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Title: Address to the People of the United States, together with the Proceedings and Resolutions of the Pro-Slavery Convention of Missouri - Held at Lexington
Author: Unknown
Language: English
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                                 TO THE

                      PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES,

                           TOGETHER WITH THE


                                 OF THE

                         PRO-SLAVERY CONVENTION

                              OF MISSOURI,

                           HELD AT LEXINGTON,

                              JULY, 1855.

                             ST. LOUIS, MO.



We have been appointed by a Convention of citizens of Missouri, mainly
representing that portion of the State lying contiguous to the Territory
of Kansas, to lay before you some suggestions, upon a topic which
vitally concerns our State, and which, it is believed, may to a serious
extent affect the general welfare of our country.

We propose to discharge this duty by a concise and candid exposition of
facts, touching our condition, and its bearing upon Kansas, accompanied
with such reflections as the facts naturally suggest.

That portion of Missouri which borders on Kansas contains, as nearly as
can now be ascertained, a population of fifty thousand slaves, and their
estimated value, at the prices prevailing here, is about twenty-five
millions of dollars. As the whole State contains but about one hundred
thousand slaves, it will be seen that one-half of the entire slave
population of Missouri is located in the eighteen counties bordering on
Kansas, the greater portion of which is separated from that Territory by
no natural boundary, and is within a day's ride of the line. This part
of our State is distinguished by an uniform fertility of soil, a
temperate and healthful climate, and a population progressing rapidly in
all the elements that constitute a prosperous community. Agriculture is
in a most flourishing condition, and the towns and villages which have
sprung up, indicate a steady progress towards wealth, refinement and
commercial importance. Nor have the higher interests of education,
religion and science, been neglected; but common schools, and
respectable institutions of a higher grade, and churches of every
Christian denomination, are found in every county. The great staple of
this district is hemp, although tobacco, and corn, and wheat are also
largely produced. The culture of hemp has been found profitable,--more
so than cotton in the South; and this fact, with the additional ones,
that almost every foot of land within the counties alluded to, is
wonderfully adapted by nature to its production, in greater quantities,
and finer qualities, and at smaller cost, than in any other State in the
Union, and that the climate is such as to permit the growers of this
article to reside on their estates, will readily explain and account for
the unexampled growth of the country. Already it constitutes the most
densely populated portion of our State, and its remarkable fertility of
soil, and general salubrity of climate, with the facilities for outlet
furnished by a noble river, running through its midst, and two great
railroads, destined soon to traverse its upper and lower border, will
render it at no distant period, if left undisturbed, as desirable and
flourishing a district as can be found in the Mississippi Valley.

An idea has to some extent prevailed abroad, that Missouri contained but
a very small slave population, and that the permanence of this
institution here was threatened by the existence of at least a
respectable minority of her citizens, ready and anxious to abolish it,
and that only a slight external pressure was necessary to accomplish
this purpose. We regret that this opinion has to some extent received
countenance from the publication and patronage of journals in our
commercial metropolis, evidently aiming at such a result. Without,
however, going into any explanation of political parties here, which
would be entirely foreign to our purpose, we think it proper to state,
that the idea above alluded to is unfounded; and that no respectable
party can be found in this State, outside of St. Louis, prepared to
embark in any such schemes. In that city, constituting the great outlet
of our commerce, as well as that of several other States and
Territories, it will not seem surprising that its heterogeneous
population should furnish a foothold for the wildest and most visionary
projects. St. Louis was, however, represented in our Convention, and it
is not thought unwarrantable to assume that the resolutions adopted by
this body have received the cordial approbation of a large and
influential portion of her citizens. Other counties, besides St. Louis,
outside of the district to which our observations have been principally
directed, were also represented by delegates; and had not the season of
the year, the short notice of its intended session, and the locality
where the Convention was held--remote from the centre of the
State--prevented, we doubt not that delegates from every county in the
State would have been in attendance. Indeed, a portion of the upper
Mississippi and lower Mississippi counties are as deeply, though less
directly interested in this question, as any part of this State; and
their citizens are known to accord most heartily in the sentiments and
actions of Western Missouri. Even in the south-west part of our State,
from the Osage to the borders of Arkansas, where there are but few
slaves, the proceedings of public meetings indicate the entire and
active sympathy of their people. From the general tone of the public
press throughout the State, a similar inference is deducible, and, we
feel warranted in asserting, a very general, if not unanimous
concurrence in the principles adopted by the Lexington Convention. Those
principles are embodied in a series of resolutions appended to this
address, and which, we are happy to say, were adopted with entire
unanimity, by a body representing every shade of political opinion to be
found in the interior of our State. These facts are conclusive of the
condition of public sentiment in Missouri. The probabilities of changes
here in reference to the question of slavery, are not essentially
different from what they are in Tennessee, or Virginia, or Kentucky. In
relation to numbers, a reference to the census shows that Missouri
contains double the number of Arkansas, nearly double the number of
Texas, and about an equal number with Maryland.

These facts are stated with a view to a proper understanding of our
position in reference to the settlement of Kansas, and the legitimate
and necessary interest felt in the progress and character of that
settlement. Previous to the repeal of the Congressional restriction of
1820, by which Missouri was thrown into an isolated position in
reference to the question of slavery, and made a solitary exception to a
general rule, her condition in regard to the territory west of her
border, and yet north of the geographical line which Congress had fixed
as the terminus of Southern institutions, was truly unenviable. With two
States on her northern and eastern border, in many portions of which the
Constitution of the United States, and the Fugitive Slave Law, passed in
pursuance thereof, were known to be as inefficacious for the protection
of our rights as they would have been in London or Canada, it was left
to the will of Congress, by enforcing the restriction of 1820, to cut
Missouri off almost entirely from all territorial connexion with States
having institutions congenial to her own, and with populations ready and
willing to protect and defend them. No alternative was left to that body
but to repeal the restriction, and thus leave to the Constitution and
the laws of nature, the settlement of our territories, or, by retaining
the restriction, indirectly to abolish slavery in Missouri. If the
latter alternative had to be selected, it would have been an act of
charity and mercy to the slaveholders of Missouri, to warn them in time
of the necessity of abandoning their homes, or manumitting or selling
their slaves--to give them ample time to determine between the sacrifice
of fifty millions of slave property, or seventy millions of landed
estate. Direct legislation would have been preferable to indirect
legislation, leading to the same result, and the enforcement of the
restriction in the settlement of Kansas was virtually the abolition of
slavery in Missouri. But Congress acted more wisely, as we think, and
with greater fidelity to the Constitution and the Union.

The history of the Kansas-Nebraska bill is known to the country. It
abolished the geographical line of 36 deg. 30 min., by which the limits
of slavery were restricted, and substituted a constitutional and just
principle, which left to the settlers of the territories to adopt such
domestic institutions as suited themselves. If ever there was a
principle calculated to commend itself to all reasonable men, and
reconcile all conflicting interests, this would seem to have been the
one. It was the principle of popular sovereignty--the basis upon which
our independence had been achieved--and it was therefore supposed to be
justly dear to all Americans, of every latitude and every creed. But
fanaticism was not satisfied. The abolitionists and their allies moved
heaven and earth to accomplish its defeat, and although unsuccessful,
they did not therefore despair. Out-voted in Congress, receiving no
countenance from the Executive, they retired to another theatre of
action, and, strange to say, they prostituted an ancient and respectable
Commonwealth--one of the Old Thirteen--to commence, in her sovereign
capacity as a State, with the means and imposing attitude incident to
such a position, a crusade against slavery, novel in its character, more
alarming in its features, and likely to be more fatal in its
consequences, than all the fanatical movements hitherto attempted, since
the appearance of abolitionism as a political party in 1835. They
originated and matured a scheme, never before heard of or thought of in
this country, the object and effect of which was to evade the principle
of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and in lieu of _non-intervention by
Congress_, to substitute _active intervention by the States_. An act of
incorporation was passed; a company with a capital of five millions was
chartered; and this company was authorized to enlist an army of
mercenary fanatics, and transport them to Kansas. Recruiting officers
were stationed in places most likely to furnish the proper material;
premiums were offered for recruits; the public mind was stimulated by
glowing and false descriptions of the country proposed to be occupied,
and a _Hessian_ band of mercenaries was thus prepared and forwarded, to
commence and carry on a war of extermination against slavery.

