and not be suffered by us to relapse into a condition which
would not be tolerated by semi-barbarous Mexico. The
slave propagandists and perpe'ualists demanded the right
to take their slaves ioto this Tee territory and keen them
there under the protection of the national flag. John C.
Calhoun, the great champion of the slave interests, pro-
cldmed. in the words of Mr Benton, " the supreme dog-
ma of the transmigratory function of the constitution."'
He denied that " the laws of Mexico coul'i keep slavery
out of the acquired territory." He declared that the
constitution with its " overriding control" would carry
into and protect in the new Territories slaves as property-
These assumptions of Mr. "a houn, which were entirely
contrary tr> all the previous opinions of the eminent ju-
rists and statesmen who framed the constitution and ear-
ly administered it, were resisted by Mr. Webster. Mr.
John Davis, Mr Hamlin, Mr. John A Dix ot New Vcrk,
Roger S Baldwin of Connecticut. Mr. Benton and others,
then acknowledged to be the leading statesmen of the
Whig and of the Democratic parties. But these perni-
cious theories were sustained by Jefferson Davis, Senators
Mason and Hunter, Henry S. Foote, and with them co-ope-
rated John Bell. They have now become the doc-
trines of the slave code Democracy, and of most of Mr.
Bell's supporters in the slaveholding States.
Early in 1848 John Bell voted with the " ultra men of
his section," to lay on the table resolutions introduced
by Mr. Baldwin of Connecticut, in favor of excluding
slavery by fundamental law. from the territory about to
be acquired from New Mexico. Was this standing up
with " Roman firmness " against the " ultra men of his
section?" In 1848 Mr. Clayton reported a bill to establish
Territorial Governments in Oregon, New Mexico and Cali-
fornia This Mil proposed to refer all question* of sla-
very in the Territories, to the Supreme Court. This was
a most dangerous proposition, as the dogmas in tin- teed
Scott decision demonstrate; and John Bel] steadily sup-
ported this insidjoni measure, which was intended to ob-
tain a Dred Scott decision.
Mr Clark of Khode Island moved to add to the sixth
I bat "no law . regulation or act of the government
Of said i'erritor y. permitting slavery, shall be valid un-
less the. -ame shall be approved by Congress." Bell voted
against this amendment with the pro-slavery champions
.'1 the -C'Utli.
Mr. Baldwin of Connecticut moved to amend Mr.
Clayton's bill by making it the duty of the Attorneys of
the Territories to sue out the writ of habeas corpus on the
complaint of any pen u that be is held a.s a slave and to
M-t lii- i -a at e in i he Territorial courts, and in case the de-
cision is against him, to take the cause to the Supreme
Court of the United States, and to notify the Attorney
General to appear therein and defend the same. The ul-
tra men of the south and John Bell voted again.-!, tin-
measure in iavor of humani y and personal freedom.
Sir. Davis of Massachusetts moved to anient Mr. Clay-
ton's bib by adding tuat there shall be neither slavery
nor involuntary servitude in the Territory, .lohu Bell vot-
ed â€” No. When he voted with Davis, Foote, Hunter, Mason
and their ultra associates against the proposition of Honest
John Davis, was he not "an exponent of pro-slavery"?
or was John Davis an exponent of slavery ?
Mr. Walker of Wisconsin moved to amend the Civil and
Diplomatic bill by extending the constitution and laws of
the United States over the Territories. This proposition,
Mr. Benton says, yvas prompted by Mr. Calhoun, and "was
nothing but a new scheme lor the extension of slavery."
