Discussion Just for Curiosity: Pre-War Newspaper Comparison

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
The Holly Springs Gazette, January 18, 1850

Below: Quitman Speech Continued-

To Quitman and other Southerners, California’s actions were not in accordance to “the general principles of the United States,” which, according to Quitman, is also a precondition of meeting the elements of the doctrine of Popular Sovereignty.

General Riley was a military officer only, yet he assumed the office Civil Governor of California. His office, Quitman States, was not created by Congress. Under this title, nevertheless, he ordered a convention to be held under Mexican law, which, by prohibiting slavery, deprived the States of their sovereignty.

Riley, according to Quitman, also held “an election without legal officers to conduct it and make returns, where persons of all nations, whether citizens or not, naturalized or not, should vote anyway.”

Compromise only Work Against the South

Governor Quitman adds California’s action to the list of other grievances suffered by the South throughout its membership in the Union:

“At the formation of the Confederation, about three-fourths of the territory of the Union belonged to the present slave States. In the spirit of conciliation, and for the sake of peace, we consented to a deprivation of our rights, first by the Ordinance of 1787, in reference to the Northwestern Territory, and secondly, by submission to the Missouri Compromise.”

“Here, we supposed, that the spirit of aggression would stop, and we might rest quietly, south of the line agreed on by that compromise. But in this, we are disappointed. This fell spirit now demands our exclusion from every foot of territory belonging to the Union.”

Violation of the Compact

“It is a universally admitted principle, that when one of the parties to a compact, without the consent of the other, disregards, and violates that compact, the other ceases to be bound to the performance of the obligations into which he entered in its formation.”

“The non-slaveholding States have refused to abide by the terms of the Missouri Compromise, and the slave States are therefore absolved from the observance of the stipulations into which they entered, and should, at once, fall back on their original constitutional rights, by which they held an equal right with all the citizens of the United States, to remove to, and settle with their property in any of the territories of the United States.”

Compromise Leads to Aggression

“We have learned by bitter experience, the consequences of compromising our rights. Instead of peace, it only invites renewed aggression. Not only are we denied a settlement in the present free States with our property, (a right we have never refused to our Northern brethren, who wish to settle among us,) but we cannot travel through their territories without danger of being robbed of our slave property.”

These, according to Quitman, are the results of the South’s concessions. Because of this, he believes the South should “never consent to any restrictions to the extension of our southern institutions, from any portions of the territories of the Union.”

Quitman Predicts Bloodshed

“The sprit of fanaticism and aggression will never be stayed by compromises; but will continue its work of destruction, until the sacred ties which have heretofore bound us together in one great and glorious brotherhood, shall be drenched in blood, and the glorious temple of human liberty, reared by our Fathers, and consecrated by their blood, shall tumble into ruins, exposed to the jeers and taunts of the minions of despotism.”

————

Twelve years later, in 1862, the country was fully engaged in Civil War against one another, as predicted by Quitman. That same year, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech wherein he stated that “without slavery the rebellion could never have existed; without slavery it could not continue.”

A Memphis newspaper responded to Lincoln’s above quote in much the same manner as Quitman might have. (This article was posted by forum member @lelliott19 on another thread and which I post below.).

“Slavery in this country,” the Memphis newspaper notes, “is older than either the Constitution or the government, and it is a species of property which the government was instituted to protect and not destroy. But for the guarantee of such protection, the government never could have formed, and it was the withholding or denial of such protection that mainly induced the secession of the slave States.”

The Memphis paper ends by stating: “The government failed to perform the ends and aims for which it was created, and was, of course, no longer entitled to obedience or respect.”

ECAB7EBA-993C-424C-81EC-793B78DA83B2.jpeg


End

———

FCCAF30D-9870-4EA2-A515-405BA5C097B2.jpeg
800AEF8A-1310-496B-8089-995D31095984.jpeg
DDA6F85D-AF9E-457E-8DFC-63BC7104AA4C.jpeg
C5D300B7-9CD3-46C8-93FE-1AA0AE315BB6.jpeg
 
Last edited:

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
Spirit of Democracy (Ohio), June 24, 1849

Below: Speech of Senator Thomas Benton to Constituents in Missouri re: Slavery in Territories

Background:

The General Assembly of Missouri passed several resolutions which denied that Congress had the right to prohibit slavery in the territories. These resolutions were intended to advise its Senators, including Senator Benton, to deny to Congress the power to legislate as it pleases upon the subject of slavery in the Territories.