To call these people _emigrants_, is a sheer perversion of language.
They are not sent to cultivate the soil, to better their social
condition, to add to their individual comforts, or the aggregate wealth
of the nation. They do not move from choice or taste, or from any motive
affecting, or supposed to affect, themselves or their families. They
have none of the marks of the old pioneers, who cut down the forests of
Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana, or levelled the cane brakes of Tennessee and
Mississippi, or broke up the plains of Illinois and Missouri. They are
mostly ignorant of agriculture; picked up in cities or villages, they of
course have no experience as farmers, and if left to their unaided
resources--if not clothed and fed by the same power which has effected
their transportation--they would starve or freeze. They are
_hirelings_--an army of hirelings--recruited and shipped indirectly by a
sovereign state of this Union, to make war upon an institution _now_
existing in the Territory to which they are transplanted, and thence to
inflict a fatal blow upon the resources, the prosperity and the peace of
a neighboring State. They are _military_ colonies, planted by a State
government, to subdue a territory opened to settlement by Congress, and
take exclusive possession thereof. In addition to that _esprit du
corps_, which of necessity pervades such an organization, they have in
common a reckless and desperate fanaticism, which teaches them that
slavery is a sin, and that they are doing God's service in hastening its
destruction. They have been picked and culled from the ignorant masses,
which Old England and New England negro philanthropy has stirred up and
aroused to madness on this topic, and have been selected with reference
to their views on this topic alone. They are men with a single idea; and
to carry out this, they have been instructed and taught to disregard the
laws of God and man; to consider bloodshed and arson, insurrection,
destruction of property, or servile war, as the merest trifles, compared
with the glory and honor of seducing a single slave from his master, or
harboring and protecting the thief who has carried him off!

That such a population would be fatal to the peace and security of the
neighboring State of Missouri, and immediate destruction of such owners
of slaves as had already moved to the Territory of Kansas, is too clear
to admit of argument. A horde of our western savages, with avowed
purposes of destruction to the white race, would be less formidable

The colonization of Kansas with a population of this character was a
circumstance which aroused attention, and excited alarm among our
citizens here, and those who had already emigrated to Kansas. Could any
other result have been expected? Did sensible men at the North--did the
abolitionists themselves, expect any other?

Missouri contained, as we have seen, one hundred thousand slaves, and
their value amounted to fifty millions of dollars. Had these fanatics
who pronounced slavery an individual sin, and a national curse, ever yet
pointed out any decently plausible scheme by which it could be removed?
The entire revenue of our State, for ordinary fiscal purposes, scarcely
reaches five hundred thousand dollars, and the abolition of slavery here
would involve the destruction of productive capital estimated at fifty
millions of dollars, or a taxation upon the people of five millions of
dollars annually, which is the legalized interest upon this amount of
capital, besides the additional tax which would be necessary to raise a
sinking fund to pay off the debt created. The Constitution of Missouri
prohibits the Legislature from passing laws emancipating slaves, without
a full compensation to their owners; and it is therefore apparent, that
ten-fold the entire revenue of the State would be barely sufficient to
pay the interest upon a sum equivalent to the actual moneyed value of
the slaves, without providing any means to extinguish the principal
which such a debt would create. We omit altogether, in this calculation,
the impracticability and impolicy and cruelty to both races, of
liberating the slaves here, with no provision for their removal, and the
additional debt which such removal would create, equal, in all
probability, to that occasioned by their mere emancipation. It would
seem then, that the merest glance at the statistical tables of our
State, showing its population and revenue, must have satisfied the most
sanguine abolitionist of the futility of his schemes. If the
investigation was pursued further, and our estimate was made to embrace
the three millions and a half of slaves now in the southern and
south-western States, and the billions to which our computation must
ascend in order to ascertain their value in money, this anti-slavery
crusade, which presents itself in a form of open aggression against the
white race, without the semblance or pretext of good to that race for
which the abolitionist professes so much regard, and which stands so
much higher in his affections than his own, is seen to be one of mere
folly and wickedness, or, what is perhaps worse, a selfish and sectional
struggle for political power.

It is a singular fact, and one worthy of notice in this connexion, that
in the history of African slavery up to this time, no government has
ever yet been known to abolish it, which fairly represented the
interests and opinions of the governed. Great Britain, it is true,
abolished slavery in Jamaica, but the planters of Jamaica had no
potential voice in the British Parliament. The abolition of slavery in
New England, and in the middle States, can hardly be cited as an
exception, since that abrogation was not so much the result of positive
legislation, as it was of natural causes--the unfitness of climate and
productions to slave labor. It is well known to those familiar with the
jurisprudence of this country, and of England, that slavery has been in
no instance created by positive statutory enactment, nor has it been
thus abolished in any country, when the popular will was paramount in
legislative action. Its existence and non-existence appears to depend
entirely upon causes beyond the reach of governmental action, and this
fact should teach some dependence upon the will of an overruling
Providence, which works out its ends in a mode, and at a time, not
always apparent to finite mortals.

The history of some of our slaveholding States, in relation to efforts
of this character, it would seem, ought to be conclusive, at least,
against those who have no actual interests involved, and whom a proper
sense of self-respect, if not of constitutional obligation, should
restrain from impertinent interference. Virginia in 1831, and Kentucky
more recently, were agitated from centre to circumference by a bold and
unrestricted discussion of the subject of emancipation. Upon the
hustings and in legislative assemblies, the subject was thoroughly
examined, and every project which genius or philanthropy could suggest,
was investigated. Brought forward in the Old Dominion, under the
sanction of names venerated and respected throughout the limits of the
commonwealth--well known to have been a cherished project of her most
distinguished statesmen--favored by the happening of a then recent
servile disturbance, and patronized by some of the most patriotic and
enlightened citizens, the scheme nevertheless failed, without a show of
strength or a step in advance towards the object contemplated. The
magnitude of the difficulties to be overcome was so great, and so
obvious, as to strike alike the emancipationists and their adversaries.
The result has been, both in Virginia and Kentucky, that slavery, to use
the language of one of Kentucky's eloquent and distinguished sons, and
one, too, of the foremost in the work of emancipation, "has been
accepted as a permanent part of their social system." Can it be that
there is a destitution of honesty--of intelligence--of patriotism and
piety in slaveholding States, and that these qualities are alone to be
found in Great Britain and the northern free States? If not, the
conclusion must be, that the difficulties in the way of such an
enterprise exceed all the calculations of statesmanship and philosophy;
and their removal must await the will of that Being, whose prerogative
it is to make crooked paths straight, and justify the ways of God to

We have no thought of discussing the subject of slavery. Viewed in its
social, moral or economical aspects, it is regarded, as the resolutions
of the Convention declare, as solely and exclusively a matter of State
jurisdiction, and therefore, one which does not concern the Federal
Government, or the States where it does not exist. We have merely
adverted to the fact, in connexion with the recent abolition movements
upon Kansas, that amidst all their fierce denunciations of slavery for
twenty years past, these fanatics have never yet been able to suggest a
plan for its removal, consistent with the safety of the white
race--saying nothing of constitutional guarantees, Federal and State.