Deny iug the power of Congress to legislate upon slavery in
the iViritone. â€” finding slavery actually excluded from the
ceded Territories, and desirous to get it thereâ€” "Mr. Cal-
houn, the real author of Mr. Walker's amendment, took
the new conception of carrying the constitution into
them, which arrivrig there, and recognizing slavery, and
being the supreme law of the land, it would override the
anti-Slavery laws of the Territory, and plant the institu-
tion of slavery under its tegis, and above the reach of any
Territorial laws or law, of Congress to abolish it." This
'â€¢ new scheme for the extension of slavery," which came
from the fertile brain of the great champion of slavery in
America, was resisted by Daniel Webster with all his
power. Calhoun came to the support of his device to
override the anti-slavery laws of the Territories, and
avowed, says Mr. Benton, "his intent to carry slavery
into these Territories under the wing of the constitution,
and openly treated as enemies of the South all that op-
posed it." This scheme, the boldest and most aggressive
movement ever made in Congress for the extension of
slavery, yvas supported by the ultra men of the South,
and opposed with determined resolution by Webster,
Davis, Hamlin, Baldyvin, Dayton, Benton and their asso-
ciates. On this great device to extend slavery over hun-
dreds of thousands of square miles of territory, where
stood John Bell, the man the liberty -loving men of Mass-
achusetts are now summoned to support by the Hillards,
the Stevensons and the Saltonstalls? Did he stand up
"with Roman firmness" by the side of Webster, Davis
and their associates against the " ultra men of his sec-
tion"? or did he go with Calhoun, Mason, Davis, Foote
and their compeers for this " new scheme for the exten-
sion of slavery"? John Bell steadily and persistently
voted for this measure of slavery propagandism with the
men of the Calhoun school. This amendment was carried,
went to the House, and the House, on motion of Richard
\V. Thompson of Indiana, voted to amend it so that the
existing laws there should be retained and observed until
the fourth of July, 1850. The bill with Walker's amend-
ment as amended by the House went back to the Senate.
John Bell voted against the House amendment which pre-
served the anti-slavery laws of the acquired Territories,for
twenty-eight months; thus giving Congress or the people
of the Territories an opportunity to keep slavery out for-
ever; and when the passage of the Civil and Diplomatic bill
was endangered by this Walker amendment, John Bell vot-
ed against receding. To the last John Bell adhered to this
device of John C. Calhoun lor the extension of slavery
over the Territories won from Mexico. In this bitter and
prolonged contest was Daniel Webster â€” was John Davis
"an exponent of pro-slavery?" or was John Bell "an expo-
nent of pro-slavery ?" Men of Massachusetts, would you
blot out this "record" of Webster and Davis? or would you
Dot rather erase this pro-slavery "record" of John Bell,
which Stevencon boasts is "without a blot?" Shame on
such a "record," and shame on the Massachusetts man
who will pronounce such a "record" "without a blot!"
Mr. Douglas moved in 1*49 that the Missouri Compro-
mise line be extended to tie Pacific Ocean. This propo-
sition was made in the interests of slavery. It was not
a proposition like the original compromise to extend the
line through slave territory, but it was a proposition to
extend that line through free territory, and to give to
slavery tens of thousauds of square miles of free BOil.
Did John Bell stand up with Roman firmness against this
pro-slaver \ proposition? Did he stand with Webster,
Davis. Bale, Hamlin, Baldwin, Dayton, Corwin and their
associates who stood with Roman firmness as the expo-
nents of freedom? or did he stand with the "ultra men
of his section"â€” Atchinson, Butler, Calhoun, Davis,
Hunter and the "exponents of pro-slavery?" John Bell
voted with the norlands and the Footes for the extension
ol the Missouri (Join promise line through free territory to
the Pacific ; and when the representatives of the people
rejected this unhallowed proposition, John Bell, the con-
sistent "exponent ofurxwlavery," vote i against receding.
In the winter of 1850 John Bell introduced nine resolu-
tions concerning the Territories; among these resolutions
was one to the effect that " all the territory ceded to the
United States by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, lying
west of said Territory of New Mexico, and east of the
contemplated new State of California, for the present
continue one Territory without any restriction as ro
. SLAVERY. "
Another of these resolutions referred to California.
Foote of Mississippi moved to refer these resolutions,
with others, to a special committee ot thirteen. Mr.
Hamlin, .anxious to admit the free State of California into
the Union without associating it with the questions con-
neeted with New Mexico, Utah, the Texas boundary ami
the Fugitive Slave bill, moved " that nothing in this res-
olution shall be construed to authorize the said commit-
tee to take into consideration anything that relates to
the admission of California into the Union." Benton,
Webster, and their associates voted for Hamlin's mo-
tion; John Bell voted with the "ultra men of his
section," against the motion. He and his pro-slavery
friends wanted to keep tree California in their hands to
win concessions to slavery. Walker moved to except so
much of the resolutions proposed to be referred to the
committee by Foote's resolution as relates to the recap-
ture of fugitives from labor, and John Bell voted with
the ultra southern men against the motion; Hamlin,
Davis and others voted lor it.
The Committee of Thirteen, of which Johu Bell was a
member, reported a series of measures known as the
Compromise Measures of 1850; the admission of Califor-
nia â€” the suppression of the slave trade â€” the Texas Bound-
ary bill â€” the organization of the Territories ot Utah and
Mew Mexico without the exclusion of slavery, and the Fu-
gitive Slave bill.
