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shall affect the question, as to the boundary of Texas. Carried: Yeas 187; Nays


Mr. R. W. Thompson of Ind. moved that the House concur with the Senate, with an amendment, which was a substitute, extending the laws of the United States over said Territories, but leaving them unorganized, as follows:

"That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, authorized to hold possession of and occupy the Territories ceded by Mexico to the United States, by the treaty of the 2nd of Feb., eighteen hundred and forty-eight, and that he be, and hereby is, authorized for that purpose, and in order to maintain the authority of the United States, and preserve peace and order in said Tertory, to employ such parts of the army and navy of the United States as he may deem necessary; and that the Constitution of the United States, so

far as the same is applicable, be extended over said Territories.

"Sec. 2nd. And be it further enacted, That, until the fourth day of July, eighteen hundred and fifty, unless Congress shall sooner provide for the government of said Territories, the exist ing laws thereof shall be retained and observed, and that the civil and judicial authority hereto fore exercised in said Territories shall be vested in, and exercised by, such person or persons as the President of the United States shall appoint and direct, to the end that the inhabitants of said Territories may be protected in the full and free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and religion: provided, nevertheless, that martial law shall not be proclaimed or declared in said Territories, or either of them, nor any military court established or instituted, except ordinary courts martial for the trial of persons belonging to the army and navy of the United States; and the imprisonment of any citizen of said Territories for debt is hereby forbidden.

"Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That, to enable the President to carry into execution the provisions of this act, the sum of two hundred thousand dollars is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated."

The question being reached on amending the Senate's proposition as proposed by Mr. Thompson, it was carried: Yeas 111; Nays


[All the Southern Members in the negative, with Levin and a few of the Northern Democrats; the residue with all the Northern Whigs in the affirmative.]

The House now proceeded to agree to the Senate's amendment, as amended; Yeas 110; Nays 103, [the same as before; the friends of the Senate's proposition voting against it, as amended, and vice versa, on the understanding that Mr. Thompson's amendment would exclude Slavery.]

The bill as thus amended being returned to the Senate, it refused to agree to the House's amendment, and receded from its own proposition; so the bill was passed and the session closed, with no provision for the government of the newly-acquired Territories.



Committee on Territories, reported to the Aug. 6, 1846.-Mr. Douglas, from the House a bill organizing the Territory of Oregon.

Said bill was discussed in Committee of the Whole, and the following amendment agreed to:

"And neither Slavery, nor involuntary servi. tude shall ever exist in said Territory, except for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted."

On coming out of Committee, this amendment was agreed to-Yeas 108; Nays 44. [The Nays are all Southern, but Charles J. Ingersoll, Orlando B. Ficklin, and possibly one or two others; and all Democrats, but some half a dozen from the South, of whom Robert Toombs has since turned Democrat.] The bill Stephen A. Douglas did not vote. passed the House without further opposition, was read twice in the Senate, and referred; and Mr. Westcott of Florida made a report thereon from the Committee on Territories; but the Session closed without further action on the bill.

This Congress reassembled, Dec. 7th, 1846. On the 23d, Mr. Douglas again reported his bill to provide a territorial government for Oregon, which was read twice and committed: Jan. 11th, 1847, was discussed in Committee, as also on the 12th and 14th, when it was resolved to close the debate. On the 15th, it was taken out of Committee, when Gen. Burt of S. C. moved the following addition (already moved, debated, and voted down in Committee) to the clause forbidding Slavery in said Territory:

north of thirty six degrees thirty minutes north "Inasmuch as the whole of said Territory lies latitude, known as the line of the Missouri Compromise."

The purpose of this is clear enough. It was intended to recognize the Missouri line, not as limited to the territories possessed by the United States at the time said line that had since been, or hereafter should be, was established, but as extending to all acquired, so as to legalize Slavery in any territory henceforth to be acquired by us south of 36° 30′.

Mr. Burt's amendment was negatived― Yeas 82; Nays 114.

the following Members from Free States The vote was very nearly sectional; but voted in the minority:

PENNSYLVANIA.-Charles J. Ingersoll-1. ILLINOIS-Stephen A. Douglas, Robt. Smith-2. IOWA.-S. C. Hastings-1.

In all, 5.

No Member from a Slave State voted in

the majority. The bill then passed-Yeas 134; Nays 35 (all Southern).

