xt7qjq0src50 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7qjq0src50/data/mets.xml Buchanan, James, 1791-1868. 1866  books b96-16-36620125 English D. Appleton, : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Buchanan, James, 1791-1868. United States History 1815-1861. Mr. Buchanan's administration on the eve of the rebellion text Mr. Buchanan's administration on the eve of the rebellion 1866 2002 true xt7qjq0src50 section xt7qjq0src50 



           ox TH


       NEW YORK:
      448 A 445 BROADWAY.


         ENzmcD according to Act of Congress, In the year 1865, by

                    D. APPLETON & COMPANY,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.



   TEiE following historical narrative of the events preceding
the late rebellion was prepared soon after its outbreak, sub-
stantially in the present form. It may be asked, Why, then, was
it not published at an earlier period The answer is, that the
publication was delayed to avoid the possible imputation, un-
just as this would have been, that any portion of it was in-
tended to embarrass Mr. Lincoln's administration in the vigor-
ous prosecution of pending hostilities. The author deemed it
far better to suffer temporary injustice than to expose himself
to such a charge. He never doubted the successful event of
the war, even during its most gloomy periods. Having drawn
his first breath soon after the adoption of the Federal Constitu-
tion and the Union which it established, and having been an
eye-witness of the blessed effects of these, in securing liberty
and prosperity at home, and in presenting an example to the
oppressed of other lands, he felt an abiding conviction that the
American people would never suffer the Great Charter of their
rights to be destroyed. To the Constitution, as interpreted by
its framers, he has ever been devoted, believing that the specific


powers which it confers on the Federal Government, notwith-
standing the experience of the last dreary years, are sufficient
for almost every possible emergency, whether ins peace or in
war. He, therefore, claims the merit-if merit it be simply to
do one's duty-that whilst in the exercise of Executive func-
tions, he never violated any of its provisions.
   It may be observed that no extensive and formidable rebel-
lion of an intelligent people against an established Government
has ever arisen without a long train of previous and subsidiary
causes. A principal object of the author, therefore, is to pre-
sent to the reader a historical sketch of the antecedents ending
in the late rebellion. In performing this task, the eye naturally
fixes itself, as the starting point, upon the existence of domestic
slavery in the South, recognized and protected as this was by
the Constitution of the United States. We shall not inquire
whether its patriotic and enlightened framers acted with wise
foresight in yielding their sanction to an institution which is in
itself a great social evil, though they considered this was neces-
sary to avoid the still greater calamity of dissolving the Con-
vention without the formation of our Federal Union.
   The narrative will prove that the original and conspiring
causes of all our future troubles are to be found in the long,
active, and persistent hostility of the Northern Abolitionists,
both in and out of Congress, against Southern slavery, until the
final triumph of their cause in the election of President Lin-
coln; and on the other hand, the corresponding antagonism and
violence with which the advocates of slavery resisted these ef-
forts, and vindicated its preservation and extension up till the
period of secession. So excited were the parties, that had they




intended to furnish material to inflame the passions of the one
against the other, they could not have more effectually suc-
ceeded than they did by their mutual criminations and recrimi-
nations. The struggle continued without intermission for more
than the quarter of a century, except within the brief interval
between the passage of the Compromise measures of 1850 and
the repeal of the Missouri Compromise in 1854, during which
the hostile feelings of the parties were greatly allayed, and
hopes were entertained that the strife might finally subside.
These peaceful prospects, it will appear, were soon blasted by
the repeal of this Compromise, and the struggle was then re-
newed with more bitterness than ever until the final catastro-
phe. Many grievous errors were committed by both parties
from the beginning, but the most fatal of them all was the se-
cession of the cotton States.
   The authorities cited in the work will show that Mr. Bu-
chanan never failed, upon all suitable occasions, to warn his
countrymen of the approaching danger, and to advise them of
the proper means to avert it. Both before and after he became
President he was an earnest advocate of compromise between
the parties to save the Union, but Congress disregarded his rec-
ommendations. Even after he had, in his messages, exposed
the dangerous condition of public affairs, and when it had be-
come morally certain that all his efforts to avoid the civil war
would be frustrated by agencies far beyond his control, they
persistently refused to pass any measures enabling him. or his
successor to execute the laws against armed resistance, or to
defend the country against approaching rebellion.
   The book concludes by a notice of the successful domestic




vi                        PREFACE.

and foreign policy of the administration. In the portion of it
concerning our relations with the Mexican Republic, a history
of the origin and nature of " the Monroe doctrine " is appro-
priately included.
   It has been the author's intention, in the following pages, to,
verify every statement of fact by a documentary or other an-
thentic reference, and thus save the reader, as far as may be
possible, from reliance on individual memory. From the use
of private correspondence he has resolutely abstained.

