« AnteriorContinuar »
Now, mark you
1778, and, in reply to Mr. Hamilton, in the fol"do, in the name and in the behalf of the people of Vir-| lowing July, Mr. Madison said: ginia, declare and make known, that the powers granted
“The idea of reserving a right to withdraw was started under the Constitution, being derived from the people of
at Richmond, and considered as a conditional ratification, the United States, be resumed by them whensoever the
which was itself abandoned as worse than a rejection." same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.". Elliots Debates on the Federal Constitution, vol. 3, p. 656. .
Does not that show that I have put the correct They declare, in behalf of Virginia, that the interpretation upon it? James Madison underpeople of the United States, to “be resumed by soon rely upon his construction of the ordinance them whenever they shall be converted to their that brought Virginia into the Union as I would injury or oppression." Who is to resume them? on that of the distinguished Senator from Oregon. The people of the United States. That idea was
I am inclined to think he was quite as familiar always inculcated by James Madison. What with the history of that transaction and with the more do they say? This is not the ratifying whole subject as the Senator from Oregon, with clause. They say:
all his familiarity and astuteness on the subject.
So much in answer to that portion of the Sena“6 With these impressions”
tor's argument. We find upon an examination, Not these conditions, not these reservations as I before remarked, that nine States had ratified With these impressions, with a solemn appeal to the
the Constitution before Virginia came in. New Searcher of hearts, for the purity of our intentions, and York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island came in under the conviction thạt whatsoever imperfections may afterwards. Mr. Madison so understood it. The exist in the Constitution, ought rather to be examined in fathers of the Republic so understood it. The the mode prescribed therein, than to bring the Union into danger by delay with a hope of obtaining amendments pre-country so understand it. Common sense so unvious to the ratification."
derstands it. Practicability so understands it. Now comes the ordinance of adoption; and salvation of the Government so understands it, as
Everything that pertains to the preservation and what is it:
contradistinguished from the admission of this “We, the said delegates, in the name and behalf of the doctrine of secession. people of Virginia, do, by these presents, assent to and ratify the Constitution, recommended on the 17th day of Sep. \ernment was formed; the Constitution was rati
But let us progress a little further. The Govmeilt of the United States; hereby announcing to all whomfied; and after the Constitution was ratified and it may concern that the said constitution is binding upon the Government in existence, there is provision the said people, according to an authentic copy hereunto annexed in the words following."--Elliot's Debates on the made, for what? " New States may be admitted Federal Constitution, vol. 3, p. 656.
by the Congress into this Union.'
These are Is there any reservation or condition there? It power to prescribe the terms and conditions of
the words of the Constitution. Congress has the seems to me that the sight of a man would be admission of a new State into the Union; and in tolerably keen that could see a condition there, the discretion of Congress, they are admitted upon When was this? We find that Virginia adopted an equal footing with the other States. It being that on Tuesday, June 26, 1788. When did South Carolina come into the Union? Before Virginia ernment can exercise incidents that are necessary
an express grant to admit, I say the Federal Govdid. If Virginia made a condition, South Caro- and proper to carry the admission of States into lina was already in. How many States were in? | existence upon such a basis as they believe the The covenant was formed and had been ratified by nine States before Virginia came into the good of the Government demands. I am not so Union. The idea of Virginia appending condi- sure, but the admission of a new State is placed tions after the Government was formed and the upon a different ground from that of one of the
original States ratifying the Constitution. As the Constitution ratified by nine States !
But, to make this thing more clear, Mr. Madi- || Senator seems to be so familiar with things of this son, while in New York, received a letter from sort, I will refer to the act admitting the State of
Alabama: Mr. Hamilton, stating that he had some doubts as to the ratification of the Constitution by New
An act to enable the people of Alabama Territory to form York; that they wanted some conditions, and one of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the
a constitution and State government, and for the adinission condition was,
that they might have the privilege to original States. (Approved March 2, 1819.) recede within five or seven years in the event cer- Be it enacted, &c., That the inhabitants of the Territory tain amendments were not adopted to the Consti- of Alabama be, and they are hereby, authorized to form for tution. I should have remarked, before passing sume such name as they may think proper; and that the to this, that they adopted it, not wanting delay, said Territory, when formed into a State, shall be admitted and then went in the same committee to report a
into the Union upon the same footing with the original long list of amendments to be submitted, and
States, in all respects whatever. some of them were ratified afterwards by the dif- Here is the ordinance of Alabama accepting the
States. Mr. Madison writes, in reply to terms of the above act; passed 2d August, 1819: Mr. Hamilton, and tells him, if the Constitution
66 This convention, for and in behalf of the people inhabis adopted, it must be adopted in toto, without iting this State, do accept the propositions offered by the reservation or condition. I am inclined to think act of Congress under which they are assembled; and this Mr. Madison had some idea of this ordinance. Il convention, for and in behalf of the people inhabiting this think he understood it. Here is his letter. That || 6. And this ordinance is hereby declared irrevocable with
State, do ordain, agree, and declare." ordinance was adopted in Virginia, on June 26, ll out the consent of the United States.?
