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Indianapolis Old Line Guard (Newspaper) - July 24, 1860, Indianapolis, IndianaLine Constitution the Union and the it Quality of the states vol. Indianapolis Indiana tuesday july 24, 1860. No. 3.the old line guard. Is t n. I Quot at e e k in Quot stat 1 n i Alval Olls i n d 1 a in Aby Kinder a iia ukness. Ties Ivy ? until after Llue presidential election. In Advance in All cases. Advertisements inserted at the Usua of Hon. J. P. Benjamin of Louisiana. Deliver cd in the United states Senate May 22, 1860. Continued the Congress has not Only the right to govern it j but the right either to govern it by delegating Pei sons to hold authority or by exercising discretion and committing to tie people tie right of self government a giving to the people the right of self government by the action of Congress not by inherent sovereignty a rant to be made by Congress to the people of a territory of self government through their legislature and yet the Liono Rable senator from Illinois air. Douglas tells us that although the supreme court of to e United states decided in that Case a decision by which he agreed to abide that the Congress of the United states have the unquestioned Power to govern the territories and although the court decided that Congress could govern them in any Way it pleased in its discretion and although the court decided Liat one Mode of governing them was for Congress to commit to the inhabitants there a Power of self government when Congress has committed that Power he says Itiat the people who got it from Congress live More i Glit than Congress itself and that the territorial legislature which draws its legislative Power from a Grant by Congress can Rise higher Tolian the j onners possessed by the Grant or or in outlier words that the Stream can Rise above its source. Or. Pugh does the senator say that the court meant that Congress makes a Grant of the Power of self government to the people of a territory or. Benjamin clearly. Or. Pugh where does Congress get the Power of ? the phrase is that Congress Lias Jjo Wei of self government Over a territory. It is a contradiction in terms. Or. Benjamin who says that ? Here is the same idol evasion. A. Pugh if i should respond to the senator in equal temper i should Call his an evasion. I desire to know a Here he finds in the dred Scott Case the proposition. Or. Benjamin the court says that Congi Ess May without reference to the action of the people of a territory govern it As it pleases in its then the court says that Congress May instead of that give to the people the Power of self govenis ment. Or. or. Benjamin commit to the Pec pie the Power of self government. Wiat is there absurd in that ? or. Puj 1�?there is nothing absurd in that but i was about to say to the senator if that phrase fits him i Hope he will give the explanation or. Benjamin the Absurdity if any is that of the court not mine. Or. Pugh undoubtedly in tie Case of Lousiana which the senator from Georgia cited yesterday that act was simply preliminary to get Possession of the country and until you have a sufficient Community it j is All Idle to talk about self government but i under stand that paragraph to be that whenever the period arrives that a Community is there and Congress re-1 Cognize the Community Congress has no Power of j self government to Grant it has no such Power. If there is any such Power it comes from some other place and i say it docs not come from Congress. Congress did not have it. Or. Benjamin what is meant by Congress committing the Power of Selt Gove ziment to the people or. Pugh acknowledging it. Or. Benjamin commit Means to acknowledge a i very Well. I or. Pugh in that sense. I ask the senator How j Congress can commit a Power we Rich Congress could j not by any possibility have for it is an Absurdity in terms to say that Congress has the Power of self government in tiie territories. Or. Benjamin Congress has the Power of gov in ment. Or. Pugh then leave the Quot self Quot out. Or. Benjamin exactly when applied to Congress. Congress has the Power of government Over the ter j Rit ories but Wren Congress commits the Power to j the people to govern themselves that is a Power of self government in them. It seens to me so Plain j that language cannot make it plainer. I cannot pursue this discussion with the senator from Ohio. But sir the supreme court of the United states i in relation to this Power of Congress and of the territorial Legislatures has not stopped where i have just read. It has gone further and said Quot the Power Over persons and pro erty of which we speak Quot a that is the Power of confiscating the slaves of tie j citizens of the slave holding states if they go into the territories Quot Are not Only not granted to Congress but Are in express terms denied and they Are forbidden to exercise them. And this prohibition is not confined to the states but the words Are general and extend to the whole territory Over which the Constitution gives j it Power to legislate including those portions of it yet remaining under territorial government As Well As j that covered by states. It is a total absence of Power everywhere within the dominions of the United states and places the citizens of a territory so far As i these rights Are concerned on the same footing with the citizens of the states and guards them As firmly i and plainly against any inroads which the general government might attempt under the plea of implied or incidental Powers and if Congress itself cannot do the if it is beyond the Powers conferred on the Federal government it will be admitted we presume that it could not authorize a territorial