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"5. Resolved, That all the territory ceded to the United States, by the Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo, lying west of said Territory of NewMexico, and east of the contemplated new State of California, for the present, constitute one Territory, and for which some form of government suitable to the condition of the inhabitants be provided, without any restriction as to Slavery.
"6. Resolved, That the constitution recently formed by the people of the western portion of California, and presented to Congress by the President on the 13th day of February, 1850, be accepted, and that they be admitted into the Union as a State, upon an equal footing in all respects with the original States.
"7. Resolved, That, in future, the formation of State Constitutions, by the inhabitants of the territories of the United States, be regulated by law; and that no such constitution be hereafter formed or adopted by the inhabitants of any Territory belonging to the United States, without the consent and authority of Congress.
"8. Resolved, That the inhabitants of any Territory of the United States, when they shall be authorized by Congress to form a State Constitution, shall have the sole and exclusive power to regulate and adjust all questions of internal State policy, of whatever nature they may be, controlled only by the restrictions expressly imposed by the Constitution of the United States.
"9. Resolved, That the Committee on Territories be instructed to report a bill in conformity with the spirit and principles of the foregoing re
A debate of unusual duration, earnestness, and ability ensued, mainly on Mr. Clay's Resolutions. They were regarded by uncompromising champions, whether of Northern or of Southern views, but especially of the latter, as conceding substantially the matter in dispute to the other side. Thus,
Jan. 29th.-Mr. Clay having read and briefly commented on his propositions, seriatim, he desired that they should be held over without debate, to give time for consideration, and made a special order for Monday or Tuesday following. But this was not assented to.
Mr. Rusk rose at once to protest against that portion of them which called in question the right of Texas to so much of NewMexico as lies east of the Rio del Norte.
Mr. Foote of Miss. spoke against them generally, saying:
"If I understand the resolutions properly, they are objectionable, as it seems to me,
"1. Because they only assert that it is not expedient that Congress should abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia; thus allowing the implication to arise that Congress has power to legislate on the subject of Slavery in the District, which may hereafter be exercised, if it should become expedient to do so; whereas, I hold that Congress has, under the Constitution, no such power at all, and that any attempt thus to legislate would be a gross fraud upon all the States of the Union. "2. The Resolutions of the honorable Senator assert that Slavery does not now exist by law in the territories recently acquired from Mexico; whereas, I am of opinion that the treaty with the Mexican republic carried the Constitution, with all its guaranties, to all the territory obtained by treaty, and secured the privilege to every Southern slaveholder to enter any part of it, åttended
by his slave-property, and to enjoy the same therein, free from all molestation or hindrance whatsoever.
"3. Whether Slavery is or is not likely to be introduced into these territories, or into any of them, is a proposition too uncertain, in my judg ment, to be at present positively affirmed; and I am unwilling to make a solemn legislative declaration on the point. Let the future provide the appropriate solution of this interesting question. 4. Considering, as I have several times heretofore formally declared, the title of Texas to all the territory embraced in her boundaries, as laid down in her law of 1836, full, complete, and undeniable, I am unwilling to say anything, by resolution or otherwise, which may in the least degree draw that title into question, as I think is done in one of the resolutions of the honorable Senator from Kentucky.
"5. I am, upon constitutional and other grounds, wholly opposed to the principle of assuming State debts, which I understand to be embodied in one of the resolutions of the honorable Senator from Kentucky. If Texan soil is to be bought, (and with certain appropriate safeguards, I am decidedly in favor of it,) let us pay to the sovereign State of Texas the value thereof in money, to be used by her as she pleases. It will be, as I think, more delicate and respectful to let her provide for the management of this matter, which is strictly domestic in its character, in such manner as she may choose--presuming that she will act wisely, justly, and honorably toward all to whom she may be indebted.
"6. As to the abolition of the slave-trade in the District of Columbia, I see no particular objection to it, provided it is done in a delicate and judicious manner, and is not a concession to the If other questions can be adjusted, this one will, perhaps, occasion but little difficulty.
menaces and demands of factionists and fanatics.
"7. The resolutions which provide for the resfor the establishment of territorial governments, toration of fugitives from labor or service, and free from all restriction on the subject of Slavery, have my hearty approval. The last resolutionwhich asserts that Congress has no power to prohibit the trade in Slaves from State to StateI equally approve.