This act was declared irrevocable. They agreed “ Things of which the use is inexhaustible, such as the to the conditions offered to them in the act of Con
sea and running water, cannot be so appropriated as to ex
clude others from using these elements in any manner which gress with reference to the public lands and other
does not occasion a loss or inconvenience to the proprietor. subjects, and then the ordinance of coming into the This is what is called an innocent use. Thus we have seen Union was declared irrevocable without the con- that the jurisdiction possessed by one nation over sounds, sent of the United States. Congress then passed straits, and other arms of the sea leading through its own an act accepting them upon the terms they im- territory to that of another, or to other seas common to all
nations, does not exclude others from the right of innocent posed. That was the compact. What has been passage through these communications. The same prindone to Alabama? What great complaint has she? | ciple is applicable to rivers flowing from one State through Why should she leave the Union in such hot
the territory of another into the sea, or into the territory of haste?
a third State. The right of navigating, for commercial pur
poses, a river which flows through the territories of differSo much for that, sir. In the remarks that I ent States, is common to all the nations inhabiting the difmade when I last addressed the Senate, I referred ferent parts of its banks; but this right of innocent passage to the constitution of the State of Tennessee, II being what the text writers call an imperfect right, its exwhich was adopted in 1796, and their bill of rights, of the State affected by it, and can only be effectually scin which they declare that they would never sur- cured by mutual convention regulating the mode of its exrender or give up the navigation of the Missis- ercise. sippi to any people. The Senator from Oregon, right of using all the means which are necessary to the se
" It seems that this right draws after it the incidental on that occasion, in reply to me, used the follow
cuire enjoyment of the principal right itself. Thus the Roing language:
man law, which considered navigable rivers as public or 6 Tlien he is concerned about the navigation of the Mis
common property, declared that the right to the use of the sissippi river. He says that the great State of Tennessee
shiores was incident to that of the water, and that the right and he, hiinself, are concerned about the navigation of that
to navigate a river involved the right to moor vessels to its river. I believe it is recognized as the law of nations, as
banks, to lade and unlade cargoes, &c. The public jurists the law of all civilized nations, that a great inland sea run
apply this principle of the Roman civil law to the same case ning through several Governments shall be open equally to
between nations, and infer the right to use the adjacent all of them; and besides, as the honorable Senator from
land for these purposes, as means necessary to the attainLouisiana said, there is no man in Louisiana that would
ment of the end for which the free navigation of the water think for a moment of depriving Tennessee of the right of
is permitted."-Wheaton's Elements of International Law, , navigating that great river. No, sir, nor Kentucky either,
part 2, chap. 4, pp. 252, 253, 254. nor Indiana, nor Illinois, nor any other State whose waters Now, what are we told? That Louisiana, for fiow into that mighty stream. No such thing would ever be which we paid $15,000,000, whose battles we done."
