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leading men in the national councils have urged, and advised, and begged California to pursue this course-to settle this question of slavery forever. I think it was with great impropriety that the names of individuals were brought into this debate. But as they have been brought in, let them have their weight. I have received no letters or information from any source, (for I never had a correspondence with a politician in my life ;) but verbal reports have been in circulation here, and letters have been shown from different leading politicians in the United Stat pointing out to us that the result of a Constitution for only a part of California may be the same result as was produced by an attempt to organize only one portion of California into a State, and unite the other with New Mexico; to leave the question unsettled.
I believe this proposition will secure the reception of our Constitution. I am very confident it will receive the support of the Administration, and of all the moderate men of the South. I am confident it will secure the support of the North; and with these three bodies, there can be no doubt of its success.
Mr. Shannon. I should be doing myself injustice, having presented a proposition that I intended should stand upon its own merits, not to say something upon this matter before the House decides the qnestion. I have listened silently to the remarks of every gentleman who has spoken here upon it ; and I have endeavored to draw knowledge and instruction from these remarks in regard to every branch of the subject, so that I might know whether I was right or wrong. Every argument which has been offered here, whether by the gentleman from Monterey, (Mr. Halleck,) or the gentleman from San Francisco, (Mr. Gwin,) or gentlemen from any other districts, has in my opinion, tended uniformly to the same result--that the best course we can pursue, is to settle upon the boundary presented in my proposition. There has been enough said by every gentleman who has spokenparticularly to-night, as to the importance of this question. For my own part, sir, I regard it as the most important that has yet come before this Convention. It is so on more than one account. The gentleman from Montery (Mr. Halleck,) has made it important not only as guarding the rights and protecting the interests of the thousands who are coming westward-men whom we know not of-shielding them, affording them protection and comfort-but in the same overflowing benevolence of heart, he is determined that ihis matter shall include also the settlement of that great question which has agitated the United States, and which has shaken the Union to its centre for years; thai here in this Convention we shall settle not only the boundary line for those whom we represent and for those whom we do not represent, but put an end to all further agitation throughout the Union on the subject of slavery. I never supposed this Convention possessed powers so great, or importance so immense as that. I certainly never imagined there was so much responsibility resting upon my shoulders as an humble member from Sacramento. There are five propositions before the House. The first is the proposition of the Committee on the Boundary. That proposition seems to be, as it deserves to be unless amended, universally discarded. While at the north, it includes an immense extent of waste and barren country, at the south it runs almost up to the Pacific coast, and leaves out points most important for that section of the country. But let me say a word as to a matter upon which I think gentlemen who have been arguing in favor of taking in the whole of California, have rather been changing ground. During the most of the day, the principal argument seemed to rest upon the propriety or possibility of obtaining admission into the Union. It seemed to depend entirely upon the slave question. But to-night it has changed ground, and the right of the people of California to fix any boundary within the furthest limits of territory known as California, is denied. Sir, I maintain that the people have that right. They have a right to come within the acknowledged limits of the territory, and fix such boundaries, through their representatives in this Convention, as they choose. They can establish such lines as they think proper. I refer you for authority to the action of the people of Louisiana. You will find there, that in their first Constitution, in defining the boundaries, they took from the whole territory of Louisiana, a portion sufficient, as they thought, to make the State of Louisiana. They did not include the whole territory as obtained by treaty from Frunce. The case stands precisely the same with us. You will find this precedent in the very first article of the Constitution of Louisiana. I claim the same right for the people of California. We have the authority of the gray hairs here, sir, to which we should all reverentially bow.