"8. If all other questions connected with the subject of Slavery can be satisfactorily adjusted, I can see no objection to admitting all California, above the line of 36 deg. 30 min., into the Union; provided another new Slave State can be laid off within the present limits of Texas, so as to keep the present equiponderance between the Slave and Free States of the Union; and provided further, all this is done by way of com
promise, and in order to save the Union, (as dear
to me as to any man living.")
Mr. Mason of Va., after expressing his deep anxiety to "go with him who went furthest, but within the limits of strict duty, in adjusting these unhappy differences," added:
"Sir, so far as I have read these resolutions, there is but one proposition to which I can give a hearty assent, and that is the resolution which proposes to organize Territorial governments at once in these Territories, without a declaration one way or the other as to their domestic institutions. But there is another which I deeply regret to see introduced into this Senate, by a Senator from a slaveholding State; it is that which assumes that Slavery does not now exist by law in those countries. I understand one of these propositions to declare that, by law, Slavery is now abolished in New-Mexico and California. That was the very proposition advanced by the non-slaveholding
he last session; combated and disI thought, by gentlemen from the slavetates, and which the Compromise bill ned to test. So far, I regarded the question of law as disposed of, and it was very clearly and satisfactorily shown to be against the spirit of the resolution of the Senator from Kentucky. If the contrary is true, I presume the Senator from Kentucky would declare that if a law is now valid in the Territories abolishing Slavery, that it could not be introduced there, even if a law was passed creating the institution, or repealing the statutes already existing; a doctrine never assented to, so far as I know, until now, by any Senator representing one of the slaveholding States. Sir, I hold the very opposite, and with such confidence, that at the last session I was willing and did vote for a bill to test this question in the Supreme Court. Yet this resolution assumes the other doctrine to be true, and our assent is challenged to it as a proposition of law.
"I do not mean to detain the Senate by any discussion; but I deemed it to be my duty to enter a decided protest, on the part of Virginia, against such doctrines. They concede the whole question at once, that our people shall not go into the new Territories and take their property with them; a doctrine to which I never will assent, and for which, sir, no law can be found. There are other portions of the resolutions, for which, if they could be separated, I should be very willing to vote. That respecting fugitive slaves, and that respecting the organization of governments in these Territories, I should be willing to vote for; and I am happy to declare the gratification I experience at finding the Senator from Kentucky differing so much, on this subject, from the Executive message recently laid before the Senate. I beg not to be understood as having spoken in any spirit of unkindness towards the Senator from Kentucky, for whom I entertain the warmest and most profound respect but I cannot but express also my regret that he has felt it to be his duty, standing as he does before this people, and representing the people he does, to introduce into this body resolutions of this kind."
Mr. Jefferson Davis of Miss. (since and now Secretary of War) objected specially to so much of Mr. Clay's propositions as relates to the boundary of Texas, to the Slave-trade in the Federal district, and to Mr. Clay's avowal in his speech that he did not believe Slavery ever would or could be established in any part of the territories acquired from Mexico. He continued:
But, sir, we are called upon to receive this as a measure of compromise! As a measure in which we of the minority are to receive nothing. A measure of compromise! I look upon it as but a modest mode of taking that, the claim to which has been more boldly asserted by others; and, that I may be understood upon this question, and that my position may go forth to the country in the same columns that convey the sentiments of the Senator from Kentucky, I here assert, that never will I take less than the Missouri Compromise line extended to the Pacific ocean, with the specific recognition of the right to hold slaves in the territory below that line; and that, before such territories are admitted in to the Union as States, slaves may be taken there from any of the United States at the option of I can never consent to give additional power to a majority to commit further aggressions upon the minority in this Union; and will never consent to any proposition which will have such a tendency, without a full guar
anty or counteracting measure is connected with it."
