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States. Enlightened men, in the States where the want of a rule of apportionment, until the it is permitted, and every where out of them, establishment of the constitution. regret its existence among us, and seek for the When the general convention that formed means of limiting and of mitigating it. The first the constitution took this subject into their conintroduction of slaves is not imputable to the sideration, the whole question was once more present generation, nor even to their ancestors. examined; and while it was agreed that all conBofore the year 1642, the trade and ports of tributions to the common treasury should be the colonies were open to foreigners equally as made according to the ability of the several those of the mother country; and as early as States to furnish the same, the old difficulty 1620, a few years only after the planting of the recurred in agreeing upon a rule whereby such colony of Virginia, and the same year in which ability should be ascertained, there being no the first settlement was made in the old colony simple standard by which the ability of indiof Plymouth, a cargo of negroes was brought viduals to pay taxes can be ascertained. A diinto, and sold as slaves in Virginia, by a foreign versity in the selection of taxes has been deemed ship.* From this beginning, the importation requisite to their equalization. Between comof slaves was continued for nearly two centu- munities this difficulty is less considerable, and ries. To her honor, Virginia, while a colony, although the rule of relative numbers would opposed the importation of slaves, and was the not accurately measure the relative wealth of first State to prohibit the same, by a law passed nations, in States in the circumstances of the for this purpose in 1778, thirty years before United States, whose institutions, laws and emthe general prohibition enacted by Congress in ployments are so much alike, the rule of num1808. The laws and custom of the States in bers is probably as near equal as any other which slavery has existed for so long a period, simple and practicable rule can be expected to must have had their influence on the opinions be, (though between the old and new States its and habits of the citizens, which ought not to equity is defective,) these considerations, added be disregarded on the present occasion. to the approbation which had already been
Omitting, therefore, the arguments which given to the rule, by a majority of the States, might be urged, and which by all of us might induced the convention to agree that direct be deemed conclusive were this an nal taxes should be apportioned among the States, question, the reasons which shall be offered in according to the whole number of free persons, favor of the interposition of the power of Con- and three-fifths of the slaves which they might gress to exclude slavery from Missouri shall be respectively contain. only such as respect the common defence, the The rule for apportionment of taxes is not general welfare, and that wise administration necessarily the most equitable rule for the of the government, which, as far as possible, apportionment of representatives among the may produce the impartial distribution of ben- States; property must not be disregarded in efits and burdens throughout the Union. the composition of the first rule, but frequently
By the articles of confederation the common is overlooked in the establishment of the sectreasury was to be supplied by the several ond. A rule which might be approved in reStates, according to the value of the lands, with spect to taxes, would be disapproved in respect the houses and improvements thereon, within to representatives; one individual possessing the respective States. From the difficulty in twice as much property as another, might be making this valuation, the old Congress were required to pay double the taxes of such other; unable to apportion the requisition for the sup- but no man has two votes to another's one; ply of the general treasury, and obliged to pro- rich or poor, each has but a single vote in the pose to the States to propose an alteration of choice of representatives. the articles of confederation, by which the In the dispute between England and the whole number of free persons, with three-fifths colonies, the latter denied the right of the of the slaves contained in the respective States, former to tax them, because they were not should become the rule of such apportionment represented in the English Parliament. They of the taxes. A majority of the States approved contended that, according to the law of the of this alteration, but some of them disagreed land, taxation and representation were insepato the same; and for want of a practicable rule rable. The rule of taxation being agreed upon of apportionment, the whole of the requisition by the convention, it is possible that the maxim of taxes made by Congress, during the revolu- with which we successfully opposed the claim tionary war and afterwards, up to the estab- of England, may have had an influence in prolishment of the Constitution of the United curing the adoption of the same rule for the States, were merely provisional, and subject to apportionment of representatives; the true revision and correction, as soon as such rules meaning, however, of this principle of the should be adopted. The several States were English constitution is, that a colony or district credited for their supplies, and charged for the is not to be taxed which is not represented; advances made to them by Congress; but no not that its number of representatives shall be settlement of their accounts could be made for ascertained by its quota of taxes. If three
fifths of the slaves are virtually represented, or
their owners obtain a disproportionate power * Stith's History of Virginia.
