of 36 30 , and protecting it as property in all territory south of that
line ; and admitting into the Union, with or without slavery a8 its Con
stitution might provide, any State that might be formed out of such ter
ritory, whenever its population should be sufficient to entitle it to a
member of Congress.
2. Prohibiting Congress from abolishing slavery in places under its
exclusive jurisdiction within Slave States.
3. Prohibiting Congress from abolishing slavery within the District
of Columbia, so long as slavery should exist in Virginia or Maryland ;
or without the consent of the inhabitants or without just compensation
to the owners.
4. Prohibiting Congress from hindering the transportation of slaves
from one State to another, or to a territory in which slavery is allowed.
5. Providing that where a fugitive slave is lost to his owner .by
violent resistance to the execution of the process of the law for his re
covery, the United States shall pay to said owner his full value, and
may recover the same from the county in which such rescue occurred.
6. These provisions were declared to be unchangeable by any future
THE CRITTEXDEN RESOLUTIONS. 67
amendment of the Constitution, as were also the existing articles relating
to the representation of slaves and the surrender of fugitives.
Besides these proposed amendments of the Constitution Mr.
Crittenden s resolutions embodied certain declarations in af
firmance of the constitutionality and binding force of the
fugitive slave law recommending the repeal by the States of
all bills, the effect of which was to hinder the execution of
that law, proposing to amend it by equalizing its fees, and
urging the effectual execution of the law for the suppression of
the African slave trade.
These resolutions were referred to the Committee of Thir
teen, ordered on Mr. Powell s motion, and composed of the
Messrs. Powell, Hunter, Crittenden, Seward, Toombs, Douglas, Col-
lamer, Davis, Wade, Bigler, Kice, Doolittle, and Grimes.
On the 31st of December, this Committee reported that
they "had not been able to agree upon any general plan of
adjustment." The whole subject was nevertheless discussed
over and over again during the residue of the session ; but no
final action was taken until the very day of its close. On
the 21st of January, Messrs. Yulee and Mallory, of Florida,
resigned their seats in the Senate because their State had
passed an ordinance of secession, and on the 28th Mr. Iverson,
of Georgia, followed their example. Messrs. Clay and Fitz-
patrick, of Alabama, and Mr. Davis, of Mississippi, followed
next, and on the 4th of February Messrs. Slid ell and Ben
jamin, of Louisiana, also took their leave.
In the House of Representatives the debates took the same
general direction as in the Senate. On the first day of the
session a resolution was adopted, by a vote of 145 to 38, to
refer so much of the President s Message as related to the
perilous condition of the country, to a committee of one from
each State. This committee was appointed as follows :
68 PRESIDENT LINCOLN S ADMINISTRATION.
Corwin of Ohio. Dunn of Indiana.
Millson of Virginia. Taylor of Louisiana.
Adams of Massachusetts. Davis of Mississippi.
Winslow of North Carolina. Kellogg of Illinois.
Humphrey of New York. Houston of Alabama .
Boyce of South Carolina. Morse of Maine.
Campbell of Pennsylvania. Phelps of Missouri
Love of Georgia. Rust of Arkansas.
Ferry of Connectic ut. Howard of Michigan.
Davis of Maryland. Hawkins of Florida
Robinson of Rhode Island. Hamilton of Texas.
Whitely of Delaware. "Washburn of Wisconsin.
Tappan of New Hampshire. Curtis of Iowa.
Stratton of New Jersey. Birch of California.
Bristow of Kentucky. "Windom of Minnesota.
Morrill of Vermont. Stark of Oregon.
Nelson of Tennessee.
A great variety of resolutions were offered and referred to
this committee. In a few days the committee reported the fol
lowing series of resolutions, and recommended their adoption :
Resolved ly the Senate and Home of Representatives of the United States
of America in Congress assembled, That all attempts on the parts of the
Legislatures of any of the States to obstruct or hinder the recovery and
surrender of fugitives from service or labor, are in derogation of the
Constitution of the United States, inconsistent with the comity and
good neighborhood that should prevail among the several States, and
dangerous to the peace of the Union.