  Wsm.T2w, Septembe, 1865.



                               CHAPTER L
The rise and progress of Anti-Slavery agitation-The Higher Law-Anti-sla-
  very Societies-Their formation and proceedings-Their effect destructive
  of State Emancipation-The case in Virginia-Employment of the Post Office
  to circulate incendiary publications and pictures among the slaves-Message
  of General Jackson to prohibit this by law-His recommendation defeated-
  The Pulpit, the Press, and other agencies-Abolition Petitions-The rise of
  an extreme Southern Pro-Slavery party-The Fugitive Slave Law of 1793, and
  the case of Prigg vs. Pennsylvania, and its pernicious effects-The South
  threaten Secession-The course of Mr. Buchanan as Senator-The Wilmot
  Proviso and its consequences-The Union in serious danger at the meeting
  of Congress in December, 1849,.      .     .     .     .     .      .9

                               CHAPTER IL

Meeting of Congress in December, 1849-The five Acts constituting the Com-
  promise of September, 1850-Effect of the Compromise in allaying excitement
  -Whig and Democratic Platforms indorse it-President Pierce's happy ref-
  erence to it in his Message of December, 1853-The repeal of the Missouri
  Compromise reopens the slavery agitation-Its passage in March, 1820, and
  character-Its recognition by Congress in 1845, on the Annexation of Texas-
  The history of its repeal-This repeal gives rise to the Kansas troubles-
  Their nature and history-The Lecompton Constitution and proceedings of
  Congress upon it-The Republican party greatly strengthened-Decision of
  the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case-Repudiated by the Republican
  party and by the Douglas Democracy-Sustained by the old Democracys-The
  Kansas and Nebraska Act-The policy and practice of Congress toward the
  Territories-Abuse of President Buchanan for not adhering to the Cincinnati
  Platform without foundation,   -                 .     .     .     . 21


viii                            CONTES.

                               CHAPTER M.
Senator Seward-The "Irrepressible Conflict "-Helper's "Impending Crisis"-
  The John Brown Raid-The nature of Fanaticism-The Democratic National
  Convention at Charleston-Its proceedings and adjournment to Baltimore-
  Reassembling at Baltimore and proceedings there-Its breaking up and di-
  vision into the Douglas and the Breckinridge Conventions-Proceedings of
  each-Review of the whole and the effect cn the South,                   57

                               CHAPTER IV.

The heresy of Secession-Originated in New England-Maintained by Josiah
   Quincy and the Hartford Convention, by Mr. Rawle and Mr. John Quincy
   Adams, but opposed by the South-Southern Secession dates from South Car-
   olina Nullification-Its character and history-The Compromise Tariff of 1838
   -The Nullifiers agitate for Secession-Mr. Calhoun-Mr. Cobb against it-
   Warnings of the Democratic party-They are treated with contempt-Seces-
   sion encouraged by the Republicans-The Cotton States led to believe they
   would be allowed to depart in peace-President Buchanan warned them
   against this delusion,   .     .      .     .      .     .     .      . 86

                                CHAPTER V.

General Scott's "Views," and the encouragement they afforded to the cotton
   States to secede-Their publication by him in the "National Intelligencer"-
   His recommendation in favor of four distinct Confederacies -His recommen-
   dation to reenforce nine of the Southern forts, and the inadequacy of the
   trocps-The reason of this inadequacy-The whole army required on the fron.
   tiers-The refusal of Congress to increase it-Our fortifications necessarily
   left without sufficient garrisons for want of troops-The President's duty to
   refrain from any hostile act against the cotton States, and smooth the way to
   a compromise-The rights of those States in no danger from Mr. Lincoln's
   election-Their true policy was to cling to the Union, .  .  .     . 99

                               CHAPTER VL

Mr. Lincoln's election to the Presidency-Its danger to the Union-Warnings of
  the President and his trying position-His policy in the emergency, and the
  reasons for it-His supreme object the preservation of the Union-Meeting of
  Congress, and the hostility of the two parties toward each other-The wrongs
  of the South-How rash and causeless would be rebellion in the cotton States
  -The right of secession discussed and denied in the Message-The President's
  position defined-Question of the power to coerce a State-Distinction be-
  tween the power to wage war against a State, and the power to execute the
  laws against individuals-Views of Senator (now President) Johnson, of Ten-
  nessee-President Buchanan's solemn appeal in favor of the Union-His es-
  trangement from the secession leaders-Cessation of all friendly intercourse
  between him and them,    .      ,                        .     .       108