Mr. Clay in reply said:
"I am extremely sorry to hear the Senator from Mississippi say that he requires, first, the extension of the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific; and also that he is not satisfied with that, but requires, if I understood him correctly, a positive provision for the admission of Slavery south of that line. And now, sir, coming from a Slave State, as I do, I owe it to myself, I owe it to truth, I owe it to the subject, to state that no earthly power could induce me to vote for a specific measure for the introduction of Slavery where it had not before existed, either south or north of that line. Coming as I do from a Slave State, it is my solemn, deliberate, and well-matured determination that no power-no earthly power-shall compel me to vote for the positive introduction of Slavery either south or north of that line. Sir, while you reproach, and justly, too, our British ancestors for the introduction of this institution upon the continent of America, I am, for one, unwilling that the posterity of the present inhabitants of California and of NewMexico shall reproach us for doing just what we reproach Great Britain for doing to us. If the citizens of those Territories choose to establish Slavery, I am for admitting them with such provisions in their constitutions; but then, it will be their own work, and not ours, and their posterity will have to reproach them, and not us, for forming constitutions allowing the institution of Slavery to exist among them. These are my views, sir, and I choose to express them; and I care not how extensively and universally they are known. The honorable Senator from Virginia has expressed his opinion that Slavery exists in these Territories, and I have no doubt that opinion is sincerely and honestly entertained by him; and I would say with equal sincerity and honesty, that I believe that Slavery nowhere exists within any portion of the Territory acquired by us from Mexico. He holds a directly contrary opinion to mine, as he has a perfect right to do; and we will not quarrel about that difference of opinion."
Mr. William R. King of Ala. was inclined to look with favor on Mr. Clay's propositions, and assented to some of them; but he objected to the mode in which California had formed what is called a State Constitution. He preferred the good old way of first organizing Territories, and so training up their people "for the exercise and enjoyment of our institutions." Besides, he thought "there was not that kind of population there that justified the formation of a State Government." On the question of Slavery in the new Territories, he said:
"With regard to the opinions of honorable Senators, respecting the operation of the laws of Mexico in our newly-acquired territories, there may be, and no doubt is, an honest difference of opinion with regard to that matter. Some believe that the municipal institutions of Mexico overrule the provisions of our Constitution, and pre vent us from carrying our slaves there. That is a matter which I do not propose to discuss; it has been discussed at length in the debate upon the Compromise bill, putting it on the ground of a judicial decision. Sir, I know not-nor is it a matter of much importance with me-whether that which the honorable Senator states to be a fact, and which, as has been remarked by the Senator from Mississippi, can only be conjectural,
be in reality so or not-that Slavery never can go
Mr. Downs of Louisiana said:
than this: That California is already disposed of, having formed a State Constitution, and that Territorial Governments shall be organized for Deseret and New-Mexico, under which, by the operation of laws already existing, a slaveholding population could not carry with them, or own slaves there. What is there in the nature of a compromise here, coupled, as it is, with the proposition that, by the existing laws in the Territories, it is almost certain that slaveholders cannot, and have no right to, go there with their property? What is there in the nature of a compromise here? I am willing, however, to run the risks, and am ready to give to the Territories the governments they require. I shall always think that, under a constitution giving equal rights to all parties. the slaveholding people, as such, can go to these Territories, and retain their property there. But, if we adopt this proposition of the Senator from Kentucky, it is clearly on the basis that Slavery shall not go there.
"I do not understand the Senator from Mississippi (Mr. Davis) to maintain the proposition, that the South asked or desired a law declaring that Slavery should go there, or that it maintained the policy even that it was the duty of Congress to pass such a law. We have only asked, and it is the only compromise to which we will submit, that Congress shall withhold the hand of violence from the Territories. The only way in which this question can be settled is, for gentlemen from the North to withdraw all their opposition
the Territorial Governments, and not insist on their Slavery Prohibition. The Union is then safe enough. Why, then, insist on a compromise, when those already made are sufficient for the peace of the North and South, if faithfully observed? These propositions are in the name of a compromise, when none is necessary."
The debate having engrossed the attention of the Senate for nearly two months
March 25th.--Mr. Douglas, from the Committee on Territories, reported the following
Senate, 169.-A bill for the admission of California into the Union.