fought, whose custom-houses, forts, arsenals, That was the Senator's declaration then; that dock-yards, and hospitals we built, --in the exernobody would question the right of those States cise of the plenitude of her power, declares that she to navigate that great inland sea. He seemed to
has control of the Mississippi, and such States show great familiarity with international law. I took iť for granted that he had read Grotius and tions with her, she being the judge. Is not this
may navigate that stream as are on friendly relaWheaton upon international law, and all the other what the dogma of secession leads us to? We see authorities on the subject, for he spoke about it where it carries us; we see in what it will endwith great familiarity, as if he understood it well. I litigation, war, and bloodshed. As I remarked How does the matter stand, sir? Before the before, as we approach and advance in the invesprinter's ink that impressed his speech upon the tigation of the subject, we discover its enormities paper is dry, we find an ordinance passed, as I remarked before, by the State of Louisiana, de- of anarchy, which is the next step to despotism
more and more. I repeat, it is the prolific mother claring negatively that she has the right to control itself. The Senator from Oregon seems not to be the navigation of that river under her act of seces- | apprehensive at all; and yet, before his voice has sion. If the Senator had put himself to the trou- done reverberating in the Hall, we have the open ble, as I presume he did, or ought to have done, declaration that they intend to exercise the conto examine this subject, he would have found that trol of the navigation of the Mississippi. Would the navigation of the Mississippi river has been a
it not have been better for Louisianasubject of negotiation for years upon years. He
alla 21, LANE. rivers throughout the world has been the subject Mr. JOHNSON, of Tennessee. I do not want of long, angry, and contested negotiation. While
to be interrupted. I certainly mean no discourupon this point, I desire to present to the Senate tesy at all to the Senator. an extract from a leading authority on this sub- Mr. LANE. I only wish to say, in the way ject. I read from Wheaton's Elements of Interna- of explanation, that the people of New Orleans tional Law:
have had police regulations by which they have “The territory of the State includes the lakes, seas, collected taxes to improve their wharves ever since and rivers, entirely inclosed within its limits. The rivers
New Orleans belonged to this country. which flow through the territory also form a part of the domain, from their sources to their moutlige
Mr. JOHNSON, of Tennessee. It is a very they flow within the territory, including the bays or estua- common thing in all cities where there are wharves, ries formed by their junction with the sea. Where a navi- either on the river or ocean, to have what is comgable river forms the boundary of coterminous States, the
We understand middle of the chanuel, or thalweg, is generally taken as the monly called a wharfage tax. line of separation between the two states, the presumption that. The navigation of the high seas and rivers of law being that the right of navigation is common to both; is
is a different thing from paying wharfage and a but this presumption may be destroyed by actual proof of little tax to defray the expense of keeping wharves prior occupancy and long undisturbed possession, giving to one of the riparian proprietors the exclusive title to the
and docks up. We understand all about that. That is a very different affair from placing bat
teries at this early day upon the banks of that he goes on to state-and I will do him justice by great stream.
reading his speech, for I do not want to misquote Mr. LANE. That was against the common him: enémy,
« But, sir, understand me; I am not a disunionist. Iam Mr. JOHNSON, of Tennessee. I did not know for the right, and I would have it in the Union; and if it we had any enemies in these States. I thought cannot be obtained there, I would go out of the Union, and we were brothers, and were entitled to carry on
have that out of the Union that I could not obtain in it, free trade from one extremity of this Confederacy though I was entitled to it.” to the other. I did not know that the people of Mr. President, I have called the attention of the Indiana and Illinois and Kentucky and Tennessee, Senate to the paragraph of the Senator's speech going along down that river, had got to be enemies. which I have just read, in which he disavows dissuppose,
however, when we look at these things union sentiments; but when you take the precedour minds change and vary by varying circum- || ing part of his speech, you find that he advocates stances. When we are candidates for the Presi- | the doctrine of disunion and secession almost from dency, we feel more like brothers; but when we the beginning up to the sentence that I have read. have made the experiment, and signally failed, I | It seems to me it is paradoxical; but that may be suppose the enemy's line begins just at the line my misfortune, not his. He may be capable of where our defeat was consummated. [Laughter reconciling the conflict, the seeming inconsistency and applause in the galleries.]
of first advocating the doctrine of dissolution, seThe PRESIDING OFFICER called to order. cession, and disunion, and then at the same time
Mr.JOHNSON, of Tennessee. How long has exclaiming that he is no disunionist. I do not it been since we were prepared to go to war with | know how a Senator can be for the Union, and at the most formidable Power upon earth because the same time concede the right that a State has she claimed the right of search? We would not the authority to secede under the Constitution; concede to Great Britain the right of searching that it is justified in seceding, and ought to secede; our ships on the high seas; and yet what do we that when it demands rights in the Union that it now see? Batteries placed upon the banks of the cannot get, it should go out of the Union to obMississippi to enforce the right of search. Do we tain that which could not be obtained in it. But not see where it will lead? Do we not all know | let all that pass. I wish to do him no injustice; in what it will end?