government to j exercise them. It could Confer no Power on any local government established by its authority to violate the provisions of the Congress cannot destroy the property of a citizen in his be in a territory. Congress cannot commit to tie people of a territory the Power of government a the senator says Quot self government Quot is absurd then let us say the Power of government but in so committing it the court say they presume it will be admitted that Congress cannot authorize a Tempo rial government to exercise the Powers which Congress itself is prohibited from exercising. Again Quot and if the Constitution recognizes the right of property of the master in a slave and makes no distinction Between that description of property and other property owned by a citizen no tribunal acting under the authority of tie United states Quot a and surely the territorial Legislatures when organized Are acting under our authority Quot no tribunal acting under the authority of the United states whether it be legislative executive or judicial has a right to draw such a distinction or deny to it the Benefit of the Provit a is and guarantees which have been video for the Protection of private property against the encroachments of the now or. President in that connection let me thank the honorable senator from Mississippi for bringing the senator from Illinois to the Point the other Day. We have of him at last where we can understand him. Again and again the distinguished senator from Mississippi called upon the senator from Illinois to define what he meant by squatter sovereignty. He was asked when and How it is that the people of a territory acquired the right of self government. I have Jere his answer. Well Mig it the senator from Mississippi say that the More this subject was examined and discussed the further we got apart. What was the answer of the senator from Illinois ? it was this. Shall i Call it absurd ? no sir senatorial Courtesy will not permit it but i state it in his own language almost. I will read his words presently. When the people of this county first go into the wilderness and find there no government whatever and then exercise that inherent right of self defence Avrich drives men under the Laws Liat Grod has implanted in them to associate together in self defence and organize some system of Law for their own Protection then when it would seem to the common sense of Universal Mankind that no one could say they were wrong in doing that then it is that the senator from Illinois says he repudiates and opposes their Power. That is the squatter sovereignty that he objects to. But when the Sovereign has come in when tie this tee of All the states has taken Possession of the common fund when it has organized a government that suits it in the exercise of its and Ashen it has committed the administration of the affairs of the territory with certain limitations under the Constitution of the United states to a territorial legislature then when the Sovereign is present then the people become invested by some magical process with a inherent popular sovereignty that rises Superior to tie author of their being. That is the position of the senator from Illinois. In answer to the senator from Mississippi he said Quot regarding squatter Sovereign As a Nick name invented by the senator and those with whom he acts which i have never recognized i must leave Liim to define the meaning of Liis own term. I have denounced squatter sovereignty where you find it setting u a government in violation of Law As you do now at Pike s Peak. I denounced it this year. Where you find an unauthorized legislature in violation of Law setting up a government without the Sanction of Congress or tiie constitutions that is squatter sovereignty which i oppose. There h the Cone in Dacotah where you Hove left a whole people without any pm or territorial organization with no Mode of Appeal from their squatter courts to the United states courts to Correct their decisions. That is squatter sovereignty in violation of the Constitution and Laws of the United states. There is a similar government set up Over a part of the state of California and a part of the territory of Utah called Nevada it has had a Delegate Here claiming that he represented it. I have denounced that As unlawful. If that is what the senator referred to i am against it. All i say is that the people of a ten Story when they have been organized under the Constitution and Laws have legislative Power Over All rightful subjects of legislation consistent with the Constitution of the United now the supreme court of the United states says that no tribunal legislative executive or judicial acting under the authority of the United states can interfere with the right of a Southern citizen to his property in the territories. The honorable senator from Illinois says they cannot do it until they Are organized under the authority of the United states. Which is right ? he says the people of a territory do not get the Power until they Are organized under the authority of the general government. The supreme court of the United states says no earthly tribunal organized under the authority of the United states can exercise that Power. Now or. President i cannot go any further into the discussion of this Case because in View of my ulterior purposes in this argument it is no sooner had that decision been made than it was attacked All Over the land. It was attacked by the Republican party. The honorable senator from new Hampshire or. Hale was not satisfied with attacking the principles of the decision. The chief Justice in order to come at the Point to which he was directing his attention declared