"I must confess that, in the whole course of my life, my astonishment has never been greater than it was when I saw this [Mr. Clay's] pro-to position brought forward as a compromise; and rise now, sir, not for the purpose of discussing it at all, but to protest most solemnly against it. I consider this compromise as no compromise at all. What, sir, does it grant to the South? I can see nothing at all. The first resolution offer ed by the honorable Senator proposes to admit the State of California with a provision prohibiting Slavery in territory which embraces all our possessions on the Pacific. It is true, there may be a new regulation of the boundary hereafter; but, if there were to be such a regulation, why was it not embraced in this resolution? As no boundary is mentioned, we have a right to presume that the boundary established by the Constitution of California was to be received as the established boundary. What concession, then, is it from the North, that we admit a State thus prohibiting Slavery, embracing the whole of our possessions on the Pacific coast, according to these resolutions? As to the resolution relating to New-Mexico and Deseret, if it had simply contained the provision that a constitutional government shall be established there, without any mention of Slavery whatever, it would have been well enough. But, inasmuch as it is affirmed that Slavery does not now exist in these Territories, does it not absolutely preclude its admission there? and the resolutions might just as well affirm that Slavery should be prohibited in these Territories. The Senator from Alabama, if I understood him aright, maintains that the proposition is of the same import as the Wilmot Proviso; and, in view of these facts, I would ask, is there anything conceded to us of the South?"
Mr. Butler of South Carolina said: "Perhaps our Northern brethren ought to understand that all the Compromises that have been made, have been by concessions-acknowledged concessions on the part of the South. When other compromises are proposed, that require new concessions on their part, whilst none are exacted on the other, the issue, at least, should be presented for their consideration before they come to the decision of their great question. If I understand it, the Senator from Kentucky's whole proposition of compromise is nothing more
Senate, 170.-A bill to establish the Territorial Governments of Utah and New-Mexico, and for other purposes.
These bills were read, and passed to a second reading.
April 11th.-Mr. Douglas moved that Mr. Bell's resolves do lie on the table. Lost: Yeas 26; Nays 28.
April 15th.--The discussion of Mr. Clay's resolutions still proceeding, Colonel Benton moved that the previous orders be postponed, and that the Senate now proceed to consider the bill (S. 169) for the admission of the State of California.
Mr. Clay moved that this proposition do lie on the table. Carried: Yeas 27 (for a Compromise); Nays 24 (for a settlement without compromise).
solves aforesaid, when Mr. Benton moved The Senate now took up Mr. Bell's rethat they lie on the table. Lost: Yeas 24; Nays 28.
Mr. Benton next moved that they be so amended as not to connect or mix up the admission of California with any other question. Lost: Yeas 23; Nays 28.
Various modifications of the generic idea | were severally voted down, generally by large majorities.
Ön motion of Mr. Foote of Miss., it was
"Ordered, That the resolution submitted by Mr. Bell on the 28th February, together with the resolutions submitted on the 29th of January by Mr. Clay, be referred to a Select Committee of thirteen; Provided, that the Senate does not deem it necessary, and therefore declines, to express in advance any opinion, or to give any instruction, either general or specific, for the guid ance of the said Committee.'
April 19th.-The Senate proceeded to elect by ballot such Select Committee, which was composed as follows:
Mr. Henry Clay of Ky. Chairman. Messrs. Dickinson of N. Y.
Phelps of Vt.
Bell of Tenn.
Cooper of Pa.
Mason of Va.
Tennessee, Mr. Bell. By a provision in the United States, it is declared that" new States of resolution of Congress annexing Texas to the convenient size, not exceeding four in number, 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 36° 30' 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."