and therefore I desired to call attention, in the I have no disposition to do the Senator from remarks that I am making, to his disclaimer of Oregon, or any other Senator, injustice. In this being a disunionist and a secessionist. connection, I will say, as I have intimated be- Mr. President, the Senator, in the sentence I fore, that I thought his attack upon me unkind have quoted, assumes that South Carolina, for and uncalled for. Let that be as it may, it is not instance, had the right to secede; and he assumes, my disposition or my intention, on this occasion, also, that South Carolina can obtain that out of to do him injustice. 'I intend to do him full jus- the Union which she has failed to obtain in it. tice. In the reply that he made to me to which Let us raise the inquiry here: what is it, since she I yesterday referred-he gave the contradiction entered into this Confederacy of States, that South direct to what I stated in the presidential canvass, Carolina has desired or asked at the hands of the in answer to the charge that had been made that Federal Government, or demanded upon constiyou, Mr. President, and the Senator from Ore-tutional ground, that she has not obtained: What gon, were disunionists; were in favor of secession; || great wrong, what great injury, has been inflicted and that you were used by what was called the upon South Carolina by her continuance in this seceding or disunion party for the purpose of dis- Union of States? I know it is very easy, and rupting and breaking up the Government. I met even Senators have fallen into the habit of it, to those charges because I believed they were un-repeat some phrases almost as a chorus to a song; true, that they were not founded in fact--in various such as if we cannot get our rights in the Union, places, before large assemblies, and, I thought, we will go out of the Union and obtain those successfully, at least to my own mind, exonerated rights; that we are for the equality of the States you and the candidate for the Vice Presidency in the Union, and if we cannot get it we will go from the charge. I confess it was somewhat mor- out of the Union,'! I suppose to bring about that tifying to me, after the reply which the Senator equality. What is the point of controversy in made, to have to say to the people, and the coun- the public mind at this time? Let us look at the try generally, that'I vindicated him against a question as it is. We know that the issue which charge which was true; for, when we take up his has been before the country to a very great exspeech here in reply to the remarks that I made tent, and which, in fact, has recently occupied the on that occasion, none of which had the slightest consideration of the public, is the territorial quesreference to him, involving neither his position tion. It is said that South Carolina has been rebefore the country, nor his consistency as a legis- fused her rights in the Union, with reference to lator, we find that he took bold ground, advocat- that territorial question, and therefore she is going ing and justifying secession, arguing, in fact, that out of the Union to obtain that which she cannot it was constitutional. I felt, after that speech, I get in it. that I was involved in inconsistency before my Now, Mr. President, when we come to exam, people, an inconsistency in which I'ought not to ine this subject, how does the matter stand? I have been involved.
showed yesterday, in reference to the protection But in that same speech, in which the honora- of slave property in the Territories of this conble Senator involved me in these contradictions; ll federacy, that South Carolina, in connection with the distinguished Senator from Oregon, had voted the plenitude of her power, and upon her own expressly that no slavery code was needed; that volition, without consultation with the other States no further protection was needed, so far as Con- of this Confederacy, has gone out of the Union, gress was concerned. They decided it here in this
or assumed to go out. The next inquiry is: what body. South Carolina, by her own vote, on the does South Carolina now get, in the language of 25th day of May last, decided that she needed no the distinguished Senator from Oregon, out of the further protection in the Territories of the United || Union that she did not get in the Union ? Is there States, so far as Congress was concerned. The a man in South Carolina to-day that wants to carry Senator from Oregon voted with her. That vote a single slave into any Territory we have got in seemed to be connected with and predicated upon the United States that is now unoccupied by slave the great fact that the Supreme Court of the United property? I am almost ready to hazard the asStates had decided this question; that they had de- / sertion that there is not one. If he had not the clared the Missouri compromisemin other words, ll power and the right to carry his slave property the law excluding slavery north of 360 30', and into a Territory while in the Union, has he obmaking it permissive south of 360 30'-unconsti- tained that right now by going out of the Union? tutional and void; and, according to our forms of | Has anything been obtained by violating the Government, it was in fact stricken from the stat- Constitution of the United States, by withdrawute-book by the decision of the court. Theying from the sisterhood of States, that could not thereby said to the country, the supreme arbiter have been obtained in it? Can South Carolina, of the land, so made by the Constitution of the now, any more conveniently and practically carry United States, has decided that the people have a slavery into the Territories than she could before right, without regard to the character or descrip- she went out of the Union? Then what has she tion of their property, to carry it into all the Ter- obtained? What has she got, even upon the docritories of the United States, and that under the trine laid down by the distinguished Senator from Constitution of the United States it is protected Oregon? there.' It was said, the court having decided that But it is argued, striding over the Constitution they had a right to go there with this institution and violating that comity and faith which should of slavery, and the Constitution finding it there, exist amongst the States composing this Confedit was recognized and protected by the Constitu-eracy, that she had a right to secede; she had a tion of the United States.
