to amend, by inserting half-past ten o'clock.

Several motions were made by different members, and much confusion
arose, which was suppressed.

Mr. CHITTENDEN:--We all, no doubt, wish to economize time as much as
possible. The prevailing wish seems to be to meet about eleven o'clock
to-morrow. That can be accomplished by a simple motion to adjourn,
which I make, and which should take precedence of all others.

The PRESIDENT put the motion to adjourn, and declared it not carried.

A MEMBER:--I move to amend Mr. DODGE'S motion, by inserting seven
o'clock this evening.

This motion did not prevail, and the question was taken upon Mr.
DODGE'S motion, which was adopted, and the Conference then adjourned.



THIRTEENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, WEDNESDAY, _February 20th, 1861._


The Conference was called to order by President TYLER at ten o'clock,
and after prayer by the Rev. Dr. SAMPSON, the Journal of yesterday was
read and approved.

Mr. HARRIS:--I desire to call the attention of the Conference to the
fact, that the time has not yet arrived when the Conference, by its
rules, should commence business. The rule is, that the daily session
shall commence at eleven o'clock.

The PRESIDENT:--The Conference, previous to its adjournment yesterday,
adopted the motion of Mr. DODGE, fixing this hour for the commencement
of the present session.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I wish to call attention to the 9th rule in the
printed list. It has not been adopted by the Conference. It is in here
by mistake. The Committee on Rules did not intend to recommend it. I
ask now that it be stricken from the record.

Mr. FIELD:--I rise to debate that motion.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--Then I withdraw it.

Mr. HARRIS:--I wish to offer a preamble and resolutions, and would
like to have them read for the information of the Conference. I ask to
have them printed and laid upon the table, so that I can move them as
an amendment at the proper time.

The resolutions were laid upon the table and ordered to be printed,
and are as follows:

     _Whereas_, The Federal Constitution and the laws made in
     pursuance thereof, are the supreme law of the land, and
     should command the willing obedience of all good citizens;
     and _whereas_ it is alleged that sundry States have enacted
     laws repugnant thereto. Therefore,

     _Resolved._ That this Convention respectfully requests the
     several States to revise their respective enactments, and
     to modify or repeal any laws which may be found to be in
     conflict with the Constitution and laws of the United
     States.

     _Resolved_, That the President of this Convention is
     requested to send a copy of the foregoing preamble and
     resolutions to the Governor of each of the States, with the
     request that the same be communicated to the Legislature
     thereof.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--I must now insist upon having my resolution, offered
yesterday, considered. Congress is about adjourning, and, if we do not
close our labors to-day, we cannot have our propositions acted upon
under the rules of the Senate and House of Representatives. They can
be kept out on the objection of any member. I do not wish to debate
the resolution, and I hope the debate will not be continued in the
general manner it was yesterday.

Mr. FIELD:--There seems to be a disposition to stop debate now, after
nearly the whole time has been occupied by the other side. Yesterday
the whole session was occupied by a general discussion of this
question. It is my right to debate it as generally as other gentlemen
have done. I shall avail myself of that right. I may not speak thirty
minutes, but I will not submit to the imposition of a different rule
upon me, if I can avoid it, from that which has been imposed upon
others. The first question is on striking out the last clause of the
resolution. On that I have nothing to say except that I ask for a vote
by States.

A vote by States was then taken, and resulted as follows:

    AYES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine,
    Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio,
    Pennsylvania, and Vermont--12.

    NOES.--Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, North
    Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia--8.

Mr. CLAY:--I move to lay the whole subject upon the table. It is
useless to attempt to stop discussion in this way.

Mr. CHASE:--I call for a vote by States.

The motion of Mr. CLAY prevailed by the following vote.

    AYES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine,
    Massachusetts. New York, Vermont, Virginia, and New
    Hampshire--10.

    NOES.--Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North
    Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee--9.

Mr. McCURDY:--There is really but one question that ought to engage
the attention of this Conference. All others may be settled in half an
hour. This question is a great one, and assumes a variety of forms. I
wish to vote upon it understandingly, and I want some information from
the committee which has had it in charge.

I ask that committee whether they are not proposing a change in the
Constitution, which, if adopted, will operate as a direct and
effectual protection of slavery in all the territories of the United
States? This appears to me to be the true question for our
consideration. I wish to know what meaning is attached by its friends
to one part of the proposed article.

It states that "the _status_ of persons owing service or labor as it
now exists shall not be changed by law," &c.; and again, "that the
rights arising out of said relations shall be subject to judicial
cognizance in the Federal courts according to the _common law_." The
_status_, then, shall not be changed. By that term I suppose condition
is intended. I understand that perfectly. There shall be no law to
change the condition, to _impair_ the rights of the slaveholder; but
shall there be no law to _protect_ these rights? Now, what is intended
by this? Why not make this provision plain, and not leave it open to
any question of construction? The ghost of the old trouble rises here,
and will not down at the bidding of any man. I believe under this
article the institution of slavery is to be protected by a most
ingenious contrivance. The _common law_, administered according to the
pro-slavery view, is to be called in for its protection.

Now I ask the chairman of the committee reporting these propositions
what he means by the _common law_? The common law, as we understand
it, is the law of freedom--not of slavery. But I do not here propose
to discuss that question. I wish to know how the truth really is. How
does the committee, how do the friends of this proposition understand
it?

By the _common law_ a slave is still a man: a person, and not a
personal chattel. He may owe service, as a child to its parent, an
apprentice to his master, but he is still a _person_ owing service. He
is all the time recognized as a _man_. As such he may own and hold
property, take it by inheritance and dispose of it at pleasure, by
will or by contract. All these rights, all the principles on which
they are founded, are in direct antagonism to slavery. The argument
may be carried much farther, but this is far enough for my purpose. By
the slave law, all this is reversed. The master owns the _body_ of the
slave, may sell or otherwise dispose of him, may make him the subject
of inheritance. The slave loses all the attributes of a person, and
becomes property as much as the horse or the ox that feeds at his
master's crib. These, in a condition of slavery are the rights of the
master over the slave. These rights the common law, under this
proposition, is to recognize, protect, and enforce. I believe I am not
mistaken in this. What other construction can you give the article? It
is a distinct proposal to engraft slavery upon the common law: to
declare in the Constitution that slavery is recognized and protected
by the common law.

Now, the North has always protested against this. She will never
consent to it. She understands all the consequences as well as you. No
doubt it would be a great point gained for you, to have the
Constitution recognize the institution of slavery as part of the
common law. For then slavery goes wherever the common law goes. Its
rights under this provision are not confined to the territories. Once
established, these may be enforced in a free State just as well. It is
the old proposition over again, which has come before the American
people so many times under so many different guises. It makes slavery
national, freedom sectional. If this is so, if such is the
construction which it is intended this section shall receive, why not
state it openly? why leave it as a question of construction?

This construction involves other considerations. This new kind of
common law is to be substituted for the old. The latter has been
understood for centuries almost. Its principles have been discussed
and settled. It is a system founded by experience, and adapted to the
wants of the people subject to it. Its very name implies that it was
not created by legislative authority. A strange common law indeed that
would be which is _created by the Constitution_.

But this is not all. Other principles of the common law are subject to
change. They are adapted to the advance of civilization, to the wants
of communities. Change is the universal law of nature. This new kind
of common law is alone to be perpetual.

It is not my purpose to enter into a general discussion of the
subject. This point struck me as important, as needing elucidation. If
I am wrong in this construction, the committee will correct me.

Mr. EWING:--The proposition contained in the first article of the
proposed amendment, is copied from the CRITTENDEN resolutions in
substance. It is true that the language is somewhat changed, but the
legal effect is identical in both the propositions. The term
"_status_" &c., as there used is not applicable to all the territory
of the United States. It only extends to that portion of the territory
south of 36° 30´. It crushes out liberty nowhere. It changes
nothing--no rights whatever. Again, whatever may be the _status_ of
the person in the State from which he comes, _that_ is preserved in
the territory, and that alone. It is precisely similar to the case of
a contract to which the _lex loci_ gives the construction, and the
_lex fori_ its execution.

I like the common law. I have made it my study. I like the use of this
term here. It was a good system when not as perfect as it is now. The
common law of England even tolerated slavery until it was abolished.
The colliers of the North of England were once, to all intents and
purposes, as much slaves as any negro on the Southern plantations,
except in the matter of separation of families. I can refer you to a
precedent on this subject, which you will find in a book of no very
high authority. I mean the novel, _Red Gauntlet_.

The general principle applicable here is this: Whenever you establish
the right--no matter how, if you _establish_ it--the common law
asserts the remedy. There is no crushing out about it. The simple
proposition is this: Slavery exists already in that little worthless
territory we own below the proposed line. Will we agree that it shall
remain there just as it is now, so long as the territorial condition
continues? That is all. There is no mystery or question of
construction about it.

Mr. FIELD:--The questions now before the Conference I suppose arise
upon the report presented by the majority of the committee, and upon
the motion to substitute for that report the propositions of the
minority of the same committee.

I propose to add to this report the three following propositions; and
I will read them for the information of the Conference.

     I. "Each State has the sole and exclusive right, according
     to its own judgment, to order and direct its domestic
     institutions, and to determine for itself what shall be the
     relation to each other of all persons residing or being
     within its limits.

     II. "Congress shall provide by law for securing to the
     citizens of each State the privileges and immunities of
     citizens in the several States.

     III. "The union of the States under the Constitution is
     indissoluble; and no State can secede from the Union, or
     nullify an act of Congress, or absolve its citizens from
     their paramount obligations of obedience to the Constitution
     and laws of the United States."

These additions would render the majority report much more acceptable
to the northern people than it is in its present shape, though even
then, I am bound to declare, I could not support it. I prefer the
substitute. In what I have now to say, I shall not confine myself to a
discussion of these propositions, but availing myself of the latitude
of debate hitherto allowed to gentlemen who have addressed the
Conference in favor of the report of the majority of the committee, I
shall endeavor to bring to the notice of this body, more fully than I
have yet done, my views upon the general question presented for our
consideration.

For myself, I state at the outset that I am indisposed to the
adoption, at the present time, of any amendment of the Constitution.
To change the organic law of thirty millions of people is a measure of
the greatest importance. Such a measure should never be undertaken in
any case, or under any circumstances, without great deliberation and
the highest moral certainty that the country will be benefited by the
change. In this case, as yet, there has been no deliberation;
certainly not so far as the delegates from New York are concerned. The
resolutions of Virginia were passed on the 19th of January. New York
(her Legislature being in session) appointed her delegates on the 5th
of February. We came here on the 8th. Our delegation was not full for
a week. The amendments proposed were submitted on the 15th. It is now
the 20th of the month. We are urged to act at once without further
deliberation or delay.

To found an empire, or to make a constitution for a people, on which
so much of their happiness depends, requires the sublimest effort of
the human intellect, the greatest impartiality in weighing opposing
interests, the utmost calmness in judgment, the highest prudence in
decision. It is proposed that we shall proceed to amend in essential
particulars a Constitution which, since its adoption by the people of
this country, has answered all its needs; with a haste which to my
mind is unnecessary, not to say indecent.

Have any defects been discovered in this Constitution? I have listened
most attentively to hear those defects mentioned, if any such have
been found to exist. I have heard none. No change in the Judicial
Department is suggested. The exercise of judicial powers under the
Constitution has been satisfactory enough to the South. The Judicial
Department is to be left untouched, as I think it should be. You
propose no change in the form of the Executive or Legislative
Departments. These you leave as they were before. What you do propose
is, to place certain limitations upon the Legislative power, to
prohibit legislation upon certain important subjects, to give new
guarantees to slavery, and this, as you admit, before any person has
been injured, before any right has been infringed.

There is high authority which ought to be satisfactory to you, that of
the President of the United States, now in office, for the statement
that Congress never undertook to pass an unconstitutional law
affecting the interests of slavery except the Missouri Compromise.
Well, you have repealed that. You have also every assurance that can
be given, that the administration about coming into power proposes no
interference with your institutions within State limits. Can you not
be satisfied with that? No. You propose these amendments in advance.
You insist upon them, and you declare that you must and will have them
or certain consequences must follow. But, gentlemen of the South, what
reasons do you give for entering upon this hasty, this precipitate
action? You say it is the prevailing sense of insecurity, the anxiety,
the apprehension you feel lest something unlawful, something
unconstitutional, may be done. Yet the gentleman from Virginia (Mr.
SEDDON) tells us that Virginia is able to protect all who reside
within her limits, and that she will do so at all hazards. Why not
tell us the truth outright? It is not action under the Constitution or
in Congress that you would prevent. What is it, then? You are
determined to prevent the agitation of the subject. Let us understand
each other. You have called us here to prevent future discussion of
the subject of slavery. It is _that_ you fear--it is _that_ you would
avoid--discussion in Congress--in the State Legislatures--in the
newspapers--in popular assemblies.

But will the plan you propose, the course you have marked out,
accomplish your purpose? Will it stop discussion? Will it lessen it in
the slightest degree? Can you not profit by the experience of the
past? Can you prevent an agitation of this subject, or any other, by
any constitutional provisions? No! Look at the details of your scheme.
You propose through the Constitution to require payment for fugitive
slaves: to make the North pay for them. You are thus throwing a
lighted firebrand not only into Congress, but into every State
Legislature, into every county, city, and village in the land.

This one proposition to pay for fugitive slaves, will prove a subject
for almost irrepressible agitation. You say to the State Legislatures,
you shall not obstruct the rendition of fugitives from service, but
you may legislate in aid of their rendition, thereby implying that the
latter kind of legislation will be their duty. You thus provide a new
subject of discussion and agitation for all these Legislatures. In the
Border States especially, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, you will find
this agitation fiercer than any you have hitherto witnessed; of which
you complain so much. You will add to the flame until it becomes a
consuming fire.

You propose to stop the discussion of these questions by the press. Do
you really believe that in this age of the world you can accomplish
that? You know little of history if such is your belief. Free speech
is stronger than constitutions or dynasties. You might as well put
your hands over the crater of a burning volcano, and seek thus to
extinguish its flames, as to attempt to stop discussion by such an
amendment of the Constitution. Stop discussion of the great questions
affecting the policy, strength, and prosperity of the Government! You
cannot do it! You ought not to attempt to do it!

I wish to speak kindly upon this subject. I entertain no unfriendly
feelings toward any section. But while you are thus complaining of us
in the free States, because we agitate and discuss the question of
slavery, are you not, in a great degree, responsible for this
agitation yourselves? Do you not discuss it, and agitate it? Do you
not make slavery the subject of your speeches in the South, and in the
presence of your slaves? Do you not make charges against us, which in
your cooler moments you know to be unfounded? Do you not charge us in
the hearing of your slaves with the design of interfering with slavery
in the States, with a design to free them if we succeed?

You have done all this and more, and if discontent, anxiety, and
mistrust exist among your people, let me say that such discussion has
contributed more to produce them, than all the agitation of the
slavery question at the North. But your amendments are not pointed at
your discussions. That kind of agitation may go on as before. It is
only the discussion on the other side you would repress!

If the condition of affairs among you is as you represent it, have you
no duties to perform; is there nothing for you to do? Should you not
tell your people what we have assured you upon every proper occasion,
that the Republican Party has always repudiated all intention of
interfering with slavery, or any other Southern institution within the
States? This you all know. Have you told your people this? If you
would explain it to them now, would they not be quieted? Do not reply
that they _believe_ we have such a purpose. Who is responsible for
that belief? Have you not continually asserted before your people,
notwithstanding every assurance we could give you to the contrary,
that we are determined to interfere with your rights? It is thus the
responsibility rests with you.

Although such is my conviction, supported, as I think, by all the
evidence, I am still for peace. Show me now any proposition that will
secure peace, and I will go for it if I can. We came here to take
each other by the hand, to compare views, explain, consult. We meet
you in the most reasonable spirit. Any thing that honorable men _may_
do, we _will_ do.

We will go back to 1845 when you admitted Texas; back to the Missouri
Compromise of 1820. You certainly can complain of nothing previous to
that time. If, since then, there has been any law of Congress passed
which is unjust toward you, which infringes upon your rights, which
operates unfairly upon your interests, we will join you in securing
its repeal. We will go farther. If you will point out any act of the
Republican Party which has given you just cause for apprehension, we
will give you all security against it. We will do any thing but amend
the fundamental law of Government. Before we do that we must be
convinced of its necessity.

When you propose essential changes in the Constitution you must expect
that they will be subjected to a critical examination; if not here,
certainly elsewhere. I object to those proposed by the majority of the
committee--

1st. For what they _do_ contain.

2nd. For what they _do not_ contain.

I do not propose to criticize the language used in your propositions
of amendment. That would be trifling. I think the language very
infelicitous, and if I supposed those propositions were to become part
of the Constitution, I should think many verbal changes indispensable.
But I pass by all that, and come at once to the substance.

I object to the propositions, sir, because they would put into the
Constitution new expressions relating to slavery, which were
sedulously kept out of it by the framers of that instrument; left out
of it, not accidentally, but because, as MADISON said, they did not
wish posterity to know from the Constitution that the institution
existed.

But I object further, because the propositions contain guarantees for
slavery which our fathers did not and would not give. In 1787 the
convention was held at Philadelphia to establish our form of
Government. WASHINGTON was its presiding officer, whose name was in
itself a bond of union. It was soon after the close of a long and
bloody war. Shoulder to shoulder--through winter snows and beneath
summer suns--through such sufferings and sacrifices as the world had
scarcely ever witnessed--the people of these States, under Providence,
had fought and achieved their independence. Fresh from the field,
their hearts full of patriotism, determined to perpetuate the
liberties they had achieved, the people sent their delegates into the
convention to frame a Constitution which would preserve to their
posterity the blessings they had won.

These delegates, under the presidence of WASHINGTON, aided by the
counsels of MADISON and FRANKLIN, considered the very questions with
which we are now dealing, and they refused to put into the
Constitution which they were making, such guarantees to slavery as you
now ask from their descendants. That is my interpretation of their
action. Either these guarantees are in the Constitution, or they are
not. If they are there, let them remain there. If they are not there,
I can conceive of no possible state of circumstances under which I
would consent to admit them.

Mr. MOREHEAD:--Not to save the Union?

Mr. FIELD:--No, sir, no! That is my comprehensive answer.

Mr. MOREHEAD:--Then you will let the Union slide.

Mr. FIELD:--No, never! I would let slavery slide, and save the Union.
Greater things than this have been done. This year has seen slavery
abolished in all the Russias.

Mr. ROMAN:--Do you think it better to have the free and slave States
separated, and to have the Union dissolved?

Mr. FIELD:--I would sacrifice all I have; lay down my life for the
Union. But I will not give these guarantees to slavery. If the Union
cannot be preserved without them, it cannot long be preserved with
them. Let me ask you, if you will recommend to the people of the
southern States, in case these guarantees are conceded, to accept
them, and abide by their obligations to the Union? You answer, Yes! Do
you suppose you can induce the seceded States to return? You answer:
We do not know! What will you yourselves do if, after all, they
refuse? Your answer is, "_We will go with them!_"

We are to understand, then, that this is the language of the slave
States, which have not seceded, toward the free States: "If you will
support our amendments, we will try to induce the seceded States to
return to the Union. We rather think we can induce them to return; but
if we cannot, then we will go with them."

What is to be done by the Government of the United States while you
are trying this experiment? The seceded States are organizing a
Government with all its departments. They are levying taxes, raising
military forces, and engaging in commerce with foreign nations, in
plain violation of the provisions of the Constitution. If this
condition of affairs lasts six months longer, France and England will
recognize theirs as a Government _de facto_. Do you suppose we will
submit to this, that we can submit to it?

I speak only for myself. I undertake to commit no one but myself; but
I here assert, that an administration which fails to assert by force
its authority over the whole country will be a disgrace to the nation.
There is no middle ground; we must keep this country unbroken, or we
give it up to ruin!

We are told that one State has an hundred thousand men ready for the
field, and that if we do not assent to these propositions she will
fight us. If I believed this to be true, I would not consent to treat
on any terms.

From the ports of these seceded States have sailed all the
fillibustering expeditions which have heretofore disgraced this land.
There, have those enterprises been conceived and fitted out. Their new
government will enter upon a new career of conquest unless prevented.
Even if these propositions of amendment are received and submitted to
the people, I see nothing but war in the future, unless those States
are quickly brought back to their allegiance.

I do not propose to use harsh language. I will not stigmatize this
Convention as a political body, or assert that this is a movement
toward a revolution counter to a political revolution just
accomplished by the elections. Nor will I speak of personal liberty
bills, or of northern State legislation, about which so much complaint
has been made. If I went into those questions, much might be said on
both sides. We might ask you whether you had not thrown stones at us?

Did not the Governor of Louisiana, in his message to the Legislature
of his State, recommend special legislation against the supporters of
Mr. LINCOLN? Is there not on the statute books of Maryland a law which
prohibits a "black Republican" from holding certain offices in that
State?

Mr. JOHNSON:--There was a police bill before the Legislature of
Maryland, in which some provision of that kind was inserted by one who
wished to defeat it. Its friends were compelled to accept the
provision in order to save the bill. The courts at once held the
provision unconstitutional. All that is so.

Mr. FIELD:--I am answered. It is admitted that the Legislature of that
ancient State did place upon her statute book an act passed with all
the forms of law, containing a provision so insulting to millions of
American citizens.

Mr. HOWARD:--Will Mr. FIELD permit me a single question? I ask it for
information, and because I am unable to answer it myself. I therefore
rely upon his superior judgment and better means of knowledge. It
appears to me that Massachusetts, Maine, and New York have gone much
farther. The charge is a serious one. Maryland has never refused to
submit to the decisions of the proper judicial tribunals. The
Constitution has provided for the erection of a tribunal which should
finally decide all questions of constitutional law. That tribunal has
decided that the people of the slave States have a legal right to go
into the territories with their property. The gentleman from New York
tells us he is in favor of free territory, and his people are also.

Now, I wish to ask, where in the Constitution he finds the right to
appeal from the decision of the Supreme Court to the popular voice? In
what clause of the Constitution is this power lodged? Where does he
find this right of appeal to the people, a right which he insists the
North will not give up?

Mr. FIELD:--I am happy to answer the question of the gentleman from
Maryland, and I reply that when once the Supreme Court has decided a
question, I know of no way in which the decision can be reversed,
except through an amendment of the Constitution. I have the greatest
respect for the authority of the Supreme Court. I would take up arms,
if necessary, to execute its decisions. I say that States, as well as
persons, should respect and conform to its judgments, and I would say
they must. But I am bound in candor to add, that in my view the
Supreme Court has never adjudged the point to which the gentlemen
refers; it gave opinions, but no decision.

I was about to state, when I was first interrupted, that the majority
report altogether omits those guarantees, which, if the Constitution
is to be amended, ought to be there before any others that have been
suggested. I mean those which will secure protection in the South to
the citizens of the free States, and those which will protect the
Union against future attempts at secession; guarantees which are
contained in the propositions that I have submitted as proper to be
added to the report of the majority.

But, sir, I must insist, that if amendments to the Constitution are
required at all, it is better that they should be proposed and
considered in a General Convention. Although I do not regard this
Conference as exactly unconstitutional, it is certainly a bad
precedent. It is a body nominally composed of representatives of the
States, and is called to urge upon Congress propositions of amendment
to the Constitution. Its recommendations will have something of force
in them; it will undoubtedly be claimed for them in Congress that they
possess such force. I do not like to see an irregular body sitting by
the side of a legislative body and attempting to influence its
action.

Again, all the States are not here. Oregon and California--the great
Pacific dominions with all their wealth and power, present and
prospective--have not been consulted at all. Will it be replied that
all the States can vote upon the amendments? That is a very different
thing from proposing them. California and Oregon may have interests of
their own to protect, propositions of their own to make. Is it right
for us to act without consulting them? I will go for a convention,
because I believe it is the best way to avoid civil war.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--If a General Convention is held, what amendments will
you propose?

Mr. FIELD:--I have already said that I have none to propose. I am
satisfied with the Constitution as it is.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--Then, for God's sake, let us have no General
Convention.

Mr. FIELD:--I think the gentleman's observation is not logical. He
wants amendments, I do not. But I say if we are to have them, let us
have them through a General Convention.

And I say farther, that this is the quickest way to secure them. If a
General Convention is to be called, let it be held at once, just as
soon as possible. If gentlemen from eight of the States in this
Conference represent truly the public sentiment of their people, as I
will assume they do, there is no other alternative. We must have
either the arbitrament of reason or the arbitrament of the sword. The
gloomy future alone can tell whether the latter is to be the one
adopted. I greatly fear it is. The conviction presses upon me in my
waking and my sleeping hours. Only last night I dreamed of marching
armies and news from the seat of war. [A laugh from the Kentucky and
Virginia benches.]

The gentlemen laugh. I thought they, too, had fears of war. I thought
their threats and prophecies were sincere. God grant that I may not
hereafter have to say, "I had a dream that was not all a dream."

Sir, I have but little more to trouble you with. In what I have said I
trust there has been no expression that will be taken in ill part. I
have spoken what I sincerely felt. If there has been an unkind word in
my remarks I did not intend it, and am sorry for having uttered it.

For my own State and for the North I have only to say that they are
devoted to the Union. We have been reminded of HAMILTON'S opinion,
that the States are stronger than the Union, and that when the
collision comes the Union must fall. This is a mistake. In the North
the love for the Union is the strongest of political affections. New
York will stand by the flag of the country while there is a star left
in its folds. If the Union should be reduced to thirteen States--if it
should be reduced to three States--if all should fall away but
herself, she will stand alone to bear and uphold that honored flag,
and recover the Union of which it is the pledge and symbol. God grant
that time may never come, but that New York may stand side by side
with Kentucky and Virginia to the end. That we may all stand by the
Union, negotiate for it, fight for it, if the necessity comes, is my
wish, my hope, my prayer. The Constitution made for us by WASHINGTON,
FRANKLIN, MADISON, and HAMILTON, and the wise and patriotic men who
labored with them, is good enough for us. We stand for the country,
for the Union, for the Constitution.

I found yesterday upon my table a pamphlet bearing the title of "The
Governing Race." It contains a sublime passage from LONGFELLOW'S poem
of "The Ship," which, as it closes the pamphlet, shall also close my
observations:

     "Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
     Sail on, O UNION, strong and great!
     Humanity with all its fears,
     With all the hopes of future years,
     Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
     We know what Master laid thy keel,
     What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
     Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
     What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
     In what a forge and what a heat
     Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
     Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
     'Tis of the wave and not the rock;
     'Tis but the flapping of the sail,
     And not a rent made by the gale!
     In spite of rock and tempest's roar,
     In spite of false lights on the shore,
     Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
     Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
     Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
     Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
     Are all with thee,--are all with thee."

Mr. WHITE:--I shall not occupy much of the time of the Conference. All
the speeches that have been made, and all the declamation that has
been uttered on this floor, have not made a single convert. Last of
all would I wish to follow the gentleman who has just taken his seat.
He proposes to postpone action, asserts that we are acting without
consideration, in haste, and without due deliberation. I look upon
this subject from a different point of view. I believe the motive of
Pennsylvania in first responding to the invitation of Virginia was to
induce the States to meet here in council, and remove that peril which
now threatens our common country.

Pennsylvania had another reason. She is a border State; she has a
deeper and more vital interest in the present unhappy differences than
New York or the North. If there is to be war; civil, unnatural war,
whose country is to be devastated, whose fields laid waste and
trampled down? They are those of the border States--of Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and possibly New Jersey. These are
the States that are to suffer. Gentlemen from New York and the North
East, in the bosom of their families, their towns and cities not in
the least danger, may be as impassive as the granite rocks that bind
their shores. We have a deeper, a more vital interest; therefore we
feel and speak. When Pennsylvania received the invitation of Virginia,
South Carolina, Georgia, and other States had seceded. Dangers were
accumulating. Then it was that the old conservative Keystone State
threw herself into the breach. She sent her delegation here to save
the country and not to change the Constitution--not to alter it, but
to explain it and to give our Southern sisters the guarantees they
once did not ask and did not need. We believed that the great majority
of the people of the Southern States were Union loving men, who choose
to sail under the flag of the Union, rather than under any piratical
and treasonable banner. We knew there were rebels within those States,
as there is a faction at the North composed of men as much rebels as
they are. We knew, also, that there was a large body of men at the
South, who, though loyal at heart, were in a state of great anxiety
and apprehension, and who might be stirred up by demagogues, through
appeals to their State pride and other influences, to take a stand
against the Union.

The Republicans denied that they wished to interfere in any manner
with the institution of slavery. We have come here to give the slave
States a declaratory exposition of our views. We have come bearing the
olive branch. We are met by the South in a spirit of conciliation. The
delegates tell us that they hope to be able to bring back their erring
sister States into the fold of the Union, if they can go to them
bearing satisfactory guarantees from us. Pennsylvania is willing that
we should give them that opportunity. We have lived in harmony with
them: we wish to live in peace with them. If the seceded States will
not come back, if the other Southern States cannot bring them back,
then, are we in any worse position? No, sir! we are not. We desire to
place ourselves right before the world. Then, if some States will not
stay in the Union, on their heads be the responsibility. Then, if any
wrong has been done, if any right has been violated, Pennsylvania will
not be responsible. We shall have done our duty, on them will the
responsibility rest. They must answer for it before the world and
before the judgment-seat.

What will be the consequence of postponing action on this subject? We
are strengthening the position of the seceded States. We

     "Keep the word of promise to the ear,
     And break it to the hope."

Every rebel will rejoice at our inaction.

The continuance of Virginia in the Union depends upon the action of a
convention now in session in Richmond. If we send her commissioners
home to say to that convention, "The North will wait two years and
then consider your propositions," what will the convention say to
that? The seceded States have at this moment commissioners at Richmond
entreating Virginia to join their Confederacy, and to detach herself
from the free States. If we fail to act, who can fail to foresee the
consequences? Maryland is about calling a convention. She, too, will
act, and she will go where her associations and her interests carry
her.

From this you can infer some of the reasons why Pennsylvania has sent
her commissioners here. Her object was not delay. Her wish was for
action--speedy action. She wishes to do all she can to accelerate
action. She wishes to have some plan laid before the country at
once--something fair to all sections--and then, with, the
alternatives before them, let the people decide. She wishes to pour
oil on the troubled waters.

We are told by our friend from New York, that the amendments are badly
drawn. If so, let him help us to correct them. No one can do it
better. Surely there is talent enough in this Conference to remedy
such defects as are suggested by him.

Gentlemen say they do not wish to convert free territory into slave
territory. Neither do I. We are not doing that. All the territory
south of the line proposed is slave territory already. The adoption of
these propositions does not extend slavery at all.

The first advantage the Republican party ever obtained in
Pennsylvania, was on account of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise,
followed by the decision of the Supreme Court, declaring that the
normal condition of the territory was a condition of slavery, and on
that ground holding the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional. Such
being the state of the matter, do we lose any thing by the prohibition
of slavery north of 36° 30´? No! All that vast territory north of the
line will be dedicated to freedom. The South asks that faith shall be
kept; that slavery in the territory south of the line shall not be
interfered with. This is the only material averment in the
declaration.

The second article contains a modification of the Constitution which
was not intended. This I understand it is proper to amend.

Another proposition is to put a barrier into the Constitution, which
will prevent the acquisition of territory in future by joint
resolution. To this I am sure the gentleman from New York will not
object.

Sir, I have read and carefully considered all the proposed amendments.
To my mind they present no essential changes, or modifications, or
constructions, of that instrument. I can see no injury in them to the
interests of the North. I think they are rather to the advantage of
the North. I believe the people of the North will hasten cheerfully to
adopt them.

Now, if we can adopt them--if we can make them a part of our organic
law, and thus settle these differences, who will not be glad? There is
still a deep and abiding love of the Union in the hearts of all the
people. They will hail with joy any action of yours which tends to
strengthen it.

Mr. TUCK:--I should not address the Conference at this time if I did
not discover early signs of closing the debate, and I prefer to be
clearly understood upon the subject of discussion before it closes.

I well understand the appeals of the border slave States. They think
that one-half their number are already out of the Union. They deem
themselves weakened by their defection. I well understand the inquiry
of the eloquent gentleman from Virginia, when he asked, on the second
day of the session, "Can't you understand our position?"

I have listened to appeals stronger and more eloquent than I ever
expect to hear again. The representatives from the South on this floor
are skilful in debate and eloquent in speech. Were there no view of
the case but the one they present, I might become a convert myself.

They have seen half of the slave States, acting on the theory of right
claimed by the South, undertake to go out of the Union. If they love
the States they represent, and the Union of all the States, they
should be filled with apprehension and alarm. The venerable gentleman
from North Carolina (Judge RUFFIN) has appealed to us with an ardor,
patriotism, and eloquence which has produced an indelible impression
upon my mind, while the gentleman (Mr. SEDDON) from Virginia, in
describing parallels of attack which the North, as he said, were
constructing, in the course of events, about the institution of
slavery, commanded my undivided attention. Yet gentlemen greatly err
in assuming that we of the North are acting under some wizard
influence, and, out of pure malignity, are plotting the overthrow of
slavery. There is no plot or general concert in the action of the
North on this subject. We are, like the South, subject to general laws
affecting mind and morals, as well as pecuniary concerns, which laws
cannot be disregarded. We cannot act otherwise than we do. Ideas and
principles control, and we and those whom we represent will act in
accordance with them, whatever be the consequences.

Much is said here about saving to the Union the slave States not yet
gone. All I have to say on this point is, I wish to save them, and I
trust we shall have less trouble with the seven than with the fifteen.

The chair was here taken by Mr. ALEXANDER.

The people of this country, North and South alike, obey the laws of
interest and morality. There is no disposition at the North to destroy
slavery. Let these accusations and criminations be heard no more. What
I am about to say may weigh but little, but I know something of the
North, and a little of the South. I fully believe that the institution
of slavery within the States should be left with them exclusively--that
such is the prevailing sentiment of the North. I say so because there
is no disposition at the North to interfere with it. Do we believe
that we can manage slavery better than you? No, sir! I believe that we
could not manage it so well. If we had been reared on your soil in the
midst of slavery, we could manage it just as well. It is a mistake and
a pernicious error, for the South to believe that either party at the
North proposes to raise any question relating to slavery within State
limits. There is not a man at the North who could stand up long enough
to fall down, if he should take such a position.

There are problems connected with slavery which we cannot solve; we do
not wish to undertake their solution. We will leave them with you.

What, then, should we do? My answer is, live along as we have done
before. We will live with you in the Union, under a Constitution that
requires us to help you keep the peace. Where you dwell, we will
dwell. Your people shall be our people, and where you die, we will
die. Our Constitution is good enough for a people who are wise enough
to live under it. With such a Constitution, Virginia proposes to leave
the Union.

Will you leave the Union because the Constitution has not been rightly
construed? No; for it has been construed to your entire satisfaction.
It has been made to speak your views. The judges of our Supreme Courts
represent your opinions. There has never been a construction of the
Constitution adverse to your interests. The Dred Scott decision
protects slavery in all the territories according to your desire,
though against our strong conviction of law and right. Will you leave
the Union because you have not had the Government your share of the
time? You have had possession and control of it for fifty years out
of seventy-two; and during a large portion of the twenty-two years,
when we have had the President from the free States, the
administration has been under the control of southern sentiments, and
southern interests have been in the ascendency, through the servility
of northern men. Do you leave the Union in order to secure the
protection of a better Constitution? No; for they who have left us
have said that the Constitution was well enough, if the people were
sufficiently enlightened to live under it. Why is it, then, with all
these facts before you, that you propose to turn away from the
Government of our fathers, from all the glories of the past, the
blessings of the present, and the hopes of the future, to hunt for new
and better things under a new Government?

You are going out of the Union because you say we propose to immolate
you--to turn you over to the mercies of a Government of slaves set
free. How unfounded is such a belief! Are we not brothers still? I
doubt whether there was a better feeling between the masses of the
North toward you ten or seventy years ago than there is to-day. Can
you find better fortunes elsewhere? Where do you propose to go? To the
doubtful fortunes of a Southern Confederacy? You certainly are not
acting with your accustomed prudence and forethought. You know what
the teachings of history are in relation to nations in that belt of
latitude. You know how they have always compared with northern
nations. Together the two sections may be prosperous and powerful;
separated you can judge where the advantage must fall. Had we not
better try and get along as we are?

This Conference presents some singular scenes. Although made up, so
far as the North is concerned, of members of both political parties,
yet, by a majority, it supports southern views of southern interests
as earnestly and emphatically as any southern man has done. In all
conflicts of the past and present you have carried your points, and
you have reason to think you may do so in future. Yet you insist upon
separation. Be assured, you will experience as bitter feuds among
yourselves as you do in the fellowship of those you leave. You cannot
be reconciled to even the existence of a minority against you, but you
will find you cannot escape the minorities, and may fall into one
yourselves. You propose to join the fortunes of the Southern
Confederacy, in which, there is a contention already. You turn your
backs upon the Government of the Father of his Country, whose portrait
is before us, and join your fortunes to a mere southern nationality.
Beware of the act. Look back over the last two thousand years, and
contrast the stability of governments in southern latitudes with those
more northern, under latitudes which you leave. Mexico, Central
America, and South America, furnish valuable lessons on this
Continent, while the Eastern Hemisphere is, in this respect, full of
instruction. Will you leave a people whose character and habits are
like those which have produced the permanence and power of Russia,
France, and England, and ally yourselves to those more southern people
who have not hitherto enjoyed stability, power, or happiness? Is it
not wiser to stay where you are, to scorn the pernicious doctrines of
new teachers, and to live and die under the flag of our fathers?

The annexation of Texas opened a Pandora's box of evil. Had not that
taken place, the Missouri Compromise would not have been repealed. Had
not that Compromise been repealed, the shadow of our present troubles
would not have arisen.

You speak of the opposition of the North to slavery. Believe us or
not, it is true, nevertheless, that slavery is regarded at the North
as strictly a State institution; as such, we are content to let it
remain; we desire to let it remain such. But let not the North be
misunderstood in its position. The North is willing to let slavery
remain where it is--where our fathers left it; but against its
extension into the territories, the North is inflexibly and
unalterably opposed.

If there is any thing to pacificate I am in favor of pacification, but
in favor of it according to the Constitution. The Constitution
embraces all that any State can reasonably ask or honorably concede.
But if from change of circumstances or other causes, the men of the
South are of the opinion that their interests are overlooked or
ill-defined, I, for one, will favor a call of a convention to consider
amendments to the Constitution, and I will vote for such amendments as
shall give as substantial protection to the South as the North ought
to ask for, in the change of circumstances.

I submitted an address and resolutions a few days since for adoption
in this Convention, which I hope may be carefully read before being
rejected. They contemplated a convention, and their design is to give
assurance of justice to the public. I oppose the proposition for an
address by the committee, to be issued to the public after our
adjournment. We wish to know beforehand what we adopt, and to weigh
every word. There is a northern sentiment to be regarded as well as a
southern sentiment.

We of the North have heard much said in denunciation of us, and have
thought it political clap-trap and gasconade. But if we are made to
believe in your hostility to us and the Government, we may conclude it
is best to let you leave us. We have no fears in trusting ourselves,
if necessary, to our industry, our habits, and enterprise, separate
from the slaveholding States. Opinions are changing rapidly. I do not
like the idea of maintaining the Union by force of arms. It is not in
accordance with the theory of our Government.

A Virginian stated only a few days ago, that there was nothing which
the South could ask or that the North could give, that was not found
in the Constitution. But you say that we do not understand it
alike--that the two sections differ in their construction of it. Well,
if that is so, we are willing to submit to the courts.

You have always fared well enough there. If that is not enough we will
leave the whole subject, amendments and all, to a General Convention.
That we now propose. We propose it fairly, not for any purpose of
delay or postponement. Call the convention as early as it can be done.
We will aid you. We will go home and in good faith urge our people to
go into the convention, and there patiently and fairly consider all
your claims, all your complaints. We would urge them to concede all
they can without a sacrifice of principle. We will do this as a party,
and with all our strength. Now, this does not quite come up to what
you want, but is it best for you to insist upon breaking up the
Government on that ground? That is neither sensible nor safe. We are
like two lobes in the same skull; one cannot outlive the other.
Destroy one and you destroy the other. I do not believe this Republic
can stand without the Union which our fathers made. But it will
stand--it must stand. Wise counsels will yet prevail. You will yet
believe us sincere in our desires to relieve you. The end of the
Union has not come--it is not coming. The Union will yet outlive us
and our posterity.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN:--In rising to express briefly my views, I feel
oppressed and embarrassed in view of the magnitude of the subjects we
are discussing, and in the presence of this distinguished auditory. I
cannot claim to represent an Empire State with its four millions of
people, nor a Bay State, which we are told, with its wealth, its
enterprise, and its commerce, can settle a new State every year. But
with my colleagues, I represent a State which performed her part in
the dark night of the Revolution--her share in that great struggle for
our priceless institutions--a State which has ever since been faithful
in the discharge of all her constitutional obligations. In that bloody
conflict, upon her own soil, New Jersey joined hands with the North
and South. There is scarcely a church spire within her borders beneath
whose shadows does not lay the remains of some of the entombed
patriots in that great conflict from both these sections, commingled
with those of her own sons!

New Jersey was true to the Union in that great struggle--she has
always since been true; and under the favor of Providence she always
will be faithful to the Union and its memories, so inseparably
connected with the glory and honor of her sons. Other States may have
done as much, may have as good a record, may be entitled to equal
credit with her. But in all her past history, I can point to her
fidelity to the Union and her sister States with no blush of shame
upon my brow. Other States might be wanting! New Jersey never! She has
always been true to her constitutional obligations; she has always
kept--never sought to avoid them.

With a narrow stream separating her from a slaveholding State, there
were never any underground railroads in New Jersey; she never rescued
a fugitive slave from the custody of the law; no _personal liberty_
bill ever disgraced the pages of her statutes, nor ever will disgrace
them. In 1793 she enacted a statute providing for the prompt return of
fugitive slaves found within her limits. She subjected any judge
required to act under it, to imprisonment, if he neglected to perform
his duties. That law has ever since been in force. It was reënacted in
1836, and again in 1846, when some of its defects were amended.
Courteous as just, she provided by another law, passed in 1820, that
any southern gentleman visiting her territory, might bring with him
his household slaves, travel in, through, and out of the State, or
even take up his temporary residence as securely in this respect as at
home. This law was reënacted in 1847, and again in 1855; one of my
worthy colleagues here was associated, upon the commission which
revised this act, with that distinguished New Jersey Republican,
WILLIAM L. DAYTON.

In the recent unhappy political contest, New Jersey, ever anxious to
do justice to all sections of the Union, and injustice to none, as if
hesitating and doubtful toward which of the two parties in that
struggle she ought to incline, extended her fraternal hands to North
and South, by giving one-half her electoral vote to each; thus showing
that she still retains her unselfish spirit, which leads her to
sacrifice her own preferences to her duty to the Union.

In the same spirit to-day she bears her full share of the heavy sorrow
that rests, like a pall, over the people of the whole country as they
witness this glorious fabric, which our fathers erected and cemented
with their blood and their prayers--trembling, shattered, and
dismembered. In the conciliatory spirit of my State, I, as a
Jerseyman, proud of the title and every thing connected with it, wish
to say a word to the South in all frankness and candor. I freely tell
you that, in my opinion, you have a right to guarantees, and to
constitutional guarantees. It is no answer to say that the
Constitution has not been broken. That is not the question now.
Reference has been made to the fact that WASHINGTON signed the present
Constitution. Yes, but when he did so we had a population of but three
millions, and now we have a population of upward of thirty millions.
Is it surprising that some change should be required in that
instrument with this great change in the nation? The balance of power
so long fluctuating between the free and the slaveholding States has
at length entirely changed. It has now come to us of the free States,
and therefore we are bound to respect the claims of the South, and
quiet the apprehensions of its people.

It is of little use to make patriotic speeches here. The South demands
guarantees, and I feel under obligations to respond to that demand. I
assert as a general principle, that whoever has a right is entitled
to have it guaranteed. I believe there is not a gentleman here, who,
in his heart, does not think so. If it is right for them to have these
guarantees at all, they should have them to-day. I do not care whether
Virginia occupies a menacing attitude or not, my moral code is still
the same; it is not effected by any thing that has been done or can be
done by Virginia or any other State. It is my belief that
nineteen-twentieths of the people of the North to-day are in favor of
giving to the South all the guarantees it asks against all
interference with slavery in the territories. Some say, "We admit
this, but we will do nothing until the Republican President is
inaugurated on the 4th of March." I am ready to do it now; and my
obligations to do right will not be changed by the 4th of March
rolling over my head.

Gentlemen have made eloquent and patriotic speeches asserting their
determination not to interfere with the rights of the South. That is
very pleasant and very proper. But those speeches are the expressions
of individuals, and they pass away. Where is the man who will consent
to hold any political right at the will of any man or class of men, no
matter how kindly disposed? We all require security. The highest and
grandest aim and object of government is not the stability and peace
of society, but a well-grounded confidence in the minds of the people
of the perpetuity of that stability and peace.

The South asks the right to use and occupy a portion of the common
territory of the country. As a northern man I will accept the
compromise, and I believe a large majority of the people will agree
with me. You, gentlemen of the South, have asked that the arrangement
may be extended to territory hereafter to be acquired. New Jersey has
voted in this Convention against interference with slavery in the
territory, present or future, and she is the only northern State that
has cast her vote in favor of your demand. Her representatives have
been told somewhat sneeringly, that while slaveholding States voted
against this proposition, New Jersey was the only free State that
voted for it. Well, we accept the responsibility, and will bear it.
New Jersey has made up her record. There it stands, and there let it
stand forever. We are proud of it. If civil war is to come, if this
land is to be deluged with fraternal blood, when that time comes
there will not be a northern State represented here that would not
give untold millions to be placed upon that record by the side of New
Jersey.

The fact is, sir, we have acquired our liberties too cheaply. Had we
purchased them at the cost our fathers did, by coloring the snows of
winter by our blood tracks, and by passing the summers in the
unhealthy morass, we should have learned to prize them more highly; we
should be more patriotic and less proud, more sensible and less
sensitive.

A word further on the subject of extending this provision to territory
hereafter acquired. Gentlemen, you do not want that provision; you do
not need any provision as to future acquisitions. You are better off
without it. No present rights are involved in it. You are providing
for a contingency which may never, and probably never will happen.
Would it not be inconsistent for a nation to commit suicide because a
constitution is not made to meet an improbable contingency? You have
territory enough for the next two hundred years. You say you require
it to maintain your honor, to preserve your fair equality, to maintain
your lawful rights. Permit me to say you have no rights in territory
which we never owned, and I hope never may. This is no question of
honor or equality. But if we should acquire territory and should then
exclude you from it, will it not then be time enough to resort to the
expedient of national suicide as a remedy for the wrong? Nor do you
require it for any particular purpose. You have within your States
room for all the increase of a century. Your interest is to retain
your sons at home and develop the wealth and advance the prosperity of
your States, and not to send them to the western wilderness where
one-half die in the process of acclimation. The fact that you are all
in favor of placing in the Constitution new _restrictions_ as to the
_acquisition_ of territory, proves you do not consider you need more
territory. I heard it said, the other day, by a gentleman from
Virginia, that the South wanted the provision for a finality, to end
forever this dispute about slavery. With all my heart I sympathize
with him in his desire to end this discussion forever. You think you
have suffered from these discussions at the South; so have we at the
North. It has separated families and neighborhoods; it has broken up
and scattered Christian churches; it has severed every benevolent
society of the land; it has destroyed parties; it broke up the good
old Whig party, and more recently sapped the strength and vigor from
the Herculean Democracy. It now threatens the dissolution of the
Union. Let us crush the head of the monster forever. Let us do it by
restricting and defining its limits in existing territory.

Suppose the word "future" had been inserted. You do not wish to
destroy all probability of the adoption of this proposition at the
North. These proposals could not pass Congress, with the word
"future," by the requisite vote; and if it passed Congress, there is
no hope that twenty-five out of twenty-eight States would have adopted
it. With it you would have given great strength to the opposition at
the North. It would have created a more powerful anti-slavery party
than ever before existed. No, you are better off by confining the
provisions of this compromise to present territory--you having, as
well as the North, in the contemplated amendment a veto on the
acquisition of territory.

The North will want new territory before you will desire it. They will
demand Mexico and Cuba for the advantages of trade. You then, having
the veto power, can say to them--No, gentlemen, we will not agree to
it unless our particular institution is there respected; or, if you
please, you may go further and say, We will not acquiesce unless this
territory comes in as a slave State so as to restore measurably the
balance of power in the Government. With this veto power you would
have the North in your hands, and could make your own terms. You make
the provision more of a finality by letting it stand as it is.

But gentlemen say, they want the amendment for another purpose, in
order that they may induce States that have gone out to return. Here,
again, I sympathize with you. I had rather bring back South Carolina
than to secure the annexation of both the Canadas. I would give more
for one American than for a regiment of John Bulls. Ungenerous as
South Carolina has been, I would receive her home again. I desire the
States to return. Let their place at the Federal Board remain vacant
for them. Let the stars of their sovereignty on our nation's ensign
remain unobliterated and without further dishonor. We are ready to
receive them. But this provision as to future territory is not
necessary for their return. The same considerations to which I have
alluded, and which, will satisfy you that such provision is not
requisite, will satisfy them. The guarantees which the North are ready
to give as to the representation, taxation, and return of property,
and the compromise as to the existing territory, will do much to
satisfy them. To effect a compromise, you of the South must demand as
little as you can render satisfactory to your people, and we of the
North must give as much as our people will approve, and both parties
must consent to avoid all objectionable phraseology.

Now, a few words to my friends of the North. There is resting upon us
a grave responsibility. We are bound to settle this question finally
in this Convention. Talk about a convention of the people! We who have
no constitution, we who are tied up to no technicalities, must settle
it. We of the North may meet political death; but let political death
come, it is enough to have lived for, if we can settle this question.

But one asks, Will you strike hands with treason, and enter into
compacts with rebels and traitors? Yes, sir! I will strike hands with
just such rebels and traitors as I see around me; and I would give
them what they ask as cheerfully and as freely as I would give a glass
of water to a soldier returning wounded and weary from the field of
battle.

But it is said we must first see whether we have a Government. We must
try the strength of the Government. We must know whether the
Government can assert its supremacy and compel obedience to its laws.
Sir, that is just what I do not want to try. What, try the strength of
the Government! and do so at the end of an administration in which
corruption and treason and every evil principle have been contending
for the mastery, when our ships are all away beyond sea, when our arms
and our fortifications are out of our hands, when our treasury is
bankrupt, our people divided, insolvency and ruin threatening our
country, and all the Gulf States defying the authority of the
Government? No, sir! this is no time to try the strength of the
Government. When we do that, let us select some more auspicious
period.

But another says these proposals of amendment contravene the Chicago
platform. What if they do? Is the Chicago platform a law to us? Is it
a law to any one? It was passed upon ten minutes' consideration in a
convention of five thousand people. If it was a law, the convention
should have been perpetual and never dissolved, in order that the law
might have been subject to requisite modifications without a change of
circumstances. A strange manner in which to enact such a law! But
things have changed since the Chicago Convention. In fifty days, fifty
years of history have transpired. This is enough to release us from
the obligation, if any existed. It is not a law; it is a doctrine, the
spirit, the policy of the party that it undertakes to enunciate. It is
not a law, because a majority of the people have never given it their
sanction. Mr. Lincoln was elected by less than a majority. And in his
vote how many old Whigs and Democrats may be counted who did not
support him _because_ he stood upon the Chicago platform, but because
they preferred him to either of the opposing candidates. And even if
it is a law, I call upon the North to support the proposals of
amendment here submitted. Let us, as Republicans, be honest, and when
the opportunity offers are we not bound so to change the Constitution
that three-fourths of all our present territory, now open to slavery,
shall be consecrated to freedom? Yes, we are bound to relieve that
three-fourths from slavery. All we need to do to secure this, is not
to carry slavery where it is not, but to secure it where it is. I can
go home to the Republicans of New Jersey with a clear conscience and
say to them, that by our action here we have not carried slavery one
inch farther than it was before. If they are not satisfied with that,
they must be dissatisfied.

But there is one plank in the Chicago platform to which I will call
the attention of my Republican friends. It must not be forgotten. I
read from a genuine copy which I brought from Chicago myself.

     "_Resolved_, That to the Union of the States, this nation
     owes its unprecedented increase in population, its
     surpassing development of internal resources, its rapid
     augmentation of wealth, its happiness at home and its honor
     abroad, and we hold in abhorrence all schemes of disunion,
     come from whatever source they may."

It is a rule of construction, that all parts of an instrument must be
construed together; that due regard and effect must be given to all
parts of it, unless they are clearly repugnant. Will any gentleman
tell me how the Union can be more effectually preserved than by
controlling disunion? It is by granting what is asked to those who
might disturb its tranquillity, when they ask nothing unreasonable.
This resolution every patriot can subscribe to; and I hold that it can
be as effectually violated by the neglect to do all we can to turn
aside disunion, as by affirmative action against the Government. And
let me say that the party in this country which goes between the
people and the preservation of the Union, will sink so low,
eventually, that a bubble will not return to mark the spot where it
went down. But I cannot understand how any one who is honestly opposed
to the extension of slavery, as a political institution, can refuse
the compromise proposed. The federal courts, to which we have
committed the power, have decided that slavery, of right, goes into
all the territories. The distinguished Republican from Massachusetts
has told us that the court cannot be so organized, even if we keep the
power, as to change that decision in twenty-five years. In that time
the whole question will be determined. Now we have an opportunity, at
once and forever, by constitutional enactment, to prohibit slavery
from going into three-fourths of the territory, by simply agreeing
that as to the other one-fourth, while it remains a territory, the
_status_ of slavery shall not be changed. I confess I have not the
ingenuity to contrive how I should apologize to an audience of
Republicans for refusing such a contract.

Now, what can we of the North, we Republicans, do? By a settlement
here we can retain the Border States, and, in my opinion, that is
equivalent to saving the Union. Retain the Border States and the
seceding States must come back. If the Border States go, I believe war
is inevitable. How can two sections exist with only an imaginary line
between them. I do not believe the South will ever consent to give up
the Capital, claimed to be within her borders, and the North could
never surrender it. Sir, I shrink from the prospect of civil war. The
picture of civil war has often been painted, and by abler hands than
mine. Its calamities and miseries, the sufferings that attend it,
strike a chill of horror to the soul. But such a picture as a civil
war in this country would be, has never been drawn. History would be
searched in vain for its parallel. A civil war between the members of
a family, between brother and brother, father and son, who have all
enjoyed the same blessings which their fathers made early and bloody
sacrifices to secure! Shall it be said that such a people, for such a
cause, risked their interests, their country, their all, and rushed
blindly into the calamities of a civil war? He has read history to
little account who has not learned that such a warfare is, in its
nature, not only cruel, but protracted. It is like letting loose the
hurricane. Passion and poverty, carnage and crime, desolation and
death, become the condition of a hitherto happy people. For thirty
years Germany was ravaged, and millions slain by a contest occasioned
by a difference in religious opinions. For more than thirty years the
war of the Roses devastated England. The French Revolution, including
the "Reign of Terror"--originating in a question of taxation and
terminating with the supremacy of Napoleon--lasted nearly ten years.
For a like decade civil war raged between England and Scotland,
originating in a question of authority between the King and Commons,
and ending in Cromwell's protectorate. Why, I ask, if we admit this
fiendish visitant to our borders, should we anticipate that our fate
would be more favorable? No! war is to be averted, and a nation still
covered with glory is to be preserved by holding the Border States in
the Union.

If I am asked what I would do; I answer, Compromise--compromise! Two
gentlemen cannot live in a parlor together a single day without
reciprocal compromises. I would not be "stiff in the back and firm in
the knees." There is such a thing as too much "backbone." I say I
would "back down" to save the country. I am not ashamed of the
expression. Our Government itself was a compromise, and in nothing
more so than as to the slavery question. HENRY CLAY was the great
compromiser. The Missouri Compromise was his. Resigning his office as
Speaker, on the floor of Congress by irresistible argument, and
eloquence unequalled--though twice defeated, he succeeded in
establishing the compromise line of 36° 30´--and thereby erected a
barrier which severed the angry currents of opinion on this
distracting theme, and which was as valuable to this nation as the
isthmus at the equator, holding in check the mighty ocean on either
side. The North has compromised before; let her do it again. Let our
friends at the South take as little as they can, and let the North
yield as little as she can, but let us come together. The party that
stands between the people and the preservation of the Government will
be crushed to atoms. It will be remembered in history only with curses
and indignation.

We all love this Union, and we mean to preserve it. There is no one
here who, as he has witnessed the freedom, the comfort, the
prosperity, and the pure religion disseminated among the people, has
not hoped this nation was to accomplish great social and moral good
for our whole race. Yes, in fond conception we have seen her the
Liberator and Equalizer of the world--walking like an angel of light
in the dark portions of the earth. These sacred anticipations may not
be disappointed without a fearful accountability somewhere. And, sir,
suffer me to say that this whole people have a strong regard for each
other, notwithstanding the petulant differences which have arisen
between us. Kindred blood flows in our veins, and that of our fathers
mingles on the same field; and even now, in the day of our country's
peril, our affections meet at the hallowed grounds of Mt. Vernon, of
Marshfield, and of Ashland.

We have our history. WASHINGTON and FRANKLIN, and HENRY and SUMTER, as
well as Bunker Hill, and Yorktown, and Trenton, are yours, and they
are all ours.

We have our religion--and with every diurnal revolution of this
sphere, from North and South, through the efficacy of a common faith,
a goodly company are ascending to that realm of peace where their
harmonious union shall never more be severed. And to-day, from a
thousand hearthstones in the sunny South, and in the more rigid North,
the family prayer ascends to the Father of us all, for a blessing on
our common country and for the preservation of this Union. Those
prayers will be heard, and this priceless Union will be preserved.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I wish to call the attention of the Conference for a
moment to another subject, in order that members may give it their
consideration. I shall call up my motion to terminate the debate upon
the report of the committee early to-morrow, and ask to have the
discussion closed on the 21st instant. I am sure that I shall be
sustained in this by every member who wishes to have this body come to
any agreement. I wish to have the vote taken on the _twenty-second day
of February_, that we may see whether the same day that gave a
WASHINGTON to our Fathers, may not give PEACE to their posterity.

Mr. DODGE:--I have listened with intense interest to the addresses
which have recently been made to the Conference. I respect the ability
which they have exhibited--I honor the patriotism which has produced
them. They have presented the important principles involved in the
action of this Conference in a much more interesting and forcible
manner than I could; and I would not occupy the attention of this body
with a single observation, if I had the good fortune to be associated
with a delegation in which unanimity of opinion and feeling prevailed.
But I am not so fortunate. In that delegation I find many shades of
opinion. I respect the views of my brother delegates. It is not for me
to assume to sit in judgment upon them. I give each one of them credit
for the same honesty and integrity which I claim for myself; and if I
happen to differ from them, I claim that such difference honestly
arises from the different paths in life which we pursue, which may
lead us to take different views of the same subjects as they are here
presented.

The Conference has heard the ideas of political and professional men
expressed upon the important questions now presented for its
consideration. These ideas have been well expressed, and we have all
been interested in hearing them. Will you now hear a few words from a
body of men who have hitherto been silent here, but who have a deep
and abiding interest in the happiness and prosperity of the country
and in the preservation and perpetuity of the American Union?

Sir! I am here as a plain merchant, out of place, I very well know, in
such a Conference as this; but accident has brought me here, and I
will tell you how and why I came. Three weeks ago I left my
business--which in times like these certainly deserves all my
attention--to come to the city of Washington on business of a public
character. I came at the suggestion and request of the Chamber of
Commerce of New York, hoping, in my humble way, to serve the public
interests in this crisis. Inconvenient though it was, and involving
personal sacrifices of no ordinary character, when others thought my
country had need of my poor services, I did not hesitate to respond to
her call. And I hope I may never hesitate under such circumstances.

I came here to visit Congress, as a member of a committee, bearing a
petition to that body signed by more than thirty-nine thousand of my
fellow-citizens, all interested in the welfare and permanence of this
Government. This number included more than twenty thousand business
men and firms. This petition was earnest and emphatic. In it, we asked
and prayed that Congress would adopt some plan that would settle our
present sectional troubles; that would relieve the country from the
anxiety and apprehension which pervaded it, and permit business and
commerce to resume their accustomed channels, with assurances of
safety in the future. We knew that the time had arrived when patriotic
men must act; that commercial and financial ruin was impending. Our
petition set forth, that in the opinion of the signers, the plan
contained in what were called the "Border State Resolutions" was best
calculated to secure the end desired. We thought those resolutions
ought to be satisfactory to the reasonable and true Union men of the
South, and that they ought not to be obnoxious to the prejudices or
objections of the people of the free States. Still we were not
strenuous--we were not committed to any particular plan. All we
desired, was to secure such action on the part of Congress and the
Executive, as would satisfy the country; such action as would give the
country peace.

When we came to Washington we met _seventy_ republican members of the
Senate and House of Representatives. We had with them a most
satisfactory and delightful interview. It gave me renewed hope for my
country and her interests when I heard the expressions of conciliation
and good will which these gentlemen used; I felt my confidence
renewed.

Besides these gentlemen, who met and heartily coöperated with us,
there were several members from the Border States whose expressions
were not less friendly, although they did not think it expedient to
act with us. Our committee made all the representations and
explanations which were deemed necessary; and having performed my duty
in that connection, in the earnest hope that we had influenced the
action of Congress in the right direction, I was about to return home
with my colleagues, when I received a telegraphic despatch requesting
me to attend the meeting of this Conference. I obeyed the summons; and
since I received it, I have been laboring with all the ability,
strength, and power with which GOD has blessed me, to secure the
adoption of some plan here, that would settle our difficulties and
avert from our beloved country the evils with which she is now
threatened.

Sir, there has not one moment passed since I came here, during which I
have not felt a deep and overpowering sense of the grave
responsibility which rests upon myself and the other members of this
Conference. I am accustomed to the trials, vexations, cares, and
responsibilities of business; I know how to meet and grapple with them
calmly. But I do not feel so here. My days are anxious and excited--my
nights are wakeful and sleepless. In all the weary watches of last
night, I could not close my eyes in slumber. The reason was, because I
saw from a point of view which you do not, the certain and inevitable
ruin that is threatening the business, commercial interests of this
country, and which is sure to fall with crushing force upon those
interests, unless we come to some arrangement here.

I speak to you now as a business man--as a merchant of New York, the
commercial metropolis of the nation. I am no politician, I have no
interest except such as is common to the people. But let me assure
you, that even I can scarcely realize, much less describe, the
stagnation which has now settled upon the business and commerce of
that great city, caused solely by the unsettled and uncertain
condition of the questions which we are endeavoring to arrange and
settle here.