                               CHAPTER VIL
Refusal of Congress to act either with a view to conciliation or defence-The Sen-
   ate Committee of Thirteen and its proceedings-Mr. Crittenden submits his
   Compromise to the Committee-Its nature-The Committee unable to agree-
   Testimony of Messrs. Douglas and Toombs that the Crittenden Compromise
   would have arrested secession in the cotton States-Mr. Crittenden proposes
   to refer his amendment to the people of the several States by an act of ordi-
   nary legislation-His remarks in its favor-Proceedings thereon-Expression
   of public opinion in its favor-President Buchanan recommends it-Recom-
   mendation disregarded and proposition defeated by the Clark amendment-
   Observations thereon-Peace Convention proposed by Virginia-Its meeting
   and proceedings-Amendment to the Constitution reported by Mr. Guthrie,
   chairman of the committee-Its modification on motion of Mr. Franklin, and
   final adoption by the Convention-Virginia and North Carolina vote with
   Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont against it
   -Its rejection by the United States Senate-The House of Representatives
   refuse even to receive it-Every Republican member in both branches of Con-
   gress opposed to it,     .     .      .     .      .     .     .      . 134

                              CHAPTER VIII.

Congress passes no measures to enable the President to execute the laws or de-
  fend the Government-They decline to revive the authority of the Federal
  Judiciary in South Carolina, suspended by the resignation of all the judicial
  officers-They refuse authority to call forth the militia or accept volunteers,
  to suppress insurrections against the United States, and it was never proposed
  to grant an appropriation for this purpose-The Senate declines throughout
  the entire session to act upon the nomination of a Collector of the Port of
  Charleston-Congress refuses to grant to the President the authority long
  since expired, which had been granted to General Jackson for the collection
  of the revenue-The 36th Congress expires, leaving the law just as they found
  it-General observations, .      .     .      .     .     .      .     . 153

                               CHAPTER IXS

The forts in Charleston harbor-Conduct toward them and the reasons for it-
  To guard against surprise reinforcements ready-Instructions to Major An-
  derson-Interview with South Carolina members-General Scott again recom-
  mends the garrisoning of all the forts-Reasons against it-The compromise
  measures still depending-Want of troops-Observations on General Scott's
  report to President Lincoln-His letter to Secretary Seward, and the man-
  ner in which its, with the report, was brought to light and published-Mr. Bu-
  chanan's reply to the report-General Scott's statement of the interview
  with President Buchanan on 15th December, and observations thereupon-
  The example of General Jackson in 1833, and why it was inapplicable,  . 162

                                CHAPTER X.

Bouth Carolina adopts an ordinance of secession, and appoints Commissioners to
  treat with the General Government-Their arrival in Washington-Major An-




   derson's removal from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter-The President's inter-
   view with the Commissioners, who demand a surrender of all the forts-His
   answer to this demand-Their insolent reply, and its return to them-Its pre-
   sentation to the Senate, by Mr. Davis-Secretary Floyd requested to resign-
   He resigns and becomes a secessionist-Fort Sumter threatened-The Brook-
   lyn ordered to carry reinforcements to the fort-The Star of the West substi-
   tuted at General Scott's instance-She is fired upon-Major Anderson de-
   mands of Governor Pickens a disavowal of the act-The Governor demands
   the surrender of the fort-The Major proposes to refer the question to Wash-
   ington-The Governor accepts-The truce-Colonel Hayne and Lieutenant
   Hall arrive in Washington on the 13th January-Letter from Governor Pickens
   not delivered to the President until the 81st January-The answer to it-
   Colonel Hayne's insulting replyl-It is returned to him-Virginia sends Mr.
   Tyler to the President with a view to avoid hostilities-His arrival in Wash-
   ington and his proposals-Message of the President, .     .     .      . 180

                               CHAPTER XI.