right to carry slaves into the Territories; and In this connection, permit me to go outside of therefore, she will secede and go out of the Union. the Senate Chamber, and state what occurred in This reasoning on the part of South Carolina is my own State. There, those who were the best about as sound as that of the madman, who asfriends of the distinguished Senator from Oregon, sumed that he had dominion over the beasts of the and who are ultra upon this subject, before thou-| forest, and therefore that he had a right to shear sands of the people of that State took the bold a wolf. His friends remonstrated with him, and, ground that they wanted no further protection admitting his right to do so, inquired of him if he from Congress; that the Constitution of the Uni-| had considered the danger and the difficulty of the ted States and the opinion of the Supreme Court attempt. "No," said the madman, “ I have not were all the slavery code they desired; that the considered that; that is no part of my consideraquestion was settled; that the power was com- tion; man has the dominion over the beasts of the plete; and that protection was ample.
forest, and therefore he has a right to shear a In this connection, sir, we must recollect the wolf; and as I have a right to do so, I will exerdecision made by the Senate upon the resolutions |cise it." His friends still remonstrated and exintroduced by the Senator from Mississippi [Mr. postulated, and asked him, not only “Have you Dávis) on the 25th day of May last. On that considered the danger, the difficulty, and the condạy, under the solemn sanction of an oath, and sequences resulting from such an attempt; but, all the formalities of legislation spread upon the what will the shearing be worth?” 66 But," he Journals, the yeas and nays being taken, we de- || replied, "I have the right, and therefore I will clared, after an argument on the subject, that no shear a wolf.” South Carolina has the right, further protection was needed at that time. The according to the doctrine of the seceders and disSenate went on and stated, in the fifth resolution-unionists of this country, to go out of the Union, , I give the substance, I do not pretend to repeat the and therefore she will go out of the Union. words--that if hereafter it should become neces- And what, Mr. President, has South Carolina sary to have protection of this kind, then Congress gained by going out? It has been just about as should give it; but they said it was unnecessary | profitable an operation as the shearing of the wolf at that time. If South Carolina and the Senator | by the madman. Can she now carry slaves into from Oregon took this position then, what has the Territories? Does she even get any division transpired since that period of time that now jus- of the Territories ? None; she has lost all that. tifies a State in withdrawing or seceding from this Does she establish a right? No; but by the exerUnion, on account of Congress not doing that | cise of this abstract right, as contended for by which they declared was not necessary to be done? | secessionists, what has she got? Oppression, tax
But let us take the fact as it is. South Caro-lation, a reign of terror over her people, as the lina, it is said, wanted protection in the Territories. result of their rashness in the exercise of this asI have shown that she said, herself, that further sumed right. In what condition is her people now? protection was not needed; but if it should be They have gone out of the Union to obtain their needed, then Congress should give it. But South rights, to maintain their liberty, to get that out of Carolina--the Kingdom of South Carolina--in the Union which they could not get in it! While
out of the
they were in the Union, they were not taxed a The Abolitionists, and those who entertain their million and some six or seven or eight hundred sentiments, abuse men of the South, and men of thousand dollars, in addition to their usual ex- the South abuse them in return. They do not penditures, to sustain standing armies and to meet fight each other, but they both become offended other expenditures which are incurred by sepa- | and enraged. One is dissatisfied with the other; ration. But still she has the right to tax her peo- one is insulted by the other; and then, to 'seek reple; she has the right to institute a reign of terror; | venge, to gratify themselves, they both agree to she has the right to exclude her people from the make war upon the Union that never offended or ballot-box; and she has exercised the right, and injured either. Is this right? What has this these are the consequences. She has gother rights ! Union done? Why should these contending parShe has gone out of the Union to be free, and has ties make war upon it because they have 'insulted introduced a galling system of tyranný. She has and aggrieved each other? This glorious Union, gone out of the Union to be relieved from taxes, that was spoken into existence by the fathers of and has increased the burdens upon her people the country, must be made war upon to gratify fourfold. All this is in the exercise of her right! these animosities. Shall we, because we have said