The colonization scheme of Massachusetts, as we have said, excited alarm
in Missouri. Its obvious design was to operate further than the mere
prevention of the natural expansion of slavery. It was intended to
narrow its existing limits,--to destroy all equilibrium of power between
the North and the South, and leave the slaveholder at the will of a
majority, ready to disregard constitutional obligations, and carry out
to their bitter end the mandates of ignorance, prejudice and bigotry.
Its success manifestly involved a radical change in our Federal
Government, or its total overthrow. If Kansas could be thus
abolitionized, every additional part of the present public domain
hereafter opened to settlement, and every future accession of territory,
would be the subject of similar experiments, and an exploded Wilmot
Proviso thus virtually enforced throughout an extended domain still
claimed as _national_, and still bearing on its military ensigns the
stars and stripes of the Union. If the plan was constitutional and
legal, it must be conceded that it was skillfully contrived, and
admirably adapted to its ends. It was also eminently practicable, if no
resistance was encountered, since the States adopting it contained a
surplus population which could be bought up and shipped, whilst the
South, which had an interest in resisting, had no such people among her
white population. The Kansas-Nebraska law, too, which was so extremely
hateful to the fanatics, and has constituted the principal theme of
their recent denunciations, would be a dead letter, both as it regarded
the two Territories for which it was particularly framed, and as a
precedent to Congress for the opening of other districts to settlement.
The old Missouri restriction could have done no more, and the whole
purpose of the anti-slavery agitators, both in and out of Congress, was
quietly accomplished. But the scheme failed--as it deserved to fail; and
as the peace, prosperity, and union of our country required it should
fail. It was a scheme totally at variance with the genius of our
government, both State and Federal, and with the social institutions
which these governments were designed to protect, and its success would
have been as fatal to those who contrived it, as it could have been to
those intended to be its victims.

The circumstance of novelty is entitled to its weight in politics as
well as law. The abolition irruption upon Kansas is without precedent in
our history. Seventy-nine years of our national life have rolled by;
Territory after Territory has been annexed, or settled, and added to the
galaxy of States, until from thirteen we have increased to thirty-two;
yet it never before entered into the head of any statesman, North or
South, to devise a plan of acquiring exclusive occupation of a Territory
by State colonization. To Massachusetts belongs the honor of its
invention, and we trust she will survive its defeat. But, she is not the
Massachusetts, we must do justice to her past history to say, that she
was in the times of her Adams', her Hancocks, and her Warrens; nor yet
is she where she stood in more recent times, when her Websters, and
Choates, and Winthrops, led the van of her statesmen. Her legislative
halls are filled with ruthless fanatics, dead to the past and reckless
to the future; her statute books are polluted with enactments purporting
to annul the laws of Congress, passed in pursuance, and by reason of the
special requirements of the Constitution; and her senatorial chairs at
Washington are filled by a rhetorician and a bigot, one of whom studies
to disguise in the drapery of a classic elocution, the most hideous and
treasonable forms of fanaticism; whilst his colleague is pleased to
harangue a city rabble with open and unadulterated disunionism,
associated with the oracles of abolitionism and infidelity--a melancholy
spectacle to the descendants of the compatriots of Benjamin Franklin!

No southern or slaveholding State has ever attempted to colonize a
Territory. Our public lands have been left to the occupancy of such
settlers as soil and climate invited. The South has sent no armies to
force slave labor upon those who preferred free labor. Kentucky sprung
from Virginia, as did Tennessee from North Carolina, and Kansas will
from Missouri--from contiguity of territory, and similarity of climate.
Emigration has followed the parallels of latitude and will continue to
do so, unless diverted by such organizations as Emigrant Aid Societies
and Kansas Leagues.

It has been said that the citizens of Massachusetts have an undoubted
right to emigrate to Kansas; that this right may be exercised
individually, or in families, or in larger private associations; and
that associated enterprise, under the sanction of legislative
enactments, is but another and equally justifiable form of emigration.
Political actions, like those of individuals, must be judged by their
motives and effects. Unquestionably, emigration, both individual and
collective, from the free States to the South, and, _vice versa_, from
the slave States to the North, has been progressing from the foundation
of our government to the present day, without comment and without
objection. It is not pretended that such emigration, even if fostered by
State patronage, would be illegal, or in any respect objectionable. The
wide expanse of the fertile West, and the deserted wastes of the sunny
South, invite occupation; and no man, from the southern extremity of
Florida to the northern boundary of Missouri, has ever objected to an
emigrant simply because he was from the North, and preferred free labor
to that of slaves. Upon this subject he is allowed to consult his own
taste, convenience, and conscience; and it is expected that he will
permit his neighbors to exercise the same privilege. But, no one can
fail to distinguish between an honest, _bona fide_ emigration, prompted
by choice or necessity, and an organized colonization with offensive
purposes upon the institutions of the country proposed to be settled.
Nor can there be any doubt in which class to place the movements of
Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Societies and Kansas Leagues. Their motives
have been candidly avowed, and their objects boldly proclaimed
throughout the length and breadth of the land. Were this not the case,
it would still be impossible to mistake them. Why, we might well
enquire, if simple emigration was in view, are these extraordinary
efforts confined to the Territory of Kansas? Is Nebraska, which was
opened to settlement by the same law, less desirable, less inviting to
northern adventurers, than Kansas? Are Iowa, and Washington, and Oregon,
and Minnesota, and Illinois and Michigan, filled up with
population--their lands all occupied, and furnishing no room for
Massachusetts emigrants? Is Massachusetts herself overrun with
population--obliged to rid herself of paupers whom she cannot feed at
home? Or, is Kansas, as eastern orators have insinuated, a newly
discovered paradise--a modern El Dorado, where gold and precious stones
can be gathered at pleasure; or an Arcadia, where nature is so bountiful
as not to need the aid of man, and fruits and vegetables of every
desirable description spontaneously spring up?

There can be but one answer to these questions, and that answer shows
conclusively the spirit and intent of this miscalled and pretended
emigration. _It is an anti-slavery movement._ As such it was organized
and put in motion by an anti-slavery legislature; as such, the organized
army was equipped in Massachusetts, and transported to Kansas; and, as
such, it was met there and defeated.

If further illustration was needed of the illegality of these movements
upon Kansas, we might extend our observations to the probable reception
of similar movements upon a State. If the Massachusetts legislature, or
that of any other State, have the right to send an army of abolitionists
into Kansas, they have the same right to transport them to Missouri. We
are not apprised of any provisions in the constitutions or laws of the
States, which in this respect distinguishes their condition from that of
a territory. We have no laws, and we presume no slaveholding State has,
which forbids the emigration of non-slaveholders. Such laws, if passed,
would clearly conflict with the Federal Constitution. The southern and
south-western slaveholding States are as open to emigration from
non-slaveholding States as Kansas. They differ only in the price of land
and the density of population. Let us suppose, then, that Massachusetts
should turn her attention to Texas, and should ascertain that the
population of that State was nearly divided between those who favored
and those who opposed slavery, and that one thousand votes would turn
the scale in favor of emancipation, and, acting in accordance with her
world-wide philanthropy, she should resolve to transport the thousand
voters necessary to abolish slavery in Texas, how would such a movement
be received there? Or, to reverse the proposition, let it be supposed
that South Carolina, with her large slaveholding population, should
undertake to transport a thousand slaveholders to Delaware, with a view
to turn the scale in that State, now understood to be rapidly passing
over to the list of free States, would the gallant sons of that ancient
State, small as she is territorially, submit to such interference? Now,
the institutions of Kansas are as much fixed and as solemnly guaranteed
by statute, as those of Delaware or Texas. The laws of Kansas Territory
may be abrogated by succeeding legislatures; but, so also may the laws,
and even the constitutions, of Texas and Delaware. Kansas only differs
from their condition in her limited resources, her small population, and
her large amount of marketable lands. There is no difference in
principle between the cases supposed; if justifiable and legal in the
one, it is equally so in the other. They differ only in point of
practicability and expediency; the one would be an outrage, easily
perceived, promptly met, and speedily repelled; the other is disguised
under the forms of emigration, and meets with no populous and organized
community to resent it. We are apprised that it is said, that the Kansas
legislature was elected by fraud, and constitute no fair representation
of the opinions of the people of the Territory. This is evidently the
excuse of the losing party, to stimulate renewed efforts among their
friends at home; but even this is refuted by the record. The Territorial
Governor of Kansas, a gentleman not suspected of, or charged with
partiality to slavery or to its advocates, has solemnly certified under
his official seal, that the statement is false; that a large majority of
the legislature were duly and legally elected. Even in the districts
where Governor Reeder set aside the elections for illegality, the
subsequent returns of the special elections ordered by him, produced the
same result, except in a single district. There is, then, no pretext
left, and it is apparent, that to send an army of abolitionists to
Kansas to destroy slavery existing there, and recognized by her laws, is
no more to be justified on the part of the Massachusetts legislature,
than it would be to send a like force to Missouri, with the like
purposes. The object might be more easily and safely accomplished in the
one case than in the other, but in both cases it is equally repugnant to
every principle of international comity, and likely to prove equally
fatal to the harmony and peace of the Union.