Mr. Benton refused to comply with this suggestion and, instead, appealed to the people of Missouri to explain his decision.

Hypocrisy of John C. Calhoun (1820-1846)

Senator Benton insists that the resolutions passed by the General Assembly are merely copies of resolutions written by John C. Calhoun in 1846-47. Like the Assembly’s resolutions, Calhoun’s resolutions declared that Congress lacks the power to prohibit slavery in the territories.

Benton accuses Calhoun of being a hypocrite and of attempting to dissolve the Union. The senator explains that evidence had been discovered, and he believed to have shown to be true, that Calhoun had, while a cabinet member under President Monroe in 1820, believed that Congress had the power to prohibit slavery in the territories:

FDFD817A-C423-49BA-8D61-C0C19862B623.jpeg


According to Benton, in 1820, “Mr. Calhoun gave his written opinion . . . in favor of the constitutionality of the act, and no whisper was ever heard to the contrary, or in denial of the right of Congress to prohibit, or abolish slavery in territories” until Calhoun submitted resolutions to the contrary some 26 years later, and which Missouri now copied and made its own.

D55EB74F-5278-4AA4-AD53-1243E01F7758.jpeg


Senator Benton believes that he has established that Calhoun supported the constitutionality of the Missouri Compromise Act, the 8th Section of which provides as follows:

“That all that territory ceded by France to the United States, under the name of Louisiana, which lies north of 36 degrees 30 minutes north latitude, not included within the limits of the State contemplated by this act, Slavery and involuntarily servitude, otherwise than in the punishment of the crimes whereof the parties shall have been duly convicted, shall be, and hereby is, forever prohibited.”

Benton points out that the words used in Section 8 are the same used in the Wilmot Proviso. The Senator takes pleasure in telling his audience that the Wilmot Proviso should be called, instead, the Calhoun Proviso.

Continued -

60505823-B1B1-4471-8079-7432D87794E3.jpeg
838F7652-0094-44F1-8FFE-FEF27CF67EF9.jpeg

E6153598-5509-46FC-8282-745CAA8E996C.jpeg

7A693435-B034-4542-A352-44C1C8BB6120.jpeg
A63D9EED-7DF6-4263-97CD-BE1DC36BFD80.jpeg
6906B125-F194-4D69-B3F7-62E50013B057.jpeg
79CA91FD-4ED1-49CC-B75D-917F323DE932.jpeg
 
Last edited:

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
Spirit of Democracy (Ohio), June 24, 1849

Below: Speech of Senator Thomas Benton Continued -

After dealing extensively with Calhoun, Benton moves on to his main point:

He believes that it is simply absurd to deny to Congress the power to legislate as it pleases upon the subject of slavery in the territories. The territories, he asserts, “have no form of government but that which Congress allows them. Congress governs the territory as it pleases.”

Senator Benton’s view, of course, is at variance with the doctrine of Popular Sovereignty, a doctrine supported by many in Congress (not to mention the General Assembly of Missouri) as a means to remove the issue of slavery expansion from the national stage and onto the territorial or State level.

Accordingly, Benton disagrees with Popular Sovereignty, asserting that, “Congress has the power to prohibit or admit slavery, and no one else. It is not in the territories; for their governments are the creatures of Congress, and its deputies, so far as any legislative power is concerned. It is not in the States separately.”

The Senator then turns to the issue of Southerners taking slave property into the territories. Despite being a slaveholder himself, Benton believes that property is in the law that creates it, and that law cannot be carried “an inch beyond the State that enacts it,” and that if a different rule prevailed in the territories, there would arise a confusion of law in the new territories.

“Fourteen States, each carrying a code different, in many respects, from each other” would create too much confusion. All this would have to be “exercised by the same judges in territories where there is no slave law.” Benton goes on to insist that: “It would be in vain to invoke the Constitution, and say it acknowledges property in slaves. - It does so: but that is confined to States.”