Another instance is to be found in the Constitution of Missouri. No territory had been previ. ously rejected by any act of Congress. The manner of fixing the boundaries ihere is precisely similar to what I have presented to the House--following degrees of latitude and taking meridianal lines of longitude. I hardly believe that gentlemen will maintain any longer that the people of California have no right to fix their own boundaries. This territory was purchased-how and in what manner? It was purchased from Mexico and received into the L'nion, not as Mexican Territory, not as California territory, but as territory of the United States. It belonged to the United States Government the moment it was purchased, and was therefore entitled to the same privileges which have been enjoyed by other territories. It is for the people of California to say around what portion of it they shall fix their boundary lines. The old gray hairs, sir, of the States, sustain me in that position. Upon this the gentlemen have been changing ground. We have, then, five propositions before the House. The first is, the proposition of the Committee ; next is, the proposition of the gentleman from San Francisco, (Mr Gwin,) united with the proposition of the gentleman from Monterey, (Mr. Halleck.) Now, sir, I do not know whether they call this a partnership concern or not; but that, together with the proposition of my colleague, (Mr. McDougal,)
can, I suppose, be classed together. The only place where they differ is in regard to the proviso, and upon that they seem determined to make a stand. Let us see precisely upon what they do stand. The chief argument which has been urged in favor of the extreme boundary, has been, not as to the necessity, not the convenience, not the benefit to be derived from it, not the necessity of inclading it, but the probability of its passing the Congress of the United States, and the authority of a gentleman from Congress, that if such a proposition was adopted, it would pass. Sir, I claim for the dignity of the new State of California, that dictation of this kind should not receive a very favorable reception in this House ; that we should not listen to the propositions of gentlemen in this matter, however high their characters at home, who shall come here and say to this Convention, gentlemen . pass such and such boundaries for the State of California, and you will probably be able to pass through Congress, and become a sovereign and independent State. If you don't do so, there is danger at hand; you cannot pass. Sir, this is not only an insult, but it is a threat held out; and I call upon this Convention to have some regard for their own dignity, and for the dignity of the State of California by promptly rejecting such authority. But who are these authorities! Are they men who have become, by long life or service ia this country, so deeply inteterested in the welfare of California, that the weal of the new State is alone the dearest object of their aspirations? Or are they not rather the agents of interested parties, not of Congress ? For they do not speak the will of Congress; a single man cannot speak the will of Congress. And when the President of this Convention stated this afternoon the expression of Mr. Thomas Butler King—" For God sake leave no territory in California to dispute about"-when he (Mr. Thomas Butler King) spoke it, I presume he did not speak the sentiments of the entire Congress of the United States. The secret of it is this: that the Cabinet of the United States have found themselves in difficulty upon this question, they are in difficulty about the Wilmot Proviso, and Mr. Thomas Butler King-it may be others—is sent here, in the first place, for the purpose of influencing the people of California to establish a State Government, and in the next place to include the entire Territory. Sir, it is a political quarrel at home into which they wish to drag the new State of California. For my own part I wish to keep as far away from such rocks and breakers as possible. Let the President and his cabinet shoulder their own difficulties. I have no desire to see California dragged into any political quarrel. Are these the high authorities to which we should so reverentially bow? I think not. I believe they speak but their own sentiments, or his own sentiments, or the sentiments of the cabinet. Besides, sir, I always wish to watch a political agent. I would always be careful of men of that description. And however my sentiments may accord with those of Mr. Thomas Butler King, or those of any other good Whig of the United States, I suffered a severe lesson enough in one campaign, to pay but little attention to political parties. I allude, sir, to the campaign of Henry Clay in 1844. I have lived long enough in Calitornia to regard first her interests in preference to the interests of any political party or parties. This, then, is the authority upon which the main argument has been urged to-day for including the entire territory. But, even in direct opposition to the opinions of Mr. Thomas Batler King, I think that even with the proviso of the gentleman from Monterey, (Mr. Halleck,) this proposition defeats the very object which we wish to attain, and brings up the very difficulty which we wish to avoid. The proviso commits the whole matter directly to the discretion of Congress, and affords all the material of party discord. Suppose this Constitution, including the boundary, goes before Congress. There are two great political parties there who have been for years past fighting like tigers in their cage. Every day, every hour, but increases the ferocity with which they struggle