I tell you what I do not get from second hands, but what I know
myself, when I assure you that had not Divine Providence poured out
its blessings upon the great West in an abundant harvest, and at the
same time opened a new market for that harvest in foreign lands,
bringing it through New York in its transit, our city would now
present the silence and the quiet of the Sabbath day. Why is this? It
is because we, who have lived together in harmony with each other, a
powerful and a happy people, are breaking up--are preparing to
separate and go out from one another!

The merchants of our great commercial cities of Baltimore,
Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, are not listless or unenterprising
men. They are accustomed to the interests, the bustle, the excitement
of business. They have heretofore seen their stores crowded with
buyers. During the day the interiors of their places of business were
like busy hives. Not unfrequently have their clerks been obliged to
labor all through the night to secure and send off the goods which
they had sold to reliable customers during the day. When business is
good and driving throughout our commercial cities, wealth and comfort
are secured to merchants and agents engaged in commerce in those
cities, and it indicates general prosperity in the country to which
the goods purchased are transmitted. It shows a healthy condition of
affairs both in city and country.

How stands the matter in those cities to-day? Now, just when the
spring trade should be commencing, go to the extensive and magnificent
establishments for the sale of goods in any of the cities I have
named, where goods are sold which in prosperous times found their way
into almost every family to a greater or less amount in this great
country. What will you see in those cities now? The heavy stocks of
goods imported last autumn, or laid in from our own manufactories,
remain undisturbed and untouched upon the shelves. The customers are
not there--they have not made their appearance. The few who have come
at all, come not as buyers, but as debtors who cannot pay, and whose
business is not to make purchases but to arrange for extensions. The
merchants, in despair, are poring over their ledgers; checking off the
names of their insolvent debtors, a new list of whom comes by each
day's mail. Their clerks sit around in idleness reading the
newspapers, or thinking mournfully of the wives and children at home,
who will go unclad and hungry if they are discharged from their
places, as they know they must be, if this condition of things shall
continue. All alike, employers and employed, with all dependent upon
them, are looking anxiously, and I wish I could say hopefully, to the
Congress of the United States, or to this Conference, as the only
sources from which help may come.

There are thousands and tens of thousands belonging to these classes
all over the country who must have relief, or their ruin is
inevitable. And then look at that other class, numerically larger,
perhaps, certainly not less worthy of our regard, who are dependent
upon these; I mean the mechanics, the day laborers, and those in turn
dependent upon them. What are they to do? If some change does not
come, if something is not done again to start the wheels of commerce
and business, what is to become of them?

And look, too, at New England! She has latterly been the workshop of
the South and the West. She has furnished their people with her
manufactures--they have been her market. An excellent market, too,
have they furnished her; she has grown rich through their consumption.
How stands the matter with New England to-day? True, some of her shops
are running, but many more are still. The noise of the loom, the
rattle of the shuttle, have ceased in many of her factories, while
others are gradually discharging their operatives and closing their
business. But I will pursue this branch of the subject no farther. No
one acquainted with the facts, will deny that the whole country is
upon the eve of such a financial crisis as it has never seen--that
this crisis will come as sure as that the sun will rise, unless we do
something to avert it!

What is it that has thus stopped the wheels of manufactures and
arrested the ordinary movements of commerce? What is it that has
produced this unusual and uncommon stagnation of business? What is it
that has driven away from the markets of the North those hitherto so
welcome to them? I do not propose to go into the history of these
questions. I will not attempt to enlarge upon the answers to them. I
can condense the answer into few words. It is because anxiety,
distrust, and apprehension, are universally prevailing. Confidence is
lost. The North misunderstands the South--the South misunderstands the
North. Neither will trust the other, and the consequences to which I
have adverted necessarily follow.

I am a merchant. I am unused to public discussions or arguments, but I
am a business man, and I take a business view of this subject. I can
see as clearly as I can see the sun at noonday the causes of our
present embarrassment. I believe I can see equally clear how those
causes may be removed.

We have come here for a grand and lofty purpose. What nobler work can
engage the mind of a true patriot than that of devising the means of
saving his country when it is in peril? That work is ours. In
performing it, are we not acting under a grave and solemn
responsibility? We are, sir! The _people_ will hold us responsible for
the manner in which we perform this great trust. I know the people of
this country. They value this Union. They will make great sacrifices
to save it. They will disregard politics and parties--they will cast
platforms to the winds of heaven, before they will place the Union in
peril.

The delegates from New England in this Conference seem to be the most
obstinate and uncompromising. They aver that they cannot agree to
these propositions because their adoption involves a sacrifice of
principles--that New England is opposed to slavery, and will not
consent to put it into the Constitution, nor to its extension. They
say the people hate slavery, and will not for that reason accept these
proposals.

I do not believe one word of this. I know the people of New England
well; they are true Yankees; they know how to get the dollars, and how
to hold on to them when they have got them. They are a shrewd and
calculating as well as an enterprising people; they understand their
interests and will protect them. They will not sit quietly by and see
their property sacrificed or reduced in value. Once show them that it
is necessary to adopt these propositions of amendment in order to
secure the permanence of the Government, and to keep up the property
and other material interests of the country, and they will adopt them
readily. You will hear no more said about slavery or platforms. They
will never permit this Government, which has contributed so much to
their wealth and prosperity, to be sacrificed to a technicality, a
chimera. The people of New England know how to take care of
themselves. Give them a chance, and they will settle all these points
of difference in some peaceful way.

I am not here to argue or discuss constitutional questions. That duty
belongs to gentlemen of the legal profession. I have lived under the
Constitution. I venerate it and its authors as highly as any man here.
But I do not venerate it so highly as to induce me to witness the
destruction of the Government rather than see the Constitution amended
or improved.

I regret that the gentlemen composing the committee did not approach
these questions more in the manner of merchants or commercial men. We
would not have sacrificed our principles, but we would have
agreed--have brought our minds together as far as we could; we would
have left open as few questions as possible. These we would have
arranged by mutual concessions.

Mr. PRESIDENT, I speak as a merchant; I have a deep and abiding
interest in my country and its Government. I love my country; my heart
is filled with sorrow as I witness the dangers by which it is
surrounded. But I came here for _peace_. The country longs for peace;
and if these proposals of amendment will give us peace, the prayer of
my heart is, that they may be adopted. Believing such will be their
effect, I will vote for them. I would like to say much more, but I
will not occupy time that is now so valuable. Let us approach these
questions in a spirit of conciliation. Above all, let us agree upon
something. Let us do the best we can, and then let us go home and ask
the people to approve our action. The people will approve it, and
their approval will give us _peace_!

Mr. SMITH, of New York:--I did not propose to take any part in this
debate. The Conference is made up of men, many of whose names are
historical, and are intimately connected with the history of the
country. I preferred to leave the whole discussion to them.

But as we are all seeking a common end, there are some views which
have occurred to me that I thought should be presented, inasmuch as
they appear not to have engaged the attention of others. New York, I
am aware, has occupied considerable time, and I owe an apology on her
part for trespassing farther upon your time.

We are here in a family meeting. On one side Virginia thought the
parent was so ill that the family ought to be called together. I
thought yesterday that we were undergoing some family discipline--that
New York had in some way disgraced herself, and needed correction. I
did not know what she had done; but I supposed the reproof was
administered to her in a kindly spirit, though it was uncalled for.

The work proposed to us is, to be sure, a work of conciliation. But
call it by whatever name you may, nothing less is proposed than an
alteration of the Constitution. When we are asked to alter a
Constitution that was made by WASHINGTON and MADISON, under which the
country has grown to wealth and happiness, we certainly ought to
approach the subject with the utmost deliberation. If we were settling
family differences only, we would deliberate. How much more should we
do so when we are dealing with the great principles which uphold our
Government!

It is by great principles that nations are governed and their
destinies are shaped. The world is governed by ideas and not by
material interests. These facts must be kept distinctly in view by
those who take upon themselves the business of making constitutions.

It is stated that we are called here to settle the terms upon which
certain sectional differences are to be arranged. We ought, then,
first to ascertain what is the extent--what the limit of these
differences.

In the first place, it is agreed that no constitutional rights have
yet been invaded. The occasion for fear is not what _has been_, but
what _may be_ done. I suppose we are all alike tenacious of our
rights, whether we derive them from the Constitution or from any other
source. The rights of the State are just as important to New York as
to Virginia. But it is said that appearances exist that indicate an
intention on our part to interfere with some of the institutions of
the South. We ask for the proof. None is forthcoming--nothing but the
most vague and indefinite suspicion.

We propose to give the most satisfactory and absolute guarantees on
that subject--the subject of interference with Southern
institutions--even to put those guarantees into the Constitution. But
that is not satisfactory--we are told that we cannot be trusted. I
should hope that no Northern State could ever be truthfully required
to admit that it had given cause for such an apprehension. But it is
evident that this is not the real occasion of calling us together.
What, then, is the occasion?

It is said, that certain sectional rights in the Territories must be
secured and guaranteed. In that view I desire to call the attention of
the Conference to two or three points in the plan of the proposed
security.

As I understand the scheme, it is this: It is proposed to divide our
present territory by the line of 36° 30´, with a view to have
emigration from the free States go north, and from the slave States go
south of that line. This is made in connection with a limitation
preventing the acquisition of future territory. Now the first thing
that impresses me is the objection to placing any such restraints upon
emigration.

Mr. CLAY:--I think the gentleman misunderstands the report. I have
seen no proposition that proposes to confine or restrain emigration.

Mr. SMITH:--I concede that there is no express provision restricting
emigration, but such I think will be the effect of the amendments.

By the third section, Congress is prohibited, forever, from
interfering with the subject of slaves, and the sixth section makes
the others, with certain provisions of the Constitution as it now
stands, irrepealable and unchangeable. No matter how much the
condition of the country may change; no matter if all but the most
inconsiderable fraction of the people may desire to change them; these
propositions must stand as long as this country stands, a part of its
fundamental law.

These are the general provisions which the scheme contains. It is
offered as a measure of peace; of conciliation; to calm and quiet the
existing excitement.

I think I am right in saying that when you are making a constitution
you should consider all the conditions of the people who are to be
governed by it; that you should keep in view all sections and
opinions. It is my belief that instead of calming the excitement these
propositions will aggravate it--will arouse it to a pitch it has never
yet attained. I believe this, because the entire proposition goes
counter to the fundamental ideas upon which our Government is based.

It proposes to _establish_ slavery South. Is not this the first time
in the history of the Constitution that it has ever been proposed, by
affixing an article to that instrument, to _establish_--to _plant_
slavery in territory which was free when it was acquired? The
ordinance of 1787 prohibited slavery from going into the territory
which was acquired by it.

In similar language the article proposes to abolish slavery in the
territory north of the line. It is well to consider what is the legal
condition of that territory now. New Mexico and Arizona were free when
we first acquired them. Is not this provision wholly unnecessary? Mr.
CLAY left such language out of the Missouri Compromise, as he avowed,
on the ground that slavery could not legally go into territory free
when it was acquired, without the aid of affirmative legislation.
Previous and up to the year 1850, there was no difference of opinion
among lawyers on this question. All agreed with Mr. CLAY.

Now, slavery has gone into a portion of this territory; violently too;
without such legislation. Limits are prescribed to it, it is true, but
_it is there_, and in this way. _That_ is the _status_ which is to be
recognized, constitutionalized by these articles. I am aware that
there is a law of the territory that authorizes slavery, but slavery
went there without law, in spite of the opinions and opposition of Mr.
CLAY.

This is shown by the debate of 1850. It is proposed now to convert the
territory south of the line of 36° 30´ into slave territory, and to
make that conversion irrevocable. Suppose these propositions had been
applied at the moment the territory was acquired. Then certainly
slavery would have been carried there by force of these articles
alone. The principle would have been the same; one case being no
stronger than the other.

Mr. PRESIDENT, I shall not enter into any discussion of the merits or
demerits of the question in any other than its political aspects. I
have nothing to say respecting the morals of slavery. If there is
virtue in the institution, you have the credit of it; if there is sin,
you must answer for it. And here let me say that you discuss the moral
aspect of slavery much more than we do. We hold it to be strictly a
State institution. So long as it is kept there, we have nothing to do
with it. It is only when it thrusts itself outside of State limits,
and seeks to acquire power and strength by spreading itself over new
ground, that we insist upon our objections.

Whatever the consequences may be, we should not conceal from each
other the true condition of public opinion in our respective sections.
A correct knowledge of this is essential and indispensable. It is in
view of this opinion that our proposals should be framed, if they are
ever to be adopted. The settled convictions of a people formed upon
mature examination and experience, cannot be easily changed. This
should be understood at the outset.

Now, I respectfully submit that no sentiment, no opinion ever took a
firmer hold of the Northern mind--ever struck more deeply into
it--ever became more pervading, or was ever adopted after maturer
consideration, than this: That it is impolitic and wrong to convert
free territory into slave territory. With such convictions the North
will never consent to such conversion. Never! never!

This was the view of Mr. CLAY. His opinion always had great weight at
the North. Mr. CLAYTON, of Delaware, declared to the same purpose, and
avowed that Northern men could not be expected to consent to this. We,
at least, know how this opinion is consecrated in the hearts of the
people of the North, and how idle it is for statesmen to run counter
to it.

We are told by the gentleman from Maryland, that all the South wants
is to have the force of the decision of the Supreme Court acknowledged
as to that part of the territory south of the line, in consideration
of which the South will yield what she gains by that decision in the
territory north; and also that we must do this, or the slave States
will be driven to join those States that have seceded. Now, it is due
to frankness to say, that the North does not acquiesce in that
statement; that the point as made by the gentleman from Maryland, has
been _decided_ by the Supreme Court. We know that the Chief Justice of
that court has expressed his own opinion that way; but we don't know
that it has been _decided_ by that court. But if it has been so
decided, the very ground of the decision is a misapprehension. If I
rightly understand the language of Chief Justice TANEY, he insists
that the Constitution expressly affirms the right of property in
slaves. I think it does not. The North thinks it does not.

     Mr. SMITH then proceeded to discuss the facts in the Dred
     Scott case, and the various opinions declared by the judges,
     showing that the decision did not extend so far as claimed
     by Mr. JOHNSON, and that the question of the _right_ to hold
     slaves in the Territories was not presented by the record in
     that case.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--There were two questions involved in the Dred Scott
case. One was, the authority of Scott to sue; the other was, upon the
constitutionality of the Missouri Compromise. Both these were decided
in that case, and both were decided by the Supreme Court years ago.

Mr. SMITH:--I am aware of the views taken by the gentleman from
Kentucky. I am stating as a matter of fact how this decision is
regarded by a large portion of the people of the North. I am aware
that the Southern construction of the decision is different, and some
at the North concur in it. I am trying to see how the majority
propositions will suit the people who agree with the Northern view.

I understand it is claimed that the court decided that slaves were
property, and that the Constitution did not permit any restraint to be
laid upon the owners of that property in the Territories. Yes, the
court did decide that the owner had the right to take his slaves into
the Territory and hold them there; and to that extent they were
property. It is a prevalent idea at the North that the Southern
construction of this decision is not fair, and that it would be
dangerous to adopt it.

We do not subscribe to the doctrine that the Constitution expressly
affirms the right of property in slaves. We may be wrong; it may be a
mere misapprehension. But with their present opinions, the people of
the North will hesitate long before they make this express affirmation
a part of the organic _law_.

Again; if the Constitution affirms this right, and was understood to
do so by its framers, what was the need of the rendition clause? The
Constitution is the supreme law in the free States as well as in the
slave States. Under this construction the rights of the owner could
have been enforced like any other right of property in the courts of
law, without any provision for the rendition of slaves.

These are some of the opinions that are entertained at the North. They
may be right or they may be wrong, but they have been deliberately
adopted, and they prevail extensively. They cannot be changed by our
action here. In all we do they must be respected. They are
_constitutionally_ entertained.

This proposition to carry slavery into the Territories, opens the
discussion of the merits of that institution. Gentlemen say they wish
to stop the discussion; that there has been too much of it already;
that such a discussion would be especially unfortunate now. I do not
propose to enter upon it here. But I desire to know in what manner you
could more effectually invite discussion than by placing your proposed
amendments before the people?

You must not forget that the people of the North believe slavery is
both a moral and a political evil. They recognize the right of the
States to have it, to regulate it as they please, without
interference, direct or indirect; but when it is proposed to extend it
into territory where it did not before exist, it becomes a political
question, in which they are interested, in which they have a right to
interfere, and in which they will interfere. Such an attempt they
consider it their duty to resist by all constitutional means.

The establishing of slavery in the Territories is the practical
exclusion of free labor in them. True, there is no direct provision
for the exclusion of free labor in your propositions, but such will
certainly be their effect. I appeal to gentlemen from the South to say
from their own experience whether free labor _can_ be employed side by
side with slave labor. This presents another consideration. You of the
South ask us to guarantee a right which you say is very important and
very dear to you. You ask that your children may enter into and
possess these new Territories. We know it. But the North asks the same
privilege. We want our children to go there, and live on the labor of
their own free hands. They are excluded if slavery goes there before
us.

Mr. PRESIDENT, the people of the North do understand, that we are in a
contest--a great and important contest. Yet it is one that can be
carried on without trampling upon each other's rights--without
attempting to secure any unfair advantage. That is the way the North
proposes to carry on this contest in relation to the _extension_ of
slavery. This contest is between the owners of slaves on the one side,
and all the _free men_ of this great nation on the other.

There is another fact that should be kept in view. The Territories are
the property not of the individual States, but of the General
Government. They are held by the Government in trust, I grant. But in
trust for whom? For the whole _people_ of the Union; not in trust for
thirty-four distinct States. The idea that these Territories are
subject to partition--that South Carolina has the right to demand her
thirty-fourth part of them in severalty, is one that by the North
cannot be entertained. It is this idea which has produced that other
more mischievous one--that an equilibrium must be maintained between
the free and the slave States; in other words, between freedom and
slavery. Where did this idea creep into the Constitution? It never
has found, and it never will find, favor with the people of the North.

We may talk around this question--we may discuss its incidents, its
history, and its effects, as much and as long as we please. And after
all is said--disguise it as we may--it is a contest between the great
opposing elements of civilization--whether the country shall be
possessed and developed and ruled by the labor of slaves or of
freemen.

Leave it where it is, and all is well. We can live in peace while it
is a State institution; extend it, and who can answer for the
consequences? Leave it where it is! I humbly suggest that in that
direction lays the only path of peace. So long as the Territories are
common property, so long will the people insist upon protecting their
interests in them. In a Government like ours, conflicts will ensue.
The Constitution provides the proper and peaceful way of settling
them; and it is not by a partition of every subject in which a mutual
interest exists.

Mr. SEDDON:--Does the gentleman consider this a nation, or a federal
union of States?

Mr. SMITH:--If I did not consider this a nation I should certainly not
be here.

Mr. SEDDON:--Is not the whole machinery of the Government federative?
Is not its whole action that of a confederation? Is not the recent
election of Mr. LINCOLN a proof of the fact? He was elected by less
than a majority of the people.

Mr. SMITH:--In all the action of the Government with other
governments, we are a nation as much as France or England. In every
thing pertaining to the acquisition of territory we are a nation. The
rights of the States are preserved in the Constitution, I admit, but
their power is to be exercised subject to the powers reserved by the
Constitution to the General Government. In all that respects these
powers the Government is supreme.

I have only sought to state some of the opinions which are
conscientiously entertained at the North upon subjects connected with
these propositions. They _are_ entertained there, and they must be
respected by the Conference.

This doctrine of the preservation of the balance of power is a new
doctrine. It was unknown to the framers of our Constitution. In my
opinion it is a most mischievous doctrine to the country, and can only
produce the most pernicious results. It is closely akin to the
doctrine once broached in the Senate of a _duality_ of the Executive,
which, extended, would require a President for every sectional
interest. Such ideas were never popular at the North. I do not think
they would operate very well in practice at the South.

Mr. CLEVELAND:--Will the gentleman give way for a motion to adjourn?

Mr. SMITH:--Certainly.

On motion of Mr. CLEVELAND the Conference adjourned to ten o'clock
to-morrow.



FOURTEENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, THURSDAY, _February 21st, 1861._


The Conference was called to order by the President, at ten o'clock
and fifteen minutes A.M., and prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. STOCKTON.

The Journal of yesterday was read and approved.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--As I stated yesterday, I now wish to call up my
resolutions relating to the termination of the debate, and to have a
vote taken upon them.

Mr. CHASE:--Will Governor WICKLIFFE permit me to make a formal motion,
which cannot give rise to discussion? It is this: The resolutions
passed by the Legislature of Ohio, under which myself and my
colleagues hold our seats, make it my duty to lay before the
Conference the resolves I now offer. I ask to have them read, laid
upon the table, and printed.

The resolutions were read, and the motion of Mr. CHASE concurred in.

The resolutions are as follow:--

     _Resolved_, That it is inexpedient to proceed to final
     action on the grave and important matters involved in the
     resolutions of the State of Virginia, in compliance with
     which this Convention has assembled, and in the several
     reports of the majority and minority of the committee to
     which said resolutions were referred, until opportunity has
     been given to all of the States to participate in
     deliberation and action under them, and ample time has been
     allowed for such deliberation and action.

     _Resolved, therefore_, That this Convention adjourn to meet
     in the city of Washington, on the 4th day of April next; and
     that the President be requested to address a letter to the
     Governors of the several States not now represented in this
     body, urging the appointment and attendance of
     Commissioners.

Mr. EWING:--I wish to state here that I do not concur in these
resolutions.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I now offer two resolutions, one providing that debate
shall cease upon the report of the committee, at 10 o'clock to-morrow.
The other, that five minutes shall be allowed to the mover of an
amendment to explain it, with five minutes to the committee to reply.
Upon reflection, I will offer a third: That a motion to strike out and
insert shall not be divided. If desired, a vote may be taken on the
resolutions separately, as I wish to have each stand upon its own
merits. I will not discuss these resolutions, for I think all must be
impressed with the necessity for passing them now.

The resolutions were as follow:--

     _Resolved_, 1st, That at 10 o'clock, the 22d February, 1861,
     all debate upon the report of the Committee of one from each
     State shall cease, and the Convention will proceed to vote,
     and continue to vote until the whole subject shall have been
     disposed of.

     2d. If an amendment be offered by the Commissioners of any
     State, or the minority of such Commissioners, five minutes
     is allowed for explanation, and the like time is allowed to
     the committee to resist the amendment, if they desire to do
     so; and the mover of the amendment, or any member of the
     same State, may have five minutes for reply.

     3d. A motion to strike out and insert shall not be divided.

Mr. CHITTENDEN:--I shall not debate these resolutions. As I am engaged
in taking notes of the discussion, I cannot enter into a contest for
the floor, and I would not if I could. My State has not occupied a
moment of time on the general subject, nor are her delegates very
anxious to address the Convention at all.

Whether the Conference will give one of us a few minutes or not, is
simply a question of policy, of which I am not a disinterested judge.
It is possible that some suggestions might be made which would be
worthy of attention.

Mr. GOODRICH:--I move to amend by inserting Saturday, instead of
to-morrow, in the first resolution.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--There is force in the remark of the gentleman from
Vermont. No State should be cut off. I suggest that the States whose
delegates have not addressed the Conference, should have the
preference.

Mr. JOHNSON, of Missouri:--I represent a youthful State. She is not
the daughter of any particular State or section, but of the Union. We
Missourians love the Union, but we have fully arrived at the
conclusion that the time has come when something must be done to
prevent our entire separation. We have hitherto remained silent. We
came here to preserve the Union. Not that we love the Union less, but
we love our rights more. We love our rights more than the Union, our
property, or our lives. We desire to come to a speedy adjustment. Ten
days of Congress only remain. It will be difficult even to introduce
our propositions, still more to get them considered. I sustain the
motion of the gentleman from Kentucky; and Missouri will vote for it.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I will make the proposition as acceptable as possible.
I will insert one o'clock instead of ten.

     Exclamations were heard from several members of, "Let us
     agree," and the question being taken on the first resolution
     as amended, it was adopted.

Mr. BACKUS:--I move to insert in the second resolution, ten minutes
instead of five, wherever the word occurs. That time is none too long
to state the purpose of an amendment properly.

Mr. NOYES:--Is this resolution designed to exclude all discussion upon
an amendment, except by the member moving it and the committee?

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--No! Such is not the intention. Any one can speak five
minutes. I rely on our sense of propriety not to abuse this
construction of the resolution.

The amendment of Mr. BACKUS was decided in the negative by a vote
_viva voce_.

     The resolution was then adopted, together with the
     resolution relating to motions to strike out and insert.

Mr. BROWNE:--I move that when the Convention adjourn, it adjourn to
meet at half-past seven o'clock this evening.

Mr. CHASE:--I hope the Conference will not hold night sessions. Our
day sessions are protracted and very laborious. I agree with Commodore
STOCKTON, that night sessions are dangerous.

Mr. MOREHEAD, of Kentucky:--I do not agree with Mr. CHASE. I have
particularly observed the demeanor of all the gentlemen in the
Conference, and know that they are as well fitted for business at five
o'clock in the afternoon as at ten o'clock in the morning.

A vote by the States was called for, which resulted as follows:

     AYES:--Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New
     Jersey, New York, North Carolina, New Hampshire,
     Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia--13.

     NOES:--Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,
     Ohio, and Vermont--7.

Mr. WILMOT:--In pursuance of the instructions of the Legislature of
Pennsylvania, I offer the following. I wish to have it laid on the
table, and printed, that I may move it as an amendment to the
committee's report at the proper time.

The motion of Mr. WILMOT was agreed to, and the amendment is as
follows:

     "And Congress shall further provide by law, that the United
     States shall make full compensation to a citizen of any
     State, who in any other State shall suffer, by reason of
     violence or intimidation from mobs and riotous assemblies,
     in his person or property, or in deprivation, by violence,
     of his rights secured by this Constitution."

Mr. DENT:--I ask that the following may be adopted as an additional
rule:

     "When the vote on any question is taken by States, any
     Commissioner dissenting from the vote of his State, may have
     his dissent entered on the Journal."

Mr. CHASE:--I suggest whether it would not be better to call the yeas
and nays, on the motion of any Commissioner. I have heretofore
introduced a resolution to that effect, which, with the gentleman's
permission, I will now call up.

Mr. DENT:--I won't insist.

Mr. CHASE'S resolution was taken up as follows:

     "The yeas and nays of the Commissioner of each State, upon
     any question, shall be entered upon the Journal when it is
     desired by any Commissioner, and the vote of each State
     shall be determined by the majority of Commissioners present
     from each State."

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I hope the gentleman will waive the first part of the
resolution. I think it is the best way not to disclose our divisions
any farther than is indispensably necessary.

Mr. CHASE:--I copied the rule _verbatim_ from the one adopted by the
Congress of the Confederation. I think it right and fair. But I have
no objection to modifying it, so as to have the yeas and nays called
on the motion of any entire delegation.

Mr. DENT:--I did not withdraw my motion. I think it will accomplish
all we need. It will be taken, of course, that those who do not
dissent vote with the delegation.

Mr. REID:--I think it is entirely too late to talk about saving time.
How long will it take to have the names of dissenting delegates
called? For one, I desire to exercise my rights under the authority of
the State I represent. I will not consent to waive them. When the vote
of my State is cast, I wish to have the record show who is responsible
for it.

     The question was taken on the resolution offered by Mr.
     CHASE, and it was rejected, and the additional rule proposed
     by Mr. DENT was adopted.

Mr. COALTER:--I offer the following, which I shall move as an
amendment to the report. I ask that it be laid on the table, and
printed:

     "The term of office of all Presidents and Vice-Presidents of
     the United States, hereafter elected, shall be six years;
     and any person once elected to either of said offices, shall
     ever after be ineligible to the same office."

The above motion to lay on the table and print was agreed to.

Mr. BRONSON:--I also have an amendment, of which I ask to have the
same disposition made. It is as follows:

     "Congress shall have no power to legislate in respect to
     persons held to service or labor in any case, except to
     provide for the rendition of fugitives from such service or
     labor, and to suppress the foreign slave trade; and the
     existing _status_ or condition of all the Territories of the
     United States, in respect to persons held to service or
     labor, shall remain unchanged during their territorial
     condition; and whenever any Territory, with suitable
     boundaries, shall contain the population requisite for a
     representative in Congress, according to the then federal
     ratio of representation, it shall be entitled to admission
     into the Union on an equal footing with the original States,
     with or without persons held to service or labor, as the
     Constitution of such new State may prescribe."

Mr. BRONSON'S motion was agreed to.

Mr GUTHRIE:--I call for the order of the day.

The PRESIDENT:--The order of the day is called for, and the gentleman
from New York has the floor.

Mr. SMITH:--At the adjournment yesterday, I had proceeded to state
two or three grounds upon which I think the proposals of amendment to
the Constitution reported by the majority of the committee would be
unacceptable to the North, and I had also stated some special
objections to action in this way and at the present time.

The next consideration to which I would invite attention is this: Is
it necessary or wise for the Conference, composed as it is of friends
of the Union, or is it _expedient_ thus to encounter the settled
sentiments and convictions of the people of so large a section of the
country? It is not necessary, for various reasons. This territorial
question is, after all, a question to be looked at in a prospective
view. Why is it necessary to disturb the Constitution by inserting
such a provision as you propose? Why is it necessary for gentlemen
from the South to have it in, in order to enable them to stand with
their people at home?

Slavery is now in New Mexico. That must be acknowledged as a fact. The
South think it rightfully there--the North believe it is there
wrongfully. But its existence in the territories is a fact
nevertheless. President LINCOLN cannot help it if he would. The
Supreme Court will affirm its rightful existence there, whenever the
question comes before that body. That Court cannot be changed before
these territories are admitted as States, if the disposition exists to
change it. You claim that the question is already decided. How, then,
can it be important to you to press the adoption of these sections as
a part of the Constitution? My judgment is, that it is best to leave
this subject alone--that that is the true way to save the Union.

Gentlemen of the South, remember that if you must stand at home with
your people, so also must we. There is a _North_ as well as a
_South_!--a northern people as well as southern people. You press us
hard on these subjects. But can men who are rational ask us to abandon
our own people, to go counter to their convictions and sentiments? We
cannot do it! You would not respect us if we did! I am very sure that
if this Conference is to attain any beneficial result, it must abandon
all idea of coercion or intimidation as applied to the friends of the
Union.

It is said we are contending for a party platform--that we are letting
party stand between us and the Union. I could trample parties and
platforms under foot to preserve the Union, but I cannot understand
how honest men can abandon principles because a party has adopted them
into its platform. Do not tell us that by adhering to the Union and
the Constitution, we are simply adhering to a party platform. Our
principles are at least as dear to us, as yours are to you; you must
not expect us to sacrifice them either to promote our own material
interests or to promote yours.

Let us then sink the question of slavery in the Territories. Let the
courts take care of it if need be, or let it be dealt with when it
properly comes up. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." In
that direction lays the path of peace.

But perhaps it may be suggested that such a course would really leave
no plan to be adopted. Perhaps so. Is it, then, not true that we are
having all this trouble over a contingency that may or may not arise?
That the Constitution is sufficient for all purposes but this, you
aver; and yet you say in the same breath that the Court has settled
this question entirely and finally in your favor. Why not be
satisfied, then, with the settlement? Can you make it more of a
finality in the way you propose? No, gentlemen; believe me when I tell
you that the true remedy does not consist in endeavoring to humiliate
the people of one section for the benefit of another. Remember we are
dealing with the _American_ people; I would not throw the Constitution
into the vortex of disunion that is opening before us; I would
preserve it rather as a rock on which we can all safely stand. Do not
throw away the compass by which alone we can safely be guided!

If I were to suggest a suitable remedy, what I think a wise plan, it
would be the one adopted on a similar occasion, when one of the States
set itself up in opposition to the General Government, with such very
beneficial results; and that would be, to have the Government appeal
to the people for support--to throw itself into the arms of the
people. The result then has become historical. It is remembered with
pride and pleasure by all. I would have a similar course pursued now.
The result would be equally grand, equally gratifying. It would rally
every patriot, every friend of the Union from every section, to its
support. You, gentlemen of the South, now friends of the Union, still
give it the strength of your support, the favor of your countenance,
and you shall be supported and sustained as you can be in no other
way. You shall have the support of the power of the Government and of
every friend of the Union in the country.

You remember how those patriotic statesmen, CLAY and
WEBSTER--differing from the Executive, opposing his election with all
the strength of their gigantic intellects--when the authority of the
Government was questioned, and South Carolina, under the lead of Mr.
CALHOUN, undertook to set herself up in opposition to it--how they
waived all former differences, and instead of encouraging secession by
their delay and timidity, without asking for new guarantees or for
amendments of the Constitution, came voluntarily and earnestly to the
support of the Executive and the administration, because the Executive
was right, and was the chosen instrument of the people to preserve the
integrity of the Union.

Mr. BARRINGER:--If the gentleman will excuse me, I will state that the
course of the Executive against South Carolina was universally
acquiesced in except in that State. And yet the opinion that President
JACKSON far exceeded his powers, was equally unanimous. That precedent
has been greatly misinterpreted.

Mr. SMITH:--I thank the gentleman from North Carolina. He entertains
his opinions, I do mine, as to what then saved the Union. I should not
probably be able to make him think with me; but I feel sure that the
idea prevails quite extensively, that South Carolina returned to the
path of duty then, because the power of the Government was wielded by
an honest and energetic Executive. She came to the conclusion that any
other course would probably be attended with danger.

Our present differences had no very remote origin. They belong to our
own generation, and we ought to be compelled to deal with them. I
think the so-called compromise of 1850 was the cause of all our
troubles--that instead of saving the country it brought it into
greater danger than it ever was before.

Mr. BARRINGER:--I wish to make a suggestion on that point.

Mr. SMITH:--I hope the gentleman will not forget that he will have a
full opportunity to answer me. I am nearly through, and generally no
good comes of interruptions. They only consume time.

I was about to say, that I do not propose to go into the question of
who was to blame for that repeal. I agree with gentlemen from the
South, that there is no profit now in discussing the origin of our
troubles--in inquiring who set the house on fire before we put on the
water.

Mr. CLAY:--Does the gentleman do justice to Mr. CLAY, when at one
moment he says that Mr. CLAY held up the arms of the administration,
strengthened the Executive, and aided the Government in putting down
secession, and in the next, states that the compromise of 1850 was the
cause of all our troubles, when it is well known that Mr. CLAY
strongly favored that compromise?

Mr. SMITH:--When I speak of the unhappy effect of the compromise
measures of 1850, I ascribe no wrong motives to Mr. CLAY or any one
else. If he approved that compromise, I have no doubt he did it in the
full belief that it would be beneficial to the country. Experience has
shown that he was mistaken. Saying this is doing no injustice to Mr.
CLAY. I spoke only of effects. I spoke of the zeal and the energy with
which the patriots and eminent statesmen of all parties of this
country have been accustomed to come forward and sustain the
administration when any necessity existed for doing so. Now let this
Conference--let all true friends of the Union everywhere, with one
voice, without attempting to place any section or any man in a false
or disagreeable position, unite in one determined effort in behalf of
the Union, and in an attempt to bring the rash and dangerous men who
would seek the destruction of the Government back to a sense of duty.
Let us address the country, let us show that we are devoted to the
Union, far beyond any considerations of party or self; let us invoke
the aid of all true and patriotic men; let us ask them to lay aside
for the time all other considerations, and give themselves for the
present to the country! The spirit of the old time is yet alive. We
can call it out in more than its old strength and vigor, and it will
save the country. Our private interests may suffer, but the great
interests of the Union will be strengthened and preserved, and the
Constitution, which has been our pride and strength, will not be
dragged down into the great whirlpool of disunion. I appeal to the
venerable and able men around me, who bear historic names--who have
been themselves long connected with the Union and its Government, to
join us in our struggle to save the Constitution.

The views I have expressed may be chimerical. I have advanced them
with no little diffidence, but I felt called upon to state them in the
discharge of a duty I owe to a people who love and will make great
sacrifices to save the Constitution and the Union.

A majority vote, one way or the other here, would be of little
consequence. It would carry no weight with it. But if the members of
this Conference would all unite in such an appeal to the country, the
response would be instantaneous and effective. The heart of the
country is loyal; the heart of the South is loyal, I believe. We have
abundant evidence that it is not too late to rely upon the Union men
in Missouri and Tennessee!

Mr. CARRUTHERS:--The vote of Tennessee is entirely misunderstood.

Mr. SMITH:--Perhaps so. I have no acquaintance with the people of
Tennessee. But I will not occupy the time of the Conference farther. I
have spoken plainly, but I have spoken what I believe to be the honest
convictions of a large majority of the people of this Union. Once more
I say, let us not destroy the Constitution!

Mr. CLEVELAND:--I have not got up to make a speech. We have had too
much speech-making here. It may be very well for gentlemen to get up
and make long arguments and eloquent appeals, and show their abilities
and powers, but it all does no sort of good--nobody is benefited, and
no opinions are changed. I shall take no such course. I want to see
whether this little handful of men who meet every day in this hall,
cannot get together and fix up this matter which has been so much
talked about. Let us pay no attention to the great men or the
politicians. They have interests of their own. Some of them have
interests which are superior to those of their country.

In the common affairs of life there are always a great many
differences of opinion. Some treat these differences one way--some
another. Foolish men go to law, and always come out worse off than
when they started. Sensible men get together, and talk matters over;
one gives up a little, the other gives up a little, and finally they
get together. Now, friends, that is just what I want to see done here.

We are all friends--friends of the Union and of each other. Nobody
wants to give up the Union, or hurt Mr. LINCOLN. The South has got
frightened--not exactly frightened, but she thinks the Republicans,
since they have got the power, are going to trample upon her rights.
She wants the North to agree not to do so. Now I should like to know
what objection there was to that? Who is afraid to do that? If we
could go to work at this thing like sensible men, we could settle the
whole matter in two hours.

Now about these propositions. I do not see any thing alarming in them.
I have not set to work to pick flaws in them. Leave that to the
lawyers. I don't care much about them, nor does the North care about
them. If the South will take them and be satisfied--if they will stop
this clamor about slavery and slavery extension, I think she had
better have them. For one, I am sick of the whole subject.

Let us then go about the work like sensible men; let us stop making
long speeches and picking flaws in each other. It is a matter of
business, and pretty important business. Let us consider it as such,
and from this moment let us throw aside all feeling, and set about
coming to some understanding. We can do it to-day as well as next
week. I do not know that these propositions are the best that can be
made; but if they are not, let us talk the matter over like good Union
men, and see what is best. When we can find that out, let us agree. If
we stay here and make speeches until doomsday, we shall be no better
off. I am for action, and coming to an immediate decision.

Mr. COALTER:--If the vote of Missouri is to be taken as an evidence of
her devotion to the Union, it must also be understood with this
qualification: Her interests and her sympathies unite her closely with
the South. She feels, in common with others, her share of anxiety for
the future. She is devoted to the Union, and at the same time she
insists that it is fair and right that these guarantees should be
given.

It has been distinctly avowed on this floor that the people of certain
sections of the North _abhor_ slavery. Ought we not to be distrustful
when a party entertaining such sentiments comes into supreme power?
If Massachusetts abhors _slavery_, how long will it be before she will
abhor _slaveholders?_

Ignorance is the source of all our difficulties. The people of the
North know little of the condition of the negro in a state of slavery.
We know that the four millions of blacks in the South are better off
in all respects than any similar number of laborers anywhere.

But I rise only to correct a false impression in regard to Missouri. I
have only besides to express my full conviction that if the North will
not give us these guarantees, we are henceforth a divided people.

Mr. GOODRICH:--Mr. President, the object of this Convention, assembled
on the call or invitation of Virginia, is, as set forth in the
preamble and resolutions of her General Assembly,

     "To restore the Union and Constitution in the spirit in
     which they were established by the fathers of the Republic;"
     or, as otherwise expressed, "to adjust the present unhappy
     controversies in the spirit in which the Constitution was
     originally made, and consistently with its principles."

This agrees, in substance, with the purpose of the Republican party,
which, in the words of the Philadelphia platform, is declared to be
that of "restoring the action of the Federal Government to the
principles of WASHINGTON and JEFFERSON."

Virginia announces to the other States that she "is desirous of
employing every reasonable means," and is "willing to unite" with them
"in an earnest effort" for the accomplishment of this common end and
object of that State and the Republican party; and she is moved to
make this her "final effort," by "the deliberate opinion of her
General Assembly, that unless the unhappy controversy which now
divides the States of this Confederacy shall be satisfactorily
adjusted, a permanent dissolution of the Union is inevitable," and by
a desire to "avert so dire a calamity."

Massachusetts, equally willing to unite with the other States in an
earnest effort to further the same end, accepted the invitation of
Virginia, and sent Commissioners here to represent her.

The honorable Chairman (Mr. GUTHRIE) of the committee to report a plan
of adjustment, in his opening speech, advocated with earnestness and
eloquence a restoration of the Constitution to the principles of the
fathers. The distinguished gentleman (Mr. RIVES) from Virginia
demands a "restoration of the Constitution to the landmarks of our
fathers," and his colleague (Mr. SEDDON) urges a return to the "policy
of our fathers in 1787."

This assumes that we have departed from the principles and landmarks
of our fathers, and from the policy of 1787. The call of the
Convention assumes this; the platform of the Republican party assumes
it, and the gentlemen whose remarks I have quoted assume it, and it is
true.

The particular object of a return to the principles and landmarks of
the policy of 1787, as stated in the preamble and resolutions of the
General Assembly of Virginia, is, "to afford to the people of the
slaveholding States adequate guarantees for the security of their
rights." This implies that such a return will afford these adequate
guarantees. I agree that it will; and I am ready, and Massachusetts is
ready, to adjust this unhappy controversy, and to give the guarantees
demanded in exactly this way.

Stated in these general terms, there is a perfect agreement between
us. But we find a wide difference when we go one step farther, and
learn precisely what Virginia claims would be a restoration of the
Constitution to the principles of the fathers, and a return to the
policy of 1787. This she has told us in one of the resolutions sent
out with the call for this Convention. That resolution is as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That in the opinion of the General Assembly of
     Virginia, the propositions embraced in the resolutions
     presented to the Senate of the United States by Hon. JOHN J.
     CRITTENDEN, so modified as that the first article proposed
     as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States
     shall apply to all the territory of the United States, now
     held or hereafter acquired south of latitude 36° 30´, and
     provide that slavery of the African race shall be
     effectually protected as property therein during the
     continuance of the territorial government, and the fourth
     article shall secure to the owners of slaves the right of
     transit with their slaves between and through the
     non-slaveholding States and territories, constitute the
     basis of such an adjustment of the unhappy controversy which
     now divides the States of this Confederacy, as would be
     accepted by the people of this Commonwealth."

It was in reference to these propositions that the gentleman (Mr.
SEDDON) from Virginia, has asked us the question, "Are we not entitled
to these added guarantees according to the spirit of the compact of
our fathers?"

The true answer to this question is the pivot on which this whole
controversy must turn. If the slave States are not entitled to these
added guarantees, "according to the spirit of the compact of our
fathers," then Virginia, as I understand her Commissioners, and the
resolutions of her General Assembly, does not claim them. She stands
upon her rights according to that compact. And all such rights
Massachusetts is ready to accord to her, fairly and fully.

By the spirit of the compact of our fathers is meant, the Constitution
as they understood it, and as the people of that day understood it.
And this is what is meant by the "landmarks of the fathers." All admit
that the Federal Government should be administered now, as it was
administered by its framers. This is what gentlemen from the slave
States, in giving utterance to their intense devotion to the Union,
say.

Then, what is the Constitution, as understood by those who framed it?
What does it mean when interpreted by the light of the policy of 1787?
and what is the spirit of the compact which they made? This is the
question we are called to consider. In my remarks I do not mean to
wander from it.

So far as the Constitution touches the question out of which the
present unhappy controversy has arisen, I say it means this: That
slavery, as it existed or might exist within the limits of the
original States, should not be interfered with to the injury of the
lawful rights of slaveholders under State authority; on the contrary,
that it should have the right of recaption, and a qualified
protection; but that outside of those limits, otherwise than in this
right of recaption, it should never exist, neither in the territories
nor in the new States.

And let me say here, that when I speak of the original States, I mean
the territory of those States as then bounded. Alabama and Mississippi
belonged to Georgia, Tennessee belonged to North Carolina, Kentucky
belonged to Virginia, Vermont belonged to New York, and Maine belonged
to Massachusetts, and were parts of the thirteen original States, at
the time the Constitution was adopted. When, therefore, I speak of
territory outside the original States, I do not refer to territory
within any of the States named.

Mr. BOUTWELL:--I trust my colleague does not claim to speak for
Massachusetts, when he denies the right of any State of this Union to
establish and maintain slavery within its jurisdiction, or to prohibit
it altogether, according to its discretion. This right was reserved to
the States; and States in this Union, whether original or new, stand
on a footing of perfect equality.

Mr. GOODRICH:--I certainly do not claim to speak for Massachusetts,
though I believe the opinion of the great majority of her people
agrees with my own on this subject. However, what I claim is, that
Ohio and the other States of the northwestern territory have no
constitutional power to legalize slavery within their limits; that
they were admitted into the Union without any such power, and that
every other new State formed from territory outside the limits of the
original States, according to the "spirit of the compact of our
fathers," should have been admitted without that power, or the right
to acquire it. This I will now proceed to show.

On the first day of March, 1784, the northwest territory, constituting
the present States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and
Wisconsin, was ceded by Virginia to the United States. The
jurisdiction of the United States was then exclusive and paramount, or
soon became so--such other States as had claimed any right of
jurisdiction having ceded it. The cession of Virginia was made by
THOMAS JEFFERSON, SAMUEL HARDY, ARTHUR LEE, and JAMES MONROE, who were
delegates in Congress from that State, and had been appointed
Commissioners for this purpose. On the same day the cession was made,
Mr. JEFFERSON, in behalf of a committee, reported a plan for temporary
governments in the United States territory then and afterwards to be
ceded, and for forming therein permanent governments.

That plan provided, "that so much of the territory ceded, or to be
ceded, by individual States to the United States, shall be divided
into distinct States." It is obvious that this plan contemplated the
possession of territory in no other way than by cession from the
States. It was expected that Georgia and North Carolina would cede
their western lands, now the States of Alabama, Mississippi, and
Tennessee, as they did some years later; and Mr. JEFFERSON'S plan was
intended to embrace those lands or territories to be ceded.
Consequently, the following provisions, which were part of the plan
reported, were intended by him to apply to Alabama, Mississippi, and
Tennessee, viz.:

     "After the year 1800 of the Christian era, there shall be
     neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said
     States, otherwise that in the punishment of crimes."

Here the States were evidently those to be formed in United States
territory. And farther on in the plan it is stated,

     "That the preceding articles shall be formed into a charter
     of compact, and shall stand as fundamental Constitutions
     between the thirteen original States, and each of the
     several States now newly described, unalterable ... but by
     the joint consent of the United States in Congress
     assembled, and of the particular State within which such
     alteration is proposed to be made."

This was a proposition to exclude slavery forever after 1800, not only
from the territories which had been, and might afterwards be, ceded,
but from the States to be formed in them, and to make it a fundamental
Constitution between the original States and each new State. It
excited a short discussion, and was postponed from time to time to the
19th of April, when Mr. SPEIGHT, of North Carolina, moved to strike it
out. The motion was seconded by Mr. REED, of South Carolina. The vote
by States, on the motion to strike out, was:

     YEAS.--Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina--3.

     NAYS.--New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
     Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania--6.

This was under the Confederation articles, which provided that the
vote on all questions should be taken by States, each State casting
one vote; that no proposition could be adopted without the vote of
seven States in favor of it, and that the vote of no State could be
counted unless two members, at least, were present. As there were but
six States in favor of the proposition to prohibit slavery after 1800,
it was stricken out.

There was but one member present from New Jersey, and the vote of that
State was not counted. The member present voted for Mr. JEFFERSON'S
proposition. Another vote from that State would have made the required
number, and carried the measure.

In North Carolina, WILLIAMSON voted for prohibition, and SPEIGHT
against it. One more vote from that State would have made seven States
for the proposition, and it would have been carried.

JEFFERSON voted for his own proposition to prohibit; and if one of the
other two members present from Virginia had voted with him, that, too,
would have made the required number of seven States.

The vote North and South, by members, was in favor of prohibition:
North, 14; South, 2--total, 16. Against prohibition, South, 7.

The majority was more than two-thirds; enough to carry it over an
executive veto under the present Constitution, and yet it was
defeated. And this vote was given in favor of absolute and
unconditional prohibition, and that alone, without the right of
reclaiming fugitive slaves, or any proposition, or any expectation to
confer it. Under the Confederation, no such right existed, nor was it
agreed to till more than three years afterwards, and then with the
greatest reluctance, and as a matter of compromise, as I will
presently show.

Such was the action of the American Congress in 1784--a unanimous vote
from the North, and two in nine from the South--in favor of excluding
slavery forever after 1800, in all new States to be formed, in
territory ceded or to be ceded, embracing Tennessee, Alabama, and
Mississippi, in the extreme South. Nothing can be clearer than that
the interdiction was to apply to all such States, and to constitute a
fundamental Constitution between them and the original States,
unalterable without the consent of Congress. The new State was to be
deprived of all power to admit slavery. This proposition was made and
voted for by JEFFERSON. But how many votes would such a proposition
receive in this Convention? Not many, I fear, even from the free
States. My friend and colleague, though strongly anti-slavery, and
earnestly devoted to freedom in the Territories, is afraid I shall
commit Massachusetts to this old Jeffersonian doctrine of no slavery,
and no right to establish it in the new States.

From this time till July, 1787, the question of slavery in the
Territories and new States remained open and unsettled. In 1785, RUFUS
KING renewed Mr. JEFFERSON'S proposition to prohibit, and it was
referred to a committee by the vote of eight States; but it never
became a law, a few from the South always preventing it.

The Federal Convention to revise the old, or frame a new
Constitution, assembled in Philadelphia on the second Monday of May,
1787. And here let me read a single paragraph from a lecture by Mr.
TOOMBS, of Georgia, delivered in Boston in 1856. It is as follows:

     "The history of the times and the debates in the Convention
     which framed the Constitution, show that the whole subject
     of slavery was much considered by them, and perplexed them
     in the extreme, and that those provisions which relate to it
     were earnestly considered by the State Conventions which
     adopted it. Incipient legislation providing for emancipation
     had already been adopted by some of the States.
     Massachusetts had declared that slavery was extinguished by
     her Bill of Rights. The African slave trade had already been
     legislated against in many of the States, including
     Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina, the largest
     slaveholding States. The public mind was unquestionably
     tending toward emancipation. This feeling displayed itself
     in the South as well as in the North. Some of the present
     slaveholding States thought that the power to abolish, not
     only the African slave trade, but slavery in the States,
     ought to be given to the Federal Government; and that the
     Constitution did not take this shape, was made one of the
     most prominent objections to it by LUTHER MARTIN, a
     distinguished member of the Convention from Maryland; and
     Mr. MASON, of Virginia, was not far behind him in his
     emancipation principles. Mr. MADISON sympathized to a great
     extent. Anti-slavery feelings were extensively indulged in
     by many members of the Convention, both from the
     slaveholding and the non-slaveholding States."

Mr. MADISON'S testimony is important here. He was a member of the old
Congress in New York, until the assembling of the Constitutional
Convention, and took his seat as a member of that body.

The History of the Ordinance of 1787, by Hon. EDWARD COLES, contains
the following statement, as made to him by Mr. MADISON:

     "The old Congress held its sessions, in 1787, in New York,
     while at the same time the Convention which framed the
     Constitution of the United States held its sessions in
     Philadelphia. Many individuals were members of both bodies,
     and thus were enabled to know what was passing in each--both
     sitting with closed doors and in secret sessions. The
     distracting question of slavery was agitating and retarding
     the labors of both, and led to conferences of
     intercommunications of the members."

I quote this testimony now, to show that Conferences were held between
the members of Congress and the Federal Convention, upon the subject
of slavery. I shall quote farther from it on another point, after
turning for a moment to the proceedings of Congress.

On the 9th July, 1787, the Convention having been in session about two
months, the ordinance for the government of the Western Territory,
which had been reported in a new draft on the 26th of the preceding
April, and ordered to a third reading on the 10th May, and then
postponed, was referred to a new committee, consisting of Messrs.
CARRINGTON, of Virginia; DANE, of Massachusetts; R.H. LEE, of
Virginia; KEAN, of North Carolina; and SMITH, of New York. Two days
afterwards, July 11th, Mr. CARRINGTON reported what has since been
known as the "Ordinance of 1787," with the exception of the 6th
article of compact, prohibiting slavery. When it came up the next day,
the 12th, for a second reading, Mr. DANE rose and stated as follows:

     "In the committee, as ever before, since the day when
     JEFFERSON first introduced the proposal to prohibit slavery
     in the territory, it was found impossible to come to any
     arrangement; that the committee desired to report only so
     far as they were unanimous; that they, therefore, had
     omitted altogether the subject of slavery; but that it was
     understood that any member of the committee might,
     consistently with his having concurred in the report, move
     in the house to amend it in the particular of slavery. He
     therefore moved as an amendment, to add a prohibition of
     slavery in the following words:

     "That there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary
     servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in the
     punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly
     convicted."

And as a compromise, Mr. DAVIS proposed to add the following proviso:

     "Provided always, that any person escaping into the same,
     from whom labor-service is lawfully claimed in any one of
     the original States, such fugitive may be lawfully retained
     and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or
     service as aforesaid."

This was at once unanimously accepted by the slave States. The next
day, the 13th, the ordinance was passed, every slave State present,
viz.: Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia,
and every member from those States voting for it. The same
prohibition--which a large majority of the South had resisted when
presented alone--was now, when accompanied with the proviso,
unanimously agreed to.

Here was a sudden change. But the proviso giving the right of
reclamation in the said territory, only partially explains it. For a
full explanation we must turn again to the Convention. And the first
thing is a further extract from Mr. MADISON, respecting a letter,
before quoted, as follows:

     "The distracting question of slavery was agitating and
     retarding the labors of both bodies--Congress and the
     Convention; and led to conferences and intercommunications
     of the members, which resulted in a Compromise, by which the
     Northern, or anti-slavery portion of the country, agreed to
     incorporate into the ordinance and Constitution, the
     provision to restore fugitive slaves; and this mutual and
     concurrent action was the cause of the similarity of the
     provisions contained in both, and had its influence in
     creating the great unanimity by which the ordinance passed,
     and also in making the Constitution the more acceptable to
     the slaveholders."

Mr. MADISON, also, in the Virginia Convention, urged the ratification
of the Constitution for the following among other reasons, viz.:

     "At present, if any slave escape to any of those States
     where slaves are free, he becomes emancipated by their laws;
     for the laws of the States are uncharitable to one another
     in this respect. This clause was expressly inserted to
     enable owners of slaves to retain them. This is a better
     security than any that now exists."

General PINCKNEY, one of the delegates in the Federal Convention, from
South Carolina, in a debate in the House of Representatives of that
State on the Constitution, said:

     "We have obtained a right to remove our slaves in whatever
     part of America they may take refuge, which is a right we
     had not before. In short, considering all the circumstances,
     we have made the best terms we could, and on the whole I do
     not think them bad."

In the speech made by Mr. WEBSTER on the 7th of March, 1850, he
remarked that:

     "So far as we can now learn, there was a perfect concurrence
     of opinion between those respective bodies--the Congress and
     the Constitution--and it resulted in this ordinance of
     1787."

When Mr. WEBSTER had closed his speech, Mr. CALHOUN arose, and among
other things, said:

     "He, Mr. WEBSTER, states very correctly that the ordinance
     commenced under the old confederation; that Congress was
     sitting in New York at the time, while the Convention sat in
     Philadelphia; and that there was concert of action.... When
     the ordinance was passed, as I have good reason to believe,
     it was upon a principle of compromise; first, that this
     ordinance should contain a provision similar to the one put
     in the Constitution, with respect to fugitive slaves; and
     next, that it should be inserted in the Constitution; and
     this was the compromise upon which the prohibition was
     inserted in the ordinance of 1787."

This agrees with Mr. MADISON. The idea he conveys could scarcely have
been more identical with Mr. MADISON if he had used MADISON'S words.
When the Southern members of Congress voted unanimously for the 6th
Article, or anti-slavery clause in the ordinance, with the proviso in
respect to slaves escaping into the Territory, it was with the
understanding that the Convention would insert a similar provision in
the Constitution respecting slaves escaping from one State to another;
and this--its insertion in both--was the compromise upon which the
prohibition was inserted in the ordinance. Such is the concurrent
testimony of Mr. MADISON and Mr. CALHOUN.

We will now turn to the ordinance of 1787, and see whether it applies,
as the one proposed by Mr. JEFFERSON in 1784 did, to the new States as
well as to the Territories, and is the basis of State as well as
Territorial Governments, and was so intended. It declares as follows:

     "For extending the fundamental principles of civil and
     religions liberty, which form the basis whereon these
     republics, their laws and constitutions, are erected; to fix
     and establish these principles as the basis of all laws,
     constitutions, and governments, which forever hereafter
     shall be formed in the said Territory; to provide also for
     the establishment of States and permanent governments
     therein, and for their admission to a share in the Federal
     councils, on an equal footing with the original States, at
     as early periods as may be consistent with the general
     interest.

     "It is hereby ordained and declared by the authority
     aforesaid: That the following articles shall be considered
     as articles of compact between the original States and the
     people and States in the said Territory, and forever remain
     unalterable, unless by the common consent."

Then follows six articles of compact. Part of the fifth and the sixth
are in these words:

     "ART. 5.... Whenever any of the said States shall have sixty
     thousand free inhabitants therein, such State shall be
     admitted, by its delegates, into the Congress of the United
     States, on an equal footing with the original States, in all
     respects whatever; and shall be at liberty to form a
     permanent Constitution and State Government; _provided_ the
     Constitutional Government, so to be formed, shall be
     republican and in conformity to the principles contained in
     these articles."

     "ART. 6. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary
     servitude in the said Territory, otherwise than in the
     punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly
     convicted; _Provided, always_, That any person escaping into
     the same from whom labor or service is lawfully claimed in
     any one of the original States, such fugitive may be
     lawfully reclaimed, and conveyed to the person claiming his
     or her labor or service as aforesaid."

Such is so much of the ordinance as bears directly upon the point I am
discussing. And the Convention, as if for the very purpose of giving
the unequivocal sanction of the Constitution and of the country to
this compromise, and of establishing it as the permanent policy of the
Government, expressly provided that the "engagements entered into
before the adoption of this Constitution shall be as valid against the
United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation."

This ordinance, then, which was an unalterable compact, prohibiting
slavery, and fixing and establishing freedom as the basis of all laws,
constitutions, and governments in the Territory forever--State
Constitutions and Governments of course included--was made valid by
the Constitution itself. And on this point I refer to the highest
Southern authority, the late Judge BERRIEN, who was thoroughly
pro-slavery in his views, and should certainly be ranked among the
ablest lawyers and statesmen Georgia has ever produced, who spoke to
this precise point during the compromise discussion in the United
States Senate in 1850, as follows:

     "Validity was given to their act by the clause in the
     Constitution, which declares that contracts and engagements
     entered into by the Government of the Confederation, should
     be obligatory upon the Government of the United States
     established by the Constitution."

It is the "act" of Congress in passing the ordinance referred to here.
This being so, it was the same in effect as though the ordinance had
been written word for word in the Constitution itself. A contract can
be made valid, only by making it binding and obligatory upon the
parties to it, according to its terms and meaning. To make an
unalterable compact valid is to make it perpetually binding.

Having shown that the articles of compact in the ordinance were
unalterable; that validity was given to them by the Constitution
itself; that in express terms they applied to States as well as to
Territories, and must, therefore, being made valid by the
Constitution, necessarily have been understood and intended by
Congress and the Convention to prohibit slavery as effectually in one
as the other, I will now show very briefly that they were also so
understood in all parts of the country.

Mr. WILSON, of Pennsylvania, a prominent member of the Federal
Convention, and also of the State Convention for ratifying the
Constitution, remarked in the latter as follows:

     "I consider this clause as laying the foundation for
     banishing slavery out of the land.... The new States which
     are to be formed will be under the control of Congress in
     this particular, and slavery will never be introduced among
     them."

Mr. WILSON speaks of the clause authorizing the prohibition of the
African slave trade.

In the Massachusetts Convention to adopt the Constitution, Gen. HEATH
said:

     "Slavery cannot be extended. By their ordinance Congress has
     declared that the new States shall be republican States, and
     have no slavery."

Colonel BLAND, a member of the Convention from Virginia, said he
"wished slavery had never been introduced into America," and that "he
was willing to join in any measure that would prevent its extending
farther." To allow it in new States would not prevent its extending
farther, and therefore it was prohibited in such States.

Doctor RAMSAY, a member of the Convention of South Carolina, in his
History of the United States, says:

     "Under these liberal principles, Congress, in organizing
     colonies, bound themselves to impart to their inhabitants
     all the privileges of coequal States.... These privileges
     are not confined to any particular country or complexion.
     They are communicable to the emancipated slave, for in the
     new State of Ohio, slavery is altogether prohibited."

This compact, then, applies to State as well as Territorial
governments, and was so understood in all sections of the
country--northern, central, and southern--when the Constitution was
ratified.

Let me now call attention to the very significant proviso to the sixth
article. What does the word original mean, and what does the whole
article mean with that word in the proviso?

     "There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in
     the said Territory, otherwise than in the punishment of
     crimes, &c.; _Provided, always_, That any person escaping
     into the same, from whom labor or service is lawfully
     claimed in any one of the original States, such fugitive may
     be lawfully reclaimed, and conveyed to the person claiming
     his or her labor or service as aforesaid."

This means that there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude, except for the purpose of reclaiming such fugitives--and I
admit that slaves were intended--as are lawfully claimed in any one of
the original States. The very fact of the proviso implies that
Congress understood that the right of reclamation could not exist,
unless it was excepted.

And of course it could only exist for the purpose excepted. The
intention was to grant the right to the original States, but to limit
it to them. It is impossible to conceive of a measure for framing the
proviso as it is, if that had not been the intention. As the ordinance
itself made provision for the formation of new States, such States
must have been in the minds of members when acting upon it. If the
object had been to authorize the reclamation of slaves escaping to
this territory from other States than original States, it is certain
the word "original" would have been omitted. It was intended for the
purpose of limiting the right.

Now observe that this article, proviso and all, is part of an
unalterable compact to which the Constitution has given validity.
Nobody pretends Congress has ever had the power to alter it. Mr.
TOOMBS denies any such power in express terms. A law which Congress
cannot alter has substantially the force and effect of a
constitutional proviso. This, then, is the only law for the
reclamation of fugitive slaves in the five States of the northwest
territory; and there can be no other, the Constitution having made it
perpetually valid.