Continued -

474CC9DF-82B8-44BF-A00A-3F8951ABD384.jpeg
574BBA61-80BE-45A7-9B35-11DC59A97BAD.jpeg

A811B2FD-0B2C-4B86-9C13-3AC31BC0EB9B.jpeg
B9D461EC-C94B-490B-8BBA-C6B5F80584E4.jpeg
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
Spirit of Democracy (Ohio), June 24, 1849

Below: Speech of Senator Thomas Benton Continued -

Senator Benton attempts to take a practical point of view of slavery expansion into the territories by reminding his audience that slavery does not exist in the territories at all.

First, Benton declares that, “Congress has the constitutional power to abolish slavery in the territories.” (He will later touch upon the concept of Congressional dogma.) Secondly, he states that there is no slavery in the territories to abolish.

At the time of his speech, the only territory left was that which remained of Louisiana lying north and west of Missouri, along with California, New Mexico and Oregon, and that portion north of Wisconsin known as Minnesota.

In that part of Louisiana mentioned above, slavery was abolished in 1820;

In Minnesota, it was abolished by the Ordinance of 1787, what Benton calls the Jefferson Proviso;

In Oregon, slavery was abolished by Congress in 1848, what he calls the Benton Proviso;

In New Mexico and California, slavery was abolished by the Mexican government in 1829, confirmed in 1837 and again in 1844.

“Thus, there is no slavery now in New Mexico and California,” Benton declares; “and consequently none in any territory belonging to the United States; and, consequently, nothing practical or real in the whole slavery question, for the people of the United States to quarrel about.”

“There is no slavery now by law in any territory; and it cannot get there by law, except by act of Congress.”

Nevertheless, Benton suggests (without expounding upon it) that there will be no such act of Congress because, he asserts, “[t]he dogma of no power in Congress to legislate upon slavery, kills that pretension.”

According to the Senator, there is no slavery, in law or in fact, in New Mexico or California, and never will be. “What, then,” he asks, “is all the present uproar about? Abstraction! The abstract right of doing what cannot be done! The insult to the sovereignty of the States, where there is no insult! All abstraction! And no reality, substance or practice in it.”

Continued -

7D55D4C3-4C1D-4F11-A024-F188AF25BDF4.jpeg
54F1B547-B657-4B75-8F06-3BB420939894.jpeg
9589F22A-DBB8-492E-9F1C-3D352E8E933C.jpeg
B5613913-C904-4567-B22F-65F8C80568D4.jpeg
 

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
Spirit of Democracy (Ohio), June 24, 1849

Below: Speech of Senator Thomas Benton Continued -

Benton Admits that His Profession and Conduct do Not Agree:

“I was born to the inheritance of slaves, and have never been without them. I have bought some, but only on their own entreaty, and to save them from execution sales; I have sold some, but only for misconduct. I have had two taken from me by abolitionists, and never inquired after them; and liberated a third who would not go with them. I have slaves now in Kentucky, who are elevated to the dignity of real estate, by being removed from Missouri to Kentucky; and will have to descend next fall to the low degree of a chattel interest, in spite of the laws of Kentucky, when I shall remove them back to Missouri. And I have slaves in Washington city - perhaps the only member in Congress that has any there - and I’m not the least afraid that Congress will pass any law to affect this property, either there or here.”

Despite Benton’s personal investments in slaves, he declares that his personal sentiments “are against the institution of slavery, and its introduction into places in which it does not exist. If there was no slavery in Missouri to-day, I should oppose its coming in: if there was none in the United States, I should oppose its coming into the United States. As there is none in New Mexico or California, I am against sending it to those territories, and could not vote for such a measure - a declaration which cost me but little, the whole dispute now being about the abstract right of carrying slavery there, without the exercise of the right.”

End -

9157BE8A-0D74-40D6-85EF-265FE53BDBD3.jpeg
49D9148E-F361-4F42-AB28-4FB8FB6D6A30.jpeg
DB6011F4-0D61-4210-BB94-17642D7B6781.jpeg
 

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
The National Era, March 9, 1854

Below: William Seward Senate Speech re: Abrogation of Missouri Line and the Kansas-Nebraska Bills

First of Several Posts -

Seward begins with an in-depth examination of slavery in this country, a portion of which I will outline below.

First off, Seward blames the beginning of slavery in the United States on British authorities:

“Slavery, before the Revolution, existed in all thirteen Colonies,” Seward states. “But it had been forced by British authorities, for political and commercial ends, on the American People, against their own sagacious instincts of policy, and their stronger feelings of justice and humanity.”

Spirit of Emancipation

According to the Senator, emancipation was preferred by most Americans at the close of the Revolution. This spirit is seen by the suppression of the African slave trade, postponed until 1808.

Although there was no national desire to abolish slavery in the States where it then existed, there was, however, “a general desire” to “prevent its introduction into new communities yet to be formed and into new States yet to be established.”

Northwest Ordinance

In light of this, according to Seward, Thomas Jefferson “proposed, as early as 1784, to exclude it from the national domain which should be constituted by cessions from the States to the United States.

Seward notes that, in the beginning, there was little jealousy between the non-slaveholding and slaveholding States; “and the policy of admitting new States was not disturbed by questions concerning slavery.”

Early States and Territories

Vermont, non-slaveholding, came in 1793.

Kentucky, a tramontane [situated over the mountains] and slaveholding region, detached from Virginia, was admitted in 1792.

Tennessee, detached from North Carolina, was admitted in 1796. However, it was stipulated that the Northwest Ordinance should not apply within its limits.

The same stipulations applied to the Alabama and Mississippi territories, regions detached from Georgia and South Carolina.

All these States and Territories where the stipulations applied were situated southwest of the Ohio River and already inhabited by slaveholders and their slaves.

To exclude slavery in these places, Seward contends, “would have been a national act, not of preventing the introduction of slavery, but of abolishing slavery.”

“In short,” Seward continues, “the region southwest of the Ohio River presented a field in which the policy of preventing the introduction of slavery was impracticable. Our forefathers never attempted what was impracticable.

Northwest Territories

In the region north of the Ohio, stretching to the Great Lakes and westward to the Mississippi, the institution of slavery did not exist, or was “practically free” from slavery.

So the Territorial Governments arising out of that region were “organized with a prohibition of the introduction of slavery,” giving birth to the States with the same prohibition, namely: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin

Continued -




ABC7E62E-A93B-48B5-BCBA-7EAE625C05AE.jpeg
235FBA6A-E9CB-431B-AB1E-C89345D97BDE.jpeg
987B0181-4F91-42C5-AB22-CB06464660AC.jpeg
3CAC8140-59FA-408F-9DD8-599EACCBACA5.jpeg
9D479B6E-FF42-48E3-8F7F-17F058EB257D.jpeg
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
The National Era, March 9, 1854

Below: William Seward Senate Speech re: Abrogation of Missouri Line and the Kansas-Nebraska Bills Continued-

It is within the original domain of the US, according to Seward, that the Founding Fathers tried to prevent the spread of slavery where it was practical to do so.

This became s problem, though, when the country began to expand. “With a change in the relative value of the productions of slave labor,” a political rivalry took hold between slave and free states where each became concerned with admissions of new Territories and the influence their representatives might bring to the Federal Government.

In 1820, “the non-slaveholding States sustained the House, and the slaveholding States sustained the Senate. The difference was radical, and tended toward revolution.”

The Compromise of 1820 supposedly settled the issues involving the Louisiana Purchase.

Seward viewed that Compromise as a mutual arrangement or transaction that involved exchanges of conditions. Therefore, the Compromise “takes on the nature and character of a contract, compact, or treaty, between the parties represented.” Consequently, “the statute which embodies it is understood, by those who uphold this system of legislation, to be irrevocable and irrepealable, except by the mutual consent . . . of all the parties concerned.”

Continued -

5FF7F0DE-FF8A-4ACC-89C6-0DE3AFA9F061.jpeg
5294840D-B1DB-424F-83F2-388AADE629CC.jpeg
BD5D077B-2F85-47C5-8D54-EF14BE36D478.jpeg
 

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
The National Era, March 9, 1854

Below: William Seward Senate Speech re: Abrogation of Missouri Line and the Kansas-Nebraska Bills Continued -

In the contest between the two sections, Seward is fearful of the future of the non-slaveholding States. This is made more apparent by his reaction to the Nebraska issue.

To him, the contest is not nearly settled and is more serious than ever before. The question of doing away with the Missouri Compromise line, therefore, is of utmost interest.

Here, surprisingly, Seward is interested in political equality between the two sections, and is therefore insistent that Missouri Compromise line be maintained to insure the survival of the free States and its ideology. By doing so, he allows for the existence of a slaveholding society.