upon this question of slavery. When this proposition comes before them, Southern members—those from the slaveholding States—will see ihat it strikes from beneath their feet an enormous tract of country into which they desire to introduce slavery hereafter. Add to that the further argument of the enormous y extensive territory that it includes; and then add to that the further argument, that a large portion of that territory has not been represented in this body—that the feelings and wishes of the population are not known, and I think you leave open grund enough for them to build an argument upon that will defeat your Constitution; that you at least, bring all those difficulties which gentle. men hope to avoid, directly to bear against it; a result which every gentleman here, I have no doubt, honestly seeks to avoid. These are arguments which you cannot get over. It is true, sir, that the boundary is enormous. No man here wishes to include the whole of it. We are told by these very gentlemen that it is too large. It is unwieldy ; it includes an enormous barren tract of country-an immense desert waste ; but say they, we will bring it all in, not for the purpose of retaining it within the State of California, but for the purpose of settling the slave question at home. We don't intend to keep it. Permit me to inquire, sir, how will this settle it? if you do not retain it, the struggle must commence again at some point or other. The very fact
of demanding such an extent of territory, will cause it to open in all its bitterness in the halls of Congress; and let me tell you, sir, if you once cause this struggle to re-commence upon grounds so strong as this, it will be interminable. Another reason, and one which ought to appeal to us in strong terms here, is the fact that the population in the northeast portion of the territory are unrepresented here. Gentlemen say that we could not reach them and have returns within six months. My friend from San Francisco, (Mr. Norton,) repeated and re-repeated the declaration that it was not our fault if these people were not represented. Whose fault was it then? We are to acknowledge them as a portion of the population of this territory; we include them within our limits, and then say it is not our fault! Can they have the gift of prophecy that they can know without some information
reaching them that a Convention is held here, and that they should have their delegates here? I say, sir, it is our fault; and when we are so in fault, should we not do them the justice to leave them out-to leave them free to form a government for themselves, if they think proper. It is an act of gross injustice to force upon them the Constitution and limits which you prescribe here. But, sir, my venerable friend and colleague from Sacramento, (Mr. McCarver,, has stated another strong reason--the perfect worthlessness of this immense extent of territory, or at least, a great portion of it. The fact that the population residing in that territory, could not be represented here in our annual Legislatures, owing to its remoteness from the seat of Government, is a sufficient argument of itself against including it. If we cannot send to them and have a representation here in a reasonable time, I would ask gentlemen to explain to me how their yearly representatives are going to come here and return to their homes. These remarks include, also, the proposition of my colleague from Sacramento, (Mr. McDougal.) The proviso of the gentleman from Monterey, (Mr. Halleck,) leaves to the joint action of Congress and the Legislature of California, the fixing of the eastern boundary line, in case Congress does not see fit to adopt the one here proposed.
Mr. Charman, these gentlemen need not tell me that this must close the question which has heretofore prevented us from having a government here, when at the very same time, they provide the means of opening it. The two ideas are diametically opposed they cannot exist together. If the one closes the door, the other opens it. I leave it to the common sense of gentlemen, if this is not so. The object of the proposition of the gentleman from San Francisco is defeated by the proviso of the gentleman from Monterey. For these reasons, Mr. Chairman, I go against fixing any boundary line with any proviso, admitting and giving to Congress the right to move it where ever they see fit. The next proposition to which I would refer, is the boundary proposed by the Committee. That boundary commences at the intersection of the 116th meridian of west longitude, and 420 degree of north latitude, and includes more than one-half the width of the entire territory of California at the north, while at the southern part it runs to less than one degree. It has the same fault as the proposition of the gentleman from San Francisco, (Mr. Gwin,) including too much territory, only in a slighter degree. It includes an enormous tract of country, which, from the best information we can obtain, is entirely useless. It gives us an extent of territory nearly as unwieldly and unmanageable as if we included the whole; while at the southern portion of the country, a source of trade to that portion of California, which has already proved extremely valuable, and which will be greatly enhanced in value when our commerce is fully opened in that direction. I speak of the trade with the interior provinces of Mexico, passing the Colorado river, together with the navigation of the Colorado, to whatever extent that navigation can be car. ried. I cannot, therefore, agree with the report of the Committee. It includes too much territory that is useless, and omits too much that is valuable.
