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lands. If the Mason and Dixon line was run out to the Pacific ocean, where would it strike ? Very near Monterey. Ah! what a beautiful State would that part of the country to the southward of Monterey make for the Southern portion of the people of the United States. Nearly the whole mass of the native Californians in the country would be included in the Southern portion. Would the Southern people desire to come here with their slaves ? Yes, sir. There are many of them on their way now. It is a well known fact that cotton has not paid a good price since the days of the Brandon Bank; and I am certain that any Southern gentleman would prefer moving here with bis slaves. I would be very happy to see Southern gentlemen settling in California ; but we do not want their dark appendages. I am no abolitionist or amalgamationist. I lived in the South about two years, and I only oppose the introduction of slaves from the fact that the institution could not exist here in connection with white labor. Are not the whites already at war with the hordes from South America that are filling the mining districts. Numbers have been ordered off from the north and middle forks of the Rio de los Americanos. And even when the gold was first discovered, disputes arose between parties who lived in the mining districts, and those bringing Indians from other districts. The free white man will not labor side by side with the slave, unless forced.
It is a matter of vast importance to the people of this Territory that our Constitution should go to Congress with a boundary for the State that no fault can be found with. It is of vital importance that this State Government, when fully formed, should immediately go into operation. We are able, and have an undoubted right to do so ; and should the United States not receive us into the Union, are we not able to take care of ourselves? And does such an event render it incumbent upon us to pause where we stand for one moment. No, sir. We have taken the first step towards establishing a government, and I say let it be done, and done speedily! Some gentlemen have preferred leaving the eastern boundary open. If, upon the presentation of our Constitution in Congress, any debating should arise, they may not immediately admit us ; and to prevent and difficulty occurring in regard to an open boundary, I am opposed to taking no more territory than we actually Tequire, so that no objection can be raised in Congress regarding the boundary. This I conceive to be the only debatable matter that can be taken hold of. Let the members of the Legislature be elected, and all the necessary officers for the State Government filled. If we are capable of forming a government at all, we are as well prepared to do so now as we will be in two years hence. Delay is dangerous, and will give opportunities to flood the country with slaves, for there are slaves now on their way here. I wish to see the officers of the State, when elected, immediately enter upon the duties of their respective posts (or as soon thereafter as p acticable,) that the machinery may be immediately in full operation. We are not obliged to wait the action of Congrees. California is a peculiar country, and contains a population equally as strange. From all parts of the world are the eager gold hunters wending their way here ; almost every sail that whitens the Pacific, contains a beating heart, and a mind fevered by the exciting reports, spread about California. The laborer, the mechanic, the lawyer, the preacher, the politician, and the statesman, are all removing bag and baggage to California. Who would make suit for poor California a few years ago in her sober garb? There were none but early adventurers, the hardy pioneer, in her sylvan groves. But in her now rich attire, a thousand admiring suitors are ever ready to attend her wants. Well may the people watch her interests with a jealous eye. How much has already been said about the emigration from all parts of the world daily pouring into this country to obtain our gold; for what purpose ? To improve and embellish the country? To pay taxes for supporting a government? No, sir. To carry the produce of their labor into other countries. As well might a man come into my wheat field and carry away from my wheat stack the produce of my farm. I may appear to be deviating from the matter under consideration. But I contend that all these questions have a definite bearing upon our labors. What effect the discussions of this Convention may have upon the home Government, we have yet to learn. But I hope every man in this Convention is fully aware of the position he occupies. The people of California have sent you here to make a Constitution for them. They doubiless have full confidence in your abilities and integrity, or they never would have sent you. In making this Constitution, they expect you to settle many important questions relative to the interests and wants of the people of this country; and amongst these is a most important one-the boundary. I trust it may be definitely determined by your vote, and determined with a view to the true interests of California.