in legislation, and in the appointment of
the President of the United States, why should | hended. It was a settlement between the orig-
This inequality in the apportionment of rep- slaves not only do not add to, but diminish the resentatives, was not misunderstood at the faculty of self-defence; instead of increasing adoption of the constitution—but as no one the public strength, they lessen it, by the whole anticipated the fact that the whole of the rev- number of free persons whose place they occuenue of the United States would be derived py, increased by the number of freemen that from indirect taxes (which cannot be supposed may be employed as guards over them. to spread themselves over the several States The motives for the admission of new States according to the rule for the apportionment of into the Union, are the extension of the princidirect taxes), but it was believed that a part ples of our free government, the equalizing of of the contribution to the common treasury the public burdens, and the consolidation of would be apportioned among the States by the the power of the confederated nation. Unless rule for the apportionment of representatives. these objects be promoted by the admission of The States in which slavery is prohibited, ulti- new States, no such admission can be expedient mately, though with reluctance, acquiesced in or justified. the disproportionate number of representatives The States in which slavery already exists and electors that was secured to the slavehold are contiguous to each other; they are also the ing States.' The concession was, at the time, portion of the United States nearest to the Eubelieved to be a great one, and has proved to ropean colonies in the West Indies; colonies have been the greatest which was made to se- whose future condition can hardly be regarded cure the adoption of the constitution.
as problematica). If Missouri, and the other Great, however, as this concession was, it | States that may be formed to the west of the was definite, and its full extent was compre- river Mississippi, are permitted to introduce
and establish slavery, the repose, if not the se- citizens, whose rights it will not, and cannot curity, of the Union may be endangered; all impair. the States south of the river Ohio, and west of Besides there is nothing new or peculiar in a Pennsylvania and Delaware, will be peopled provision for the exclusion of slavery; it has with slaves, and the establishment of new been established in the States northwest of the States west of the river Mississippi, will serve river Ohio, and has existed from the beginning to extend slavery instead of freedom over that in the old States where slavery is forbidden. boundless region.
The citizens of States where slavery is allowed, Such increase of the States, whatever other may become inhabitants of Missouri, but caninterests it may promote, will be sure to add not hold slaves there, nor in any other State nothing to the security of the public liberties, where slavery is prohibited. As well might and can hardly fail
, hereafter, to require and the laws prohibiting slavery in the old States produce a change in our government.
become the subject of complaint, as the proOn the other hand, if slavery be excuded posed exclusion of slavery in Missouri ; but from Missouri, and the other new States which there is no foundation for such complaint in may be formed in this quarter, not only will either case. It is further urged, that the adthe slave markets be broken up, and the prin- mission of slaves into Missouri would be limited ciples of freedom be extended and strengthened, to the slaves who are already within the Unitbut an exposed and important frontier will pre-ed States; that their health and comfort would sent a barrier which will check and keep back be promoted by their dispersion, and that their foreign assailants, who may be as brave, and, numbers would be the same whether they reas we hope, will be as free as ourselves. Sur main confined to the States where slavery exrounded in this manner by connected bodies of ists, or are dispersed over the new States that freemen, the States where slavery is allowed may be admitted into the Union. will be made more secure against domestic in That none but domestic slaves would be insurrection, and less liable to be affected by troduced into Missouri, and the other new and what may take place in the neighboring colo- frontier States, is most fully disproved by the nies.