that he could Only reach the Point by taking into consideration the history of the african race on this continent and looking Back in a historical Point of View to the Date of the adoption of the Constitution and he proceeded to give that history. He stated that at that Date certain principles were prevalent in the country and amongst them that these unfortunate people were considered by Many As having no rights which a White Man was bound to respect. The honorable senator from new Hampshire repeated Here the other Day the statement that this assertion of a historical fact was one of the Points decided by the court in Defiance i suppose of one thousand corrections of the statement that had been made All Over the United states. Again the honorable senator from new York or. Seward who is not now in his seat and whose claims upon the gratitude and Confidence of his party were so ruthlessly set aside at Chicago undertook to get rid of the decision by denouncing the court and senators around me Avirl remember How again and again he stood up Here in the Senate and insinuated in the face of the country that there had been a bargain Between the chief Justice and the president of the United states. He saw what the decision was he did not attempt to evade or avoid it. He tried to get rid of its moral Power by blackening tie character of its author. What says the honorable senator from Illinois ? he does not do that. He now says that his bargain avas that he would abide by the decision of the court when it came up from a local court in a territory. He is not satisfied with the decision although Given by the tribunal to which we All agreed to refer it. He says he did not agree to refer it in the dred Scott Case he agreed to refer it when a Case should arise in a territory. Here is his language Quot Bear in mind that the report introducing the Bill was that these questions touching the right of property in slaves were referred to the local courts to the territorial courts with a Light of Appeal to the supreme court of the United scites. When that to Case shall arise and the court shall pronounce its judgment it will be binding on me on you sir and on every Good or. President i am not satisfied with that Promise and i am not satisfied with it because the honorable senator from ill nois upon several memorable occasions since the a Cir 1857, has said out of the presence of the Senate that if the decision was made it would not bind the people of the territory that the Case could not be so decided As to bind the territory that nothing that the supreme court could do by decision could bind the territory but by the Kansas Nebraska Bill he had fixed the South so that the people of the territory in Defiance of the decisions of the court could exclude slavery from the territory. Here or. President let me come Back to an explanation of that fact which i spoke of before and to which i asked the attention of the Senate and the country. Here stands the explanation of the sudden change that has been wrought in the relations of the senator from Illinois with the rest of the democratic party. It was when in the year 1858, the year following this decision pressed by a canvass at Home eager to return to the Senate he joined in canvassing the state of Illinois with the gentleman who is now the candidate of the Black Republican party for the presidency. Pressed in different portions of the state with this very argument that he had agreed to leave the question to the court that the court had decided it in favor of the South and that therefore under the Kansas Nebraska Bill slavery was fixed in All tie territories of the United states finding himself going Down in Illinois in that canvass he a ked out from his profuse and directly told the people of his state that whether it had Len decided or not and no matter what the court might decide the Kansas Nebraska bul had fixed the Power in the people of the North to make every territory in the Union free. In that contest the two candidates for the Senate of the United states in the state of Illinois went before their people. They agreed to discuss the issues they put questions to each other for answer and i must say Here for i must be just to All that i have been surprised in the examination that i made again within the last few Days of this discussion Between or. Lincoln and or. Douglis to find that on several Points or. Lincoln is a far More conservative Man unless he has since changed his opinions than i had supposed him to be. There was no dodging on his part. Or. Douglas started with his questions. Here they Are with or. Lincoln s answers Quot question 1. I desire to know whether Lincoln to Day stands As he did in 1854, in favor of the unconditional repeal of the fugitive slave Law ? Quot Anscer. I do not now nor Ever did stand in favor of the unconditional repeal of the fugitive slave question 2. I desire him to answer whether he a Quot sated this Chaie after tlws6 Magazine articles stands to Day As he did in 1854, against the Jone Hundred and Twenty five thousand in favor of the Republican candidate and five thousand votes in favor of what he called the Yanites. All the state Republican officers were elected but there was a majority of the legislature of Illinois elected in favor of the senator from Illinois and he came Back Here in Triumph. Last Spring i was forced to leave my country from an attack of a disease in the eyes which required at Tention abroad. For six or eight months i was de-1 barred from Reading or writing. I came Back just before the opening of this Congress and i found Liat during my absence the honorable senator from Illi i nois had been engaged in a controversy