Mr. McCARVER. I desire to ask if gentlemen suppose that this Convention is able to settle a question which all the talent and wisdom in Congress could not settle? I believe that both parties in Congress would be willing to leave this matter to the inhabitants of California so far as regards the territory that properly comes within the limits of this State ; but my colleague from Sacramento (Mr. Sherwood, argues that we should settle it to the full extent of the territory acquired from Mexico, known as California. Not a gentleman here seems to be willing to admit that Congress will sanction a line extending to New Mexico; and the very fact that they give Congress the privilege of reducing it, shows that they prefer the lesser boundary. The only object, therefore, is to settle the question of slavery beyond that line. No member desires that we should embrace it within our limits as a State ; this is the only point at issue. I ask gentlemen to reflect on the proposition they make. Is it at all likely that Congress will permit a handful of men on the remote shores of the Pacific, to determine for them this question over an extent of territory equal to the whole South ? I ask what do we gain by leaving an indefinite boundary? So far as I can see, we only open the door of debate. It is impossible for me to arrive at any other conclusion. Sir, we
acre of land more than now belongs to California, or to yield one acre that now belongs to it. There is no power delegated to us, and we can assume no power to yield an acre of the domain included within the established limits of California. It becomes us, then, to decide whether or not we should claim here, as the representatives of the people, that territory which has always been considered as Upper California, or throw aside either the half of it or a portion of it. I do not believe myself, sir, that it lies within us to dismember the State. I believe if we are entitled to any thing at all — if we came here here to form a Constitution for California --we came to form a Constitution for the whole of California, not a portion of it. Gentlemen may talk of the disadvantages that may arise from the immense extent of territory of the Salt Lake and the people who have settled there ; they may talk of other portions of California inhabited by white men or Indians ; but are we to say here that California is circumscribed within certain limits heretofore not known, or are we to take it as it has always been known and as it still exists? I insist, sir, that we have no right to say that California is not the California which we took her to be when she became part and parcel of the United States. As I understand it, she is described within certain limits; those limits laid down upon the official maps of the Government of the United States. A certain degree of northern latitude and a certain degree of southern latitude, (the latter to be decided upon by the U. S. and Mexican Commissioners ;) the western line no one can dispute ; and in regard to the eastern, I contend, sir, that we are entitled every foot of land that has heretofore been considered part of California, and that we can recognise no other line. We have been elected and have received instructions to represent here the interests of California-not any portion of it. We might as well run a dividing line from east to west through this whole territory, and say we are sent here to represent Northern or Southern interests. We cannot go beyond these instructions. I care not if there are thirty thousand people on the Salt Lake who are not represented here. Is that our fault? We represent California, and if any portion of the people neglect or refuse to send delegates to this Convention, we are not responsible for it. It is our duty to form a Constitution that will be acceptable to the people at large. This Constitution is to govern us for years, and it behooves us that we do not betray the people who sent us here—that we do not abuse our trust; that we do not go home and tell them we have said in this Constitution that a portion of California is not California, and we have formed no government for it. If the inhabitants of the Salt Lake do not see fit to send their representatives to our Legislature, no matter whether it takes them four months or six to arrive at our capital, it is not our fault. If they have sent to the Congress of United States asking to have a Territorial Government, I care pot. Leave Congress to decide that question. We will appear on the floor of Congress as soon as they will; and Congress, with the whole matter before them, with all the light they can ask or obtain, will decide upon the facts. I do not fear the action of Congress; no matter what sectional questions, interests, or prejudices may divide that body, I fear not. I am satisfied that the people of California will ultimately—I do not say they will obtain it now or within a very short time-but ultimately our rights will be recognized.