We conclude, then, that this irruption upon Kansas by Emigrant Aid
Societies and Kansas Leagues, under the patronage of the Massachusetts
legislature, is to be regarded in no other light than a new phase of
abolitionism, more practical in its aims, and therefore more dangerous
than any form it has yet assumed. We have shown it to be at variance
with the true intent of the act of Congress, by which the Territory was
opened to settlement; at variance with the spirit of the Constitution of
the United States, and with the institutions of the Territory, already
recognized by law; totally destructive of that fellowship and good
feeling which should exist among citizens of confederated States;
ruinous to the security, peace and prosperity of a neighboring State;
unprecedented in our political annals up to this date, and pregnant with
the most disastrous consequences to the harmony and stability of the
Union. Thus far its purposes have been defeated; but renewed efforts are
threatened. Political conventions at the north and north-west have
declared for the repeal of the Kansas-Nebraska law, and, anticipating a
failure in this direction, are stimulating the anti-slavery sentiment to
fresh exertions, for abolitionizing Kansas after the Massachusetts
fashion. We have discharged our duty in declaring the light in which
such demonstrations are viewed here, and our firm belief of the spirit
by which they will be met. If civil war and ultimate disunion are
desired, a renewal of these efforts will be admirably adapted to such
purposes. Missouri has taken her position in the resolutions adopted by
the Lexington Convention, and from that position she will not be likely
to recede. It is based upon the Constitution--upon justice, and equality
of rights among the States. What she has done, and what she is still
prepared to do, is in self-defence and for self-preservation; and from
these duties she will hardly be expected to shrink. With her, everything
is at stake; the security of a large slave property, the prosperity of
her citizens, and their exemption from perpetual agitation and border
feuds; whilst the emissaries of abolition are pursuing a phantom--an
abstraction, which, if realized, could add nothing to their possessions
or happiness, and would be productive of decided injury to the race for
whose benefit they profess to labor. If slavery is an evil, and it is
conceded that Congress cannot interfere with it in the States, it is
most manifest that its diffusion through a new territory, where land is
valueless and labor productive, tends greatly to ameliorate the
condition of the slaves. Opposition to the extension of slavery is not,
then, founded upon any philanthropic views, or upon any love for the
slave. It is a mere grasp for political power, beyond what the
Constitution of the United States concedes; and it is so understood by
the leaders of the movement. And this additional power is not desired
for constitutional purposes--for the advancement of the general welfare,
or the national reputation. For such purposes the majority in the North
is already sufficient, and no future events are likely to diminish it.
The slaveholding States are in a minority, but so far, a minority which
has commanded respect in the national councils. It has answered, and we
hope will continue to subserve the purposes of self-protection.
Conservative men from other quarters have come up to the rescue, when
the rights of the South have been seriously threatened. But it is
essential to the purposes of self-preservation, that this minority
should not be materially weakened; it is essential to the preservation
of our present form of government, that the slave States should retain
sufficient power to make effectual resistance against outward aggression
upon an institution peculiar to them alone. Parchment guarantees, as all
history shows, avail nothing against an overwhelming public clamor. The
fate of the Fugitive Slave Law affords an instructive warning on the
subject, and shows that the most solemn constitutional obligations will
be evaded or scorned, where popular prejudice resists their execution.
The South must rely on herself for protection, and to this end her
strength in the Federal Government cannot be safely diminished.

If indeed it be true, as public men at the North have declared, and
political assemblages have endorsed, that a determination has been
reached in that quarter to refuse admission to any more slave States,
there is an end to all argument on the subject. To reject Kansas, or any
other Territory from the Union, simply and solely because slavery is
recognized within her limits, would be regarded here, and, we presume,
throughout the South and South-west, as an open repudiation of the
Constitution--a distinct and unequivocal step towards a dissolution of
the Union. We presume it would be so regarded everywhere, North and
South. Taken in connexion with the abrogation of that provision of the
Constitution which enforces the rights of the owners of slaves in all
the States of the Union, into which they might escape, which has been
effected _practically_ throughout nearly all the free States, and more
formally by solemn legislative enactments in a portion of them, the
rejection of Kansas on account of slavery would be disunion in a form of
grossest insult to the sixteen slave States now comprehended in the
nation. It would be a declaration that slavery was incompatible with
republican government, in the face of at least _two formal recognitions_
of its legality, _in terms_, by the Federal Constitution.

We trust that such counsels have not the remotest prospect of prevailing
in our National Legislature, and will not dwell upon the consequence of
their adoption. We prefer to anticipate a returning fidelity to national
obligations--a faithful adherance to the Constitutional guarantees, and
the consequent prospect--cheering to the patriot of this and other
lands--of a continued and _perpetual_ UNION.

                                    WM. B. NAPTON, _Chairman_.
                                    STERLING PRICE,
                                    M. OLIVER,
                                    S. H. WOODSON.


                                 OF THE

                        PRO-SLAVERY CONVENTION,

                         HELD AT LEXINGTON, MO.

The Convention was called to order by Judge Thompson, of Clay county,
and on his motion Samuel H. Woodson, Esq., of Jackson county, was called
to the chair; and on motion of E. C. McCarty, Esq., Col. Sam. A. Lowe,
of Pettis county, was appointed Secretary.

On motion of Col. Young, of Boone county, Resolved, That a committee of
one delegate from each county represented in the Convention be raised,
to select and report permanent officers for the Convention, and to
select a committee who shall prepare resolutions and other business for
the action of the Convention.

In accordance with the above resolution, the following gentlemen were
appointed said committee:

                J. W. Torbert, of Cooper  county,
                Major Morin, of Platte       "
                W. M. Jackson, of Howard     "
                S. Barker, of Carroll        "
                A. G. Davis, of Caldwell     "
                J. S. Williams, of Linn      "
                E. C. McCarty, of Jackson    "
                Austin A. King, of Ray       "
                Edwin Toole, of Andrew       "
                D. H. Chism, of Morgan       "
                A. M. Forbes, of Pettis      "
                A. G. Blakey, of Benton      "
                Thomas E. Birch, of Clinton  "
                G. H. C. Melody, of Boone    "
                Sam. L. Sawyer, of Lafayette "
                C. F. Jackson, of Saline     "
                Wm. Hudgins, of Livingston   "
                C. F. Chamblin, of Johnson   "
                W. H. Russell, of Cass       "
                John Dougherty, of Clay      "
                Joseph Davis, of Henry       "
                Capt. Head, of Randolph      "
                John A. Leppard, of Daviess    "
                Wm. H. Buffington, of Cole   "

On motion of Mr. Russell, of Cass county, Resolved, That the delegations
from the different counties furnish the Secretary of this Convention
with a list of delegates from their counties.

On further motion of Mr. Russell, of Cass county, permission was given
to the committee on resolutions, &c., to retire and draft resolutions,
to report as soon as practicable.

On motion of Mr. Field, of Lafayette, a committee, consisting of Messrs.
Field, of Lafayette, Bayless, of Platte, and Boyce, of Ray, was
appointed to wait upon Messrs. D. R. Atchison and A. W. Doniphan, and
invite them to address the Convention.