Fort Sumter again-An expedition prepared to relieve it-The expedition aban-
   doned on account of a despatch from Major Anderson-Mr. Holt's letter to
   President Lincoln-Fort Pickens in Florida-Its danger from the rebels--
   The Brooklyn ordered to its relief-The means by which it was saved from
   capture approved by General Scott and Messrs. Holt and Toucey, with the
   rest of the Cabinet-Refutation of the charge Lnat arms had been stolen-Re-
   port of the Committee on Military Affairs and other documentary evidence-
   The Southern and Southwestern States received less than their quota of
   arms-The Pittsburg cannon-General Scott's unfounded claim to the credit
   of preventing their shipment to the South-Removal of old muskets-Their
   value-Opinion of Mr. Holt in regard to the manner in which President Bu-
   chanan conducted the administration,  .     .                          209

                               CHAPTER Xa.

The reduction of the expenses of the Government under Mr. Buchanan's admin-
  istration-The expedition to Utah-The Covode Committee,   .     .   231

                              CHAPTER XIIL

The successful foreign policy of the administration with Spain, Great Britain,
   China, and Paraguay-Condition of the Mexican Republic; and the recom-
   mendations to Congress thereupon not regarded, and the effect-The treaty
   with Mexico not ratified by the Senate, and the consequences-The origin,
   history, and nature of the "Monroe Doctrine,"     .      .             258



                      CHAPTER I.

The rise and progress of Anti-Slavery agitation-The Higher Law-Anti-Slavery
  Societies-Their formation and proceedings-Their effect destructive of State
  Emancipation-The case in Virginia-Employment of the Post Office to circulate
  incendiary publications and pictures among the slaves-Message of General Jack-
  ion to prohibit this by law-His recommendation defeated-The Pulpit, the Press,
  and other agencies-Abolition Petitions-The rise of an extreme Southern Pro-
  Slavery party-The Fugitive Slave Law of 1793, and the case of Prigg t'8. Penn-
  sylvania, and its pernicious effects-The South threaten Secession-The course
  of Mr. Buchanan as Senator-The Wilmot Proviso and its consequences-The
  Union in serious danger at the meeting of Congress in December, 1849.

  THAT the Constitution does not confer upon Congress power
to interfere with slavery in the States, has been admitted by all
parties and confirmed by all judicial decisions ever since the ori-
gin of the Federal Government. This doctrine was emphatically
recognized by the House of Representatives in the days of
Washington, during the first session of the first Congress, and
has never since been seriously called in question. Hence, it be-
came necessary for the abolitionists, in order to furnish a pretext
for their assaults on Southern slavery, to appeal to a law higher
than the Constitution.
   Slavery, according to them, was a grievous sin against God,
and therefore no human Constitution could rightfully shield it
from destruction. It was sinful to live in a political confed-
eracy which tolerated slavery in any of the States composing it;
and if this could not be eradicated, it would become a sacred

            Annals of Congress, vol. i., p. 1474, Sept. 1, 178'90.



duty for the free States to separate from their guilty associates.
This doctrine of the higher law was preached from the pulpits
and disseminated in numerous publications throughout New
England. At the first, it was regarded with contempt as the
work of misguided fanatics. Ere long, however, it enlisted nu-
merous and enthusiastic partisans. These were animated with
indomitable zeal in a cause they deemed so holy. They consti-
tuted the movement party, and went ahead; because, whether
from timidity or secret sympathy, the conservative masses failed
in the beginning to resist its progress in an active and deter-
mined spirit.
   The anti-slavery party in its career never stopped to reflect
that slavery was a domestic institution, exclusively under the
control of the sovereign States where it existed; and therefore,
if sinful in itself, it was certainly not the sin of the people of
New England. With equal justice might conscience have im-
pelled citizens of Massaachusetts to agitate for the suppression
of slavery in Brazil as in South Carolina. In both cases they
were destitute of all rightful power over the subject.
   The Constitution having granted to Congress no power over
slavery in the States, the abolitionists were obliged to resort to
indirect means outside of the Constitution to accomplish their
object. The most powerful of these was anti-slavery agitation:
agitation for the double purpose of increasing the number of
their partisans at home, and of exciting a spirit of discontent and
resistance among the slaves of the South. This agitation was
conducted by numerous anti-slavery societies scattered over the
North. It was a new and important feature of their organiza-
tion that women were admitted as members. Sensitive and en-
thusiastic in their nature against wrong, and believing slavery to
be a mortal sin, they soon became public speakers, in spite of the
injunctions of an inspired apostle; and their harangues were
quite as violent and extreme as those of their fathers, husbands,
and brothers. Their influence as mothers was thus secured and
directed to the education of the rising generation in anti-slavery
principles. Never was an organization planned and conducted
with greater ski]l and foresight for the eventual accomplishment
of its object.