However, he paints the free States as a bastion of purity in purpose and action, juxtaposing it with the mongrel-like society of the oppressed and oppressors of the Southern slave States.

Free State ideology, if it is to survive, must be allowed expression. The free States must have the political equality to allow this ideology to thrive and survive. So believes Seward.

If so, it can eventually gain power. Adhering to the Missouri Line is part and parcel to insuring a future where free States can exert that power.

As Seward explains, upholding the Compromise means nothing less than securing “the occupation by freemen, with free labor, of a region in the center of the continent.”

It means the ability to maintain its course and assure its destiny to “sustain ten, twenty, thirty, forty millions of people and their successive generations forever!”

This, of course, also means securing “forever the presence here, after some lapse of time, of two, four, ten, twenty or more Senators, and of Representatives in large proportions, to uphold the policy and interests of the non-slaveholding States, and balance that ever- increasing representation of slave-holding States.”

If the Missouri Compromise Line is swept away, if the slavers are allowed access into this newly opened territory, Seward envisions a bleak future for the free States. They will basically fritter away in the face of a power structure where inferior and superior races are at constant odds, where the oppressors and the oppressed scheme to destroy one another.

In short, it becomes apocalyptic:

Seward looks to areas like Mexico, South America, St. Domingo and the West India Islands to drive home this bleak outlook - lamenting their “sovereignty” which was “stunted and short-lived.”

The same, in Seward’s mind, will happen here if the territories are opened to the power structure of the South. The issue is not an abstraction to Seward, so he does not stop there.

He waxes Biblically, poetically, on the troubled histories of Egypt and Spain in order to further drive home this dystopian vision for America:

“perhaps to convert that region [US Territories] into the scene of long and desolating conflicts between not merely races, but castes, to end, like a similar conflict in Egypt, in a compulsive exodus of the oppressed people, despoiling their superiors; perhaps, like one not dissimilar to Spain, in the forcible expulsion of the inferior race, exhausting the State by the sudden and complete suppression of a great resource of national wealth and labor; perhaps in the disastrous expulsion, even of the superior race itself, by a people too suddenly raised from slavery to liberty, as in St. Domingo.”

Continued -

352366B9-CFA4-4EB3-9EE0-F31F20FDBAE5.jpeg
 
Last edited:

lelliott19

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
Messages
6,306
The National Era, March 9, 1854
Seward viewed that Compromise as a mutual arrangement or transaction that involved exchanges of conditions. Therefore, the Compromise “takes on the nature and character of a contract, compact, or treaty, between the parties represented.” Consequently, “the statute which embodies it is understood, by those who uphold this system of legislation, to be irrevocable and irrepealable, except by the mutual consent . . . of all the parties concerned.”
View attachment 319906
I notice that Wm Seward, when speaking of the Compromise of 1820, said: "Not, indeed, that it is absolutely irrepealable, but that it cannot be repealed without a violation of honor, justice, and good faith, which it is presumed will not be committed." Seems that, had that statement been construed to apply to all the previous and subsequent compromises, things might have turned out differently.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
I notice that Wm Seward, when speaking of the Compromise of 1820, said: "Not, indeed, that it is absolutely irrepealable, but that it cannot be repealed without a violation of honor, justice, and good faith, which it is presumed will not be committed." Seems that, had that statement been construed to apply to all the previous and subsequent compromises, things might have turned out differently.
Indeed! Many of these folks were ultraists and conspiracists who only pretended to moderation and compromise. It’s been a fascinating journey into their world! Made all the stranger, of course, when I look around and see much of the same things today!
 

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
The National Era, March 9, 1854

Below: William Seward Senate Speech Continued -

Again, for Seward, upholding and abiding by the Missouri Compromise will maintain the political equality between the slave States and free States. The slave States, according to Seward, already have too much power and threaten to turn America into something similar to what happened to the Spanish American States if they gain more.

He pleads for balance. He hopes to preserve, within the polity, a free-State economic ideology alongside slave States. Both have their own culture and assets that are worth saving. This is done through observing the Missouri Compromise:

“[T]o save what the non-slaveholding States have in mints, navy yards, the military academy and fortifications, to balance against the capital and federal institutions in the slaveholding States; to save against any danger from adverse or hostile policy, the culture, the manufacturers, and the commerce, as well as the just influence and weight of the national principles and sentiments of the slaveholding States.”