California is not a new territory, although she seems to be considered so by many here. Heretofore she was but little known ; she was regarded as an isolated part of the earth. No one thought of California ; no one thought of emigrating here ; no one ever thought, previous to the last two years, that she would ever amount to anything. But within the last twelve months, behold what a change! The eyes of the world are turned towards her. The people from every spot of God's earth are starting here, impatient to make it their future home-some to acquire wealth and carry it away. Sir, she has been considered, as I heard remarked to-day, in the light of a courtezan; she had a disreputable character ; no one courted her, no one had any regard for her; but since her rich treasures have been developed on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada, she has become a most beau. tiful mistress. The whole world are worshipping at her feet. Is it any portion of California ? No, sir, it is the whole of California ; and I ask members of this Convention, as the representatives of the people, if they can point to any portion of California on the map and say there is California, and the rest of it we know nothing about. Gentlemen may say that a certain portion of the territory is worthless. Have we any right to meke that an objection? If the country east of the Sierra Nevada was as rich in mineral wealth or agricultural rescurces as the western slope, would gentlemen come here and say, we will relinquish that wealth! No, sir; they dare not, they would not be willing to do it, nor would they have the right. Whatever that region may be, a barren waste or a land of promise, we have no right to relinquish it. It may hereafter, as I understand the proviso, be divided by the joint action of Congress and the Legislature ; but it cannot now be dismembered by us. We have heretofore said that slavery shall not exist within the limits of this Territory; we have also said that free negroes shall not be allowed to come within our borders. It is necessary in order to carry out both of these principles, that we should settle at once, in this Convention, what are the limits of California ; and I maintain that we have no power delegated to us to recognize any other than those already established by the treaty. The Southern States may bring any number of slaves within the Territory of California ; you may say to the owners, you have no right to bring slaves or tree negroes here. They will ask you, where is California ; what are its limits; what extent of territory composes your State? Who is going to answer that question ? You can say nothing but that California is here, somewhere on the Pacific coast--no man knows where. Can you prevent such men from bringing slaves within its borders ? Can you prevent free negroes from coming within its borders? No, sir, you must have some known and recognized limits, and those limits have already been determined. I admit this gives us an immense territoryone that is unwieldy, and if it should become populous, it would be almost out of the question to manage it; but at the same time it is not supposed that a great portion of this territory will ever become populous or even be populated at all, except by the wild tribes of Indians that now inhabit it. But should this be the case, we give the Congress of the United States, with the concurrence of the Legislature, the power to reduce it, while at the same time we inhibit them from dividing the territory so as to deprive us of a single foot of the sea coast. That is of immense importance to us. The southern extremity-the bay of San Diego, is destined ere long, to become an important commercial point. The bay of San Francisco is, and will hereafter be the great commercial point of the western hemisphere. I believe, sir, it will soon become the great metropolis of the western world. Nature has done much for it, and man is doing more. Between San Francisco and San Diego are commercial points bays, and harbors that will be of immense importance hereafter, although they may not now be. It is necessary we should look to all this in fixing the boundaries of our State, and more particularly to this portion of the territory than what lies beyond the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada-a territory unexplored, and of which we know comparatively nothing. It may be rich in agricultural and mineral wealth, we know nothing to the contrary. Should we, I ask you, give away this great extent of territory before we know what it is ? Should we give away perhaps millions of wealth? It all belongs to us ; we are entitled to it, and it properly comes within the limits of California. No man knows whether it is worthless or not. If we find out in the course of time that it is of no value, we can easily, under this proviso, or under the provisions of the Federal Constitution, get rid of it. I have every confidence in the Congress of the United States; its action may be tardy, and it may have done us injustice heretofore ; but, sir, if this thing is rung in her ears for years and years to come, we shall obtain our rights some time or other. I am willing to place the whole question of our eastern boundary between Congress and the Legislature of our own State. The people of California and of the United States will be aroused, and, sir, when the people are aroused, Congress takes great care what she does. The whole people of the United States are awake upon this question. They know what is due to California and what her rights are. It does not rest entirely with the people of California to declare and maintain her rights. The people of every State in the Union are interested in this question ; and such a noise will be raised around the doors of Congress as to compel it to give us what we are justly entitled to-the protection of Government.
Mr. Hastings. I understand that my friend, Captain Sutter, desires to speak on this question The House, I have no doubt, will be much pleased to hear him.