The Committee are unanimously of opinion, that whenever one or more States, formed out of the territory of Texas, not exceeding four, having sufficient population, with the consent of Texas, may apply to be admitted into the Union, they are entitled to such admission, beyond all doubt, upon the clear, unambiguous, and absolute terms of the solemn compact contained in the Resolution of Annexation adopted by Congress, and assented to by Texas. But, whilst the ComC.mittee conceive that the right of admission into
May 8th.-Mr. Clay, from said Committee, reported as follows:
The Senate's Committee of thirteen, to whom were referred various resolutions relating to California, to other portions of the territory recently acquired by the United States from the Republic of Mexico, and to other subjects connected with the institution of Slavery, have, according to order, had these resolutions and subjects under consideration, and beg leave to submit the following Report:
the Union of any new State, carved out of the Territory of Texas, not exceeding the number specified, and under the conditions stated, cannot be justly controverted, the Committee do not think that the formation of any new States should now originate with Congress. The initiative, in conformity with the usage which has hitherto prevailed, should be taken by a portion of the people of Texas themselves, desirous of constituting the formation of such new States, it will be for a new State, with the consent of Texas. And in the people composing it to decide for themselves whether they will admit, or whether they will exclude, Slavery. And however they may decide that purely municipal question, Congress is bound to acquiesce, and to fulfill in good faith the stipu lations of the compact with Texas. The Committee are aware that it has been contended that the resolution of Congress annexing Texas was unThe Committee entered on the discharge of constitutional. At a former epoch of our countheir duties with a deep sense of their great im-try's history, there were those (and Mr. Jefferson, portance, and with earnest and anxious solicitude to arrive at such conclusions as might be satisfactory to the Senate and to the country. Most of the matters referred have not only been subjected to extensive and serious public discussion throughout the country, but to a debate in the Senate itself, singular for its elaborateness and its duration; so that a full exposition of all those motives and views which, on several subjects confided to the Committee, have determined the conclusions at which they have arrived, seems quite unnecessary. They will, therefore, restrict themselves to a few general observations, and to some reflections which grow out of those subjects.
Out of our recent territorial acquisitions, and in connection with the institution of Slavery, questions most grave sprung, which, greatly dividing and agitating the people of the United States, have threatened to disturb the harmony, if not to endanger the safety, of the Union. The Committee believe it to be highly desirable and necessary speedily to adjust all those questions, in a spirit of concord, and in a manner to produce, if practicable, general satisfaction. They think it would be unwise to leave any of them open and unsettled, to fester in the public mind, and to prolong, if not aggravate, the existing agitation. It has been their object, therefore, in this Report, to make such proposals and recommendations as would accomplish a general adjustment of all these questions.
Among the subjects referred to the Committee which command their first attention, are the resolutions offered to the Senate by the Senator from
under whose auspices the treaty of Louisiana was concluded, was among them,) who believed that the States formed out of Louisiana could not be received into the Union without an amendment of the constitution. But the States of Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, and Iowa have been all, nevertheless, admitted. And who would now think of opposing Minnesota, Oregon, or new States formed out of the ancient province of Louisiana, upon the ground of an alleged original defect of constitutional power? In grave national transactions, while yet in their earlier or incipient stages, differences may well exist; but when once they have been decided by a constitutional majority, and are consummated, or in a process of consummation, there can be no other safe and prudent alternative than to respect the decision already rendered, and to acquiesce in it. Entertaining these views, a majority of the Committee do not think it necessary or proper to recommend, at this time, or prospectively, any new State or States to be formed out of the territory of Texas. Should any such State be hereafter formed, and present itself for admission into the Union, whether with or without the establishment of Slavery, it cannot be doubted that Congress will admit it, under the influence of similar considerations, in regard to new States formed of or out of New-Mexico and Utah, with or without the institution of Slavery, according to the constitutions and judgment of the people who compose them, as to what may be best to promote their happiness.
In considering the question of the admission of California as a State into the Union, a majori
ed to their condition. Congress will fail in the performance of a high duty, if it do not give, or attempt to give to them, the benefit of such protection, government, and laws. They are not now, and for a long time to come may not be, prepared for State government. The territorial form, for the present, is best suited to their condition. A bill has been reported by the Committee on Territories, dividing all the territory acquired from Mexico, not comprehended within the limits of California, into two territories, under the names of New Mexico and Utah, and proposing for each a territorial government.
ty of the Committee conceive that any irregu- | of providing for them government and laws suitlarity, by which that State was organized without the previous authority of an act of Congress, ought to be overlooked, in consideration of the omission by Congress to establish any territorial government for the people of California, and the consequent necessity which they were under to create a government for themselves, best adapted to their own wants. There are various instances, prior to the case of California, of the admission of new States into the Union without any previous authorization by Congress. The sole condition required by the Constitution of the United States, in respect to the admission of a new State, is, that its constitution shall be republican in form. California presents such a constitution; and there is no doubt of her having a greater population than that which, according to the practice of the government, has been heretofore deemed sufficient to receive a new State into the Union.