Jan. 15th.-The bill reached the Senate, and was sent to the Judiciary Committee, consisting of

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Berrien, Ga. Dayton, N. J.

Jan. 25.-Mr. Ashley reported the Oregon bill with amendments, which were ordered to be printed.

The bill continued to be discussed, and finally (Aug. 1st) was got out of Committee; when Mr. C. B. Smith moved the Previous Question thereon, which was ordered.

August 2d.-The House came to a vote on an amendment made in Committee, whereby the following provision of the original bill was stricken out:

"That the inhabitants of said Territory shall be entitled to enjoy, all and singular, the rights, privileges, and advantages granted and secured to the people of the Territory of the United States Com-northwest of the river Ohio, by the articles of compact contained in the ordinance for the gov ernment of said Territory, passed the 13th day

29th.--Said bill, on motion of Mr. Westcott, was recommitted to the Judiciary



Feb. 10th.-Mr. Ashley again reported it of July, seventeen hundred and eighty-seven; with amendments. and shall be subject to all the conditions, and reMarch 3d.-It was taken up as in Com-strictions, and prohibitions in said articles of committee of the Whole, when Mr. Evans of pact imposed upon the people of said territory Me. moved that it be laid on the table. Defeated-Yeas 19, (all Whigs but Calhoun of S. C., and Yulee of Florida); Nays 26; (24 Dem., with Corwin of Ohio, and Johnson of La.).

Mr. Westcott of Fla. immediately moved that the bill do lie on the table, which prevailed-Ycas 26; Nays 18, (a mixed vote, evidently governed by various motives); but the negatives were all Democrats, but Corwin and Johnson aforesaid. This being the last day of the session, it was evident that the bill, if opposed, as it was certain to be, could not get through, and it was, doubtless, in behalf of other pressing business that many Senators voted to lay this aside. It was, of course, dead for the session.

Dec. 6th, 1847.-The XXXth Congress assembled; Robert C. Winthrop (Whig) of Mass. was chosen Speaker of the House. President Polk, in his Annual Message, regretted that Oregon had not already been organized, and urged the necessity of action on the subject.

Feb. 9th.-Mr. Caleb B. Smith of Indiana reported to the House a bill to establish the territorial government of Oregon; which, by a vote of two-thirds, was made a special order for March 14th. It was postponed, however, to the 28th; when it was taken up and discussed, as on one or two subsequent days. May 29th, it was again made a special order next after the Appropriation bills. The President that day sent a special message, urging action on this subject. July 25th, it was taken up in earnest; Mr. Wentworth of Illinois moving that debate on it in Committee cease at two o'clock this day.

Mr. Geo. S. Houston of Ala. endeavored to put this motion on the table. Defeated-Yeas 85; Nays 89, (nearly, but not fully, a sectional division). Mr. Geo. W. Jones of Tenn. moved a reconsideration, which was carried-Yeas 100; Nays 88; and the resolution laid on the tableYeas 96; Nays 90.

The House refused to agree to this amendment-Yeas 88; Nays 114.

The Members from the Free States who voted with the South to strike out, wereNEW-YORK-Ausburn Birdsall-1.

OHIO-William Kennon, jr., John K. Mil


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Mr. John W. Houston of Delaware voted in the majority.

The bill was then passed: Yeas 128; Nays 71.

[This vote was almost completely sectional.' Mr. Houston of Delaware voting in the majority as before: otherwise, Members from Free States in the affirmative; those from Slave States in the negative.]

when Mr. Badger of N. C. moved its indeAug. 3rd. This bill reached the Senate, finite postponement: negatived, 47 to 1, (Yulee). It was then sent to the Committee

on Territories.

The Senate had had under consideration, from time to time through the Session, a bill of its own, reported by Mr. Douglas, which was finally referred to a Select Committeeby said committee reported some days before Mr. Clayton of Delaware, Chairman-and the reception of the House bill. It was then dropped.

Aug. 5th.—Mr. Douglas reported the House Bill, with amendments, which were printed.

Aug. 10th.-After some days' debate, the Senate proceeded to vote. Mr. Foote of Miss. moved that the bill do lie on the table. Defeated: Yeas 15 (Southern) ; Nays 36.

On the question of agreeing to this amendment:

"Inasmuch as the said Territory is north of thirty-six deg. thirty min., usually known as the [line of the] Missouri Compromise."

It was rejected: Yeas 2 (Bright and Douglas); Nays 52.