Such obviously is the meaning and legal effect of the fugitive slave
provision in the ordinance. And the meaning of that, derived as it is
not merely from the consent of the Federal and State conventions, but
from their concurrent action, necessarily fixes the meaning of the
provision on the same subject in the Constitution, and shows how it
must have been understood. As the two were parts of the same
compromise, of course neither was understood to be inconsistent with
the other. The provision in the Constitution is in these words:

     "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the
     laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence
     of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such
     service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the
     party to whom such service or labor may be due."

So far as this describes, or was understood to describe, persons held
to service or labor as slaves, it necessarily must also have been
understood to apply only to the original States. This follows from
what has already been shown. And it must have been so understood for
another reason, because it was only "in" and "under" the laws of those
States that persons could be held to service or labor as slaves. Under
the laws of the Territories and new States, their being so held was
forever prohibited. Hence, none but those escaped from one of the
original States could ever be legally liable to reclamation, according
to the understanding and intention of the original parties to this
compact. This manifestly was the meaning of "the fathers," when the
ordinance and Constitution were framed and ratified.

The two provisions must be construed together. That in the ordinance
was intended for the Territories and new States, and that in the
Constitution for the original States. If that in the Constitution had
been intended for the Territories, it would have read, "escaping into
another State or into the Territory," and that in the ordinance would
have been entirely omitted. The proviso to the prohibition in the
Missouri Compromise in 1820 is a striking confirmation of this. That
was copied, word for word, from the ordinance of 1787, or original
compromise, except substituting for the words "in any one of the
States," the words "in any State or Territory of the United States,"
as follows:

"_Provided, always_, That any person escaping into the same, from whom
labor or service is lawfully claimed in any one of the original
States, such fugitive," &c. And in the compromise of 1820:

"_Provided, always_, That any person escaping into the same from whom
labor or service is lawfully claimed in any State or Territory of the
United States, such fugitive," &c.

Why say "in any State or Territory of the United States," instead of
"in any one of the original States," as in the ordinance of 1787,
unless the Congress of 1820 understood the latter to limit the right
of recovering fugitive slaves to the original States, and meant by the
Missouri bill to extend it to all the States and Territories? They did
extend it, but in palpable violation of the "spirit of the compact of
the fathers," and of the "policy of 1787."

Originally the Southern States committed themselves to the policy of
slavery restriction, by a compact in the nature of a contract for a
consideration. By their own votes, they relinquished all pretence of
right to any slaves beyond the jurisdiction of the original States.
Slaveholders, as such, voluntarily shut themselves out of the new
States, in consideration of the right of recovering their fugitive
slaves in whatever part of America they might take refuge. The object,
as I have clearly shown, was to secure to slavery in the original
States the right of recovering fugitives, whether their escape should
be from one of those States to another, or to the Territories and new
States; but to make that the limit, both of the right of recovery on
one side, and of the obligation to permit or allow it, on the other.

It follows, then:

_First_: That as between the new States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
Michigan, and Wisconsin, no right of reclamation exists, or can exist,
there being no power in Congress, as the South admit, to alter the
compact in the ordinance of 1787, which denies this right.

_Second_: That no person, escaping from those States into any other
State or Territory, can be reclaimed as a fugitive slave, because no
person can be held as a slave under their laws.

_Third_: That no slave escaping from the slave States of Missouri,
Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, or Florida, into Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
Michigan, or Missouri, can be lawfully reclaimed as a fugitive slave,
because Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida are not
_original_ States.

_Fourth_: If slaves escape from any State or Territory other than the
original States, into the States of the northwestern territory, no
lawful power can touch them. The moment they reach those States they
become free, because labor or service cannot lawfully be claimed of
them in an original State.

_Fifth_: After the Missouri Compromise of 1820, slaves escaping from
Arkansas and Missouri, for example to Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and
Minnesota, could be reclaimed, but escaping to Illinois, Wisconsin,
Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, they could not be. And the Congress of
1820 so understood it. The particular in which the Missouri proviso
was altered in copying from the ordinance of 1787, is proof enough of
this.

But did the framers of the Government intend to distinguish in this
manner between new and original slave States? Certainly not; and the
reason is, they did not mean to have any new slave States. Otherwise
they certainly did mean to make this distinction, for nothing can be
clearer than that Louisiana and Missouri cannot go to Ohio to recover
fugitive slaves within the meaning of this "compact of the fathers;"
while Georgia can. Manifestly we have departed from the system devised
by the fathers in allowing Missouri, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and
Florida to be admitted with slavery, which explains, and nothing else
can, this anomalous condition of things.

There can be no escape from these conclusions, but to deny that the
ordinance has ever had any validity under the Constitution; which
would be scarcely less than to deny that the Constitution itself had
ever been a valid instrument. Having the like unequivocal sanction of
national authority, and expressing alike in the words of Mr. Toombs,
"the collective will of the whole," they must stand or fall together.

Originally the territory was not divided by the line of 36° 30´, or by
any other line giving part to freedom and part to slavery. It was all
secured, and by consent of the South, to freedom. There is nothing,
therefore, in the original compromise, to justify the remark of the
Editor of the Boston _Courier_ in a recent number of that paper, that
"below the line of 36° 30´, the South have the right of prescription."
Freedom has an older prescriptive right to all the Territories. The
line established by the compromise, between slavery permitted and
slavery prohibited, was the boundary line between the then existing
States and the Territory of the United States; or the line between
exclusive national jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of the States. It
is an erroneous assumption, therefore, that the free States, by the
introduction of slavery south of 36° 30´, as well as north of it,
would receive more than a fair share or moiety of rights and
privileges, as between States or parties entitled to equal privileges.
The idea that the extension of slavery under the Federal Government
can be claimed by anybody south or north as a right, is wholly
inadmissible. The _Courier_ will hold the following declarations from
Mr. WEBSTER to be good authority, if others do not:

     "Wherever there is a foot of land to be staid back from
     becoming slave territory, I am ready to assert the principle
     of excluding slavery." "We are to use the first and last,
     and every occasion which offers, to oppose the extension of
     slave power."

     "I have to say, that while I hold with as much integrity, I
     trust, and faithfulness, as any citizen of this country, to
     all the original amendments and compromises in which the
     Constitution under which we now live was adopted, I never
     could, and never can persuade myself to be in favor of the
     admission of other States into this Union as slave States
     with the inequalities which were allowed and accorded to the
     slaveholding States then in existence by the Constitution. I
     do not think that the free States ever expected, or could
     expect, that they would be called upon to admit further
     slave States.... I think they have the clearest right to
     require that the State coming into the Union, shall come in
     upon an equality; and if the existence of slavery be an
     impediment to coming in on an equality, then the State
     proposing to come in should be required to remove that
     inequality by abolishing slavery or take the alternative of
     being excluded. I put my opposition on the political ground
     that it deranges the balance of the Constitution."

Wherever there is a foot of land to be staid back from slavery! Every
occasion to be used to oppose the extension of the slave power! New
States to abolish the inequality of slavery, or be excluded! I suppose
Northern conservatives of the class referred to have endorsed those
doctrines and declarations of Mr. WEBSTER a thousand times, as sound,
national, conservative, and constitutional. But no Republican, so far
as I know, has ever proposed to go an inch beyond the line of policy
they indicated. The Chicago, or Republican Platform, certainly does
not. And yet that same line of policy, when advocated by Republicans,
is denounced as unsound, sectional, radical, and unconstitutional.

We have a great deal said about the equality of the States; of the new
with the original States. This is said to be a fundamental doctrine of
the Constitution.

It is claimed that citizens of the slaveholding States have an equal
right in the Territories with the citizens of the non-slaveholding
States; and I admit they have. But it is also claimed that they have
the same right to the protection of property in slaves as property in
cotton. This I deny. There is no such doctrine of State equality in
the Constitution, nor was any thing like it contemplated by its
framers. On the contrary, the Constitution denied this doctrine by
clear implication, certainly for the first twenty years. It withheld
from Congress the power to prohibit the importation of slaves into the
"existing" States till 1808, while their importation into the
Territories and new States might be prohibited at once. Ohio was
admitted in 1802. Congress had power to prohibit the importation of
slaves into that State from that time, and did do it in effect by the
very terms and conditions of her admission, which required that her
Constitution and Government should not be repugnant to the ordinance
of the 13th of July, 1787, which interdicted slavery. But Congress had
no power to prohibit the importation of slaves into Georgia till after
1808. Georgia and Ohio, therefore, in this respect, were not political
equals from 1802 to 1808.

Nor have the States been all political equals in the sense claimed,
since 1808. It will surprise many to be told that there is nothing in
the Constitution about State equality, and especially nothing that
affirms the equality of the new with the original States, even after
1808. And yet this is true. The only passages which refer to the new
States, except impliedly in the importation clause, are these: "New
States may be admitted by Congress into the Union; but no new State
shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other
State." There is nothing, certainly, in this language to show that the
new States were to be admitted on an equality, or an equal footing
with the original States.

And yet provision was made, when the Constitution was framed, for the
admission of all the new States to be formed in United States
Territory then possessed, "on an equal footing with the original
States." But it was a footing of equality which was in nowise
inconsistent with an absolute denial of the right to establish the
inequality of slavery. And this is proved by the only compact in the
English language contemporaneous with the Constitution which touches
the subject, namely, that part of the fifth article of compact in the
ordinance of 1787 which I have already quoted. There can be no shadow
of claim that any thing else secured, or pretended to secure, the
right of new States to admission into the Union on an equal footing
with the original States. That, I admit, did. It is, to repeat it, in
these words:

     "Whenever any of said States shall have sixty thousand free
     inhabitants therein, such State shall be admitted, by its
     delegates, into the Congress of the United States, on an
     equal footing with the original States in all respects
     whatever, and shall be at liberty to form a permanent
     Constitution and State Government; _provided_ the
     Constitution and Government so to be formed, shall be
     republican in conformity to the principles of these
     articles," the 6th, which prohibited slavery, included.

And this is all there is, contemporaneous with the Constitution, on
the subject of the equality of the States. The very instrument, then,
which secured the admission of new States, on an equal footing with
the original States, itself provided that they were never to tolerate
slavery.

The new States, then, neither were to have, nor have they, any
political equality which the prohibition violates, as Southern
gentlemen contend. Certainly those formed and admitted under the plan
of Government devised by the fathers, have not. In this sense they are
not political equals. The original States were, from the beginning,
and have ever been, political equals in this and every sense. Not,
however, because the Constitution says they are, for it says nothing
on the subject; but because they were independent sovereignties, and
as such, made a compact which united them under one Federal
Government, with discriminating restrictions upon the subject of
slavery, or upon any other subject. But the fact that the evil and
inequality of slavery existed in the original States, and was
tolerated from necessity, was no reason why it should be allowed in
the Territories and new States, where it did not and need never exist.
So the power of the Territories and new States was sufficiently
restricted to secure equality in personal rights and freedom to all
the "inhabitants." Of course it cannot be pretended that the mere fact
that one or more States had established, and had power to perpetuate
slavery, secured to new States the right to establish and perpetuate
the same enormity, as a necessary result of State equality. That would
make the right or power of one State, resulting from State equality,
necessarily coextensive with tolerated evil in another. Manifestly
"the fathers" had no such idea as this. Theirs was the common sense
and rational idea that a moral and political evil which existed in the
old States, and could not be removed, need not for that reason be
tolerated in new States.

The Constitution guarantees to each State a republican form of
Government merely; but the ordinance of 1787 provides that the
"Constitution and Government of each new State shall be republican."
Why this difference? In the original States slavery existed, or in
most of them; and so far they were anti-republican in fact and
practice, though republican in form. The framers of the Constitution,
having no power to abolish this anti-republican institution of slavery
in those States, did nothing more than guarantee them Governments
republican in form. But having the power to exclude it from the new
States, they did exclude it, and provided that their constitutions and
governments should be republican. That this was the reason for the
difference may be inferred from the remark of LUTHER MARTIN, a
distinguished member of the Federal Convention, that "slavery is
inconsistent with the genius of republicanism," and of General HEATH
in the Massachusetts Convention, that "Congress has declared that the
new States shall be republican and have no slavery." No other reason
can be given. Thus republicanism in fact, and not in form merely, was
made a condition of admitting new States. This is part of the
unalterable compact to which validity was given by the Constitution.
The Constitution, therefore, while it guarantees a republican form of
government, does in fact, by giving validity to the ordinance,
guarantee republican governments to the new States. This is another
very significant fact harmonizing perfectly with all the other facts
in the original plan for extending the Union by admitting States from
Territories.

The States are all equals, or not, according to the terms of their
admission. The original States became members of the Union upon the
single condition of ratifying the Constitution, which left them at
liberty to tolerate slavery or not. But the States formed in the only
Territory which belonged to the United States at the time the
Constitution was framed, were admitted on condition that slavery
should be perpetually interdicted within their limits, and as parties
to an unalterable compact to that effect.

Slavery was regarded, South as well as North, when the Constitution
was adopted, as a moral and political evil. This had been the general
sentiment of the country many years before, and continued to be long
after that period. The representatives of the extensive district of
Darien in Georgia, on the 12th of January, 1775, spoke of slavery as
"founded in injustice and cruelty, and highly dangerous to our
liberties." JEFFERSON pronounced it "an injustice and enormity." The
present Chief Justice of the United States, Mr. TANEY, who acted many
years ago as counsel of Rev. Mr. GRUBER, who was indicted in the State
of Maryland for preaching a sermon on the evils of slavery, spoke as
follows in his defence:

     "Mr. GRUBER did quote the language of our great act of
     National Independence, and insisted on the principles
     contained in that venerated instrument. He did rebuke those
     masters who, in the exercise of power, are deaf to the call
     of humanity, and he warned them of the evils they might
     bring upon themselves. He did speak in abhorrence of those
     who live by trading in human flesh, and enrich themselves by
     tearing the husband from the wife, the infant from the bosom
     of the mother, and this was the head and front of his
     offending. So far is he from being the object of punishment
     in any form of proceeding, that we are prepared to maintain
     the same principles, and to use, if necessary, the same
     language here in the Temple of Justice, and in the presence
     of those who are the ministers of the law."

     "A hard necessity, indeed, compels us to endure the evils of
     slavery for a time. While it continues it is a blot on our
     national character; and every real lover of freedom
     confidently hopes that it will be effectually, though it
     must be gradually, wiped away, and earnestly looks for the
     means by which the necessary object may be best obtained.
     And until it shall be accomplished, until the time shall
     come when we can point, without a blush, to the language
     held in the Declaration of Independence, every part of
     humanity will seek to lighten the galling chain of slavery,
     and better, to the utmost of his power, the wretched
     condition of the slave."

Mr. JOHNSON, of Maryland:--Where did you get that?

Mr. GOODRICH:--I got it from a printed sermon recently preached by Dr.
ORVILLE DEWEY, of Boston.

And Mr. CALHOUN, in the United States Senate, in 1838, said that "many
in the South once believed that slavery was a moral and political
evil;" and Mr. BUTLER, late a United States Senator from South
Carolina, said in the Senate in 1850, that he "remembered the time
when slavery was regarded as a moral evil, even in South Carolina."

In such a state of public sentiment, it is certainly no marvel that
slavery was not allowed to extend into the Territories and new States.
It was not prohibited in the northwest territory, because it was
supposed to be, or would become, an evil in that territory
particularly, or a greater evil there than anywhere else; but because
it was regarded as an evil everywhere, and therefore wrong to permit
its extension anywhere, when there was power to prevent it. There can
be no doubt it would have been prohibited in the Territories and new
States of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, if Georgia and North
Carolina, previous to the Federal Convention, had ceded them to the
United States upon the same conditions Virginia had ceded the
northwest territory. Proof of this is found in the fact that the plan
of territorial governments interdicting slavery forever after 1800,
embraced all territory ceded, or to be ceded by individual States; and
still further proof is in the fact, that the cessions by Georgia and
North Carolina, after the adoption of the Constitution, were upon the
express condition that slavery should not be prohibited; thereby
showing that the policy of the Federal Government, as they understood
it, was restrictive of slavery in the far southern latitudes as well
as in the more northern, and that they expected the power to restrict
would be exercised, if not withheld in the deeds of cession. A
proposition was, in fact, made to apply the anti-slavery clause of
1787, to all the southern part of the Mississippi territory, now the
southern parts of Alabama and Mississippi, by the act of April 7th,
1798, it being supposed at one time that it belonged to the United
States; but the debate shows that the proposition was withdrawn
because the jurisdiction was in Georgia, or because not five members
of Congress, after the question was examined, believed otherwise.
Georgia claimed absolute title and right of jurisdiction, and denied
all right on the part of the United States to interfere with slavery.
Congress did, however, prohibit the importation of slaves into the
territory, and declare every slave so imported to be entitled to his
freedom. This was probably wholly unauthorized, as it was six years
before Georgia ceded it to the United States, and ten years before
Congress had power to prohibit the importation of slaves into that
State. But these facts show a strong disposition on the part of "the
fathers" to curtail and circumscribe slavery, even in the far south,
and at the hazard, too, of exercising doubtful power.

Nothing can be clearer than that the original States had a right to
form a Federal Government on such terms as to themselves as they
could mutually agree upon, and to fix the terms upon which they would
permit new members to be admitted. The Northern States were under no
obligation to protect slavery at all, not even by permitting fugitives
to be reclaimed within their limits. If, then, they were willing to
concede that right to the original States, only upon condition that
slavery should not be allowed to extend, who will say they had not a
right to make that condition, or that, if agreed to, it would not be
valid and binding? With their views of slavery, believing it to be a
moral and political evil, it was certainly their first and highest
duty to make effectual provision against its extension, before
undertaking, for any reason, to give the least protection to it. Such
provision they supposed they had made, and it was this that justified
them, if any thing could, in conceding the right of reclamation.

The free, or northern States, in the exercise of their admitted right
in deciding upon the terms of Union, insisted on making it a
fundamental and ever-binding condition that no obligation to protect
slavery in Illinois should ever exist; and this was done for reasons
which render it morally certain that they would have insisted on the
same condition in reference to Missouri, if Missouri had been part of
the original territory. It would be preposterous to suppose that while
they would not consent to guarantee slavery in any manner in Illinois,
because they believed it to be a moral and political evil, they meant
at the same time to make a Government that could obligate them to
guarantee it in the adjoining Territory or State of Missouri, either
by the return of fugitive slaves, or in any other manner. They meant
no such thing, nor can an honest interpretation of the terms of union
bind them to such guarantee now. The right to recapture fugitive
slaves could not exist without the consent of the free States; and as
that consent was given upon conditions and with limitations, by
necessary implication and every sound principle of construction, they
reserved the right to say whether it should exist upon other
conditions and with other limitations, or without either condition or
limitation.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--No one from Kentucky or Virginia wishes to alter the
ordinance of 1787. For GOD'S sake spare us the argument.

Mr. GOODRICH:--I understand no alteration is proposed in the
ordinance; nor am I arguing against any such proposition. I am showing
what the policy of 1787 was, and what the compact of the fathers was.
And I am doing this because it is in the spirit of that policy and
compact that Kentucky and Virginia tell us they wish to have this
controversy adjusted. Massachusetts and the other Northern States
meant to fix, and supposed they had fixed, a limit to their connection
with, and responsibility for slavery. By consenting to the clause
which secured the right of reclamation, they did become responsible
for it to a certain extent. So far as it was supposed, when that
clause was agreed to, that its effect would be the recapture of
fugitive slaves, and their return to bondage, and so far as the
purpose was to make such recapture and return lawful, so far the
responsibility of adding to the security of slavery was voluntarily
assumed. But this was limited to the existing States by excluding
slavery from all United States territory. If any part of such
territory had been left for slavery--enough for a single slave
State--it might be said that its extension from a part was for reasons
applicable only to a part, and so could not be considered as
establishing the principle of non-extension. But now this cannot be
said. Not a foot was left for slavery.

We thus see what the state of things would have been to-day if foreign
territory had not been acquired. Such acquisitions were not originally
contemplated, and of course not provided for. The first--Louisiana--was
deemed unconstitutional by Mr. JEFFERSON, and yet it was made while he
was President; but with no right, "according to the spirit of the
compact of the fathers," to place the Federal Government or the States
under any other relation to slavery in subsequently acquired territory
than that which they sustained to it--the only one they would consent
to sustain--in the Territories possessed at the time that compact was
made.

A great deal is said about State rights. But the doctrine of State
rights proves too much. Massachusetts had a clear and undoubted right
originally to limit her obligations upon this subject. And she did
limit them. The original compromise was "better security" to slavery
in the original States, with no extension of it to the Territories and
new States. This better security was the accepted consideration for
waiving the right to extend, and Massachusetts may rightfully insist
on this waived right to extend, so long as this "better security" is
demanded of her.

Southern gentlemen in this Convention propose to be governed by the
principles of the founders of the Government, and by the Constitution,
or compact of union, as those founders understood it. By that they say
they are willing to do as the fathers did, and adjust the present
unhappy controversy by applying to new territory the same principles
which the fathers applied to the old. Let me assure gentlemen from the
slave States that if they are really in earnest in offering these
terms of adjustment, this unhappy controversy can be settled in less
than an hour's time. Having always claimed the right to recapture
fugitive slaves in territory acquired since, as well as in that
acquired before the adoption of the Constitution, the slave States
have ever been bound, upon every principle of honor and fair dealing,
to concede the original consideration for it, that is, prohibition. A
purpose secretly entertained when that compromise was made, to use the
Government in the manner it has actually been used, to enlarge the
area of slavery and the obligation to guarantee it, would have been
dishonest and fraudulent; but the fact that this purpose was conceived
afterward, as it doubtless was, does not alter the case a whit. No man
possessed of the facts can honestly claim that the bargain between the
North and South, interpreted according to the true interest and
meaning of both parties at the time of making it, can justify the
extension of slavery a rod beyond the original States, or a particle
of protection to it beyond the right to recover fugitives from such
States.

Having thus shown, as I think I have, that an essential element in the
basis of the "more perfect Union" on the question of slavery, was the
principle of non-extension, we find the first failure to assert this
principle was in the omission to apply it to the Louisiana purchase.
The importation of slaves into that territory was immediately
prohibited. That probably cut off the only source of supply from which
danger of extension was then apprehended. The policy of the Government
was well understood, and no apprehension of a practical departure from
it existed. There was nothing in the circumstance of the purchase, or
the reasons for making it, to excite such apprehension. But it was
seen on the application of Missouri for admission, that the ordinance
of 1787 should have been applied to it at the time of the purchase. If
it had been, Louisiana, Missouri, and Arkansas would never have become
slave States (the few slaves in New Orleans and vicinity being
emancipated, as they should have been, upon some equitable principle),
and the Missouri Compromise, which was the second departure from the
original policy, would never have been made. The third was the
annexation of Texas as a slave State, and the argument to divide it
into three or four more. Annexation led to the war with Mexico, and
the acquisition of a large part of her territory, and to the
compromise of 1850, by which it was Congressionally agreed that the
States formed in that territory might be admitted with slavery, if
their Constitutions should so prescribe. This was the fourth departure
from the original policy of prohibition. The fifth was the repeal of
the Missouri Compromise in 1850, and the attempts to subjugate and
enslave Kansas. That repeal made the change from the original policy
radical and total. Certainly it is high time "to restore the Union and
Constitution in the spirit in which they were established by the
fathers."

And now, sir, I propose to begin the work of "restoring the policy of
1787," by applying the ordinance of 1787 to every foot of organized
and unorganized territory, wherever situated, which now belongs to the
United States, precisely as the fathers applied it to every foot of
such territory at the time the Constitution was made; and I ask, in
all earnestness and seriousness, what any member of the Convention can
have to say against this, who sincerely desires to "restore the Union
and Constitution in the spirit in which they were established by the
fathers of the Republic," and is "ready to adjust the present unhappy
controversy" in the same spirit? What, I beg to know, can be said
against this mode of adjustment by those who are in favor of a
"restoration of the Constitution to the principles and landmarks of
our fathers," and of a "return to the policy of 1787"? Can any man
doubt that that ordinance would have been extended over all these
territories in 1787, if they had belonged to the United States at that
time? Let slavery, then, be prohibited now precisely as the fathers
prohibited it then. Copy that old ordinance word for word, and give it
legal force and effect, and make it the basis of all laws, and all
constitutions, and all governments in these Territories forever,
because the fathers gave it such force and effect, and made it the
basis of all laws, and all constitutions and all governments forever
in all the Territories of the Union, in 1787. If that would not be a
return to the "principles and landmarks of the fathers," and to the
"policy of 1787," then I beg to know what would be? How is it
possible--I put it to you, gentlemen of the South--how is it possible
to persuade yourselves that the principles and policy of 1787 can be
restored by adopting the resolutions of the General Assembly of
Virginia? By what process is it that the gentleman (Mr. SEDDON) from
Virginia, has come to believe that the South is entitled, according to
the spirit of the compact of the fathers, "to the added guarantees" of
which he speaks? According to the spirit of that compact it is
manifest the slave States are entitled to no added guarantees.

But another of the Virginia Commissioners (Mr. RIVES) tells us that
this question of slavery in nowise concerns the free States. On this
point I will quote from a very high authority, which Virginia,
certainly, will respect. Mr. MADISON was a member of the first
Congress under the Constitution. A colleague of his, Mr. PARKER,
proposed a duty on the importation of slaves, and said he "hoped
Congress would do all that lay in their power to restore to human
nature its inherent privileges, and, if possible, wipe off the stigma
under which America labors." Mr. MADISON, in remarking on that
proposition, among other things said:

     "Every addition the States receive to their number of slaves
     tends to weaken and render them less capable of
     self-defence. In case of hostilities with foreign nations,
     they will be the means of inviting attack instead of
     repelling invasion. It is a necessary duty of the General
     Government to protect every part of their confines against
     danger, as well internal as external. Every thing,
     therefore, which tends to increase danger, though it be a
     local affair, yet, if it involve national expense and
     safety, becomes of concern to every part of the Union, and
     is a proper subject for the consideration of those charged
     with the general administration of the Government."

And we hear, too, a great deal about war, civil war, if this unhappy
controversy is not satisfactorily adjusted, which means upon the
terms proposed by the slave States. But do gentlemen mean that an
appeal will be made to the sword, unless the Constitution shall be so
amended as to "provide that slavery of the African race shall be
effectually protected as property in all the territory of the United
States, now held or hereafter acquired south of latitude 36°
30´"?--which is the proposition of Virginia. If that is what is meant,
then let me, before I close, read an extract from one of the last
speeches made by HENRY CLAY in the Senate of the United States. It is
as follows:

     "If, unhappily, we should be involved in war, civil war,
     between the two portions of this Confederacy, in which the
     effort upon the one side should be to restrain the
     introduction of slavery into the new Territories, and upon
     the other side to force its introduction there, what a
     spectacle should we present to the astonishment of mankind,
     in an effort, not to propagate rights, but--I must say it,
     though I trust it will be understood to be said with no
     design to excite feeling--a war to propagate wrongs!"

Mr. HOWARD moved an adjournment.

Mr. BRONSON objected, raising the question of order. He claimed that
the Conference, by adopting the resolutions of Mr. RANDOLPH, had fixed
the limits of the sessions, from 10 o'clock A.M., to 4 o'clock P.M.

The motion of Mr. HOWARD was not concurred in.

Mr. LOOMIS:--I feel that this is an important crisis in the affairs of
the country. Perhaps it is the most important that ever occurred in
American history. The first Convention of thirteen scattered States
was earnestly engaged in protecting the liberties which had been won
in the Revolution. It gave us a Constitution under which, for more
than seventy years, we have lived prosperously and happily. Now
political contests have taken place. New questions have arisen, and
one portion of the Union believes the Constitution inadequate to
protect its interests. The question which we are obliged to consider
is: How shall we save the country? Disguise it as we may, deceive
ourselves as we may, the country is in danger--in great and imminent
danger. A solemn duty is imposed upon each one of us. How shall we
save the country?

Virginia has invited this conference of her sister States.
Pennsylvania responded to her call with all activity. Pennsylvania has
responded because she understood and appreciated Virginia. There is
great misapprehension in the North concerning this venerated State,
as well in regard to her motives as in regard to the principles and
feelings that influence her people in their intercourse with and their
action toward other States of the Union. I know Virginia well. I have
associated with her people. I have practiced before her judicial
tribunals.

Some years ago I was greatly pressed by an abolitionist who was
indicted in Virginia, to undertake his defence. He was very fearful
that he would not receive an impartial trial, that the court and jury
would participate in the public excitement. I told him that he need
indulge in no such misapprehensions. I knew Virginia too well for
that. I told him, however, that if he desired it, I would go; but it
was simply to defend him, and secure him a fair trial--to act as his
counsel. I could not represent his sentiments, for I am not and never
was an abolitionist. I assumed his defence. I told him I would go, and
I went. I did find great excitement there, but it did not surprise me.
Many valuable slaves had shortly before escaped, some of them through
the assistance and instrumentality of my client. Judge Fry was the
presiding judge of the court. His liberality, and that of all his
officers, was great--as great as I ever enjoyed in my own State. The
sheriff of the county drew thirty-six jurymen. Of these, twelve were
slaveholders, twelve were abolitionists, and twelve were
non-slaveholders. When the jury was finally empannelled it consisted
of nine abolitionists and three non-slaveholders.

I never saw in my whole professional life a trial conducted with
greater fairness or justice. The whole of it was entirely satisfactory
to myself, and I believe to my client.

I have ever since entertained a feeling of the highest respect for
Virginia. Her abstractions I confess I could never understand, nor did
I ever wish to. They are her exclusive property, and she never uses
them to the injury of her neighbors. If she chooses to make the
resolutions of '98 a matter of importance, I do not know that anybody
is injured.

I regretted to hear the imputations upon Virginia which some gentlemen
have seen fit to make. Menace is not the habit of that ancient
commonwealth. She does not indulge in it, and it would not become her.
The gentleman from New York intimated that if a State came to him with
a menace he would meet it with a menace. In this I agree with him. If
Virginia came here with a menace I should meet her with defiance. But
happily for us we have no occasion to consider the question in this
light. If ever a State came to meet her sisters, to consult for the
common good in a proper spirit, Virginia does so now.

A military chieftain once, when approaching his death, lamented that
he had no children to transmit his name and his qualities to
posterity. Virginia will never need to take up such a lamentation. She
has children enough. She is the mother of WASHINGTON and JEFFERSON, of
MADISON, MARSHALL, and CLAY. Rightly and justly she has been called
the mother of States. She is the mother of States, and of millions of
freemen.

I honor and respect Virginia, for she deserves it. She was among the
foremost in the Revolutionary struggle; and since it was terminated,
she has exhibited a continued example of patriotism and loyalty. Her
sons have been among the ablest in our legislative councils, and even
to-day she sets a noble example before the country, for the emulation
of her sister States. Our interests are inseparably connected with her
own. We will acknowledge the fact, and act in view of it. Let her
remember, also, that she has a common interest with us. She will do so
because she will be faithful to her old traditions as well as to her
present duty.

I cannot believe that the time has come when it is necessary for us to
contemplate a dissolution of the Union. The people are not prepared
for such an awful event. We do not yet know how heavy sacrifices they
will make to avoid it. Some States have left us I know, but I believe
their absence is but temporary. We must have them back, and we will.
As for the Border States leaving us in the present condition of
affairs, with the present feeling of friendship for them, _that_ I
regard as an impossibility. Why should the Border States go out of the
Union when three-fourths of the present Congress are ready to give
them all the guarantees they ask?

But let not Pennsylvania be misunderstood in her position. She will
yield a vast deal for peace. She will examine and recognize the rights
of every section of the country. She believes that when this is done,
it is the duty of all to stand by the Union. She believes that the
Border States cannot connect themselves with a so-called Southern
Confederacy without involving themselves in a vortex of ruin. The
President of the Southern Confederacy already talks about the smell of
gunpowder, and about battles at the North. Well! he is a brave man no
doubt, but if he will invade Pennsylvania we will resist him.
Pennsylvania has gold enough to calm her friends; she has iron enough
to cool her enemies.

But Pennsylvania desires no war. She will do all that an honorable
State can do to avoid war. In that temper she sends her delegates
here, and they will do all that honorable men can do to carry out her
wishes. She has no desire to be a frontier State with her four hundred
miles of border, which she must guard and protect if disunion takes
place on the terms suggested. She will do all she can to avoid
disunion. She is now a central State--the keystone of the arch. She
wants no imaginary line drawn along her border, with herself on one
side of it and enemies upon the other.

Pennsylvania has always kept faith with the Union. She has always
performed all her duties toward the Federal Government with
cheerfulness and fidelity. Her three millions of people are true to
all their obligations now to the Government as well as to her sister
States. Her voice is for peace. She would at all hazards avoid
disunion. She would make many sacrifices to avoid civil war. Last of
all, she would do all she could to save the Union; she would never
permit the destruction of the country. My own position is easily
defined. I fully sympathize with and endorse the position of
Pennsylvania.

     Mr. LOOMIS referred to the election, installation, and
     message of the Governor of Pennsylvania, also to various
     resolutions of political conventions in Pennsylvania, in
     confirmation of his own views of the sentiments of the
     people of that State, and continued:

I shall dwell but a short time upon the provisions of the proposed
amendments. I can live under the Constitution as it is, or as it will
be if these amendments are adopted. I shall uphold the Constitution. I
shall commit myself to no opposite course. The whole amendment is
connected with and concerns the question of slavery in the
Territories. This has always been a fruitful source of trouble.

The character of the relation of the Government to the Territories,
and the interests of the States in them, were questions raised in most
of the States when the Constitution was adopted.

The compromise of 1820, it was hoped, settled one question concerning
them--the question of slavery. But upon the repeal of the compromise
the difficulty was opened again. Pennsylvania never took as ultra
ground respecting this subject as many other States. She thought its
importance was magnified. It is magnified now. If the South secured
the amendment proposed it would not avail her much. The granting of it
would not injure the North. The territory is unfitted for the
profitable employment of slave labor. That is shown by experience. In
ten years scarcely ten slaves had found their way into New Mexico and
Arizona.

This is a question of sectional interest, and may be one, to some
extent, of political power. Examine, for a moment, the true interests
of both the North and South, in the question as it is now presented. I
mean the interest of the extremes, for the Border States certainly
cannot have a very deep interest in it. They lay between the two
sections, and to some extent sympathize with both. The valuable
portion of our present territory is north of the line proposed. It is
rich in agricultural and mineral resources. It will be changed in time
into a number of powerful and wealthy States. Is it not desirable now
to exclude slavery from them forever? Then as to the territory south.
It is smaller in extent, and almost infinitely less valuable. Much of
it is barren desert which can never be cultivated. Considered as a
material interest, the South is asking but little. The North is giving
up almost nothing, by agreeing to give the South the control of this
section while it remains a territory. But the South does not ask even
that. She simply asks to have those rights guaranteed, the existence
of which are already practically conceded.

As to future territory, I would raise no question about it. We want no
more territory north or south. Its acquisition would only be attended
with new troubles. New questions would be raised to threaten the quiet
of the country and the stability of our institutions. Why should we
trouble ourselves about the acquisition of new territory when we have
already enough for one hundred millions of people?

We may form a Constitution which will be entirely satisfactory to the
nation now. We may extend our territory in such a way as to render a
change indispensable. Considerations of climate and race will be
constantly occurring, which will require new changes. The Federal
Constitution may have been well enough adapted to the four millions of
people to whom it was first applied, and it is not strange that the
growth of the nation, and the new interests which have since arisen,
should require some changes now. I say that we need no more territory.

What objection, then, can there be to compromising this matter, to
arranging it to the satisfaction of all parties, if the rights of all
can be regarded and secured? The course which I would follow in such a
case, would be that indicated by traditional policy of statesmen in
whom our people have had confidence--the policy of such men as
HARRISON and HENRY CLAY.

I do not regard the provisions relating to slavery in the District of
Columbia as of any practical consequence to the North. Pennsylvania
cares little about it. There would seem to be a propriety in
countenancing slavery here so long as it exists in the adjoining
States.

The Border States ask us now for these guarantees. They ask them
earnestly and in a spirit of loyalty to the Union. My answer to such a
request, urged in such a spirit, is, that I would give them any
guarantees I could within the limits of the Constitution.

Pennsylvania forms one of the brotherhood of States. She is in the
Union, and she will remain there. She is bound to it by all the
memories and associations of the past, and by all the hopes of the
future. She will discharge, as she always has discharged, all her
duties, all her obligations to the Union. No State exceeds her in
devotion to it. But, at the same time, she will not be unmindful of
her duties and her obligations to the other States. She would
discharge these obligations as she can afford to discharge them, in a
spirit of generosity and conciliation. In that spirit she will give
her assent to these propositions of amendment. I believe I have fairly
represented the opinions of Pennsylvania in what I have said, and I
rely upon her people--my constituents--for my justification.

Mr. CHITTENDEN:--I will consult the pleasure of the Conference
whether I shall proceed with my observations now, or during the
evening session?

Mr. MOREHEAD: I think the Conference had better adjourn. I make the
motion.

The motion was adopted, and the Conference adjourned to meet at
half-past seven o'clock this evening.

       *       *       *       *       *

EVENING SESSION--FOURTEENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, THURSDAY, _February 21st, 1861._

The Conference was called to order at half-past seven o'clock, Mr.
ALEXANDER in the chair.

Mr. CHITTENDEN: I feel gratified by the kindness which has given me an
opportunity of making a few observations to the Conference, and I
shall not abuse it.

The delegates from Vermont have acted throughout the session under
great embarrassment. We hold our appointments from the Executive of
that State. Her Legislature was not in session when the Virginia
Resolutions were adopted, and the day fixed for the meeting of the
Conference was so early that no time was given to the Governor of
Vermont for consultation, or for taking any other means of
ascertaining the temper of the State in relation to the Virginia plan.
We were summoned by telegraph--myself upon an hour's notice--to come
here, and we obeyed the summons.

By the rules of the Conference we are prohibited from correspondence
with our constituents upon the subject of its action, and we are
entirely without recent information concerning their views and wishes.
But one course remains to us, and that we must inflexibly pursue. That
is, to apply the propositions upon which we are called to vote, to the
known and established opinions of our people upon the principles
involved in them; and if these principles coincide with their
opinions, to give our assent; if they do not, to withhold it. We hold
it our duty to respect and obey the opinions of our constituents; and
in our action here, such obedience is a pleasure.

First of all, before referring to the merits or demerits of these
propositions, I wish to be informed distinctly upon one point. One
section of the Union requires guarantees; the other does not. Here are
two parties having different interests, proposing to themselves
different courses of action. One of them proposes these guarantees in
the form of what it calls a compromise. There are many subjects which,
in the experience of life, we are obliged to compromise. All of us
understand the meaning of the term. It implies that when two parties
differ upon a subject of common interest, each is to yield something
to the other, until both reach an agreement upon a middle ground, and
the difference is settled. But one consequence always follows, always
must follow, or it is in nowise a compromise: _Both parties are bound
by the agreement._

There is another way in which compromises are effected. When opposing
parties cannot come to an understanding, they agree to submit the
matters in difference to some tribunal that can decide between them. A
like consequence always follows from such a proceeding. The parties
agree to _submit_ to the decision, to be _bound_ by it, and mutually
undertake to carry it into effect, whatever the decision may be.

There is still another way in which a _political_ compromise may be
made. Its terms may be agreed upon, and then it may be submitted to
the people for adoption. When adopted, it becomes the law of the
land--equally binding upon all sections of the country. If it is
rejected, the party which proposed it has secured its submission to
the proper tribunal--it has been considered, and that party should,
upon every principle of law or morality, acquiesce in the result.

Except in one of these three methods I know of no way in which a
_compromise_ can be made. Let us apply these methods to the questions
before us. One of them must be adopted if we _compromise_ at all.

In fact there is one principle which forms the very foundation of our
Government, and it should be kept constantly in mind. We cannot
negotiate, we cannot legislate, we cannot _compromise_, unless all
parties will acknowledge its binding force. If there is a party that
does not acknowledge this, in my judgment that party has no right to
be here. It is not a Republican party. I do not use this term in a
party sense, but in the sense which is used in the fourth article in
the Constitution, where the United States are required to guarantee to
every State a _republican_ form of Government. The principle to which
I refer is this: That the will of the majority, constitutionally
expressed, must control the Government, and all questions relating to
it; and that will must be respected and obeyed by the minority.

Now, if the members representing the free States will accept these
propositions of amendment in good faith--will agree to submit them
through Congress to the people of the States, and to be bound by the
decision of the majority, whatever that decision may be--will you,
gentlemen of the slave States, do the same? I do not refer to the
States which have undertaken to withdraw from the Union. I only call
upon the members for the States here represented. You have the right
to speak for your respective States. You are sent here for that
purpose. You ask us to give our votes for proposals which are
certainly unpleasant, not to say offensive to us, and to use such
influence as we possess to induce Congress to submit these to the
people. You express the highest degree of confidence in the result.
This is _your_ plan of compromise. If we resist it, you charge us with
standing between the people and your plan--of sacrificing the Union to
our platform. Very well. If we will submit your propositions to the
people, and agree to be bound by and to acquiesce in their decision,
will you do the same? If you will, it may be of service to protract
this discussion, to make these propositions as acceptable as possible.
If you will not, we are wasting time. We may as well stop here.
Believe me, sir, Vermont, as well as every other free State, will have
too much self-respect to agree to the terms of a compromise which will
bind one party and will not bind the other.

There is one thing farther which we must understand. It has been
frequently referred to in debate, and I shall not enlarge upon it.
Time must elapse before these propositions can be acted upon. The free
States expect faithfully to observe all their duties to the General
Government--to keep faith with it as they always have. Will the slave
States do the same? Will they not only _not obstruct_ the Government
in the execution of the laws, but will they _aid_ the Government in
executing the laws? The answer to this inquiry is as important as the
other.

Now, it is useless to tell the people of the free States, that such is
the present condition of the South, such is the apprehension and
distrust prevailing there, that we must give them these guarantees at
once, without any longer delay or discussion--that if we do not they
will secede. Such an argument as that, sir, is an unworthy argument;
it is unfit to be used in an assembly of men met to confer upon the
Constitution. This is not the way in which good constitutions are
made, for one of the several parties to present its ultimatum, and
then insist upon its adoption, under the threat that if it is not
adopted they will go no farther. If such is the true condition of
affairs in some of the States, and the gentlemen representing them are
the best judges, then before proceeding to amend the Constitution to
satisfy them, I think we had better try to put them into a frame of
mind suitable for negotiation. A Constitution adopted in that way
would be good for nothing. Let it once be understood that such claims
will be recognized, and we shall have amendments to the Constitution
proposed as often as any section can find a pretext for proposing
them. The agreeable course to us all would be to yield to your
pressing appeals. But you ask us to compromise upon most extraordinary
terms. You will not give us the slightest assurance that the people of
the slave States will acquiesce in the vote of the whole people upon
your propositions. You even say, you will not acquiesce, if the
decision is adverse. You are in doubt if they will be satisfied if the
decision is in their favor; and some gentlemen frankly avow that these
propositions in themselves are not satisfactory. The gentleman from
Virginia, with an openness and a frankness which seems a part of his
nature, tells us in substance that Virginia will not be satisfied with
these; that Virginia is settled in her determination that slave
property shall be respected; that it has as high a right to protection
as any other property, and in some respects higher; that Virginia will
have these rights acknowledged and secured _under_ the Constitution,
or she will not be satisfied. The statement that she will _not be
satisfied_, has a very peculiar and expressive signification.

Such being our present condition, I have little hope that good can
come of our deliberations. We have started wrong. We should have
settled the questions first, that the Union must be preserved, the
laws enforced, and the duty of every State toward the Union performed,
in every contingency and under all circumstances. Having resolved
this, we could then go on, carefully consider the wants of every
section, and we could afford to be generous in meeting the views of
our Southern friends.

I feel more diffidence than I can well express in being obliged to
differ so widely from the opinions of the gentlemen who have
introduced the proposals contained in the majority report, and who
have advocated them with such signal ability. I have less hesitation
in expressing my unqualified dissent from the representatives of the
free States, who pledge the people of those States so unreservedly to
the support of these propositions, if Congress will submit them to
their constituents. I object to these pledges, because I know they are
deceptive, that they are made without authority, and that they will
never be fulfilled. The South may as well understand this now, as
hereafter.

The Union is precious to the people of the free States. They look upon
it with a feeling closely approaching to reverence. They have looked
upon its dissolution as the greatest national calamity possible. They
have been taught to regard the idea of dissolution as a sin. Now, when
the subject is forced upon their attention, when Conventions are
called throughout the South to discuss it, when in some of the States
the process has already commenced, I am well aware they will make
heavy sacrifices to preserve the Union. They will sacrifice their
prosperity, political influence, friendship, social relations, yes,
their lives, to secure its perpetuity. But they will not sacrifice
their principles which they have conscientiously adopted. No, not even
to save the Union.

But let me not be misunderstood. A Government that cannot be
maintained without the sacrifice of those principles upon which all
good governments are founded, is not worth preserving. Such is not the
case with _ours_. Its preservation requires no such sacrifice; and if
we made it, the sacrifice would be useless. The habit once commenced,
we should be called upon to repeat it over and over again, until at
length we should have a Government destitute of principle.

The people of the slave States believe that slavery is a desirable
institution, that a Government founded upon it would be most
desirable. It has been declared here, that it is even a missionary
institution, and that the North, in attempting to overthrow it,
interposes between the slaveholder and his Maker, thereby preventing
him from performing a duty toward the African race which his ownership
imposes upon his conscience. Well, that is a question between
yourselves and your consciences. We do not wish to interfere. Keep the
institution within your own State limits, and we are content that you
should have all the credit, and honor, and glory that pertains to it.
Over and over again the truth has been asserted here, that there never
has been, and is not now, any party, or any considerable number of men
in the free States, who entertain the idea of interfering with slavery
in the States. The opinions of a few rash men who entertain other
views, are no more respected among us than among yourselves.

But the growth and extension of slavery outside of State limits, in
the Territories which are our common property, present a very
different question. If the North permits it there, to that extent it
becomes responsible for slavery. I do not care what term you use to
describe the feeling of the North in relation to slavery. One
gentleman says that the North _abhors_ it, and the use of the term has
excited much comment. I may be still more unfortunate, but it is my
duty to say that you cannot present an idea more repulsive to the
northern mind or the northern conscience, than that of making the
North responsible for the existence, expansion, growth, extension, or
any thing else relating to slavery. Right or wrong, this sentiment has
taken a firm hold of the northern mind. There it is, and it must be
taken into account in every proposition which depends for its success
upon the action of the North. Sneering at it will do no good; abuse
will only make it stronger. You cannot legislate it out of existence.
From this time forward, as long as the nation has an existence, you
must expect the determined opposition of the North to the extension of
slavery into free territory. If your proposals of amendment involve
_that_, we may accept them, Congress may propose them, the South may
adopt them; but the answer of the North to them all will be an
emphatic, a determined, _No!_

Mr. GRANGER:--If you Republicans will let us go to the people, we
will show you what they will do. I think I understand the wishes and
feelings of the people of the North.

Mr. CHITTENDEN:--No doubt. The gentleman says he supported the BELL
and EVERETT ticket. The record of his State shows to what extent his
opinions are in sympathy with those of the people of the North.

Mr. President, for a time I did expect profitable results from this
Conference. As I watched it from day to day, it seemed to me that
generally the States had been very fortunate in the selection of their
representatives; that few of extreme opinions had been selected; and
that such a body, animated by common love for the Union, and by a
common desire to secure a perpetuity of its blessings, must finally
come to an agreement which would satisfy all; or if not, to an
agreement in which all would acquiesce. In that belief I had
determined to give my assent to the most extreme propositions which
might be made here, that did not run counter to the position of my
State upon the question of slavery extension, if those propositions
would quiet the country and settle our present difficulties.

But when I heard it announced on this floor that the propositions
contained in the majority report even, which do provide for the
extension of slavery into the Territories, which involve a direct
constitutional recognition of slavery for the first time, which place
it above and beyond legislation, which take it out of the hands of
posterity, which compel the North to pay for fugitives; and when I
heard it stated that even these were not enough to satisfy the South,
that Virginia must have something more, that she was "solemnly pledged
against coercion, that she would not agree to abide by the decision of
the people upon these propositions," then hope went out from my heart!
I have not since had any expectation that much good would come from
our deliberations.

I have refrained from entering into the merits or demerits of slavery.
I have refrained, so far as I could, from repeating what has been
better said by others than I could say it. The point which I wish to
press upon the Conference is this: Speaking for one State, we frankly
tell you that she will not enter upon a compromise which is not fair
and mutual, which does not bind both parties.

But, sir, although I have thus expressed myself, I do not at all
despair of the Republic. I do not believe that a dissolution or
destruction of this Government is to take place. Its origin and its
existence have been characterized by too many signal interpositions of
Providential favor. We cannot look into the future. I have no desire
to do so. If we all conscientiously perform our prescribed duties, if
we are faithful to ourselves, to our people and our Constitution, HE
who rules the nations will take care of the rest. It may be that the
clouds which now cover our horizon will be swept away, carrying with
them all these subjects of difficulty and danger, which alone have
troubled the quiet and the prosperity of the American Union.

Mr. LOGAN:--Instead of dreaming, like Mr. FIELD, of news from the seat
of war, and of marching armies, I have thought of a country through
which armies _have_ marched, leaving in their track the desolation of
a desert. I have thought of harvests trampled down--of towns and
villages once the seat of happiness and prosperity, reduced to heaps
of smoking ruins--of battle-fields red with blood which has been shed
by those who ought to have been brothers--of families broken up, or
reduced to poverty; of widowed wives, of orphan children, and all the
other misfortunes which are inseparably connected with war. This is
the picture which presents itself to my mind every day and every hour.
It is a picture which we are doomed soon to witness in our own
country, unless we place a restraint upon our passions, forget our
selfish interests, and do something to save our country.

We feel these things deeply in the Border States. The people of these
States bear the most intimate relations to each other. They are
closely connected in business. They associate in their recreations and
their pleasures. The members of a large number of their families have
intermarried. State lines, except for legislative purposes, are
scarcely thought of. The people of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and
Illinois, are one people, having an identity of sympathy, of feeling,
and of interest.

We have in the West a section of country known as the dark and bloody
ground. The historical incidents connected with it are of the most sad
and mournful character. There is buried under it an ancestor of almost
every family descended from the early settlers of the West. But this
ground is limited in extent. If we are to plunge this country into
civil war--if we are to go on exasperating the sections until they
take up arms against each other, then shall we make a dark and bloody
ground of all the Border States. We shall desolate all their fields,
and carry sorrow and mourning into every family within their limits.

Should we not have a deep interest in avoiding war? Should we not
labor with, and entreat the people of all sections to help us avoid
it? If it comes, we are to be the sufferers. Upon _our_ heads the ruin
must fall. We cannot and will not talk about abstractions now. We are
impelled by every consideration to do all we can to settle our
differences, and keep off the evil day that brings civil war upon our
happy and prosperous country, and to prevent the devastation of that
country.

I wish to say a few earnest words to my brother Republicans. You
object to these propositions because they are pressed just now when
the new administration is coming into power. You say that there is no
need of them, and that they involve submission on your part, as a
condition of your enjoying the fruits of the victory you have won. Let
me assure you that no one labored harder for the triumph of Mr.
LINCOLN than myself; I exerted what little influence I had; I paid my
money to secure his election; I now wish to give him an honorable
administration. I believe he will make a good President, and I wish to
give him a united country to rule. This can only be done by a
settlement of our troubles. No one will rejoice over that settlement
more than Mr. LINCOLN.

Fellow Republicans, the only way that opens before us now to settle
them is, by adopting the report of the committee; by permitting the
people to adopt it. Can you, dare you, refuse to let these
propositions go to the people? Dare you stand between the people and
these propositions?

I would appeal to you on another ground. Remember that it is the
minority that is asking for these guarantees. You are just coming into
power. The country has approved of your action in the election of Mr.
LINCOLN. You can afford to be liberal. Liberality is a noble trait in
any character, whether it be that of an individual or political party.

There are reasons why the South should be apprehensive now. The
organizations of the old Whig and Democratic parties had nothing
sectional in them. There were no resolutions in their platforms which
could give the South any cause of alarm. The content between these
parties did not involve any sectional interests whatever. Now, it is
undeniable that the organization of the Republican party was brought
about by the agitation of the slavery question in its various forms.

It is not strange to me that the success of that party in the late
election should be misconstrued and misunderstood by the South, and
that the people there should be apprehensive for the result.

If the Missouri Compromise had not been repealed we should not have
found ourselves in our present condition. It was the repeal of that
compromise that brought the Republican party into power. The masses of
the people do not sympathize with extremists on either side. The
Republican party took the middle ground, and thus rendered itself
acceptable to them.

After the repeal of the Missouri Compromise came the Kansas agitation.
In this the North was right and the South was wrong. Slavery was
attempted to be forced upon an unwilling people. They resisted--the
American people always will resist injustice. The excitement pervaded
the whole country. Sympathy was excited for Kansas, and properly
enough. This excitement benefited the Republican party--it injured all
others. It overwhelmed all other considerations. The aspect of the
slavery question was remembered in Kansas; elsewhere it was forgotten.

In this way, was the Republican party brought into power. I say now
that if the Union is dissolved, that party will be responsible;
responsible, as that party has now the power to prevent it.

The gentleman from Vermont, who has put his argument in a very
ingenious way, insists that before the North is called upon to act on
these propositions, that the South ought to declare whether she will
be satisfied with them. I do not think so. I am perfectly aware of the
difficulties under which the Representatives of the slave States are
laboring. They cannot answer this question. Let the gentleman
remember, when he presses this point so hard, and with such apparent
candor, that even he will not undertake to answer for New England.
More than that, he denies the authority of those who undertake to
answer for the North. I do not believe the gentleman is very extreme
in his opinions; but let him remember that the South should be treated
fairly, and that she is placed in circumstances of peculiar
embarrassment. It raised the hair upon Republican heads when they were
told that Virginia had presented her ultimatum. Now complaint is made
that she has not done so, and that she will not say what will satisfy
her.

I feel that I have no interest in this question, except the interest
of a citizen. I have no special interest in it. I ask nothing of
politics, but I do feel for my country. I may be wrong. I do not claim
infallibility; but I cannot bring my mind to the conclusion that we
ought not to adopt these proposals. I cannot see any practical injury
to the North in them, and I can see much benefit to the South.

The North is vitally interested in the preservation of peace, in the
preservation of her commerce, and other relations with the South.
These relations cannot be broken up without great injury to the
Northern people. My heart would rejoice if we could think alike upon
these propositions, and adopt them with a degree of unanimity that
would give them weight with the country.

I would not assail the motives of gentlemen. Doubtless there are men
who honestly believe that such a proposition ought only to be
considered in a General Convention. In my judgment such a Convention
would be utterly useless. It would lead to endless discussion, which
would not be conducted with the decorum that characterizes these
proceedings. It would amount to nothing.

No, gentlemen, there is a better way than that. Let us have no General
Convention, but let us induce Congress to submit our propositions at
once to the people. In no other way, in my judgment, can we avoid the
disunion that threatens us. In no other way can the country be saved
in her present peril.

Mr. DAVIS, of North Carolina:--[2]

[Footnote 2: The speech of Mr. DAVIS is, I believe, the only one
delivered in the Conference which I did not hear, and of which I did
not preserve minutes more or less full. The reason for the omission
was this: The morning session was protracted until a late hour, and
the labor of reporting the remarks of the members had been very
severe. The evening session commenced with some observations of my
own; and after reporting the remarks of Mr. LOGAN, which followed
mine, I found myself in such a condition of physical exhaustion that I
was obliged to retire to my room. It was during this temporary absence
that the remarks of Mr. DAVIS were made. I was informed that his
speech was very animated and in excellent temper--that he took the
position that North Carolina was loyal to the Union, but that he fully
concurred with the Southern States in the necessity of demanding
constitutional guarantees; and that if these were not given, her
relations were such with South Carolina and the Gulf States that,
however much she might regret the necessity, she could not do
otherwise than to leave the Union and unite her future with those of
the seceded States.

I have been unable to communicate by letter with any of the members
representing the States now in insurrection. As Mr. DAVIS was the only
representative from North Carolina who entered into a general
discussion of the reports of the majority and minority of the
Committee of One from each State, I was the more desirous of securing
some report of his remarks. But in all the material which has been
furnished me, by the many members with whom I have corresponded, I
find that none of them preserved notes of his speech.]

Mr. ORTH:--Mr. President, I have thus far avoided any participation in
the general discussion of questions which have claimed the attention
of this Conference. My purpose has been to give a calm and careful
attention to whatever may be offered for our consideration; to hear
with unbiassed judgment the grievances which are the subject of
complaint, and to afford redress, if redress be necessary.

Virginia, rich in her patriotism of the past, rich in her historic
treasures, has called upon her sisters to convene and consult with
reference to the condition of the Union, and the matters which are
supposed to threaten our future peace and welfare. Indiana heard and
heeded that call. To her it was as the voice of a mother to her child.
It was a voice which none of the States of the great Northwest--carved
out of that vast domain which Virginia granted to the United States as
the common property of all--could fail to hear with favor. If dangers
threaten the common welfare, if the future peace of this land is to be
disturbed, it was well for Virginia, as in other days of danger, to
sound the alarm, and invite a general council. In pursuance of that
call, Indiana is here, and here to listen. She feels conscious that
she has by no act of hers infringed upon the rights of any of her
sister States; that she has been faithful to her constitutional
obligations--seeking for nothing but what was right, and ever ready to
remedy any wrong. Occupying this position, her representatives on this
floor would be derelict in their duty if they attempted to assume any
other, or to pursue any course of action inconsistent therewith.

What, then, in all candor, are the grievances of some of our sister
States, as presented by their delegated authority to this Conference?
Nothing of a tangible nature calling for practical and definite
action. A deliberative body ought not to act upon the fears or
imaginations of those desiring such action. The mere election of
President of the United States by the votes of the northern portion of
this Union, affords no just ground of complaint. That election is
valid, being in strict conformity with all the requirements of the
Constitution. The peculiar notions or political opinions of that
President cannot be the ground of a just complaint, so long as these
opinions in their practical operations do not interfere with or
contravene the provisions of that Constitution. The opinions and
principles of the President elect, however obnoxious they may be to
any portion of the people of this Union, are harmless so long as his
political opponents have in their control the legislative and judicial
departments of the Government. The question of slavery in the
Territories, if ever any real cause of grievance to any portion of the
Union, is in process of final settlement, and will be settled before
the close of the present Congress in a manner acceptable to a large
majority of the American people. What, then, is left? "Personal
Liberty bills" in some of the States; and these are being repealed as
rapidly as possible; and so far as practical results are concerned,
they have been a dead letter on the statute books ever since their
enactment.

The non-enforcement of the fugitive slave law. The history of the
country since the year of its enactment clearly shows that no law
among the national statutes has received more prompt and vigorous
execution, notwithstanding its exceedingly odious features. Here,
then, is the list of grievances, or I might more properly say supposed
grievances; and for a failure to redress them, this Government is
threatened with civil war. To justify this unnatural and diabolical
resort to arms, the chimera of "State sovereignty" is invoked. And
what is State sovereignty? The gentleman from North Carolina has
endeavored to enforce this doctrine, and deduce from certain premises,
the right of a State, when she feels herself aggrieved, to secede from
her sister States, and assume an independent position and a separate
nationality. The fallacy of the gentleman's position, in fact the
fallacy of the doctrine of "State rights," and the deductions made
therefrom by the school of politicians and statesmen to which the
gentleman belongs, arises from confounding the terms State rights and
State sovereignty, and using these as though they were convertible
terms. The several States of this Union possess certain rights clearly
defined, and known and understood by the reader of American political
history. Subject to the restrictions of the national Constitution,
they have the right to establish, regulate, and control their internal
police and entire polity so far as it affects the persons and property
subject to their jurisdiction; to regulate trade, commerce, contracts,
marriage, the acquisition, possession, control, and disposal of real
and personal property; also the assessing and collecting of taxes, and
disbursement of the public revenue.

These are some of the main rights belonging to the States as such, but
these do not in any just sense constitute sovereignty. The several
States of the Union are not now and never have been sovereign States.
They never possessed the right to declare war, to make peace, to coin
money, to enter into treaty with nations, and none of them ever
endeavored or attempted to exercise any such rights as these. These
are attributes of sovereignty, as laid down by writers upon the laws
of nations, and recognized as such by the civilized world. Examine the
history of your several States, and tell me whether in any one of them
any act or fact can be found which would entitle either of them at any
time, past or present, to be recognized as sovereign independent
nations?

Mr. RUFFIN:--Will the gentleman from Indiana permit me to inform him
that during the Revolutionary War, the State of North Carolina had
laid the foundation of a navy, and at the close of hostilities she
transferred her vessels to the United States.

Mr. ORTH:--I thank the gentleman from North Carolina for the
interruption, and for the allusion to the local history of his State,
of which I was not before aware.

There, then, we have a single instance of one of the States taking one
step toward sovereignty, by the establishing of a navy. I believe
this is the only instance now remembered, and this instance affords
the strongest argument in favor of the position I assume and am
endeavoring to enforce. North Carolina, it seems, had taken one step
toward sovereignty; and yet upon the adoption of our national
Constitution, upon the creation of the only sovereign Government in
this Union, the _Government of the Union_, she transfers to that
sovereign her infant navy; she relinquishes her only attribute of
sovereignty--if such it be--to the United States, and merges herself
with her sister States into that Union of States which has hitherto
been our boast and pride, as well as the admiration of the world.

The several propositions now pending before us do not meet my
approbation, and cannot receive my support. They are in the shape of
amendments to the Constitution, and are all in the interest of
slavery, seeking to strengthen that institution, and to give it an
importance far beyond what the fathers were willing to concede. While
the North is willing to recognize and enforce the requirements of the
Constitution touching the various aspects of the slavery question, so
nominated in the bond, they feel unwilling to grant new guarantees to
a system which the civilized world is beginning to hold in
detestation, and which is inimical to free institutions, and the only
subject of contention that will ever seriously disturb the peace and
prosperity of the Union. I am opposed to the proposition before us:
First, because the grievances complained of are not of that serious
character requiring any amendment of our fundamental laws. Secondly,
because I am in favor of the Constitution as it is, firmly believing
that no good reason exists for its change, and that an honest
adherence to its wise provisions is our surest guarantee for real or
supposed grievances, and that the present of all times is the most
unpropitious moment to attempt any change or modification. Party
politics in all their embittered madness rule the hour, but calm times
and cool heads will be required whenever the American people desire to
enter upon so hazardous an experiment. Let the Constitution remain; it
has hitherto been, and will continue to be, the palladium of our
rights, the sheet anchor of our safety. Thirdly, under no state of
circumstances that can possibly arise among us as a people, will I
ever consent, by word, thought, or deed, to do any thing to strengthen
the institution of slavery. I regard it as an evil which all good men
should desire to see totally eradicated; and I hope for the day to
dawn speedily when, throughout the length and breadth of the land,
freedom shall be enjoyed by every human being, without reference to
caste, color, or nationality. While I am willing to tolerate its
existence where it now is, I am unwilling to extend its boundaries a
single inch, and will not give it any guarantee, protection, or
encouragement, save what it can exact by the strict letter of the
fundamental law. Beyond that I will never go; beyond that Indiana will
never go; and to this, gentlemen from the other side had as well
become reconciled. It is the _ne plus ultra_ of the American people,
and to that they will adhere through all coming time. If, in
consequence of this position, the foundations of society are to be
broken up, civil war inaugurated, and the destruction of the
Government attempted, you must remember we are standing upon the
Constitution, in favor of sustaining the laws of the land, denying the
existence of any real grievance; and standing thus with that
consciousness of strength which integrity imparts, you must strike the
first blow, cross the Rubicon, commit the foul and damning crime of
treason, and bring upon your people ruin, devastation, and
destruction, and call down upon your guilty heads the curses of your
children and the disapprobation of the civilized world!