When these bills were under consideration, amend-
ments were proposed involving issues between freedom
and slavery. Where stood John Bell on these questions?
Was he with the slave propagandists, or with the friends
of freedom? The " record " will show whether he stood
with " Roman firmness " " in opposition to the ultra men
of his section," or whether he enrolled his name with the
exponents of the sentiments and opinions of the friends
Mr. Turney of Tennessee moved to limit the southern
boundary of California to 36 deg. 30 min., and to extend
the Missouri Compromise to the Pacific. This was a mo-
tion aimed at California, and in the interests of slavery,
and John Bell voted for it.
Mr. Turney again moved the limitation of the southern
boundary of California to 36 deg. 30 min. ; his object be-
ing to get slavery into southern California, and this
proposition received the vote of John Bell.
Mr. Davis of Mississippi moved that all laws and usa-
ges existing in said Territories, interlering with any spe-
cies of property, be declared null and void. This was a
motion to abrogate the layvs of Mexico, prohibiting slave-
ry, and to tacilite the introduction of slaves into the vast
territory acquired of that power; and it received the vote
of John Bell, Atchison, Foote, Soule. Mason, and their
pro-slavery compeers, while Benton, Cass, Hamlin, Chase,
and our own Davis voted against it
Mr. Davis of Miss, moved "that nothing herein contained
shall be construed so as to prevent said Territorial Legisla-
ture from passing such laws as may be necessary lor the pro-
tection of the rights of the property of every kind which
may have been or may be hereafter contormably to the
constitution and laws of the United States, held in, or
introduced into, said Territory." Mr. Davis prefaced this
proviso with some remarks, declaring his object to be to
assert the duty of the government to protect slavery.
Mr. Chase moved " that nothing herein contained shall
be construed as authorizing or permitting the introduc-
tion of slavery," and Mr. Bell voted No.
While this amendment of Mr. Davis's was pendiDg, Mr.
Bell advocated it, in order " that the principles of the
constitution " might b- left " to their full and fair opera-
tion " and that " tbe South might look with some confi-
dence to the protection of slave property in this Territory
through the Courts of the United States."
John Bell voted against an amendment offered to the
bill by Mr. Baldwin, declaring that "the Mexican laws
prohibiting slavery should be and remain in force in said
Territory until they should be altered or repealed by Con-
gress.' He voted against the amendment offered by Mr.
Seward, that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude,
otherwise than for conviction of crime, shall ever be al-
lowed in either of said Territories of Utah and New Mexi-
co." He voted also in favor of an amendment offered by
Mr Berrien of Georgia providing against the passage of
any Territorial law "establishing or probibing slavery."
Mr. Ohase moved that there should be neither slavery
nor involuntary servitude in the Territories of Utah and
Mew Mexico, and John Bell voted against that amend-
In giving these votes on the organization of the Territo-
ries, John Bell accepted all the doctrines of the Calhoun
school, aud linked his name indissolubly with the cham-
pions of slavery propagandism.
When the Fugitive Slave bill was pending, Mr. Dayton
moved an amendment prepared by Mr. Webster before
he left the Senate, granting to captured fugitives the
right of Trial by Jury, and John Bell voted against giviDg
the bondman a jury triel. Webster drew this amendment
and Winthrop voted for it, but John Bell, whose record
Stevenson tells us is without a blot, enrolled his name
with the ultra men of his section against this measure of
justice and humanity
Our own Senator, Mr. Winthrop, moved to grant to
fugitive slaves the right to the writ of habeas corpus, and
John Bell vot^d against that Will J. Thomas Stevenson
tell the people of Massachusetts there is no "blot" on
that "record" of John Bell's against allowing to a fellow
being claimed as a bondman the great writ of right?
Mr. Davis of Massachusetts moved to amend the Fugi
tive Slave bill by making it the duty of District Attor-
neys, whenever any mariner or free colored person shall
be imprisoned without any alleged crime, to bring
such person by a writ of habeas corpus before any Judge
of the District Courts of the United States, who shall
inquire whether he is legally held, and, if not, to dis-
charge him, the expeuses to be paid by the United States.