Each section should have access all the way to the Pacific Ocean and equal access to Asia:

To keep the Missouri Compromise means “to save, to the non-slaveholding States, as well as the slaveholding States, always, and in every event, a right of way and free communication across the continent, to and with the States on the Pacific coasts, and with the rising States on the islands in the South Sea, and with all the eastern nations on the vast continent of Asia.”
— —
On the other hand, to abrogate the Compromise is to potentially throw away all these interests and give rise to social, political and commercial jealousies and rivalries. And if the slaveholding States secede, it will give “a servile population a La Vendée at the very sources of the Mississippi, and in the very recessed of the Rocky Mountains.”

3B17F1FF-C6D4-4E6F-98FA-03563D0B3406.jpeg
 

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
The National Era, March 9, 1854

Below: William Seward Senate Speech Continued -

Seward believes that loyalty to America (the Union) is the strongest of all the sentiments existing in both sections of the country. It is stronger, he believes, than the desire of equality in the North and stronger than even the love of slavery in the South. So says Seward in regards to the time period in which he spoke.

The future, however, looks rather bleak. He is concerned about “the seductions of interests and ambitions, and the influences of passion, which are yet to be matured in every region.”

America remains safe only if we continue to adhere to political equality. In other words, we must “maintain a just equilibrium against the slaveholding States.”

According to Seward, all this will be torn asunder “if ever the slaveholding States shall multiply themselves, and extend their sphere, so that they could, without association with the non-slaveholding States, constitute of themselves a commercial republic. . .”

If this occurs, he warns, then from day one, by and through control of all 3 branches, their rule “will be such as will be hard for the non-slaveholding States to bear.” Southerners will become consumed by a passion for power, and “will consent to no Union in which they shall not so rule.”

Seward’s vision reads like a horror movie. Like some sea creature crawling out of the water and spreading its tentacles over the land.

In short, the South becomes a monster in Seward’s drama: penetrating, spreading, threatening to overtake everything -

“The slaveholding States already posses the mouths of the Mississippi,” he declares,”and their territory reaches far northward along its banks, on one side to the Ohio, and on the other even to the confluence of the Missouri. They stretch their dominion now from the banks of the Delaware, quite around bay, headland, and promontory to the Rio Grande.”

Such a monster, unchecked, cannot be held at bay. It certainly can’t help itself. The slaveholding creature must, by nature, continue to consume:

“It will not stop,” Seward insists. Even if they think they will stop somewhere “on the summit of the Sierra Nevada.” Of course they won’t. “[N]ay, their armed pioneers are already in Sonora,” he warns his listeners “and their eyes already fixed, never to be taken off, on the island of Cuba, the Queen of the Antilles.”

The free States will be doomed, crushed, surrounded, choked-off by the Southern monster. There will be no escape. The monster will have the Mississippi and the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains.

“[W]hat territory will be secured, what territory can can be secured hereafter, for the creation and organization of free States, within our ocean-bound domain?”

It is a smothering thought, indeed. Manifest destiny, at least for the free States, would be all but over. And the North can’t then expect the South to be kind or magnanimous. Or so Seward warns.

“What territories on this continent,” he continues to ask, “will remain unappropriated and unoccupied, for us to annex? What territories, even if we are able to buy or conquer them from Great Britain or Russia, will the slaveholding States suffer, much less aid, us to annex, to restore the equilibrium which by this unnecessary measure we shall have so unwisely, so hurriedly, so suicidally subverted!”

B54FC0B7-FAED-4437-B2F6-02784266EFC1.jpeg
8FD00957-24BF-44FF-8EF6-4FC1A9EB163E.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
The National Era, March 9, 1854

Below: William Seward Senate Speech Continued -

The Senator is unmoved by any argument suggesting that only few slaves would enter the territories above the Missouri Compromise Line, resulting in insufficient numbers to create slave States.

“One slaveholder in a new Territory, with access to the executive ear at Washington,” Seward asserts, “exercises more political influence than five hundred freemen.” In fact, he explains, “t is not necessary that all or the majority of the citizens of a State shall be slaveholders, to constitute a slaveholding State.” He points to Delaware, with 91,000 free people against merely 2,000 slaves, as a prime example.