Mr. Moss, of Clay, offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That all persons who are present from the different counties,
although not appointed as delegates by their several counties, be
considered as delegates to this Convention.

Mr. Peabody, of Boone county, moved to amend so as to read, That all
persons from the different counties of the State, friendly to the object
of this Convention, be considered as delegates.

Pending which question, on leave granted, Mr. Field, of Lafayette
county, from the committee appointed to wait on Messrs. D. R. Atchison
and A. W. Doniphan, made their report, stating that those gentlemen
declined addressing the Convention at the present time.

On motion of Mr. Bryant, of Saline, the Convention adjourned. to meet at
2 o'clock, P. M.

                            EVENING SESSION.

The Convention was called to order by the President, when, on motion of
Mr. Slack, of Livingston, the resolution offered by Mr. Moss, of Clay,
together with the amendment offered by Mr. Peabody, which was pending
when the Convention adjourned, was laid on the table.

On motion of Mr. Field, of Lafayette, Major M. Oliver was requested to
address the Convention, and to give his views on the different subjects
now agitating this country, and which would be brought before this
Convention; which he was proceeding to do, when the committee on
resolutions, &c., asked leave to make their report, which was granted.

The committee then, through their Chairman, Hon. A. A. King, submitted
the following report:

The Committee to whom was assigned the duty of designating permanent
officers for this Convention, beg leave to report the following:

        For President, Hon. W. G. Wood, of Lafayette county.

        For Vice Presidents, Hon. J. T. V. Thompson, of Clay Co.
                             Hon. John J. Lowry, of Howard   "

        Secretaries, Hon. Samuel A. Lowe, of Pettis county,
                          L. A. Wisely, of Platte     "

        For Committee on Resolutions,
               Major Bradley, of Cooper    county,
               Dr. Bayless, of Platte         "
               B. F. Willis, of Clinton       "
               S. A. Young, of Boone          "
               Wade M. Jackson, of Howard     "
               Martin Slaughter, of Lafayette "
               Stephen Stafford, of Carroll   "
               W. B. Napton, of Saline        "
               W. S. Pollard, of Caldwell     "
               W. Y. Slack, of Livingston     "
               J. S. Williams, of Linn        "
               G. D. Hansbrough, of Cass      "
               Sam. H. Woodson, of Jackson    "
               James H. Moss, of Clay         "
               M. Oliver, of Ray              "
               D. C. Stone, of Henry          "
               Robert Wilson, of Andrew       "
               B. W. Grover, of Johnson       "
               John S. Jones, of Pettis       "
               John A. Leppard, of Daviess    "
               A. G. Blakey, of Benton        "
               John Head, of Randolph         "
               W. H. Buffington, of Cole      "

The committee also offered the following resolution, which was adopted
by the Convention:

Resolved, That to ascertain the sense of this Convention on all
propositions submitted for its action, each county represented shall be
permitted to cast the same number of votes that it is entitled to cast
in the Lower House of the General Assembly of this State.

On motion of Col. Young, of Boone, a committee, consisting of Messrs.
Young, of Boone, Napton, of Saline, and Russell, of Cass, was appointed
to wait on the President, Hon. W. T. Wood, and escort him to the chair.

On motion of Dr. McCabe, of Cooper, the Convention took a recess for one

The Convention was again called to order by the President, Hon. W. T.
Wood, when the following gentlemen appeared as delegates, and took their

_Andrew Co._--Robert Wilson and Edwin Toole.

_Benton Co._--A. G. Blakey.

_Boone Co._--Saml. A. Young, Dr. Peabody, Dr. Thomas, Col. G. H. C.
    Melody, Sterling Price, Jr., and James Shannon.

_Caldwell Co._--W. S. Pollard, David Thomson, Wm. Griffey, Albert G.

_Carroll Co._--S. Barker, S. Stafford, W. J. Poindexter, R. H. Courts,
    C. Haskins, H. Wilcoxen, Judge Thomas, Hyram Willson.

_Cass Co._--Wm. Palmer, J. F. Callaway, F. R. Martin, J. G. Martin, T.
    Railey, J. T. Thornton, C. T. Worley, W. H. Russell, S. R.
    Crockett, T. F. Freeman, C. Vanhoy, G. D. Hansbrough, S. G.
    Allen, H. D. Russell, J. T. Martin.

_Clay Co._--J. T. V. Thompson, John Dougherty, A. W. Doniphan, J. G.
    Price, D. J. Adkins, W. E. Price, W. McNealy, J. H. Moss, J. H.
    Adams, G. W. Withers, T. McCarty, E. P. Moore, J. M. Jones,
    L. A. Talbott, R. J. Lamb, J. Lincoln, W. D. Hubble, T. M. Dawson,
    H. L. Rout, R. H. Miller, J. A. Poague, L. W. Burris, S. R.
    Shrader, G. Elgin, H. Corwine.

_Cooper Co._--J. W. Torbert, J. K. Ragland, Wm. Bradly, H. E. Moore,
    Geo. S. Cockrell, Thomas S. Cockrell, Horace W. Ferguson, R.
    Ellis, J. K. McCabe, Jacob Alstadt, H. Tracy.

_Clinton Co._--John Reed, B. F. Williss, C. C. Birch, M. Summers, T. E.
    Birch, J. T. Hughes.

_Cole Co._--W. H. Buffington, R. R. Jefferson, J. C. Rogers, C. Eckler.

_Chariton Co._--W. S. Hyde, S. J. Cortes, L. Salisbury.

_Daviess Co._--B. Weldon, J. A. Leppard.

_Howard Co._--J. J. Lowry, S. Graves, W. Payne, R. Basket, M. Taylor,
    B. W. Lewis, H. Cooper, J. B. Clark, R. Patterson.

_Henry Co._--D. A. Gillespie, Jo. Davis, D. C. Stone, R. T. Lindsay, H.

_Jackson Co._--S. H. Woodson, W. M. F. Magraw, W. F. Robinson, W.
    Easley, E. C. McCarty, N. R. McMurry, J. A. Winn, T. M. Adams,
    N. M. Miller, W. Ellis, E. McClanahan, John McCarty, J. M.
    Ridge, J. R. Henry, Col. J. M. Cogswell, Jno. Hambright.

_Johnson Co._--Hy. Ousley, S. Craig, N. W. Perry, W. Marr, W. L. Wood,
    W. L. Barksdale, C. F. Chamblin, J. M. Fulkerson, Reuben
    Fulkerson, W. P. Tucker, P. Manion, W. Kirkpatrick, B. W. Grover.

_Lafayette Co._--F. C. Sharp, W. K. Trigg, O. Anderson, S. L. Sawyer, A.
    Jones, R. N. Smith, W. T. Field, W. M. Smallwood, Dr. G. A.
    Rucker, (a Committee to cast the vote.)

_Livingston Co._--A. T. Kirtly, A. Craig, W. Hudgins, W. Y. Slack, W. F.
    Miller, W. O. Jennings, J. D. Hoy.

_Linn Co._--J. S. Williams.

_Morgan Co._--D. H. Chism.

_Pettis Co._--J. S. Jones, Saml. A. Lowe, A. M. Forbes, G. W. Rothwell,
    Geo. Anderson, T. E. Staples.

_Platte Co._--D. R. Atchison, Jo. Walker, G. W. Bayless, T. Beaumont,
    D. P. Wallingford, Hy. Coleman, E. P. Duncan, Jesse Morin,
    P. Ellington, Sr., Jesse Summers, A. B. Stoddard, Thomas H.
    Starnes, J. C. Hughes, Jno. H. Dorriss, F. P. Davidson, L. A.
    Wisely, H. B. Ladd.

_Randolph Co._--Judge Head.

