Imágenes de páginas

land, Call North Carolina, call Missouri, call Arkansas, call Louisiana, call Kentucky. Do they answer? No, not one of them. Who, then, are here? Virginia answers with one lone solitary voice. Virginia, whose trumpet notes have so often called the sons of the south together against all and every encroachment on the rights of the States. Where are all her mighty men, that they do not come up to the great work which you propose to do? Look too, to the falling off of that crowd of patriotic men who thronged these halls even at your last session ! From Alabama, where is Campbell, and Coleman, and Davis, and Cooper, and Winston ? From Mississippi, where is Mathews, and Boyd, and Sharkey, and Clayton, and Wilkinson ?

Sir, there must be some good reason for all this. Let us look facts directly in the face, and they will tell us that since our last meeting great doubts have arisen in the minds of our southern brethren, as to whether the late legislation of Congress has not been such as ought to be satisfactory to the south; at least, so satisfactory as to supersede any further action of this body. Sir, we do know that these doubts do exist. Look to your own State-look to Mississippi-look to the accounts from Louisiana. What do we find? I pray you answer me the question : what do we find ? Our own southern people divided about equally on the subject. Here I pause, to ask of every man who now surrounds me, is it wise, is it just, in such a divided and distracted condition of the southern mind, to venture on so bold a measure ? And is it not a bold measure to proclaim that the deep foundations of this government are to be broken up and a new one to be erected on its ruins! Let me tell the gentleman from Virginia (Gen. Gordon) that when the news shall reach that ancient commonwealth, it will shake the very walls of her capitol, and the statue of Washington will tremble on its marble basement. When this great nation shall be passing through the agonies of dissolution, her dying groans will be heard through half the habitable world. Her fall, like that of Jerusalem, will be preceded by signs in the heavens and commotions on the earth; a sword will be seen in the sky, a great comet will blaze over her, and armies in battle array will be seen amid the clouds. On earth you will hear and feel the earthquake tread of a mighty people, coming up to a larger council than this. Until we see this latter sign, at least, let us not proclaim that her end draweth nigh. In the spirit of the Tennessee resolutions, let us rather proclaim : Not yet! not yet!—no never shall this republic end until the sovereign people who created it, in one one grand united council, shall pronounce its doom.


IN CONVENTION, Nov. 13, 1850. Gen. Pillow, of Tennessee, offered the following preamble and resolutions, which were read and referred:

Whereas, since the adjournment of this convention, in June last, bills have been passed into laws by the Congress of the United States for the admission of California into the Union as a State, for the settlement and adjustment of the boundaries of Texas, and for organizing territorial governments for Utah and New Mexico; also bills abolishing the slave trade in the District of Columbia, and for the recovery of fugitives from labor; with the view of making known our opinions on these bills, and the steps to be taken by the South upon them, therefore

1. Resolved, That although said bills fall short of that measure of justice to which the South, in our opinion, is fairly entitled, yet as the same have become the laws of the land, and for the purpose of giving the highest proof of our attachment and devotion to the Union, this convention hereby declares its willingness to abide by them with that fidelity which has distinguished the South on all former occasions.

2. Resolved, That this determination to abide by the late legislation of Congress aforesaid, is predicated on the express condition that the North shall faithfully carry it out on her part, according to the spirit and true meaning of the same.

3. Resolved, That this convention does distinctly understand, that according to the spirit and true meaning of said legislation, it embraces all the action which the North proposes to take in relation to slavery, and that in addition to the subjects expressly provided for in said bills, no attempt will hereafter be made by the northern people to deprive the South of the representation secured to her in the Constitution, or to abolish, directly or indi. rectly, slavery in the District of Columbia or in the States, nor to prevent

the transportation of slaves from one slaveholding State to another by their lawful owners, nor to prevent the admission of any new State on account of the toleration of slavery in its constitution.

4. Resolved, That in view of the sacrifices to which the southern States have heretofore submitted, and to which they are further subjected by agreeing to abide by the bills lately passed by Congress, they have a right to demand, and do demand, that all agitations and aggressions on the part of the North upon the subject of slavery, shall instantly cease; and that the re. peal of the fugitive slave bill, or any alteration of it which may render it less effectual in its objects, must of necessity render all further association as friends and brethren utterly impossible.

5. Resolved, That if the people of the northern States, by voluntary associations or otherwise, shall continue to obstruct and prevent the execution of the fugitive slave law, thereby depriving southern citizens of their property and giving encouragement to other slaves to escape from service ; or if they shall commence a system of agitation with the view and obvious purpose of abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia or in the States, or of depriving the South of the representation of three-fifths of her slaves to which she is now entitled under the constitution ; or of prohibiting the transportation of slaves from one slave State to another; or of excluding from the Union any new State on account of the toleration of slavery in its Constitution, then this convention earnestly recommends to the people of the South to resort to the most rigid system of commercial non-intercourse with all such States, communities, and cities, as shall be found so offending against their constitutional rights. For this purpose, we earnestly invite the Legislature of every Southern State to unite with us in this recommendation ; and that in every State, and county, and town, and neighborhood, resolutions may be adopted not to purchase or use, as far as practicable, any article whatever known to have been produced or manufactured in any such State, community, or city, or to have been imported into the same for sale. In further aid of this object, we earnestly recommend to the southern States, and their people, to encourage, by all the means in their power, their own mechanics and manufacturers of every description—to push forward all their railroads and other internal improvements connectiug them with their best exporting and importing cities on the Gulf and on the Atlantic. We make these recommendations in no spirit of revenge, but as a just and necessary means of self-defence, to be persisted in only until the rights secared to us by the constitution shall be respected.

6. Resolved, That if, contrary to our understanding of the several bills aforesaid, the Congress of the United States shall at any time repeal or so alter or amend the fugitive slave law as to render it less efficacious than it now is, or if it shall pass any bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, or abolish it directly or indirectly in the States, or if the present basis of slave representation as secured in the constitution be obliterated, or if the transportation of slaves from one slave holding State to another be prohibited, or if slavery in our present territories shall be prohibited-in either of these events this convention earnestly recommends that the Legislature of each southern State be forth with convened, for the purpose of calling a convention in each State, and that delegates to be appointed in such manner as shall be determined on by said conventions, may meet at such time and place as may be agreed on, with full power and authority to do any thing and every thing which the peace, safety, and honor of the South may demand.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »