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The Landmark of Freedom free pdf Excerpt from The Landmark of Freedom: Speech of Hon. Charles Sumner, Against the Repeal of the Missouri Prohibition of Slavery North of 36 30, in the Senate, February 21, 1854 It is with regard to this territory, that you are now called to exercise the grandest function of the lawgiver, by establishing those rules of polity which will determine its future character. As the twig is bent the tree inclines- and the influences impressed upon the early days of an empire, like those upon a child, are of inconceivable importance to its future weal or woe. The bill now before us, proposes to organize and equip two new territorial establishments, with governors, secretaries, legislative councils, legislators, judges, marshals, and the whole machinery of civil society. Such a measure, at any time, would deserve the most careful attention. But, at the present moment, it justly excites a peculiar interest, from the effort made - on pretences unsustained by facts - in violation of solemn covenant, and of the early principles of our fathers - to open this immense region of slavery. According the existing law, this territory is now guarded against slavery by the positive prohibition, embodied in the act of Congress, approved March 6th, 1820, preparatory to the admission of Missouri into the Union, as a sister State, and in the following explicit words: "Sec. 8. Be it farther enacted. That in all that territory ceded by France to the United States under the name of Louisiana, which lies north 36 30' of north latitude, not included within the limits of the State contemplated by this act, Slavery and Involuntary Servitude, otherwise than as the punishment of crime, Shall Be, and is hereby, Forever Prohibited." It is now proposed to set aside this prohibition- but there seems to be a singular indecision as to the way in which the deed shall be done. From the time of its first introduction, in the report of the Committee on Territories, the proposition has assumed different shapes: and it promises to assume as many as Proteus- now, one thing in form, and now, another- now, like a river, and then like flame- but, in every form and shape, identical in substance- with but one end and aim - its be-all and end-all - the overthrow of the Prohibition of Slavery. At first, it proposed simply to declare, that the States form out of this territory should be admitted into the Union, "with or without slavery," and did not directly assume to touch this Prohibition. For some reason this was not satisfactory, and then it was precipitately proposed to declare, that the prohibition in the Missouri act "was superseded by the principles of the legislation of 1850, commonly called the Compromise Measures, and is hereby declared inoperative." But this would not do- and it is now proposed to declare, that the Prohibition, "being inconsistent with the principles of non-intervention, by Congress, with slavery in the States and Territories, as recognised by the legislation of 1850, commonly called the Compromise Measures, is hereby declared inoperative and void." All this is to be done on pretences founded upon the slavery enactments of 1850, thus seeking, with mingled audacity and cunning, "by indirection to find direction out." Now, sir, I am not here to speak in behalf of those measures, or to lean in any way upon their support. Relating to different subject-matters, contained in different acts, which prevailed successively, at different times, and by different votes - some persons voting for one measure, and some voting for another, and very few voting for all - they cannot be regarded as a unit, embodying conditions of compact, or compromise, if you please, adopted equally by all parties, and therefore obligatory on all parties. But since this broken series of measures has been adduced as an apology for the proposition now before us, I desire to say, that, such as they are, they cannot, by any effort of interpretation, by any di."

About Charles Sumner

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Details Book

Author : Charles Sumner
Publisher : Forgotten Books
Data Published : 27 September 2015
ISBN : 1330876318
EAN : 9781330876312
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 78 pages
Age + : 15 years
Language : English
Rating :

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