Mr. Douglas moved to amend the bill, by | as it came from the House: Yeas 29; Nays inserting after the word "enacted":

"That the line of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes of north latitude, known as the Missouri Compromise line, as defined in the eighth section of an act entitled, 'An Act to authorize the peo ple of the Missouri Territory to form a Constitutional and State Government, and for the admission of such State into the Union, on an equal footing with the original States, and to prohibit Slavery in certain Territories, approved March 6th, 1820,' be. and the same is hereby, declared to extend to the Pacific Ocean; and the said eighth section, together with the compromise therein effected, is hereby revived, and declared to be in full force and binding, for the future organization of the Territories of the United States in the same sense, and with the same understanding with which it was originally adopted; and—” Which was carried-Yeas 33; Nays 21 -as follows:

YEAS-For recognizing the Missouri line as rightfully extending to the Pacific: Messrs. Atchison,

25, as follows:

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Davis of Miss.,






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Johnson of La.,




Johnson of Ga.,










Davis of Miss.,










Foote of Miss.,



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THE XXXIst Congress commenced i' first Session at Washington, Dec. 3d, 18/ but the House was unable to organize person receiving a majority of all the for Speaker-until the 22nd, when, rality rule having been adopted of 113 to 106, Mr. Howell Cobb or Ga. was elected, having 102 votes to 100 for Robert C. Winthrop of Mass., and 20 scattering. It was thereupon resolved-Yeas 149; Nays 35-"That Howell Cobb be declared President Zachary Taylor transmitted to duly elected Speaker;" and on the 24th both Houses his first Annual Message, in the course of which he says:

by Congress for California, the people of that
"No civil government having been provided
Territory, impelled by the necessities of their
political condition, recently met in Convention,
for the purpose of forming a Constitution and
State Government; which, the latest advices give
me reason to suppose, has been accomplished;

NEW YORK-Ausburn Birdsall-1.
PENNSYLVANIA-Charles Brown, Charles J. and it is believed they will shortly apply for the


Otherwise, from Slave States, all Yeas; from Free States, all Nays.

Aug. 12th.--The Senate, after voting down various propositions to lay on the table, etc., finally decided to recede from its amendments to the Oregon bill, and pass it

admission of California into the Union, as a Sovereign State. Should such be the case, and should their constitution be conformable to the

requisitions of the Constitution of the United States, I recommend their application to the favorable consideration of Congress.

"The people of New-Mexico will also, it is selves for admission into the Union. Preparatory believed, at no very distant period, present them. to the admission of California and New-Mexico,

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"Under these circumstances, I thought, and still think, that it was my duty to endeavor to put it in the power of Congress, by the admission of California and New-Mexico as States, to remove all occasion for the unnecessary agitation of the public mind.

the people of each will have instituted for them-, length, which may elapse before the admission selves a republican form of government, laying of the Territories ceded by Mexico, as States, it its foundation in such principles, and organizing appears probable that similar excitement will its power in such form, as to them shall seem prevail to an undue extent. most likely to effect their safety and happiness. By awaiting their action, all causes of uneasiness may be avoided and confidence and kind feeling preserved. With a view of main taining the harmony and tranquillity so dear to all, we should abstain from the introduction of those exciting topics of a sectional character which have hitherto produced painful apprehensions in the public mind; and I repeat the solemn warning of the first and most illustrious of my predecessors, against furnishing any ground for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations."

Jan. 4th.-Gen. Sam. Houston of Texas submitted to the Senate the following proposition :

"Whereas, The Congress of the United States, possessing only a delegated authority, have no power over the subject of Negro Slavery within the limits of the United States, either to prohibit or interfere with it, in the States, Territories, or District, where, by municipal law, it now existe, or to establish in any State or Territory where it does not exist; but, as an assurance and guarantee to promote harmony, quiet apprehension, and remove sectional prejudice, which by possibility might impair or weaken love and devotion to the Union in any part of the country, it is hereby

"Resolved, That, as the people in Territories have the same inherent rights of self-government as the people in the States, if, in the exercise of such inherent rights, the people in the newlyacquired Territories, by the Annexation of Texas and the acquisition of California and New-Mexico, south of the parallel of 36 degrees and 30 minutes of north latitude, extending to the Pacific Ocean, shall establish Negro Slavery in the formation of their state governments, it shall be deemed no objection to their admission as a State or States into the Union, in accordance with the Constitution of the United States."