in the Public i journals and magazines of the country in relation to the principles that governed the territories of the j United states and that he had copied in those articles j the very arguments that his Republican opponent in Illinois had used against him and was then using against the democratic party. Laughter i have got them Here. Ii St that it May not be said that i admission of any More slave states into the Union even if the people want them ? Quot ans a ver. I do not now nor Ever did stand pledged against the admin in a of any More slave states into the Union. Quot question 3. I want to know whether he stands pledged against the admission of a new state into the Lincoln had taxed him with want of Good Faith under the Constitution for alleging the Power of the local legislature to adopt this unfriendly legislation in a subsequent speech delivered at Columbus Ohio in september 1859, or. Lincoln said to the people j Quot judge Douglas says if the Constitution carries slavery into the territories beyond the Power of Union with such a Constitution As the people of that j the people of the territories to control it As other state May see fit to make ? Quot answer. I do not stand pledged against the admission of a new state into the Union with such a Constitution As the people of that state a see fit to make. Quot question 4. I want to know whether he stands to Day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia ? Quot answer. I do not stand to Day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. Quot question 5. I desire him to answer Wilether he stands pledged to the prohibition of the slave Trade Between the different states Quot answer. I do not stand pledged to the i Mohibi Tion of the slave Trade Between the Dii Lerent states. Quot question 6. I desire to know whether he stands pledged to prohibit slavery in All the territories of the United states North As Well As South of the Missouri Compromise line ? Quot answer. I am impliedly if not express edly pledge to to a belief in the 7-ight and duty of Congress to prohibit slavery in All the United states territories. Quot question 7. I desire him to answer whether he is opposed to the acquisition of any new territory unless slavery is first prohibited therein ? Quot answer. I am not generally opposed to honest acquisitions of territory and in any Given Case i would or would not oppose such acquisition accordingly As i might think such acquisition would or would not aggravate the slavery question among a debates of Lincoln and Douglas p. 88. It is impossible Junir. President however we May differ in opinion with the Man not to Admire the Pei feet Candor and frankness with which these answers were Given no equivocation no evasion. The senator from Illinois had his questions put to him in his turn. All i propose to do now is to read his answer to the second question Quot the next question propounded to me by or. Lincoln is can the people of a territory in any lawful Way against the wishes of any citizen of the United states exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a state Constitution ? i answer emphatically As or. Lincoln has heard me answer a Hundred times from every stump in Illinois that in my opinion the people of a territory can by lawful Means exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a state Constitution. Or. Lincoln knew that i had answered that Iju estion Over and Over he heard me argue the Nebraska Bill on that principle All Over the state in 1854, in 1855, and in 1856, and he has no excuse for pretending to be in doubt As to my position on that All that was True but see the Art the decision had not come yet now the decision has come now what ? Quot it matters not what Way the supreme court May hereafter decide As to the abstract question whether a Avery May or May not go into a territory under the Constitution the people have the lawful Means to introduce or exclude it As they please for the reason that slavery cannot exist a Day or an hour anywhere unless it is supported by the local police regulations. Those police regulations can Only be established by the local legislature and if the people Are opposed to slavery they will elect representatives to that body who will by unfriendly legislation effectually prevent the introduction of it into their midst. If on the con property then it follows locally that every one who swears to support the Constitution of the United states must give that sup Kirt to that property which it needs i and if the Constitution carries slavery into the territories beyond the Power of the people to control Itas other property then it also carries it into the states because the Constitution is the supreme Law of the j land. Now gentlemen if it were not for my excess i Sive modesty i would say that i told that very thing j to judge Douglas quite a year ago. This argument is j Here in print and if it were not for my modesty As 11 said i might Call our attention to it. If you will read it you will find that 1 not Only made that argument but made it better than he has laugh ter now let us look at judge Douglas argument on this subject in Harper s Magazine. The senator from Illinois after thus deliberately violating the agreement that he made with his brother democrats after flying from the result of the decision which he himself had provoked and proposed after declaring that no matter How Many decisions might be made he could always get Clear of them because he has so i fixed it in the Nebraska Bill that the people of the i territory could always in spite of the decisions make j free territories then proceeded in his canvass for the presidency to address himself to the peo