Davis, Winthrop and Diyton voted for the amendment ;
John Bell voted with Butler. Soule and Jefferson Davis,
against it. Yes, John Bell, of "Roman firmness," had no
vote to give for this amendment moved by John Davis for
the protection of the free colored men of Massachusetts
pining in South Carolina prisons, charged with no offence
but the crime of having "a skin not colored like our
own." Is there no " blot upon that record"? Will the
emphatic Stevenson, the solemn Saltonstall, the plaintive
John Bell voted to hold the Marshal, for the es-
cape of any fugitive held in his custody, whether with
or without his consent, for the full value of said fugitive
Hamlin, Dayton and Winthrop voted against this strin-
gent proposition ; but John Bell would darken even the
Fugitive Slave act of '850, for which he voted, after hav-
ing voted against every humane effort to make it less ab-
horrent to mankind.
On the bill to suppress the slave trade, which had long
darkened and polluted the national Capitol, John Bell
united with the ultra slaveholders of the South â€” with
Butler, Soule, Jefferson Davis, and their confederates, and
voted against it. John Davis, Winthrop. Benton and
others voted for that act of humanity. Humanity, the
national character, common decency, demanded the sup-
pression of that infamous traffic in the District of Colum-
bia, but John Bell, the statesman whom, the christian peo-
ple of Massachusetts are vauntingly told, has a "record
without a blot," and for whom they are asked to vote, to
"beat Lincoln," had no vote to give for a measure which
would suppress that revolting traffic in the souls and
bodies of men.
In 1850 John Bell voted for Pratt's motion to consider
the bill for enticing slaves to escape from the District of
Columbia. Benton, Cass. Davis, Hamlin and others
voted against it. John Bell voted to imprison any free
person who should harbor any s.ave or slaves with the in-
tent to assist him, her or them to escape from service in
the District of Columbia, in the penitentiary for a term not
exceeding five years. Benton, Davis, Fremont. Hamlin and
Winthrop voted against it, and defeated the inhuman prop-
osition. John Bell voted that the Corporation of Washing-
ton and Georgetown shall be invested with power to prohib-
it the coming of free negroes to reside in the District, and
to enforce their removal by imprisonment at labor for six
months. Hamlin, Fremont, Benton, Davis, Seward and
Winthrop voted against it and that inhuman proposition
was defeated, and defeated by votes of southern men.
Yet Stevenson gives him a clear "record without a blot!"
If there is no blot upon this record of John Bell, pray
tell us, Mr. Stevenson, if you think the record of Davis
and Winthrop is blotted or blurred by voting against that
measure for wh ch Bell voted.
In 1849 Mr Hale presented a petition from female
inhabitants of the United States for the suppression
of the slave trade and against the extension of slav-
ery. John Bell then voted to lay it on the table.
Mr. Hale, in 1850, moved thit the petition of the citi-
zens of Stockbridge he referred to the Committee of Thir-
teen. Atchinson moved that the motion do lie on the
table Bell voted with Atchinson. Seward, Hamlin, Da-
vis, Dayton and others against it. Mr. Seward made a
proposition to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia,
with the assent of the people of the District, and to make
compensation for the same. John Bell, ever true to sla-
very, voted against it. He would not permit the people
of Washington to vote upon the question of making the
national capital free.
In 1854 Mr. Douglas reported the bill for the organiza-
tion of the Territory of Kansas without anv repealing
clause in regard to thu act of 1820, prohibiting slavery.
Mr. Dixon, an old line Whig, proposed the repeal of the
Missouri prohibition This question was considered in
the Territorial Committee, of wh'ch John Bell was a mem-
ber, and he consented to the report in favor of the repeal
of the Missouri Compromise; â€” and on motion of Mr.
Douglas to amend the original proposition by substituting
the clause as it now stands, he voted for it. His record
shows that he voted to put. into the bill for the organiza-
tion of the Territories of Kansas aud Nebraska tbe clause
repealing the prohibition of slavery north of 36 30. He
kept his record clean in favor of slavery. While the bill
was pending, Mr. Chase moved that the people of the
Territory, through their appropriate representatives,
may, if "thev see fit, prohibit the existence of slavery
therein. Bell voted against it. Mr. Chase moved to
amend by providing that the people should choose
their own Governor for two years. Bell voted No. A
caucus of southern Whig members of the Senate was
held, over which Mr. Toombs presided, and which Mr.
Bell attended. This caucus of ten southern Whigs
choi=e a committee consisting of Messrs. Clavton. Badger,
aud Bell, to wait upon the editors of the National Intel-
ligencer and present to those gentlemen a resolution to
the effect â€”
" That we disapprove of tbe course of the National In-
telligencer upon the Nebraska bill ; and that, in our opin-
ion, it does not truly represent the opinions of the Whig
party of the South."