Mr. Surter. I speak English so imperfectly that I shall only make a single remark. Gentlemen who have passed through these deserts and travelled over these mountains, may know some. thing about it; but it is impossible for gentlemen who have come by the way of Cape Horn, to imagine what a great desert it is, and know how impolitic it would be to the State of California to embrace within its limits such a country. Except a small slip of the great Salt Lake, which is worth something to the people who are living there, but there is such an immense space between tus and that part of the country, that I consider it of no value whatever to the State of California. I believe our limits ought to be just as much as agreed upon by the Committee, with the exception of an amendment which I think it requires to facilitate the trade of the people of San Diego with Sonora and New Mexico, to include that portion, to the confluence of the Gila and Colorado rivers, which it omits. This is all I have to say.
Mr. McCarver. I wish to examine the postion of the gentleman from San Francisco, (Mr. 54 Norton,) who has just taken his seat, and see how it would place the Constitution of the United Stales. Sappose the Convention which formed the Constitution of Louisiana, had occupied the ground that the gentleman takes. The two countries stand upon the same footing. Louisiana, as obtained by treaty from France, embraced territory enough for several States. Suppose the Convention insisted upon it that the whole territory belonged to them. Would it not have been a monstrous doctrine; would it not have been sconted by every intelligent man in the United States? They would laugh at such a doctrine in Congress, that Louisiana had a right to establish the whole territory as her boundary, merely because it was known as Louisiana ; that it was the only proper limits, and that they could recognize no other. We occupy a similar position here. We have a tract of conntry purchased either by the blood or treasure of the United States, known as California. It stands in precisely the same position as Louisiana stood. Do gentleman suppose that Congress would have suffered Louisiana to settle that question of slavery for the whole territory known as Louisiana. Equally idle is the assumption that Congress will stand by and allow a handful of citizens in California to settle the slave question. The position is preposterous. I am astonished, sir, to hear it advocated on this floor. It is a monstrous doctrine. It does not enter my mind that Congress will entertain such a proposition. The South, sir, is not asleep on that subject ; Congress is not asleep on that subject. They will inquire whether we are more competent to settle the question of slavery than they are. The very fact that we provide that the Legislature shall settle this question, is evidence that we think Congress will not acquiesce in it. If we insert such a provision, our admission into the Union will be defeated. I am in favor of the report of the Committee, with a slight alteration at the southern point for the benefit of the southern districts.
Mr. TEFFt. There are periods in the proceedings of every delibrative body, when calm investigation should follow the excitement of debate ; and if that period has at any time arrived, I believe it is the present. I consider this question of the boundary decidedly the most important that has
yet been debated. I think it is due to every member that he should express himself calmly and dispassionately, and have the privilege of having his opinions called preposterous, or his doctrines monstrous. As delegates of this Convention, I consider it our first duty to inquire the situation in which we find California ; then to inquire what are the acknowledged limits of California ; and if we define the boundaries of the State, to define them without the slightest reference to the future limits which we may include. Let us first inquire what are the proper boundaries of California without reference to the question of slavery. From the investigation that I have given the subject, I am decidedly in favor of the proposition of Messrs. Gwin and Halleck. I believe that under the circumstances in which we find the country it is the only course we can take. I question the authority of this Convention, as delegated to them by the people, to decide upon any other eastern boundary line than that marked, as clearly as can be, between the Territory of New Mexico and California. If we draw any other line, we run the risk of its being changed by the Congress of the United States. Then I ask what course is there for us but to take California as she was when she became a part of the United States. The objections to taking this portion are rather questionable. Gentlemen say it is a barren waste, entirely worthless; that it ought to be left to the action of Congress. With all deference, I dissent from these opinions. I think it is a matter entirely foreign to our deliberations what may be the character of the country east of the Sierra Nevada. I see no just or proper course for this Convention to pursue other than to take the established boundaries of California as they exist. I have perfect confidence in the action of Congress in regard to this matter. Congress may have been dilatory in her course towards California, but it does not follow that she will be so in future. There are other important questions before Congress When the people are determined that justice shall be done to California, it follows that it must be done. The proposition before the House at this time, I consider one that will meet the approbation of our friends at home, and be most likely to obtain the sanction of Congress.