Resolved, That the several States be respectfully requested to cause
their statutes to be revised, with a view to ascertain if any of them are
in conflict with or tend to embarrass or hinder the execution of the
laws of the United States, made in pursuance of the second section of
the fourth article of the Constitution of the United States for the deliv
ering up of persons held to labor by the laws of any State and escaping
therefrom; and the Senate and House of Representatives earnestly
request that all enactments having such tendency be forthwith re
pealed, as required by a just sense of constitutional obligations, and by
a due regard for the peace of the Republic ; and the President of the
United States is requested to communicate these resolutions to the
CONCILIATORY ACTION OF CONGRESS. 69
Governors of the several States, with a request that they will lay the
same before the Legislatures thereof respectively.
Resolved, That we recognize slavery as now existing in fifteen of the
United States by the usages and laws of those States ; and we recog
nize no authority, legally or otherwise, outside of a State where it so
exists, to interfere with slaves or slavery in such States, in disregard of
the rights of their owners or the peace of society.
Resolved, That we recognize the justice and propriety of a faithful
execution of the Constitution, and laws made in pursuance thereof, on
the subject of fugitive slaves, or fugitives from service or labor, and
discountenance all mobs or hinderances to the execution of such laws,
and that citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and
immunities of citizens in the several States.
Resolved, That we recognize no such conflicting elements in its com
position, or sufficient cause from any source, for a dissolution of this
Government; that we were not sent here to destroy, but to sustain
and harmonize the institutions of the country, and to see that equal
justice is done to all parts of the same ; and finally, to perpetuate its
existence on terms of equality and justice to all the States.
Resolved, That a faithful observance, on the part of all the States, of
all their constitutional obligations to each other and to the Federal Gov
ernment, is essential to the peace of the country.
Resolved, That it is the duty of the Federal Government to enforce
the Federal laws, protect the Federal property, and preserve the Union
of these States.
Resolved, That each State be requested to revise its statutes, and, if
necessary, so to amend the same as to secure, without legislation by
Congress, to citizens of other States travelling therein, the same protec
tion as citizens of such State enjoy ; and also to protect the citizens of
other States travelling or sojourning therein against popular violence or
illegal summary punishment, without trial in due form of law, for im
Resolved, That each State be also respectfully requested to enact such
laws as will prevent and punish any attempt whatever in such State to
recognize or set on foot the lawless invasion of any other State or Ter
Resolved, That the President be requested to transmit copies of
the- foregoing resolutions to the Governors of the several States,
with a request that they be communicated to their respective Legis
70 PRESIDENT LINCOLN S ADMINISTRATION.
These resolutions were intended and admirably calculated
to calm the apprehensions of the people of the slaveholding
States as to any disposition on the part of the Federal Gov
ernment to interfere with Slavery, or withhold from them
any of their constitutional rights ; and in a House controlled
by a large Republican majority, they were adopted by a vote
of ayes 136, noes 53. Not content with this effort to satisfy
all just complaints on the part of the Southern States, the
same committee reported the following resolution, recom
mending such an amendment of the Constitution as should
put it forever out of the power of the Government or people
of the United States to interfere with Slavery in any of the
Be it resolved ly the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of both Houses con
curring), That the following article be proposed to the Legislatures of
the several States as an amendment to the Constitution of the United
States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of said Legislatures, shall
be valid, to all intents and purposes, as a part of the said Constitution,
Art. 12. No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will
authorize, or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within
any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of per
sons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.