It was understood in this caucus that the Whig Sena-
ators of the South were unanimous for the Kansas-Ne-
braska bill. Mr. Badger said on the floor of the Senate:
"2 think it right to say, and I think thave their au-
thority to say. that with regard to the results to which I
have come upon this measure, we all agree as one man â€”
every southern Whig Senator. 1 wish that to be under-
stood, that the position of gentlemen may not be mistaken
became they have not yet had the opportunity of speaking
or voting upon this bill."
Mr. Bell had in the previous session opposed the organ-
ization of this Territory, chiefly on account of the In-
dians, and he voted against the final passage of the bill.
But his votes on the details of the bill had been such
and his action so strangely unsteady that he hail quite a
sharp controversy on he floor of the Senate, with Mr.
Clavtou, Mr. Badger, and especially with Mr. Toombs.
Border ruffianism invaded Kansas, seized the ballot-
boxes on the 30th of March, 1855, elected a Legislature,
and that Legislature enacted a slave code, inhuman, un-
christian, devilish. Armed men invaded the Territory â€”
presses were destroyed ; towns and cabins burned ; brave
men arrested, banished, murdered for fidelity to freedom;
highways were closed and men were arrested uuder charge .
of treason, for framing a free State constitution, and
asking admission into the Union. Appeals as earnest as
ever came from the lips of man were addressed to Con-
gress to right the wrongs of Kansas. In that crisis of
the affairs of that Territory when armed hordes were
ranging the country, when active free State men were
held under arrest, when the Missouri River was closed by
armed force, when the people were overborne, the Toombs
bill was contrived and so framed as not to require the
submission of the constitution to the people. Gov. Rob-
inson and his associates, held under charge of treason, in
the camp near Lecompton, sent this message to me in
'â€¢ W e wish simply to shv to you anil our friend* in Con-
gress that such n proceeding will, of ronr.se, result in a
^,,r- State ranstitulion. The Missouri-ins. if there
should tie any necessity for their being in Kansas, wil' he
here ho'h to h'ive their names registered anltovote.
No orifi who has liv-d here for the last year can doubt this ."
Mr G. W. licit/.', r endorsed upon that message these
words: "The plan of .Mr. Toombs, if adopted, will en-
tomb the cause of freedom in Kansas "
The chiefs of border ruffianism in Weston) Missouri, in
anticipation of the passage of this Toombs bill, issued
their call for action.. Handbil's containing these words
were scattered anion;.' the people, already ileenlv excited:
'â– RANSA.8I0 1:1: MAM A SI.WK STATE !â€” MlSSOURIANS TO
YOUR duty! It may h" regarded as certain thÂ»t the bill
to organize 8 Stat, (.institution in Kansas will, if it has
u"' already, become a law ; it has passed the Senate and
will pass the House.
You have the right to go â€” it is your duty to goâ€” your
inter Bts prompt you to go â€” your very necessity compels
you to go
tio fhen, at once â€” be there as settlers â€” be there to be
enrolledâ€” be there to vote, and thus save yourselves and
\our comi'rx .
We are triad to Bee all around us preparing to move.
Knowing that the day for the final struggle has come.
they do not hold back Let others do their duty, and
w arc saved "
The friends of free Kansas sought to amend this bill,
and failing in that t., defeat, it. and in all their efforts they
had to encounter rhe influence and votes of John Bell.
Mr Seward moved to amend the Toombs bill, by ad-
mitting Kansas into the Union, under the Topeka Con-
stitution. John Be'l voted against it.
Mr Trumbull moved 'that until the Territorial legis-
lature acts upon the subject, the owner of a slave has
no right to take such slave into the Territory of Kansas
anl there bold him as a slave; and every slave taken into
the Territory of Kansas by his owner is hereby declared
to be free, unless there is some valid act of the Legisla-
tive Assembly under which he may be held as a slave; 1 '
and John Bell voted against, it.
Mr. Trumbull moved "that all the acts and proceed-
ings of everv body of men claiming to be a legislative as-
sembly in Kansas are declared to be wholly and utterly
null and void, and that no person shall ho'd any office or
exercise Â«nv authority by virtue of anv power derived
from such assembly, and Mr. Bell voted in the negative.
Mr. Collamer moved ''that until the people of Kansas
form a constitution and State government, there shall be
neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in said Terri-
tory"; and Mr. Bell voted No.
I moved to strike out all after the enacting clause of the
Toombs bill and insert, that 'all acts passed by the Leg-
islature of Kansas, or by anv assembly acting as such, be
and the same are hereby abrogated and declared void and