The proviso of my colleague from Sacramento, (Mr. McDougal,) that in case Congress shall not ratify the boundary including the entire limits of California, then that the summît line of the Sierra Nevada shall form the eastern boundary, I consider, of all the boundaries, the most objectionable. It leaves out valleys, rivers, streams, places which may afford immense wealth upon the eastern side of the summit
. It is a kind of boundary which must always be indistinct and diffi. cult to determine under the very best circumstances ; but here it is most peculiarly so. However well-determined, however plain and distinct the summit line of the Sierra Nevada may be as far south as it is here laid down in the map of Col Fremont, you will see that it crosses it only as far south as the 35th degree of N. latitude. It leaves a great stretch of country at the southern boundary. Now, I am not aware what the character of that chain of mountains may be, but I think there are gentlemen from the southern part of the country who will sustain me in this, that below that, all southeast and south, there is not a chain of mountains that could be followed as a distinct line. The whole country there is a region of mountains, shaken down as it were on the face of the earth at random. There is no regular summit line that could possibly be followed. Then you have there a most indirect line, you have no boundary at all. But even if you could find a line of boundary there, it has the same objection which the line proposed by the Committee has--that it leaves out a most important portion of territory in the southern part of California, and gives to the State a sort of three cornered form-a shape most awkward and ungainly. In making up a State we should look a little to the formation.
The proposition which I offer, it seems to me, removes every difficulty of this kind. Commencing at the intersection of the 20th meridian of west longitude, and the 42nd degree of north latitude, it rans southerly in a direct line about half a degree east of the Sierra Nevada, and always running sufficiently east to include this entire range, until it strikes the meridian at their southeast bend, about the 3th degree of north latitude, then it takes a 'direct line from that intersection till it strikes the Colorado at a point where the 35th degree of north latitude crosses it; thence down the eastern bank of that river to the boundary line established between the United States and Mexico; and thence following the report of the committee. This secures to us, in the first place, all that is valuable in the territory." In the next place, it fixes the boundary within such reasonable limits that Congress can make no objection to it. It settles the questiou of slavery within our own territory, and leaves to Congress a matter which ought to be entirely foreign to us—the question of slavery in any further territory. It will be sustained, too, on the ground that a great portion of
this territory beyond those limits is so barren that for years it will not be settled to any extent, so that it can become a State or a Territory. If this is a fact, as it probably is, in reference to the territory which we leave out at our southern extremity, it will be years before the question of slavery can be raised upon it. In the boundary of this state, therefore, as here defined, we obtain the cordial assent of the North. I do not desire to draw party lines in this House, but as other gentlemen have started this division between North and South, I feel justified in stating the advantages of the present proposition. We unite the North upon it. And why? Because they have here a new State-a free State ; and with it they gain one or two Representatives and two Senators. This is certainly a strong inducement to the North, the additional power that it gives them in the halls of Congress. I can see no use in undertaking to settle a question here which I have no doubt the lapse of one or two years will settle. The increase of population in the territory beyond the Sierra Nevada will be very great this coming year. They can exclude slavery for themselves if they desire it; and to that the South will not object. The South has always maintained the doctrince of the right of the States to determine this question for themselves, and they will not be disposed to deny it now. In conclusion, Mr. President, I think, in every view of the case, it would be impolitic to adopt this extensive boundary, and that, to secure a favorable reception for our constitution, we should fix upon a reasonable line, embracing every portion of California that is valuable for a State, and excluding all beyond that, making a permanent and judicious boundary to which none can object.