_Ray Co._----A. A. King, B. J. Brown, Col. Bohannan, M. Oliver, Major
    Boyce, Judge Branstetter, Dr. Chew, W. Warriner, D. P. Whitmer,
    Dr. Woodward, S. A. Richardson, Major Shaw, Dr. Garner, A.
    Oliphant, T. A. H. Smith, G. J. Wasson, Judge Carter, J. E.
    Couch, G. L. Benton, J. P. Quisenberry, S. J. Brown, J. S.
    Shoop, J. S. Hughes, D. D. Bullock, Dr. Stone, Judge Price, W.
    Hughes, C. T. Brown, O. Taylor, M. C. Nuckolls, J. H. Taylor, R.
    Winsett, J. P. Taylor, D. Harbison, Dr. Buchanan, W. M. Jacobs,
    Wm. Murry, Col. Smith.

_Saline Co._--W. B. Sappington, C. F. Jackson, O. B. Pearson, T. R. E.
    Harvey, J. H. Irvine, L. B. Harwood, V. Marmaduke, M. Marmaduke,
    J. H. Grove, Robert Grove, A. M. Davison, W. B. Napton, J. W.
    Bryant, T. W. B. Crews, F. A. Combs, M. W. O'Banon, Jas. Coombs,
    H. C. Simmons.

Mr. Withers, of Clay, offered a series of resolutions, which he asked
might be read and acted on by the Convention.

Mr. Jackson, of Saline, objected to the reading and moved their
reference to the Committee on Resolutions.

Previous to the vote on said motion, Mr. Withers withdrew the
resolutions, and then, by leave of the Convention, the resolutions were
handed over to the Committee.

The President being notified of the presence of Gov. Sterling Price, in
the house, on motion of Dr. Lowry, of Howard, appointed Messrs. Lowry,
of Howard, and Shewalter, of Lafayette, a committee to wait upon him and
invite him to a seat within the bar.

Mr. C. T. Worley offered the following resolutions:

Resolved, That it is the sense of this Convention, that no valuable
purpose whatever will be subserved by debate, but on the other hand,
will most certainly lead to heated and unprofitable excitement;

Resolved, That from henceforward, we will proceed on all propositions
submitted to a direct vote.

Mr. Jackson, of Saline, moved to lay the resolutions on the table, which
motion was carried.

On motion of Mr. King, of Ray, the Convention adjourned till to-morrow
morning at eight o'clock.

                              SECOND DAY.

                                              FRIDAY MORNING, 8 o'clock.

The Convention met, and was called to order by the President.

Owing to the absence of Mr. Lowe, one of the Secretaries, on motion of
Col. S. A. Young, of Boone, L. J. Sharp, of Lafayette, was appointed to
act in his place.

On motion of J. W. Bryant, of Saline, the proceedings of yesterday were
ordered to be read.

It being announced that other delegates had arrived from different
counties, the following named gentlemen appeared and took their seats in

F. Walker, of Howard, Dr. E. C. Moss, of Pettis, P. T. Able, Esq. of
Platte, and George T. Wood, of Henry. Messrs. J. Loughborough and George
F. Hill also appeared and took their seats as delegates from St. Louis

Dr. Lowry, of Howard, moved that the President appoint a committee to
wait on President Shannon, of Boone, and invite him to address the
Convention on the subject of slavery.

A motion was then made to lay Dr. Lowry's motion on the table, which,
being voted upon by counties, resulted as follows:

Yeas--Cass, Daviess, Henry, Johnson, Ray, Cole, Clay.

Noes--Andrew, Boone, Caldwell, Carroll, Cooper, Jackson, Lafayette,
Livingston, Linn, Morgan, Pettis, Platte, Randolph, Chariton, St. Louis,

Dr. Lowry's motion was then put to the Convention, and on motion of
C. F. Jackson, of Saline, the rule to vote by counties was suspended.
Dr. Lowry's motion was then adopted by the Convention: whereupon the
President appointed Dr. Lowry, of Howard, and Major Morin, of Platte,
said committee.

S. L. Sawyer, of Lafayette, announced that the Committee on Resolutions
was ready to report.

The report being called for, the Committee proceeded to report, through
their Chairman, Judge Napton, of Saline, the following preamble and

Whereas, This Convention have observed a deliberate and apparently
systematic effort, on the part of several States of this Union, to wage
a war of extermination upon the institution of slavery as it exists
under the Constitution of the United States, and of the several States,
by legislative enactments annulling acts of Congress passed in pursuance
of the Constitution, and incorporating large moneyed associations to
abolitionize Kansas, and through Kansas to operate upon the contiguous
States of Missouri, Arkansas and Texas; this Convention, representing
that portion of Missouri more immediately affected by these movements,
deem it proper to make known their opinions and purposes, and what they
believe to be the opinions and purposes of the whole State, and to this
end have agreed to the following resolutions:

1. That we regard the institution of African slavery, whether relating
to its social, moral, political or economical aspect, solely and
exclusively a question of State jurisdiction, and any agitation of this
question in the Congress of the United States, or in States where it has
no existence, with a view to affect its condition, or bring about its
destruction, is a direct and dangerous attack upon the reserved rights
of the several slaveholding states, and is an impertinent interference
in matters nowise concerning the agitators, and, if persisted in, must
sooner or later destroy all harmony and good feeling between the States
and the citizens thereof, and will finally result in a dissolution of
the Union.

2. That the resolution on the part of several of the northern and
western non-slaveholding States, never to admit another slaveholding
State into this Union, is substantially a declaration of hostility to
our Federal Constitution, and avows a purpose to disregard its
compromises; and implies a threat of continued aggression upon, and
ultimate destruction of slavery, under whatever sanctions it may exist.

3. That the diffusion of slavery over a wider surface tends greatly to
ameliorate the condition of the slave, whilst it advances the prosperity
of his owner; and the admission of new slaveholding States into the
Union, by maintaining to some extent an equilibrium between the
conflicting influences which now control the Federal Government, is the
only reliable guarantee which the slaveholding minority have for the
protection of their property against unconstitutional and oppressive
legislation by the non-slaveholding majority, now and hereafter destined
to be in the ascendancy.

4. That we cordially approve the recent act of Congress, for the
settlement of Kansas and Nebraska, and the act of 1850, popularly known
as the Fugitive Slave Law.

5. That the incorporation of moneyed associations, under the patronage
of sovereign States of this Union, for the avowed purpose of recruiting
and colonizing large armies of abolitionists upon the territory of
Kansas, and for the avowed purpose of destroying the value and existence
of slave property now in that Territory, in despite of the wishes of the
bona fide independent settlers thereof, and for the purpose, equally
plain and obvious whether avowed or not, of ultimately abolishing
slavery in Missouri, is a species of legislation and a mode of
emigration unprecedented in our history, and is an attempt, by State
legislation, indirectly to thwart the purposes of a constitutional and
equitable enactment of Congress, by which the domestic institutions of
the territories were designed to be left to the exclusive management and
control of the bona fide settlers thereof.

6. That these organized bands of colonists, shipped from Massachusetts
and other quarters under State patronage, and resembling in their
essential features the military colonies planted by the Roman Emperors
upon their conquered provinces, rather than the pioneers who have
hitherto levelled the forests and broke up the plains of the West,
authorize apprehension of an intent of _exclusive_ occupancy, and will
necessarily lead to organized resistance on the part of those who, under
the Constitution and laws of the United States, have equal rights to
possession; and whilst we earnestly deprecate such results, we are
justified in advance in placing their entire responsibility upon those
who have commenced the system, and are the aggressors.

7. That we disclaim all right and any intent to interfere with the bona
fide independent settlers in the Territory of Kansas, from whatever
quarter they may come, or whatever opinions they may entertain; but we
maintain the right to protect ourselves and our property against all
unjust and unconstitutional aggression, present or prospective,
immediate or threatened; and we do not hold it necessary or expedient to
wait until the torch is applied to our dwellings, or the knife to our
throats, before we take measures for our security and the security of
our firesides.