Mr. BRONSON:--For what purpose was this Conference called? Why have we
come here? I suppose we are here to do something, to accomplish
something. If we are only here to make speeches, and not to arrive at
conclusions, our mission is useless. The greater portion of the debate
hitherto has been made up of set speeches, all like the circumlocution
office in one of Dickens' novels, showing "how not to do it." I am not
in favor of pursuing this course any longer. Let us talk the subject
over like business men, in a sensible way, and then come to a vote. I
think we may do something which will prove effectual, and I hope we
shall. My political opinions are well known. For more than forty years
I have belonged to one political party. I did not come here to speak.
I did not intend to speak at all, and shall now only submit a few
observations.

I hail from the old Democratic party. The most of you are members of
the opposition. I do not know how or why I was selected as one of the
delegates from New York. I do not even know how the vote of that
delegation will stand on these proposals of amendment. I suppose the
dominant party has taken care to send a majority of its members. If I
was a mere politician, I do not know but I should be in favor of
breaking up the Conference, and of doing nothing; but being only a
Democrat, I desire to transmit to posterity the blessings of a good
Constitution and a good Government.

The country has become disquieted. Its peace has been disturbed by the
acts of politicians. Many have become disgusted with the present
condition of affairs, and are unwilling to act or vote. A large
portion of our people have become alarmed. They think their rights
have been invaded. Some of the States have gone. GOD knows whether
they will ever come back again. If we act wisely, perhaps they may.
But there is occasion enough for alarm. I have felt alarmed for a long
time. One way suggested to get these States back is by conquest. But
what are we to do with a conquered State? Shall we establish a
military despotism over it?

We all have the right to express our opinions, and I will express
mine. There are eight other slave States whose condition is to be
considered. If we do not act here, will they not leave us and join
their sisters? I hope they will not. I would not raise my voice in
this Conference, if it were not for the purpose of inducing them to
stay.

Virginia, that noble old Commonwealth, has invited us together. She
proposes the CRITTENDEN resolutions, and asks us to consider them. Now
she is charged with standing in the way of the Government. This is not
true. Blessed are the peacemakers, and the position of Virginia in
this matter is that of a peace-maker. I thank her for bringing us
together.

Two-thirds of the speeches here have been made by those of a political
party to which I never belonged. I do not understand either their
purposes or wishes. Perhaps I may be behind the times. I have not been
actually engaged in politics for more than twenty-five years. During a
large part of that time I have been engaged, in my humble way, in the
administration of justice in the State I here in part represent. I do
not know but I may be falling into the common fault of making a
speech. If I do, you must check me. Again I say, I thank Virginia for
her invitation. Why should we not confer together? Six or seven
States--no matter which--are gone. If nothing is done, eight or nine
others will follow, and other divisions will come as a matter of
necessity. Rhode Island--patriotic Rhode Island--will not go with New
England in this Conference. She will not separate from her southern
sisters. Connecticut, I think, will not stay, and New York, I believe,
will stand with the South.

How is it, or why is it, that we should do nothing? Why should we
break up and go home? Have not all the States asked us to come here
and do this work? Why did their legislatures take the trouble to send
us here? All this circumlocution might have better been done at home.

Will a Convention answer the purpose, when another Confederacy has
been formed in our very midst? It would be two years at least before
any thing could be accomplished by a Convention, and then it would be
too late. We all know how delegates to such a Convention are elected.
We all know how much time would be consumed before the Convention
could meet. I say we cannot bear the delay. I ask the gentleman (Mr.
BALDWIN) of Connecticut whether he thinks it would be safe to delay.

Mr. BALDWIN:--I think it is always safe to follow the Constitution. I
think we can follow the example of Kentucky.

Mr. CLAY:--I would suggest to the gentleman from Connecticut that the
representatives of Kentucky are here to speak for her.

Mr. BRONSON:--Kentucky has sent delegates to this Convention since she
passed the resolutions to which the gentleman refers. I think we
cannot stand upon the ground taken in these resolutions. I do not
believe Kentucky herself would be satisfied with them now.

It is strange to see gentlemen so cool and apathetic under such
circumstances. Is no one alarmed for the safety of the old flag about
which so much is said? Can the Border States stay with us when their
brethren are gone? If the action of the North in relation to slavery
is such as to drive out South Carolina, can Delaware and the other
Border States remain? For one, I do not wish to put this Constitution
into the hands of a General Convention. Who can tell what such a
convention would do with the Constitution; what it would do with the
decisions of the Supreme Court, under which so many of the vexatious
questions have been settled? It would be worse than attempting to
settle our differences in a town meeting. I would hesitate long before
I would submit such questions to a convention. Before they could be
settled in that way, the Union would be gone forever. The process
would be too slow. I have nothing to gain in this matter. My only wish
is to spend my few remaining days in the United States, and to
transmit the blessings of our Government to my children.

Some of the Republican members here subordinate their platform to
their country. I commend them for it; these are noble sentiments. Men
should abandon platforms when they tend to destroy the country. I
concur in the sentiments of the gentleman from Illinois, uttered this
morning. They also are noble sentiments.

I venerate our Constitution. When made, it was equal to any ever
framed. Nothing short of Almighty Wisdom could have framed a better.
But was it given to human wisdom, to WASHINGTON and MADISON, to
foresee all the events of the future? The Constitution has held us
together for three-fourths of a century; that is a wonder in itself;
but its makers did not foresee this day--a day when Freedom itself was
in danger of perishing.

Why this hesitation about amending the Constitution? New York accepted
it reluctantly, and only ratified it upon the assurance that it should
be amended as she proposed. It is not so holy a thing now, that it may
not be amended. WASHINGTON, you must remember, signed the Fugitive
Slave Law of 1793, as well as the Constitution.

We are told by gentlemen from New York and Connecticut (Mr. NOYES and
Mr. BALDWIN), that the action proposed here is unconstitutional. It
does not become these gentlemen to raise this objection. There was
never an amendment of the State Constitutions, in either of the States
they represent, adopted, that was not brought before the people in
substantially the same way.

Much has been said here about modern civilization and the spirit of
the age. It is said that these are hostile to slavery. Suppose they
are? What have we to do with them? The example of England, also, has
been referred to, as well as that of France. True, they have abolished
slavery by name, but they have imported apprentices from Africa, and
Coolies from Asia, and have placed them under the worst form of
slavery ever known. England tolerates slavery in her mining districts
to-day in a worse form than that existing in the Southern States. She
has millions in India worse off than slaves. She has been the greatest
land robber on the earth. She has contributed to the support of the
Juggernaut, and has forced the Chinese at the point of the bayonet to
eat opium. Do you forget that she ruined the capitol in this city, and
blew it up, in 1814? I do not deny her virtues, but I do not care to
follow her example.

Our fathers said slavery was strictly a State institution, and they
would not meddle with it by the Constitution. Their doctrine is true
now. The Union cannot be preserved if we interfere with the
institutions of the States.

I will not stop to refer to the Missouri Compromise, or the
compromises of 1850 and 1854. I will only say that the North
understood these to settle the slavery question, and professed to
agree not to meddle with slavery hereafter in the States. But the cry
of freedom was raised, and its new apostles, during the last campaign,
went through the land preaching destruction to slavery. What did they
mean but that slavery was to be assailed at every possible point? This
doctrine was involved in their platforms, and advocated in their
speeches. They collected all the bad things ever said about slavery,
whether true or untrue, and published them. The purpose to assail the
institution was everywhere owned.

I wish to say a word about the Territories. What great harm would be
done if all the Territories were thrown open to slavery? By the
decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case, they are open
already. But in the greater part of them slavery cannot exist at all.
New Mexico has a slave code. So have the Cherokee and other Indian
tribes; and yet slavery does not and cannot flourish among them. It
cannot make head against the obstacles which oppose it, and yet you
will attack it even there. If you do so, civil war is inevitable.

But what mischief is done if slavery does go into the Territories? It
will not add another to the degraded race of Africans. It is a
blessing to the slave if he may be permitted to go with his master
into these new Territories. In the old slave States he is compelled to
work in gangs under the whip of a driver, with no one to look after
his health or comfort. Take him into one of these new Territories, and
there are one hundred white men and women to protect each individual
of his race, and to see that he suffers no wrong. It is a blessing to
take him out of the plantation gangs, and to place him in a new
country. Then why not let him go there and live in peace? Your zeal to
exclude slavery from the Territories only injures the African race. If
there is a good substantial reason for this exclusion I shall be glad
to hear it. Up to this time I have heard no good reason stated.
Although I have declared myself a Democrat, in this Conference I am no
party man. Show me any good reason for not adopting these proposals of
amendment and I will oppose them. But until that reason is shown they
will receive my support. So far as I can judge, no argument has been
proposed here against these propositions which is not of a partisan
character.

The rights which the slave States now ask to have us recognize, are
guaranteed to them by the Constitution as it now stands. We are giving
them nothing new. Every lawyer is familiar with the rule of
constitutional construction, that all the rights not expressly granted
to the General Government are reserved to the States. Let us carry
this principle into effect now. It is all that we are asked to do. Let
us do something. Let us amend these propositions; make them as
unobjectionable as we can, and send them to Congress. Let us urge
Congress and the country to adopt them. In their adoption there is
safety; there is great danger in their rejection.

Mr. POLLOCK obtained the floor, and at twelve o'clock the Conference
adjourned to ten o'clock to-morrow.



FIFTEENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, FRIDAY, _February 22d, 1861._


The Conference was called to order by President TYLER, at 10 o'clock
A.M., and prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. SUNDERLAND.

The Journal of yesterday was read, corrected, and approved.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--It will be necessary that some plan be adopted to
defray the expenses of the Conference, and of printing the Journal. I
move the appointment, by the President, of a committee of three to
take those subjects into consideration.

The motion was adopted, and the President appointed Mr. JOHNSON, of
Maryland, Mr. POLLOCK, and Mr. GRANGER as such committee.

Mr. HITCHCOCK:--I have an amendment in three sections which I shall
offer to the report of the committee. I ask that it may be read, laid
on the table, and printed.

The motion was agreed to, and the amendment read as follows:

     Strike out Section 3, and insert the three following:

     SEC. 3. Congress shall have no power to regulate, abolish,
     or control within any State the relations established or
     recognized by the laws thereof, touching persons held to
     service or labor therein.

     SEC. 4. Congress shall have no power to discharge any person
     held to service or labor in the District of Columbia, under
     the laws thereof, from such service or labor, or to impair
     any rights pertaining to that relation under the laws now in
     force within the said District, while such relation shall
     exist in the State of Maryland, without the consent of said
     State, and of those to whom the service or labor is due, or
     making to them just compensation therefor; nor the power to
     interfere with or prohibit members of Congress, and officers
     of the Federal Government whose duties require them to be in
     said District, from bringing with them, retaining, and
     taking away persons so held to service or labor; nor the
     power to impair or abolish the relations of persons owing
     service or labor in places under the exclusive jurisdiction
     of the United States, within those States and Territories
     where such relations are established or recognized by law.

     SEC. 5. Congress shall have no power to prohibit the removal
     or transportation of persons held to labor or service in any
     State or Territory of the United States, to any State or
     Territory thereof, where the same obligation or liability to
     labor or service is established or recognized by law; and
     the right during such transportation, by sea or river, of
     touching at ports, shores, and landings, and of landing in
     case of distress, shall exist; nor shall Congress have power
     to authorize any higher rate of taxation on persons held to
     service or labor than on land.

     Strike out Section 7, and insert:

     SEC. 9. Congress shall provide by law, that in all cases
     where the marshal, or other officer whose duty it shall be
     to arrest any fugitive from service or labor, shall be
     prevented from so doing by violence of a mob or riotous
     assemblage, or where, after arrest, such fugitive shall be
     rescued by like violence, and the party to whom such service
     or labor is due shall thereby be deprived of the same, the
     United States shall pay to such party the full value of such
     service or labor.

Mr. TURNER:--I offer the following resolution:

     _Resolved_, That the time fixed upon to commence voting upon
     the questions before this Convention, be postponed until
     Monday, February 25th, at 12 o'clock M.

I am as desirous as any member of the Conference can be for action.
Illinois is a Border State, and she feels, in common with the Border
States, a deep interest in the questions we are discussing here. But I
think a false issue has arisen, and that it ought to be corrected.
This issue has been forced upon us, and it will go to the country
unless corrected. Very little time has yet been occupied by Indiana,
Illinois, and Ohio, but we wish and we ought to be heard.

Mr. JOHNSON, of Missouri, moved to lay the resolution upon the table.

The vote was taken by States, with the following result:

     AYES.--Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey,
     North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and
     Virginia--10.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine,
     Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio and
     Vermont--10.

Mr. TURNER:--I see the resolution does not meet with favor. I will
withdraw it.

Mr. CHASE:--I offer the resolution again. I wish to appeal to this
Conference in the name of peace, not to press this vote to-day. We
have been discussing general questions. There has been little or no
discussion touching the merits of the proposed amendments to the
Constitution. Do gentlemen suppose that if it is pressed through in
this way, it will meet with favor when it comes before the country?
Let me assure you, gentlemen, that you will not give the country peace
by such a course.

There is a prospect that all sections of the Union may yet be induced
to agree to a General Convention. The floor is so parcelled out that
the Western States cannot be heard. Why do you force the vote in this
manner? Two-thirds of Congress must concur, or these propositions
cannot go to the people. The same two-thirds can suspend the rule at
any time. There is no necessity for passing these propositions to-day.
I regret that the proposition of Mr. WICKLIFFE, limiting the speeches
to thirty minutes, has not prevailed. It was withdrawn.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--No! It was laid on the table by enemies.

Mr. POLLOCK:--I have the floor. I will occupy it only thirty minutes,
with the understanding that those who follow will do the same. We
still have time for six speeches.

Mr. CHASE:--I have but little more to say. When we have a rule, we
know what it is. A general understanding will amount to nothing. I
have insisted that it was inexpedient to press these matters to a
decision before the inauguration of Mr. LINCOLN; but when overruled I
have cheerfully submitted. I now appeal to gentlemen to yield, and let
us take the final vote on Monday.

One word now as to a General Convention. I have faith in that, and
believe we can agree to call one. The idea was started by Kentucky,
and promptly followed by Illinois. I have seen a copy of the
"Louisville Journal," which strongly advocates it. It is practicable,
and the country will assent to it.

Mr. HOUSTON:--The delegates from Delaware desire that the vote should
be taken to-day. We have not discussed these propositions, and do not
wish to discuss them. We want action.

Mr. BACKUS:--I concur in the views of the gentleman from Delaware.
Discussion, so far, has tended very little toward harmony or
unanimity. I am in favor of closing the general debate to-day. But I
do protest against that part of the resolution we have adopted, which
limits the discussion of an amendment to five minutes, and confines
the reply to the committee. We ought not thus to be restricted and
choked down. I will not move to amend the resolution now under
discussion. It will answer my purpose to give notice that I shall move
to amend the five-minute rule.

Mr. COOK:--We ought to have an opportunity to present the views of
Illinois. As yet we have had none. We cannot justify ourselves to our
people unless we do.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I move to lay the whole subject on the table. I want
to test the question. Debate and discussion change the mind of no one.
We have now been here eighteen days, and the country is expecting a
decision.

The vote upon Mr. WICKLIFFE'S motion was called by States, and
resulted as follows:

     AYES.--Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey,
     North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia--9.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine,
     Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
     and Vermont--11.

Mr. BACKUS:--I now offer my proposition as a substitute for Mr.
CHASE'S resolution, as follows:

     _Resolved_, That the resolution heretofore passed, limiting
     debate on amendments that shall be offered to the report of
     the Grand Committee, be so amended as to allow the delegates
     who may desire, to speak not exceeding ten minutes on each
     amendment.

Mr. CHASE:--I do not wish to seem unreasonable. As my resolution meets
with objection, I will withdraw it in favor of the one adopted by my
colleague.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--Have gentlemen calculated how many hours this will
take? It will amount to a total defeat of all action. We could not get
through by the middle of next month.

Mr. EWING:--I favor the resolution. All should have a fair chance.

Mr. HOUSTON:--I move to amend, giving each delegate ten minutes.

Mr. WILMOT:--I object to that very strenuously. Many delegations are
divided. I hope the resolution will pass as it is.

Mr. HACKLEMAN:--I approve of the rule as it now stands. Practically,
it gives ten minutes.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--I move to lay the resolution on the table. We adopted
the rule unanimously.

Mr. WILMOT:--The motion is not in order. We have once voted not to
table the resolutions.

Mr. HOUSTON:--I will withdraw my motion, at the instance of the
gentlemen around me.

Mr. CHASE:--The question is upon the adoption of the resolution
offered by Mr. BACKUS. I have accepted it in place of the one offered
by myself.

The PRESIDENT:--It is subject, at any time, to a motion to lay on the
table.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--That is my motion.

The motion to lay the resolution of Mr. BACKUS on the table was lost
by the following vote--the vote by States being requested by Mr.
CHASE:

     AYES.--Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey,
     North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and
     Virginia--10.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Maine,
     Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, and
     Vermont--10.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I presume we all desire to know the result of our
labors. I regret to see so much feeling manifested. Perhaps some of us
had better take the benefit of the prayers of the church on Sunday.
Some of us wish to get our propositions to Congress at an early hour.
Those who oppose us--those determined to defeat action, can speak on
until the fourth of March. I hope such is not their intention.

Mr. TUCK:--If the rule is abused, the Convention will stop the abuse.

At this point there were loud calls of "question," and the President
put the question to vote, _viva voce_.

The PRESIDENT:--I think the Noes clearly have it.

Mr. CHASE:--A vote by States was called for by several members.

Mr. BARRINGER:--Is this resolution intended to give the right of
reply? If so, we shall have a half-hour speech upon every amendment.

Mr. BACKUS:--If any member wishes to divide his time, he can do so;
but he can only occupy ten minutes in all. We are called to
deliberate, as well as to act. We are asked if we wish to stave off
final action? I answer, No. I want speedy action. But at the same time
let us have deliberation. I wish to give a vote that my constituents
will approve.

The PRESIDENT:--The vote will be taken by States.

The resolution was adopted by the following vote:

     AYES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine,
     Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
     and Vermont--11.

     NOES.--Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey,
     North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia--9.

Mr. HALL offered the following, which was read, laid on the table, and
ordered to be printed:

     Amendment to Section 3 of the Committee's Report, to come in
     after the words "retaining and taking away persons so bound
     to labor:"--"but the bringing into said District of persons
     held to service for the purpose of being sold, or placed in
     depot to be afterwards transferred to any other place to be
     sold as merchandise, is forever prohibited, and Congress may
     pass all necessary laws to make this prohibition effectual;
     nor shall Congress have," &c.

The PRESIDENT:--The Conference will proceed to the order of the day,
and Mr. POLLOCK has the floor:

Mr. POLLOCK:--Brevity is always a virtue. I intend to practice that
virtue now. I would not make a single observation, if I did not feel
that by keeping silence I should neglect my duty. As it is, I do not
intend to occupy the time of the Conference more than twenty minutes.

When the committee upon the subject invited Pennsylvania to furnish a
block for the Washington Monument in this city, they asked also for a
motto, to be inscribed upon it, which should express some idea
characteristic of Pennsylvania. What was the motto selected in behalf
of that great State? Did we go to Germantown and invoke the memories
of the mighty dead? Did we ask the motto of Valley Forge? No,
brothers, no! Pennsylvania stood by the side of the grave of Penn, the
man of peace, and in his example she found her motto, and it stands
inscribed upon her contribution to that monument to the Father of his
Country to-day. There may it stand forever. "_Pennsylvania was founded
by deeds of Peace._" How noble the sentiment! How characteristic of
that Commonwealth!

Animated by the same sentiment, filled with the same spirit, herself
asking nothing, requiring nothing, Pennsylvania comes into this
Conference and says to every delegate here, "_Peace, Brothers,
Peace._" She is not for war. She believes that the power of kindness
is far greater than that of the sword; that in the affection of
brother toward brother there is greater strength than in all the iron
contained in all her thousand hills and mountains. She comes here at
the instance of a sister. She heard the voice of that sister asking
for consultation, and she obeyed it. She is here, and in the right
spirit.

A word now as to the motive of Virginia in calling the States
together. Some object that Virginia comes bearing the olive branch on
the point of the bayonet. Not so, sir. She is placed in a peculiar
position, and I appreciate it. She does not make use of threats. These
exist only in the imagination of gentlemen. I am willing to meet her
here upon the very ground she takes, and unite with her in saying,
"Our Union as it is, now and forever." We are here taking counsel, not
with traitors, not with secessionists, but with lovers of the Union.

The people love the Union; they will not give it up. They are true. My
heart almost leapt from my bosom when that telegraph message was read
from Missouri a few days ago. Tennessee has taken up the cry, "Union
for ever," The nation is troubled. All nations are, at times. But our
troubles are not insurmountable. We are all here together to settle
them. Why not settle them, and give peace to the Union, and joy to the
hearts of the people?

We can settle our difficulties. The right feeling animates gentlemen
from both sections. Where was the heart in this Conference that did
not start with emotion, when, some days ago, that glorious old patriot
from North Carolina (Mr. RUFFIN) told us of his devotion to the Union?
Who did not honor and respect him? Old men and young men wept as they
listened. Friends! Countrymen! I come here from a Border State. These
States have a vital interest in the result, therefore we speak
earnestly. Let us say to the angry passions of the country, "Peace, be
still!"

The Border States are united; they have common interests. Beside the
hearthstones of each, sit wives, and children, and families, connected
with each other by ties of blood, of interest, of social intercourse.
We are one. Is Maryland or Delaware ready to say that either will
part company from Pennsylvania? No! We are brethren--come weal, come
wo, we will stand by each other, and we will stand by the Union.

Gentlemen say there will not be war, if we do not agree. I wish I
could think so, but I cannot. But if war should come, let me ask the
gentlemen from New York who think principles are standing in their
way, will you take the risk? Will you see the soil of Pennsylvania
drenched with blood? Can you risk all this hereafter, when you can
avoid it by accepting a proposition that involves no sacrifice of
principles? Never in my whole life have I felt the weight of official
responsibility as I feel it now. God grant that war may be averted
from the country!

Let the lightning this day flash to the extreme limits of the Union,
the glad tidings that we have settled these questions. The message
would be received with gratitude and thanksgiving. Our friends in the
Border States say, "We love the Union, we wish to stay in it; we do
not wish to be driven out." Can you not, will you not, do something
for them? Let us trust this matter to the people. I am not afraid to
trust the people of Pennsylvania. New York and Massachusetts, trust
yours!

We talk calmly of war, but we forget its calamities. Let us remember
that we should not sacrifice one life for this paltry abstraction. Let
us remember how great are the miseries of war. Let us think of the
rush of angry armies, of the widows and orphans, of the sorrow and
desolation that war always leaves in its path.

Christian men! remember that our great Saviour was a Prince of
Peace--that he came to conquer with peace, not with the sword. "The
Lord God omnipotent reigneth."

Disunion is a crime against every thing. Above all, it is a crime
against GOD. Christians, pause and reflect. Let me entreat you to help
us save this country from disunion.

I speak earnestly. We Pennsylvanians are upon the border. Our soil
must be the battle ground. Upon us will the heavy trouble fall. Once
more I say, let us trust the people. They are always right. They will
do something; and honest men, sincere men, tell us that unless
something is done, the border slave States cannot be retained in the
Union.

I am not here as a party man, but as an American citizen, and a
citizen of Pennsylvania. I am here to perform my duty to the whole
country, if I can find out what that duty is.

Our friends say there is great apprehension at the South that the
Republican party meditates unconditional interference with Southern
rights. I do not believe for a moment that there is any ground for
such an apprehension. But, nevertheless, it exists. Acting upon it,
several States have withdrawn from the Union. We must deal with it in
the best way we can. If we can satisfy our southern brethren, in the
name of peace let us do it. I labored for the election of Mr. LINCOLN,
but I never understood that hostility to slavery was the leading idea
in the platform of his party. Pennsylvania had other interests--other
reasons very powerful, for supporting him. There was the repeal of the
Missouri Compromise--ruinous discriminations in the Tariff--the
corruption of the Government--the villanous conduct of its high
officers; these and other considerations gave Mr. LINCOLN more
strength in Pennsylvania than the slavery question.

There are sentiments and opinions at the North that must be respected.
There are sentiments and opinions at the South that must be respected;
but there are no differences that cannot be honorably adjusted. The
only practicable way that I can discover is to adopt the plan reported
by the committee, and secure its submission to the people.

How can we do greater honor to this glorious day, which gave the
immortal WASHINGTON to his country and to the world, than by marking
it on the calendar as the day that secured the safety and perpetuity
of the American Union?

Mr. SUMMERS:--The Committee on Credentials have examined the case of
Mr. J.C. STONE, who is commissioned as a delegate from Kansas, and are
of opinion that he is duly accredited.

Mr. FIELD:--I understand that he was appointed by Mr. BEEBE, the
Secretary of the Territorial Government.

Mr. CLAY:--There is a provision in the Kansas Act authorizing the
Secretary to perform all the duties of the Governor in his absence.

Mr. BROCKENBROUGH:--I represent an old and honored Commonwealth. I
speak, remembering the maxing that "a soft answer turneth away
wrath." But I should disregard my duty if I did not reply to what was
said a few days ago, in arraignment--in unfair and improper
arraignment, of Virginia.

Virginia occupies no menacing position, no attitude of hostility
toward the Union or her sister States. Virginia knows that "eternal
vigilance is the price of liberty." She knows, too, that there is good
policy in the maxim, "in peace prepare for war." Her action is only
such as is dictated by a prudent foresight. How unkind, then, are such
taunts against Virginia, the mother of us all. She comes here in a
paternal spirit; she desires to preserve the Union; she disdains to
employ a menace; she knows that she never can secure the cooperation
of brave men by employing menaces. No! She wishes to use all her
efforts to perpetuate the reign of peace.

Another says we are seeking to secure an amendment of the Constitution
by the employment of unconstitutional means, and that this meeting is
a revolutionary mob--that these eminent men of the country assembled
here, constitute a mob. No, sir! No!

Mr. BALDWIN:--If the gentleman from Virginia refers to me, he quite
misunderstood me. I said only that the action proposed here was not
contemplated by the Constitution, and was revolutionary in its
tendency.

Mr. BROCKENBROUGH:--I cannot for my life so consider it. This is
merely an advisory body. We are here to devise an adjustment, and to
lay it before Congress. We are exercising the right of petition, and
that is a sacred right. Is this revolutionary? No, sir! You would
insist that Congress should _receive_ a petition, although that body
had no right to act upon it. If so, how much more should our petition
be received, when we seek to preserve the Union, and when the
Constitution expressly authorizes Congress to act in such a case.

The gentleman from Vermont said last evening, that a pledge from the
South to abide by the result would be a condition precedent to the
submission of the proposition at all, and yet he says he cannot pledge
Vermont. Why, then, does he ask us to pledge Virginia?

Mr. CHITTENDEN:--I am not willing to be misunderstood. I thought my
language was plain. What I said was, that no one could pledge the
free States for or against these propositions; but I did say we could
pledge them _to abide by the Union, whatever_ the result might be.
_That_ is the pledge we ask from the South.

Mr. BROCKENBROUGH:--Well, that is a pledge we have no authority to
give. We cannot accept these propositions as a boon from any section.
We must have them as a right, or not at all.

But let me address myself at once to the momentous question. It seems
that we can agree upon every thing but this question of slavery in the
Territories. So far as that subject is concerned, Virginia has
declared that she will accept the Crittenden resolutions. She and her
southern sisters will stand upon and abide by them. If gentlemen will
come up to this basis of adjustment with manly firmness, the electric
wires will flash a thrill of joy to the hearts of the people this very
hour. Why not come up to it like men?

The Supreme Court has already established the rights of the South, so
far as this question is concerned, upon a basis which is satisfactory.
Under the Dred Scott decision, the people of the South have the right
to go into any portion of the Territory with their slaves. You,
gentlemen of the North, will not abide by that decision. You have
declared in your platform that it is a miserable dogma. How can we be
satisfied with such a guarantee for our rights as that?

But it is said that this part of the Dred Scott decision is only an
_obiter dictum_; that the question was not presented by the record.
This is not so. As was said by Governor WICKLIFFE, the other day,
there were two questions in that case. The judgment of the court was
upon them both, and both were presented by the record.

We know that the dominant party has elected a President on a purely
sectional issue, and in deadly hostility to our institutions. We
believe, from all the indications of the times, that our institutions
are utterly insecure. Therefore we ask these guarantees. Give them to
us, and from that time you will restore peace and quiet to the
country. You at once attach the Border States firmly to you forever. I
hope you will do so; but I tell you that the Border States cannot be
retained unless you will consent to give such guarantees as will
bring back the seceded States, and unite us all in a glorious
confederation.

Sentiments have been uttered here that grate harshly on the minds of
Southern gentlemen. It is said that this is a war of ideas. If so,
then there is certainly that irrepressible conflict about which we
have heard so much. But it is not true that slaves exclude free labor.
Come to the harvest homes of Western Virginia. There you will see the
union of white and black labor--see the two races working harmoniously
together. The mechanics are white, the field hands are black. Those
only make such assertions who know nothing about it.

You insist at the North that slavery is a sin. If it is as you claim
it to be, a sin, the sum of all villanies, then we may as well
separate. We cannot live together longer.

If we cannot have the aid of other sections, the Border States must
take the subject into their own hands, and settle it for themselves.
These States, with one exception, have shown a most excellent spirit.
Let them all come up to the work to-day; on this natal day of
WASHINGTON, of whom it was said that nature had denied him children,
in order that he might be indeed the Father of his Country. New Jersey
has most nobly responded, through her distinguished sons, but
especially through the voice of that eloquent man, who swept with a
master hand the chords of the human heart, in his remarks here, and
tones of heavenly music responded to the touch.

The whole nation stands on tiptoe awaiting the final result of the
action of this Conference. All sections are ready to make sacrifices,
but sacrifices are not required. Let us act, and then go home. A
grateful people will bind the wreath of victory around your brows, for
"Peace hath her victories not less than War."

We make no appeal to the sympathies of gentlemen. We ask you to do
justice, simple justice to the South. Do it, and you will do honor to
yourselves. Give us the guarantees we ask, and my word for it, you
will see the seceded States coming back one by one, and we shall see
ourselves once more a happy and a united people!

Mr. WILMOT:--It is not my purpose to enter upon the wide field that
has been opened in this debate. I did not intend to speak at all. I
know well the position I occupy before the country. I am regarded by
those who do not know me as an extreme man. I am, if I know myself, a
man of moderation, and, I trust, of firmness. I make these remarks
because the time has come when I must separate from my delegation. I
concede every thing to their patriotism, good intentions, and
integrity. But I must separate from them in the votes they are about
to give.

We are called here to consider the condition of the country. It is
said that condition requires our interference--that such interference
is necessary. The country has just passed through one of those
conflicts which are incidental to our form of Government. It has borne
the trial, and I think it is safe.

Those who insist that certain things shall be done, place us in a
delicate position. You say that you do not object to the inauguration
of Mr. LINCOLN, but you refuse to permit his principles to be carried
into effect. We say that we have not merely elected Mr. LINCOLN, but
we have decided the principles upon which his administration shall be
conducted. You refuse to permit this, and say that you will leave us
and revolutionize, unless we consent to a counter resolution.

The contest in which we are now engaged is not a new one. It is of
twelve or fifteen years' standing. It assumed new proportions when we
acquired Texas. Texas, under the laws of Mexico, was then free. We
insisted that slavery should not be recognized there. You claimed that
it should--that slavery should go into all the common Territories of
the Union. You succeeded. You procured what you claim is a decision of
the court in your favor. But the people would not give the question
up. The issue was formed--Slavery or Freedom; and on that issue we
went into the late election. It was well understood in all its
bearings. It was discussed and argued upon both sides and all sides,
and the people determined the question against the South. In my
section of the country there was no change. In all the excitement of a
Presidential contest, I do not know of twenty votes that were changed.
The opinions of the people were formed before; now they have declared
them.

My first allegiance is to the principles of truth and justice.
Convince me that your propositions are right, that they are just and
true, and I will accept them. I will sustain them to the end. If they
are wrong--and I now believe them to be--I will never sustain them,
and I will show my faith in GOD by leaving the consequences with Him.

Any substantial change in the fundamental principles of government is
revolutionary. Yours may be a peaceable one, but it is still a
revolution. The seceded States are in armed revolution. You are in
direct alliance with them. You say the Government shall not retake the
forts, collect the revenue, and you ask us to aid you in preventing
the Government from doing its duty.

Permit this, and the judgment of the world will be that we have
submitted to the inauguration of your principles as the principles of
the Government. It would exhibit a weakness from which the country
could never hope to recover. These are reasons satisfactory enough to
me. I cannot vote for the first article.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--Do you wish to get the seceded States back?

Mr. WILMOT:--Certainly I do.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--How do you propose to do it?

Mr. WILMOT:--I cannot say that I have any special way. It is their
duty to return. There are better methods of coercing them than to
march our army on to their soil. Now I understand it is your purpose
to intrench slavery behind the Constitution.

Mr. RUFFIN:--Certainly. That is true--in a certain portion of the
Territories.

Mr. WILMOT:--I thought I was not mistaken. The Government has long
been administered in the interest of slavery. The fixed determination
of the North is, that this shall be no longer.

Mr. HOUSTON:--Will the gentleman hazard the assertion that such has
been the policy of Tennessee, Maryland, or Delaware?

Mr. WILMOT:--I did not intend to say more than that such has been the
general policy of the Government. Another objection to the proposed
amendment is its ambiguity. Its construction is doubtful, when it
should be plain. Don't let us differ when we go home. If we do we
shall settle nothing. Some will claim that the first article does not
furnish a slave code. Others will claim that it does, and such I think
is a fact. I am also opposed to the second article. I do not think it
is right thus to bind posterity. I am opposed to the third article,
except the first clause. If you think there is really a purpose at the
North to interfere with slavery in the States, I am willing a
declaratory amendment should be adopted prohibiting such interference.
I like that of Mr. FIELD much better. I can go for that with all my
heart.

As to the foreign slave trade we ask nothing. The laws are well enough
as they are, if properly enforced. Besides, you make too much of it.
You will claim hereafter that this formed one part of the compromise.
It will amount to nothing.

Mr. BARRINGER:--But the South wants the foreign slave trade
prohibited.

Mr. WILMOT:--Do not the statutes prohibit it? Why not enforce them?

Mr. BARRINGER:--We had rather have the prohibition in the
Constitution.

Mr. WILMOT:--I am opposed also to abrogating the power of Congress
over the District of Columbia. I hope to see slavery abolished in the
District.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--Will the gentleman from Pennsylvania abide by the
decision in the Dred Scott case?

Mr. WILMOT:--Certainly, so far as it decides what is in the record.

Mr. SEDDON:--You will not permit it to settle the principle?

Mr. WILMOT:--I will not, any more than Virginia would accede to the
decision upon the Alien and Sedition Laws. I will be frank and go
farther. If the Court had undertaken to settle the principle, I would
do all I reasonably could to overthrow the decision.

Mr. SEDDON:--My voice has failed me to-day, and I do not know that I
can speak in audible tones, but I will try.

I understand the gentleman who last addressed us to say, that there
are to be incorporated into the administration of the Government two
new principles: one is, that there shall be no slavery in the
territories; the other is, that the action of the Government shall be
on the side of freedom. And furthermore, that slavery is to be
regarded as a purely local institution, and that slaves are not to be
regarded as property anywhere except in the slave States. Now, that
was just the way in which I interpreted the action of the North in the
last election, and it is precisely this view which has led to the
secession of the States. The gentleman well understands that a
different view of their rights under the Constitution prevails among
the Southern people. Will he also understand and recognize the fact,
that the Supreme Court has clearly given the sanction of its opinion
to the Southern construction?

Mr. WILMOT:--Ought not the action of the Government under WASHINGTON
to be a precedent of some weight in our favor?

Mr. SEDDON:--I cannot accede to that. Now the North has inaugurated
this policy. We of the South say it is a subversion of the
Constitution. The gentleman must as freely admit that the party just
coming into power must of necessity be a Northern party. It can have
no affiliation with any party at the South. Now I ask, can we, as a
matter of policy or justice, whose rights are so vitally involved, sit
by and see this done? Slavery is with us a democratic and a social
interest, a political institution, the grandest item of our
prosperity. Can we in safety or justice sit quietly by and allow the
North thus to array all the powers of the Government against us?

     The hour of one o'clock having arrived, the PRESIDENT
     announced that under the resolutions adopted by the
     Conference, general debate must cease, and the Conference
     would proceed to vote upon the report of the General
     Committee, and various amendments proposed thereto.

Mr. FIELD:--I rise to a question of privilege. What was done by the
Conference with the credentials of the gentleman from Kansas?

The SECRETARY:--The practice heretofore has been, to consider a
gentleman a member, when the Committee on Credentials report in his
favor.

Mr. FIELD:--Then I move to reconsider the action of the Conference in
this case.

Mr. PRICE:--I rise to a question of order. The committee have reported
in favor of Mr. STONE, and that is conclusive.

The PRESIDENT:--I think the Conference has a right to pass upon the
credentials.

Mr. FIELD:--I have a serious objection to the admission of the
gentleman from Kansas. He holds the commission of the Secretary of the
Territory alone, from a man who has never been appointed Governor. It
is very irregular. It looks as though the gentleman was sent here only
for the purpose of giving the vote of Kansas to certain propositions.

Mr. JOHNSON, of Missouri:--The delegate comes here with an appointment
under the seal of the State of Kansas. The act admitting Kansas
provides that all the territorial officers shall exercise jurisdiction
until others are elected. I think it is in very bad taste for the
gentleman from New York to question the regularity of the appointment.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I make a point of order. We have decided to proceed to
the vote at this time.

The PRESIDENT:--I think this is a privileged question.

Mr. HOUSTON:--I respectfully appeal from the decision of the
PRESIDENT.

Mr. MOREHEAD:--I move to lay the whole subject on the table.

Mr. FIELD:--I ask for a vote by States.

The PRESIDENT:--It is somewhat difficult to decide what motion has
precedence. What was the motion of the gentleman from New York?

Mr. FIELD:--I moved a reconsideration of the action of the Convention
admitting Mr. STONE. Let us have a vote on that motion. It is as good
a test as any.

Mr. MOREHEAD:--I insist that the question is upon my motion to lay the
whole subject on the table.

The question was taken upon the motion of Mr. MOREHEAD, with the
following result:

     AYES.--Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey,
     North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and
     Virginia--10.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts,
     New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Vermont--9.

Mr. CLAY:--I would ask, as a matter of courtesy, not to say of common
decency, that Mr. STONE may be permitted to state how and why he came
here.

Mr. STONE, of Kansas:--I understand that I was appointed by the
Secretary of Kansas, who was at the time the Acting Governor. I
understand that the appointment was made in accordance with the
Enabling Act of Kansas. I am not inclined to argue my right to a seat
in the Conference.

Mr. FIELD:--I wish to ask the gentleman only one question. Was not
Governor ROBINSON actually in possession of his office before the
delegate received his appointment, and is he not in such possession
now?

Mr. STONE:--He was, and is.

Mr. ALEXANDER:--I call for the reading of the fourth Rule.

The fourth Rule was read by the Secretary, as follows:

     4TH RULE.--A member shall not speak oftener than twice,
     without special leave, upon the same question; and not a
     second time, before every other who has been silent shall
     have been heard, if he chooses to speak upon the subject.

Mr. FIELD:--In order to bring the subject fairly before the
Conference, I will put my motion in the form of a resolution, as
follows:

     _Resolved_, That the credentials of Mr. STONE, who desires
     to act as a Commissioner from Kansas, be referred back to
     the Committee on Credentials, with instructions to that
     committee to report the facts concerning his appointment,
     and whether it proceeded from the Territorial Secretary.

Mr. SUMMERS:--I wish the Committee on Credentials to stand right with
the Conference. We accepted the commission of the Acting Governor as
_prima facia_ correct.

Mr. VANDEVER:--I wish to offer a resolution.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--All resolutions are out of order.

The PRESIDENT:--I think resolutions under the ruling of the Conference
cannot now be considered.

Mr. CURTIS:--I ask leave for the State of Iowa to vote on the motion
to lay the subject of the admission of the delegate from Kansas on the
table.

The motion was granted, and Iowa being called, voted No; and the vote
stood: Ayes, 10; Noes, 10. And so the motion was lost.

Much discussion here ensued on the subject of the admission of the
delegate from Kansas, which was participated in by Messrs. STOCKTON,
CLEVELAND, COALTER, and others, when

Mr. STONE observed that he had no desire to force himself into the
Conference, and until the question was settled he thought it proper to
withdraw.

The resolution offered by Mr. FIELD was adopted without a division.


VOTE ON THE PROPOSITIONS AND AMENDMENTS.

The PRESIDENT:--The Conference will now proceed to the consideration
of the report of the General Committee, and the amendments thereto.
The question will be taken on the adoption of the first section
reported by the Committee of One from each State, which the SECRETARY
will now read.

The SECRETARY read the report as follows:

     SECTION 1. In all the present territory of the United
     States, not embraced within the limits of the Cherokee
     treaty grant, north of a line from east to west on the
     parallel of 36° 30´ north latitude, involuntary servitude,
     except in punishment of crime, is prohibited whilst it shall
     be under a territorial government; and in all the present
     territory south of said line, the status of persons owing
     service or labor as it now exists shall not be changed by
     law while such territory shall be under a territorial
     government; and neither Congress nor the territorial
     government shall have power to hinder or prevent the taking
     to said territory of persons held to labor or involuntary
     service, within the United States, according to the laws or
     usages of the State from which such persons may be taken,
     nor to impair the rights arising out of said relations,
     which shall be subject to judicial cognizance in the Federal
     Courts, according to the common law; and when any territory
     north or south of said line, within such boundary as
     Congress may prescribe, shall contain a population required
     for a member of Congress, according to the then Federal
     ratio of representation, it shall, if its form of Government
     be republican, be admitted into the Union on an equal
     footing with the original States, with or without
     involuntary service or labor, as the constitution of such
     new State may provide.

     SECTION 2. Territory shall not be acquired by the United
     States, unless by treaty; nor, except for naval and
     commercial stations and depots, unless such treaty shall be
     ratified by four-fifths of all the members of the Senate.

     SECTION 3. Neither the Constitution nor any amendment
     thereof shall be construed to give Congress power to
     regulate, abolish, or control, within any State or Territory
     of the United States, the relation established or recognized
     by the laws thereof touching persons bound to labor or
     involuntary service therein; nor to interfere with or
     abolish involuntary service in the District of Columbia,
     without the consent of Maryland, and without the consent of
     the owners, or making the owners who do not consent just
     compensation; nor the power to interfere with or prohibit
     representatives and others from bringing with them to the
     city of Washington, retaining and taking away, persons so
     bound to labor; nor the power to interfere with or abolish
     involuntary service in places under the exclusive
     jurisdiction of the United States within those States and
     Territories where the same is established or recognized; nor
     the power to prohibit the removal or transportation, by
     land, sea, or river, of persons held to labor or involuntary
     service in any State or Territory of the United States to
     any other State or Territory thereof where it is established
     or recognized by law or usage; and the right during
     transportation of touching at ports, shores, and landings,
     and of landing in case of distress, shall exist. Nor shall
     Congress have power to authorize any higher rate of taxation
     on persons bound to labor, than on land.

     SECTION 4. The third paragraph of the second section of the
     fourth article of the Constitution shall not be construed to
     prevent any of the States, by appropriate legislation, and
     through the action of their judicial and ministerial
     officers, from enforcing the delivery of fugitives from
     labor to the person to whom such service or labor is due.

     SECTION 5. The foreign slave trade, and the importation of
     slaves into the United States and their Territories, from
     places beyond the present limits thereof, are forever
     prohibited.

     SECTION 6. The first, third, and fifth sections, together
     with this section six of these amendments, and the third
     paragraph of the second section of the first article of the
     Constitution, and the third paragraph of the second section
     of the fourth article thereof, shall not be amended or
     abolished without the consent of all the States.

     SECTION 7. Congress shall provide by law that the United
     States shall pay to the owner the full value of his fugitive
     from labor, in all cases where the marshal, or other
     officer, whose duty it was to arrest such fugitive, was
     prevented from so doing by violence or intimidation from
     mobs or riotous assemblages, or when, after arrest, such
     fugitive was rescued by force, and the owner thereby
     prevented and obstructed in the pursuit of his remedy for
     the recovery of such fugitive.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I hope now the Conference will proceed in the regular
way, and that the majority report will be first perfected so far as
amendments are concerned, and that then it may be adopted.

Mr. SEDDON:--I move to amend the first section by inserting, after the
words "in all the present territory south of said line," the words
"including the Cherokee grant," and I call for a vote by States on the
adoption of the amendment I propose. My object is to carry out the
instruction of the committee. A small part of the grant lies north of
the line. It is better to include the whole.

Mr. BACKUS:--I move to amend the amendment proposed by the gentleman
from Virginia, by substituting the word "excluding" for the word
"including," and on my motion ask a vote by States.

Mr. RUFFIN:--I think the gentleman does not understand the effect of
his amendment.

Mr. BACKUS:--I do not think we ought to regard the Cherokee grant at
all.

Mr. FRANKLIN:--I think both the amendments important.

Mr. SEDDON:--We must recognize the Cherokee Territory, and not divide
it. Upon mature reflection, I think the amendment is important.

The vote was taken upon the motion of Mr. BACKUS, and resulted as
follows:

     AYES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine,
     Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
     and Vermont--11.

     NOES.--Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey,
     North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia--9.

The PRESIDENT:--The question is now upon the amendment offered by the
gentleman from Virginia, as amended by the Conference.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I hope the amendment will not be adopted. It is not
necessary to the sense of the article. It is cumulative in its effect.
We have expressly excluded the Cherokee grant, lest we might seem to
overrule the Cherokee treaty by a provision of the Constitution.

The vote was taken by States, on the adoption of the amendment
proposed by Mr. SEDDON, as amended, with the following result:

     AYES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine,
     Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, and
     Vermont--10.

     NOES.--Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey,
     North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and
     Virginia--10.

Thus the amendment was lost.

Mr. PRATT:--I wish to enter my dissent from the vote of Connecticut.

Mr. FRANKLIN:--I now offer as a substitute for the first section, as
reported, the following:

     Strike out after the words "United States," in the first
     line, and insert as follows:

     "Not embraced by the Cherokee treaty, north of the parallel
     of 36° 30´ of north latitude, involuntary servitude, except
     in punishment of crime, is prohibited. In all the present
     territory south of that line, the _status_ of persons held
     to service or labor, as it now exists, shall not be changed;
     nor shall any law be passed to hinder or prevent the taking
     of such persons to said territory, nor to impair the rights
     arising from said relation; but the same shall be subject to
     judicial cognizance in the Federal courts, according to the
     common law. When any territory north or south of said line,
     within such boundary as Congress may prescribe, shall
     contain a population equal to that required for a member of
     Congress, it shall, if its form of government be republican,
     be admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the
     original States, with or without involuntary servitude, as
     the constitution of such State may provide."

Mr. FOWLER:--Let us first perfect the original. I move to amend by
inserting after the word "prevent," in the first section, the words
"or facilitate."

Mr. REID:--I think we ought to perfect the section before we vote on a
substitute. I move to amend it by inserting after the word "line,"
after the words "territory south of said line," the following words:
"involuntary servitude is recognized, and property in those of the
African race held to service or labor in any of the States of the
Union, when removed to such territory, shall be protected and"--

I have not expressed my views at large upon the subject of the
committee's report. I have earnestly wished to settle the perplexing
questions which now distract the country. I do not rise to make a
speech. I have not come here to exact more than the North can
honorably grant, nor to deceive the North in the result, if the rights
of the South are not protected. Our property is involved in your
action. You can afford to be liberal. If you intend to recognize
property in slaves, write it down in the bond. If the North wants any
protection, name it, and we will put it into the bond. If you fear
that slavery may go north of the proposed line, we will give you any
assurance to the contrary. But I tell you that on the other side we
require reciprocal terms. Nothing else will satisfy the public
sentiment. Twelve months hence and we will not take what we now offer
to take.

What are we talking about? Every one knows that the African race is
better off at the South than it could be elsewhere. We do not wish to
disrupt the Union. You are doing it on a mere Northern abstraction.
Suppose a foreign power asked you what you were fighting about, what
would be your answer?

But I was saying that the only way is for the North to be liberal; to
be reciprocal; to make us entirely safe. Our security must be put into
the bond and be faithfully preserved. The present _status_ of the
States in the Union is deceptive. If I am to remain in the Union, it
don't suit me. If I am to go into a southern confederacy, it is just
what I should want. Beware, gentlemen of the North! You are cutting
yourselves off from future glory and expansion.

Mr. VANDEVER:--The gentleman from North Carolina wants the distinct
recognition of slavery in the bond. I would like to refer him to the
condition of this question when the Constitution was adopted. The men
of that time would not assert such a position. They did not think it
proper or necessary. If we adopt his views we attempt to sit in
judgment on the men of that day. Mr. CALHOUN understood this matter
perfectly, and in one of his speeches refers to the unwillingness of
the Convention to recognize slavery specifically. The sentiment of
Iowa is that no such recognition ought to be made now. I am opposed to
the amendment.

Mr. SEDDON:--I consider this an important amendment, and a very just
one. The principle upon which we are proceeding is that of partition.
We, with our property are prohibited from going north of the line. The
exact correlative of that would be, that you should be prohibited from
going south with your institutions. That we do not ask. On one side
involuntary servitude is prohibited. On the other we simply ask that
it may be recognized. We give up two-thirds of the territory
altogether. All we ask is protection in the remaining one-third.

What is the meaning of this proposition as it now stands? Who does not
see that its meaning is ambiguous? It requires us to give up
territorial protection, and leaves us with nothing but the shred of a
right protected by the Federal courts. Once more let me tell you, that
in my opinion the South will never consider this a satisfactory
adjustment. You say we are protected by the principles of the common
law. Who can tell what this will amount to? Assuming the territorial
government to be favorable, it could do nothing. You leave it
powerless. Suppose a citizen of Virginia emigrates to the territory
south of the line with his property. He would have no earthly right
except under the laws of Virginia. The power to enforce those laws is
a thousand miles away. If we are to make a partition, let it be a
partition. As the provision stands, it is the unfairest bargain ever
made. It is all on the side of the North. In common fairness and
honesty, I submit that the North ought to vote for this amendment.

Mr. ORTH:--There is much that is worthy of consideration in the
remarks of the gentleman from Virginia. I hope earnestly that we shall
not adopt a proposal of amendment that admits of two interpretations.
If I could vote for the report of the majority at all, I would throw
around it all the protection it needs. This is a new and peculiar
species of property which we are now making the Constitution recognize
and protect. If the South is entitled to the proposition itself, I
think they are entitled to this amendment. After all, it is only
making the amendment express just what we know its friends claim it
implies.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I would have preferred the direct recognition by express
terms of slavery south of the line proposed, and I voted that way in
the committee. I suppose, however, that the clause as it stands
recognizes the _status_ there, as it now exists--that it prevents all
interference with the _status_. Would you prefer to put into the
proposition certain express terms which would destroy all chance of
its adoption by the people? I do not think the world is governed by
ideas alone. It is governed by ideas and material interests. The
Constitution of 1787 secured the interests of the slaveholder in the
States. This clause does the same in the Territories. No man can be
cheated by it unless he cheats himself. Gentlemen favoring the
amendment must know that at least it will not improve the prospects of
the proposition with the people. Do you wish to break up the
Conference? This is an effectual way of doing it.

We ask for this proposition substantially as it stands. The North can
give it to us if it chooses. If it will not, then we shall go home and
tell our constituents. They must decide for themselves what they will
do. This will settle the Territorial question effectually. What more
do we want? The additional guarantees? These are provided for in the
other clauses.

Mr. CHITTENDEN:--I call for a vote by States on Mr. REID'S amendment.

Mr. BARRINGER:--I shall vote for the amendment of my colleague. I have
occupied no time in the general debate, but now I do desire to say a
few words about this amendment, and the proposition to which it is
offered. The amendment brings up the very _gist_ of the matter.
Differences of opinion exist as to the effect of the clause. The
amendment settles them. This is no place to talk about devotion to the
Union. To be a Union at all it must be one that recognizes and
protects the rights of all. Any other Union is not worth the name; is
not worth preserving. We came here, it is true, to save the Union. We
came here to devise the means of saving it. Practically the Union is
already dissolved. If not dissolved it is disintegrated.

We ask first, additional guarantees for our rights--for Southern
rights. They must be such as will satisfy our people, and bring back
the States that have left the Union. Short of this they will amount to
nothing. I know the public opinion of the South on these important
questions. I have closely watched its growth. My own convictions as to
what it will require are decided. Unless you use language and adopt
terms in your proposals of amendment which will satisfy the seceded
States--which will induce them to return to the Union--your labors
will have been in vain.

What is our claim? It is this, in short: We claim that every Southern
man has the right to go into the Territories with his property,
wherever these Territories may be. The Territories belong to both; to
the South as well as to the North. We want equality. We have no wish
to propagate slavery, but every man at the South does wish to insist
upon his right to enter the Territories upon terms of perfect equality
with the North, if he chooses to do so. He may not exercise the right,
but he will not give it up.

We want a division of the Territories. We want to set up landmarks so
that neither we nor our posterity shall dispute hereafter about the
line.

North Carolina has instructed us to say to this Conference, that if
the CRITTENDEN amendment can be adopted here, we can carry it almost
with unanimity. There will be a struggle even with our own people, but
we can induce them to adopt it.

We have three hundred miles of border in common with South Carolina.
Our trade and our associations are in that direction. It is useless to
deny that South Carolina has sympathizers among us in her recent
movement. You must consider these things, and give us a chance. We
must base our argument on principle; we must stand upon terms of
perfect equality.

The proposition needs this amendment. As it stands it is ambiguous. It
is worse than that, for its construction will depend on the opinion of
a Territorial Judge.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--I come from a State that is deeply interested in the
subject of slavery. Nevertheless, I shall vote against the amendment
of the gentleman from North Carolina.

I belong to that class of politicians which believes that the people
of every section of the Union have a right to go into all the
Territories of the Union, and take with them their property and hold
it in safety. But we ought not, in our proposals of amendment to the
Constitution, to insist upon what will be repulsive to any section of
the Union. I think the amendment is unnecessary--that the right we
claim is sufficiently protected without it. As it stands, neither
Congress nor the Territorial Government has the right to impair the
_status_ of the slave. What farther protection do we need? What other
can we have? Why should we insist upon the adoption of a new style of
language? We ought not to be unreasonable; we ought to content
ourselves with the proposition as it stands, and not put expressions
into it which will make the whole repulsive to a large section of the
country, and which, in all probability, will defeat the whole
amendment when it comes before the country. I am not even sure that we
could get it there. I doubt whether it would pass Congress.

This is a very serious and important question. We wish to stay the
hands of extremists on both sides. We wish to stand by the Union. If
war comes, our soil is to be the battle ground. I wish to avoid war. I
will insist upon this, and I will consent to no extreme opinions.

Mr. VANDEVER:--I do not see why Mr. GUTHRIE cannot accept the proposed
amendment. He and the gentleman from North Carolina are both aiming at
the same thing. The amendment is certainly the clearest. Do you
suppose the people are not going to understand the subject thoroughly?
Do you suppose that they will be deceived by any such transparent
disguise of words? You do not pay them a very high compliment by such
a supposition.

I must vote against the amendment, because I am opposed to the
_principle_ of protecting slavery in the Territories. Such is the
sentiment of the North. If it was not, I should vote for the
amendment.

Mr. MOREHEAD, of Kentucky:--As I intend to vote against the amendment,
it is due to the Convention that I should state the reasons for my
vote. I am in favor of a clear recognition of all the rights of the
South, especially of our rights in the Territories. I voted for the
CRITTENDEN amendment in the committee. I thought the North ought, in
justice to us, to adopt that amendment. We, in this Conference, have
selected a Committee of One from each State--a committee of able men,
and we have placed this subject in their charge. They have consulted
together. They have ascertained the views and feeling of the different
sections of the country; they have embodied the result of their labors
in this report. The question now presented appears to my mind to be
this: After all the time and ability they have given to their report
in the present distracted and perilous condition of the country, shall
I consent to put words into the amendment of the Constitution which
they recommend, that will ensure its defeat when it comes before the
people?

I know as certainly as that GOD rules in heaven, that unless we come
to some satisfactory adjustment in this Conference, a convulsion will
ensue such as the world has never seen.

I have been travelling for nearly two months in the seceded States. I
believe I understand the temper of their people. I have found there an
all-pervading dissatisfaction with the existing state of things, but I
have also found great devotion to the Union. I think we can yet save
the seceded States. But at least let us save Texas and Arkansas. As it
is, black ruin sits nursing the earthquake which threatens to level
this Government to its foundations. Can you not feel it, while there
is yet time to prepare for the shock? If this giant frenzy of disunion
raises its crested head--if red battle stamps his foot, the North will
feel the shock as severely as the South.

Such is the prospect before us, and near to us, and yet gentlemen say
that they will not give _one_ guarantee to avert such dire calamities.
Will not the gentleman from New York do one thing to save that Ship of
State of which he spoke so eloquently, when she is already among the
breakers, and driving so rapidly toward that rocky shore against which
her ribs of steel cannot long protect her? We are patriots all--we are
bound to act together--to do something--to do our duty, and our whole
duty--to do what will ultimately preserve the Union.

Mr. PALMER:--A few days ago the Conference listened to a deliberate
defence of the institution of slavery by its friends from the slave
States, in which at least one gentleman from a free State (Mr. EWING)
participated. That defence could have had but one object. That object
was to place us who do not believe in slavery in such a position that
we could not agree to a compromise without endorsing the views then
expressed. Gentlemen expect us to give up our opinions and concur with
them. I have but one remark to make to all such suggestions. We
entertain our opinions on the subject of slavery; we cannot, we will
not surrender them.

We are told that this contest must cease, or the Union must perish. I
am inclined to think so myself. We stand ready to make any reasonable
compromise to save the Union, short of sacrificing our opinions. You,
gentlemen of the South, cannot be satisfied unless our capitulation is
complete.

I do not assent to much that is said here about the Border States. If
the Union is not dissolved until the Border States go to fighting each
other, it will last forever.

Mr. REID:--If we all mean the same thing, let us put it into the bond.
Then there will be no room for misunderstanding or controversy. If you
leave this article open to construction, nothing will be settled. The
gentleman is mistaken if he supposes that I wish him to adopt my
arguments. I do not. If this provision, as it stands, protects slavery
in the Territories south of 36° and 30´, why not say so in express
terms? I question whether the article, as reported, recognizes
property in slaves at all. I wish to settle the question now and
forever. I do not wish to have my purpose perverted. I wish to carry
home to North Carolina a reasonable story. We have given up all our
rights in the territory north of the line. Let the North be
reciprocal. What shall I tell my people at home? That I have given
away their rights in more than one-half the territory, and have not
even secured a provision protecting property in slaves in the
remainder?

The vote, on the request of Mr. CHITTENDEN, was taken by States, and
resulted as follows:--

     AYES.--Virginia, North Carolina, and Missouri--3.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
     Delaware, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana,
     Illinois, and Iowa--17.

So the amendment was lost.

Mr. CARRUTHERS:--Tennessee approves the sentiment of the amendment,
but she thinks the requisite security is already given.

Messrs. BUTLER and CLAY, of Kentucky, and Mr. DENT, of Maryland, asked
to have their dissent recorded from the votes of their respective
States.

Mr. BARRINGER:--I wish to make a suggestion in relation to Mr.
FRANKLIN'S substitute. I think it is not in order. The Conference has
already determined to perfect the committee's report, before
substitutes are to be considered.

Mr. CURTIS:--I now move to amend Mr. FRANKLIN'S substitute, by
striking out all after the word "prohibit," in the third line, down to
and including the words "common law," and inserting instead thereof
the words, "but this restriction shall not apply to territory south of
said line."

My proposition is offered in good faith, and to show that Iowa is
disposed to compromise. I do not say that this is as far as she will
go. I have inserted the very words used by our fathers. They
prohibited slavery north and tolerated it south of the line. This was
the original proposition of Virginia. If there is any thing in its
ethics, they are Virginia ethics. Slavery now exists in these
Territories. Let it be there. There is slavery in Kansas, Utah, and
Nebraska. We cannot help it. It appears to me that the South ought to
accept this amendment. It recognizes the opinions of our fathers. This
was JEFFERSON'S idea when he drew the ordinance of 1787.

The Constitution does recognize the relation of master and slave, in
my opinion. I do not like it, I confess. You in the South do not
regard your blacks as slaves in the absolute sense of the term. You
have a right in their services, not in their bodies. You recognize
them as _men_ in various ways.

Again I say, I do not offer this amendment to embarrass the action of
the Conference. It secures slavery south of 36° 30´.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--This amendment would not be satisfactory either to the
South or myself. In my judgment, it ought not to be adopted. We claim
the right under the Constitution as it is, to go into all the
Territories of the Union with our property. This right is confirmed to
us by the decision of the Supreme Court. There will be no compromise,
if we cannot go home to our people and tell them that you concede this
right south of 36° 30´. Otherwise, they would throw the propositions
in our faces. As it stands, the article gives you security, North. As
it would be when this amendment is adopted, it would give the South
law and litigation. We want peace. We cannot take this amendment.

Pending the consideration of the amendment offered by Mr. CURTIS, on
motion of Mr. JAMES, the Conference adjourned to ten o'clock to-morrow
morning.



SIXTEENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, SATURDAY, _February 23d, 1861._


The Conference was called to order at ten o'clock A.M., by President
TYLER, and its proceedings commenced with prayer from Rev. Dr. BUTLER.

The Journal of yesterday, in part, was read. The Secretary stated that
he had not found time to complete it.

Mr. ALEXANDER:--I move to rescind the resolution adopted yesterday
allowing ten minutes to a member proposing an amendment, and ten
minutes for the reply. I do not propose to discuss the motion. I think
all will agree upon the necessity of rescinding the resolution. This
will leave the five minutes' rule in full force.