   The New England Anti-Slavery Society was organized in
Boston on January 30th, 1832; that of New York in October,
1833; and the National Society wasorganized in Philadelphia
in December, 1833. Affiliated societies soon became numer-
   After the formation of the New England society the agitation
against Southern slavery proceeded with redoubled vigor, and
this under the auspices of British emissaries. One of the first
and most pernicious effects of these proceedings was to arrest
the natural progress of emancipation under legitimate State
   When this agitation commenced, the subject of such emanci-
pation was freely discussed in the South, and especially in the
grain-growing border States, and had enlisted numerous and
powerful advocates. In these States the institution had become
unprofitable. According to the witty and eccentric Virginian, Mr.
Randolph, if the slave did not soon run away from the master,
the master would run away from the slave. Besides, at this
period nobody loved slavery for its own sake.
   Virginia, whose example has always exercised great influence
on her sister States, was, in 1832, on the verge of emancipation.
The current was then running strong in its favor throughout the
State. Many of the leading men, both the principal newspapers,
and probably a majority of the people sustained the policy
and justice of emancipation. Numerous petitions in its favor
were presented to the General Assembly. Mr. Jefferson Ran-
dolph, a worthy grandson of President Jefferson, and a delegate
from one of the largest slaveholding counties of the common-
wealth (Albemarle), brought forward a bill in the House to ac-
complish the object. This was fully and freely discussed, and
was advocated by many prominent members. Not a voice
was raised throughout the debate in favor of slavery. Mr. Ran-
dolph, finding the Legislature not quite prepared for so deci-
sive a measure, did not press it to a final vote; but yet the House
resolved, by a majority of 65 to 58, " that they were profoundly
sensible of the great evils arising from the condition of the color-
ed population of the commonwealth, and were induced by policy
      Lettbr of Geo. W. Raudolph to Nahum Capen, of 18th April, 1851.




as well as humanity to attempt the immediate removal of the free
negroes; but that further action for the removal of the slaves
should await a more definite development of public opinion."
   Mr. Randolph's course was approved by his constituents, and
at the next election he was returned by them as a member of the
House of Delegates, on this very question. Unfortunately, at
this moment the anti-slavery agitation in New England began
to assume an alarming aspect for the peace and security of the
Southern people. In consequence, they denounced it as a foreign
and dangerous interference with rights which the Constitution
had left exclusively under their own control. An immediate and
powerful reaction against emancipation by State authority was
the result, and this good cause, to which so many able and
patriotic Southern men had been devoted, was sacrificed.
   Mr. Randolph himself, a short time thereafter, expressed a
confident belief to the author, that but for this interference, the
General Assembly would, at no distant day, have passed a law
for gradual emancipation. He added, so great had been the re-
vulsion of public sentiment in Virginia, that no member of that
body would now dare to propose such a measure.
   The abolitionists became bolder and bolder as they advanced.
They did not hesitate to pervert the Post Office Department of
the Government to the advancement of their cause. Through
its agency, at an early period, they scattered throughout
the slaveholding States pamphlets, newspapers, and pictorial
representations of an incendiary character, calculated to arouse
the savage passions of the slaves to servile insurrection. So
alarming had these efforts become to the domestic peace of the
South, that General Jackson recommended they should be pro-
hibited by law, under severe penalties. He said, in his annual
message of 2d December, 1835: " Imust also invite your attention
to the painful excitement produced in the South by attempts to
circulate, through the mails, inflammatory appeals addressed to
the passions of the slaves, in prints, and in various sorts of pub-
lications, calculated to stimulate them to insurrection and to pro-
duce all the horrors of a servile war."  And he also commendedto
the special attention of Congress " the propriety of passing such a
                    2 Statesman's Manual, 1018.