8. That the eighteen counties of Missouri, lying on or near the border
of Kansas, with only an imaginary boundary intervening, contain a
population of about fifty thousand slaves, worth, at present prices,
twenty-five millions of dollars; and this large amount of property, one
half of the entire slave property of the State, is not merely unsafe,
but valueless, if Kansas is made the abode of an army of hired fanatics,
recruited, transported, armed and paid for the special and sole purpose
of abolitionizing Kansas and Missouri.

9. That this convention and the people they represent, and the State
government of Missouri, and the entire people thereof, should take such
measures as to them appear suitable and just and constitutional, to
prevent such disastrous consequences to their security and prosperity
and peace; and confidently relying upon the sympathy and support of the
entire South and South-west, whose ultimate fate must inevitably be the
same with theirs, and confidently relying also upon the conservative
portion of the North, they respectfully appeal to the good sense and
patriotism of the entire North, to put down such fanatical aggressions
as have hitherto characterized the movements of Emigrant Aid Societies,
and leave the settlement of Kansas and the regulation of its domestic
institutions to be controlled as the settlement and institutions of our
other territories have been, by those impulses of self-interest and
congeniality of feeling on the part of settlers, which, by the natural
laws of climate and soil, will, if undisturbed, invariably determine the
ultimate condition of the Territory.

10. That a committee of five be appointed to draw up and publish an
address to the people of the United States, setting forth the history of
this Kansas excitement, with the views and action of our people thereon,
in conformity with the principles and positions of the foregoing
resolutions; and that printed copies of the same, with a copy of these
resolutions appended, be forwarded by the Secretary of this Convention
to the Executive of each State in the Union.

After the reading of which, Judge Napton proceeded to address the
Convention in support of the resolutions.

Judge Napton then read the following resolution, as recommended by the
Committee, to the Convention:

Resolved, That in view of the acts of the legislature of the State of
Massachusetts, and other Northern and Western States, practically
nullifying the Constitution of the United States, and the laws of
Congress relating to the rendition of fugitive slaves, and in
vindication of the Constitution, and for the purpose of preserving the
integrity of the American Union, we recommend to the General Assembly of
Missouri to pass such retaliatory measures, discriminating against the
sale of the productions or manufactures, or material of commerce,
whether of importation by them or of the production of said States,
within this State, as they may deem proper for that purpose, and that
such measures shall be made operative as long as the offensive
legislation above referred to continues on the statute books of those

Mr. Withers, of Clay, moved the adoption of the resolutions as reported
by the Committee, and the vote being taken by counties, resulted in
their unanimous adoption.

On motion of C. F. Jackson, of Saline, the vote upon said resolutions
was then taken by the house, standing, which resulted in their unanimous

A motion was then made to adopt the resolution recommended by the
Committee to the Convention.

Mr. Torbert, of Cooper, offered the following amendment:

"Insert after the word 'manufactures,' the words, or materials of
commerce, whether of importation by them or of their production;"
pending which the Convention adjourned till 2 o'clock, P. M.

                            EVENING SESSION.

The Convention met and was called to order by the President.

Major Morin, of Platte, from the committee appointed to wait on
President Shannon, reported that President Shannon would address the
Convention at any time, at the pleasure of the Convention.

Mr. Torbert, of Cooper, withdrew the amendment offered by him this
morning to the resolution recommended by the Committee, and offered the
following substitute:

Resolved, That in view of the acts of the State of Massachusetts, and
other northern and north-western States, practically nullifying the
Constitution of the United States, and the laws of Congress relating to
the rendition of fugitive slaves, and in vindication of the
Constitution, and for the purpose of preserving the integrity of the
American Union, we recommend to the General Assembly of the State of
Missouri to pass such retaliatory measures as may not be inconsistent
with the Constitution of the United States, or the State of Missouri,
discriminating against the sale of the productions, manufactures, or
goods and merchandise of any description whatever, of said States,
within this State, as may be deemed proper for that purpose, and that
such retaliatory measures shall be made operative as long as the
offensive legislation above referred to continues on the statute books
of those States.

Col. J. B. Brown, of Ray, moved to recommit the original resolution,
together with the substitute, to the Committee on Resolutions.

The previous question was called for and sustained by the Convention. On
this, the President decided, the effect was to require a direct vote on
the adoption of the substitute as offered by Mr. Torbert. From this
decision an appeal was taken by Gov. King, of Ray, and the decision of
the Chair was sustained by the vote of the Convention. The vote then
being taken on the substitute, it was adopted.

Mr. Withers, of Clay, offered a set of resolutions to the Convention for
adoption; whereupon a discussion arose, pending which Mr. Withers
withdrew his resolutions.

Col. T. M. Ewing, of Lafayette, presented to the Convention a letter
from Gov. Metcalf, of Kentucky, which being read, on motion of J. B.
Clark, of Howard, was entered upon the record, and made a part of the
proceedings of this Convention.

                                    FOREST RETREAT, KY., July, 1855.

    _Gentlemen of the Committee_:

    Allow me to acknowledge the receipt of your kind favor of the
    21st ult., inviting me to meet in Convention at Lexington, Mo.,
    on the 12th inst. Your letter having been addressed to me at
    Carlisle, instead of Forest Retreat, Kentucky, delayed its
    reception a few days, in consequence of which this reply may not
    reach you in due time for your meeting. It would indeed afford
    me great pleasure to meet you on that patriotic occasion. But,
    the delicacy of my health at present, although it has not cut
    off all hope of ultimate recovery, is such as to forbid me from
    attempting the journey to Lexington.

    If I am not ungraciously and unfairly treated by my friends of
    the Louisville Journal, a _second_ letter of mine must by this
    time be published in that paper, intended as a reply to their
    editorial commentary upon the _first_--the one referred to in
    your postscript. My first letter that appeared in the Journal,
    had been elicited by one previously received from a friend in
    that place, whose pleasure it was to hand it over for
    publication, to the editor of that paper; and it was published
    accordingly, with a long editorial commentary, in which,
    although kind and even generous enough in a _personal_ point of
    view, they did not fail, _politically_, to give _Old
    Stonehammer_ a right severe pelting with their ingenious and
    hard-twisted sophisms, intended to cast _great blame and all
    sorts of dishonor_ upon the southern section, for having
    supported the Nebraska bill, &c.

    Believing myself, that the North had redeemed itself from the
    disgrace--the dishonor of having disregarded its constitutional
    obligations in refusing to admit Missouri as a State, except
    upon the condition of _restriction_, _north of_ 36° 30', and not
    then, except by a few votes from that section--the most of whom
    were condemned and prostrated by their constituents
    respectively, who at that time denied that the few truant votes
    of the North constituted a bargain on their part, or placed that
    section under any legal or moral obligation to abide by it, I
    was induced in my feeble way to vindicate the voters, North and
    South, who supported the Nebraska bill. It is true, that in 1820
    the southern section yielded to the glaring imposition of
    restriction, rather than keep Missouri any longer out of her
    constitutional right of admission, that being the only
    alternative presented by the North for the time being. But, did
    not all the parties know full well that no power was lodged in
    that Congress to repeal, alter or modify any one of the
    constitutional rights of succeeding generations? Was it not well
    understood by all, that the Federal Convention alone had the
    right to fix upon the line of 36° 30', or upon any other line?
    and just as well known that the Union would never have been
    formed if such an alternative had been presented to our
    illustrious forefathers of that Convention? If in 1820 Congress
    had the power to legislate upon the subject at all, by what
    means has the same body been deprived of the right of
    legislation upon the same subject in 1855?

    To put any other construction than this upon the intention or
    designs of the Congress of 1820, would, to my mind, amount to an
    imputation of great arrogance on the part of that body, in the
    assumption of power not conferred upon it. Admit the right of a
    subsequent Congress to alter or obliterate the line of 36° 30',
    and let this latter _compromise_ be sustained, together with the
    Fugitive Slave Law, and all will be well for the future. Repeal
    these acts, and we shall soon hear of retaliation in other forms
    than described by Mr. Calhoun, which God forbid. But, pardon my
    brevity, and allow me to refer you to my forthcoming letter,
    expected in the Louisville Journal, for my further views
    touching this question.