thousands of fresh slaves, which, in violation It ought not to be forgotten, that first of our laws, are annually imported into Alabama, and main object of the negotiation which led Louisiana, and Mississippi. to the acquisition of Louisiana, was the free We may renew our efforts, and enact new navigation of the Mississippi; a river that forms laws with heavier penalties against the impor. the sole passage from the western States to the tation of slaves: the revenue cutters may more
This navigation, although of general diligently watch our shores, and the naval force benefit, has been always valued and desired, as may be employed on the coast of Africa, and of peculiar advantage to the western States, on the ocean, to break up the slave trade—but whose demands to obtain it, were neither equiv- these means will not put an end to it; so long ocal nor unreasonable. But with the river as markets are open for the purchase of slaves, Mississippi, by a sort of coercion, we acquired, so long they will be supplied ;—and so long as by good or ill fortune, as our future measures we permit the existence of slavery in our new shall determine, the whole province of Louisi- and frontier States, so long slave markets will
As this acquisition was made at the com- exist. The plea of humanity is equally inadmon expense, it is very fairly urged that the missible, since no one who has ever witnessed advantages to be derived from it should also be the experiment, will believe that the condition common. This, it is said, will not happen if of slaves is made better by the breaking up, slavery be excluded from Missouri, as the citi- and separation of their families, nor by their zens of the States where slavery is permitted removal from the old States to the new ones; will be shut out, and none but citizens of States and the objection to the provision of the bill, where slavery is prohibited, can become inhab-excluding slavery from Missouri
, is equally apitants of Missouri.
plicable to the like prohibitions of the old But this consequence will not arise from the States: these should be revoked, in order that proposed exclusion of slavery. The citizens of the slaves now confined to certain States, may, States in which slavery is allowed, like all other for their health and comfort, and multiplicacitizens, will be free to become inhabitants of tion, be spread over the whole Union. Missouri, in like manner as they have become That the condition of slaves within the inhabitants of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, in United States has been improved, and the which slavery is forbidden. The exclusion of rigors of slavery mitigated, by the establishslaves from Missouri will not, therefore, operate ment and progress of our free governments, unequally among the citizens of the United is a fact that imparts consolation to all who States. The constitution provides, "that the have taken pains to inquire concerning it. The citizens of each State shall be entitled to enjoy disproportionate increase of free persons of all the rights and immunities of citizens of the color, can be explained only by the supposition several States;" every citizen may, therefore, that the practice of emancipation is gaining remove from one to another State, and there ground; a practice which there is reason to enjoy the rights and immunities of its citizens. believe would become more general, if a plan The proposed provision excludes slaves, not I could be devised by which the comfort and
morals of the emancipated slaves could be sat- | dangers of domestic insurrection, or of foreign isfactorily provided for: for it is not to be aggression? Will this manner of executing the doubted that public opinion every where, and great trust of admitting new States into the especially in the oldest State of the Union, is Union, contribute to assimilate our manners less favorable than formerly to the existence and usages, to increase our mutual affection of slavery. Generous and enlightened men in and confidence, and to establish that equality the States where slavery exists, have discovered of benefits and burdens which constitutes the much solicitude on the subject: a desire has true basis of our strength and union? Will the been manifested that emancipation might be militia of the nation, which must furnish our encouraged by the establishment of a place or soldiers and seamen, increase as slaves increase? colony, without the United States, to which Will the actual disproportion in the military free persons of color might be removed; and service of the nation, be thereby diminished? great efforts for that purpose are making, with A disproportion that will be, as it has been, a corresponding anxiety for their success. readily borne, as between the original States, These persons, enlightened and humane as they because it arises out of their compact of Union, are known to be, surely will be unwilling to but which may become a badge of inferiority, promote the removal of the slaves from the if required for the protection of those who, old States to the new ones: where their com- being free to choose, persist in the establishforts will not be multiplied, and where their ment of maxims, the inevitable effect of which fetters may be riveted for ever.
will deprive them of the power to contribute Slavery cannot exist in Missouri without the to the common defence, and even of the ability consent of Congress; the question may there to protect themselves. There are limits within fore be considered, in certain lights, as a new which our federal system must stop; no one one, it being the first instance in which an in- has supposed that it could be indefinitely exquiry respecting slavery, in a case so free from tended—we are now about to pass our original the influence of the ancient laws, usages, and boundary; if this can be done without affecting manners of the country, has come before the the principles of our free governments, it can Senate.