Jile of j the United states through a Magazine and the next 5 tricks i am not speaking of it in the sense of Dishonour i or dishonesty the next fantastic trick of the senator was to dress up a Magazine article with the answers of his Republican opponent in Illinois brought i Forward and claimed As discoveries by himself As i shall show and he put Forth to the astonished gaze of the american Republic his new theory that the word Quot states Quot when employed in the con-1 Stit ution of the United states often Means Quot ter-1 let us first look at Liis new constitutional j discovery. In order that i May do the senator no in j Justice i will read what i am sure on its being read j if i had not the Book in my hand would be supposed to be a caricature of the opinions of a Public Man. In speaking of the clause about the surrender of fugitive slaves he says Quot it will be observed that the term state is used in this provision As Well As in various other parts of the Constitution in the same sense in which it was used by or. Jeff i son in his plan for establishing governments for the new states in the territory ceded and to be ceded to the United states and by or. Jav Madison in his proposition to Confer on Congress Power to Institute temporary governments for the new states arising in the unappropriated lands of the United states to designate the political communities. Territories As Well As states within the Dominion of the United states. I Here it is and he goes on to prove it As he says and the proof is so amusing that i will relieve this rather tedious discussion by Reading it for the amuse-1 ment of the Senate j Quot the word states is used in the same sense in the ordinance of the 13th of july 1787, for the government of the territory Northwest of the River Ohio which was passed by the remnant of the Congress of the confederation sitting in new York while its most a eminent members were at Philadelphia As delegates j to the Federal convention aiding in the Foi mation of the Constitution of the United states. Quot in this sense the word states is used in the i a j a i -11 a clause Providinci for the rendition of fugitive slaves tray they Are for it to lung Legisla Ion null favor its exo Alf political communities under the a j tension. Hence no matter what the decision of the United states including the territories i supreme court May be on that abstract Questi of the Union. Under the Liht of the people to make a slave territory of a construction the right of the owner to re i free ice Story is perfect and Complete under the be restricted to the states of the Braska Bill. 1 Hope or. Lincoln deems my answer satisfactory on that Union leaving the territories a secure place of Refuge for Quot Quot a a a All fugitives. The same remark is applicable to he told us a few Days ago that he had agreed that j the clause of the Constitution which provides that a that very question should be submitted to and decided a person charged in any state with treason felony or a by the court. He held out to us Here when we Alto other crime who shall flee from Justice and be found i Gether advocated and supported the Kansas Nebraska j in another state shall on the demand of the executive j Bill that we were submitting a judicial question to 1 authority of the state from which he fled be delivered j the courts and that when that question was decided i up to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the democratic party should be a unit on the question the crime unless the term state As used in these i thus decided but when he goes Home and is pressed a provisions of the Constitution shall be construed to in a local contest and he sees the glittering prize of a i include every distinct political Community under the seat in this chamber slipping from his grasp he turns i jurisdiction of the United states and to apply to ter his Back upon his Promise he repudiates Liis words Rit ories As Well As to the states of the Union the ter he tells his people As he says he has told them a Hun Rit ories must become a Sanctuary for All the fugitives dred times before that even if the court decides from service and Justice for All the felons and Crimi a inst them he has in the Kansas Nebraska act of ? nals who shall escape from the several states and seek trained for the free states a perfect right to make a free Refuge and immunity in the territories. J territory of every slave territory in the Union not j Quot if any other illustration were necessary to show withstanding the decision of the court and yet the i that the political communities which we now Call ter a honorable senator stands up Here and arraign his Rit ories but which during the whole period of the democratic Brethren accuses them of breach of Faith i confederation and the formation of the Constitution j talks to them of turning him out of the party and j were always referred to As states or new states triumphantly appeals to the records of 1840 to show Are recognized As states in some of the provisions of his consistency. Now we Tell him that we will not the Constitution they May be found in those clauses 1 stand upon such promises any More. Once deceived which declare that no state shall enter into any i a Wise Man May be twice deceived by the same per-1 treaty Alliance or confederation Grant letters of i son and the same Means he is a dupe and a fool. He Marque or reprisal Coin Money Emit Bills of credit tells us now again Quot leave it to the courts Quot so that he make anything but Gold and Silver Coin a tender in j May again go Home and addressing his people say to 1 payment of debts i any Bill of attainder sex Post \ the m Quot fellow citizens of Dinois i have