Mr. Halleck. I do not wish to delay the action of the Committee on this question ; but I think the Convention will bear me witness that I have always endeavored to facilitate the proceedings of this body. I conceive that this is a question of so much importance, that we had better delay than give it hasty action. As has been said by nearly every gentleman who has spoken this evening, I regard it as the most important question that has yet come up for discussion, and the longer we delay it, the better it will be for the final action and success of our Constitution. I hope for this reason that we may not come to a final decision this evening. I think it is a subject upon which we ought very carefully to deliberate, and that we ought to examine very attentively the propositions that have been brought up. The proposition now before the Committee has been facetiously called the proposition of the new firm. I can only say in regard to it that it has been and will be my course in this body to look to the propositions alone, and not to the sources from which they eminate. If one has come from a doubtful source, I should not reject it for that reason. It may be a good proposition notwithstanding the character of the source. Now as to this new partnership, corporation, association, or bank, it was entirely unintentional. Certainly the partners in the firm never had any previous knowledge or understanding about it, and if it has proceeded from members who, upon certain other other propositions before this Convention have been in opposition, is that any reason for opposing it. I think if members have opposed each other here, they have done it honestly, and if they are united upon this proposition without any previous concert of views, it is an argument rather in favor of than against it. I agree perfectly with gentlemen who have said we have no right to divide California ; and that in forming a Constitution, we must form it for California as she now exists, not for a portion of California. It would in my opinion be a very dangerous proceeding. Do not members of this body remember seeing in the discussions of the past winter in Congress the result of every effort made to divide California, and fix the slavery question for one part of the territory, and leave it open at the other ? Both parties of the Union opposed strenously, every such effort; and I fear both of these factions would oppose any effort of the kind, even coming from this body. As to the question of the power of this body to form a Constitution for all California, I think it has already been sufficiently answered by the fact that this Convention is called to represent California, not a section of it, but the whole country. It is true that a small portion of the country has not been represented here from the fact that it could not be, because it was beyond the districts. Every State furnish precedents of the same kind. With even greater propriety may it be said that a large portion of American emigrants on their way to California are not represented here. If the Mormon settlements onthe Salt Lake have been left out in this Convention, may it not be said that the twenty thousand ernigrants that are now travelling over the desert plains on the northern and southern routes, coming like the waves of the Pacific, into California--may it not be said that they are not represented ? Let us look at the proposition of this new firm. What is it? In the first place, it says that this Constitution is to be the Constitution of Upper California. What is Upper California, or rather California as we have acquired it from Mexico ? Unfortunately, it does not include all Upper California, for by the treaty of Hidalgo, we did not obtain all Upper California. There is quite a considerable strip-one of considerable importance as every person who has examined it, will bear me witness, that properly belongs to California-which has been left to Mexico. When the news reached Mexico that we had not included Lower California, or even Upper California, according to the old dividing line between Upper and Lower California, there was great rejoicing among our enemies.