This resolution was adopted by a vote of 133 to 65 more
than two-thirds in its favor. This closed the action of the
House of Representatives at this session on this important
subject, though it had previously adopted, by a unanimous
vote, the following declaratory resolution :
Resolved, That neither the Federal Government nor the people, or the
governments of the non-slaveholding States?, have the right to legislate
upon or interfere with Slavery in any of the slaveholding States in the
The action of the Senate was somewhat modified by the
intervening action of a Peace Conference, which assembled at
THE PEACE CONFERENCE. 71
Washington on the 4th of February, in pursuance of a recom
mendation of the State of Virginia, embodied in resolutions
adopted by the General Assembly of that State on the 19th
of January. It consisted of delegates, 133 in number, from
21 States none of those which had seceded being repre
sented. John Tyler, of Virginia, was appointed president,
and a committee, consisting of one from each State, was ap
pointed, with authority to " report what they may deem right,
necessary, and proper to restore harmony and preserve the
Union." On the loth of February the committee reported a
series of resolutions, in seven sections, which were discussed
and amended, one by one, until the afternoon of the 26th,
when the vote was taken upon them as amended, in succes
sion, with the following results :
SECTION 1. In all the present territory of the United States, north of
the parallel of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes of north latitude, in
voluntary servitude, except in punishment of crime, is prohibited. In
all the present territory south of that line, the status of persons held to
involuntary service or labor, as it now exists, shall not be changed; nor
shall any law be passed by Congress or the Territorial Legislature to
hinder or prevent the taking of such persons from any of the States of
this Union to said territory, nor to impair the rights arising from said re
lation; but the same shall be subject to judicial cognizance in the Federal
Courts, according to the course of the common law. When any territory
north or south of said line, within such boundary as Congress may pre
scribe, shall contain a population equal to that required for a member of
Congress, it shall, if its form of government be republican, be admitted
into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, with or with
out involuntary servitude as the constitution of such State may provide.
The vote on the adoption of the section was as follows:
AYES. Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Penn
sylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee 8.
^ NOES. Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri,
.New York, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia 11.
So its adoption was not agreed to.
A reconsideration of this vote was called for by the delegates from
Illinois and agreed to, 14 to 5. On the next day the question was again
taken on the adoption of the section, with the follo .ving result:
72 PRESIDENT LINCOLN S ADMINISTRATION.
AYES. Delaware Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee 9.
NOES. Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina,
New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia 8.
Thus the section was adopted.
It was stated by the members from New York, when the State was
called, that one of their number, D. D. Field, was absent, and the del
egation was divided. Thus New York, Indiana, and Kansas were
The adoption of the second section was then moved ; it was as fol
SECTION 2. No territory shall be acquired by the United States, except
by discovery, and for naval and commercial stations, depots, and transit
routes, without the concurrence of a majority of all the Senators from
States which allow involuntary servitude, and a majority of all the Sena
tors from States which prohibit that relation ; nor shall territory be ac
quired by treaty, unless the votes of a majority of the Senators from each
class of States hereinbefore mentioned be cast as a part of the two-thirds
majority necessary to the ratification of such treaty.
The vote on this section was as follows :
AYES. Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey,
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia 11.
NOES. Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, North Car
olina, New Hampshire, Vermont 8.
New York and Kansas were divided.
The adoption of section three of the report, with the amendments,
was next moved. The amended section was as follows :
SECTION 3. Neither the Constitution nor any amendment thereof shall
be construed to give Congress power to regulate, abolish, or control,
within any State, the relation established or recognized by the laws
thereof touching persons held to labor or involuntary service therein, nor
to interfere with or abolish involuntary service in the District of Colum
bia without the consent of Maryland and without the consent of the
owners, or making the owners who do not consent just compensation ;
nor the power to interfere with or prohibit representatives and others
from bringing with them to the District of Columbia, retaining and
taking away, persons so held to labor or service; nor the power to in
terfere with or abolish involuntary service in places under the exclusive
jurisdiction of the United States within those States and Territories
where the same is established or recognized ; nor the power to prohibit
the removal or transportation of persons held to labor or involuntary
service in any State or territory of the United States to any other State or
THE PEACE CONFERENCE. 73
territory thereof where it is established or recognized by law or usage -
and the right during transportation, by sea or river, of touching at ports,
shores, and landings, and of landing in case of distress, shall exist; but
not the right of transit in or through any State or territory, or of sale or
traffic, against the law thereof. Nor shall Congress have power to
authorize any higher rate of taxation on persons held to labor or service
than on land.
The vote on the adoption of the section was as follows :
AYES. Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey;
North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rho de Island, Tennessee, Vir.
NOES. Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hamp
shire, Vermont 7.
So the section was adopted. Kansas and New York were divided.