law as will prohibit, under severe penalties, the circulation in the
Southern States, through the mails, of incendiary publications in-
tended to instigate the slaves to insurrection." 
   A bill for this purpose was reported to the Senate, but after a
long and animated debate, it was negatived, on the 8th of June,
1836, by a vote of 19 to 25.t It is worthy of remark, that even
at this early period not a single Senator from New England,
whether political friend or opponent of General Jackson, voted
in favor of the measure he had so emphatically recommended.
All the Senators from that portion of the Union, under the lead
of Messrs. Webster and Davis, of Massachusetts, denied to Con-
gress the Constitutional power of passing any law to prevent the
abolitionists from using our own mails to circulate incendiary
documents throughout the slaveholding States, even though
these were manifestly intended to promote servile insurrection
and civil war within their limits. The power and duty of Con-
gress to pass the bill were earnestly urged by Mr. Buchanan,
then a Senator from Pennsylvania, in opposition to the objections
of Mr. Webster.
   This anti-slavery agitation in New England was prosecuted by
other and different agencies. The pulpit, the press, State Le-
gislatures, State and county conventions, anti-slavery societies,
and abolition lectures were all employed for this purpose.
Prominent among them were what were called, in the lan-
guage of the day, abolition petitions.
   Throughout the session of 1835-'6, and for several succeeding
sessions, these petitions incessantly poured in to Congress. They
prayed for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia,
and in the forts, magazines, arsenals, and dockyards of the United
States within the slaveholding States. They also protested
against the admission of any new slaveholding State into the
Union, and some of them went even so far as to petition for a
dissolution of the Union itself.
   These petitions were signed by hundreds of thousands of men,
women, and children. In them slavery was denounced as a na-
tional sin and a national disgrace. Every epithet was employed
    2 Statesman's Manual, p. 1019.
   t Senate Journal, June 2, 1836, pp. 399, 400, and Con. Globe of June 8, 1836.




calculated to arouse the indignation of the Southern people. The
time of Congress was wasted in violent debates on the subject of
slavery. In these it would be difficult to determine which of the
opposing parties was guilty of the greatest excess. Whilst the
South threatened disunion unless the agitation should cease, the
North treated such threats with derision and defiance. It be-
came manifest to every reflecting man that two geographical
parties, the one embracing the people north and the other those
south of Mason and Dixon's line, were in rapid process of for-
mation-an event so much dreaded by the Father of his
   It is easy to imagine the effect of this agitation upon the proud,
sensitive, and excitable people of the South. One extreme natu-
rally begets another. Among the latter there sprung up a party
as fanatical in advocating slavery as were the abolitionists of the
North in denouncing it. At the first, and for a long time, this
party was small in numbers, and found it difficult to excite the
masses to support its extreme views. These Southern fanatics,
instead of admitting slavery to be an evil in itself, pronounced
it to be a great good. Instead of admitting that it had been re-
luctantly recognized by the Constitution as an overruling poli-
tical necessity, they extolled it as the surest support of freedom
among the white race. If the fanatics of the North denounced
slavery as evil and only evil, and that continually, the fanatics
of the South upheld it as fraught with blessings to the slave as
well as to his master. Far different was the estimation in which
it was held by Southern patriots and statesmen both before and
for many years after the adoption of the Constitution. These
looked forward hopefully to the day when, with safety both to
the white and black race, it might be abolished by the people
of the slaveholding States themselves, who alone possessed the
   The late President, as a Senator of the United States, from
December, 1834, until March, 1845, lost no opportunity of warn-
ing his countrymen of the danger to the Union from a persist-
ence in this anti-slavery agitation, and of beseeching them to
suffer the, people of the South to manage their domestic affairs
in their own way. All they desired, to employ their oft-repeat-




ed language, was " to be let alone." With a prophetic vision, at
so early a period as the 9th March, 1836, he employed the fol-
lowing language in the Senate: " Sir," said Mr. B., " this ques-
tion of domestic slavery is the weak point in our institutions.
Tariffs may be raised almost to prohibition, and then they may
be reduced so as to yield -no adequate protection to the manufac-
turer; our Union is sufficiently strong to endure the shock.
Fierce political storms may arise-the moral elements of the
country may be convulsed by the struggles of ambitious men for
the highest honors of the Government-the sunshine does not
more certainly succeed the storm, than that all will again be
peace. Touch this question of slavery seriously-let it once be
made manifest to the people of the South that they cannot live
with us, except in a state of continual apprehension and alarm
for their wives and their children, for all that is near and dear to
them upon the earth-and the Union is from that moment dis-
solved. It does not then become a question of expediency, but
of self-preservation. It is a question brought home to the fire-
side, to the domestic circle of every white man in the Southern
States. This day, this dark and gloomy day for the Republic,
will, I most devoutly trust and believe, never arrive. Although,
in Pennsylvania, we are all opposed to slavery in the abstract,
yet we will never violate the Constitutional compact which we
have made with our sister States. Their rights will be held
sacred by us. Under the Cons