Jan. 21st.-Gen. Taylor, in answer to a resolution of inquiry, sent a message to the House, stating that he had urged the formation of State Governments in California and New-Mexico. He adds:

"In advising an early application by the people of these Territories for admission as States, I was actuated principally by an earnest desire to afford to the wisdom and patriotism of Congress the opportunity of avoiding occasions of bitter and angry discussions among the people of the United States.

"It is understood that the people of the Western part of California have formed the plan of a State Constitution, and will soon submit the same to the judgment of Congress, and apply for admission as a State. This course on their part, though in accordance with, was not adopted exclusively in consequence of, any expression of my wishes, been promoted by officers sent there by my preinasmuch as measures tending to this end had decessor, and were already in active progress of execution, before any communication from me reached California. If the proposed constitution shall, when submitted to Congress, be found to be in compliance with the requisitions of the Constitution of the United States, I earnestly recommend that it may receive the sanction of Congress."

He adds

"Should Congress, when California shall present herself for incorporation into the Union, annex a condition to her admission as a State affecting her domestic institutions contrary to the wishes of her people, and even compel her temporarily to comply with it, yet the State could change her constitution at any time after admission, when to her it should seem expedient. Any attempt to deny to the people of the State the right of self-government, in a matter which peculiarly affects themselves, will infallibly be regarded by them as an invasion of their rights; and, upon the principles laid down in our own Declaration of Independence, they will certainly be sustained by the great mass of the American people. To assert that they are a conquered people, and must, as a State, submit to the will of their conquerors, in this regard, will meet with no cordial response among American freemen. Great numbers of them are native citizens of the United States, and not inferior to the rest of our countrymen in intelligence and patriotism; and no language of menace to restrain them in the exercise of an undoubted right, substantially guarantied to them by the treaty of cession itself, shall ever be uttered by me, or encouraged and sustained by persons acting under my authority. It is to be expected that, in the residue of the territory ceded to us by Mexico, the people residing there will, at the time of their incorporation into the Union as a State, settle all questions of domestic policy to

suit themselves."

submitted to the Senate the following proJan. 29th, 1850.-Mr. Henry Clay of Ky. positions, which were made a special order and printed:

"Under the Constitution, every State has the right to establish, and, from time to time, alter Feb. 13, 1850.-Gen. Taylor communiits municipal laws and domestic institutions, in-cated to Congress the Constitution (free) of dependently of every other State and of the the State of California. General Government, subject only to the prohibitions and guarantees expressly set forth in the Constitution of the United States. The subjects thus left exclusively to the respective States, were not designed or expected to become topics of National agitation. Still as, under the Constitution, Congress has power to make all needful rules and regulations respecting the Territories of the United States, every new acquisition of territory has led to discussions on the question whether the system of involuntary servitude, which prevails in many of the States, should or should not be prohibited in that Territory. The periods of excitement from this cause, which have heretofore occurred, have been safely passed; but, during the interval, of whatever

"1. Resolved, That California, with suitable boundaries, ought, upon her application, to be admitted as one of the States of this Union, without the imposition by Congress of any restriction in respect to the exclusion or introduction of Slavery within those boundaries.

"2. Resolved, That as Slavery does not exist by law, and is not likely to be introduced into any of the territory acquired by the United States from the Republic of Mexico, it is inexpedient for Congress to provide by law either for its introduction into,

or exclusion from, any part of the said territory; and that appropriate territorial governments ought to be established by Congress in all the said territory, not assigned as within the boundaries of the proposed State of California, without the adoption of any restriction or condition on the subject of Slavery.

3. Resolved, That the western boundary of the State of Texas ought to be fixed on the Rio del Norte, commencing one marine league from its mouth, and running up that river to the southern line of New-Mexico; thence with that line eastwardly, and so continuing in the same direction to the line as established between the United States and Spain, excluding any portion of NewMexico, whether lying on the east or west of that river.

"4. Resolved, That it be proposed to the State of Texas, that the United States will provide for the payment of all that portion of the legitimate and bona fide public debt of that State contracted prior to its annexation to the United States, and for which the duties on foreign imports were pledged by the said State to its creditors, not exceeding the sum of dollars, in consideration of the said duties so pledged having been no longer applicable to that object after the said annexation, but having thenceforward become payable to the United States; and upon the condition, also, that the said State of Texas shall, by some solemn and authentic act of her legislature, or of a convention, relinquish to the United States any claim which she has to any part of New-Mexico.