Mr. CARILLO addressed the Convention, through the interpreter, as follows:
So far as I understand the question before the House, it is as to what are the proper limits of Upper California. In the year 1768, the Spanish Government formed certain limits for this country. Afterwards, when the Spanish possessions here fell into the hands of the Mexicans, the Government of Mexico always recognised and respected that as the boundary of Upper California. I am of opinion that the proposition of the gentleman from San Francisco (Mr. Gwin) adopts the proper boundary as fixed by old Spain. I see no reason why it should not continue to be recogDised still. Quite enough has been said on this subject. Members of this Convention are sent here by the people of California, not to form a State Government for any particular portion of the territory, but for California. The only question is, what is California ? It is the territory defined as such by the Government of Spain, and always recognised as such by the Mexican Government. I do not cenceive that this Government has any right whatever to take the least portion away that has been ceded by the Gorvernment of Mexico. You have no right to deprive the inhabitants of any portion of California of the protection of government. Your duty is to form a constitution for what really is, and always has been, California. If you do not, your descendants hereafter will have good cause to complain that you have done them injustice. This State, in a very short time, may become one of the richest States in the Union, and contribute as much to the honor, power, and glory of the United States as any State in the confederacy. For these reasons, and many other that I do not deem it necessary to urge at present, I hope you will take the vote on the merits of the case without further discussion. For my own part, I am in favor of the joint proposition of Messrs. Gwin and Halleck.
Mr. Borts. I would not, Mr. Chairman, at this late hour of the evening, and after the long, able, and eloquent speech of the gentleman from Sacramento, (Mr. Shannon,) trouble the Committee, if it were not that I think I can, in a few brief remarks, present this subject in a light in which it has not yet been discovered. Let us go back if you please, for a moment, to first principles. Let us consider how we are here and for what we are here. Let us remember that we assemble here as no other convention ever assembled in the United States. As has been said elsewhere, our condition is an anomalous one. We meet here under no express law; we meet here with no previous legislation; we meet here to proluce order out of chaos; we meet here, sir, under what is sometimes called a proclamation, and what is sometimes called a suggestion from General Riley. Be it one or the other, it is the basis of our action here. Now, sir, if you will refer to that document which has been adopted as a basis by this very people from whom we came and whom we represent, you will find that this question is already settled for us. You will find that the districts of Sacramento, San Joaquin, Sonoma, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego, that these districts, be what they may, are the portions that are represented here and have started to establish a government. Now, sir, I ask you this question: Is it possible that this people can establish a government for others than themselves? Can they give us power that they themselves do not possess? Can they make a government for any other people on the face of the earth than for themselves? I would like to ask you, sir, if this be so, in which of these districts lies the Salt Lake with its thirty thousand inhabitants. Yes, sir, I am told there are thirty thousand freemen in this extent of country east of the Sierra Nevada, which you propose to include in your limits. Are they in the District of Sonoma, or Sacramento, or Monterey -thirty thousand freemen unrepresented. Do you know, sir, by what vote of my constituents I sit upon this floor? I will tell you. I received ninety-six votes-1, who am modestly requested to legislate for thirty thousand people I never saw, am sent here by ninety-six votes. My colleague, it is true, who makes this proposition, received some twenty or thirty more; and as for the remainder of my colleagues, I believe they are even worse off than I am. And yet we are called upon to form laws for thirty
thousand freemen upon the Salt Lake. For my own part, I have not the face to do it. I cannot undertake to do it. This is not a small or immaterial portion either of country or of human beings an extent of country that probably exceeds ours some fifty times, and in population probably onehalf of our own- reasonable estimate; and yet, sir, this is the country and this the people over whom we propose to extend our laws. Suppose this thirty thousand people of the Salt Lake were to send to Congress a remonstrance, which, if they have the souls of freemen, they will do, am I to be told that their remonstrance will not be listened to? They have had no part in the formation of this Constitution. Do you mean to say it would form no valid claim upon the Congress of the United States, so far as to extend their protection over them as not to give to this