A vote by States was asked by several members.

Mr. SEDDON:--I wish to call the attention of the Conference to this
subject for a moment. I hope the present rule will not be changed. The
debate up to yesterday was upon general questions. We have not yet
gone into detail. We tried the operation of the ten minutes' rule
yesterday. I am sure that it will not be claimed that any gentleman
abused it.

Mr. JAMES:--We have scarcely discussed a question of detail connected
with an article in the committee's report.

Mr. ALEXANDER:--I will withdraw my motion.

Mr. VANDEVER:--I tried to offer a resolution yesterday which I deemed
important. It was then ruled out of order. I am sure it is in order
now. It reads as follows:

     _Resolved_, That whatever may be the ultimate determination
     upon the amendment of the Federal Constitution, or other
     propositions for adjustment approved by this Convention, we,
     the members, do recommend our respective States and
     constituencies to faithfully abide in the Union.

Mr. BRONSON:--I rise to a question of order. The report of the
committee and the amendments thereto, are the special order of
business. We ought not to permit collateral questions to be brought
in. We adjourned yesterday with the amendment proposed by Mr. FRANKLIN
as a substitute for the first article of the committee's report before
us. To that Mr. CURTIS, of Iowa, had offered an amendment, which was
under discussion. Let us keep to our rules.

The PRESIDENT:--I think the resolution of the gentleman from Iowa is
in order now.

Mr. VANDEVER:--I hope the question will be taken upon my resolution at
the present time. All the questions we have been discussing are, in my
judgment, secondary to another which ought to be first decided. Is
this Conference true to the Union--true under all circumstances? If
so, I regard it as highly important that the Conference should give
some expression to that effect. Even if we should settle this great
contention about slavery to-day, other questions might afterward
arise. I am quite prepared to see a claim set up, to what is called
the right of peaceful secession. I would guard against all such
claims. The passage of this resolution would have a beneficial effect
upon the public mind. I think we still have a Government which can
protect itself and the nation. My constituents believe this
preliminary question quite as important as that of protecting slavery
in the Territories.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--I move to lay the resolution introduced by the
gentleman from Iowa, on the table.

Mr. BUTLER:--I want the resolution read again.

Mr. VANDEVER:--Let us all go on to the record. I ask a vote by States.

The resolution was read, and the vote being taken by States, resulted
as follows:

     AYES.--Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware,
     Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky,
     Missouri, and Ohio--11.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
     Connecticut, New York, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa--9.

So the motion to lay the resolution on the table prevailed.

The PRESIDENT:--The Conference will now proceed to the consideration
of the order of the day. The question is upon the amendment offered
by the gentleman from Iowa, to the substitute for the first section of
the report of the committee, offered by the gentleman from
Pennsylvania.

Mr. HITCHCOCK:--I came into this Conference with the honest and single
purpose of healing the unfortunate differences which now distract the
country, having no sinister ends to answer. That purpose has hitherto
remained unchanged. To accomplish it, there is nothing I will not
sacrifice except principle and honor. I think the amendment of the
gentleman from Iowa is, in substance, just the same as Mr. FRANKLIN'S
substitute. In the one, a fact is implied; in the other, the same fact
is expressed. I understand that neither proposition can command the
support of those gentlemen in the Conference who favor a National
Convention. Neither can the amendment command the approval of the
border slave States. Certainly not all, if it can any of them. The
adoption, then, of this amendment, will operate as a defeat of the
first section of the proposed amendment of the Constitution. Neither
party in this Conference will accept it. While, therefore, I believe
it ought to be accepted--while I believe it amounts to nearly the same
as the original proposition, I will not peril the Union upon a mere
question of form.

I did not come here to inquire into causes. Our differences exist, and
I do not think they were occasioned by the success of the Republican
party in the last Presidential election. The plotters against the
Union have seized upon the occasion to accomplish their designs.

By no fault of their own, several of the Border States are placed in a
very unfortunate position. They wish to remain in the Union, but their
people insist that certain of their rights shall be previously
secured; in other words, guaranteed.

It is my firm belief that if the inauguration of President LINCOLN was
over, if his administration had been for a few months in operation, we
should all be at peace. Now, we must act upon the facts as they are
presented to us.

I must vote against the amendment of the gentleman from Iowa in order
to give the original proposition a fair chance. I wish to have it
distinctly understood that this is the reason why I cast my vote
against his amendment.

Mr. JAMES:--I do not rise to debate the question at length, now
before the Conference. I think that this amendment brings us at once
to the true issue which the case presents. We have hitherto been
talking about abstractions. Now we come directly to the point. As this
is a Conference to settle disputed questions, the sooner we come to
the true points in issue, the better.

What is the cause of our present differences? It is not found in any
action of the North. No Northern State proposes to disrupt the Union
or to threaten its stability. But certain of the Southern slave States
come here and say to us that certain alleged rights of theirs must be
secured, or they cannot induce their people to consent to remain in
the Union.

I have heard a great deal said in this Conference about civil war.
Now, civil war is not a pleasant subject to consider; but, gentlemen,
I pray you to remember that the North proposes no civil war. She
declines to consider the subject at all, now. If civil war is brought
upon the country, it will be your work, not ours. The North will do
all she can to stay your hands--to prevent you from plunging the
country into civil war. She will not enter upon it until you force her
to do so. When you begin it, and force her into war in order to defend
the Government and the Union, I have no doubt she will enter the field
and carry on civil war until the Union is restored and its enemies put
down. Let me ask you, gentlemen, who have so much to say about war,
whether you had not better leave that question where it is?

It has been assumed, and very often stated here, that the present
Constitution gives the right to the Southern slave owner to take his
negroes into any of the Territories of the United States, and hold
them there as slaves. I think it would be well for you not to act so
entirely upon that assumption. A different view prevails quite
extensively at the North. It will be a long time before that view is
changed.

Now, you gentlemen of the South propose to restore the Missouri
Compromise line. To induce us to adopt it, you say that the territory
south of it is a barren, worthless desert--that slavery can never
obtain a substantial foothold there. Why, then, do you make the
subject one of so much importance? Why do you risk all the calamities
of civil war and a disruption of the Union for such a poor reward? We
should distrust all your statements, we should disbelieve all your
professions of patriotism, if we could for a moment credit the
assertion that you would break up the Union on such a worthless
pretext.

You ring the changes in our ears upon the decision of the Supreme
Court in your favor. Let me tell you plainly that there is no section
of the Union in which the decisions of that court have been so fully
and fairly respected and observed as in the free States of the North.
With that you should be satisfied.

You are in trouble; that is evident. Your troubles have been caused by
the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. That, again, was your work, not
ours. We opposed the repeal to the end. You had the power and you
carried it. Now the North is indifferent about the restoration of that
compromise; but if that will satisfy you, restore the _status quo_,
and the North will stand by you. But you must not expect now, that the
North will do any thing better for you than to extend the provisions
of the Missouri Compromise to the Pacific Ocean.

Mr. CARRUTHERS:--The gentleman from New York who has last addressed
the Conference, appeals to us to accept the amendment now proposed,
upon the grounds of justice and equity. What is the present state of
the case? We claim the right to go into all the Territories with our
southern property. The Supreme Court has confirmed this right to us.
With this advantage in our favor, we have met here to compromise. What
is the proposition now? It is to give the North all the territory
north of 36° 30´, and to leave all questions concerning the territory
south of that line without any adjustment at all! That gentleman
favors no compromise at all. He proposes that we should go home
without any adjustment. Shall we go back to our excited people and say
this: "The North will make no adjustment with you"? Is this the way to
settle the important questions that now distract the country?

We have not come here for war; we have come here for peace. We have
come to settle all the questions between us upon a fair and equitable
basis. How are we met? Gentlemen from the North say they will give us
nothing. All we ask is right and justice--that right which the
Constitution and the Court has given us in _all_ the territory,
_secured in one-third of it_. With that we will be content.

Some gentlemen object to the phraseology of the article. Let them
have all that their own way. They stop here to quarrel about words?
Settle those as you like, but we ask all the friends of the Union to
stand by, and reject all amendments which affect the substance of the
article. Such a course will end all contention.

We read in Sacred History that the Israelites were once so
conscientious that they would not fight on Sunday. They were attacked
and overthrown. They finally agreed to compromise the question of
conscience so far as to fight in self-defence on Sunday. They were
attacked then, and the enemy was overthrown.

The report is not such as we could wish it might be, but, such as it
is, we will accept it and stand by it. We will adopt it, and we ask
the North to adopt it, in the true spirit of compromise.

Mr. LOGAN:--I am under the necessity of believing that the gentleman
from Iowa is in earnest, in offering this amendment; but if I were to
present it, I should not expect any one to believe I was in earnest.
What is the compromise which this amendment proposes? It is, in
substance, that the North will take three-fourths of the Territory
under the Constitution, and the rest by force. If gentlemen entertain
such views, we might as well come to a direct vote at once, and see
whether any thing can be done.

The gentleman from Iowa says this is the Missouri Compromise; but it
lacks much of it. Besides, circumstances have greatly changed since
1820, when the compromise was adopted. Now, seven States have left us
and gone out of the Union, and we are acting in view of that fact.
There is a contest between the North and the remaining Southern
States, and the latter have no better chance in that contest alone,
than Turkey had in the grasp of the rugged Russian Bear. The gentlemen
from these States do not threaten. All they say is, "If we cannot
agree longer together, let us go in peace. We will fight only in
self-defence."

They ask us further, "If we stay with you, how do you intend to treat
us? As equals, or as inferiors?" If as inferiors, we cannot sustain
ourselves with our people, saying nothing of our own self-respect. I
acknowledge the force of these inquiries.

A civil revolution terminated at the last election. The power to wield
the Government came into the hands of the Republicans. The
circumstances suddenly change. Political power leaves the South. What
now shall we give them in place of that? Shall we leave these States
at our mercy? This is an earnest time. We should act as if the fate of
a great nation depended on our action. If we intend to say we will do
nothing, let us say so plainly, and not by indirection.

Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina:--I thank GOD I hear a voice such as I
have just heard from _that_ section of the country (Iowa)! I have been
a member of a recent Legislature of North Carolina, in which there was
a majority of secessionists. I have been jeered at in that body for
the opinions I have expressed, for I have told those gentlemen
repeatedly that if we could once get the ear of the North, the North
would do us justice. They pointed me to the raid of JOHN BROWN--to the
meeting in Boston, where the gallows of JOHN BROWN was carried with
solemn ceremonies into the Cradle of Liberty. They pointed me to the
man who presided over that meeting, since elevated to the high and
honorable position of Governor of Massachusetts. Notwithstanding all
this, I have replied that the masses of the northern people would deal
fairly by us. I have told these secessionists to their teeth that Mr.
LINCOLN was properly elected under the Constitution, and that he ought
to be inaugurated. Their reply was, "Kansas, and the JOHN BROWN raid!"

Now, I ask this Conference to look for one moment at the effect of the
amendment which is proposed. It withdraws all constitutional
protection from us north of 36° 30´. Adopt it, and what has
Massachusetts to do but to import her foreigners into the country
south, and take possession of it. New York will back her, and we shall
be swept from the face of the earth.

If the gentleman from New York means to say that the nation can put
its foot on to the neck of the States and crush them into submission,
let him go into Virginia and join in another JOHN BROWN raid. Virginia
will treat him as she did JOHN BROWN. No! the gentleman has not
studied the motto of the Union. There is the _E pluribus_ as well as
the _unum_. If the new President proposes to come down to the South
and conquer us, he will find that the whole temple shall fall. We can
be crushed, perhaps, but conquered, _never_!

Mr. BRADFORD:--Maryland has, under the lead of her constitutional
Chief Magistrate, determined to preserve her position of neutrality,
and not by any action of hers to add to the prevailing excitement on
either side. She has done what she could to allay the existing
irritation, and will continue to pursue the same policy she has
hitherto adopted.

Here is a large file of amendments. Almost every delegation has given
notice of an intention to offer one or more. If we begin to adopt
them, I feel sure that we shall destroy all hope of an ultimate
agreement.

Mr. President, I desire to make an emphatic declaration to this
Conference. It is this: Give us the report as it came from the
committee, without substantial alteration, and there is no power on
earth that can draw the State of Maryland out of the Union! Maryland
has been called the heart of the Union. The day she leaves the Union,
that heart is broken! I am now inclined to set my face against all
amendments. I think that is the better course.

In the populous section of the State where I reside, the universal cry
is, "For God's sake, settle these questions!" Why can we not settle
them? The committee inform us that the members of which it is
composed, were nearly unanimous upon all points except the territorial
question. Will reasonable men not yield a little to each other in
order to settle that?

Then let us look calmly at the consequences which must follow our
disagreement. I will enter into no panegyric of the Union. To use an
often repeated expression, it needs none. It is enshrined in the
hearts of the people with all the glories of the past, with all the
glorious hopes of the future. It has given us a position in the front
rank of the nations. There is every prospect that it will make us in
the end the most powerful among the nations. Who can look unmoved upon
the spectacle of such a Union about to fall into fragments? What
sacrifice too great to avert such a ruin?

We all understand, we all agree that we can save the Union by settling
this miserable question of slavery in the Territories. We should be
unworthy of ourselves and our trusts, if we set our division upon
this question above the preservation of the Union. How can it be
possible that Union men, or even politicians, can hesitate as to which
path ought to be taken? One leads to ruin, the other to a haven of
safety.

It will be a world-wonder hereafter, if we do not agree. The
people--the whole country, will stand aghast at the spectacle of folly
we present. I would not, for all the wealth and honors the nation
could bestow, be remembered hereafter as a man who stood between these
measures of pacification and the people who should finally decide upon
them. I would not have the priceless blessing of the Union put in
peril for a single hour, when its safety can be purchased at so small
a cost.

Mr. HACKLEMAN:--The civilized world is amazed at the present condition
of one of the greatest Governments on the face of the earth. I
participate in that amazement myself. What is that condition? In a
time of profound peace, of great prosperity, with the Government
itself in the hands of southern men, State after State has dared to
attempt to sever its connection with the Union. Even Florida, which
has cost us so many millions, which ever since we had her has been a
constant slough of expenditure, says we cannot even have the national
property which happens to be within her territorial limits!

I am not so strong a believer in the effect of legislative action as
many others. I have looked at the main points of our differences in
the light of history, and it is my belief that the laws of soil and
climate will settle this question of slavery in the Territories, much
more effectually than we can settle it by any legislative or
constitutional provisions.

The Missouri Compromise once settled this Territorial question in a
manner satisfactory to the South. Through the influence of the South
it was repealed. Now the South desires to have its provisions
restored. As I understand the amendment of the gentleman from Iowa, it
exactly restores the _status quo_.

We are told, farther, that the natural allies of the border slave
States have left them; that, reduced in numbers, they cannot maintain
their position against the North. This assumes that the North is
hostile to the South. I deny it. I say that my state is the natural
ally of Kentucky, a more powerful ally than she ever had South.

Parties are governed by certain natural laws. A party which adopts a
principle at war with the sentiments of the people may succeed for a
time by the force of party drill, but in the end it will go down. The
CALHOUN doctrine destroyed a party. Under the operation of the same
law the Democratic party has gone down. But you cannot destroy a party
before its time. The effort of Virginia now is to overthrow the
Republican party. The effort will not succeed. It is equivalent to an
attempt to overthrow the country.

I am not frightened at this idea of giving guarantees. I do not think
them of much importance. I am willing to give such as are reasonable.
We hold to a certain extent to your doctrine of State sovereignty, and
would protect it.

Our people North and South are too much alike in many respects. We are
all inclined to stand too much upon party abstractions. This is almost
the only reason why we cannot agree.

We are told that some things stated here grate harshly upon the ears
of gentlemen from the South. The converse of this is equally true. I
can take a rebuke, I trust, in a good temper, but I do not like to be
stabbed in the house of my friends. I do not like to have doctrines
and opinions imputed to me and my party which are only entertained by
a little knot of fanatical abolitionists in the neighborhood of
Boston; a few men who will not vote under the present Constitution,
and who are led and controlled by LLOYD GARRISON and WENDELL PHILLIPS.

Mr. HOUSTON:--I am strongly averse to the introduction of the subject
of party into the deliberations of the Conference. I did not intend to
allude to party at all; but since the subject has been referred to in
such impassioned terms, I feel that I must say a word about it.

Many references have been made in this debate to the opinions of
WASHINGTON. I wish his opinions were better observed and respected. I
refer to his appeal to his countrymen not to form parties with
reference to geographical lines, and asking them to frown indignantly
upon every attempt to form such parties.

What WASHINGTON foresaw, at length has come to pass. Parties have been
formed, and are now in existence, divided by geographical lines,
having no interests or opinions in common. But no such parties can
long exist without threatening the stability of the Government.

So long as parties were national in their character; so long as they
excluded sectional interests from their platforms, their existence was
a benefit rather than an injury to the Union. Gradually they have all
drifted toward sectionalism, until now we find ourselves in a position
which taxes the ability and ingenuity of the ablest men to provide for
the existence even of our Government.

Now, I see no chance of safety for us until we reëstablish political
parties upon their old bases, excluding all sectional considerations.
When this is accomplished, the country is safe. It can only be done by
settling this territorial question, and removing all inducement to the
formation of sectional parties.

The election of Mr. LINCOLN was a fair election. It afforded no just
pretext for secession, much less for the formation of sectional
parties, or for creating sectional issues.

The time has come when the advice, the counsels of WASHINGTON, become
his most precious legacy to the country. Shall we not regard the
solemn admonitions of the Father of his Country?

I would ask our friends from the North--for they are our friends and
not our enemies--whether they will not listen to these counsels of
WASHINGTON? He was always ready, always willing to submit to just
compromises, when they were necessary to the peace and happiness of
his country. Will they not emulate his example now?

Delaware does not feel any special interest in this question of
slavery in the Territories. She would have it settled in that way
which would promote the interests of the whole Union. Her present
impression is, that the report of the committee presents the most
practicable and equitable mode of adjustment. Long ago Delaware
favored the abolition of the slave trade. She has been consistent in
her course on that question ever since. It is not unlikely that she
may soon favor the abolition of slavery within her limits. Her
progress has been in that direction. When the present Constitution was
adopted, Delaware had fifteen thousand slaves. Now she has not more
than eighteen hundred.

Mr. TUCK:--I recognize the reason and propriety of the wishes of the
gentleman from Maryland, to try the proposition now before the
Conference upon its merits. I certainly do not desire to have time
taken up in unnecessary delay. I do not think much of these statements
about civil war. Nor is there any attempt here to defame or injure any
section. No member here has any such intention. We seem to be divided
into two parties. Both are willing to act; neither asks for delay. One
desires action through Congress, the other through the people, acting
in General Convention. We all have confidence in the people. What do
you see in this Conference? One-half of the Republicans here, are
ready to join hands with those who would invoke the action of
Congress, and carry their propositions through, to send them at once
to Congress. I am ready to carry your propositions directly to the
people.

A word now to the Democrats in this Conference. You have always been
our superiors in political address and management. You expect in four
years to bring the Government back under your control. My strong bias
is in favor of a General Convention. That bias I got from the old
Democratic party. The first mention of such an idea I found in an
article in the "National Intelligencer"--a paper which certainly does
not advocate radical views. I am aware of the opposition which this
idea will meet with here, and yet I have heard many gentlemen from the
South say, that this idea carried out--the question fairly submitted
to the people, and decided by them, their decision would be
satisfactory. And would not many of the Southern slave States be
satisfied with a decision upon these questions by a General
Convention? Would not Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee be
willing to submit their interests to such a tribunal?

Now, I wish to ask the members representing the Southern States in
this Conference, whether, when we offer you a General Convention,
fairly elected, which shall patiently hear and firmly decide all our
points of difference, you had not better accept it? I assure you,
gentlemen, in the most perfect good faith, that a convention is the
best alternative the North can now offer you. It is a fair and an
honorable alternative; and because it is so, the North will insist
that it ought to be satisfactory to you. If you refuse it, I ask you
whether, in the sight of GOD and Man, you will not have stood between
the country and peace? We act in secret here, but in the end all our
actions will be exposed to the world. It will be seen that we were
ready to do justice to you, and to submit all your claims to the final
verdict of the people. Should you not at least wait for their
decision?

Mr. DONIPHAN:--Will the gentleman support these proposals of amendment
in a convention of the people, and will he use his influence to elect
members of such a convention who will do the same? If the North will
give us such pledges as will secure that kind of action, perhaps we
will go for a General Convention. Without such a pledge, a General
Convention would be worse than useless.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I am glad I have obtained the floor for a few minutes.
I feel that it will be very painful for me to address the Conference,
on account of physical debility.

But I came here with the single purpose of accomplishing the
settlement of one or two important questions. Permit me, once for all,
and for the last time, to tell the gentlemen from New Hampshire and
Connecticut, that they wholly misunderstand the import of the action
of the Legislature of Kentucky, and the views of the "Louisville
Journal." I have said, before, that in view of the fact that Congress
could not settle our difficulties, the Legislature of Kentucky asked
for a National Convention, as our only hope of making an adjustment.
After this came the invitation of Virginia, like a bright beam of
hope. Virginia invited you all, New York, New Hampshire, and
Massachusetts, and the other States, to meet and consult for the
public safety. If you did not wish to secure our common safety, you
should not have accepted her invitation.

Mr. BOUTWELL:--Then we are to understand that if we do not favor the
CRITTENDEN resolutions, we should not have come here at all.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I say nothing of the kind. But I insist that you
should tell us now, what the conclusion is to which you have arrived.
We want to know what you gentlemen, representing the Northern States,
intend to do. Give us your votes. We have had enough of discussion,
which amounts to nothing. If you will consent to no arrangement, let
us know it now. We have a duty to perform toward our own people. We
wish to relieve them from suspense, so that they may determine what
their future course shall be, in view of the fact that you will do
nothing for them.

Mr. COOK:--If Illinois had understood that she was only to come here
for the purpose of agreeing to the propositions of Virginia as
announced in the resolutions which accompanied her invitation, the
Conference may be assured that Illinois would not have appeared here
at all. She understood that she was invited to a _Conference_, in
which all the States were to meet upon a basis of perfect equality.
The very resolutions of the Legislature of Illinois, under which we
received our appointments, assert that their adoption is not to be
regarded as an assent to the resolutions of Virginia.

We think we are not passing the limits of propriety, when we insist
that we should be permitted to state the views and opinions of the
people of Illinois, on the questions which this Conference proposes to
decide. To state what we will and what we will not concede. There
seems to be an unwillingness to give us this permission. If the people
are now ready to give their sanction to the propositions contained in
the Virginia resolutions, they would send delegates here who would
accept these propositions without debate or discussion. They have not
yet done so. If they intended to limit our right of private judgment,
they have certainly not yet expressed any such intention. They
understand, and we have not forgotten, that there is a broad
distinction between the guaranty of old rights and the creation of new
ones.

We now understand just what the South proposes. The question is
plainly and distinctly presented to us, whether we will assent to a
constitutional recognition of the right to hold slaves in a portion of
the Territories of the United States. It is not a question of
prohibition at all. We are required to assert the affirmative right of
holding slaves independent of State laws, and under the Constitution.

Gentlemen present us this question, and coolly tell us we want no more
discussion, no more arguments, no examination of our respective rights
under or outside the Constitution. We wish you to tell us at once
whether you will assent to our wishes or not. If you will not, then
comes some dark insinuations about going home to their people, and
certain consequences are to follow, of the precise nature of which we
are not informed.

Gentlemen, when was the sanction of the American people ever secured
to an important proposition in such a way as this? If we are not to
exercise our judgment, and act according to its dictates, upon every
proposal of amendment here presented, then, for one, I care not how
soon our deliberations end. Until we better understand our relative
positions than we seem to at present, I do not see much use in
prolonging the discussion.

Mr. EWING:--Some concession must be expected from both sides, or we
cannot agree. As a Northern man, I feel it to be my duty to get these
propositions made as acceptable to the North as I can, and then to
ensure their submission to the people. Even then, we are not committed
to the support of these propositions, though I myself should feel so
to some extent. A single question is now presented to us. Shall we
accept these propositions when they are perfected as far as they can
be, or shall we submit to a dissolution of the Union? I am willing to
say that I will yield my personal opinions for the purpose of
concession, and I do not think I show myself an inferior man by doing
so. In all disputes, the firmest men are the first to yield. Let a man
be firm as a rock in battle, but conciliatory in council; especially
in such a council as this, where the lives of millions may be
concerned. There is a firmness which is but another name for
imprudence--for rashness. Take the case of a railroad collision. One
engineer may have the right of track; it may be the duty of all others
to recognize that right, and not interfere with his exercising it.
But, if another gets on to it, he who has the right would not be
justified, if, in its exercise, he ran blindly on, and produced a
collision, destroying the lives of his passengers, when he could have
avoided the collision. So it is here. We may be right--the North may
be right; but we should not hazard the existence of the Union by a
determination to exercise that right at all events, when, by some
slight concessions, we could save the Union. Let us use our
judgments--let us act in view of the facts here presented, with that
prudence and discrimination which we apply to the ordinary affairs of
life, and all will yet be well.

Mr. KING:--I have not spoken hitherto, and should not now say a word,
but for the remark of the gentleman from Kentucky. I come here as one
of the representatives of the State of New York. As such I am the
equal--the peer of any representative of any other State on this
floor. I do not intend to be lectured into or intimidated from doing
any thing which my judgment tells me I should not do, or should do.

Speaking for New York, I say that she holds her allegiance to the
Constitution and the Government of the United States above and beyond
any other political duty or obligation. With this obligation always
before them, her representatives have come here to consult with you
upon the present condition of the country. I am as old as the
gentleman from Kentucky. I recognize no right in him to lecture me on
my political duties. I revere the Constitution of my country. I was
educated to love it, and my own father helped to make it. I cannot sit
still and hear such declarations as have been hourly repeated here for
the last few days.

Mr. SEDDON:--Does the gentleman consider this a consolidated
Government or a confederation of States?

Mr. KING:--I consider this a confederation of States under the
Constitution, and that in all that respects the General Government,
every good citizen owes an allegiance to it above and beyond that
which he owes to his State or to any other political authority. And
that statement comprises nearly all I wish to say. The State of New
York at all times, in peace or war, has been loyal to the
Constitution; and, although some of her representatives here may
undertake to make you think differently, she always will be. Yes!
loyal with all her strength and power! And as one of her
representatives, I shall yield nothing on her part to threats,
menaces, or intimidations. I believe the Constitution as it now stands
gives you guarantees enough--all you ought to have.

Mr. GOODRICH:--I ought not to permit this vote to be taken, without a
word of reply to the remarks of the gentleman from North Carolina. The
impression would certainly be derived from his speech that Governor
ANDREW, of Massachusetts, approved of the JOHN BROWN raid. This is not
true. There is not a particle of truth in the assertion. There is a
gentleman here, who heard Governor ANDREW state publicly when he
first heard of that raid, that JOHN BROWN must be crazy. It is true
that a meeting was held in Boston to raise funds to support the
poverty-stricken family of JOHN BROWN. Governor ANDREW, I believe,
presided; and a single paragraph taken from some remarks he made on
that occasion, has been scattered broadcast over the country. In order
to understand what he did say, both the context and what followed it
are indispensable. Those were carefully suppressed. The opinions of
Governor ANDREW are well known. They are in sympathy with those of the
people of Massachusetts. Neither he nor they approved the JOHN BROWN
invasion.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--I call the gentleman to order. He is discussing a
subject which is strictly personal, having no connection with the
report of the committee, or the amendments offered to that report.

The PRESIDENT:--I think the remarks of the gentleman from
Massachusetts are not in order.

Mr. GOODRICH:--Well, I cannot proceed in order. I only desired to
correct a misapprehension. I do not quite understand why these
misrepresentations should be made, and then objections interposed to
their correction.

Mr. HOPPIN:--I rise, Mr. President, to address the Conference with
great reluctance. If there is a gentleman within the sound of my voice
whose heart is full of anxious solicitude for the safety of the
country, he will know how to sympathize with me. I do not represent a
State containing four millions of people, but one of the smallest in
the Union; and yet little Rhode Island has a heart which beats true to
the Union. It so happened that she was one of the last to accept the
Constitution; but when she did accept it--when she took upon herself
its obligations--she became faithful to it, and she has ever since
been true.

I feel that my position is peculiar. I cannot judge of other men as
some gentlemen do. The North is full of men who do not concur in my
opinions upon the question of slavery. I know they are honest and
honorable men. I should do injustice to them and to myself, if I
believed them to be either corrupt or enemies of the Union and of good
government; and it is just the same in the South as in other sections.
Looking around me upon these able and patriotic representatives, who
come here with full hearts and tell us of their position--of the
feelings of their people--of the anxiety and apprehension which is so
deeply felt among them, can I believe that these men are dishonest?
that they do not mean what they say? No, sir! Nobody can be so unjust
and unfair as that.

I think of these questions which we are discussing earnestly and
continually. My heart is torn by conflicting emotions. I wish to
perform my duty toward all sections, and I do feel sure that something
must be done for our southern friends. They wish to remain in the
Union--they do not wish to be driven out; and they tell us in all
sincerity that something must be done to satisfy their people, or they
cannot keep them in the Union. I know that the questions presented
here are very embarrassing to the North, but we must decide them. We
must do the best we can, and the North will sustain us; our
constituents will approve our action.

Rhode Island wishes to act fairly by all. She does not herself, need
any amendments to the Constitution; but if her sisters need them, she
will consider their necessities. Her delegation here acts unitedly,
and it's members are influenced by the same spirit. We have done all
we could to bring ourselves to a rational conclusion; and we feel, my
friends, as though this body ought never to separate until we come to
an agreement--until we come to some compromise which will be
satisfactory to all.

I cannot now, in the short time that remains, go into a minute
examination of the various points presented. This has been done by
abler men. But I do feel that although the questions may be difficult,
there are none of them which, as sensible men, we cannot settle. Don't
let us forget our great mission and descend into personal abuse. Do
not let us forget our high duties. Let us perform them in a friendly
and a Christian spirit. Let us look at the facts as they are. Let us
not spend our time in trying to find out who struck the first blow, or
who is responsible. Let us all unite together in one great, final
effort to save the country and the Union.

As matters now stand, we who represent Rhode Island can see no way
more desirable than to vote for and support the report of the
committee. And yet we do not insist upon that report. Show us any
thing better, and we will go for it. But we will do nothing to widen
the breach--we will do all we can to heal it. My friends, I say once
more, let us go to work earnestly, and do not let us separate and go
to our homes, until we can carry with us the glorious news that we
have healed up all dissensions and adopted a plan that will secure the
Union and make it perpetual.

Mr. CROWNINSHIELD:--I understand that the proposition of the gentleman
from Iowa is to restore the Missouri Compromise. If so, does not his
proposition commend itself to the Conference as one that will command
the respect and support of the country? I have asked, many others have
asked, what is the cause of our present difficulties? The question
meets no direct reply--no definite answer. The repeal of the Missouri
Compromise is referred to, hinted at, as the principal cause. If an
answer were extorted, I think it would be, the repeal of that
Compromise.

The history of the Missouri Compromise is so simple that we all
understand it. Southern men forced the measure upon the North. The few
northern men who voted for it were swept out of their political
existence at the election which followed its passage. Which section is
responsible for its repeal--the North or the South? You say its repeal
was moved by a northern man. Very true! But he was a northern man who
had adopted southern principles, and who sought to secure the favor of
the South by this act. Southern men supported his proposition and
carried it through Congress against the votes and the remonstrances of
the North.

The South, then, established and destroyed the Missouri Compromise.
The South wishes to have its provisions restored. Why, then, are you
not satisfied to have it put into the Constitution, and so make it
permanent and perpetual, if the North will consent to it? Are the
circumstances of the South so much changed? If it was equitable in
1820, _à fortiori_ it ought to be equitable in 1861. Territory has
been acquired since 1820, it is true, but it is all or nearly all,
south of the compromise line. Restore the Missouri Compromise and this
territory will be devoted to southern institutions. What territory has
been acquired since? Will gentlemen reply, "Oregon"? I insist that
Oregon was virtually acquired before. It only required the final
agreement upon a boundary line.

If there is any proposition in which the North can concur--any that
will restore harmony between the North and the South--it is the
restoration of the Missouri Compromise. If any other is proposed less
favorable or just to the North, I do not believe the people will adopt
it.

I am not insensible to the condition of the country. Neither are my
colleagues, nor the constituents they represent. But you must not
expect us here, in the worst emergency you can imagine, to forget or
throw away the rights of our people. If we consent to support this
amendment, it is as far as we can go. You ought not to ask us to go
farther.

Mr. DENT:--I will only occupy one moment. Maryland has spoken in
language which satisfies me. As I understand him, I concur in what my
colleague has said.

Now the nut is to be cracked. The majority report proposes to give up
three-fourths of our territory to the North absolutely, retaining the
little balance for the South. The amendment proposes to pick the
kernel out of the balance, and to leave the husks to us. To that we
shall agree when we are compelled to; not before.

Mr. JOHNSON, of Missouri:--The Supreme Court has already decided, in
terms which are not ambiguous, that Congress has no right, under the
Constitution, to prohibit slavery in the Territories. Now, our
brethren of the North propose to give us the Missouri Compromise. What
do they mean? Do they intend to give us a substantial right--one that
we can enforce and rely upon, or do they intend to keep it from us?
They are shrewd as well as honorable men. They know that the effect of
this amendment will be to leave the territory south of the line,
without the slightest acknowledgment or guaranty, just where it is at
the present time, so far as slavery is concerned.

The construction placed upon the Missouri Compromise was, that the
prohibition of slavery north of the line which it established, implied
the right of holding slaves south of the line. At the time of its
adoption there was, in respect of this construction, no difference of
opinion: Such was the construction of Mr. WEBSTER.

Now you propose to leave it still for Congress to legislate as to the
territory south. You secure that north, by a prohibition in the
Constitution; you will get that south, by the action of Congress.

The decision in the Dred Scott case may be reversed. It afforded no
permanent protection. One of your leaders (Mr. WILMOT) says he will
war against it. The gentleman from New York (Mr. SMITH) denies the
force of the decision in this respect. Now, gentlemen, all we of the
South want, is to have this question settled. You know well that the
adoption of this amendment, so far from settling it, leaves it all
open; or rather it settles the question North, and leaves it open
South. The country is in danger--that all concede. Will you, because
you do not agree in opinion with the Supreme Court, refuse to join us
in one more effort to save the country?

Mr. CLAY:--I have not unnecessarily occupied a moment of the time of
this Conference, and it is not now my intention to occupy the whole
ten minutes to which I am entitled. But I do wish to express some of
the opinions which I entertain upon the questions immediately under
our consideration. "Red Gauntlet" has been cited as an authority in
this body, but I think I might cite another of the same class which
would be more in point. It is the "Bleak House," by Charles Dickens,
in which the circumlocution office is so graphically described. It
would be decidedly more appropriate to our present action.

Why have we come together? What brought us here? We have come to
devise the means of saving a distracted and bleeding country. What the
South asks you to do, is, to recognize the property which her citizens
possess; and when they take that property to the Territories, to
secure its protection there, or rather to protect it south of the line
of 36° 30´. Will you do it? Are you going to do it? If you intend to
recognize our property south of this line, write it down so plain that
my constituents can understand it--so that they will not be cheated.
If you intend to do nothing, let us know it at once. We will then know
what to expect, and how to advise our people.

The question of slavery is but an incident to the great questions
which are at the bottom of our divisions. Such differences have
brought war after war upon Europe. It is, after all, the old question
of the balance of power between the different sections and different
interests. Who does not remember that in 1832 and 1833 the Tariff
brought up the same questions? Why did South Carolina then threaten to
nullify? Because nullification then, was one of the effects which the
disregard of the rights of a section caused.

The South have always insisted upon terms of equality with the North.
To this equality no one can deny she is justly entitled. So long as
new States came in _pari passu_, North and South, she was satisfied.
When this equilibrium was disturbed, she began to insist upon
guarantees. Now, when you propose to put the point of equilibrium out
of sight altogether, the South insists upon these guarantees, as not
only necessary, but indispensable to her safety. This is right and
fair. The North would insist upon the same thing, under like
circumstances.

Gentlemen from the North have complained here that we have not stated
exactly what would satisfy us. We have told you what we wanted over
and over again. We want the CRITTENDEN resolutions. We told you that,
when we first came here. We have now been here for nearly four weeks,
and the CRITTENDEN amendment has never once been submitted to a vote.
Since our difficulties first assumed importance, there has never been
a measure of pacification suggested which has met with such a measure
of acceptance as the CRITTENDEN resolutions. State after State has
sent petitions to Congress asking for their adoption. Almost the
entire South, with Virginia, the Mother of States, in the advance,
tells you that these resolutions will be an acceptable measure of
pacification, and yet you will not give us a vote upon them; you will
scarcely consent to consider them. Even the committee, whose report is
so unsatisfactory to the North (and a portion of the South also), does
not appear to have given them much attention.

Mr. President, in behalf of the South, I think I know what to say. If
our differences are to be settled at all, we must have our property in
our slaves in the Territories recognized; and when that property is
constitutionally recognized, it must be constitutionally protected.
Such, I know, are the sentiments of the people of Kentucky.

Mr. ALLEN:--I wish to ask the attention of the Conference for only
one moment to the true aspect of the question now before us. We are
asked if we will suffer the Union to be destroyed on account of the
Territory of New Mexico. Let me ask these gentlemen who it is that
proposes to break up and destroy the Union? It is the South--it is
_not_ the North. But all that I pass by.

If it were merely a question of who should have the beneficial
possession of our present unoccupied territory, we would give that up
at once to the South. But it is not a question of possession at all.
It is _the_ question which shall control and give direction to the
policy of the country--the institutions of Slavery or the institutions
of Freedom! You ask for a provision in the Constitution which will
place that policy under the control of the institutions of slavery.
This we cannot grant you.

We of the North stand where our fathers did, who resisted the Stamp
Act; who threw overboard the tea in Boston harbor. We have been taught
to resist the smallest beginnings of evil; that this is the true
policy. _Obsta principii_ was the motto of our fathers. It is ours.
The debates of this Conference, and those of the Convention of 1787,
will stand in a strange contrast to each other.

Mr. BALDWIN:--I now offer the minority report of the committee, with
the accompanying resolutions as an amendment to--

The PRESIDENT:--The gentleman from Connecticut is not in order.

The vote was then taken by States, upon the amendment offered by Mr.
CURTIS, to the substitute proposed by Mr. FRANKLIN, for the first
article of the section reported by the General Committee, with the
following result:

     AYES.--Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and
     New York--6.

     NOES.--New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey,
     Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
     Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio--12.

And the amendment was lost.

Mr. CORNING:--I dissent from the vote of New York.

Mr. WILMOT:--I wish to be recorded as voting Aye!

Mr. DODGE:--I dissent; I am against the amendment.

Mr. WOOD:--I wish my vote recorded in favor of the amendment.

Mr. COOK:--And so do I.

Mr. LOGAN:--I am the other way.

Mr. TUCK:--I dissent from the vote of New Hampshire.

Mr. GRANGER:--And I from that of New York.

Mr. WOLCOTT:--I dissent from the vote of Ohio. I notice that my
colleague, Mr. CHASE, is not present at this moment.

Mr. BRONSON:--I also dissent from the vote of New York. My associate,
GEN. WOOL, is confined to his room by a severe indisposition. For his
benefit, and as I know he feels a deep interest in these votes, and
desires to have his name appear upon the record, in his behalf I offer
the following resolution:

     _Resolved_, Whereas JOHN E. WOOL, a delegate from New York,
     is unable to attend the Convention, from sickness, therefore
     that he be permitted, when he does attend, or by
     communication in writing to the Secretary, to have his
     dissent recorded, as to any vote of his State.

This resolution was agreed to without a division.

The PRESIDENT:--The question now will be upon the adoption of the
substitute proposed by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. FRANKLIN),
to the first section of the article reported by the committee.

Mr. FRANKLIN:--Before that question is taken, I desire to accept
certain verbal amendments which have been proposed by various members,
which will, I think, improve the substitute which I offer. These
amendments are as follows:

     1st. In the fifth line, as printed, after the words "nor
     shall any law be passed," insert the words "by Congress or
     the Territorial Legislature."

     2d. In the sixth line, after the words "the taking of such
     persons," insert "from any of the States of this Union."

     3d. In the eighth line, before the words "according to the
     common law," insert the words "course of the."

     4th. In the seventh line, after the words "prevent the
     taking of such persons," insert the words "from any State in
     the Union."

These amendments I adopt, and wish them to be treated as incorporated
into my substitute.

The PRESIDENT:--Such will be assumed as the pleasure of the
Conference, as no objection is made.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I am content, on the part of the committee, that the
substitute offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania should be
adopted in the place of the first section of the article reported by
the committee. It amounts to the same thing, and is expressed in
shorter and better language.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN:--I move to amend Mr. FRANKLIN'S substitute as
follows:[3] I think these words would be more acceptable to the people
of the Northern States.

[Footnote 3: This was a verbal amendment. I was not able to note it at
the time, nor have I since been able to procure it.]

Mr. PALMER:--Does not the gentleman's amendment involve an
Hibernicism? I think if we are to adopt the report of the committee,
the FRANKLIN amendment admits of no improvement. It had better stand
as it is. If we undertake to change it we shall all get to sea.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN:--I withdraw my proposition.

Mr. JAMES:--It was moved yesterday to insert the words, "or
facilitate" after the words "hinder or prevent," in that part of Mr.
FRANKLIN'S amendment which negatives the right to pass laws. What was
done with that?

Mr. FOWLER:--Nothing. I moved it, and I insist upon the motion.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I submit to the Conference whether this amendment is
necessary or proper. Suppose some new question arises relating to
slavery which it may be greatly for the interest of the Territory to
protect. Suppose mines are discovered, and the Territory should want
slaves to work them. Shall we put it into the Constitution that no law
shall be passed to encourage their emigration?

Mr. BRONSON:--I see no need of it.

Mr. JAMES:--The point generally comes out. Now you say that you will
have the right to go into the Territory with your slaves, and no law
shall be passed to prevent you, no matter how much such a law would
promote the material interests of the Territory. The converse of this
you will not agree to. You are not content to let slavery stand by
itself, you must have it nursed by the Territorial Legislatures. Does
slavery always require such partiality? I say the power of the
Legislature should be exercised on both sides, or it should not be
exercised at all. I am trying to perfect the article. If it is to
pass, and go to the people as a measure of pacification, and if you
expect them to adopt it, you must not have it so one-sided and unfair.
The people will understand it--it will be our duty to explain it to
them, and to give them its history.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--But your amendment would prohibit the passage of a law
permitting the transit of a slaveholder through the Territory with his
property. Remember, also, that the prohibition only continues so long
as the territorial condition exists.

Mr. SMITH:--Before this vote is taken, I wish to call attention to the
character of the prohibition. "Nor shall any law be passed to hinder
or prevent the taking of such persons to said Territory, nor to impair
the rights arising from said relation," &c. Now, this is very broad.
Suppose a law giving the right of transit to the people of the free
States, or any law for their protection in the Territory, as
inhabitants, is held by the Territorial Judge to "impair the rights
arising from said relation." He holds it unconstitutional. Where is
the remedy? What views are entertained upon some of these points in
some sections of the South we know. If you do not adopt this amendment
it is quite in the power of the Legislature to exclude any person from
the Territory whose presence there may be thought injurious to
slavery. Did the committee intend this?

The question upon the adoption of Mr. FOWLER'S amendment resulted as
follows:

     AYES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, Indiana, Illinois, and
     Iowa--10.

     NOES.--New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland,
     Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and
     Ohio--10.

So the amendment was rejected.

Mr. GROESBECK:--I move to amend the substitute offered by Mr.
FRANKLIN, by inserting after the words "nor shall any law be passed,"
the words "by Congress or the Territorial Legislature." I think this
is necessary to make our intention plain. Otherwise it might be said
that the prohibition did not apply to Congress.

Mr. FRANKLIN:--I think the suggestion a very proper one. I will accept
the amendment.

Mr. WILMOT:--I only wish to understand where we are. Have we disposed
of the word "facilitate"?

The PRESIDENT:--That amendment was not adopted.

Mr. WILMOT:--Then I move to insert before the word "_status_," the
word "legal."

Mr. RUFFIN:--That raises again every question we have been discussing.
The word, as used in the substitute, only refers to the status _in
fact_.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--This brings up all our old troubles. Let us reject it.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--I wish to understand this subject, and what will be the
effect of adopting this amendment. I understand that the slave has
what we call a _status_. The substitute of Mr. FRANKLIN is intended
specifically to recognize and protect that _status_ in the Territories
as fully as it is protected and recognized in the States. I think it
has that effect. Adopt the amendment, and the effect is precisely the
opposite. The amendment rescinds the _status_.

Mr. PALMER:--I wish to make an inquiry of the mover. Does the
amendment, after all, make any difference? Must not any _status_, not
against law, be, of necessity, a _legal_ status?

Mr. WILMOT:--No. I think there is a wide difference, and the South
thinks so. One is a status in fact, the other, one in law.

Mr. LOGAN:--I hope we shall not adopt the amendment. We all want these
questions settled. The amendment opens them all wider than before. If
we intend to give the South the right she asks for, and, as I think,
rightfully asks for, let us give it to her in plain and unequivocal
language. Let us not give her a legacy of litigation, by using words
which mean one thing or the opposite, according to the construction
you place upon them. I wish to settle all these questions fairly. The
amendment leaves the question as to what constitutes a _legal status_,
to be decided by the Court. The North would claim that there cannot be
such a thing as a legal status, a legal condition of slavery. The
South would claim the opposite.

Mr. WILMOT:--If the amendment of the gentleman from North Carolina had
been adopted, I would not have moved this. The section then would have
been unambiguous and clear. Now it is all open to construction.

Mr. CHASE:--In my judgment it is unimportant whether the amendment is
adopted or not. The condition of the slave in the Southern States is
one arising out of law, established by legislative provisions. _Status
in fact_ must mean _status in law_ as well as _status in fact_.

I have listened with attention to the appeals made by gentlemen who
urge the interests of the South in favor of a settlement of these
questions. But you are now prosecuting a plan which will be the
subject of debate throughout the country. Adopt your article in either
form, and the question, What does status mean? will still remain.

A majority of the people have adopted the opinion that under the
Constitution slavery has not a legal existence in the Territories. The
triumph of this opinion is not the result of any sudden impulse. A
President has been elected, and a Government will soon be organized,
whose duty it will be to respect and observe the opinions of the
people. You are now seeking, by the adoption of a single section, to
change these opinions and this policy. Do not deceive yourselves,
gentlemen. You will never accomplish this result so easily. You are
presenting such a subject for debate and excitement as the country
never had before. It is best we deal frankly.

The vote was taken upon the adoption of the amendment, and resulted as
follows:

     AYES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
     Connecticut, New York, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa--9.

     NOES.--Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware,
     Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky,
     Missouri, and Ohio--11.

And the amendment was rejected.

Mr. GOODRICH:--I move to insert in the substitute offered by Mr.
FRANKLIN, after the words "south of that line," the words "not
embraced by the Cherokee treaty."

A word of explanation. Do we intend to prohibit the Cherokee Nation
from changing the status of persons within their Territory, if they
think proper to do so? Would not this be a violation of our
understanding, if not of our treaty stipulations with these Indians?

Mr. EWING:--I have looked into this subject, and I do not think the
proposition would be improved by the amendment.

Mr. GOODRICH:--Then I will withdraw it for the present.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I hope the vote on the main question will now be taken.
It is evident that the sense of the majority is against accepting
amendments.

Mr. GOODRICH:--That obliges me to renew my motion. I do renew it, and
ask for a vote by States.

The vote upon the amendment offered by Mr. GOODRICH was taken, with
the following result:

     AYES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
     Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana,
     Illinois, and Iowa--11.

     NOES.--Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland,
     Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and
     Missouri--9.

So the amendment was adopted.

Mr. TURNER:--I move to amend the substitute offered by Mr. FRANKLIN,
by inserting after the words "hinder or prevent," the words "or
encourage."

I think there is a palpable difference between the word "encourage"
and the word "facilitate." The former is broader and less restricted.
If this measure is to be commended to the favor of the North, it
should be deprived of this one-sided character.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--We have already decided this question. In every
practical sense the words are synonymous.

The vote was taken upon the amendment offered by Mr. TURNER, and
resulted as follows:

     AYES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, Indiana, Illinois, and
     Iowa--10.

     NOES.--New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland,
     Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and
     Ohio--10.

And the amendment was lost.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I ask the Conference now to let us have a vote.

Mr. SEDDON:--Not just yet. I move to amend the substitute offered by
the gentleman from Pennsylvania, by the insertion after the clause
providing for the division of the territory, of the following:

     "All appointments to office in the Territories lying north
     of the line 36° 30´, as well before as after the
     establishment of Territorial governments in and over the
     same, or any part thereof, shall be made upon the
     recommendation of a majority of the Senators representing,
     at the time, the non-slaveholding States. And, in like
     manner, all appointments to office in the Territories which
     may lie south of said line of 36° 30´, shall be made upon
     the recommendation of a majority of the Senators
     representing, at the time, the slaveholding States. But
     nothing in this article shall be construed to restrain the
     President of the United States from removing, for actual
     incompetency or misdemeanor in office, any person thus
     appointed, and appointing a temporary agent, to be continued
     in office until the majority of Senators as aforesaid may
     present a new recommendation; or from filling any vacancy
     which may occur during the recess of the Senate; such
     appointment to continue _ad interim_. And to insure, on the
     part of the Senators, the selection of the most trustworthy
     agents, it is hereby directed that all the net proceeds
     arising from the sales of the public lands, shall be
     distributed annually among the several States, according to
     the combined ratio of representation and taxation; but the
     distribution aforesaid may be suspended by Congress, in case
     of actual war with a foreign nation, or imminent peril
     thereof."

Mr. SEDDON:--I invite the careful and deliberate attention of the
Conference to the provisions of this amendment. It is commended by
high authority. It is commended by nothing inferior to the wisdom and
experience of our honored President. It is intended as a division of
the territory between the North and the South.

Now, to insure a fair operation of the provisions of the Constitution,
as they will stand in that instrument when amended as we propose, we
deem it very essential that the rights of the southern section should
be secured by such an amendment as this. It will be noticed that Mr.
FRANKLIN'S substitute precludes us from any appeal to Congress or the
Territorial Legislatures for affirmative protection. The powers of
those bodies will be negative only. We have nothing left, then, but
the Federal Courts. We ask now that we may not be subjected to the
government and power of Federal officers, whose opinions are against
us--who will exercise those powers for our oppression. Congress or the
President may send into a Territory in the southern section, a set of
officers who are anti-slavery propagandists, who will exercise all
their official powers to our injury. I hold this amendment to be
eminently just and fair. We have no protection from Congress; none
from the Legislature. Is there a chance, even, unless such a provision
is adopted, that the South will ever be placed in the favorable
possession or enjoyment of the rights you are willing to concede to
us?

The latter portion of the amendment is equally just. The Government
holds the public lands in trust. It is better to divide their proceeds
at short intervals, and thus remove the subject from all danger of
corrupting influences. But I shall leave this to be discussed by the
mover.

Mr. PALMER:--I move to rescind the ten-minute rule adopted by the
Conference, so far as the President is concerned.

The motion of Mr. PALMER was agreed to without a division.

President TYLER:--I am very grateful for the compliment which the
Conference extends to me in the vote which has just passed. I will not
abuse its kindness.

The amendment which is offered may, at first sight, appear to be
extraordinary; but I wish to say, in all seriousness, that all my
experience in public life leads me to favor its adoption. I wish to
have the Conference understand fully its import and meaning.

That policy is the best, which reduces within the narrowest limits the
patronage to be exercised by the Executive authority. Every party out
of power has discovered that in the patronage of the President there
is a voice of greater potency than is heard elsewhere in the
Government. This amendment places a limitation upon the power of the
President. It confers upon a majority of the Senators from each
section the power to recommend appointments to office, and this will
be found in practice equivalent to the power of appointment. It is the
only practicable limitation of Executive patronage. The power of the
Executive in this Government is very great. Limit it, abridge it as
you may, and the President will have a power in the Government which
is not possessed by any sovereign of any throne in Europe.

This is not a political question. Our warrant for the adoption of this
plan will be found in the tranquillity it will give to the country--in
the peace which will result from it. We are now settling differences
between the States. Adopt this provision, and we secure unanimity
forever. You will always find that dissatisfaction is confined to
limited portions of the country. The North is content with the
existing state of things--so is three-fourths of the South. Remove
this power from the Executive, and those measures will be adopted
which will promote the welfare of the greater number. Do you not see
that you have in this way good security for the selection of the best
men?

Suppose the Government should start to day on this new policy--that it
should avoid all propagandism--should place honest, competent men,
only, in office--should let all others understand that there was no
chance for them--should permit both sides, all sides to be fairly
represented. You would ensure peace, secure quiet in the country
forever. You would thus heal the wound, not cicatrize it. How small
would be the cost of so great a victory!

May I not go one step farther. I have heard with pleasure the feelings
expressed, the references made, to the Cotton States. I have scarcely
heard an unkind word said against them. We have come here to cement
the Union--to make that Union, of which gentlemen have so eloquently
spoken, permanent, noble, and glorious in the future as it has been in
the past--not to be content with it as a maimed and crippled Republic.

Now, eight flourishing States are practically lost to us. The crest of
the noble Mexican Gulf has separated from us. Let us exert every power
we possess to bring them all back to the fold. Why should we not?
Every motive of interest or patriotism should induce us to do so.
Suppose the States were vacillating and in doubt where to go. Suppose
they were set up for sale in market _overt_, and the States of Europe
were to bid for them--for this, not only the richest portion of our
own country, but of the world--because this portion of our land has an
element of wealth and power which must be prized and valued wherever
commerce is known. What would not one of the Powers of Europe give for
this favored section? The treasures of the continent would be opened.
Nations would unlock the caskets of their crown jewels to secure it.
England would double her national debt to have it; so would France; so
would Russia. And yet we stand here higgling over these little
differences which alone have caused our separation. Is it not better
that we should rise to the level of the occasion, and meet the
requisition of the times, instead of expending precious hours in the
discussion of these miserable abstractions?

We talk about the events of the Revolution and their consequences.
Have we forgotten our revolutionary history? Have we forgotten the
MARIONS, the SUMTERS, the PICKENS, of those times? Has the spirit of
sacrifice which, animated those men wholly departed from their
descendants? God forbid!

Our body politic is not free from disease. The disease should be
treated properly and judiciously. Whenever disease shows itself we
should apply a suitable remedy--one that is suggested by the pharmacy
of mutual brotherhood, and yet powerful enough to reach every nerve in
our political system.

It is to accomplish this purpose that we have come together. It is to
secure this desirable result that I urge the adoption of this
amendment. I press it because I feel that it will give peace to all
sections. Adopt it, and from that moment you may date the beginning of
the return of the seceded States into the fold of the Union. How
heartily would we welcome their return! Do we not all desire it? Has
not Virginia a heart large enough to give them their old place in the
Union? Has not Rhode Island and New Jersey?

I say my proposition will accomplish this, and a single reason will
disclose the ground of my faith. It preserves the equilibrium, the
balance of power, between the sections. It enables each section to
appoint its own officers, to protect its own interests, to regulate
its own concerns. It is fair and equal in its operations. With it, no
section can have any excuse for dissatisfaction. I pledge the united
support of the South to the Union, if it is adopted.

The latter branch of the amendment looks to the annual distribution of
the net proceeds of the sales of the public lands among the several
States. This was one of the favorite ideas of HENRY CLAY. His argument
upon this subject, to my mind, was always conclusive. Will the party
which has adopted his principles repudiate this, or will its members
put their feet down firmly and give it their support?

I have watched the operations of this Government with great interest
and care, and I have noticed that every approach toward making each
source of revenue or expenditure separate and independent of all
others, tended to the profit and advantage of the Government, and
increased the chances of securing honorable and honest agents to
transact its business. A marked instance of this will be found in the
administration of the affairs of the Post Office Department. And here
I cannot refrain from relating an anecdote which is strongly in
point, and which forms one of the pleasantest recollections of my own
connection with the administration of the General Government.

Upon a certain occasion I called my cabinet together. Sad complaints
had been made concerning the administration of several of the
Departments, and the press had not failed to predict heavy losses to
the Government through the dishonesty and the defalcations of its
agents. I determined that I would know what the facts were, and I
directed all the departments to furnish me, by a certain day, with a
correct and accurate list of all their defaulting employés, and on the
same day I summoned my cabinet to consider these reports. The lists
came in from the several Departments, and I assure the Conference that
they were formidable enough to give ample occasion for anxiety. But
the list from the Department of the Post Office was not forthcoming.
My friend, Governor WICKLIFFE, was at that time at the head of that
Department. The day of the cabinet meeting arrived. We were all
assembled but the Postmaster General. We waited for a long time for
him and for his report. At length he came, bringing his report with
him, but with the marks of great care and anxiety upon his brow. _He
had discovered a defalcation_ in his Department. He had been occupied
for a long time in tracing it out, but he had at length succeeded. He
came to announce to the President that the postmaster of a certain
"Cross Roads" in Kentucky had absconded, and defrauded the Government
out of the sum of _fifteen dollars_! and worst of all, his bail _had
run away with him_!!

This is only one of the many proofs which my own experience would
furnish of the propriety, if not the necessity of keeping each
Department of the Government by itself--of not connecting it with
others, and of making the agents of each Department responsible to
itself alone. Carry this idea into practice in all the Departments of
the Government, and a better class of agents would be secured, and the
loss by defaulters would be much lessened.

The enormous increase of the expenditures of the General Government
might, by the same process, be prevented. How does it happen that in a
time of peace these expenses have risen from twenty-three millions of
dollars up to seventy or eighty millions? In the same proportion, the
sum to which they will reach in another decade will be frightful! It
is high time that a stop was put to this lavish expenditure, and
especially to the losses by dishonest agents. The plan here proposed
will give you a starting point. The proceeds of the vast domain of the
public lands are now so mingled with the other expenditures of the
Government, that no one can tell what becomes of them. They are now
common plunder. Divide them among the States, and they will be
saved--they will be applied to some worthy object, and you will have
adopted a principle which, after a little time, under any honest
administration, will be applied to the other Departments of the
Government. I trust the whole amendment may be adopted. As the
amendment may be divided into two parts--one relating to appointments
to office, and the other to the public domain--I would ask that the
vote may be taken upon each proposition separately.

The vote was then taken upon the first portion of the amendment
proposed by Mr. SEDDON, with the following result:

     AYES.--Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and
     Missouri--5.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
     Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey,
     Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and
     Iowa--14.

And the amendment was rejected.

Mr. JOHNSON:--I cannot concur in the vote just given by Maryland. I
desire to have my dissent recorded.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--I dissent, also, from the vote of Maryland.

President TYLER:--The last part of the amendment will be considered as
withdrawn.

Mr. McCURDY:--I move to amend the substitute proposed by Mr. FRANKLIN,
by adding thereto the following words:

     "_Provided_, That nothing in this article contained shall be
     so construed as to carry any law of involuntary servitude
     into such Territory."

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I hope we shall reject all such amendments. I consider
this simply procrastination.

Mr. JOHNSON, of Missouri:--I wish to raise a point, a question of
order. This conflicts directly with the sense of the substitute
proposed. We ought not to entertain it.

The vote was taken upon the amendment proposed by Mr. McCURDY, with
the following result:

     AYES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
     Connecticut, New York, and Iowa--7.

     NOES.--Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware,
     Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky,
     Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois--13.

And the amendment was rejected.

Mr. ORTH:--I dissent from the vote of Indiana.

Mr. RUFFIN:--I rise to inquire whether it will now be in order to
offer a substitute? I have one which I wish at the proper time to
present.

The PRESIDENT:--The question is now upon the adoption of a
substitute--that offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania--to the
first section of the article reported by the committee. I do not think
any other substitute is in order at the present time.

Mr. CHASE:--I hope that this vote may be postponed, and I will briefly
state the reason why. I am informed that a delegation from the State
of Kansas has arrived during the day, and that their credentials are
now in the hands of the appropriate committee. That committee has not
yet reported, and cannot until they have a meeting after our
adjournment. The credentials of three of these delegates have been
presented by myself but a few minutes since. The Committee on
Credentials, I am informed, will not report until Monday. I wish the
youngest State in the Union to express her opinion upon this motion. I
therefore move an adjournment.

Mr. EWING:--I do not think any delay is necessary. We can let them
vote on Monday.

Mr. SUMMERS:--I only wish to say a word of explanation in behalf of
the Committee on Credentials. The delay in the case of Kansas is not
the fault of that committee. The delegates themselves think it better
that the report should not be made until all the delegates arrive who
are expected. The committee can report at any time.

The vote was taken on the motion to adjourn, with the following
result:

     AYES.--Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and
     Indiana--5.

     NOES.--New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Jersey,
     Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
     Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri--12.

So the motion to adjourn was negatived.

The PRESIDENT:--The question will now be taken upon the substitute of
the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. FRANKLIN), offered for the first
section of the article reported by the committee.

Which vote being taken, resulted as follows:

     AYES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island,
     Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware,
     Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois--14.

     NOES.--Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Missouri--4.

And the substitute was agreed to.

Mr. FIELD:--There seems to be a misapprehension as to the proper time
for offering substitutes for the whole report of the committee. I
shall act upon the understanding that the proper time to offer them
will be when we have gone through with the report of the committee. If
I am wrong I wish to be corrected now.

Mr. LOGAN:--I am informed that Mr. LINCOLN, the President-elect, has
arrived in this city. I feel certain that the Conference would desire
to treat him with the same measure of respect which it has extended to
the present incumbent of that high office. I therefore move that the
President of this Convention be requested to call upon the
President-elect of the United States, and inform him that its members
would be pleased to wait upon him in a body at such time as will suit
his convenience, and that this Convention be advised of the result.

The motion of Mr. LOGAN was agreed to unanimously.

Mr. WILMOT:--I move an adjournment to half-past seven o'clock this
evening.

The motion was agreed to, and the Conference adjourned.

       *       *       *       *       *

EVENING SESSION--SIXTEENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, SATURDAY, _February 23d, 1861._

The Conference was called to order by the President, at half-past
seven o'clock.

The PRESIDENT:--I have addressed a note to the President-elect,
announcing the desire of the Conference to offer their respects to him
in a body, at seven and one-half o'clock this evening, or at such
other time as would be agreeable to him. I have received his reply,
stating that he will be pleased to receive the members of this body at
nine o'clock this evening, or at any other time which may suit their
convenience.

The Conference then proceeded to the order of the day, being the
consideration of the second article of the section reported by the
committee.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I move to strike out the second article, and to insert
the following in its place:

     "Territory may be acquired for naval and commercial stations
     and transit routes, and by discovery, and for no other
     purposes, without the concurrence of four-fifths of the
     Senate."