got the j Facto Law or Law impairing the obligation of contracts. South for you. I have got them so that no matter or Grant any title of nobility what the decision is you can have a free territory j Quot it must be borne in mind that in each of these and keep their slaves out i cases where the Power is not expressly delegated to Well sir what occurred further in that controversy i Congress the prohibition is not Ninipo a upon the his competitor was shocked at the profligacy of the a Federal government but upon the states. The re senator. His competitor said to him and Here is the was no Nece Ity for any such prohibition upon con argument Quot every body knows that the dred Scott a decision has determined the principle that a citizen of the South has a right to go into the territory and Gress or the Federal government for the reason that the omission to Delegate any such Powers in the con j Stit ution avas of itself a prohibition and so declared there under the Constitution his property is protect in express terms by the tenth amendment which de-1 de and yet you Are telling the people Here that their legislators when they few ear to support the cons Titu lion can violate that constitutional or. Lincoln held up his hands in horror at the proposition. He was bold in the assertion of his own principles but he told the senator from Illinois in that discussion that what he was saying was a Gross outrage on propriety and was breaking the bargain he had made. But again or he told the senator from Illinois that he did not believe in the dred Scott decision because said he if the dred Scott decision be True and slavery extends in the territories under the Constitution of the United states then it also exists in the states it exists in Pennsylvania As Well As in Kansas. The contest is ended. On the popular vote the senator from Illinois was beaten but cording to the representative and senatorial districts of the state he was re elected. The popular vote upon the election of members of the Senate and legislature was one Hundred and went one thousand in his favor dares that the Powers not delegated to the United a states by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the a states Are reserved to the states respectively or to the people Quot hence it would certainly be competent for the states and territories to exercise these Powers but for the prohibition contained in those provisions of the Constitution and inasmuch As the prohibition Only extends to the states the people of the territories i Are still at Liberty to exercise them unless the territories Are included within the term states within the meaning of these provi Nons of the Constitution of the muted this is a constitutional argument elaborately propounded to what the honorable senator yesterday said was the nonsense of the country. Or. \ president is it not observable does not every body see that the senator from Illinois was driven into just that nonsense when he assumed the Power of the peo-1 pie of a territory to exercise what he terms squatter or i Pular sovereignty if they be indeed soc a reigns he is right there is no prohibition on them in the Constitution oif the United states for the prohibitions Are upon states alone and not upon Tempo rial governments. If therefore they be popular sovereigns he does not get rid of his difficulty by saying that when the Constitution talks about states it Means territories because that is not so but he brings himself just to that reduction and Abs drum which with his Peculiar perspicacity he saw straight before him if the territory is Sovereign As there is no restriction upon that sovereignty in the Constitution because the Constitution restrict Only the sovereignty of the states and the Federal government necessarily the people of a territory fave a right to raise armies to wage War to Emit Bills of credit to exercise All those Powers Liat the Constitution of the United states prohibits the from exercising. In order to get rid of this direct additional Absurdity into which he was j lunged he saw no other remedy than to Appeal to the nonsense of the Public with a statement that the Constitution of the uni Teil states meant territories when it said states but sir i live said that the honorable senator from Illinois had in Liis Magazine taken the arguments used by his Republican opponent in the senatorial canvass in Illinois and put them before the people of the country As arguments against his democratic associates who differed from iii in opinion. I have read to you what air. Lincoln said on that subject in his speech in september 1859. Here is what or. Lincoln sail in the speech delivered by him in reply to or. Douglas at Jonesb Oroon the 15th of Seoul her 185s Quot to this judge Douglas answered that they the people of a territory can lawfully exclude slavery from a territory prior to tie formation of a Constitution. Lie goes on to Tell us How it can be done. As i understand him he holds that it can be done by the territorial legislature refusing to make any enactments Abr the Protection of Saver in the territory and especially by adopting unfriendly legislation to it. For the Sake of clearness i will state it again that they can exclude slavery from the territory first by withholding what he assumes to be indispensable assistance to it in the Way of legislation and secondly by unfriendly legislation. If i rightly understand him i wish to ask your attention for a while to his position. Quot in the first place the supreme court of the United states has Deci Deil that any congressional prohibition of slavery in territories is unconstitutional that they have reached this proposition As a conclusion from