be accomplished only by the most vigilant atThe territory of Missouri is beyond our an- tention to plant, cherish, and sustain the princient limits, and the inquiry whether slavery ciples of liberty in the new States, that may shall exist there, is open to many of the argu- be formed beyond our ancient limits : with our ments that might be employed, had slavery utmost caution in this respect, it may still be never existed within the United States. It is justly apprehended that the General Governa question of no ordinary importance. Free- ment must be made stronger as we become dom and slavery are the parties which stand more extended. this day before the Senate; and upon its deci- But, if instead of freedom, slavery is to presion the empire of the one or the other will be vail and spread, as we extend our dominion, established in the new State which we are can any reflecting man fail to see the necessity about to admit into the Union.
of giving to the General Government greater If slavery be permitted in Missouri with the powers, to enable it to afford the protection climate, and soil, and in the circumstances of that will be demanded of it? powers that will this territory, what hope can be entertained be difficult to control, and which may prove that it will ever be prohibited in any of the fatal to the public liberties.* new States that will be formed in the immense region west of the Mississippi. Will the coextensive establishment of slavery and of the
* See the speech, on the Missouri Bill, by William Pinknew States throughout this region, lessen the | ney, in the subsequent pages of this volume.
JAMES A. BAYARD was a descendant of Pierre du Terrail Bayard, who is familiarly known as the Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche. His ancestors were Huguenots, who, fearing the fanatical tendencies of the age, abandoned their estates in France, some time prior to the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and emigrated to America. They settled in New York, and, at a subsequent period, one of them removed to Maryland, and there established his residence. From this branch of the family the subject of this sketch was descended.
He was born in Philadelphia on the twenty-eighth day of July, 1767. His father, Doctor James A. Bayard, was a practitioner of medicine of great promise and an increasing reputation at the time of his death, in 1770. His uncle, Colonel John Bayard, occupied a prominent position in the councils of Pennsylvania, during the war of the Revolution, and for many years was speaker of the Legislature of that State. After the death of his parents, young Bayard was placed in the care of this uncle, and continued as a member of his family for a long period. He prepared for college under the supervision of the Reverend Mr. Smith, a respectable clergynan of Lancaster county, and a private tutor, in his uncle's family, and in 1780, matriculated at the College of New Jersey. From this institution, he graduated in 1784, with distinguished honor, and gave a pledge of future eminence, in the reputation he carried with him into the more extended scenes of life.
Having decided to pursue the profession of the law, he commenced his studies under the direction of General Joseph Reed, and on his decease, removed to the office of Jared Ingersoll, where he remained until the close of his legal course. He selected the State of Delaware as the theatre for the pursuit of his profession, and, in the year 1787, was admitted to the bar of the Court of Common Pleas for the county of New Castle. The first years of his professional life were spent in severe study, at the same time acquiring the principles of general jurisprudence, and a thorough knowledge of political science, both of which were of the greatest service to him at the bar and in the halls of legislation.
In the autumn of the year 1796, he was elected a member of the House of Representatives, and remained in public life, from that moment, through all the vicissitudes of party triumph and defeat, until the time of his death. Actively engaged in political and professional duties, he contrived to reconcile their endless varieties, and evinced a rare and happy aptitude for both. At the same moment one of the most conspicuous supporters of the Federal administration, and a leader of acknowledged ability in the House of Representatives—and the chief ornament of the forum, where he had chosen to excel. At once the profound jurist and the accomplished statesman; the acute, ingenious, and dexterous advocate, and the eloquent and dignified occupant of the parliamentary floor. The same efforts of industry, and powers of genius, that qualified and calculated him for superiority in the less magnified but intricate controversies of individuals, readily enabled him to extend his intellectual grasp to the comprehension of more enlarged topics of general interest, which involved the duties and the policy, the happiness and the rights of nations. The study and practice of the law is calculated to add vigor to a mind naturally strong. In a country emphatically subject to the government of the laws alone, the remark is peculiarly obvious and perpetually illustrated; and from the multitude of the profes