5. Resolved, That it is inexpedient to abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia whilst that institution continues to exist in the State of Mary land, without the consent of that State, without the consent of the people of the District, and without just compensation to the owners of Slaves within the District.

"6. But Resolved, that it is expedient to prohibit, within the District, the slave trade in slaves brought into it from States or places beyond the limits of the District, either to be sold therein as merchandise, or to be transported to other markets without the District of Columbia.

"7. Resolved, That more effectual provision ought to be made by law, according to the requirement of the Constitution, for the restitution and delivery of persons bound to service or labor in any State, who may escape into any other State or Territory in the Union. And,

"8. Resolved, That Congress has no power to prohibit or obstruct the trade in slaves between the Slaveholding States, but that the admission or exclusion of Slaves brought from one into another of them, depends exclusively upon their own particular laws."

Feb. 28th.-Mr. John Bell of Tenn. submitted to the Senate the following propositions:

"Whereas, Considerations of the highest interest to the whole country demand that the existing and increasing dissensions between the North and the South, on the subject of Slavery, should be speedily arrested, and that the questions in controversy be adjusted upon some basis which shall tend to give present quiet, repress sectional animosities, remove, as far as possible, the causes of future discord, and secure the uninterrupted enjoyment of those benefits and advantages which the Union was intended to confer in equal measure upon all its members;


And, whereas, It is manifest, under present circumstances, that no adjustment can be effected of the points of difference unhappily existing between the Northern and Southern sections of the Union, connected with the subject of Slavery, which shall secure to either section all that is con

tended for, and that mutual concessions upon questions of mere policy, not involving the violation of any constitutional right or principle, must be the basis of every project affording any assurance of a favorable acceptance;

"And, whereas, The joint resolution for annexing Texas to the United States, approved March 1, 1845, contains the following condition and guarantee-that is to say: New States of convenient size, not exceeding four in number, in addition to said State of Texas, and having sufficient population, may hereafter, by the consent of said State, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the Federal Constitution; and such States as may be formed out of that portion of said territory lying south of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, commonly known as the Missouri Compromise line, shall be admitted into the Union with or without Slavery, as the people of each State asking admission may desire; and in such State or States as shall be formed out of said territory north of said Missouri Compromise line, Slavery, or involuntary servitude (except for crime), shall be prohibited:' Therefore,

"1. Resolved, That the obligation to comply with the condition and guarantee above recited in good faith be distinctly recognized; and that, in part compliance with the same, as soon as the people of Texas shall, by an act of their legislature, signify their assent by restricting the limits thereof, within the territory lying east of the Trinity and south of the Red River, and when the people of the residue of the territory claimed by Texas adopt a constitution, republican in form, they be admitted into the Union upon an equal footing in all respects with the original States.

"2. Resolved, That if Texas shall agree to cede, the United States will accept, a cession of all the unappropriated domain in all the territory claimed by Texas, lying west of the Colorado and extending north to the forty-second parallel of north latitude, together with the jurisdiction and sovereignty of all the territory claimed by Texas, north of the thirty-fourth parallel of north latitude, and to pay therefor a sum not exceeding

millions of dollars, to be applied in the first place to the extinguishment of any portion of the existing public debt of Texas, for the discharge of which the United States are under any obligation, implied or otherwise, and the remainder as Texas shall require.

"3. Resolved, That when the population of that portion of the territory claimed by Texas, lying south of the thirty-fourth parallel of north latitude and west of the Colorado, shall be equal to the ratio of representation in Congress, under the last preceding apportionment, according to the provisions of the Constitution, and the people of such territory shall, with the assent of the new State contemplated in the preceding resolution, have adopted a State Constitution, republican in form, they be admitted into the Union as a State, upon an equal footing with the original States.

"4. Resolved, That all the territory now claimed by Texas, lying north of the thirty-fourth parallel of north latitude, and which may be ceded to the United States by Texas, be incorporated with the Territory of New-Mexico, except such part thereof as lies east of the Rio Grande and south of the thirty-fourth degree of north latitude, and that the Territory so composed form a State, to be admitted into the Union when the inhabitants thereof shall adopt a State Constitution, republican in form, with the consent of Congress; but, in the mean time, and until Congress shall give such consent, provision be made for the government of the inhabitants of said Territory suitable to their condition, but without any restriction as to Slavery.

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