Constitution their sanction? If it be true that those are the real natural limits of California, I say dissolve this Convention, call another, and summon from every portion of it delegates to be elected by the people of those por. tions. Is not that fair? Is there a man within the sound of my voice that will not say it is just and proper. I was struck with the remarks of a gentleman on this floor this evening, who argued as a reason for extending our Government over that country, that it must remain for the five or six years next ensuing without a government at all. Let us see what it is you propose to do for this people. If an individual upon or near that eastern line should be charged with a crime, as I un derstand it, he will be dragged some six hundred miles from his home, across barren wastes and dreary mountains, to your courts of justice, to be tried upon the charge, for it seems it is not proposed to establish courts of justice in that country. Sir, it is not to the tender mercy of such a gentleman I would commit friends of mine. It is the mercy that the wolf shows to the lamb. I will not detain the House by either repeating the very powerful arguments that have been addressed to them on this subject, or by adding others that might have been advanced. I will simply remark that I have received no high authority to speak the sentiments of the Administration, or of this great man or that great man. I deny their right to be heard here either directly or by proxy. But, sir, I tell you what I will propose to speak, and that is the sentiments of the southern people of this Union; not because I have bad any letters from that portion of the country, or any other, intimating what course I should pursue, but because I know the character and feelings of the peo. ple. I know their hatred of oppression, and determination to insist upon their rights at all hazards. And I'tell you, sir, that if you send a Constitution to the Congress of the United States with that eastern boundary line, together with the doctrine avowed upon this floor of your determination to settle the question of slavery for that entire territory as well as the portion that properly comes within your limits as a State, you will wake up indignation in every Southern breast that you will find it impossible to extinguish. I have but one word more. It is in respect to a brief allusion of my own to the creation of this new firm, (Messrs. Gwin & Halleck.) Why, sir, the gentleman, my colleague, is much too sensitive on this subject. It was the Chair, if I am not mistaken, that first announced the resolutions under the firm of Messrs. Gwin & Halleck. That was the first intimation I had of this copartnership, coalition, corporation, confederacy, or bank. I never meant to impugn the motives of the sources whence this resolution came. I said not a word about it. I did not know myself that there had been, until the gentleman told me, former hostility between these parties. I see one of the gentlemen is here who is capable of responding, if necessary. Now, I simply want to know this: If the firm were originally united in argument and opinions upon this subject
Mr. Gwix. Mr. Chairman, after the long discussion we have had this evening and throughout the day upon this question, I confess I am thoroughly exhausted, and will offer but very few remarks. Before I commence I should like to ask the gentleman from Sacramento (Mr. Shannon) what was the remark that he made in regard to Louisiana and Missouri-wbether he stated that the State of Louisiana picked out her own territory, and that Missouri was admitted without hav. ing had a Territorial Government ?
Mr. Shannon. I said that the people of Louisiana, in defining the boundaries of the State, took from the whole territory, as obtained by treaty from France, a portion sufficient for the State of Louisiana ; and I referred to the first article of the constitution of that State as affording a precedent of the right of States to establish their own boundaries. I said that in the State of Mis. souri no portion of the territory had been rejected by any act of Congress previous to the State organization.
Mr. Gwir. I thought it probable I might have misunderstood the gentleman ; I merely made the inquiry because I have some knowledge on that question that differs from the gentleman's first statement, which I think he has now modified.
I desire to make a few remarks in answer to the gentleman from Monterey (Mr. Botts) in regard to the extent of this territory, and the objection which he urges that the representation in this Convention does not cover this boundary. If the gentleman was at all familiar with the history of ail the new States, where there are Indian tribes, he would know perfectly well that nearly every constitution and every State was formed where there was not, in some instances, one-half of the territory included in the regularly organized counties of the state. It was so in the State of Mississippi. For fifteen years more than half of her territory was unrepresented, and not regarded as within the organized limits of the several counties of the State. So also with the State of Alabama ; and nearly every Western State occupied the same position. They formed State Governments