It is generally conceded that under our present Constitution the
United States have no power to acquire territory for coaling or naval
stations, within the country of a foreign power. It was the
committee's intention to remedy this defect by the present section.
But as it stands, I do not like it. The idea is somewhat awkwardly
expressed. I wish to have the enabling power conferred in direct
terms.

Mr. SUMMERS:--I would ask to interrupt the order of business for a
moment, in order to make a report from the Committee on Credentials,
in the Kansas case. The defect adverted to in the case of Mr. STONE,
has been supplied to the satisfaction of the committee, and Messrs.
CONWAY, EWING, and ADAMS, have also presented themselves as delegates
from the State of Kansas, with proper credentials. It has not been our
practice heretofore to admit members by a formal vote, nor do I see
any necessity for making the case of Kansas an exception. The
committee would suggest that the clerk enter the names of these
gentlemen upon the roll of delegates, unless objection is made.

The PRESIDENT:--The Secretary will make the entry, as no objection is
made.

Mr. SUMMERS:--Some days ago I introduced into the Conference, and
caused to be printed, a substitute which I proposed to offer for the
second section of the committee's article. I offer it now, as follows:

     "No territory shall be acquired by the United States without
     the concurrence of a majority of all the Senators from
     States which allow involuntary servitude, and a majority of
     all the Senators from States which prohibit that relation;
     nor shall territory be acquired by treaty, unless the votes
     of a majority of the Senators from each class of States
     hereinbefore mentioned, be cast as a part of the two-thirds
     majority necessary to the satisfaction of such treaty."

I do not propose to occupy time in discussing it, but I ask a minute
or two to explain its provisions. The second section of the article
proposed by the committee, requires that a treaty under which
territory or commercial or naval stations is acquired, should require
four-fifths of the Senate for its ratification. This, I think, is an
unnecessary restriction upon the treaty-making power. Occasion may
arise when it would not be advisable to wait for the exercise of this
power at all. The question of acquiring territory may arise under
circumstances when delay would be fatal. Suppose our title to an
island in the Arctic Ocean, or a point upon the shore, by discovery or
otherwise, which might be settled by prompt action! There might be no
national authority with which we could treat for its acquisition. I
think it would be hazardous to provide that in no event should
territory be acquired except by treaty. The case I have supposed has
no relation whatever to the case of an ordinary acquisition of
territory by treaty with a recognized foreign power.

But the question of slavery always arises when the subject of
acquiring territory is mentioned. This clause would fix the _status_,
would put it in the power of either class of States to prevent the
acquisition, but it would not permit a small number of States to do
it. To leave it where a _majority_ of the Senators of both sections
could control the subject, would seem to me the mode of settlement
least objectionable. The ratification would require two-thirds of the
Senate, like all treaties, and these two-thirds would include a
majority of both sections.

Objection will be made to this classification of the States. I do not
like it myself, but there it no way to avoid it. I have adopted the
language of the Ordinance of 1787. There can be no very sound
objection to the use of these terms. The objection is rather
sentimental than otherwise.

The amendment I offer ought to satisfy the South, and I think it will.
The South asks for these provisions because they settle all questions
about our present territory, and prevent questions arising over that
we may acquire hereafter. They will give to both sides equality of
power. But voting is far more important now than speaking. I will
consume no more time.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--The gentleman from Virginia desires to try his motion.
For the present, I will withdraw mine.

Mr. FIELD:--I have only a word to say on this subject. There are very
grave objections to this classification of sections. I will not repeat
them here. I supposed the sense of the Conference had been expressed
against it.

But I wish to inquire why this second section is necessary at all? It
came up in the committee rather by accident than otherwise. I do not
think any one of the committee intended to make it one of the subjects
of our action, and the section was finally presented by a small
majority.

Let us leave this subject where the Constitution leaves it. We can now
acquire territory by discovery or by treaty. So far the Constitution
has operated satisfactorily. The country owes much of its greatness to
this very provision of the Constitution. No grievance to the South,
assuredly, has been caused by it. I am much averse to any alteration.

Mr. BARRINGER:--I think, after some reflection, that this amendment is
of much more importance than many of us have supposed. I shall vote
for it, because I do not wish to have too many limitations placed upon
the power of the Government in relation to the acquisition of
territory. We know how difficult it is to change our fundamental law.
Very few amendments to the Constitution have been made since the death
of WASHINGTON. We are now establishing our fundamental law for ages to
come. Is there upon the face of the civilized earth a nation with
such a limitation upon the power of acquiring territory as this
original article proposes? Its adoption would place us at the feet of
foreign nations.

In war, conquest is one means of indemnity--often the best and only
one. We must look to the acquisition of future territory; we must make
our settlement with that in view.

Reference has been made here to the seceded States, and some hard
words have been used toward them. This is not the place for such
words. What is the condition of these States now? They say they are
out of the Union. We say, No! The question between us may be decided
by the Courts; it may be decided by the sword. But we all want them
back; we would place no restrictions upon their return. They will only
come back by treaty. Unless you adopt this amendment, the section
proposed will be applicable to their case, and a mere fraction could
keep them out of the Union forever.

In regard to the subject of slavery, what we want is security for the
future. That we can arrange. In my opinion you will never get back the
seceded States, without you give them some hope of the acquisition of
future territory. They know that when slavery is gathered into a
_cul-de-sac_, and surrounded by a wall of free States, it is
destroyed. Slavery must have expansion. It must expand by the
acquisition of territory which now we do not own. The seceded States
will never yield this point--will never come back to a Government
which gives no chance for the expansion of their principal
institution. They will insist upon equity, upon the same rights with
you in the common territory, and the same prospect, of acquiring
foreign territory that you have. If you are not prepared to grant all
this, do not waste your time in thought about the return of the
seceded States.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--New Jersey voted to make the first section of the
article reported applicable to future territory, not because she
wishes to acquire new territory, but because she knows that it will be
acquired; and she believes all questions raised here can be settled
now, in regard to it, better than they can be hereafter. These
questions have raised a ferment in the nation; we would settle them
any way. We should have voted for these restrictions upon the power of
acquiring territory; and still we cannot shut our eyes to the fact
that in a few years new territory must be acquired. Look at Sonora, at
all Mexico; they furnish the reason for our action. An effort will be
made, perhaps, to secure the new territory by treaty. Better get it in
that way than by conquest.

Personally, I would oppose any farther acquisitions. We need no more
territory, and yet I know that more will be acquired. The North wishes
it more than the South. In the end, the North will insist that we
should have Cuba. What is the sentiment of our commercial cities now?

I think we ought to surround this power of acquisition by some
judicious restrictions; not make them too strong, or the country will
break over, and not regard them. What restriction would not have been
broken down, when the question came up in relation to Texas? We must
anticipate occasions of the same kind. I am inclined to vote for the
substitute of the gentleman from Virginia. At all events let us adopt
some limitations. If not these, then such as are contained in the
original article.

Mr. JOHNSON, of Maryland:--I propose to amend the substitute offered
by the gentleman from Virginia, by inserting after the words "United
States," the words "except by discovery, and for naval and commercial
depots and transit routes."

There is now a law, the constitutionality of which has not been
doubted, providing for the acquisition of territory by discovery. But
the Court, in the Dred Scott case, decided that territory could not be
acquired, except as preliminary to the formation of a State. This
difficulty should be obviated. I think the amendment I propose will do
it. If we adopt the proposition of Mr. SUMMERS, we cut off the power
of acquiring territory for transit routes, &c., except by treaty. I
think my amendment will make the section more satisfactory to the
South.

Mr. SUMMERS:--I will accept the amendment, and treat it as a part of
my substitute.

Mr. BROCKENBROUGH:--I feel a deep solicitude in this subject. We are
here for the purpose of settling a great difficulty. Instead of
settling it, we shall add to it by placing these unnecessary
obstructions in the way of acquiring territory in future. Would not
the South be safer by the adoption of this guarantee? It is the only
one, aside from the first section, which gives the South a grain of
power. We cannot go on with things as they are--only seven States to
contend with all the rest of the nation. We must all desire that the
seceded States should return to the Union. How are they to come back?
By treaty, or by the sword? Who will not prefer to win them back by
adopting principles in our amendments which will make it for their
interest to return? If the amendment is adopted, no future territory
will be acquired without the consent of a majority of Senators on both
sides of the line. Reject this, and I have not the slightest hope of
ever seeing the seceded States again in the Union. I believe this
amendment will meet the wishes of a large majority of the people of
Virginia.

The vote upon the adoption of the substitute proposed by Mr. SUMMERS
resulted as follows:

     AYES.--Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland,
     Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and
     Missouri--9.

     NOES.--Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York,
     Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas--10.

And the amendment was lost.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I will now renew my proposition, and ask a vote upon it
by States.

The vote upon the substitute offered by Mr. GUTHRIE, for the section
of the article reported by the committee, resulted as follows:

     AYES.--New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey,
     Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, and
     Ohio--10.

     NOES.--Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia,
     North Carolina, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa--10.

And the amendment was lost.

Mr. PRICE dissented from the vote of New Jersey, and Mr. BARRINGER
from the vote of North Carolina.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--As the hour named for the call upon the
President-elect is approaching, I move that a committee of three
members be appointed by the President to make arrangements for the
introduction of the members of the Conference.

The motion of Mr. WICKLIFFE was agreed to, and the President appointed
Messrs. WICKLIFFE, FIELD, and CHASE, as the committee.

Mr. McKENNAN:--I move a reconsideration of the vote of the Conference
rejecting the substitute offered by the gentleman from Virginia. I am
not at all certain that we may not think it advisable to adopt that
amendment.

The order of the day was now suspended, and the committee appointed to
wait upon the President-elect, reported that they had performed that
duty, and that the President-elect would be pleased to receive the
members of the Conference in his parlors in Willard's Hotel, at the
present time.

For the purpose of waiting on the President, on motion of Mr. EWING,
the Conference adjourned until the 25th inst., at ten o'clock A.M.



SEVENTEENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, MONDAY, _February 25th, 1861._


The Convention was called to order at ten o'clock, pursuant to
adjournment, by President TYLER, and prayer was offered by Rev. Dr.
SMITH.

The Journal of Saturday was read.

Mr. HACKLEMAN:--The Delegates from the State of Indiana desire that
the vote of that State upon the proposition of amendment offered by
the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. CURTIS), on Friday last, may be recorded.
The vote was taken on Saturday, and Indiana desires to record her vote
against said proposition.

The Conference granted the leave asked, and the vote of Indiana was
accordingly entered upon the Journal.

The PRESIDENT:--There have been transmitted to me the proceedings of a
meeting of the Democrats of Pennsylvania, in which are contained
certain resolutions relating to the matters now before us. I am
informed that the meeting was one of the largest ever held in that
State. The usual course would be to enter them upon the record, but in
this instance I would suggest the propriety of having them read.
However, the Conference will take such order upon them as it thinks
proper.

Mr. POLLOCK:--The policy of the Conference from the beginning has been
not to receive or consider resolutions of a partisan character. That
decision was made on one of the early days of our session, upon a
series of resolutions adopted by a convention held in New Haven,
Connecticut, which were presented by Mr. CLAY. I think we had better
pass over the subject informally, and I would call for the order of
the day.

Mr. MOREHEAD, of Kentucky:--I think the resolutions had better be
referred to the Committee on Credentials.

Mr. CLAY:--I quite approved of the course taken by the Conference of
the resolutions which were sent to me for presentation. I hope we will
pursue the same course now. I move that these resolutions be entered
upon the Journal as received, and that they be laid on the table.

The motion of Mr. CLAY was agreed to, and the resolutions were laid on
the table.

Mr. SMITH, of New York:--I would inquire whether any action has been
taken under the order of the Conference for the printing of the
Journal from day to day. It is very important that we have these
Journals, that we may know exactly what has been done. No gentleman
can carry all our proceedings in his memory.

     The Secretary made a statement to the effect that he had not
     found time fully to complete the Journal, or to arrange for
     its being printed under the rule requiring that secrecy
     should be preserved; that the Mayor of Washington had
     proposed to have the printing done under a supervision which
     would secure its non-publication by the press, and that
     various reasons existed why the order of the Conference had
     not been complied with.

Mr. SMITH:--Then I hope the order will be complied with to-day. It is
very important that each member should have a copy of our daily
Journal. I certainly expected one this morning. I will not make a
motion now, but if these copies are not furnished, I shall move the
appointment of a committee to secure their future publication.

Mr. DENT:--There was a vote passed upon this subject. It may have been
in the absence of the Secretary.

The PRESIDENT:--The Conference is informed that the Journal shall be
published as soon as possible.

Mr. BROCKENBROUGH:--I have two amendments which I shall offer. At
present I desire to have them laid on the table and printed.[4]

[Footnote 4: I suppose these amendments offered by Mr. BROCKENBROUGH
were never printed; certainly no printed copy of them was ever
distributed to the members of the Conference, and they were never
inserted in the Journal. In preserving my notes, I naturally assumed
that I could rely upon the printed copies distributed to the members,
for the various amendments offered. At the period of writing out these
notes communication with Mr. BROCKENBROUGH is impossible, and I am
obliged to omit farther notice of his amendments. I am not even able
to state the subjects to which they referred.]

The PRESIDENT:--The Conference will now proceed to the consideration
of the order of the day, which is the motion to reconsider the vote
rejecting the substitute offered by Mr. SUMMERS, for the second
section of the articles of amendment reported by the committee.

Mr. McKENNAN:--At the request of one of my colleagues I would ask a
postponement of the vote upon my motion of reconsideration for the
present. It will produce no injurious result, and I think myself we
had better hold this amendment subject to the future action of the
Conference.

Mr. SUMMERS:--I will not withhold my consent to the postponement. But
I hope the members of this Conference will consider my amendment, and
give it their attention when it comes up again.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--If we pass Mr. SUMMERS' amendment, we should pass by the
consideration of the whole section. I think that is the better way.
Let us now proceed to the consideration of the third section in the
article of amendment proposed by the committee.

The PRESIDENT:--Such will be taken as the pleasure of the Conference.

The third section was read.

The PRESIDENT:--The third section is open to propositions of
amendment.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I move to amend this section by striking out the words
"by land, sea, or river," occurring after the words "or
transportation."

Mr. GUTHRIE'S motion was adopted without a division.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I now move to insert after the words "during
transportation," the words "by sea or river."

Which motion was also agreed to without a division.

Mr. HITCHCOCK:--I now move to amend the third section by striking out
all after the word "give," in the second line thereof, and inserting
as follows:

     "to Congress power to regulate, abolish, or control, within
     any State, the relations established or recognized by the
     laws thereof, touching persons held to service or labor
     therein."

     SECTION 4. Congress shall have no power to discharge any
     person held to service or labor in the District of Columbia,
     under the laws thereof, from such service or labor, or to
     impair any rights pertaining to that relation, under the
     laws now in force within the said District, while such
     relations shall exist in the State of Maryland, without the
     consent of said State, and of those to whom the service or
     labor is due, or making them just compensation therefor; nor
     the power to prohibit or interfere with members of Congress
     and officers of the Federal Government whose duties require
     them to be in said District, from bringing with them, for
     personal service only, retaining, and taking away persons so
     held to service or labor, nor the power to impair or abolish
     the relations of persons owing service or labor in places
     under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States,
     within those States and Territories where such relations are
     established or recognized by law.

     SECTION 5. Congress shall have no power to prohibit the
     removal or transportation of persons held to service or
     labor in any State or Territory of the United States to any
     State or Territory thereof where the same obligation or
     liability to labor or service is established or recognized
     by law; and the right during such transportation, by sea or
     river, of touching at ports, shores, or landings, and of
     landing in case of distress, shall exist; nor shall the
     Congress have power to authorize any higher rate of taxation
     on persons held to service or labor than on land.

Although it may not be strictly in order, yet, as a part of my plan, I
wish to bring forward a substitute which I shall offer to the seventh
section of the committee's article, which, if adopted, should be
numbered

     SECTION 9. Congress shall provide by law, that in all cases
     where the Marshal, or other officer whose duty it shall be
     to arrest any fugitive from service or labor, shall be
     prevented from so doing by violence of a mob or riotous
     assemblage; or where, after such arrest, such fugitive shall
     be rescued by like violence, and the party to whom such
     service or labor is due shall thereby be deprived of the
     same, the United States shall pay to such party the full
     value of such service or labor.

I offer these in separate sections, in order not only that the vote
may be taken upon each one separately here, but also when the same
questions come before the people. The first section of my amendment,
as I understand from every quarter, sets all opposition at rest; all
are willing to agree to it. This may be adopted and the others
rejected, which could not be done if the original section was adopted.
The other sections conform to the language of our present
Constitution, and for that reason I think they will meet with more
favor. Each subject is thus made to stand on its own merits.

The PRESIDENT:--The question will be taken upon each section of the
substitute proposed.

Mr. JAMES:--I propose the following as a substitute for the first
section of the amendment offered by Mr. HITCHCOCK. It is, I believe,
the same as that proposed in Congress by the Committee of Thirteen. I
understand, also, that the Committee of the House of Representatives
are about to substitute it for what is known as the ADAMS Proposition.
We all have the same purpose in view, to negative in express terms the
right of Congress to interfere with the institution of slavery within
the States. I present the amendment because I think it expresses the
purpose in better language.

     SECTION 1. No amendment shall be made to the Constitution
     which will authorize or give to Congress the power to
     abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic
     institutions thereof, including that of persons held to
     labor or service by the laws of said State.

Mr. CHASE:--This amendment would be limited in its application to the
States. Congress would still have power in this respect over
Territories.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--The report of the committee has been agreed upon after
much discussion, and printed. We all understand it, and I hope we
shall adhere to it without any alteration. If we begin to adopt these
amendments no one can tell where they will carry us.

Mr. JAMES:--My proposition is offered as an amendment to that offered
by Mr. HITCHCOCK.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--So I understand; but his amendment is proposed as a
substitute for the third section of the article reported by the
committee. I object to the whole of it.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--Do I understand that the question now is upon
substituting Mr. HITCHCOCK'S amendment for the committee's report.

Mr. JAMES:--No. It is upon substituting my proposition for the first
section of Mr. HITCHCOCK'S amendment.

The vote upon the amendment offered by Mr. JAMES resulted as follows:

     AYES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
     Connecticut, New York, and Indiana--7.

     NOES.--Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware,
     Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky,
     Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, and Kansas--13.

And the amendment was lost.

Mr. WOOD:--I must enter my dissent from the vote of Illinois.

Mr. FOWLER:--I have an amendment which I offer to the substitute
proposed by Mr. HITCHCOCK--

Mr. RANDOLPH:--I object to it as out of order. Let us take the vote
upon the various sections of Mr. HITCHCOCK'S proposition. If they are
rejected, then these amendments may all be moved to the committee's
report.

The PRESIDENT:--I have already decided that the substitute is open to
amendment.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--Then I will appeal from the decision of the Chair.

The PRESIDENT:--I will state the ground of my decision. It is true, as
claimed by the gentleman from New Jersey, that if the propositions of
Mr. HITCHCOCK are _rejected_ these amendments may be moved to the
sections reported by the committee. If, on the contrary, they are
_adopted_, or either of them, so far as they are adopted they must
stand as the order of the Conference, and are no longer subject to
amendment. I understand the Parliamentary rule in such a case to be
well settled.

A somewhat confused debate here arose, when Mr. RANDOLPH withdrew his
appeal from the decision of the chair.

Mr. BALDWIN:--I move to amend the proposition of the gentleman from
Ohio, by striking out the words "nor shall Congress have the power to
authorize any higher rate of taxation on persons held to service or
labor, than on land." I do not think these words are appropriate in a
provision of the Constitution.

Mr. HITCHCOCK:--I supposed the Conference would understand my purpose.
It was to substitute my three sections for the third section of the
committee's report. I did not suppose this series of amendments would
be offered. For the present, I will withdraw my amendments.

Mr. HARRIS:--The gentleman forgets that if we once adopt them, they
are no longer subject to amendment.

Mr. BRONSON:--I wish to make a suggestion. I don't know but
Parliamentarians would call it a point of order. Now let us go on and
decide whether we will, or will not, adopt the third section as
reported by the committee.

Mr. SEDDON:--I have several amendments which I am constrained to offer
to this third section. My State would think me remiss if I did not
offer them. I move, first, to insert after the words "State or
Territory of the United States," the words "or obstruct, hinder,
prevent, or abolish."

By the section as reported by the committee, Congress is prohibited
from controlling or abolishing slavery in any State or Territory. This
amendment which I propose will prevent any action in relation to
it--in aid of it, or otherwise. The Territorial Legislature will
always be the creature of Congress, and under the committee's section
it might act upon the subject of slavery. I understand that the
purpose of the committee was to prevent Congress from abolishing
slavery in the Territories, but not to prevent the Territorial
Legislature from acting in aid of it. My amendment will secure slavery
from all interference. That is what we want.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--The first section of the report covers this. The
amendment, I think, is unnecessary.

Mr. SEDDON:--I think the first section, properly construed, would
prevent the Territorial Legislature from enacting a law in aid of
slavery, even if the whole people of the Territory desired it.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I do not desire to go over these questions again. If the
Conference intends to come to any conclusion at all, I hope it will
vote down all these amendments.

Mr. SEDDON:--I call for a vote by States.

Mr. WOOD:--I move that the amendment be laid on the table.

Mr. BALDWIN:--Which motion is in order--mine or that of the gentleman
from Virginia?

The PRESIDENT:--The gentleman from Ohio having withdrawn his
amendment, the proposal of the gentleman from Connecticut is no longer
before the Conference. The question is upon the motion of the
gentleman from Virginia to amend the third section of the article
reported by the committee.

The vote upon the amendment proposed by Mr. SEDDON resulted as
follows:

     AYES.--Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee,
     Kentucky, and Missouri--6.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
     Delaware, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky--14.

And the amendment was not adopted.

Mr. SEDDON:--I now move to amend the third section reported by the
committee, by striking out the words "City of Washington," and
inserting in their place the words "District of Columbia."

The motion of Mr. SEDDON was agreed to without a division.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I do not see why this privilege of bringing their
slaves into the District should be limited to members of Congress.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--It is not. The expression is "representatives and
_others_."

Mr. SEDDON:--I now propose to amend the same section by inserting
after the words "without the consent of Maryland" the words "and
Virginia." I think slavery ought not to be destroyed in the District
of Columbia without the consent both of Maryland and Virginia. If
there is any reason for requiring the consent of one State, the same
reason exists as to the other. This amendment will make the section
much more acceptable to the slaveholding States.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--The committee did not require the assent of Virginia,
because no part of the present District came from Virginia. We thought
it unnecessary.

Mr. DENT:--Maryland and Virginia originally joined in the cession of
the District to the United States. Afterwards that portion which came
from her was re-ceded to Virginia. But this question is not one of
territory alone. The policy and interest of the two States are
intimately connected. It would be far more satisfactory to both these
States, and to the South, if the assent of Virginia was required
before Congress could abolish slavery in the District. Still Maryland
does not insist upon it.

Mr. EWING:--I can see no necessity for, or propriety in, the
amendment. We might as well require the consent of North Carolina or
any of the other slave States. Virginia owns none of the District. She
has no right to interfere.

The amendment proposed by Mr. SEDDON was rejected by the following
vote:

     AYES.--Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and
     Missouri--5.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
     Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kansas--14.

Mr. SEDDON:--My next proposition is to amend the third section by
inserting after the words "landing in case of distress, shall exist,"
the words "and if the transportation be by sea, the right of property
in the person held to service or labor shall be protected by the
Federal Government as other property."

We claim that our property in slaves shall be recognized by the Union
just like any other property--that no unjust or improper distinction
shall be made. When we trust it to the perils of the seas, we wish to
have it protected by the Federal Government.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I would inquire of the gentleman from Virginia whether
it has not already been decided that this species of property is as
much entitled to Federal protection as any other. I refer to the
"Creole" case. The British Government made compensation for this
species of property in that case. This was done upon the award of the
commissioners pursuant to the decision of the umpire.

Mr. SEDDON:--Yes! But on the express ground that slavery was
recognized in the islands. Express notice was given, that when the
emancipation policy was adopted, the same principles would not be
recognized. We are now removing doubts. We wish to have these matters
no longer involved in uncertainty. We insist upon having these
provisions in the Constitution.

Mr. RUFFIN:--I wish to say a word on this subject, much as I regret
the consumption of time. I am willing to leave this question where it
is now; and my reason is this: If we put this into the Constitution,
the question may be raised, whether if foreign nations should
interfere with this kind of property on the high seas, the Government
would not be bound to consider it a cause of war. We ought not to bind
ourselves to go to war. War should always depend upon considerations
of policy. We should raise a thousand troublesome questions by
putting these words "shall be protected" into the Constitution. The
matter is well enough as it is. Our rights in this respect are well
enough protected by the ordinary course of national diplomacy. I would
not be willing to put into the Constitution language which would
embarrass us hereafter.

Mr. SEDDON:--I will frankly say that I think slave property upon every
ground is as well entitled to the national protection as any other
species of property.

Mr. BARRINGER:--This amendment brings up the very gist of the matter.
The question of the right of our property to Federal protection is now
an open one. In the case of the Creole it was settled by negotiation,
and not by the courts. The question so often hinted at and suggested
in this Conference is now fairly brought up for decision. Governor
CHASE struck at the very root of the matter the other day, when he
said that slavery was an _abnormal_ condition. He laid down the
opinion of the North. He is a statesman and a lawyer. He says that
slavery cannot exist anywhere until it is established or authorized by
law. This is the Northern idea, and it is a technical one. I hate
technicalities almost as bad as I do sectionalism. The North deals in
both. I regret to speak in these terms of the North, but I must if I
speak truth. Now, I will lay down what is the opinion of the South
upon the subject. We say that the right to hold and use slave
property, always, everywhere, exists until it is prohibited by law. We
say that it is a natural right, which grows out of the very
necessities of society. We hold that the condition of slavery is a
normal condition--not local at all; that it is found everywhere,
except where it is forbidden by law. We claim that the right to hold
slaves is a natural right, recognized by the law of nations, and of
the world. I am quite aware that the North does not agree with our
opinion.

Mr. VANDEVER:--I would ask whether this normal condition is confined
to the blacks, or does it extend to all races?

Mr. BARRINGER:--Most assuredly it is not confined to a single race. It
extends to all races. Slavery of all races exists even in Europe.

Mr. FIELD:--Not now!

Mr. BARRINGER:--Perhaps not now, and why? For the reason that it has
been abolished by law, as in the recent case of Russia. Slavery once
existed in the Northern States. By law it was also abolished in those
States. We say that when slave property is on the high seas it ought
to be protected--the rights of the owner ought to be protected.

This question came up in the case of the "Amistead." Mr. ADAMS claimed
that although these slaves were recognized by the laws of Spain as
property, yet, when once upon the high seas, they were, by the law of
nations, _free_, and these slaves have never been paid for to this
day.

This amendment is highly important to the South. The concession we ask
is no greater than has been made before. In the treaties of 1783 and
1815, slaves were to be protected as property.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I do not wish to nullify the action, or change the
course of our Government on this question. Slaves upon the high seas
have always been recognized as property. Look at the treaty of 1815.
That recognized slaves as property, and those which were taken from
the District were paid for. ADAMS, of Massachusetts, took the same
ground now taken by the North. The Government took the opposite
ground. The question was ultimately referred to the Emperor of Russia,
who decided that property in slaves must be recognized by the law of
nations, and sustained our view. Take the "Creole" case also. But I
will not go over the ground. The "Amistead" case stood upon grounds
which were entirely different.

But it is not necessary to put this amendment into the Constitution.
The rights of the South in this respect are well enough protected now.

Mr. GRANGER:--I regret that the distinguished gentleman from Virginia
has again raised a question which was decided against him by a large
majority in the Conference a few days ago.

Mr. SEDDON:--The gentleman is quite correct. The principle must be the
same whether applied to the Territories or to the high seas.

Mr. GRANGER:--It is claimed by the South that slaves are property
everywhere. Why, then, name slave property more than any other species
in the Constitution?

Mr. BARRINGER:--We say that slaves are _both_ persons and property.

Mr. GRANGER:--It has always been the course of the Government to pay
for slaves taken on the high seas. The gentleman has referred to the
"Amistead" case as having been decided against the southern claim. I
present the "Amistead" case as a perfect answer to the miserable
calumnies which have been disseminated against that Court. The Judges
in that case were unanimous with a single exception, and he was a
Judge from a free State. We of the North upon these national questions
are prepared to go with you to the extreme verge of right and loyalty.

Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina:--I have no desire to complicate these
questions of international law. The treaties of 1783 and 1815 were
participated in by JAY and the elder ADAMS. They expressly provided
for the payment for slaves like other property. This is plain English,
and settles the question so far as the North is concerned. I am for
letting it alone where it is.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--I am not able to support this proposition of the
gentleman from Virginia. I consider the right of property in slaves,
in the slave States, and in the territory south of 36° 30´, as fully
recognized and established in the report of the majority of the
committee. In this very clause this property is expressly admitted,
and Congress is prohibited from interfering with it. This is
enough--it is all that should be done. We have come here to settle our
domestic troubles. The report of the committee recognizes and affirms
these rights of the South which have heretofore been denied or
doubted. I think their report gives us all the assurance we need. We
were not sent here to engraft new principles into our foreign policy,
and I will not consent to enter upon that business. We have got this
right of property specifically recognized, and no administration
hereafter will refuse to carry out the plain provisions of the
Constitution.

Mr. SEDDON:--Where in the article do you find this right recognized?
It simply prohibits Congress from interfering with slavery within
certain limits. Nothing beyond that.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--I find the recognition pervading the whole report. The
right of transportation, for instance, is secured. Does not that
involve, of necessity, a recognition of the right of property? I am
sure the South is safe in leaving this question where the report
leaves it.

Mr. HOUSTON:--We feel disposed to adhere firmly to the report of the
committee. We know the arduous labor they have bestowed upon the
subject, and feel that we ought to be satisfied with the result. We do
not wish to have our friends put us in a false position. We shall vote
against the amendment of the gentleman from Virginia, not because we
do not think it is right on principle, but because we think it is
unnecessary. The right of property in slaves is protected now wherever
that property goes.

Mr. BARRINGER:--I admit that the policy of the Government hitherto has
been as the gentlemen claim. If the South could have been satisfied
with that, we should never have been sent here--this Convention would
never have been called. But we have come together for the reason that
we fear the established policy of the Government will be changed by
the party now coming into power. We ask for assurances that the old
policy should be continued; and we wish to have the obligation to
continue it, written down in the bond.

The Chair restated the question, and Mr. SEDDON called for a vote by
States.

The vote upon Mr. SEDDON'S amendment resulted as follows:

     AYES.--Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Missouri--4.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
     Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa,
     and Kansas--17.

And the amendment was lost.

Messrs. BUTLER and CLAY, of Kentucky; Messrs. DONIPHAN and JOHNSON, of
Missouri; Messrs. HOWARD and DENT, of Maryland, dissented from the
votes of their respective States.

Mr. SEDDON:--I now move the following amendment of the same third
section. After the words "in case of distress, shall exist," insert
the following:

     "And the rights of transit by persons holding those of the
     African race to labor or service, in and through the States
     not recognizing the relations of persons held to labor or
     service, in passing with them from one State or Territory
     recognizing such relation, to another, shall be secure."

I only wish to say in reference to this amendment that it secures a
right specifically referred to in the resolutions of Virginia under
which this Conference is called. On that account I feel bound to
offer it, but I will not occupy time in its discussion.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--In the early years of our Government this right was
extended by courtesy to the slaveholding States. Since these
differences have sprung up, in some States it has been denied--in
others, the courtesy still exists. We considered this question
thoroughly in committee. We did not wish to put any thing into our
report that would operate to excite the prejudices of any section
against it, and so lessen the chances of its being adopted. We thought
it best not to insert such a provision. I am opposed to the amendment.

Mr. SEDDON:--I call a vote by States.

The amendment proposed by Mr. SEDDON was rejected by the following
vote:

     AYES.--Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Missouri--4.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
     Delaware, Maryland, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
     Iowa, and Kansas--17.

Mr. SEDDON:--One more amendment. I move to amend the third section as
follows: after the words "by the laws thereof touching," insert the
words "the relations existing between master and slave or."

I shall not detain the Conference for five minutes in the discussion
of this amendment. I wish, however, to have the words "master and
slave" somewhere inserted in this article, in plain English language,
so that the dangerous delusion so prevalent at the North, that the
Constitution does not recognize slavery, may be thoroughly and forever
removed; so that the Constitution shall, beyond any question,
recognize the relation of master and slave; a duplex relation--a
relation of person and property. I wish to meet that question fairly
and squarely. Let it be thoroughly understood as a relation of person
and property. This is what we ask, and this is what we insist upon.
Put this into the Constitution, and you take the shortest and the most
effective means of settling the question, and of promoting peace and
tranquillity. You strike the axe to the very root of bitterness,
whence has sprung all our trouble, all our difficulties. I ask a vote
by States.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--What I have already said applies with equal force to
this amendment. I will not repeat my objections.

The amendment offered by Mr. SEDDON was rejected by the following
vote:

     AYES.--Virginia, North Carolina, and Missouri--3.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
     Delaware, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana,
     Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas--18.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--Maryland votes "No," not because she specially objects
to the amendment, but she stands by the report of the committee.

Mr. DENT:--I dissent from the vote of Maryland.

Mr. CLAY:--And I from the vote of Kentucky.

Mr. ALEXANDER:--[5]

[Footnote 5: The published Journal states that Mr. ALEXANDER dissented
from the vote of New Jersey. My notes do not show that he dissented,
and I think the Journal may be erroneous in this particular.]

Mr. HALL, of Vermont:--I move to amend the third section by striking
out the word "nor," immediately succeeding the words "persons so bound
to labor," and inserting the following:

     "But the bringing into said District of persons held to
     service, for the purpose of being sold, or placed in depot
     to be afterwards transferred to any other place to be sold
     as merchandise, is forever prohibited, and Congress may pass
     all necessary laws to make this prohibition effectual; nor
     shall Congress have."

It is well known that much of the agitation upon the question of
slavery has formerly arisen from the existence of the slave-trade in
the District of Columbia. Since the prohibition of 1850, the public
mind has been much more quiet, so far as this subject is concerned. I
suppose the committee did not intend to change the law of 1850, but I
fear their action will not be so understood at the North. I propose to
make the matter clear. [Mr. HALL here read the section of the Act of
1850 referring to this subject.] My amendment puts the language of
this act into the Constitution. My only purpose is, to have this
question left in exactly its present position. Without the amendment,
I fear it will be claimed that the article restores the slave-trade in
this District. Nothing would more effectually destroy the article at
the North.

Mr. WHITE:--The language of the report is clear. It gives no right to
sell slaves in the District.

Mr. HALL:--I wish to be understood. The article prohibits Congress
from interfering with slavery. _Ergo_, it will be claimed they cannot
prohibit the exercise of any of its functions. The construction, to
say the very least, will be doubtful. It should not be left in doubt.

Mr. NOYES:--The slave-trade in the District of Columbia has always
been a subject of great dissatisfaction. I don't know that it is
considered of much importance in the South, but at the North it always
has been. Ten years ago it was abolished by act of Congress. I fear
that unless the amendment of the gentleman from Vermont is adopted,
the effect of the committee's report will be to restore the
slave-trade in the District. The section reported by the committee
permits any person to bring his slaves into the District; to retain
them there as long as he chooses, and to take them away. It recognizes
the right of absolute dominion. It secures it effectually. It imposes
upon the soil of the District the right of holding, retaining, and
taking away the slaves by the owner himself, his agent or assignee.
The slave-trade, in my judgment, is thus restored.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I am satisfied that the article reported by the
committee is not susceptible of misconstruction, and I hope we shall
not mar the report by adopting the amendment. Our intention was only
to permit public officers to bring their servants here.

Mr. AMES:--Two words will cure all this difficulty. The insertion of
the words "for personal service only."

Mr. GUTHRIE:--We have no intention of reviving the slave-trade in the
District. I have no more to say.

Mr. DODGE:--I hope this section will not be left in doubt. When I
first read it I said to myself, "This thing will never do; it will
bring the slave-trade back to the District."

Mr. AMES:--Will the gentleman from Vermont accept my amendment?

Mr. HALL:--No. I cannot accept it. I offer the amendment in good
faith, for I believe it necessary.

Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina:--Cannot we avoid the verbiage of the
amendment?

Mr. EWING:--I shall vote against the amendment of the gentleman from
Vermont, so that I can vote for that proposed by Mr. AMES.

The vote upon Mr. HALL'S amendment being taken by States, resulted as
follows:

     AYES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
     Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and
     Kansas--11.

     NOES.--Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware,
     Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and
     Missouri--10.

And the amendment was adopted.

Messrs. HOPPIN and BROWNE, of Rhode Island, dissented from the vote of
that State.

Mr. McCURDY:--I move to amend the original article of the committee's
report by the addition of this proviso. My object is to prevent the
sale of slaves in the waters of New York or any other port:

     "_Provided_, That nothing in this section shall be so
     construed as to prevent any States in which involuntary
     servitude is prohibited, from restraining by law the
     transfer of such persons, or of any right or interest in
     their services, from one individual to another, within the
     limits of such State."

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I insist there is not the slightest necessity for this
amendment. I hope gentlemen will stop interposing these useless
propositions; they confound the sense of the article, and we are
guarding against questions which by no possibility can arise.

The vote was then taken on the amendment of Mr. McCURDY, and resulted
as follows:

     AYES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
     Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and
     Kansas--11.

     NOES.--Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware,
     Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and
     Missouri--10.

And the amendment was agreed to.

Messrs. LOGAN and PALMER, of Illinois, dissented from the vote of that
State.

Mr. HOWARD:--I would ask the gentleman from Connecticut if he ever
knew or heard of a case where a slave was sold in a free State?

Mr. McCURDY:--I do not intend to argue that question; but as I am
appealed to, although the proviso is adopted, I will state the grounds
on which it rests.

Mr. CLAY:--I wish to know whether the object of the amendment is to
prevent the making of contracts connected with the purchase or sale of
slaves in the free States?

Mr. McCURDY:--My object is apparent from the amendment. It explains
itself. I wish to prohibit any transactions concerning the purchase or
sale of slaves, either within the free States or the navigable waters
connected therewith, or under free State jurisdiction. If there were
no such prohibition, a cargo of slaves might be brought from the coast
of Africa into the port of New York, and transferred there to parties
residing in the slave States. The free States have a right to direct
what shall, and what shall not be a subject of commerce within their
limits. I presume it is not intended that the Constitution shall
prohibit the exercise of this right. I desire not to leave this open
to construction, but to make the section declare that no such
intention exists.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I am now satisfied that we shall get nothing here that
is satisfactory to the people of the south side of the river. We are
continually waylaid by suspicions, which are unjust, unfounded, and
ought not to exist. If this class of amendments is to be adopted, I
cannot go on, with respect to myself or the Convention. I feel now,
since this amendment is adopted, that my mission here is ended.

Mr. REID:--I move to insert at the end of the third article reported
by the committee these words: "Persons of the African race shall not
be deemed citizens, or permitted to exercise the right of suffrage, in
the election of federal officers."

Mr. GUTHRIE:--This is worse than ever, and it comes from the South
too.

Mr. REID:--I will withdraw it then.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I ask the unanimous consent of the Conference to move
the adoption of the previous question. We may as well come to the
point now as ever. There is no use of discussing this question any
longer. I move the previous question upon the report.

Objections and cries of "No, no," were made by several members.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I will withdraw the motion.

Mr. TURNER:--I think it would be very unreasonable for any gentleman
to expect that we were to get through with the questions presented by
this report without the exercise of mutual forbearance. The adoption
of an amendment implies no disrespect to the committee. No member of
the committee should take it in that sense. I will move a
reconsideration of the vote by which the last amendment was adopted. I
do not think we had better take the vote now, but pass the subject for
the present.

The PRESIDENT:--It can be passed by common consent.

The vote was reconsidered without a division, and the immediate
consideration of the question passed.

Mr. HITCHCOCK:--I now renew the offer of my substitute for the third
section of the article reported by the committee.

Mr. FIELD:--I thought when the motion to reconsider the vote upon Mr.
McCURDY'S amendment was agreed to, it was understood that the
consideration of the whole section was to be passed for the present.
My vote upon that amendment was given deliberately, and I have no idea
that this Convention is to break up because a vote is passed in it
which is distasteful to any man, State, or delegation.

Mr. HITCHCOCK:--I think I must insist upon the consideration of my
substitute.

Mr. BROWNE:--I move to lay the substitute proposed by the gentleman
from Ohio on the table. If that motion is carried, I do not understand
that the effect of it is to lay the report of the committee on the
table.

Mr. SMITH:--I rise to a question of order. I think the question now
should be on Mr. McCURDY'S amendment. I ask for information. I do not
quite see how that amendment can be informally passed over without at
the same time passing the consideration of the whole article.

The PRESIDENT:--It was passed by universal consent.

Mr. CHASE:--As I understand it, the gentleman from Illinois made the
motion that the vote be reconsidered, and the consideration of the
amendment passed for the present, and this was agreed to by the
Conference unanimously.

The motion of Mr. BROWNE to lay the motion of Mr. HITCHCOCK on the
table, was agreed to without a division.

Mr. BALDWIN:--I move to strike out these words in the third section:
"Nor shall Congress have power to authorize any higher rate of
taxation on persons bound to labor than on land." I have already
stated that I think this language singularly inappropriate to a
provision of the Constitution. The Constitution already prohibits such
distinctions in the laying of taxes, and, therefore, there is no
necessity for the adoption of this clause. But I have another and more
important objection to it; it contains and proposes to place in the
Constitution the distinct recognition of the right of property in
slaves. This recognition was carefully avoided in the Convention which
framed the Constitution, and the North always has been, and always
will be, opposed to any such recognition. Place it there, and your
article will never be adopted in any of the free States.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--The first statutes passed by Congress on this subject
recognized the right to tax slaves. This implied the right to hold
slaves. This recognition of the right of taxation was made in express
terms. The gentleman has forgotten the history of the legislation on
this subject. The object of the committee is to prevent any
possibility that those who come after us should make any distinction
between these classes of property in levying taxes. We do not seek a
recognition of the right of property in slaves in this; that right is
already recognized to our satisfaction in the Constitution.

Mr. TUCK:--I understand the gentleman from Kentucky, and I think he is
right. If we adopt the article at all we ought to retain this
language.

The vote was taken by States on the amendment proposed by Mr. BALDWIN,
with the following result:

     AYES.--Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut--3.

     NOES.--New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Ohio, Indiana,
     Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Rhode Island, New Jersey,
     Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
     Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri--18.

Mr. PRATT dissented from the vote of Connecticut.

Messrs. NOYES and SMITH also dissented from the vote of New York.

Mr. FOWLER:--I move to strike out the words "without the consent of
Maryland," immediately following the words "service in the District of
Columbia."

I can see no necessity for requiring the consent of Maryland to the
abolition of slavery in the District. There is no more reason for it
than for requiring the consent of Maine, or any other State. By the
cession of the District to the United States Maryland has parted with
all power over it, and the exclusive power of legislation is given to
Congress. The District has become the common property of the Union as
much as any of the Territories, and ought to be controlled in the same
way.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--I hope this amendment will not prevail. The District
is almost surrounded by the Territory of Maryland. The abolition of
slavery in it would be very destructive to our interests and property.
To convert the District into free territory would offer a direct
invitation to our slaves to abscond and go into the District. Even if
the rendition clause of the Constitution was faithfully observed and
carried out, it would involve us in much expense and difficulty. If we
are required to maintain faith with the Government, the Government
must keep faith with us.

Mr. FOWLER:--I did not suppose my motion would meet with such serious
objections. If they exist I will withdraw it.

Mr. BATES:--I have an amendment to propose, which I think will improve
the language of the section, and make it more consonant with that used
in the Constitution. I move to amend the third section by striking out
the word "bound" wherever it occurs therein, and inserting in its
place the word "held;" also to insert after the words "to labor"
wherever they occur, the words "or service."

The amendments proposed by Mr. BATES were adopted without a division.

Mr. CARRUTHERS:--I propose to amend the section as it stands after the
adoption of the amendments of Mr. BATES, by inserting between the
words "or" and "service" where they occur in that connection, the word
"involuntary."

Mr. EWING:--I had rather leave out the word "involuntary;" it would
look better. As the section now stands, both voluntary and involuntary
service are included.

Mr. CARRUTHERS:--By the insertion of the words "service" in Mr. BATES'
amendment, one portion of my purpose is accomplished. I will withdraw
my motion.

Mr. GROESBECK:--I would ask if it is now in order to move a substitute
for the whole section. I have one which meets my wishes, and which, I
think, will meet the views of, and be acceptable to, the Conference.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--I do not think it is in order to offer a substitute at
the present time.

Mr. GROESBECK:--Then I will call it a motion to strike out and insert,
which, certainly, is in order. I, therefore, move to strike out the
whole of the third section and insert the following:

     SECTION 3. Congress shall have no power to abolish or
     control within any State the relations established or
     recognized by the laws thereof respecting persons held to
     service or labor therein.

     SECTION 4. Congress shall have no power to legislate
     respecting the relation of service or labor in places under
     its exclusive jurisdiction, but within States where that
     relation is established or recognized, and while it
     continues, without the consent of such States; nor abolish
     or impair such relation in the District of Columbia, without
     the consent of such States; nor abolish or impair such
     relation in the District of Columbia, without the consent of
     Maryland, and compensation to persons to whom such service
     or labor is due.

     SECTION 5. Congress shall have no power to prohibit the
     removal from any State or Territory of persons held to
     service or labor therein, to any other State or Territory in
     which persons are so held; and the right during removal of
     touching at ports, shores, and landings, and of landing in
     case of distress, shall exist, but not the right of transit
     in or through any State or Territory without its consent. No
     higher rate of taxation shall be imposed on persons so held
     than on land.

Three objects are sought to be obtained by the third section as
proposed by the committee: one is, the declaration that Congress has
no power over slavery in the States; the second, that Congress shall
not legislate respecting slavery in territory under its jurisdiction,
but within the limits of States, without the consent of such States,
nor abolish slavery in the District without the consent of Maryland;
the third concerns the subject of the removal of slaves from place to
place. It is desirable that these three subjects should be so
presented that one or more of them may be adopted, and the others
rejected; a purpose that cannot be accomplished if they are all
embraced in the same section. My substitute is plain and simple, and I
think covers the whole ground.

Mr. ROMAN:--Has not the gentleman entirely left out the provision
relative to bringing slaves into the District of Columbia?

Mr. GROESBECK:--I have, because I believe it entirely unnecessary.
Cannot the South take a proposition that is fair? A slave within the
District cannot be taken from the owner under any authority of
Congress, unless the owner receives full compensation. Compensation
would in all cases be an equivalent for the slave in the District, or
elsewhere. Under the Constitution, slavery cannot be abolished without
compensation, except by the consent of all parties interested in the
subject. It is not pretended that Congress has a right to abolish
slavery anywhere without making compensation to the owner.

Mr. SEDDON:--The owner should always have compensation, it is true;
but his right in this respect is based upon the right of property in
slaves. It is not true that compensation is in all cases an equivalent
for the slave. An owner should be free to determine for himself the
question whether he will part with his property upon receiving
suitable compensation. Under the gentleman's proposition this right
would be exercised by Congress and not by the owner. But there is a
farther, and still greater objection to the proposition: The North
denies the right of property in slaves, and would deny compensation
also, unless compelled to make it under the Constitution. The North
holding slavery to be unjust and unrighteous, would desire to abolish
the institution without paying for it.

Mr. GROESBECK:--I am willing to amend Section 4 of the substitute I
offer, by denying to Congress the power to abolish the relation
without making compensation, and the section may be thus considered.

Mr. DODGE:--I wish to support the proposition of Mr. GROESBECK; and
let me say one thing farther: our words should be plain and simple; we
should use language which common men can understand, and which does
not require to be construed by lawyers. Above all, let us have some
confidence in each other.

Mr. BARRINGER:--There is another entire and important omission in Mr.
GROESBECK'S proposition: there is no provision whatever for the
Territories.

Mr. DENT:--I think the Conference had much better adhere to the
section reported by the committee as it has been already amended. We
have all read and studied that section. We understand it. A State that
will not adopt the whole of the section will not adopt any part of it,
and so there is no use in severing the subjects provided for. I am
opposed to the adoption of the substitute. We understand the original
article better than we can any other.

Mr. WILMOT:--I think the original proposition the best; the word
"regulate" has been struck out of it, leaving only the words "impair
or abolish."

Mr. McCURDY:--I ask leave to revive my motion. I regret having
withdrawn it. I think I have the right to renew it now.

The PRESIDENT (Mr. ALEXANDER in the chair):--The motion of the
gentleman from Connecticut is out of order.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--I understand we are now considering the amendment
offered by the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. GROESBECK). If so, I move to
insert in his proposition after the word "abolish" the words "or
impair."

Mr. GROESBECK:--I think the amendment improves it. I will accept it.

Mr. CHASE:--There is, certainly, a misunderstanding as to the effect
of the vote laying the amendment offered by Mr. HITCHCOCK upon the
table: it was offered as a substitute to the third section; if it did
not carry the whole section to the table, then motions to amend that
section are in order. In that view, I think Mr. McCURDY'S motion is in
order either way: to amend the article proposed by the committee, or
to amend the amendment of Mr. GROESBECK.

Mr. RANDOLPH:--I think Mr. McCURDY'S motion is entirely out of order;
it has once been passed by informally.

Mr. CLEVELAND:--Is it not in order at any time to make a motion which
will render the proposed substitute more perfect?

Mr. McCURDY:--I do not wish my proposition ruled out upon any
technical construction of rules. I will now move it as an addition to
the third section.

Mr. FOWLER:--I move to reconsider the vote adopting the motion
proposed by the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. HALL).

Mr. FIELD:--I oppose the motion. The amendment is both proper and
necessary. It can certainly do no harm to the South; and if the South
wishes to be fair, it will not object to it.

Mr. CHITTENDEN:--I oppose the reconsideration of the vote adopting Mr.
HALL'S amendment, and I will state very shortly the reason why. If the
doctrine is to be established here, that the report of the committee
is too sacred to be touched--too perfect to be made subject to
amendment--let us know it. It will relieve myself, and I think many
others, from farther attendance here; and I wish to say now, that if
we are to sit here, such considerations must not be presented in
future.

Mr. FOWLER:--I will withdraw my motion.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN:--I certainly wish some one would renew the motion
to reconsider the vote upon Mr. HALL'S amendment. I do not like to do
it myself, but I think if that amendment were reconsidered, we would
fix upon some terms that would be satisfactory to all sides.

Mr. AMES:--I do not see the necessity for adopting Mr. McCURDY'S
proposition. I think it amounts to nothing. It is simply a prohibition
in the Constitution against the exercise of a right which no one
wishes to exercise. I oppose it because it is unnecessary.

Mr. McCURDY:--I certainly do not wish to insist upon an unnecessary
amendment. If the third section, as reported by the committee, is
adopted, it declares that the right of transportation, &c., _shall
exist_. Under this, if no amendment is adopted, slaves may be bought
and sold in any of the waters of the free States.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--What difficulty or damage does the gentleman propose
to obviate by his amendment?

The PRESIDENT:--The Chair has already decided that the proposition of
Mr. McCURDY is not in order.

Mr. CHASE appealed from the decision of the Chair, and upon the appeal
the decision was sustained.

Mr. FIELD:--I understand this decision cuts off both the amendments
offered by Mr. HALL and Mr. McCURDY; that compels us to vote against
the proposition of Mr. GROESBECK.

Mr. CHITTENDEN:--The amendment offered by my colleague, Mr. HALL, has
been accepted. It stands as the order of the Conference, and cannot be
rescinded except by a vote. I sustain the decision of the Chair,
because, by every rule of parliamentary law, it was correct. But one
thing farther. It is now perfectly in order to move Mr. McCURDY'S
proposition, or any other, as an _addition_.

The PRESIDENT:--Most clearly so.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--I do not discover any particular objection to the
amendment of Mr. GROESBECK. If it had been reported by the committee,
I should have preferred it; but the South is willing to take the
section as it stands, and prefers the original to any substitute.

Mr. NOYES:--I am against the substitute, for it destroys the effect of
the amendments offered by Messrs. HALL and McCURDY.

The vote was then taken upon Mr. GROESBECK'S amendment, and resulted
as follows:

     AYES.--New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut,
     Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, and Indiana--7.

     NOES.--Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey,
     Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri,
     Illinois, and Kansas--12.

And it was rejected.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I feel that my mission here is ended, and that I may as
well withdraw from the Conference. I seem to be unable to impress
gentlemen with the necessity of accomplishing any thing. The report of
the committee is not satisfactory to the South; it is even doubtful
whether they will adopt it; certainly they will not, if it is cut to
pieces by amendments. I may be compelled to sacrifice my property, or
go with the secessionists. At my time of life, I do not wish to do
either.

Mr. McCURDY:--I regret that my amendment produces so much feeling, but
I think, at all events, we should prevent the sale of slaves in the
free States; it should be prevented beyond any possibility. I renew
the offer of my amendment.

Mr. EWING:--If the laws of New York will permit the sale of slaves
within the limits of that State, then we should prohibit the sale in
the Constitution as proposed; but so long as that State has power to
pass a law prohibiting it, there is no necessity for the amendment.
The owner is only permitted to touch with his slaves, under certain
circumstances, at the ports of free States.

Mr. RUFFIN:--It is impossible that slaves can be sold in a free State
under the section reported by the committee. We propose to give the
right of touching at those ports as a privilege, but we give no right
of sale there. The laws of a free State could not be evaded in this
way. Each State is supreme within its own limits; that supremacy would
not be aided by this proviso.

Mr. TURNER:--Suppose a slave owner is compelled to stop at the port of
Cairo, through stress of weather or any other cause, and he dies
there, are his slaves set free by his death? Does not the law of
actual domicil prevail? I think they will be regarded as slaves, and
that under this provision they might be administered upon and sold as
a part of his estate.

Mr. POLLOCK:--I think we may obviate all difficulty by inserting after
the words "landing in case of distress," the words "but not for
traffic or sale."

Mr. TUCK:--I am in favor of the amendment proposed by the gentleman
from Pennsylvania. It is not proper or best to encumber these
propositions with amendments that are not necessary.

Mr. LOGAN:--Every State has the right to regulate transit within its
own limits to suit itself. The proposed amendment gives no rights
except such as are expressly named: "a right, during transportation,
of touching at the ports, and of landing in case of distress." The
right of the State to regulate transit is left unimpaired.

Mr. HOWARD:--There is one principle of law which will settle this
question at once: property that is held under State laws must be
transferred by the operation of State laws alone. Slaves are held and
transferred by the specific laws of the States in which they are held.

Mr. PALMER:--The right of sale cannot possibly arise out of the right
to touch during transportation at a port, or the right to land in case
of distress. I cannot see the slightest occasion or necessity for the
adoption of Mr. McCURDY'S amendment.

Mr. McCURDY'S amendment was rejected by the following vote:

     AYES.--Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York,
     Indiana, and Iowa--7.

     NOES.--New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey,
     Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
     Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, and
     Kansas--14.

Mr. POLLOCK'S amendment was then adopted without a division.

Mr. VANDEVER:--I wish to propose an amendment by way of proviso:

     "_Provided_ nothing herein contained shall be so construed
     as to prevent any State from prohibiting the introduction as
     merchandise of persons held to service or labor, or to
     prevent such State from prohibiting the transit of persons
     so held to service or labor through its limits."

Mr. FIELD:--This does not cover Mr. McCURDY'S proposition at all. Is
there any secret purpose here to bring into the Constitution a
provision which will permit the sale of slaves in free States? If
there is not, why not say plainly that the States shall have the
exclusive right to determine who shall and who shall not cross its
borders, and what shall be the subject of sale or traffic within them?

Mr. GUTHRIE:--The States have all the powers which are not expressly
delegated under the Constitution to be exercised by Congress. Congress
has no power, except such as are expressly conferred upon them. The
power to prohibit the sale of slaves rests somewhere. It has not been
conferred upon Congress; it must remain in the State.

Mr. SMITH:--The argument of the gentleman from Kentucky seems to me
very inconsistent with his report in other respects.

Mr. HOWARD:--The Border States are trying to get back the seceded
States. We hope they will come back. We expect the adoption of this
report to offer a strong inducement to them to return to the Union. It
will not offer such inducement if its general effect is ruined by
amendments.

The vote upon Mr. VANDEVER'S amendment resulted as follows:

     AYES.--Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York,
     Indiana, and Iowa--7.

     NOES.--New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey,
     Pennsylvania. Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
     Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, and
     Kansas--14.

So the amendment was not agreed to.

Mr. CLAY:--I have already stated that the State of Kentucky is
prepared to adopt the CRITTENDEN amendment; that amendment will be
satisfactory to the Border States. The longer we remain here the more
I become satisfied that the CRITTENDEN amendment will meet with more
general favor than any other; therefore I ask the consent of the
Conference to introduce the CRITTENDEN amendment as a substitute for
the committee's report.

The consent of the Conference was not given to Mr. CLAY'S proposition.

Mr. GROESBECK:--I move to amend the third section by inserting after
the words "in case of distress shall exist," the words "but not the
right of transit in any other State or Territory without its consent."

We must certainly do something to cover this difficulty; if we omit
the subject entirely, we shall leave much opportunity for cavil on
this question when the question goes to the people.

Mr. RUFFIN:--I move to amend the amendment by substituting in place of
the words "without its consent," the words "against its dissent."

Mr. GROESBECK:--I will accept the amendment.

The amendment of Mr. GROESBECK was agreed to by the following vote:

     AYES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
     and Ohio--10.

     NOES.--Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
     Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois--8.

Mr. ALEXANDER, of New Jersey, dissented from the vote of that State.

Mr. GRANGER moved that when the Conference adjourn it adjourn to
half-past seven o'clock this evening.

The vote upon Mr. GRANGER'S motion was taken by States, and resulted
as follows:

     AYES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
     Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Ohio,
     Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas--13.

     NOES.--Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland,
     Kentucky, and Missouri--6.

So the motion was adopted.

On motion of Mr. CHASE the Conference adjourned.

       *       *       *       *       *

EVENING SESSION--SEVENTEENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, MONDAY, _February 25th, 1861._

The Conference was called to order at half-past seven o'clock, Mr.
ALEXANDER in the chair.

Mr. SMITH, of New York:--I move that a committee of two be appointed
by the PRESIDENT to arrange for the printing of the Journal.

The motion of Mr. SMITH was adopted, and the PRESIDENT appointed as
such committee, Mr. SMITH, of New York, and Mr. HOWARD, of Maryland.

The Conference then proceeded to the consideration of the order of the
day, being the third section of the article reported by the committee.

Mr. HITCHCOCK:--I move to amend the third section by striking out the
words "or Territory of the United States," occurring after the words
"within any State."

I think we shall make the amendment more satisfactory by limiting the
prohibition to States alone; still leaving the power in Congress to be
exercised in conformity with the other provisions that regulate
slavery in the Territories.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I have the same objection to this as to other
amendments. It may not be important, but I do not want to commence by
adopting amendments at all.

The question was taken upon the amendment proposed by Mr. HITCHCOCK,
and was agreed to by the following vote:

     AYES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
     Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and
     Kansas--10.

     NOES.--Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland,
     Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and
     Missouri--9.

Mr. SUMMERS:--I now desire to call up for consideration the amendment
proposed by myself on the evening of the 23d instant. The state of the
case is this: Mr. JOHNSON, of Maryland, moved an amendment to my
proposition, which was accepted; my amendment was then rejected by a
vote of the Conference, and on the 25th the Conference reconsidered
the vote by which the amendment was rejected. I will not now repeat
what I said, when the amendment was offered, in favor of its
adoption. I would only call the attention of gentlemen to the remarks
I then made, and say in addition, that I earnestly hope the Conference
will now adopt the amendment. It will make the proposition much more
acceptable to the South, and, certainly, not more objectionable to the
North. The amendment is offered to the second section, and is as
follows:

     "No territory shall be acquired by the United States, except
     by discovery, and for naval and commercial stations, depots
     and transit routes, without the concurrence of a majority of
     all the Senators from States which allow involuntary
     servitude, and a majority of all the Senators from States
     which prohibit that relation; nor shall territory be
     acquired by treaty, unless the votes of a majority of the
     Senators from each class of States hereinbefore mentioned,
     be cast as a part of the two-thirds majority necessary to
     the ratification of such treaty."

The amendment of Mr. SUMMERS was adopted by the following vote:

     AYES.--New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey,
     Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
     Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio--12.

     NOES.--Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois,
     and Kansas--6.

The PRESIDENT:--No further amendment being offered to the second and
third sections, the Conference will proceed to the consideration of
the fourth section of the report, or any amendments proposed to that
section.

None being proposed, the Conference proceeded to the fifth section.

Mr. SEDDON:--I move to strike out the whole of the section. It has
been heretofore stated, on behalf of the North, when this section was
under consideration, that its adoption was not desirable, inasmuch as
existing laws, properly enforced, amount to a sufficient prohibition
of the slave-trade. If the North does not desire it, the South does
not. I hope the Conference will consent to strike it out.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I think it very important to retain this section; it
can, certainly, do no harm. We all agree, North and South, that the
foreign slave-trade should not be revived.

The amendment offered by Mr. SEDDON was rejected by the following
vote:

     AYES.--Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Missouri--4.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
     Delaware, Maryland, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
     Iowa, and Kansas--17.

Mr. BRADFORD:--I move to amend the fifth section by inserting after
the words "slave-trade," the words "by citizens of the United States."

In proposing amendments to the Constitution, it seems to me improper
that we should attempt to bind any but our own citizens. The adoption
of the section in this form would seem to imply that we undertook to
prohibit the slave-trade in other countries and among citizens of
other countries. I desire to see it prohibited, but wish to have the
constitutional provision expressed in appropriate terms.

Mr. CROWNINSHIELD:--I object to this amendment. It would nullify the
operation of the section entirely. There are in the United States
thousands of persons who are not citizens, but who, under such a
provision of the Constitution, would revive the slave-trade and infuse
into it a vigor which it never before possessed. It would be better to
have no section at all than to permit such an amendment as this. The
amendment can bear but one construction. It is intended to prohibit
the slave-trade by our own citizens, and expressly to permit it by
those who are not citizens.

Mr. COALTER:--I am in favor of the amendment.

Mr. BRADFORD:--I do not desire to embarrass the action of the
Conference, and I will withdraw the amendment.

Mr. JAMES:--I move to amend this section by striking out the following
words: "from places beyond the limits thereof."

The object of this amendment is apparent, and does not need
explanation.

The amendment of Mr. JAMES was agreed to by the following vote:

     AYES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
     Delaware, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois,
     Indiana, and Kansas--17.

     NOES.--Virginia, North Carolina, and Missouri--3.

Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina:--I move that the vote just passed
striking out the words "from places beyond the present limits
thereof," be rescinded.

I think the action of the Convention in passing this vote was hasty,
and not taken upon due consideration. It may be an important question
to determine, what are "the present limits thereof." Upon one
construction it might prohibit the bringing of slaves from the States
which have seceded and left the Union; upon another construction,
which assumes that these are still in the Union and does not recognize
their secession, it would not cut off the trade between those States
and the others. I do not like to have such a question raised.

Mr. BACKUS:--I am against this reconsideration. So far as I am
concerned, I do not propose, in this Conference, to recognize the
secession of the States at all. I deny the legal power of a State to
withdraw itself from the Union without the consent of the others. And
beyond this, I do not think the question is raised as the gentleman
asserts.

Mr. RUFFIN:--I think the clause is better as it is. By striking out
the words "from beyond the present limits thereof," we do not
establish any territorial limitation. And whether these States come
back or not, no question of territory is raised. But if this
reconsideration is carried, and the seceding States do not return to
the Union, they will retaliate upon us. In the event of their
continued secession we cannot get back from those States those of our
slaves who are now temporarily there. We may wish to bring back those
slaves, and some of our people may wish to carry ours there.

Mr. GRANGER:--I hope this vote will not be reconsidered. The argument
of Judge RUFFIN is conclusive.

Mr. COALTER:--This is likely to be a troublesome question any way. Why
not leave it as we have to leave many others--to the discretion of
Congress? We certainly do not wish to adopt a provision which will cut
off the traffic in slaves between the Gulf States and the others.
Nobody is in favor of that, and I am at a loss how to manage this
question. The negroes are a portion of the families of Southern men.
They are regarded as such in all the transactions of life. Those
families may at times become separated. A portion of them may now be
in the seceded States, and a portion farther North. Again, it often
happens that during one season of the year the planter, with his
family and slaves, lives upon the plantation in the Gulf States; and
at another season, removes with his family and slaves to a plantation
farther North. We do not wish to obstruct a relation or proceeding of
this kind. This is not a mere matter of dollars and cents. It is one
involving the happiness of families. The blacks themselves are
interested in it. I think it better to let the section stand as it
does, and to leave the whole matter to the discretion of Congress.

Mr. GRANGER:--I have always stood up against all the societies and
organizations which have been established at the North to carry on
crusades against slavery. My position in that respect is still
unchanged. I hold that the people of the free States have nothing to
do with slavery; that they are not responsible for it, and that it is
their duty to let it alone. At the same time I have just as steadily
opposed the slave-trade. I think it inhuman and atrocious, and I am
the last man that would consent to its restoration. This section as it
stands, in my judgment, cannot be improved. I think we had better
leave it, and not raise these troublesome questions which will
inevitably be suggested if these words are restored.

Mr. MOREHEAD:--This is a matter which requires some reflection, and,
on the whole, I am inclined, for the present, to withdraw my
proposition.

Mr. SEDDON:--I do not like this plan of legislating in the
Constitution. The Constitution ought to be an instrument defining and
limiting the powers of Congress. We had better leave to Congress, or
rather, to assign to Congress the power to exercise this prohibition.
I, therefore, move to amend by inserting at the commencement of the
section these words: "The Congress shall have power to prohibit," and
to strike out at the end of the section the words "are forever
prohibited."

Mr. ALLEN:--This would be a most effectual way of reviving the
slave-trade. It would remove the constitutional prohibition, and
permit Congress to prohibit or permit it, as that body may choose.
Would that ever hereafter be considered a crime which Congress had
power to permit? No. I cannot conceive it possible that any State
should seriously wish to see a traffic resumed which has been
stigmatized by the whole civilized world as worse than piracy. This is
a question which I would not leave to Congress. We know how immensely
profitable this trade is--that fortunes are made by a single
successful voyage. Don't let such an inducement to corruption creep
into our Constitution.

Mr. COALTER:--I am in favor of this amendment, not because I am in
favor of the slave-trade, but because such a section is out of place
in the Constitution. The Constitution is a bill of rights, an
instrument which defines and settles the rights of citizens. It is not
a law. I have no fear that if we leave this to Congress the
slave-trade will be revived.

Mr. DONIPHAN:--I cannot agree with my colleague. I am opposed to the
foreign slave-trade in every form. I would not even make a treaty with
a nation or a State that would permit it. If the seceded States are to
be regarded out of the Union, I would not treat with them; I would not
invest Congress with such a dangerous power. Nothing will suit me but
an unqualified prohibition of this trade in the Constitution itself.

Mr. HOUSTON:--The gentleman from Missouri has expressed the views of
Delaware. His argument is conclusive.

Mr. HOWARD:--The intervention of Congress will be necessary whether
this amendment passes or not. The section as adopted makes no
provision for the punishment of any one who violates it. If a vessel
should be seized while engaged in the trade, this section does not
provide for her forfeiture or condemnation, or the punishment of her
officers or owners. The section would be inoperative without the
action of Congress. Why not let Congress have all the power?

Mr. DODGE:--Congress will declare the punishment.

Mr. SEDDON:--If you cut off the slave with the seceded States, they
will do the same with you. I think the Border States should at all
events adopt the amendment.

The Conference refused to agree to the amendment of Mr. SEDDON by the
following vote:

     AYES.--Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and
     Missouri--5.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
     Delaware, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and
     Kansas--16.

Messrs. JOHNSON and DONIPHAN, of Missouri, dissented from the vote of
that State.

Mr. MOREHEAD:--I move to strike out the whole of this section, and
insert a new one of the following tenor: "The foreign slave-trade is
hereby forever prohibited; and it shall be the duty of Congress to
pass laws to prevent the importation of slaves into the United States
and their Territories, from places beyond the limits thereof."

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I like the amendment proposed better than the
original, but I wish to suggest an amendment to it myself.

We are aware that certain countries which are much exercised over the
criminality of slavery and the slave-trade, have recently adopted a
system, the horrors of which are not surpassed by those of the middle
passage. I refer to the importation of coolies and other persons from
China and the East. In my judgment, this is the slave-trade in one of
its worst forms. I think if we prevent the importation of slaves at
all, the provision ought to be made to cover such a case. I therefore
move to amend the proposition of Mr. MOREHEAD, by inserting after the
words "importation of slaves," the words "or coolies, or persons held
to service or labor."

Mr. MOREHEAD:--I accept the amendment of Mr. WICKLIFFE, and should
have inserted it myself had it occurred to me. My proposition as it
now stands, covers both the points here made; it declares the entire
prohibition of the slave-trade, and it makes it also the duty of
Congress to pass laws effectually to prevent it.

The amendment offered by Mr. MOREHEAD was agreed to by the following
vote:

     AYES.--Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North
     Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, and
     Illinois--11.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, New York, New Jersey, and Kansas--8.

Mr. HOPPIN, of Rhode Island, Messrs. ORTH and ELLIS, of Indiana, and
Mr. STOCKTON, of New Jersey, dissented from the votes of their
respective States.

Mr. CROWNINSHIELD:--I move to strike out the whole section. I had
rather have no section at all, and no provision upon the subject, than
such a one as we have now adopted. The requisition upon Congress
making it their duty to enact laws, will be considered as a necessary
one; the consequence which must result is, that until Congress
legislates, there is no law against the importation of slaves.

The motion of Mr. CROWNINSHIELD was rejected by the following vote:

     AYES.--Massachusetts, Virginia, and Tennessee--3.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island,
     Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware,
     Maryland, North Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio,
     Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Kansas--18.

The PRESIDENT:--The Conference will now proceed to the consideration
of the sixth section.

No amendment being offered thereto, the Conference proceeded to the
seventh section.

Mr. TURNER:--I move to strike out the whole of the seventh section,
and insert in lieu thereof the following:

     "Congress shall provide by law for securing to the citizens
     of each State the privileges and immunities of citizens of
     the several States."

The seventh section, as it now stands, will encounter more serious
objection at the North than all the remaining portion of the article.
It is objectionable for many reasons: it looks to the actual exercise
of violence and intimidation by mobs and unlawful assemblies at the
North. Although such may have occurred in one or two sections only,
generally the provisions of the fugitive slave law have been observed
and carried out. The whole subject is very distasteful to the North. I
think if we keep it out of the article, and in its place secure that
respect for the privileges of citizens in the various States, to
which, indeed, under the Constitution, they are entitled, we shall do
much better.

Mr. LOGAN:--There are various reasons peculiar to some of the free
States why this provision should not be adopted. The laws of several
of the Western States do not recognize negroes as citizens. I move to
amend the amendment proposed by my colleague, by inserting the words
"free white" before the word "citizens."

The amendment offered by Mr. LOGAN was adopted by the following vote:

     AYES.--New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland,
     Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and
     Illinois--10.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, and Iowa--8.

Mr. ORTH, of Indiana, dissented from the vote of his State.

Mr. TURNER:--I suppose the purpose of my colleague has been attained.
If there is a delegation willing to make such a distinction in the
Constitution, they will, of course, support the amendment as it is now
amended.

The vote was then taken upon the amendment, as amended, with the
following result:

     AYES.--None.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
     Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee,
     Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and Indiana--18.

Mr. WILMOT:--If the seventh section is adopted, I think the North
should have some compensation therefor. I think citizens of the North
have as much occasion for complaint on account of the action of mobs
and riotous assemblies in the slave States, as the slave States have
of the occurrence of those mobs and assemblies in the North. I
therefore move the following as an addition to the seventh section:

     "And Congress shall farther provide by law, that the United
     States shall make full compensation to a citizen of any
     State, who, in any other State, shall suffer by reason of
     violence or intimidation from mobs and riotous assemblies,
     in his person or property, or in the deprivation, by
     violence, of his rights secured by this Constitution."

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I am opposed to this amendment upon the general
principles I have so often stated. I oppose it for another reason. I
am not in favor of an amendment which encourages mobs and riots at the
North, and I will not consent to one which, like this, encourages
seditious speeches at the South.

Mr. WILMOT:--Such is not the effect of my amendment. It does not
protect a man in making seditious speeches in the slave States. It
only secures to the citizen his rights without regard to the State to
which he belongs. We have a provision of the Constitution on that
subject now, but it is not effective.

Mr. COALTER:--I am in favor of the amendment. There is great necessity
for it.

Mr. SEDDON:--I think gentlemen entirely misconstrue the intent and
purpose of the present provision of the Constitution on that subject.
It grows out of and rests upon that provision which requires the
return of fugitive slaves. It imposes an obligation upon Congress to
secure to the owner, when he pursues his slave into a free State, the
right which he enjoys as a citizen of his own State. In all other
respects it is unnecessary. If a man is injured in his person or his
property, he has his redress in the State courts; or if he is a
foreigner or a citizen of another State, he may go into the Federal
courts and get his redress there. In this respect the citizens of both
sections are amply protected.

Mr. STEPHENS:--I earnestly hope this amendment may be rejected. We
have come here to arrange old difficulties, not to make new ones.
Adopt this, and you lay the foundation stone of disunion. It is an
encouragement to seditious speeches and purposes. The clause is well
enough as it is. We do not wish to encourage men to come among us and
excite discontent among our slaves. We will not permit them to do it.
Our safety requires that we should not. Our own citizens do not
connive at the escape of slaves. None do it who have any business in
our States. We are here for peace. When half a dozen States are out,
whose return we wish to secure, shall we put such a clause as this
into the Constitution? Do it, and a half dozen others will follow. I
am not at all sure that the report of the majority, if adopted, will
satisfy my State. It certainly will not if it is mangled and frittered
away. I have not occupied time in making speeches here. I say to you
gentlemen, beware! If I thought the spirit of the North was truly
represented in this Conference, I would go home and advise my State to
secede; and if she did not, I would abandon her forever.

Mr. RUFFIN:--I am opposed to the amendment because I think it
unnecessary, and because it opens a new and very serious controversy.
The rights of Northern men are fully protected now. There is not a
court in the South in which a Northern citizen cannot find a lawyer to
advocate his cause. If he is poor, he may even sue _in forma
pauperis_, and incur no liability even for costs.

Mr. WILMOT:--I am claiming no more than I have a right to claim under
the decision of the Supreme Court. That court, in the case of Prigg
_vs._ The State of Pennsylvania, decided that the Constitution imposes
the duty upon Congress of carrying this provision into effect. I
insist upon making it plain. Rights upon both sides are sought to be
protected by this article. They are correlative.

Mr. LOGAN favored and Mr. EWING opposed the amendment, in a few brief
remarks.

Mr. ORTH:--I do not think we shall accomplish much by protracting our
present session longer. I move that the Conference adjourn, and ask a
vote by States.

The Conference refused to adjourn, by the following vote:

     AYES.--Maine, Connecticut, New York, Indiana, Illinois,
     Iowa, and Kansas--7.

     NOES.--New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
     New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia,
     North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio--14.

The PRESIDENT:--The question recurs upon the amendment of the
gentleman from Pennsylvania.

The vote upon the question of agreeing to the motion of Mr. WILMOT,
resulted as follows:

     AYES.--Maine, New York, Indiana, Vermont, Massachusetts,
     Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Iowa--8.

     NOES.--Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware,
     Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky,
     Missouri, and Ohio--11.

And the motion was rejected.

Mr. BARRINGER:--I now move to amend the seventh section, by adding
thereto the following words:

     "And in all cases in which the United States shall pay for
     such fugitive, Congress shall also provide for the
     collection by the United States of the amount so paid, with
     interest, from the county, city, or town in which such
     arrest shall have been prevented, or rescue made."

I am certain that no objection can be made to the equity of this
amendment. If a municipal corporation shall permit the rights of a
slave owner to be disregarded by the rescue of a slave, it not only
fails to perform its duty under the Constitution, but becomes an
active participant in the crime. Shall the consequences of its own
fault be visited upon the people of the whole country? Those who
acknowledge and carry out their obligations under the Constitution, as
well as those who do not? This would inflict a punishment upon the
innocent for the crime of the guilty. It is not right to leave it in
that way. It would present an inducement to these violations of law
which the provision is intended to prevent. We ought to make the
guilty party pay the penalty.

Mr. HACKLEMAN:--If such a proposition were to come from a free State,
the mover would be charged with attempting to destroy all hope that
the committee's report could be adopted by the people. However, if the
friends of the report are willing to adopt it, I do not know that I
ought to object. It places the Government in a position where it is
bound under the Constitution to prosecute a municipal corporation for
the acts of its individual members. It is certainly novel, and
introduces a new system into the jurisprudence of the country. Is the
mover serious in his proposition?

Mr. BARRINGER:--I am certainly serious. I would like to hear some
substantial argument against my motion.

The question being taken on the amendment of Mr. BARRINGER, resulted
as follows:

     AYES.--Virginia, North Carolina, and Kansas--3.

     NOES.--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
     Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
     Delaware, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana,
     Illinois, and Iowa--17.

And the amendment was rejected.

Mr. DENT:--I wish to enter my dissent from the vote of Maryland. I
consider the amendment as eminently just and proper.

Mr. CLAY:--I dissent from the vote of Kentucky.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN:--I have an amendment which I intend to offer at
some time, and I may as well propose it now. The people of the free
States have complained, and not without good reason, that one clause
in the Constitution is not carried into effect in some of the
slaveholding States. Their complaints are similar to those made on the
part of the South, which it is the purpose of the seventh section to
remove. If there have been instances at the North where mobs and
riotous assemblies have obstructed the administration of justice in
the case of fugitive slaves, so there have been instances at the South
where mobs and riots have disregarded the rights of citizens of
Northern States. I propose to deal fairly by all sections. Let us
remove both causes of complaint. I move to amend the seventh section
by adding thereto the following words:

     "Congress shall provide by law for securing to the citizens
     of each State the privileges and immunities of citizens in
     the several States."

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I repeat my objection to all these amendments. If our
work here is to have any efficacy, we must adhere to the report. Why
bring in another bone of contention?

Mr. ORTH:--Will you not extend the same protection to free citizens
which you do to slaveholders?

The question was taken on the motion of Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN, with the
following result:

     AYES.--Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa,
     Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, New
     Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and
     Kansas--16.

     NOES.--Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and
     Virginia--4.

So the amendment was adopted.

Mr. ROMAN dissented from the vote of Maryland.

Mr. AMES:--I move an amendment which will make the section more
explicit. I move to strike out the word "force," and to insert instead
thereof the words "violence or intimidation."

The motion was agreed to without objection.

Mr. ORTH:--I move to amend the seventh section by adding at the close
thereof the following words:

     "And such fugitives, after such payment, shall then be
     discharged from such service."

I am opposed to this whole business of making compensation for
fugitive slaves; but if this section is to be adopted, and the
Government pays the owner the whole value of the fugitive, upon every
principle of equity and justice the fugitive should be discharged, and
the master should have no right to reduce him again to slavery. You
make the measure of the owner's damages in such a case the value of
the slave. Do you intend, after he has secured that, he shall still
have the right of capture--that after the damages have been fully
paid, he may still call on the courts of law for the slave's
surrender? This would be a double compensation indeed. I shall insist
upon this amendment, and ask a vote by States.

Mr. ROMAN:--I have not hitherto addressed the Conference, but I should
do myself injustice if I remained silent any longer. I came here in
good faith, encouraged with the hope that this Conference would do
something which would indicate a purpose to protect and acknowledge
the rights of the slaveholding States. I have patiently attended your
sittings, and little by little that hope has faded, until to-night it
has almost passed away. What good can come of these deliberations,
when upon every question which is presented the lines of sectionalism
are tightly drawn, and with one or two exceptions every northern State
is arrayed against us? Suppose these proposals of amendment as
reported by the committee are adopted, there is evidently a purpose
manifested here by a large delegation from the free States, to prevent
their adoption by the people. I know the opposition which in any event
will be arrayed against them. It is an opposition which nothing but
unanimity among the moderate conservative men of the country can
overcome. Believe it or not, gentlemen, I assure you we are in
earnest, in our determination to have our rights under the
Constitution defined and guaranteed. Our safety, as well as our
self-respect, requires this. I have not been satisfied with the
majority report, but if I had been disposed to accept it--if the South
would accept it now, you will not concede even that. You insist upon
weakening its provisions by amendments, and by amendments which are
insulting to us.

It is now seriously proposed under the Constitution, by an express
provision, to deprive us of our property in slaves against our
consent, and to emancipate them by making compensation. What other
effect can be given to such an amendment? One of our slaves escapes
into a free State. He is arrested by the marshal and discharged by a
mob. Does this act discharge him from his service? Does this lawless
violence make him free? And if the town or city where the mob occurs
is made to pay a slight penalty, does this also divest the owner of
his right? This is nothing but an inducement to mobs and riots. Pass
this provision, and no fugitive slave will ever again be returned from
a free State. There will always be abolitionists enough to pay for a
slave, and this payment will set the slave free, and will constitute
the only penalty for this violence. For one, I would prefer to have no
provision at all on the subject than to have one encumbered with such
an amendment.

I have but little more to say. If the peace of this country is to be
hereafter established on a permanent basis, and the Union is to be
preserved, you, gentlemen of the North, must recognize our rights, and
cease to interfere with them. You have nothing to do with this
question of slavery. It is an institution of our own. If it is a
crime, we are responsible for it, and will bear the responsibility. We
have never interfered with your institutions. You must now let us
alone.

Mr. ORTH:--The objection of the gentleman from Maryland may be
answered in a word. It is for the owner to elect whether or not to
accept compensation and set his slave free. If he still chooses to
pursue him, he need not accept compensation; but if he does not, and
receives payment for him, the slave should go free. As to mobs and
riots, we punish men at the North who engage in them.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--I entirely agree with my colleague in this respect. We
could not accept the section if such an amendment was adopted. The
report of the committee is the very least that will satisfy our
people. Do not destroy it by such amendments as these.

The vote was then taken upon the amendment proposed by Mr. ORTH, with
the following result:

     AYES.--Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New
     York, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kansas--10.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri,
     New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee,
     Vermont, and Virginia--11.

And the amendment was rejected.

Mr. CLAY:--I move to amend the report by adding a section to be
numbered Section 8, as follows:

     "The second paragraph of the second section of fourth
     article of the Constitution shall be so construed that no
     State shall have the power to consider and determine what is
     treason, felony, or crime, in another State; but that a
     person charged in any State with treason, felony, or crime,
     who shall flee from justice and be found in another State,
     shall, on demand of the executive authority of the State
     from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the
     State having jurisdiction of the crime."

I do not think discussion necessary upon such an amendment as this. It
is well known to the Conference that great difficulties have been
found to exist in carrying into effect this provision of the
Constitution. So far as the slave States are concerned, it is a
perfect nullity. Unless it is amended it may as well be stricken from
the instrument. I believe the tenor of the decisions at the North has
been to permit the executive upon whom the requisition is made, to
determine whether the offence charged is a crime under the law of the
State to which the person charged has fled. If it is a crime, the
fugitive is delivered up. If not a crime in that sense, he is
discharged. The decisions of the courts have been to the same effect;
whenever the fugitive has been brought upon _habeas corpus_, the
decision has been the same. It is obvious that under this construction
of the Constitution no fugitive will be hereafter returned for an
offence in which the question of slavery is involved. This is only one
of the many evasions of the Constitution which have been practised in
the free States. I deem the amendment very important.

Mr. BRONSON:--The gentleman from Kentucky is entirely mistaken in his
statement of the decisions of the northern courts or northern
governors. The decisions are uniform so far as I know, that where the
offence charged is either a crime at common law, or under the statutes
of the State from which the fugitive has fled, he has been delivered
up.

Mr. CLAY:--Did not the Executive of New York refuse to deliver up a
fugitive on the demand of the Governor of Virginia?

Mr. BRONSON:--In that case I think there was no evidence that the
offence charged was a crime under the statutes of Virginia, and it
certainly was not at common law.

The vote was taken upon Mr. CLAY'S amendment, and resulted as follows:

     AYES.--Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and
     Virginia--5.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
     Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, New
     Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and
     Kansas--16.

And the amendment was rejected.

And on motion, at two o'clock A.M., the Conference adjourned.



EIGHTEENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, TUESDAY, _February 26th, 1861._


The Conference, pursuant to adjournment, was called to order at eleven
o'clock.

Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. GURLEY.

The PRESIDENT informed the Conference that in consequence of the
length of the Journal of yesterday, the Secretary had not been able to
write it out, and that it would be necessary to omit the reading
thereof this morning.

Mr. McCURDY:--There was a vote taken in the confusion near the close
of the session last evening, in which Connecticut, according to the
minutes of the Secretary, appears to have voted in the negative. It
was upon the amendment of Mr. ORTH, declaring that the slave should be
free whenever his master had accepted payment for him. On that
amendment the vote of Connecticut was Yea. As the vote is recorded Nay
by mistake, I move to reconsider the vote by which the amendment was
rejected.

Mr. BRONSON:--The motion to reconsider is not necessary. Connecticut
can record her vote as she wishes to have it stand. It will not change
the result.

The PRESIDENT:--I think the motion is in order, if made by
Connecticut.

Mr. BATTELL:--I will move to reconsider. I voted with the majority.

Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina:--No individual delegate can make such
a motion. States vote here, not individuals. I submit that the motion
is out of order, unless made by a majority of the delegation.

Mr. BALDWIN:--The question is not complicated at all; neither is the
motion out of order. A majority of the delegation from Connecticut
cast the vote of that State in favor of Mr. ORTH'S amendment. By
mistake that vote was recorded against the amendment. The same
majority whose vote is made to do them injustice by a mistake for
which its members are not responsible, now moves to reconsider the
vote.

The question was then taken upon Mr. McCURDY'S motion, and resulted as
follows:

     AYES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine,
     Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, Vermont and
     Kansas--11.

     NOES.--Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey,
     North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and
     Virginia--10.

And the motion prevailed, and the vote was reconsidered.

The PRESIDENT:--The question now recurs upon the amendment offered by
Mr. ORTH. On this amendment the vote will be taken by States.

Mr. WHITE:--I consider this amendment as entirely unnecessary. The
result which it seeks to attain is only the announcement of a
well-understood provision of the common law. By the common law, if an
action is brought for a trespass, and judgment recovered for that
trespass, and the damages under that judgment paid, the property which
is the subject of the action, and which may have originally been
wrongfully taken, becomes transferred; the damages take the place of
the property, the defendant has paid for his wrongful act, or, in
other words, has paid for the property. The same principle applies to
the case of the fugitive slave who is rescued from the custody of the
law, when his owner has consented to accept payment for him. The legal
right of the owner in the slave is satisfied by such payment; the
money takes the place of the slave. But if this were not so, we ought
not to encumber the Constitution with such provisions. Congress will
undoubtedly make the proper provision both for the protection of the
slave and his master. Congress will not permit payment to be made for
a slave, and then suffer him to go back to bondage. This would be both
unlawful and unjust. I can see no necessity for adopting the
amendment.

Mr. ORTH:--I understand there is some difference of opinion between
members of the Conference as to the effect of the phraseology of my
amendment. I will change that phraseology, and make the amendment read
as follows:

     "And such fugitive, after the master has been paid therefor,
     shall be discharged from such service."

Mr. MOREHEAD, of Kentucky:--I am opposed to this amendment upon every
ground. I would rather see some direct scheme of emancipation adopted
and inserted in the Constitution. Adopt this amendment, and the result
is inevitable. It would amount to emancipation upon the largest
possible scale. Our slaves would escape, you would rescue and pay for
them, and that would be the end of them. Why not leave it to Congress
to pass the necessary laws upon this subject? The adoption of this
amendment would destroy all hope that our labors would be acceptable
to the South. I say again, we had better establish emancipation at
once.

Mr. DENT:--If this amendment is to be adopted, I hope we shall at the
same time reconsider the vote by which we rejected the amendment of
the gentleman from North Carolina, requiring the payment by the
county, city, or town wherein the slave is rescued from the custody of
the law. This provision would make the General Government pay for the
crimes of a few citizens in one section. In that case the General
Government ought to own the negro. It has paid for him, and the
property in him ought to be transferred.

Mr. WILMOT:--There is nothing in this. We do not wish to have the
Government own the negro. It is bad enough to have individuals own
slaves. We do not propose to turn the Government into an extensive
slave owner.

But let me ask the gentleman seriously, who is to own the negro, in
such a case, after he has been paid for? Certainly not the former
owner, because his right is gone. This amendment only states a
conclusion of law; the right of the owner being gone, the negro is
free.

Mr. CHASE:--I think a single word will settle this. By the
Constitution as it now stands, the escaped fugitive is not discharged
from service or labor. The original section, as proposed, requires
that the slave should be paid for, when he is rescued. Now, he might
be rescued three or four times. Shall he be paid for as often? Do
gentlemen claim that his owner shall receive compensation more than
once? I cannot see why gentlemen interested in slavery should object
to this amendment.

Mr. RIVES:--I think if gentlemen would look at this proposition
seriously, there would be no difference of opinion among us. Such a
proposition would foist into the Constitution a most injurious,
pernicious, and troublesome doctrine. By the most ultra abolitionists
of the free States the power of emancipating our slaves has been
disclaimed. From the organization of the Government, no such right has
been claimed by any respectable party or body of men. The question
arose in the first Congress, I think, upon the petition of the Quakers
of Pennsylvania. It was decided almost unanimously against the power,
even when exercised by Congress. But there is no need of multiplying
or citing precedents. From that time to this, no political party has
claimed the power of emancipation. Such is the universal doctrine now.

The right to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia is now
claimed by some. I think that is the doctrine of Mr. CHASE. But upon
what argument is it founded? Simply this: That the States, by the act
of cession, have surrendered this power to Congress. This is the only
argument I have ever heard in favor of the right, even in the
District.

But this amendment proposes a most comprehensive scheme of
emancipation. It accomplishes emancipation in every one of the slave
States. It amounts to forcible emancipation upon the principle of
compensation.

The point has been well stated by gentlemen who have preceded me.
Place this in the Constitution, and there is an end of returning
fugitives. The very courts will act upon it. They will say that if any
one will come forward and pay the value of a slave when arrested, all
the requirements of the Constitution are satisfied, and he shall go
free.

What is the object of our Conference? Why are we here? We are here to
bury out of sight all the causes of our difference and trouble. And
yet you propose to insert a new principle into our fundamental law,
which, however you may look upon it, will be regarded at the South as
totally inconsistent with our independence. Our people will not
consent to it.

There is another view which I would suggest. This is eminently a
matter of legislative regulation. If the slave is paid for, Congress
will at once recognize the impropriety and injustice of permitting the
owner to receive payment for, and also receive his slave. Congress may
say with great propriety that the owner shall give a bond to return
the money upon the restoration of his slave. I hope no principle will
be implanted in the Constitution which will be more troublesome--more
productive of difficulties than any which has heretofore been made the
subject of discussion.

Mr. EWING:--If we do any thing of this kind, perhaps we had better say
that if the owner accepts compensation for his slave, he shall execute
a deed of manumission. This will make it a matter of consent on the
part of the owner. Put the amendment in that form and I will vote for
it.

Mr. COALTER:--This amendment would offer a most powerful inducement to
our slaves to run away. It would be dangerous in the extreme. When a
fugitive has been paid for, and thus emancipated, he can come back and
settle by the side of his master. What effect would that have upon the
rest of his slaves? Would they not attempt the same thing? It may be
said that the States can pass laws which will prevent their return.
But this power will not be exercised. I know many free negroes in the
slave States who are respectable persons, who own property, and have
their social and domestic ties. These examples are bad. A fugitive who
has been set free is not a safe man to return and settle as a free
negro among those who were his co-slaves.

Mr. BROCKENBROUGH:--By this amendment you are inaugurating a system of
covert emancipation to which the South can never submit. We protest
against its adoption. The argument upon which you seek to sustain it
is a false one. How can the owner receive the full value of his
rescued slave when he himself, as a citizen and tax-payer, pays a part
of the price?

Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina:--I move to amend this amendment by
adding thereto these words:

     "And the negro when thus emancipated shall not be permitted
     to leave the State in which the emancipation takes place."

We know from past experience what the abolitionists of the free States
would do under such a provision as this in the Constitution. There
will be an underground railroad line along every principal route of
travel. There will be depots all along these lines. Canoes will be
furnished to ferry negroes over the Potomac and Ohio. JOHN BROWN & CO.
will stand ready to kill the master the very moment he crosses the
line in pursuit of his slave. What officer at the North will dare to
arrest the slave when JOHN BROWN pikes are stacked up in every little
village? If arrested, there will be organizations formed to rescue
him, and you may as well let the "nigger" go free at once. You are
opening up the greatest scheme of emancipation ever devised.

Mr. BACKUS:--I move to amend the amendment proposed by Mr. ORTH by the
substitution of the following:

     "And the acceptance of such payment shall preclude the owner
     from further claim to said fugitive."

It is claimed that this is a scheme of emancipation. It is nothing of
the sort. It is not intended that the owner shall be obliged to accept
compensation for his slave. That is left optional with him. He may
take it or not as he likes. The effect of accepting compensation would
be just the same as if he sold his slave to the North. The gentleman
from Virginia raises a curious objection; that the owner does not
receive a full compensation because he pays a portion of it himself.
Well, I suppose the owner would pay the one hundred and
thirty-millionth part of the price! Does not the same objection lay
against the payment of any tax whatever? It is asked, Does this
payment transfer the legal title to the slave? Well, it probably goes
to the party who pays for it. If the payment is made in a free State,
where slavery is not tolerated, the title would not pass at all. I
submit to our friends from the South, whether they wish to have the
Government become a slave-trader, to set it up as a huckster of slaves
in the shambles. My amendment imposes the responsibility upon
Congress. I have no doubt Congress will legislate properly upon the
subject.

Now let me say one word to gentlemen, friends of the South, in all
kindness. I have appreciated your position, and it has influenced my
action. I have not refused to give you any reasonable guarantees, and
I shall not refuse them. But I submit to you, whether it is in good
taste for you to declare that, if we do not yield all these little
points to you, the Government is to be broken up; that that is the
only alternative?

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I hope this amendment will be adopted. As a Southern
man, I declare that it is acceptable to me. Let us adopt it, and end
the matter. [Cries of "Agreed."]

Mr. JOHNSON, of Missouri:--I have a very serious objection to putting
any bid in the Constitution to induce slaves to run away. I firmly
believe that if this amendment should ever become a part of the
Constitution, it would lead to the ultimate extinction of slavery. The
State of Missouri is surrounded on three sides by free States. When
one of our slaves escapes and crosses the border, he finds himself at
once among a people, some of whom will vindicate his freedom with
their lives. I am willing to leave this whole subject to Congress.
Congress will not permit the owner to get his money, and also retain
his slave. In the name of God I ask that no such provision may be put
into the Constitution!

Mr. MOREHEAD:--I will agree to this. The difference between the two is
as wide as the poles.

The vote was then taken upon the amendment as amended, and resulted as
follows:

     AYES.--Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky,
     Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North
     Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
     Tennessee, and Vermont--17.

     NOES.--Indiana, Missouri, and Virginia--3.

So the amendment was agreed to.

Messrs. CLAY, of Kentucky, DENT and ROMAN, of Maryland, STEPHENS and
TOTTEN, of Tennessee, dissented from the votes of their respective
States.

Mr. BRONSON:--It is evident under the rules, as they now stand, that
this debate is not to close within a month. I move to amend the rules
as follows:

     "Before reaching the final question on the plan to be
     submitted to Congress, no member shall be allowed to speak
     more than three minutes on any proposition."

Mr. SEDDON:--I rise to a question of order. I submit that the motion
of the gentleman from New York is not in order.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I move to lay the amendment on the table.

The motion of Mr. GUTHRIE prevailed without a division.

Mr. FIELD:--I move to add an additional section to the report, as
follows:

     SECTION 8. The Union of the States under the Constitution is
     indissoluble, and no State can secede from the Union, or
     nullify an act of Congress, or absolve its citizens from
     their paramount obligation of obedience to the Constitution
     and laws of the United States.

In offering this amendment as an additional section, I propose very
briefly to state the reasons for its adoption. I shall not anticipate
any of the objections that may be urged against it, for, as I
understand the rule, I shall have the right to speak in reply. I will
only state one or two arguments in favor of the article.

We have been discussing the means of removing the symptoms of the
disease called secession. This amendment attacks the disease itself.
The doctrines of CALHOUN, originated and advocated by him, have now
been taken up by his followers, who are striking at the very
foundation of our Government. The doctrine of the North is, that no
State can secede from the Union. This amendment asserts that doctrine.
Before we begin to amend, we ought to know whether we have any
Constitution to amend. The people of my section wish to know whether
we can compel obedience of a State, if every man in it undertakes to
refuse obedience. They believe that power to exist in the Constitution
now. If there is any doubt about it, they wish that power distinctly
asserted.

Mr. EWING:--I move to lay the amendment on the table at present,
without affecting the section of the report under consideration.

Mr. FIELD:--This motion is debatable.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN:--I submit that the motion of the gentleman from New
York is not an amendment; that it is an addition, and may be laid on
the table without affecting the remainder of the report.

Mr. BRONSON:--We have now gone through with the propositions, and are
ready to take a final vote upon them. Mr. FIELD'S amendment is
properly an addition, and relates entirely to other subjects. Laying
that on the table does not carry the whole subject there.

The motion of Mr. EWING prevailed by the following vote: Ayes, 11;
Noes, 10.[6]

[Footnote 6: I relied upon the Journal for the individual list of the
votes. In this respect the Journal is defective, and does not give the
names of the States voting. My minutes show that the vote was taken by
States with the foregoing result.]

Messrs. MEREDITH, WILMOT, and CHASE dissented from the votes of their
respective States.

Mr. FIELD:--I now offer it as an amendment to the 7th section.

Mr. BRONSON:--I rise to a point of order. My colleague has proposed
this amendment as an additional section, and it has been laid upon the
table. He now proposes to put the same thing in another place. That is
certainly not in order.

Mr. FIELD:--I now offer it distinctly as an amendment to the 7th
section, to avoid the quibbling by which a direct vote was avoided
before. It may as well be understood that other than slave States have
certain rights upon this floor, and that those rights will be
asserted. I wish gentlemen to understand that I shall resist, as well
as I may, every attempt to avoid or dodge this question.

The PRESIDENT:--In the opinion of the Chair it is not in order.

Mr. FIELD:--Then I offer one-half the amendment as follows: "The Union
of the States, under the Constitution, is indissoluble."

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--Is it necessary to put this into the Constitution?
Does not the gentleman think the Constitution prohibits secession now?
If so, let him offer a resolution to that effect, and I will vote for
it.

Mr. DENT:--I rise to a point of order. The amendment is not germane to
the section.

The PRESIDENT:--That is entirely a matter of opinion. The Chair cannot
rule out an amendment on that ground.

Mr. FIELD:--If gentlemen will give us a square vote on my proposition,
I will not debate it.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I believe every word that is stated in that
proposition. It is all in the Constitution now; but the South thinks
differently, and this is one of the great obstructions in our path.
There is not a man here who does not believe that this provision is
already in the Constitution. I hope, therefore, that we shall vote at
once, and vote it down.

Mr. EWING:--The amendment proposed, implies the existence of the right
of secession, under the present Constitution. I do not believe in
that, and shall therefore vote against it.

Mr. FIELD:--I desire to obtain a clear vote upon this question, and
not have it pass off upon any technical points. I will withdraw my
amendment, and now move to amend the 7th section by striking out the
whole of it, and inserting in its place the following:

     "No State shall withdraw from the Union without the consent
     of all the States, given in a Convention of the States,
     convened in pursuance of an act passed by two-thirds of each
     House of Congress."

Mr. GOODRICH:--I do not quite like the language of the amendment, for
it might seem to give the implication of a right to secede. I move the
following as a substitute:

     "And no State can secede from the Union, or nullify an act
     of Congress, or absolve its citizens from their paramount
     obligations of obedience to the Constitution and laws of the
     United States."

Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina:--There is no objection on my part
against the gentleman from New York taking any course he pleases, and
as much time as he likes; but I should regret extremely to have this
amendment adopted, and to have the Constitution made practically to
assert a right of secession. I have denied that right always in my
State, in public and in private. I am aware that on this point I
differ from the general sentiment of the South, and I hold there is no
right of secession, and on the part of the General Government no right
of coercion. I claim that a State has no right to secede, because that
right is not found in the Constitution, and the theory of the
Constitution is against it.

The PRESIDENT:--I think the amendment of Mr. GOODRICH is not in order.

Mr. FIELD:--As suggested by a friend, I will modify my motion, and
state it in this way, which certainly will avoid all these
objections:

     "It is declared to be the true intent and meaning of the
     present Constitution, that the Union of the States under it
     is indissoluble."

Mr. COALTER:--Does the gentleman mean this as a substitute for the
entire report of the committee, for all that we have hitherto done?

Mr. FIELD:--Certainly not.

Mr. COALTER:--We have not met here for any such purpose as that
indicated in the present amendment. We are not here to discuss the
question of secession. We are here because the Border States are
alarmed for their own safety. We wish them to remain in the Union. The
purpose of our consultations is to make an arrangement under which
they can stay in the Union. If we do not confine ourselves to that
purpose, and leave these questions alone, our differences may be
submitted to a greater than any human judge. I hope, in Heaven's name,
they will not be submitted to the arbitrament of battle. No practical
good whatever can come from debating this amendment. I move to lay it
on the table; but if that motion will have the effect to carry the
whole report on the table, I will not make it.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--I shall vote against this amendment. I believe the
Constitution is endowed with sufficient authority to accomplish its
own preservation, and to carry into execution its own laws; and,
believing so, I deny the right of secession, but the right of
revolution is a natural right possessed by every people. They may
revolutionize their governments when they become oppressive. The
Constitution was adopted as the logical consequence of this idea.
There is no use now in discussing the abstract question of secession.
We must treat the present condition of the Gulf States as a revolution
in fact accomplished. We must meet them fairly. I vote against this
amendment, and wish to stand right upon the record. If the history of
this Convention is to be written, I do not wish to be handed down to
posterity as one who favors the right of secession, which I believe to
be a radical error.

Mr. WILMOT:--Pennsylvania is agreed in principle upon the doctrine of
this amendment. I believe the whole North agrees also that the right
of secession cannot be conceded, but my colleagues and myself differ
essentially as to the manner in which we shall make our doctrine most
effective. I think the true way is, to vote for this plain
proposition, and not vote against it.

Now, all the North agrees that there is no right under the
Constitution to interfere with slavery where it exists. No one has
ever asserted such right, or believed in it. We are now asked to give
a declaratory provision on that subject--to give it in order to quiet
the slave States. One of my colleagues--Mr. POLLOCK--was willing to
give that declaratory clause, which was necessary. I went with him in
that; I now ask him to go with me, not against a mere shadow, but
against what is the doctrine of a large portion of the people of the
slave States; a doctrine of that proportion which proposes to
overthrow the Constitution of the country. It is a demoralizing
doctrine. My colleague proposes to vote against it. Did my colleague
believe that any one proposed to interfere with slavery in the States?

Mr. POLLOCK:--No, I do not believe there was any such intention
entertained by any considerable party. But there was an apprehension
upon this subject in the slave States, caused by the action of a few
radical men at the North. I was willing to vote for a declaratory
resolution to quiet that apprehension.

Mr. WILMOT:--This amendment points to something more than an
apprehension. It deals with an existing fact. Seven States have
already gone out of the Union, asserting that the principal allegiance
of their people is to the State, and not to the General Government. I
think it high time that the Constitution was made unequivocal upon
this subject of secession.

Mr. PRICE:--I occupy even a few minutes of time with much reluctance.
Time is precious to us--too precious to be used in debate. I believe
in the doctrine of the gentleman from New York. That is the doctrine
of my State; but I believe in a great many other things which it is
not necessary to insert in the Constitution. We came here to treat a
fact, a great fact. There is a Southern Confederacy--there is a
President DAVIS--there is a Government organized within the Union
hostile to the United States. I came here, as the gentleman from
Illinois has said, to act as if I had never given a vote or united
with a political party. I say, with my colleague, that when the
country is in danger my political robes hang loosely upon my
shoulders.

There is an element in this Conference which, from the first day of
our session, has opposed any action. Its policy has been to distract
and divide our counsels, to put off every thing, to prevent all
action. How different this is from what I expected when I came here.
Shall we sit here debating abstract questions when State after State
is seceding? I hope not. I trust the patriotic spirit which animates a
majority of this Conference will to-day send forth a proposition which
will restore peace to the country. We all agree to the principle
contained in this amendment; but if we adopt it and make it a part of
the Constitution, we could never, under it, bring back the seceded
States. They will not admit the principle. What is to be gained, then,
by adopting it? Why will gentlemen insist upon propositions which will
nullify our action? New Jersey occupies high constitutional ground.
She is ready to do any thing that is fair, and she goes for these
propositions of the majority because they are fair. She will adopt
these, and I believe every State will adopt them--New York as quickly
as any. I do not think the gentleman properly represents the wishes of
his constituents. He misrepresents them. Let us act, then, promptly,
and act now. Every moment is precious. I know the trembling anxiety
with which the country is awaiting our action. Do not let us sit here
like the great Belshazzar till the handwriting appears on the wall.
Let us set our faces against delay. Let us put down with an indignant
rebuke every attempt to demoralize our action or destroy its effect.

Mr. BUCKNER:--I move to amend the amendment of Mr. FIELD, by adding
the following:

     "But this declaration shall not be construed so as to give
     the Federal Government power or authority to coerce or to
     make war directly or indirectly upon a State, on account of
     a failure to comply with its obligations."

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN:--I hope the gentleman from New York will withdraw
his resolution. The view of this Convention is against secession, and
we all know that the Union of the States under the Constitution is
indissoluble. We know just as well that it is not necessary to assert
this principle now. It is not expedient to assert it. We want to get
back the seceded States. If we are earnest in this, is it best to call
them traitors? I ask the gentleman whether the rejection of his
proposition will not tend to weaken the Government and the Union? It
will stand as a naked vote of rejection; the reasons why we vote
against it will not go before the world.

Mr. BRONSON:--With the exception of a few minutes between eleven and
twelve o'clock, a few nights since, I have not occupied the time or
attention of the Conference. I will not now occupy but a few minutes.
I came here to do something. I supposed we could accomplish something.
We learned very soon after our arrival here that my colleague was
opposed to any amendment of the Constitution. The same is true of
several of my colleagues; perhaps a majority of them are here to do
nothing. I supposed that something ought to be done to quiet the
country. Instead of that an amendment is now offered asserting that we
do not believe in the right of secession, that we do believe that
these States which have seceded have done wrong. Suppose we do not
believe in secession, what relevance has that to the present subject?
Such an amendment may be used to delay or embarrass our action. There
are a good many ways to defeat the project, a good many ways to
suppress secession. My colleague looks to force alone. He proposes to
bring back the seceded States by force. I contemplate the use of force
in this connection with horror. It can never be used successfully.

We are here to agree upon something which will give peace to the
country. Our committee has submitted a report which they think will
accomplish that. My colleagues are skilful; they know how many ways
there are to accomplish their purposes. One way to defeat any action
here is by making long speeches, by loading down the propositions of
amendment to the Constitution with other amendments, which will make
the whole thing offensive to the country.

I stand here for my country. I would leave politics and political
parties in the back ground. I would vote for nothing here which is not
pertinent to the Constitution, and which will not help us in our
attempts to quiet the apprehensions of our fellow-citizens. My
colleague now brings forward a proposition which may be true in
itself, but it is not pertinent and amounts to nothing. I am sorry he
is not in his seat to hear what I have to say. He shot his arrow, and,
I understand, has left for New York.

I am ready to vote down his proposition. I wish to see it voted down.
I am prepared to take all the consequences of voting it down, here and
elsewhere. But I have drawn an amendment myself which I offer in lieu
of his. Permit me to read it:

     "While we do not recognize the constitutional right of any
     State to secede from the Union, we are deeply impressed by
     the fact that this Government is not maintained by force,
     but by unity of origin and interest, inducing fraternal
     feelings between the people of different sections of the
     country; and our labors have been directed to the end of
     giving a new assurance to our brethren, North, South, East,
     and West, of our determination to stand firmly by all the
     compromises of the Constitution."

I think we can vote for this amendment. It denies the right of
secession as explicitly as the amendment of my colleague. But it has
no coercion about it, and it asserts, as I understand it, the true
principle upon which our Government is founded. I offer it as an
expression of my own views. I have sat here for eight or ten days and
have voted, except in a few instances, with the delegation from my own
State. There is a bare majority of that delegation against the
propositions of the committee. That majority ordinarily casts the vote
of our State. I cannot express my views by my votes, and for that
reason I undertake to express them in this amendment.

Mr. KING:--Like my colleague, I have taken but little part in the
discussions in this Conference. I cannot be justly charged with having
occupied time unnecessarily, as I have spoken on but one occasion, and
then very briefly. I would not speak now if I did not sincerely
believe this amendment to be eminently proper for the consideration of
this body.

Myself and the majority of my colleagues differ from the majority of
the Conference. That difference is an honest difference of opinion. It
is based upon principle. If we consulted policy only, it would give us
pleasure to yield to the wishes of the majority. But our first duty is
to our constituents, and we must represent their opinions here. We
should do it because our opinions coincide with theirs; and it was
because we entertained these opinions that we were selected to
represent New York in this body. When we are called upon to vote, we
shall vote to carry out those opinions; and even when we differ from
some of our colleagues, we are entitled to the same consideration from
this body that they are. We do not intend to be driven from our
position by threats or by intimidation. We believe that it is
eminently proper for this Conference to express its decided
convictions upon the question of secession. We are told here that
secession is a fact. Then let us deal with it as such. I go for the
enforcement of the laws passed in pursuance of the Constitution. I
will never give up the idea that this is a Government of the people,
and possessing within itself the power of enforcing its own decrees.
This I shall never do. This Conference could perform no nobler act
than that of sending to the country the announcement that the union of
the States under the Constitution is indissoluble, and that secession
is but another term for rebellion.

The gentleman from New Jersey says we misrepresent our constituents.
How does he know that? Who gave him the right to place himself between
our constituents and ourselves--to sit in judgment upon us? He will
find that statement a very adventurous one. I should know something
about New York and the people of New York. I have lived in that State
all my life. I have been honored by the confidence and support of my
fellow-citizens. Let me assure the gentleman that I know the people of
that State far better than he. We will undertake to answer to our
constituents; let him answer to his.

I will occupy no farther time. I wish to live in peace and harmony
with our brethren in the slave States. But I wish to put upon the
record here a statement of the fact that this is a Government of the
people, and not a compact of States.

Mr. PALMER:--It is no part of my business or duty to vindicate the
motives or conduct of the gentleman from New York, who is charged by
one of his colleagues with interposing his amendment only for the
purpose of delay. But that amendment meets my approval, and will have
my support without regard to such imputations. Of what consequence are
the gentleman's motives to us if his motion is right and proper? Are
we to be gravely told that secession and treason are not proper
subjects for our consideration? To be told this when every mail that
comes to us from the South is loaded with both these crimes? Sir, we
have commenced wrong. The first thing we ought to have done was to
declare that these were crimes, and that we would not negotiate with
those who denied the authority of the Government, and claimed to have
thrown off their allegiance to it. Far better would it be for the
country if, instead of debating the question of slavery in reference
to our Territories, we had set to work to strengthen the hands of the
Government, and to put down the treason which threatens its existence.

You, gentlemen of the slave States, say that we of the North use fair
words, that we promise fairly, but you insist that you will not rely
upon our promises, and you demand our bond as security that we will
keep them. I return the statement to you with interest. You,
gentlemen, talk fairly also--give us your bond! You have been talking
fairly for the last dozen or twenty years, and yet this treason, black
as night, has been plotted among you, and twelve years ago one of your
statesmen predicted the very state of things which now exists. I am
willing to give bonds, but I want our action in this respect to be
reciprocal. I want your bond against secession, and I ask it because
seven States in sympathy with you have undertaken to set up an
independent Government--have placed over it a military chieftain who
asserts that we, the people of the United States, are foreigners, and
must be treated with as a foreign nation.

You charged JOHN BROWN with treason. You convicted and executed him;
and yet among you are thousands of men guilty of treason, beside which
that of JOHN BROWN was paltry and insignificant. If we are to act at
all, gentlemen, we must act upon reciprocal terms. I am willing to
make every reasonable concession. Will you do the same? Will you,
gentlemen of the South, declare that you will stand by the Union, and
brand secession as treasonable? If you will, you must vote for this
amendment.

Mr. HOWARD:--I am sure no member of this Conference could have
listened to the remarks of the two gentlemen who have last spoken
without the deepest regret. It has been intimated here that Maryland
will secede unless she secures these guarantees. I do not know whether
she will or not. I know there is danger that she will.

I agree that there is no _right_ of secession. I think that secession
is revolution. But the right of revolution always exists. It has
always been maintained by statesmen North and South. It was admitted
by WEBSTER in his reply to HAYNE. I would read a quotation from his
speech if time was not so valuable.

Yes, gentlemen, we are all in danger. The storm is raging; Virginia
has hung her flag at half-mast as a signal of distress. If Virginia
secedes our State will go with her, hand in hand, with Providence as
our guide. This is not intended as a threat. GOD forbid! It is a truth
which we cannot and ought not to conceal.

Why will not New York and Massachusetts for once be magnanimous? Why
will they not follow the glorious example of Rhode Island? If they
will, I should still have hope. But if those two great States are
against us, I can see nothing but gloom in the future.

Mr. SMITH:--I hope the true state of the question will not be lost
sight of. The first question is on the motion of the gentleman from
Missouri, to amend the proposition of my colleague. On that I rise to
a point of order. The motion of the gentleman from Missouri is a
distinct proposition, and inconsistent with that offered by Mr. FIELD.

The PRESIDENT:--I do not think the point of order is well taken.

The question upon agreeing to the amendment of Mr. BUCKNER was then
taken by States, with the following result:

     AYES.--Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, and
     Virginia--5.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine,
     Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio,
     Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and
     Kansas--15.

So the amendment was lost.

Mr. BRONSON:--My motion is now in order as an amendment. I insist that
the question should be taken upon its adoption.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--Does the gentleman propose to put this into the
Constitution? If the gentleman wishes to publish it as his speech, I
will agree to it.

The question on the adoption of Mr. BRONSON'S motion was taken _viva
voce_, and the amendment was rejected.

The PRESIDENT:--The question now recurs on the amendment offered by
the gentleman from New York--Mr. FIELD.

Mr. RIVES:--I hope the Conference will pardon me for saying a few
words upon this motion. I feel so sensibly the gravity of the
consequences involved in the result of this vote, that I ask for a few
minutes only in which to beseech the Conference not to act now upon a
mere abstraction.

Gentlemen, what have we come here for? We have come at a time when the
Government of our country is in great peril; and after a long session
of diligent labor, and when we are just upon the point of arriving at
the satisfactory adjustment of our differences, we have these abstract
questions thrust upon us. They do not belong here. They ought not to
be considered here. They would better befit a debating society than an
assembly of statesmen met to consider constitutional questions. The
gentleman (Governor KING) of New York announces his theory that this
is a Government of the people and not a compact of the States. While I
should agree with him upon his conclusions, we should differ widely as
to the premises from which they are derived. It is a compact. All the
authorities say so; and like any other compact, it is one from which
each independent party may withdraw.

Now, what is this proposed amendment but an abstraction? In theory,
the union of the States under the Constitution is indissoluble. But
how is it in fact? It is now a fact that the Union is disrupted, is
dissolved, because certain of the States composing it have withdrawn.
But this is no time to discuss these questions. While we are talking
about abstractions, we are wasting our time. I do not propose to
enlarge upon the observations I have already submitted. But I beseech
you, one and all, recognizing every member of the Conference as a
brother of a common family, that now, after the labor of three weeks,
and upon the very verge of adjustment, you should not destroy all we
have done by interposing questions of this kind. Do not let us be seen
engaged in the idle labor of Sisyphus. Do not let us now, just as we
are about placing on the top of the mountain the block of
constitutional adjustment, suffer that block to rebound. Dismiss the
amendment with, I pray you earnestly, all questions of this sort, and
let us proceed to the practical matters involved in the report, and
its adoption.

Mr. NOYES:--If my colleague who offered this amendment, was not at
this time absent, I should not address the Conference at all. I should
like, however, to know what possible dangerous consequence we may
anticipate from the adoption of this clause. Whether this Union is a
compact of the States or a Government of the people, is equally
unimportant in this connection. In either case it is not to be broken
up at pleasure. If it is claimed either that the right exists
already--if it is apprehended that the people themselves may assert
the right to overthrow the Constitution and destroy the Government at
pleasure--we should not, by all means, pass this amendment.

The slave power has now had possession of the Government in all for
more than fifty years. A President has been elected belonging to the
opposing party. For that cause alone, and without claiming or
assigning any other, the slave States, under the powerful protection
of Virginia, have come here for guarantees. We are told, over and over
again, that seven States have left the Union. There is a fact with
which we have to deal. On our side, we are merely dealing with
apprehensions. If you have a right to guarantees to quiet your
apprehensions, have we not a right to insist that secession shall be
put down and condemned by an explicit clause of the Constitution? It
is this claim of the right of secession which has brought all the
trouble upon the country. We are right in our claim that it should be
dealt with in this Conference. If we, as delegates, should prove
faithless to our trust, should yield you all the guarantees you ask,
and should insist upon nothing on our side, such action would not
avail you any thing.

The North and the people of the North must be satisfied upon this
point. Much has been said here about the right of revolution. I do not
propose to discuss that right. At all events that is not a right which
depends upon the Constitution, or grows out of it. If it exists at
all, it is higher than, and above all Constitutions. The statement in
this amendment does not controvert the right of revolution. It is
simply a statement that _the Union of the States, under the
Constitution, is indissoluble_. I regard the adoption of this
amendment as both expedient and essential.

Mr. TURNER, of Illinois:--I do not think this amendment very important
either way. If this is intended as a mere declaration of the purposes
of the Constitution, it may be well enough. But will the assertion
that such is the purpose of the Constitution preserve that instrument
and the Government under it? No, sir. We may call spirits from the
vasty deep; but the question is, will they come?

If the right of secession exists at all, it is not confined to the
South. If it is conceded at all, it must be conceded in much broader
terms--in terms that are common to all the States. This amendment
secures to the States no practical benefit. I protest against being
bound to harmonize on all abstract questions. This is an abstraction.
Gentlemen schooled in deduction could spend weeks in argument over it.

The vote was taken upon the amendment proposed by Mr. FIELD, and
resulted as follows:

     AYES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine,
     Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, and
     Kansas--10.

     NOES.--Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey,
     North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee,
     and Virginia--11.

So the amendment was disagreed to.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I now submit that we ought to take the vote on the
substitute proposed by the gentleman from Connecticut. I trust we are
through with speeches, and hope we shall now get to some result. We
may as well vote upon all these propositions within the next hour.

Mr. SOMES:--I desire to move an amendment by adding the following, to
be numbered

     SECTION 8. "That the freedom of speech, or of the press,
     shall not be abridged; but that the people of any Territory
     of the United States shall be left perfectly free to discuss
     the subject of slavery."

Mr. BRONSON:--I move to lay that amendment on the table.

Mr. SOMES:--Is not that motion debatable?

The PRESIDENT:--It is not debatable.

The motion to lay the amendment offered by Mr. SOMES upon the table,
prevailed by the following vote:

     AYES.--Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New
     Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
     Tennessee, Virginia, and Kansas--13.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, and Vermont--5.

Thus the amendment was laid upon the table.

Mr. VANDEVER:--I move to amend the report by the addition of the
following section:

     "The navigation of the Mississippi River shall remain free
     to the people of each and all the States; and Congress shall
     provide by law for the protection of commerce on said river
     against all interference, foreign or domestic."

The importance of this proposition can be seen at once. It is one in
which the whole country is interested, especially that portion of it
in which I reside, which is drained by the upper waters of the
Mississippi and Missouri. On this subject we have our apprehensions,
and they are better founded, too, than any which I have heard from the
South. We believe that our right to the navigation of this great
national highway is imperilled. I submit whether we are to be
cavalierly treated in this matter, and whether a subject of so much
importance is to be laid upon the table? We may at all events, with
perfect propriety, go this far, and make it, under the Constitution,
the duty of Congress to protect the free navigation of the Mississippi
River by law. We want it understood that the navigation of that river
should be free and unobstructed, and that the faith of the nation is
pledged to enforce that right. HENRY CLAY once stated that nothing
upon earth could induce him to agree to any thing that should impede
the free navigation of that river. I assert and repeat his
declaration. We of the Northwest ask that this right should be
guaranteed to us.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--I am as anxious for the free navigation of the
Mississippi River as the gentleman. I wish simply to say that it is
made the duty of the people of Iowa, and of other States bounded by
this river, to protect that right of navigation. But the amendment is
not germane to the report of the committee. I move to lay it on the
table.

The motion of Mr. CRISFIELD prevailed by the following vote:

     AYES.--Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New
     Jersey, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
     Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia--14.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,
     and New York--6.

So the amendment was laid on the table.

Mr. BALDWIN:--I move that my substitute be taken up, and ask that it
may be read.

It was read as follows:

     _Whereas_ unhappy differences exist, which have alienated
     from each other portions of the people of the United States,
     to such an extent as seriously to disturb the peace of the
     nation and impair the regular and efficient action of the
     Government within the sphere of its constitutional powers
     and duties;

     _And whereas_, the Legislature of the State of Kentucky has
     made application to Congress to call a Convention for
     proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United
     States;

     _And whereas_, it is believed to be the opinion of the
     people of other States that amendments to the Constitution
     are, or may become, necessary to secure to the people of the
     United States, of every section, the full and equal
     enjoyment of their rights and liberties, so far as the same
     may depend for their security and protection on the powers
     granted to or withheld from the General Government in
     pursuance of the national purposes for which it was ordained
     and established:

     This Convention does therefore recommend to the several
     States to unite with Kentucky in her application to Congress
     to call a Convention for proposing amendments to the
     Constitution of the United States, to be submitted to the
     Legislatures of the several States, or to Conventions
     therein, for ratification, as the one or the other mode of
     ratification may be proposed by Congress, in accordance with
     the provision in the fifth article of the Constitution.

I propose to avail myself of the privilege of a short reply to the
arguments against my proposition; and in order that I may occupy as
little time as possible, I have reduced my reply to writing. At the
risk of repeating some of the remarks I made at the opening of the
discussion, I wish to recur to the facts on which my report is based.

The resolution which I have moved to substitute, recommends to the
several States to unite with Kentucky in her application for the
calling of a Convention for proposing amendments to the Constitution.

On the 28th day of January, seven days before the assembling of this
Conference Convention, the Governor of Kentucky transmitted to the
President of the United States the joint resolutions of the General
Assembly of that Commonwealth, "recommending a call for a Convention
of the United States," with a request that the President would lay the
same before Congress; and on the 5th of February, the day after the
assembling of this Convention, they were, by a special message of the
President, communicated to Congress, with the expression of great
satisfaction in the performance of that duty, and of confidence that
Congress would bestow upon those resolutions the careful consideration
due to the distinguished and patriotic source from which they
proceeded, as well as to the great importance of the subject which
they involve. The resolution requesting the call of a Convention I
have already read to the Conference.

There are, sir, but two modes provided by the people of the United
States for altering the fundamental law of their Government, both of
which are specified in the fifth article of the Constitution:

     1. Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses _shall deem
     it necessary_, shall PROPOSE amendments to the Constitution;
     or,

     2. On the application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of
     the several States, shall _call a Convention_ for PROPOSING
     _amendments_, which, in either case, shall be valid as part
     of the Constitution, when _ratified_ by the Legislatures, or
     by Conventions in _three-fourths_ of the States.

The first mode is recommended by the majority of the committee, in the
expectation that Congress, by a two-thirds vote of both houses, will
propose, on the request of this Convention, for ratification by the
States, the several amendments they have reported.

The second mode is the one proposed by the Legislature of Kentucky,
and which, in accordance therewith, I have moved to substitute for the
recommendation of the committee.

There are now but few days remaining before the termination of the
functions of the present Congress. If it were within the fair scope
and interest of the constitutional provision that Congress should act,
in the proposing of amendments, on the recommendation of this
Conference Convention, no one, I think, can reasonably expect them to
consider and deliberately act on such recommendation during the few
remaining days of the present Congress. Other questions, of engrossing
interest, now pending before them, and the acts of necessary
legislation at the close of the session, will prevent it. It must,
therefore, go over to the next Congress. Assuming that during the term
of that Congress the amendments recommended by this Convention shall,
by two-thirds of both houses, be _deemed necessary_, and be proposed
to the States for ratification; there would probably be no earlier
final action by the requisite number of States, than in the mode
proposed by Kentucky, and recommended by the resolution which I have
moved to substitute for the mode of amendment reported by the
committee. But the great objection, in my mind, to the mode of
amendment contemplated by the majority report, is that it is not in
accordance with either the letter or the spirit of the Constitution.
The people of the United States intended, when they adopted the
Constitution under which we have for more than seventy years enjoyed a
higher degree of prosperity than has fallen to the lot of any other
people, that it should remain in full force and unchanged, except in
one of the two modes prescribed in that sacred instrument for its own
amendment.