The South is a frightening creature in Seward’s mind, and the North’s lackadaisical response to it only works to feed the monster. Southern slaveholders are well-connected to power, and though geographic circumstances might limit the economic efficacy of the institution above the Missouri line, their access to the levers of power negates all this - at least in Seward’s mind.

Basically, Seward sees the issue as a “legislative game,” wherein Southerners appear as the power brokers who are “playing to win” and Northerners “playing to lose.”

2F6C4FCB-6A58-4BC3-95B1-B44C4ED671D1.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
The National Era, March 9, 1854

Below: William Seward Senate Speech Continued -

Seward states that if anyone, North or South, involved with the negotiations resulting in the Compromise of 1850, had known the Missouri Compromise would be abolished as a result, none would have voted for the 1850 Compromise.

According to Seward, at the time of the 1850 negotiations, Southerners were so convinced of the legality of the Missouri Compromise line that “one half of that long debate was spent on propositions made by Representatives from slaveholding States, to extend the line further on through the new territory we had acquired so recently from Mexico, until it should disappear in the waves of the Pacific Ocean, so as to secure actual toleration of slavery in all of this new territory that should be south of that line.”

Conversely, Seward recalls that Northerners vehemently fought Southern attempts to extend the Missouri line: “[T]hese propositions were resisted strenuously and successfully to the last by the Representatives of the non-slaveholding States, in order, if it were possible, to save the whole of those regions for the theater of free labor.”

DD65180E-09B7-487E-BE93-55396EEA3F78.jpeg
20C1FFF1-B1A0-4688-8281-DDADC35F771A.jpeg
20C1FFF1-B1A0-4688-8281-DDADC35F771A.jpeg
 

lupaglupa

Corporal
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
295

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
The National Era, March 9, 1854

Below: William Seward Senate Speech Continued -

Presence of Native-Americans in Nebraska as Reason Not to Create Territorial Governments therein, and, Therefore, No Need to Abrogate the Missouri Compromise Line.

Even if it were wise to do so, Seward says, it is not presently necessary to establish territorial governments within the vast tract of Nebraska.

Eighteen tribes live there, notes Seward, fourteen of which “have been removed there by our own act.” He suggests that Native-Americans make up the majority of people living there. The only whites, according to Seward, are “scattered here and there,” and make up “less than fifteen hundred.”

According to Seward, these Indian tribes - whom he refers to as “unpitied heirs of this vast continent”- are “invested with a fee simple to enjoy a secure and perpetual home.” Apparently, Seward believes that, because of such title to the land, some extraordinary measure must take place for relinquishing title. I just never thought of Native-Americans as holding that land in fee simple. To me at least, he is not clear in that respect and doesn’t elaborate.

He also seems to suggest that, despite the few whites already living there, whites and Native-Americans cannot or will not commingle or otherwise coexists in the same territory.

Nevertheless, being that Native-Americans are the overwhelming majority in the area, Seward wonders who, exactly, is demanding the creation of territorial governments there? It is not the few whites residing there, he supposes, as most are trappers, missionaries, or other white folks employed by the government in the area of Indian Affairs or associated with Fort Leavenworth. It can’t be the Indians, Seward reasons, because, to the tribes at least, territorial governments represent “the consummation of a long apprehended doom.”

He concludes that no one, in fact, is demanding it. Instead, Seward claims, the demand is really an ulterior, political motive, nothing but a vehicle to carry “the act of abrogation” of the Missouri Compromise.

Even so, what about the Indians already living there? Again, he implies no integration with the tribes. So, if territorial governments are to be established in Nebraska, “Where,” Seward asks, “shall [the Native-Americans] go?”

“Will you bring them back across the Mississippi? There is no room for Indians here,” Seward says. “Will you send them northward, beyond your Territory of Nebraska, towards the British border? That is already occupied by Indians; there is no room there.”

“Will you,” he continues, “drive them over the Rocky mountains?” According to Seward, “They will meet a tide of immigration there flowing into California from Europe and from Asia.”

The answer, he concludes, is “nowhere.”

Accordingly, “If [Native-Americans] remain in Nebraska,” he asks, “of what use are your Charters? Of what harm is the Missouri Compromise in Nebraska, in that case? Whom doth it oppress? No one.”