Mr. President, when we examine this subject, || bitter things of each other which have been offensand follow it step by step, to see what is gained by ive, turn upon the Government, and seek its dethis movement, human reason deplores the folly struction, and entail all the disastrous consewhich it exhibits. The public mind seems to quences upon commerce, upon agriculturë, upon have been inflamed to madness, and in its deli- the industrial pursuits of the country, that must rium it overbears all restraint. To some it ap- result from the breaking up of a great Governis crumbling to pieces; that the temple of liberty | Union that we cannot get in-it? Anything? I is upheaved; that its columns are falling, and that have been zealously contending for and intend to nothing will remain but a general ruin; and in continue to contend for every right, even to the their consternation too many stand back appalled, ninth part of a hair, that I feel the State whịch I and take no position for the relief of their country have the honor in part to represent is entitled to. in the pending crisis. But, sir, the relations that I do notintend to demand anything but that which we bear to the people of the United States, behoove is right; and I will remark, in this connection, every man, whether Senator or Representative, that there is a spirit in the country which, if it or even private citizen, to come forward as a patriot || does not exist to a very great extent in this Hall, and lover of his country, and look at the condition does exist in the great mass of the people North of the country as it is. Without regard to the con- and South, to do what is right; and if the quessequences upon myself, I have determined to meet|tion could be taken away from politicians; if it this question, and to present my views to the could be taken away from the Congress of the country in such form as I believe to be right and United States, and referred to the great niass of proper:
the intelligent voting population of the United Sir, let us look at the contest through which States, they would settle it without the slightest we are passing, and consider what South Caro- || difficulty, and bid defiance to secessionists and lina, and the other States who have undertaken disunionists. [Applause in the galleries.] to sécede from the Confederacy, have gained. The VICE PRESIDENT. There must be What is the great difficulty which has existed in many persons in the galleries who have been the public mind? We know that, practically, the warned again and again that order must be mainterritorial question is settled. Then what is the tained. I hope not to have occasion to refer to cause for breaking up this great Union of States ? the subject again. Has the Union or the Constitution encroached Mr. JOHNSON, of Tennessee. Mr. President, upon the rights of South Carolina or any other I have an abiding confidence in the people; and State? Has this glorious Union, that was inaugu- | if it were so arranged to-day that the great máss rated by the adoption of the Constitution, which of the American people could be assembled in an was framed by the patriots and sages of the Revo- | amphitheater capacious enough to contain them lution, harmed South Carolina or any other State ? || all, and the propositions which have been preNo; it has offended none; it has protected all. sented here to preserve this Union, could be reWhat is the difficulty? We have some bad men duced to a tangible shape, and submitted to them, in the South--the truth I will speakmand we have politicians being left out of view, the question some bad men in the North, who want to dis- being submitted to the great mass of the people, solve this Union in order to gratify their unhal- it being their interest to do right, they being lovers lowed ařbition. And what do we find here upon of their country, having to pay all, having to prothis floor and upon the floor of the other House duce all, having to provide all, there would be but of Congress? Words of crimination and recrim- i one single response, ination are heard. Bad men North say provoking | satisfaction, ampleandcomplete, to the variousand and bad herence to the institutions of the South, ll conflicting sections of this glorious Republic.'s.
and bad tempered men of the South But; sir, how are we situated? There are polsay provoking and insulting things in return; and iticians here, and throughout the land, some of so goes on a war of crimination and recrimination whom want to break up the Union, to promote in reference to the two sections of the country, their own personal aggrandizement; some, on the and the institutions peculiar to each. They be- ll other hand, desire the Union destroyed that slacome enraged and insulted, and then they are de- || very may be extinguished. Then let me appeal nunciatory of each other; and what is the result ? Il to every patriot in the land, in view of this state