It is a Constitution which binds the people of every State, as the
supreme law of the land, until it can be changed by the action, in the
first instance, of those who are _sworn_ to support it. No amendments
can, consistently with the letter or the spirit of the Constitution,
be _proposed_ by Congress, unless two-thirds of both houses, acting
under the responsibility of their official oaths, shall "_deem_ them
_necessary_." No interference or pressure by any extraneous body
unknown to the Constitution, was contemplated, or can be allowed with
safety to the people, to impair the exercise of this function under
all the responsibilities and official sanctions that properly
appertain to it. The judgment of two-thirds of both houses of Congress
in regard to the _necessity_ of the amendments, must precede their
proposal to the States for _ratification_.

The Government of the United States, in its sphere of duties, is
supreme. The State Governments, when they consented to its formation
by the people of the United States, surrendered so much of their
separate sovereignties as was essential to its strength and
efficiency. To that extent we became one people. This Government, for
all _national_ purposes, took the place of the State Governments, as
well in regard to the _paramount allegiance_ as to the duty of
protection of the people of every State in the enjoyment of all their
federal rights. Its powers can neither be enlarged nor diminished,
except in the _constitutional_ mode, without violating the rights of
the States as well as of the people.

Any attempt from without, by combinations and associations not
responsible to the people, to _coerce_ or overawe Congress, or in any
way to impair the free and _deliberate_ exercise of its judgment in
_proposing_ amendments "as deemed _necessary_" by Congress, is a
palpable violation of the privileges of the people. They elected the
members of the House of Representatives with the intention that they
should freely and deliberately, under their official oaths, propose
amendments, or not, to the Constitution, as _they_ might _deem
necessary_, and not at the dictation of _States even_, who cannot
themselves propose amendments, but can only require of Congress to
call a Convention of _all the States_ for that purpose. Much less can
a convention of delegates from the Legislatures, or the Executive of a
part only of the States--a body unknown to, and unauthorized by, the
Constitution--assume to exercise, or dictate to Congress the exercise
of this high prerogative.

WE do not represent the people of the United States. This Government,
for every purpose for which it was established, is a separate, and in
some sense a foreign government to the States. It operates directly on
the people, and is itself their true protector in all their Federal
rights.

Any number of States, less than two-thirds, have no more right to call
into action the power of Congress either to call a Convention, or to
propose amendments, than the individual members of their Legislatures
in their private capacities; and Congress might as well, and probably
would, treat our interference with their official duties as an
_usurpation_; as much so as if we should seek to interfere with the
appropriate duties of the Legislatures of Virginia or Massachusetts.
And, sir, I cannot but regard it, so far as the _free_ action of
Congress should be influenced by the recommendations of this body, as
in the nature of a _revolutionary proceeding_ for which there is no
sufficient cause or justification. Sir, all the States are not here
represented. All have not even had an opportunity to be here. And yet
we are endeavoring to influence the action of Congress in a manner
which may deeply affect their interests. If, under any circumstances,
a body so convened, would have a right to act upon Congress, by the
expression of our opinions as a Convention of States, ought not all to
have an opportunity to participate in our deliberations? Most
certainly they ought.

But it is said some of the States are threatening to secede from the
Union; others have seceded, and must be induced to come back, by the
speedy action of Congress on the amendments recommended by the
committee. Does the _Constitution_ authorize amendments under such
circumstances, with _less care_ and deliberation than in time of peace
and tranquillity?

This Government, sir, cannot recognize the fact that _States_ have
seceded. It is not a Government over _States_, but over the _people_
of the United States, irrespective of the State in which they live.
This Government, and not the States, protects them in their Federal
rights, and requires allegiance and obedience from the people in every
State, to the Constitution and laws of the United States as the
supreme law of the land, any thing in the laws or ordinances of any
State to the contrary notwithstanding. It is the _people_ and not the
States that are governed by that law, within the sphere of its
constitutional operation.

I have said that the course proposed by the majority of the committee
is, in my judgment, not only against the letter, but the spirit of the
Constitution. The State of Kentucky, ever patriotic and conservative,
must have so regarded it, when, instead of asking Congress to propose
the amendments they desired, they requested their sister States to
unite with them in an application in the mode prescribed by the
Constitution to Congress to call a Convention for that purpose.

Our fathers, who framed that Constitution, and the people of the
United States, who ratified it, set it forth in the preamble as their
first great purpose "to form a more perfect Union." They intended to
establish thereby a Government of perpetual obligation and of
self-sustaining vigor. They did not contemplate the necessity of
amendments for any other causes than such as, after calm, deliberate,
undisturbed consideration should be judged necessary. They did not
intend that it should be exposed to the danger of hasty action under
the influence of excited passions or timid and groundless
apprehension. They would not trust the entire people even with the
right of amendment, except in the mode prescribed, with all the delays
incident to that mode; and then only by the action, in every stage of
the proceeding, of persons bound by solemn oath to support it.

The Constitution, in prescribing the modes of proposing amendments,
endeavored to provide against irregular combination of a part only of
the States to effect them. Hence it prohibited all agreements or
compacts between the States; and it made no provision for the
recognition of any action by a convention, except when called on the
recommendation of two-thirds of the States applying to Congress, by
separate action of their Legislatures, for that purpose.

Any interference with the duty of Congress by such a body as we are,
representing only a portion of the States in any form, and some of us
only the executives of the States from which we come, would be as much
at variance with the Constitution as with the counsel of that
illustrious American--I will not say Virginian--for WASHINGTON
belonged to his whole country--in the Farewell Address which he
dedicated to the people of the United States on his retirement from
the public service, and which ought to be cherished in the heart of
every patriot. In addition to what I have already read from that
address let me read this passage:

     "All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all
     _combinations_ and _associations_ under whatever plausible
     character, with the _real design to direct, control,
     counteract_, or _awe_ the regular deliberation and action of
     the _constituted authorities_, are destructive to this
     fundamental rule, and of fatal tendency."

Let me read it again. "All obstructions," &c. "All combinations," &c.

This address is replete with words of true wisdom. Let us heed them;
for they are eminently adapted to the present occasion. There is no
exigency which should be allowed to overawe Congress in the
performance of its constitutional duties. No State intervention, no
combination or association of representatives of States in a manner
unknown to the Constitution, can be recognized as authoritative by
those to whom, on their own responsibility, the people of the United
States have conferred their national interests and the guardianship of
their fundamental law. "We owe," in the language of the illustrious
statesman of Kentucky, "_a paramount_ allegiance to the Government of
the United States--a subordinate one to our State."

Sir, while I am willing to perform all my constitutional duties--all
my fraternal duties toward the people of every section of our common
country, I, for one, feel bound to abstain from any encroachment on
the duties which the Constitution of my country has delegated to
others to be performed, in the modes, and with the responsibilities,
which the _people_ for their own security have deemed it proper to
prescribe.

With these opinions, I should be unfaithful to my own convictions of
duty, and recreant to the trust which has devolved on me as a citizen
of the United States, and by inheritance from an ancestor who took a
part in the deliberations of the Convention which framed our
Constitution, and to whose public services, you, sir, so kindly
alluded at the opening of the Conference, were I to unite with the
majority of the committee in urging upon Congress the amendments they
have proposed.

Entertaining as I do for the members of the committee who have
concurred in that report a profound respect, it has been with a
feeling of unaffected diffidence and self-distrust that I have
ventured to express my sentiments on this occasion. But as I must act
on my own convictions of duty, which are in harmony with those of my
associates from Connecticut, so far as in the brief period which has
elapsed since the report was submitted I have had opportunity to
ascertain them, I felt bound to make known to the Convention the
reasons which will govern my action.[7]

[Footnote 7: The closing remarks of Mr. BALDWIN were committed to
writing. I am able through the kindness of a member of his family to
avail myself of a copy.]

The vote was then taken by States on the substitute proposed by Mr.
BALDWIN, and the substitute was rejected by the following vote:

     AYES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,
     New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont--8.

     NOES.--Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New
     Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
     Tennessee, Virginia, and Kansas--13.

So the amendment was not agreed to.

The following gentlemen disagreed to the vote of their respective
States:

Mr. BRONSON, of New York; Mr. GRANGER, of New York; Mr. DODGE, of New
York; Mr. CORNING, of New York; Mr. ORTH, of Indiana; Mr. HACKLEMAN,
of Indiana.

Mr. SEDDON:--I suppose it is now in order for me to move my substitute
for the report of the majority of the committee.

Mr. TUCK:--I also have a substitute to offer. I shall not discuss it.

Mr. SEDDON:--The substitute which I propose embodies the CRITTENDEN
resolutions, with the modifications suggested by Virginia. These are
principally confined to the first section, which is made to apply to
our future as well as our present territory. I have modified the form
of the substitute in several particulars, and now offer it without
farther introduction. These are the amendments which I understand the
delegation from Virginia is instructed to insist upon:

     JOINT RESOLUTIONS

     PROPOSING CERTAIN AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE
     UNITED STATES.

     WHEREAS, serious and alarming dissensions have arisen
     between the Northern and Southern States, concerning the
     rights and security of the rights of the slaveholding
     States, and especially their rights in the common territory
     of the United States; and whereas, it is eminently desirable
     and proper that those dissensions, which now threaten the
     very existence of this Union, should be permanently quieted
     and settled by constitutional provisions, which shall do
     equal justice to all sections, and thereby restore to the
     people that peace and good will which ought to prevail
     between all the citizens of the United States: therefore,

     _Resolved_, by this Convention, that the following articles
     are hereby approved and submitted to the Congress of the
     United States, with the request that they may, by the
     requisite constitutional majority of two-thirds, be
     recommended to the respective States of the Union, to be,
     when ratified by conventions of three-fourths of the States,
     valid and operative as amendments of the Constitution of the
     Union.

     ARTICLE 1. In all the territory of the United States now
     held or hereafter acquired, situate north of latitude 36°
     30´, slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a
     punishment for crime, is prohibited, while such territory
     shall remain under territorial government. In all the
     territory now or hereafter acquired south of said line of
     latitude, slavery of the African race 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 territorial government during its continuance; and when
     any territory, north or south of said line, within such
     boundaries as Congress may prescribe, shall contain the
     population requisite for a member of Congress, according to
     the then federal ratio of representation of the people of
     the United States, it shall, if its form of government be
     republican, be admitted into the Union on an equal footing
     with the original States, with or without slavery, as the
     constitution of such new State may provide.

     ARTICLE 2. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery
     in places under its exclusive jurisdiction, and situate
     within the limits of States that permit the holding of
     slaves.

     ARTICLE 3. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery
     within the District of Columbia, so long as it exists in
     the adjoining States of Virginia and Maryland, or either,
     nor without the consent of the free white inhabitants, nor
     without just compensation first made to such owners of
     slaves as do not consent to such abolishment. Nor shall
     Congress at any time prohibit officers of the Federal
     Government or members of Congress, whose duties require them
     to be in said District, from bringing with them their slaves
     and holding them, as such, during the time their duties may
     require them to remain there, and afterwards taking them
     from the District.

     ARTICLE 4. Congress shall have no power to prohibit or
     hinder the transportation of slaves from one State to
     another, or to a Territory in which slaves are by law
     permitted to be held, whether that transportation be by
     land, navigable rivers, or by the sea. And if such
     transportation be by sea, the slaves shall be protected as
     property by the Federal Government. And the right of transit
     by the owners with their slaves in passing to or from one
     slaveholding State or Territory to another, between and
     through the non-slaveholding States and Territories, shall
     be protected. And in imposing direct taxes pursuant to the
     Constitution, Congress shall have no power to impose on
     slaves a higher rate of tax than on land, according to their
     just value.

     ARTICLE 5. That in addition to the provisions of the third
     paragraph of the second section of the fourth article of the
     Constitution of the United States, Congress shall provide by
     law, that the United States shall pay to the owner who shall
     apply for it, the full value of his fugitive slave, in all
     cases, when the marshal, or other officer, whose duty it was
     to arrest said fugitive, was prevented from so doing by
     violence or intimidation, or when, after arrest, said
     fugitive was rescued by force, and the owner thereby
     prevented and obstructed in the pursuit of his remedy for
     the recovery of his fugitive slave, under the said clause of
     the Constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof. And
     in all such cases, when the United States shall pay for such
     fugitive, they shall reimburse themselves by imposing and
     collecting a tax on the county or city in which said
     violence, intimidation, or rescue was committed, equal in
     amount to the sum paid by them, with the addition of
     interest and the costs of collection; and the said county or
     city, after it has paid said amount to the United States,
     may, for its indemnity, sue and recover from the
     wrong-doers, or rescuers, by whom the owner was prevented
     from the recovery of his fugitive slave, in like manner as
     the owner himself might have sued and recovered.

     ARTICLE 6. No future amendment of the Constitution shall
     affect the five preceding articles, nor the third paragraph
     of the second section of the first article of the
     Constitution, nor the third paragraph of the second section
     of the fourth article of said Constitution, and no amendment
     shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or
     give to Congress any power to abolish or interfere with
     slavery in any of the States by whose laws it is or may be
     allowed or permitted.

     ARTICLE 7. SEC. 1. The elective franchise and the right to
     hold office, whether Federal, State, territorial, or
     municipal, shall not be exercised by persons who are, in
     whole or in part, of the African race.

     And whereas, also, besides those causes of dissension
     embraced in the foregoing amendments proposed to the
     Constitution of the United States, there are others which
     come within the jurisdiction of Congress, and may be
     remedied by its legislative power: and whereas it is the
     desire of this Convention, as far as its influence may
     extend, to remove all just cause for the popular discontent
     and agitation which now disturb the peace of the country,
     and threaten the stability of its institutions: Therefore,

     1. _Resolved_, That the laws now in force for the recovery
     of fugitive slaves are in strict pursuance of the plain and
     mandatory provisions of the Constitution, and have been
     sanctioned as valid and constitutional by the judgment of
     the Supreme Court of the United States; that the
     slaveholding States are entitled to the faithful observance
     and execution of those laws, and that they ought not to be
     repealed or so modified or changed as to impair their
     efficiency; and that laws ought to be made for the
     punishment of those who attempt, by rescue of the slave or
     other illegal means, to hinder or defeat the due execution
     of said laws.

     2. That all State laws which conflict with the fugitive
     slave acts, or any other constitutional acts of Congress, or
     which, in their operation, impede, hinder, or delay the free
     course and due execution of any of said acts, are null and
     void by the plain provisions of the Constitution of the
     United States. Yet those State laws, void as they are, have
     given color to practices, and led to consequences which have
     obstructed the due administration and execution of acts of
     Congress, and especially the acts for the delivery of
     fugitive slaves, and have thereby contributed much to the
     discord and commotion now prevailing. This Convention,
     therefore, in the present perilous juncture, does not deem
     it improper, respectfully and earnestly, to recommend the
     repeal of those laws to the several States which have
     enacted them, or such legislative corrections or
     explanations of them as may prevent their being used or
     perverted to such mischievous purposes.

     3. That the act of the eighteenth of September, eighteen
     hundred and fifty, commonly called the fugitive slave law,
     ought to be so amended as to make the fee of the
     commissioner, mentioned in the eighth section of the act,
     equal in amount, in the cases decided by him, whether his
     decision be in favor of or against the claimant. And to
     avoid misconstruction, the last clause of the fifth section
     of said act, which authorizes the person holding a warrant
     for the arrest or detention of a fugitive slave to summon to
     his aid the _posse comitatus_, and which declares it to be
     the duty of all good citizens to assist him in its
     execution, ought to be so amended as to expressly limit the
     authority and duty to cases in which there shall be
     resistance, or danger of resistance or rescue.

     4. That the laws for the suppression of the African
     slave-trade, and especially those prohibiting the
     importation of slaves into the United States, ought to be
     made effectual, and ought to be thoroughly executed, and all
     further enactments necessary to those ends ought to be
     promptly made.

The substitute offered by Mr. SEDDON was rejected by the following
vote:

     AYES.--Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, and Virginia--4.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine,
     Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, New
     Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee,
     Vermont, and Kansas--16.

Mr. DENT dissented from the vote of Maryland.

Mr. HOUSTON:--I wish to explain the vote of Delaware. She has endorsed
the CRITTENDEN resolutions. She would accept the mode of adjustment
proposed by the gentleman from Virginia. She has adhered to her
opinions as long as she thinks it fit or expedient to do so. Under
these circumstances Delaware feels it her duty to vote for the report
of the majority. As we desire to harmonize conflicting opinions, and
to arrive at a fair settlement, we have voted against Mr. SEDDON'S
amendment.

Mr. CRISFIELD:--Like Delaware, Maryland prefers the CRITTENDEN plan of
adjustment. That we think is now impossible. But that plan does not
differ very widely from the report of the majority. Certainly not
enough to warrant us in risking the Union, when we can get the one and
cannot have the other. For this reason Maryland votes "No" on Mr.
SEDDON'S proposition.

Mr. CLAY:--I gave notice some days ago that I should offer as a
substitute the CRITTENDEN resolutions--pure and undefiled--without the
crossing of a "t" or the dotting of an "i." I now offer them as
follows, and demand a vote by States:

     WHEREAS, the Union is in danger; and owing to the unhappy
     divisions existing in Congress, it would be difficult, if
     not impossible, for that body to concur, in both its
     branches, by the requisite majority, so as to enable it
     either to adopt such measures of legislation, or to
     recommend to the States such amendments to the Constitution
     as are deemed necessary and proper to avert that danger; and
     whereas, in so great an emergency, the opinion and judgment
     of the people ought to be heard, and would be the best and
     surest guide to their representatives: Therefore,

     _Resolved_, That provision ought to be made by law, without
     delay, for taking the sense of the people, and submitting to
     their vote the following resolutions as the basis for the
     final and permanent settlement of those disputes that now
     disturb the peace of the country and threaten the existence
     of the Union.

     And that whereas serious and alarming dissensions have
     arisen between the Northern and Southern States, concerning
     the rights and security of the rights of the slaveholding
     States, and especially their rights in the common territory
     of the United States; and whereas, it is eminently desirable
     and proper that those dissensions, which now threaten the
     very existence of this Union, should be permanently quieted
     and settled by constitutional provisions, which shall do
     equal justice to all sections, and thereby restore to the
     people that peace and good will which ought to prevail
     between all the citizens of the United States: Therefore,

     _Resolved_, That the following articles be, and hereby are,
     proposed and submitted as amendments to the Constitution of
     the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and
     purposes as part of said Constitution, when ratified by
     conventions of three-fourths of the several States:

     ARTICLE 1. In all the territory of the United States now
     held or hereafter acquired, situate north of latitude 36°
     30´, slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a
     punishment for crime, is prohibited, while such territory
     shall remain under territorial government. In all the
     territory south of said line of latitude, slavery of the
     African race 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 territorial
     government during its continuance; and when any Territory,
     north or south of said line, within such boundaries as
     Congress may prescribe, shall contain the population
     requisite for a member of Congress, according to the then
     Federal ratio of representation of the people of the United
     States, it shall, if its form of government be republican,
     be admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the
     original States, with or without slavery, as the
     constitution of such new States may provide.

     ARTICLE 2. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery
     in places under its exclusive jurisdiction, and situate
     within the limits of States that permit the holding of
     slaves.

     ARTICLE 3. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery
     within the District of Columbia, so long as it exists in the
     adjoining States of Virginia and Maryland, or either, nor
     without the consent of the inhabitants, nor without just
     compensation first made to such owners of slaves as do not
     consent to such abolishment. Nor shall Congress at any time
     prohibit officers of the Federal Government or members of
     Congress, whose duties require them to be in said District,
     from bringing with them their slaves, and holding them, as
     such, during the time their duties may require them to
     remain there, and afterwards taking them from the District.

     ARTICLE 4. Congress shall have no power to prohibit or
     hinder the transportation of slaves from one State to
     another, or to a Territory in which slaves are by law
     permitted to be held, whether that transportation be by
     land, navigable rivers, or by the sea; and the right of
     transit by the owners with their slaves in passing to or
     from one slaveholding State or Territory to another, between
     and through the non-slaveholding States and Territories,
     shall be protected.

     ARTICLE 5. That, in addition to the provisions of the third
     paragraph of the second section of the fourth article of the
     Constitution of the United States, Congress shall have power
     to provide by law, and it shall be its duty so to provide,
     that the United States shall pay to the owner who shall
     apply for it, the full value of his fugitive slave in all
     cases, when the marshal or other officer whose duty it was
     to arrest said fugitive was prevented from so doing by
     violence or intimidation, or when, after arrest, said
     fugitive was rescued by force, and the owner thereby
     prevented and obstructed in the pursuit of his remedy for
     the recovery of his fugitive slave, under the said clause of
     the Constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof. And
     in all such cases, when the United States shall pay for such
     fugitive, they shall have the power to reimburse themselves
     by imposing and collecting a tax on the county or city in
     which said violence, intimidation, or rescue was committed,
     equal in amount to the sum paid by them, with the addition
     of interest and the costs of collection; and the said county
     or city, after it has paid said amount to the United States,
     may, for its indemnity, sue and recover from the
     wrong-doers, or rescuers, by whom the owner was prevented
     from the recovery of his fugitive slave, in like manner as
     the owner himself might have sued and recovered.

     ARTICLE 6. No future amendment of the Constitution shall
     affect the five preceding articles, nor the third paragraph
     of the second section of the first article of the
     Constitution, nor the third paragraph of the second section
     of the fourth article of said Constitution; and no amendment
     shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or
     give to Congress any power to abolish or interfere with
     slavery in any of the States by whose laws it is or may be
     allowed or permitted.

     ARTICLE 7. SEC. 1. The elective franchise, and the right to
     hold office, whether federal, State, territorial, or
     municipal, shall not be exercised by persons who are, in
     whole or in part, of the African race.

     SEC. 2. The United States shall have power to acquire, from
     time to time, districts of country in Africa and South
     America, for the colonization, at expense of the Federal
     Treasury, of such free negroes and mulattoes as the several
     States may wish to have removed from their limits and from
     the District of Columbia, and such other places as may be
     under the jurisdiction of Congress.

     _And whereas_, also, besides those causes of dissension
     embraced in the foregoing amendments proposed to the
     Constitution of the United States, there are others which
     come within the jurisdiction of Congress, and may be
     remedied by its legitimate power; and whereas it is the
     desire of this Convention, as far as its influence may
     extend, to remove all just cause for the popular discontent
     and agitation which now disturb the peace of the country,
     and threaten the stability of its institutions: Therefore,

     1. _Resolved_, That the laws now in force for the recovery
     of fugitive slaves are in strict pursuance of the plain and
     mandatory provisions of the Constitution, and have been
     sanctioned as valid and constitutional by the judgment of
     the Supreme Court of the United States; that the
     slaveholding States are entitled to the faithful observance
     and execution of those laws, and that they ought not to be
     repealed or so modified or changed as to impair their
     efficiency; and that laws ought to be made for the
     punishment of those who attempt, by rescue of the slave or
     other illegal means, to hinder of defeat the due execution
     of said laws.

     2. That all State laws which conflict with the fugitive
     slave acts, or any other constitutional acts of Congress, or
     which in their operation impede, hinder, or delay the free
     course and due execution of any of said acts, are null and
     void by the plain provisions of the Constitution of the
     United States. Yet those State laws, void as they are, have
     given color to practices, and led to consequences which have
     obstructed the due administration and execution of acts of
     Congress, and especially the acts for the delivery of
     fugitive slaves, and have thereby contributed much to the
     discord and commotion now prevailing. This Convention,
     therefore, in the present perilous juncture, does not deem
     it improper, respectfully and earnestly, to recommend the
     repeal of those laws to the several States which have
     enacted them, or such legislative corrections or
     explanations of them, as may prevent their being used or
     perverted to such mischievous purposes.

     3. That the act of the eighteenth of September, eighteen
     hundred and fifty, commonly called the fugitive slave law,
     ought to be so amended as to make the fee of the
     commissioner, mentioned in the eighth section of the act,
     equal in amount, in the cases decided by him, whether his
     decision be in favor of or against the claimant. And to
     avoid misconstruction, the last clause of the fifth section
     of said act, which authorizes the person holding a warrant
     for the arrest or detention of a fugitive slave to summon to
     his aid the _posse comitatus_, and which declares it to be
     the duty of all good citizens to assist him in its
     execution, ought to be so amended as to expressly limit the
     authority and duty to cases in which there shall be
     resistance, or danger of resistance or rescue.

     4. That the laws for the suppression of the African
     slave-trade, and especially those prohibiting the
     importation of slaves into the United States, ought to be
     made effectual, and ought to be thoroughly executed, and all
     further enactments necessary to those ends ought to be
     promptly made.

The question on agreeing to said amendment resulted in the following
vote:

     AYES.--Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and
     Virginia--5.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine,
     Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, New
     Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and
     Vermont--14.

So the amendment was not agreed to.

Mr. DENT:--I desire to dissent from the vote of Maryland.

Mr. EWING:--I desire to record the vote of Kansas in the negative.

The PRESIDENT:--Leave will be given unless objection is made.

Mr. TUCK:--I hold in my hand a substitute which I propose to offer for
the report of the committee. I know all the delegates have made up
their minds how to vote, and what to vote for. Argument now will
amount to but little. But I submit this as indicating to a certain
extent the views of the minority here. I shall make no farther
remarks, but shall pass it to the Secretary, and I hope the Conference
will be patient for five minutes while it is read.

The proposition of Mr. TUCK was read as follows:

     TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES:

     On the 4th day of February, 1861, in compliance with the
     invitation of the State of Virginia, commissioners from
     several other States met the commissioners of that State in
     Conference Convention, in the City of Washington. From time
     to time, commissioners from other States appeared, appointed
     as were those who first appeared, some by the Legislatures,
     and some by the Governors of their respective States, until,
     on the 23d instant, twenty-one States were then represented.
     The Convention thus constituted claims no authority under
     the Constitution and laws; but deeply impressed with a sense
     of existing dissensions and dangers, proceeded to a careful
     consideration of them and their appropriate remedies, and
     having brought their deliberations to a close, now submit
     the result to the judgment of their fellow-citizens.

     We recognize and deplore the divisions and distractions
     which now afflict our country, interrupt its prosperity,
     disturb its peace, and endanger the Union of the States; but
     we repel the conclusion, that any alienations or dissensions
     exist which are irreconcilable, which justify attempts at
     revolution, or which the patriotism and fraternal sentiments
     of the people, and the interests and honor of the whole
     nation, will not overcome.

     In a country embracing the central and most important
     portion of a continent, among a people now numbering over
     thirty millions, diversities of opinion inevitably exist;
     and rivalries, intensified at times by local interests and
     sectional attachments, must often occur; yet we do not doubt
     that the theory of our Government is the best which is
     possible for this nation, that the Union of the States is of
     vital importance, and that the Constitution, which expresses
     the combined wisdom of the illustrious founders of the
     Government, is still the palladium of our liberties,
     adequate to every emergency, and justly entitled to the
     support of every good citizen.

     It embraces in its provisions and spirit, all the defence
     and protection which any section of the country can
     rightfully demand or honorably concede.

     Adopted with primary reference to the wants of five millions
     of people, but with the wisest reference to future expansion
     and development, it has carried us onward with a rapid
     increase of numbers, an accumulation of wealth, and a degree
     of happiness and general prosperity never attained by any
     other nation.

     Whatever branch of industry, or whatever staple production,
     shall become, in the possible changes of the future, the
     leading interests of the country, thereby creating
     unforeseen complications or new conflicts of opinion and
     interest, the Constitution of the United States, properly
     understood and fairly enforced, is equal to every exigency,
     a shield and defence to all, in every time of need. If,
     however, by reason of a change in circumstances, or for any
     cause, a portion of the people believe they ought to have
     their rights more exactly defined or more fully explained in
     the Constitution, it is their duty, in accordance with its
     provisions, to seek a remedy by way of amendment to that
     instrument; and it is the duty of all the States to concur
     in such amendments as may be found necessary to insure equal
     and exact justice to all.

     In order, therefore, to announce to the country the
     sentiments of this Convention, respecting not only the
     remedy which should be sought for existing discontents, but
     also to communicate to the public what we believe to be the
     patriotic sentiment of the country, we adopt the following
     resolutions:

     1st. _Resolved_, That this Convention recognize the
     well-understood proposition that the Constitution of the
     United States gives no power to Congress, or any branch of
     the Federal Government, to interfere in any manner with
     slavery in any of the States; and we are assured by abundant
     testimony, that neither of the great political organizations
     existing in the country contemplates a violation of the
     spirit of the Constitution in this regard, or the procuring
     of any amendment thereof, by which Congress, or any
     department of the General Government, shall ever have
     jurisdiction over slavery in any of the States.

     2d. _Resolved_, That the Constitution was ordained and
     established, as set forth in the preamble, by the people of
     the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union,
     establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for
     the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure
     the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity;
     and when the people of any State are not in full enjoyment
     of all the benefits intended to be secured to them by the
     Constitution, or their rights under it are disregarded,
     their tranquillity disturbed, their prosperity retarded, or
     their liberty imperilled by the people of any other State,
     full and adequate redress can and ought to be provided for
     such grievances.

     3d. _Resolved_, That the Constitution of the United States,
     and the acts of Congress in pursuance thereof, are the
     supreme law of the land, to which every citizen owes
     faithful obedience; and it is therefore respectfully
     recommended to the Legislatures of the several States to
     consider impartially whatever complaints may be made of acts
     as inconsistent therewith, by sister States or their
     citizens, and carefully revise their statutes, in view of
     such complaints, and to repeal whatever provisions may be
     found to be in contravention of that supreme law.

     4th. _Resolved_, That this Convention recommend to the
     Legislatures of the several States of the Union to follow
     the example of the Legislatures of the States of Kentucky
     and of Illinois, in applying to Congress to call a
     Convention for the proposing of amendments to the
     Constitution of the United States, pursuant to the fifth
     article thereof.

Mr. CHASE:--I have not thought it best to occupy much of the time of
the Convention in discussing the propositions presented for its
decision. I have indeed been impressed with an idea that a decision
upon these propositions just now may be premature.

I have already stated to the Conference that the delegates from Ohio
act under resolutions of the General Assembly of that State, one of
which requires them to use their influence in procuring an adjournment
of this body to the 4th of April next. It is the wish of that State
that opportunity may be given for full consideration of any
constitutional amendment that may be proposed here, and especially to
avoid precipitate action under apprehensions of resistance to the
inauguration of Mr. LINCOLN on the 4th of next month.

I have already submitted resolutions in accordance with the views of
the Legislature, and intended, at the proper time, to ask a vote upon
the proposed adjournment. On consultation with my colleagues, however,
I find a majority of them averse to postponement; and, in view of the
fact that the resolution of the Legislature is not imperative in its
terms, and especially in consideration of the assurances constantly
given here by delegates from slaveholding States that, whatever may be
the result of our deliberations, no obstruction or hindrance will be
opposed to the inauguration of Mr. LINCOLN, I have determined to
forbear urging a vote.

Upon the respective merits of the propositions of the committee, and
the proposed amendments, I have not much to say. But what I do say
will be said in all seriousness.

I do not approve the confident pledges made here of favorable action
by the people of either section, or of any State, upon whatever
propositions may receive the sanction of this Conference. The people
of the free States, so far as my observation goes, do not commit their
right of judgment to anybody. They generally exercise it themselves,
and be assured they will exercise it freely upon any proposition
coming from this body. Whatever our actions may be here, every
proposition to amend the Constitution must come before the people.
They will discuss it, and must adopt it before it can become a part of
the fundamental law. Dismiss, then, the idea that all that is
necessary to secure amendments acceptable to a particular interest or
section is to secure for them the sanction of a majority in this hall.

The result of the national canvass which recently terminated in the
election of Mr. LINCOLN has been spoken of by some as the effect of a
sudden impulse, or of some irregular excitement of the popular mind;
and it has been somewhat confidently asserted that, upon reflection
and consideration, the hastily-formed opinions which brought about
that election will be changed. It has been said, also, that
subordinate questions of local and temporary character have augmented
the Republican vote, and secured a majority which could not have been
obtained upon the national questions involved in the respective
platforms of the parties which divide the country.

I cannot take this view of the result of the Presidential election. I
believe, and the belief amounts to absolute conviction, that the
election must be regarded as the triumph of principles cherished in
the hearts of the people of the free States. These principles, it is
true, were originally asserted by a small party only. But, after years
of discussion, they have, by their own value, their own intrinsic
soundness, obtained the deliberate and unalterable sanction of the
people's judgment.

Chief among these principles is the restriction of slavery within
State limits; _not_ war upon slavery within those limits, but fixed
opposition to its extension beyond them. Mr. LINCOLN was the candidate
of the people opposed to the extension of slavery. We have elected
him. After many years of earnest advocacy and of severe trial, we have
achieved the triumph of that principle. By a fair and unquestionable
majority we have secured that triumph. Do you think we, who represent
this majority, will throw it away? Do you think the people would
sustain us if we undertook to throw it away? I must speak to you
plainly, gentlemen of the South; it is not in my heart to deceive you.
I therefore tell you explicitly that if we of the North and West would
consent to throw away all that has been gained in the recent triumph
of our principles, the people would not sustain us, and so the consent
would avail you nothing. And I must tell you farther, that under no
inducements whatever will we consent to surrender a principle which we
believe to be so sound and so important as that of restricting slavery
within State limits.

There are some things, however, which I think the people are willing
to do. In all my relations with them, and these relations have been
somewhat intimate, I have never discovered any desire or inclination
on the part of any considerable number, to interfere with the
institution of slavery within the States where it exists. I do not
believe that any such desire anywhere prevails. All your rights have
been respected and enforced by the people of the free States. More
than this: even your claims have been enforced, under repulsive
circumstances, and, in my judgment, beyond right and beyond
constitutional obligation. When and where have the people of the free
States, in their representatives, refused you any right? When and
where have they refused to confer with you frankly and candidly when
you imagined your rights to be in danger? They have been, and still
are, patient and forbearing. They do not believe that you need any new
constitutional guarantees. You have guarantees enough in their
voluntary action. But, since you think differently, they send us
hither to meet you, to confer with you, to consider the questions
which threaten the Union, to discuss them freely and decide them
fairly.

Now, gentlemen, what do we ask of you? Do we ask any thing
unreasonable in the amendment which has been submitted? We simply ask
that you say to your people that we of the free States have no
purpose, and never had any purpose, to infringe the rights of the
slave States, or of any citizen of the slave States. And that our
devotion to the Government and the Constitution is not inferior to
that of any portion of the American people. By uniting with us in the
declaration we propose, you tell your people at home that no
considerable party, that no considerable number of persons, in the
free States, has any wish or purpose to interfere with slavery in the
States where it exists, or with any of your rights under the
Constitution. You can say this with absolute truth, and with entire
confidence. In all the action of the delegates who favor this
amendment, in all our private consultations, every heart has been
animated by a most anxious desire to maintain the Union and preserve
the harmony of the Republic. No word has been uttered indicating the
slightest wish to avoid any obligation of the Constitution, or to
deprive you of any right under it. All concur in desiring to give
effect to the Constitution and the laws passed in pursuance of it. The
same sentiments animate the people of the free States. Congress has
declared, with the almost unanimous concurrence of the members from
the free States, against national interference with slavery in the
slave States. The Chicago Convention most emphatically asserted the
same doctrine. It has been reiterated over and over again by the
Legislatures of the free States, and by great and small conventions of
their people. Is it, then, too much to ask you to unite with us in a
declaration that all fears of aggression entertained by your people
are groundless? Such a declaration will go far to insure peace; why
not make it?

You profess to be satisfied with slavery, as it is and where it is.
You think the institution just and beneficial. The very able gentleman
from Virginia (Mr. SEDDON), who commands the respect of all by the
frankness and sincerity of his speech, has said that he believes
slavery to be the condition in which the African is to be educated up
to freedom. He does not believe in perpetual slavery. He believes the
time will come when the slave, through the beneficent influences of
the circumstances which surround him, will rise in intelligence,
capacity, and character, to the dignity of a freeman, and will be
free.

We cannot agree with you, and therefore do not propose to allow
slavery where we are responsible for it, outside of your State limits,
and under National jurisdiction. But we do not mean to interfere with
it at all within State limits. So far as we are concerned, you can
work out your experiment there in peace. We shall rejoice if no evil
comes from it to you or yours. [Mr. CHASE'S time having expired, he
was unanimously invited to proceed.]

Aside from the Territorial question--the question of slavery outside
of the slave States--I know of but one serious difficulty. I refer to
the question concerning fugitives from service. The clause in the
Constitution concerning this class of persons is regarded by almost
all men, North and South, as a stipulation for the surrender to their
masters of slaves escaping into free States. The people of the free
States, however, who believe that slaveholding is wrong, cannot and
will not aid in the reclamation, and the stipulation becomes therefore
a dead letter. You complain of bad faith, and the complaint is
retorted by denunciations of the cruelty which would drag back to
bondage the poor slave who has escaped from it. You, thinking slavery
right, claim the fulfilment of the stipulation; we, thinking slavery
wrong, cannot fulfil the stipulation without consciousness of
participation in wrong. Here is a real difficulty, but it seems to me
not insuperable. It will not do for us to say to you, in justification
of non-performance, "the stipulation is immoral, and therefore we
cannot execute it;" for you deny the immorality, and we cannot assume
to judge for you.

On the other hand, you ought not to exact from us the literal
performance of the stipulation when you know that we cannot perform it
without conscious culpability. A true solution of the difficulty seems
to be attainable by regarding it as a simple case where a contract,
from changed circumstances, cannot be fulfilled exactly as made. A
court of equity in such a case decrees execution as near as may be. It
requires the party who cannot perform to make compensation for
non-performance. Why cannot the same principle be applied to the
rendition of fugitives from service? We cannot surrender--but we can
compensate. Why not, then, avoid all difficulties on all sides, and
show respectively good faith and good will by providing and accepting
compensation where masters reclaim escaping servants and prove their
right of reclamation under the Constitution? Instead of a judgment for
rendition, let there be a judgment for compensation, determined by the
true value of the services, and let the same judgment assure freedom
to the fugitive. The cost to the National Treasury would be as nothing
in comparison with the evils of discord and strife. All parties would
be gainers.

What I have just said is, indeed, not exactly to the point of the
present discussion. But I refer to this matter to show how easily the
greatest difficulties may be adjusted if approached in a truly just,
generous, and patriotic spirit.

I refer to it also in order to show you that, if we do not concede all
your wishes, it is because our ideas of justice, duty, and honor
forbid, and not because we cherish any hostile or aggressive
sentiments. We will go as far as we can to meet you--come you also as
far as you can to meet us. Join at least in the declaration we
propose. Your people have confidence in you. They will believe you.
The declaration, made with substantial unanimity by this Conference,
will tranquillize public sentiment, and give a chance for reason to
resume its sway, and patriotic counsels to gain a hearing.

Do you say that after all what we propose embodies no substantial
guarantees of immunity to slavery through the perversion of Federal
powers? We reply that we think the Constitution as it stands,
interpreted honestly and executed faithfully, is sufficient for all
practical purposes; and that you will find all desirable security in
the legislation or non-legislation of Congress. If you think
otherwise, we are ready to join you in recommending a National
Convention to propose amendments to the Constitution in the regular
and legitimate way. Kentucky, a slave State, has proposed such a
Convention; Illinois, a free State, has joined in the proposition.
Join us, then, in recommending such a Convention, and assure us that
you will abide by its decision. We will join you and give a similar
assurance.

This, gentlemen, is the proposition we make you to-day. It is embodied
in the amendment just submitted. Is it not a fair proposition? It is a
plain declaration of facts which cannot reasonably be questioned, and
a plain submission of all disputed questions to the only proper
tribunal for the settlement of such questions--that of the American
people, acting through a National Convention.

The only alternative to this proposition is the proposition that the
present Congress be called upon to submit to the States a thirteenth
article embodying the amendments recommended by the committee. In
order to the submission of these amendments to the States by Congress,
a two-thirds vote in each House is necessary. That, I venture to say,
cannot be obtained. Were it otherwise, who can assure you that the new
article will obtain the sanction of three-fourths of the States,
without which it is a nullity? As a measure to defeat all adjustment,
I can understand this proposition. As a measure of pacification, I do
not understand it. There is, in my judgment, no peace in it. Gentlemen
here, of patriotism and intelligence, think otherwise. I am sorry that
I cannot agree with them.

Gentlemen say, if this proposition cannot prevail, every slave State
will secede; or, as some prefer to phrase it, will resort to
revolution. I forbear to discuss eventualities. I must say, however,
and say plainly, that considerations such as these will not move me
from my recognized duty to my country and its Constitution. And let me
say for the people of the free States, that they are a thoughtful
people, and are much in earnest in this business. They do not delegate
their right of private judgment. They love their institutions and the
Union. They will not surrender the one nor give up the other without
great struggles and great sacrifices. Upon the question of the
maintenance of an unbroken Union and a whole country they never were,
and it is my firm conviction they never will be divided. Gentlemen who
think they will be, even in the worst contingency, will, I think, be
disappointed. If forced to the last extremity, the people will meet
the issue as they best may; but be assured they will meet it with no
discordant councils.

Gentlemen, Mr. LINCOLN will be inaugurated on the 4th of March. He
will take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United
States--of the whole--of all the United States. That oath will bind
him to take care that the laws be faithfully executed throughout the
United States. Will secession absolve him from that oath? Will it
diminish, by one jot or tittle, its awful obligation? Will attempted
revolution do more than secession? And if not--and the oath and the
obligation remain--and the President does his duty and undertakes to
enforce the laws, and secession or revolution resists, what then? War!
Civil war!

Mr. President, let us not rush headlong into that unfathomable gulf.
Let us not tempt this unutterable woe. We offer you a plain and
honorable mode of adjusting all difficulties. It is a mode which, we
believe, will receive the sanction of the people. We pledge ourselves
here that we will do all in our power to obtain their sanction for it.
Is it too much to ask you, gentlemen of the South, to meet us on this
honorable and practicable ground? Will you not, at least, concede this
to the country?

The question on agreeing to said amendment resulted in the following
vote:

     AYES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine,
     Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont--9.

     NOES.--Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey,
     North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee,
     and Virginia--11.

So the amendment was not agreed to.

Mr. WILMOT:--I wish now to offer an amendment which embraces an
unconditional proposition for the call of a Convention.

Mr. BRONSON:--This has been voted down already.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--What changes do you gentlemen from Pennsylvania and
Ohio wish to make in the report of the committee? Would you adopt that
report in a General Convention?

The PRESIDENT:--The Chair rules that the amendment offered by the
gentleman from Pennsylvania is not in order.

Messrs. WILMOT, CHASE, CORNING, and BRONSON then entered their
dissents from their respective States upon the substitute offered by
Mr. TUCK.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I hope now that we may be permitted to take the vote
at once upon the report of the majority.

Mr. REID:--Before this vote is taken, I deem it my duty to myself and
my State to make a remark.

I came here disposed to agree upon terms that would be mutually
satisfactory to both sections of the Union. I would agree to any fair
terms now, but the propositions contained in the report of the
majority, as that report now stands, can never receive my assent. I
cannot recommend them to Congress or to the people of my own State.
They do not settle the material questions involved; they contain no
sufficient guarantees for the rights of the South. Therefore, in good
faith to the Conference and to the country, I here state that I cannot
and will not agree to them.

Mr. CLEVELAND:--If the gentlemen from the South, after we have yielded
so much as we have, assert that these propositions will not be
satisfactory to the slave States, I, for one, will not degrade myself
by voting for them.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I insist now upon taking the vote.

The PRESIDENT:--The rules of the Conference do not require the vote to
be taken upon this proposition by sections.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--We have not heretofore adhered to the rules. Let us
vote then on the whole as a proposition, and not by sections.

Mr. SEDDON:--I think we should take the vote by sections. It is
certainly within the discretion of the President to rule that the vote
may be so taken. The rules do not apply to an article which is
composed of many sections. We certainly should vote upon them
separately.

Mr. BROCKENBROUGH:--I desire now to get the amendment which I have
proposed once more before the Conference. I move to amend by adding to
the first section a clause which shall provide that

     "The rights of the slave States shall be protected by all
     the departments of the territorial government during its
     continuance."

By the section as it now stands, the rights of the North are absolute;
those of the South should be equally clear. It is true that the
section contains a distinct recognition of the relation of master and
slave, but this recognition is in negative terms. It is certainly the
duty of the territorial legislature and government to protect these
rights wherever they are invaded. If this is so, why not declare it in
the provision?

Mr. WILMOT:--I desire to ask whether this proposition is in order.

Mr. BROCKENBROUGH:--I insist that it is. I assert the existence of
certain rights, and I want these rights protected under the
Constitution. Rights without remedies are anomalies of which the law
knows nothing.

Mr. WILMOT:--I feel constrained to oppose any amendment of this kind.

The PRESIDENT:--The Chair is inclined to rule this amendment as not in
order.

Mr. RUFFIN:--Before the final vote is taken, I wish to say a word by
way of explanation. My colleague says he cannot vote for the report of
the committee because he does not approve the whole of it. I do not
like the first article, but the report as a whole is a great
improvement upon the Constitution as it now stands. I think the report
ought to go before the people. If we can secure what the report
proposes, we are certainly no worse off. I wish to submit it to my
people, and thus have them to judge for themselves whether they will
adopt it.

Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina:--I would not say a word were it not
for the words that have fallen from my colleague--Governor REID. I
came here to try to save the Union. I have labored hard to that end. I
hope and believe the report of the majority, if adopted, will save the
Union. I wish to carry these propositions before the people. I believe
that the people of North Carolina and of the Union will adopt them.
Give us an opportunity to appeal to the generosity of the people of
the whole Union. Certainly no Southern man can object to submitting
these propositions to the popular vote.

Mr. LOOMIS:--I am content to vote for the first article.

Mr. CARRUTHERS:--I only desire to say for my State that if you will
give us these propositions, Tennessee will adopt them, and it will
sink secession beyond any hope of resurrection.

Mr. BARRINGER:--I cannot say that I am gratified with the display
which I have just witnessed in these appeals from the Conference to
the people. We come here to deal with facts, not theories. I do not
speak with the confidence of some with respect to the action of some
of the people. I know the people of the South, and I tell you this
hollow compromise will never satisfy them, nor will it bring back the
seceded States. We are acting for the people who are not here. We are
their delegates that have come here, not to demand indemnity for the
past, but security for the future. This is my opinion. You will see
whether I am right or not. We could stand upon the CRITTENDEN
proposition or the Virginia alternative. With Virginia in our favor we
could have stood upon either. You, gentlemen of the North, might as
well have consented to either as to the report which is now presented.
I desire the preservation of the Union; I would go for this scheme if
that would accomplish it. But it will not. There is great force in the
statement of the gentleman from Ohio, Mr. CHASE, in which he says
there is no importance to a scheme which goes from this Conference to
the States only by a majority of one or two States. If one or two
States only, which are here, reject this compromise, it will be
rejected entirely. Once more I say it would have been better for all
to have stood upon the Virginia alternative.

Mr. STOCKTON:--I have not much to say, sir. I rise with a sadness
which almost prevents my utterance. I was born at Princeton. My heart
has always beat for the Union. I have heard these discussions with
pain from the commencement. Shall we deliberate over any proposition
which shall save the Union? The country is in jeopardy. We are called
upon to save it. New Jersey and Delaware came here for that purpose,
and no other. They have laid aside every other motive; they have
yielded every thing to the general good of the country.

The report of the majority of the committee meets their concurrence.
Republicans and Democrats alike, have dropped their opinions, for
politics should always disappear in the presence of a great question
like this. Politics should not be thought of in view of the question
of disunion. By what measure of execration will posterity judge a man
who contributed toward the dissolution of the Union? Shall we stand
here and higgle about terms when the roar of the tornado is heard that
threatens to sweep our Government from the face of the earth? Believe
me, sir, this is a question of peace or war.

In the days of Rome, Curtius threw himself into the chasm when told by
the oracle that the sacrifice of his life would save his country.
Alas! is there no Curtius here? The alternative is a dreadful one to
contemplate if we cannot adopt these propositions and secure peace. It
is useless to attempt to dwarf this movement of the South by the name
of treason. Call it by what name you will, it is a revolution, and
this is a right which the people of this country have derived in
common from their ancestors.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I now move that we proceed to take the vote, and propose
to take it upon the first section of the report of the majority.

Mr. ELLIS:--I move so to amend the rule that when the report is taken
up each section and each distinct proposition shall be voted on
separately.

The PRESIDENT:--I think this motion is out of order, and the question
will be taken on the motion of the gentleman from Kentucky for the
adoption of the first section, which the Secretary will now read.

     SECTION 1. In all the present territory of the United States
     north of the parallel of 36° 30´ of north latitude,
     involuntary servitude, except in punishment of crime, is
     prohibited. In all the present territory south of that line,
     the status of persons held to involuntary service or labor,
     as it now exists, shall not be changed; nor shall any law be
     passed by Congress or the Territorial Legislature to hinder
     or prevent the taking of such persons from any of the States
     of this Union to said territory, nor to impair the rights
     arising from said relation; but the same shall be subject to
     judicial cognizance in the Federal courts, according to the
     course of the common law. When any Territory north or south
     of said line, within such boundary as Congress may
     prescribe, shall contain a population equal to that required
     for a member of Congress, it shall, if its form of
     government be republican, be admitted into the Union on an
     equal footing with the original States, with or without
     involuntary servitude, as the Constitution of such State may
     provide.

The question on agreeing to said section resulted as follows--Indiana
declining to vote:

     AYES.--Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio,
     Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee--8.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,
     Missouri, New York, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Vermont,
     and Virginia--11.

And the section was not agreed to.

The following gentlemen dissented from the votes of their respective
States: Mr. RUFFIN and Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina; Mr. TOTTEN, of
Tennessee; Mr. COALTER and Mr. HOUGH, of Missouri; Mr. BRONSON, Mr.
CORNING, Mr. DODGE, Mr. WOOL, and Mr. GRANGER, of New York; Mr.
MEREDITH and Mr. WILMOT, of Pennsylvania; Mr. RIVES and Mr. SUMMERS,
of Virginia; Mr. CLAY and Mr. BUTLER, of Kentucky; and Mr. LOGAN, of
Illinois.

The vote was taken in the midst of much partially suppressed
excitement, and the announcement of the vote of different States
occasioned many sharp remarks of dissent or approval. After the vote
was announced, for some minutes no motion was made, and the delegates
engaged in an informal conversation.

Mr. TURNER finally moved a reconsideration of the vote.

Mr. GRANGER:--To say that I am disappointed by the result of this
vote, would fail to do justice to my feelings. I move that the
Conference adjourn until half-past seven o'clock this evening. I think
it well for those gentlemen from the slave States especially, who have
by their votes defeated the compromise we have labored so long and so
earnestly to secure, to take a little time for consideration.
Gentlemen we have yielded much to your fears, much to your
apprehensions; we have gone to the very verge of propriety in giving
our assent to the committee's report. We have incurred the censure of
some of our own people, but we were willing to take the risk of all
this censure in order to allay your apprehensions. We expected you to
meet us in the path of compromise. Instead of that you reject and
spurn our propositions. Take time, gentlemen, for reflection. Beware
how you spurn this report, and incur the awful responsibility which
will follow. Reject it, and if the country is plunged in war, and the
Union endangered, you are the men who will be held responsible.

Mr. President, I have been deeply pained at the manner in which some
gentlemen have here spoken of the possible dissolution of this
Government. When, perchance, the rude hand of violence shall here have
seized upon the muniments and archives of our country's history; when
all the monuments of art that time and treasure may here have
gathered, shall be destroyed; when these proud domes shall totter to
their fall, and the rank grass wave around their mouldering columns;
when the very name of WASHINGTON, instead of stirring the blood to
patriotic action, shall be a byeword and a reproach--then will this
people feel what was the value of the Union!

The motion to reconsider was then adopted by a vote of 14 ayes to 5
noes, and the Conference adjourned to seven o'clock and thirty minutes
this evening.

       *       *       *       *       *

EVENING SESSION--EIGHTEENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, TUESDAY, _February 26th, 1861._

The Conference was called to order pursuant to adjournment by the
President.

Mr. WICKLIFFE:--I hope after some of the informal consultations which
have been held since the adjournment of the Conference this afternoon,
that we may yet be able to bring our minds together, and to adopt the
propositions recommended by the committee. It is, however, certain
that the vote had better not be taken this evening. I therefore move
an adjournment until ten o'clock to-morrow morning.

The motion to adjourn was agreed to; ayes 17, noes 3, and the
Conference adjourned.



NINETEENTH DAY.

WASHINGTON, WEDNESDAY, _February 27th, 1861._


The Conference assembled pursuant to adjournment, and was called to
order by President TYLER. Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. GURLEY.

The PRESIDENT:--The Conference will now proceed to the consideration
of the order of the day, the proposals of amendment to the
Constitution reported by the majority of the committee.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I suppose, under the rules which the Conference has
adopted, discussion of these proposals is no longer in order. I hope
now the Conference will proceed to the vote. The opinions of each
delegation are undoubtedly fixed, and cannot be changed by farther
argument.

I move you, sir, the adoption of the first section of the report as
amended, which I ask to have read by the Secretary.

The section was read by the Secretary, as follows:

     SECTION 1. In all the present territory of the United States
     north of the parallel of 36° 30´ of north latitude,
     involuntary servitude, except in punishment of crime, is
     prohibited. In all the present territory south of that line,
     the status of persons held to involuntary service or labor,
     as it now exists, shall not be changed; nor shall any law be
     passed by Congress or the Territorial Legislature to hinder
     or prevent the taking of such persons from any of the States
     of this Union to said territory, nor to impair the rights
     arising from said relation; but the same shall be subject to
     judicial cognizance in the Federal courts, according to the
     course of the common law. When any Territory north or south
     of said line, within such boundary as Congress may
     prescribe, shall contain a population equal to that required
     for a member of Congress, it shall, if its form of
     government be republican, be admitted into the Union on an
     equal footing with the original States, with or without
     involuntary servitude, as the Constitution of such State may
     provide.

The vote upon said section resulted as follows:

     AYES.--Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey,
     Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee--9.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, North
     Carolina, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Virginia--8.

So the section was adopted.

The vote of New York being called, Mr. KING, temporary Chairman of the
delegation, said:

The question arises concerning the vote of New York. Mr. FIELD, one of
the delegates from this State, is necessarily absent from the
Conference, having left to attend to the argument of a cause in the
Supreme Court noted for argument this morning. It is his
understanding, and with him that of a majority of the delegation, that
the vote of New York is to be cast against this section, and the whole
report. Under these circumstances I propose to give the vote of New
York as it would be given if Mr. FIELD was present.

Mr. CORNING:--I object to this. The vote of that State should be given
as the majority of the commissioners present decide. And I think this
is a matter for the delegation, and that the Conference has nothing to
do with it.

The PRESIDENT:--An absent member cannot participate in the control of
a vote except by general leave of the Convention.

Mr. KING:--If Mr. FIELD is not to be taken into the account, the vote
of New York upon this section is divided.[8]

[Footnote 8: I have not heretofore expressed my own opinions upon the
action of the Conference or of delegations; but as much has been said
about the vote given by New York, or rather the division of the
delegation, under which no vote was given, it is due to the parties
concerned that I should state my own understanding of the practice of
the Conference in this respect. After the rejection of the motion of
Mr. CHASE (found on page 209), and the adoption of the proposition of
Mr. DENT, so far as my own knowledge goes it was never deemed
necessary that the entire delegation from a State should be present in
order to cast its vote. I was present all the time, and frequently
cast the vote of my own State upon previous consultation with my
colleagues, when a majority of the delegation was absent. This was
frequently done, to my personal knowledge, by other States: by none
more frequently than Virginia. During several of the sessions the
President himself was absent, and the chair was filled for the greater
part of the time by Mr. ALEXANDER, or Mr. MOREHEAD, of Kentucky. I can
recall to mind several occasions when the vote of Virginia was cast by
Mr. SEDDON alone, no other member of his delegation being present.
When the question arose upon the vote of New York, I was surprised
that this point was not insisted upon; but deeming it a matter
exclusively for the delegation from that State to settle, I did not
think the case one in which others should interfere. L.E.C.]

Mr. EWING:--The vote of Kansas is also divided.

Mr. HACKLEMAN:--The vote of Indiana is divided. The commissioners of
Indiana were appointed by virtue of resolutions passed by the
Legislature of that State, which require them to report to the
Legislature any proposition before voting for it finally, so as to
commit the State either for or against it. It is impossible, under the
circumstances, to submit this proposition of amendment to the
Legislature of Indiana for approval or rejection. Indiana, therefore,
declines to vote.

Mr. SLAUGHTER:--As the delegation from Indiana declines to cast its
vote, I desire to have my individual vote entered in the affirmative
upon this section.

Mr. ELLIS:--For the same reason I desire to have my vote entered in
the negative.

The following gentlemen dissented from the vote of their respective
States: Mr. CLAY and Mr. MOREHEAD, of Kentucky; Mr. RUFFIN and Mr.
MOREHEAD, of North Carolina; Mr. MEREDITH and Mr. WILMOT, of
Pennsylvania; Mr. TOTTEN, of Tennessee; Mr. COOK, of Illinois; Mr.
RIVES and Mr. SUMMERS, of Virginia; and Mr. CHASE and Mr. WOLCOTT, of
Ohio.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I move the adoption of the second section of the report
as amended, and ask that it may be read.

The Secretary read it as follows:

     SECTION 2. No territory shall be acquired by the United
     States, except by discovery, and for naval and commercial
     stations, depots, and transit routes, without the
     concurrence of a majority of all the Senators from States
     which allow involuntary servitude, and a majority of all the
     Senators from States which prohibit that relation; nor shall
     territory be acquired by treaty, unless the votes of a
     majority of the Senators from each class of States
     hereinbefore mentioned be cast as a part of the two-thirds
     majority necessary to the ratification of such treaty.

The vote on the adoption of section two was taken, and resulted as
follows:

     AYES.--Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New
     Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and
     Virginia--11.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,
     North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Vermont--8.

New York and Kansas were divided.

So the section was adopted.

The following gentlemen dissented from the vote of their States: Mr.
MEREDITH and Mr. WILMOT, of Pennsylvania; Mr. RUFFIN and Mr. MOREHEAD,
of North Carolina; Mr TYLER, of Virginia; Mr. CLAY, of Kentucky; and
Mr. HACKLEMAN and Mr. ORTH, of Indiana.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I now move the adoption of the third section of the
report as amended, and request that it may be read.

The Secretary proceeded to read as follows:

     SECTION 3. Neither the Constitution nor any amendment
     thereof shall be construed to give Congress power to
     regulate, abolish, or control, within any State, the
     relation established or recognized by the laws thereof
     touching persons held to labor or involuntary service
     therein, nor to interfere with or abolish involuntary
     service in the District of Columbia without the consent of
     Maryland and without the consent of the owners, or making
     the owners who do not consent just compensation; nor the
     power to interfere with or prohibit representatives and
     others from bringing with them to the District of Columbia,
     retaining and taking away, persons so held to labor or
     service; nor the power to interfere with or abolish
     involuntary service in places under the exclusive
     jurisdiction of the United States within those States and
     Territories where the same is established or recognized; nor
     the power to prohibit the removal or transportation of
     persons held to labor or involuntary service in any State or
     Territory of the United States to any other State or
     Territory thereof, where it is established or recognized by
     law or usage; and the right during transportation, by sea or
     river, of touching at ports, shores, and landings, and of
     landing in case of distress, shall exist; but not the right
     of transit in or through any State or Territory, or of sale
     or traffic, against the laws thereof. Nor shall Congress
     have power to authorize any higher rate of taxation on
     persons held to labor or service than on land.

     The bringing into the District of Columbia of persons held
     to labor or service for sale, or placing them in depots to
     be afterwards transferred to other places for sale as
     merchandise, is prohibited.

The question on the adoption of said section resulted in the following
vote:

     AYES.--Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New
     Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
     Tennessee, and Virginia--12.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New
     Hampshire, and Vermont--7.

New York and Kansas were divided.

So the section was adopted.

The following gentlemen dissented from the vote of their States: Mr.
CLAY, of Kentucky; Mr. COOK, of Illinois; Mr. SLAUGHTER, of Indiana;
and Mr. CHASE, and Mr. WOLCOTT, of Ohio.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I move the adoption of the fourth section of the report
as amended.

And the Secretary read it as follows:

     SECTION 4. The third paragraph of the second section of the
     fourth article of the Constitution shall not be construed to
     prevent any of the States, by appropriate legislation, and
     through the action of their judicial and ministerial
     officers, from enforcing the delivery of fugitives from
     labor to the person to whom such service or labor is due.

The question on the adoption of said section resulted in the following
vote:

     AYES.--Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
     Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio,
     Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and
     Virginia--15.

     NOES.--Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire--4.

New York and Kansas were divided.

And the section was adopted.

The following gentlemen dissented from the vote of their respective
States: Mr. BALDWIN, of Connecticut; Mr. HACKLEMAN and Mr. ORTH, of
Indiana; and Mr. CHASE and Mr. WOLCOTT, of Ohio.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I now move the adoption of the fifth section of the
report as amended.

It was read by the Secretary as follows:

     SECTION 5. The foreign slave-trade is hereby forever
     prohibited; and it shall be the duty of Congress to pass
     laws to prevent the importation of slaves, coolies, or
     persons held to service or labor, into the United States and
     the Territories from places beyond the limits thereof.

The vote on the adoption of this section resulted as follows:

     AYES.--Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
     Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire,
     Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and
     Kansas--16.

     NOES.--Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and
     Virginia--5.

So this section was adopted.

The following gentlemen dissented from the vote of their respective
States: Mr. BALDWIN, of Connecticut; Mr. CLAY, of Kentucky; Mr. RUFFIN
and Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina; Mr. WOLCOTT and Mr. CHASE, of
Ohio; and Mr. HACKLEMAN and Mr. ORTH, of Indiana.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I move the adoption of the sixth section of the report
as amended, and desire that the Secretary may read that also.

The Secretary read as follows:

     SECTION 6. The first, third, and fifth sections, together
     with this section of these amendments, and the third
     paragraph of the second section of the first article of the
     Constitution, and the third paragraph of the second section
     of the fourth article thereof, shall not be amended or
     abolished without the consent of all the States.

The vote on the adoption of this section stood as follows:

     AYES.--Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New
     Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and
     Kansas--11.

     NOES.--Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,
     North Carolina, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Virginia--9.

The State of New York was divided.

And this section was adopted.

The following gentlemen dissented from the vote of their States:--Mr.
RUFFIN and Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina; Mr. CHASE and Mr. WOLCOTT,
of Ohio; Mr. COOK, of Illinois; and Mr. SUMMERS and Mr. RIVES, of
Virginia.

Mr. GUTHRIE:--I move the adoption of the seventh section of the
report, as amended.

The Secretary read as follows:

     SECTION 7. Congress shall provide by law that the United
     States shall