In regard to the proposed boundaries of Cali fornia, the Committee would have been glad if there existed more full and accurate geographical knowledge of the territory which these boundaries include. There is reason to believe that, large as they are, they embrace no very disproportionate quantity of land adapted to cultivation. And it is known that they contain extensive ranges of mountains, deserts of sand, and much unproductive soil. It might have been, perhaps, better to have assigned to California a more limited front on the Pacific; but even if there had been reserved, on the shore of that ocean, a portion of the boundary which it presents, for any other State or States, it is not very certain that an accessible interior of sufficient extent could have been given to them to render an approach to the ocean, through their own limits, of very great importance.
A majority of the Committee think that there are many and urgent concurring considerations in favor of admitting California, with the proposed boundaries, and of securing to her at this time the benefits of a State government. If, hereafter, upon an increase of her population, a more thorough exploration of her territory, and an ascertainment of the relations which may arise between the people occupying its various parts, it should be found conducive to their convenience and happiness to form a new State out of California, we have every reason to believe, from past experience, that the question of its admission will be fairly considered and justly de
A majority of the Committee, therefore, recommend to the Senate the passage of the bill reported by the Committee on Territories, for the admission of California as a State into the Union. To prevent misconception, the Committee also recommend that the amendment reported by the same Committee to the bill be adopted, so as to leave incontestable the right of the United States to the public domain and other public property of California.
Whilst a majority of the Committee believe it to be necessary and proper, under actual circumstances, to admit California, they think it quite as necessary and proper to establish governments for the residue of the territory derived from Mexico, and to bring it within the pale of the federal authority. The remoteness of that territory from the seat of the general government; the dispersed state of its population; the variety of races-pure and mixed-of which it consists; the ignorance of some of the races of our laws, language, and habits; their exposure to inroads and wars of savage tribes; and the solemn stipulations of the treaty by which we acquired dominion over them -impose upon the United States the imperative obligation of extending to them protection, and
The Committee recommend to the Senate the establishment of those territorial governments; and, in order more certainly to secure that desira ble object, they also recommend that the bill for their establishment be incorporated in the bill for the admission of California, and that, united together, they both be passed.
The combination of the two measures in the same bill is objected to on various grounds. It is said that they are incongruous, and have no necessary connection with each other. A majority of the Committee think otherwise. The object of both measures is the establishment of a government suited to the conditions, respectively, of the proposed new State and of the new Territories. Prior to their transfer to the United States, they both formed a part of Mexico, where they stood in equal relations to the government of that republic. They were both ceded to the United States by the same treaty. And, in the same article of that treaty, the United States engaged to protect and govern both. Common in their ori. gin, common in their alienation from one foreign government to another, common in their wants of good government, and conterminous in some of their boundaries, and alike in many particulars of physical condition, they have nearly everything in common in the relation in which they stand to the rest of this Union. There is, then, a general fitness and propriety in extending the parental care of government to both in common. If California, by a sudden and extraordinary augmentation of population, has advanced so rapidly as to mature for herself a State Government, that furnishes no reason why the less fortunate Territories of New Mexico and Utah should be abandoned and left ungoverned by the United States, or should be disconnected with California, which, although she has organized for herself a State Government, must, legally and constitutionally, be regarded as a Territory until she is actually admitted as a State into the Union.
It is further objected that, by combining the two measures in the same bill, members who may be willing to vote for one, and unwilling to vote for the other, would be placed in an embarrassing condition. They would be constrained, it is urged, to take or reject both. On the other hand, there are other members who would be willing to vote for both united, but would feel themselves constrained to vote against the California bill if it stood alone. Each party finds in the bill which it favors something which commends it to acceptance, and in the other something which it disapproves. The true ground, therefore, of the objection to the union of the measures is not any want of affinity between them, but because of the favor or disfavor with which they are respectively regarded. In this conflict of opinion, it seems to a majority of the Committee that a spirit of mutual concession enjoins that the two measures should be connected together-the effect of which will be, that neither opinion will exclusively triumph, and that both may find, in such an amicable arrangement, enough of good to reconcile them to the acceptance of the combined measure. And such a course of legisla