C39F393B-65D2-48A8-970F-C59901D2BF72.jpeg
3AE3A3F1-FC4C-4949-966C-091F4A5791EA.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
The National Era, March 9, 1854

Below: William Seward Senate Speech Continued -

Seward returns to the issue of not extending the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific Ocean during the negotiations which led to the Compromise of 1850.

Of course, the non-slaveholding States were against extending the line and the slaveholding States were for its extension.

The slaveholding States, in part, argue that the free States forfeited their rights to Nebraska by having refused to extend the 36 deg. 30 min. line during those negotiations.

Seward is rather straight forward in his disagreement with this line of argument. According to his interpretation, “the Missouri Compromise law, like any other statute, was limited by the extent of the subject of which it treated.”

According to Seward, that subject was the Territory of Louisiana acquired from France. He contends that America during that period was very young and had no way of imagining that, 30 years later, “we should have pushed our adventurous way, not only across the Rocky Mountains, but also across the Snowy Mountains.”

More importantly, he asserts, young America had no way to predict that we would also find ourselves “carving up and dividing, not only the mountain passes, but the Mexican Empire, on the Pacific coast, between Freedom and Slavery.”

Without barely catching his breath, he quickly slips, once again, into his typical “Sewardism,” so to speak, by extrapolating wildly about the consequences of repealing the Missouri Compromise line:

“We are now confiding to Territorial Legislatures the power to legislate on slavery. Are the Territories of Nebraska and Kansas alone within their purview of these acts? Or do they reach the Pacific coast, and embrace also Oregon and Washington?”

He then shifts into high gear, and shoots straight into the stratosphere:

“Do they stop there, or do they take in China and India and Afghanistan, even to the gigantic base of the Himalaya Mountains? Do they stop there, or, on the contrary, do they encircle the earth, and meeting us again on the Atlantic Coast, embrace the islands of Iceland and Greenland, and exhaust themselves on the barren coasts of Greenland and Labrador?”

It was a mouthful, but Seward catches his breath and eventually descends back to Earth, or, at least, returns to the matter at hand:

“Sir, if the Missouri Compromise neither in its spirit nor by its letter extended the line of 36 deg. 30 min. beyond the confines of Louisiana, or beyond the then confines of the United States . . . then it was no violation of the Missouri Compromise in 1848 to refuse to extend it to the subsequently acquired possessions of Texas, New Mexico, and California.”

4026BCD6-9152-44CC-89B2-99000D8BFEAB.jpeg
B3459061-4A8A-40A9-88E9-8A601AFD9FB1.jpeg
6DA73065-60CA-4E8D-BA31-8AD41259C006.jpeg
 

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,804
The National Era, March 9, 1854

Below: William Seward Senate Speech Continued -

Seward poses several questions to Senator Badger of North Carolina:

If slaveholders believe that they do not “find congenial souls or climates” in the region above the Missouri Compromise line, and that the region is not favorable the “culture of tobacco, cotton, rice, and sugar,” why, then, do they want to remove the line?

Slaveholders claim they should be allowed to take their property into such a region if only “to make them more comfortable and happy.” For this reason, they assert that such will not increase the number of slaves. Seward asks, “Whether slavery has gained or lost strength by the diffusion of it over a larger surface than if formally covered?” Seward claims slaveholders, including Badger, will not answer that.

Senator Badger attempts to compare Southern slaveholders to Jewish patriarchs of Biblical times, asking: “Why not allow the modern patriarchs to go into new regions with their slaves, as their ancient prototypes [did].”

Senator Seward responds by stating he admires the “simplicity of the patriarchal times.” However, he points out that the patriarchs “exhibited some peculiar institutions quite incongruous with modern Republicanism, not to say Christianity, namely, that of latitude of construction of the marriage contract, which has been carried by one class of so-called patriarchs into Utah.”

Besides, notes Seward, Southerners are “political patriarchs: “They reckon five of their slaves as equal to three freemen in forming the basis of Federal representation.” If these Southern patriarchs propose to take their slaves above the Missouri line, “I respectfully submit,” says Seward, “that they ought to reassume the modesty of their Jewish predecessors, and relinquish this political feature of the system they thus seek to extend. Will they do that?”


AF499224-7BEB-4E56-8BA3-0E329E219BC7.jpeg
0FAED540-E73C-481D-A61B-221677874A5F.jpeg
D742BA7C-A09A-4D64-BADE-EB7BA2D52445.jpeg
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top