This I understand to be the first part of this proposition; taking upon ourselves no power to divide this Territory, or to include any more than belongs to us by the treaty with Mexico ; but recognizing the line between California and the United States as laid down in the official maps published by Congress, and receiving the authority of Congress as to what constitutes the boundaries of California. Then providing that, with the assent of Congress, and with the assent, not of this, body-for we have no power to give it--but of the people of California through their representatives in the Legislature, they may fix upon new boundaries if they desire it, subject to certain conditions, Let os look at the first part of the proposition. I would call the attention of those who object to including the entire territory of Upper California, if this provision does not satisfy every objection which they have made. Congress, in concert with the Legislature of California, has the power to divide it, and reduce it to smaller limits. It may be said, and has been said, that that power is already given by the Constitution. But we wish to go further than that; we wish to leave that power with the Legislature and with Congress now. If the portion of California west of the Sierra shou'd become of sufficient importance to be divided, then we need not say anything about it in our Constitution: The Constitution of the United States says how it is to be done. With the consent of Cahfornia, Congress nay divide that portion of the State into two states. But we wish to determine this boundary sooner. If California, as it now exists, includes more than we want as a State, we wish to provide for a separation of it. How is it to be done? By taking some line, either the line of the Sierra Nevada as far south as you choose, and then running a line, not cutting California into two parts, but preventing that portion from coming south of the Gila river. (Here see the proposition as submitted.) That must leave all that portion of California to the new State ; or this proposition goes further. Instead of taking the line of the Sierra Nevada, which is conceived to be very objectionable by some gentlemen, as a portion of the country east of it is deemed valuable, and should be included in the State, we say ihe Legislature and Congress may form a different line-fix it any point between the Sierra Nevada and the Salt Lake, bet preventing them from coming any further west than the mouth of the Gila river, as heretofore. There is another object in this. In the map which we have before us, and in the other maps pablished by Congress, in Disturnell's map, they include in California a portion that never properly belonged to it ; a portion that New Mexico has always claimed and always governed. Nevertheless, Congress has said these are the boundaries of California. Leaving this question out by this proviso, Congress can either organize a new Territorial Government for that portion of California, or make a State Government, or she can organize it with New Mexico for a Territorial Government. Leave it then for Congress, with the concurrence of this State, to settle that question. The proposition of the gentleman from San Francisco, (Mr. Gwin,) to which this proviso is an amendment, amounts to almost the saine thing as the amendment, except that this fixes definitely the second Ime if we do not take the first. We must take one or the other line. There is, otherwise, no chance for negotiation-no chance for an understanding with Congress, or even an investigation to see whether that line does not exclude from the Territory beyond it a portion that would be very desirable to include. We say that it is necessary to have a fixed line in order that Congress shall act. We fix the boundary that Congress itself has given us. We then say to Congress, you can agree upon another line with the concurrence of our Legislature. That I conceive to be far the safest mode; and it seems to me that it accords perfectly with the opinions of the gentleman from Sacramento, (Captain Sutter,) who says, that the country beyond is almost worthless. If it is, we certainly can exclude it under the proposition now before the House. There is full power given to the Legislature to draw a new line, and exclude it immediately after this goes into effect. I think this proposition does not endanger the rejection of the Constitution by Congress. I consider it the most likely of all the propositions to secure the approval of Congress. It seems to me very strange, Mr. Chairman, that we have threats of the rejection of the Constitution from different parts of this House, based upon points directly opposite. It is urged by one side that this proposition has been sprung upon this House as coming from the North, and to deprive the South of her rights; whereas, it is said on the other side that it is designed to continue the existing Government in this country, in order that the South may introduce her slaves. When such objections come from different parts of the House, it strikes me as a good reason, that the best policy is, to take an intermediate course, which is not liable to either objections. But the point that I consider most important is, that if we include only this side of the Sierra Nevada, or adopt one of the proposed lines excluding all that portion east of it, we deprive that country of all government for the next five, or perhaps ten years. This is a result which I, for one, wish to avoid. There are large bodies of emigrants passing over that country; and as I said this morning, offences against law and order, and crimes of a serious nature are committed on the road. Are we, by fixing a certain boundary this side of that Territory, to cat them off from our protection---to deprive them of redress on their arrival here; and leave crimes unpanished, or force people to resort to the Indian mode of revenge, or lynch law, as has been the case sometimes in California. No, sir, I would hope not. I call upon gentlemen to consider this question, and to give to this people, is possible, some form of government, until Congress, in connexion with the Legislature of California, can form for them a Government. This strikes me as one very important point. It has not been sufficiently urged upon this body. Is it not a strong argument in favor of such a measure, that it has been advocated by the extreme South and extreme North--the two extremes of our countıy. And without bringing names before this House, do we not know that in Congress and out of Congress, in California and out of California, that the