their former proposition that the Constitution of the United states e Pressly recognizes property in slaves and from that other constitutional provision that no person shall be deprived of property without due process of pretty straightforward propositions one would sup Jose. Quot hence they reach the conclusion thai As the Constitution of the United states expressly recognizes property in slaves and prohibits any Pei son from being deprived of property without due process of Law to pass an act of Congress by Wlinich a Man who owned a slave on one Side of a line would be deprived of him if he took him on the other Side is depriving him of that property without due Jiro Cess of Law. That 1 understand to be the decision of the supreme court. I under stand also that judge Douglas adheres most firmly to that decision and the difficulty is How is it possible for any Power to exclude slavery from the territory unless in violation of that decision ? that is the difficulty. Quot in the Senate of the United states in 1856, judge Trumbull in a speech substantially if not directly put the same interrogatory to judge Douglas As to whether the people of a territory had the lawful Power to exclude slavery prior to the formation of a Constitution. Judge Douglas then answered at considerable length and his answer will be found in the congressional Globe under Date of june 9, 1856.&Quot i have not that answer but i have his answer of the 2d of july 1856, which the senator from Georgia read yesterday in which he says Quot my answer then was and now is Quot a Here is his senatorial answer in Congress Here Quot my answer then was and now is that if the Constitution carries slavery there let it go and no Power on Earth can take it away but if the Constitution does not carry it there no Power but the people can Cany it there. Not just what he said in Illinois. Or. Lincoln proceeds Quot the judge said that whether the people could exclude slavery prior to the formation of a Constitution or not was a question to he decided by the supreme court. He put that proposition As will be seen by the congressional Globe in a variety of forms All running to the same thing in substance that it was a question for the supreme court. I maintain that when he says after the supreme court have decided the question that the people May yet exclude slavery by any Means whatever he does virtually say that it is not a question for the supreme court. He shifts his ground. I Appeal to you whether he did not say it was a question for the supreme court. Has not the supreme court decided that question when he now says the a Ople Way exclude slavery does he not make it a question for the people ? does he not virtually shift his ground and say it is not a question for the court but for the people ? this is a very simple proposition a very j lain and naked a a a a Quot again i will ask you my friends if you were elected members of the legislature what would be the first thing you would have to do before entering upon your duties swear to support the Constitution of the United states. Sup Wise you believe As judge Douglas does that the Constitution of the United states guaranties to your neighbor the right to hold slaves in Tiit territory that they Are his property How can Yon Clear your oaths unless you give him such legislation As is necessary to enable him to enjoy that property ? what do you understand by supporting the Constitution of a state or of the United states ? is it not to give such constitutional helps to the rights established by Liat Constitution As May be practice my needed ? can you if you swear to support the Constitution and believe that the Constitution establishes a right Clear your oath without giving it support a do you sup Wrt the Constitution if knowing or believing there is a right established under it Wlinich needs specific Ingi Stion you with hold that legislation ? do you not violate and disregard your oath ? i can conceive of nothing plainer in the world. There can be nothing in the words support the Constitution if you May run counter to it by refusing support to any right established under the Constitution. And what i say Here will hold wit i still More Foree against the judge s doctrine of unfriendly legislation How could you having sworn to support the Constitution and Benev ing it guarantied the right to hold slaves in the territories assist in legislation intended to defeat that right ? that would be violating your own View of the Constitution. Not Only so but if you were to do so How Long would it take the courts to hold your votes unconstitutional and void ? not a moment. Quot lastly i would ask is not Congress itself under obligation to give legislative support to any right that is established in the United states Constitution ? i repeat the question is not Congress itself bound to give legislative support to any Rig it that is established in the United states Constitution a member of Congress swears to support the Constitution of the United states and if he sees a right established by that Constitution Wlinich needs specific be Stative Protection can he Clear his oath without giving that Protection ? let me ask you Why Many of us who be opposed to slavery upon Princi give oar acquiescence to a fugitive slave Law ? Why do we hold of selves under obligations to pass such a Law and abide it when it is passed ? because the Constitution makes provision that the owners of slaves shall have the right to reclaim them. It gives the right to reclaim slaves and that is As judge Douglas says a Barren right unless there is be lation that will enforce concluded in next number
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