    With many sincere thanks for your kind invitation, allow me
    respectfully to subscribe myself your honored and ob't servant,

                                                     THOS. METCALF.


    P. S.--It is my intention to visit Missouri, if I can once more
    recover my health so as to justify the undertaking; and in that
    event will certainly call on my Lexington friends of the

                                                               T. M.

Mr. F. A. Kownslar, of Lafayette, offered the following resolution,
which was adopted:

Resolved, That the peace, quiet, and welfare of this and every other
slaveholding State, as also a regard for the integrity of the Union,
require the passage, by the respective State legislatures, of effective
laws, suppressing within said States the circulation of abolition or
freesoil publications, and the promulgation of freesoil or abolition

Mr. Graves, of Howard, moved that the Convention take a recess of
fifteen minutes, and then re-assemble to hear the address of President
Shannon. Motion sustained, and Convention took a recess.

The Convention re-assembled.

President Shannon came forward and delivered his address, after which
Col. Anderson, of Lafayette, moved that the President appoint a
committee to wait on President Shannon, and request a copy of his
address for publication.

Col. S. A. Young moved to amend said motion by the following: That a
committee be appointed to wait on President Shannon, and request a copy
of his address for publication, and that the speech be published in
connexion with, and as a part of the proceedings of this Convention.

Pending which motion, the Convention adjourned till 8 o'clock, to-night.

                             NIGHT SESSION.

The Convention met, and was called to order by the President.

Col. Anderson explained his motion made previous to adjournment, and
Col. Young withdrew his amendment; whereupon a discussion followed, when
F. C. Sharp, Esq., of Lafayette, offered the following resolutions:

1st. Resolved, That the thanks of this Convention are hereby tendered to
President Shannon, for his able and patriotic address delivered before

2d. That President Shannon is hereby requested to furnish a copy of his
address to this Convention for publication; and the Convention hereby
expresses the desire that he will deliver his address in as many
counties in this State, as his duties will allow.

Pending the discussion of these resolutions, Mr. Sharp withdrew his
resolutions and offered the following:

Resolved, That the thanks of this Convention are hereby tendered to
President Shannon, for his address delivered before us, and he is hereby
requested to furnish a copy of the same for publication.

And the vote being taken by counties, the resolution was adopted by the
following vote:

Yeas--Boone, Carroll, Cooper, Howard, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette,
Livingston, Pettis, Platte, St. Louis, Ray.

Noes--Cass, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, Saline. Two other counties voting in
the negative.

(The minutes of the clerk upon taking this vote being imperfect, the
vote by counties cannot be given with certainty.)

Mr. Cook appeared as a delegate from St. Louis, and took his seat in the

On motion, the Convention adjourned till 8 o'clock, to-morrow morning.

                               THIRD DAY.

                                            SATURDAY MORNING, 8 o'clock.

The Convention met, and was called to order by the President.

The President announced the following named gentlemen, to compose the
committee to draw up and publish an address, as required by the tenth

Hon. W. B. Napton, of Saline county, (Chairman;) Hon. M. Oliver, of Ray
county; Gov. Sterling Price, Col. Sam. H. Woodson, of Jackson county,
and Hon. A. A. King, of Ray county.

The President also announced the following committee, to procure and
superintend the printing, under the action of this Convention, as
required by the resolution of Mr. Peabody:

Wm. Shields, Edward Winsor, and Charles Patterson.

It is also made the duty of said last mentioned committee, to call on
President Shannon, and obtain a copy of his speech for publication.

Col. S. A. Young rose and informed the Convention, that he had
information that a letter had been received by a member of this
Convention, Mr. Field, from a distinguished politician, advising and
urging him, that unless certain resolutions were adopted by this
Convention, to secede from the Convention and break it up in a row; and
he wished this matter investigated, and the facts properly brought out.

Mr. Field required of Col. Young to give the name of the distinguished
politician who had written the letter, and whether he referred to him.

Objection was made to the Convention hearing anything further of the
matter complained of by Col. Young.

The President decided that Col. Young was out of order, there being no
proposition before the Convention.

Mr. Moss, of Clay, moved that the Convention proceed to inquire into,
and investigate the matters charged by Col. Young.

Gen. Clark moved to lay the motion of Mr. Moss on the table.

Mr. Field desired to make an explanation. He had called for the name of
the author of the letter; did not get it; could not get him to say he
was the member of the Convention alluded to, as having received the
letter, but, from rumor, supposed he was the Field alluded to, and Maj.
J. S. Rollins the alleged author of the supposed letter. He had a
private letter from Maj. Rollins, which, amongst other things, spoke of
this Convention and its objects, but in terms of approval--giving his
opinions and views in strict accordance with the platform of, and
principles adopted by, this Convention, and denied that there was one
word of truth in the charge that Maj. Rollins advised a secession from
the Convention, or to break it up in a row in any contingency. He said
the letter of Maj. Rollins was at his office, and, although a private
letter, any gentleman who desired could see it; that he had intended, if
the investigation proceeded, to show it in Convention, and appealed to a
number of members of the Convention who had seen the letter, to say
whether he had not given a true statement as to its contents.

Col. Doniphan, Mr. Sawyer, Mr. Grover, and Mr. Moss, who had seen the
letter, confirmed the statement of Mr. Field, as to the contents of the

Col. Young acknowledged himself satisfied, and expressed his
gratification that the rumors on the street to Maj. Rollins' prejudice
were so fully proven to be false and groundless, and said his object in
bringing this matter up was to do but an act of justice to his friend
and neighbor, Maj. Rollins.

The motions to lay on the table and for investigation were withdrawn.

On motion, the thanks of the Convention were tendered to the President
and other officers of the Convention, for the faithful manner in which
they had discharged their duties.

On motion of Maj. Morin, of Platte, a vote of thanks was tendered to the
citizens of Lafayette, for their kind hospitality.

On motion, it was Resolved, That the proceedings of this Convention,
together with the address to be prepared by the committee appointed for
that purpose, be published in pamphlet form; that a committee of three
be appointed by the Chair, to superintend their publication, and that a
contribution be made by the delegates to this Convention and others
present, to defray the expenses of said publication.

Resolved, That ten thousand copies of said proceedings and address be
published, and that they be distributed to every part of the State, by
the publishing committee, in such manner as may be practicable and

On motion of Mr. Staples, of Pettis, the Convention adjourned _sine

                                           WM. T. WOOD, _President_.

    L. A. WISELY, } _Secretaries_.
    L. J. SHARP,  }

                           Transcriber Notes:

Passages in italics were indicated by _underscores_.

Small caps were replaced with ALL CAPS.

On page 5, "manumiting" was replaced with "manumitting".

On page 9, "statesmanshp" was replaced with "statesmanship".

On page 9, "he ways" was replaced with "the ways".

On page 16, "Resolved, that" was replaced with "Resolved, That".

On page 17, "Johnson county" was replaced with two quotation marks.

On page 17, "Davis" was replaced with "Daviess".

On page 17, "Cass County" was replaced with "Cass county".

On page 18, "W Y. Slack" was replaced with "W. Y. Slack".

On page 19, "H. D. Russell" was replaced with "H. D. Russell".

On page 19, "Clinton Co" was replaced with "Clinton Co.".

On page 19, "Jackson, Co." was replaced with "Jackson Co.".

On page 19, "J. M," was replaced with "J. M.".

On page 19, "Manion." was replaced with "Manion,".

On page 20, "Ray Co" was replaced with "Ray Co.".

On page 20, the comma was removed after "Mr. C. T. Worley".

On page 27, "upon t" was replaced with "upon it".

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Address to the People of the United States, together with the Proceedings and Resolutions of the Pro-Slavery Convention of Missouri - Held at Lexington" ***

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