The adoption of the fourth, section of the report, as amended, was
then moved ; it was as follows :
SECTION 4. The third paragraph of the second section of the fourth
article of the Constitution shall not be construed to prevent any of the
States, by appropriate legislation, and through the action of their judicial
and ministerial officers, from enforcing the delivery of fugitives from
labor to the person to whom such service or labor is due.
The vote on the adoption of this section was as follows :
AYES. Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland,
Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode
Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia 15.
NOES. Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire 4.
Thus the section was adopted, Kansas and New York were divided.
The adoption of the fifth section of the report as amended was then
moved ; it was as follows :
SECTION 5. The foreign slave-trade is hereby forever prohibited, and it
shall be the duty of Congress to pass laws to prevent the importation of
slaves, coolies, or persons held to service or labor into the United States
and the Territories from places beyond the limits thereof.
The vote on the adoption of this section resulted as follows :
AYES. Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland,
Missouri, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Kansas 16.
NOES. Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Virginia 5.
The section was thus adopted.
A motion was next made to adopt the sixth section as amended; it
was as follows:
SECTION 6. The first, third, and fifth sections, together with this sec
tion of these amendments, and the third paragraph of the second section
74 PRESIDENT LINCOLN S ADMINISTRATION.
of the first article of the Constitution, and the third paragraph of the
second section of the fourth article thereof, shall not be amended or abol
ished without the consent of all the States.
The vote on this section was as follows :
AYES. Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey,
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Kansas 11.
NOES. Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, North Caro
lina, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia 9.
New York was divided. So this section was adopted.
The motion was then made to adopt the seventh and last section as
amended ; it was as follows :
SECTION 7. Congress shall provide by law that the United States shall
pay to the owner the full value of his fugitive from labor, in all cases
where the marshal or other officer whose duty it was to arrest such fugi
tive, was prevented from doing so by violence or intimidation, from mobs
or other riotous assemblages, or when, after arrest, such fugitive was res
cued by like violence or intimidation, and the owner thereby deprived of
the same ; and the acceptance of such payment shall preclude the owner
from further claim to such fugitive. Congress shall provide by law for
securing to the citizens of each State the privileges and immunities of
citizens in the several States.
The vote on this section was as follows :
AYES. Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Marylnnd, New Jersey,
New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Kau-
NOES. Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, North Carolina, Vermont,
Thus the last section was adopted. New York was divided.
The adoption of the following resolution was then moved by Mr.
Franklin, of Pennsylvania :
Resolved, As the sense of this Convention, that the highest political
duty of every citizen of the United States is his allegiance to the Federal
Government created by the Constitution of the United States, and that
no State of this Union has any constitutional righ* to secede therefrom,
or to absolve the citizens of such State from their allegiance to the Gov
ernment of the United States.
It was moved to lay the resolution on the table. The vote was as
AYES. Delaware, Kentucky, Mn^land, Missouri, New Jersey, North
Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia 9.
NOES. Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,
New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Kan
ACTION OF CONGRESS. 75
Some amendments were then offered and laid on the table, when its
indefinite postponement was moved and carried by the following vote :
AYES. Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North
Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia 10.
NOES. Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,
New York was divided.
The following preamble was then offered by Mr. Guthrie, and
agreed to :
To the Congress of the United States :
The Convention assembled upon the invitation of the State of Virginia
to adjust the unhappy differences which now disturb the peace of the
Union and threaten its continuance, make known to the Congress of the
United States, that their body convened in the city of Washington on
the 4th instant, arid continued in session until the 27th.
There were in the body, when action was taken upon that which is
here submitted, one hundred and thirty-three commissioners, represent
ing the following States : Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachu
setts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky,
Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas.
They have approved what is herewith submitted, and respectfully re
quest that your honorable body will submit it to conventions in the
States as an article of amendment to the Constitution of the United
In the Senate, on the 2d day of March, a communication
was received from the President of the Peace Congress, com
municating the resolutions thus adopted in that body. They
were at once referred to a committee consisting of Messrs. Crit-
tenden, Bigler, Thomson, Seward, and Trumbull. The next
day they were reported to the Senate for its adoption, Messrs.
Seward and Trumbull, the minority of the Committee, dissent
ing from the majority, and proposing the adoption of a resolution
calling on the Legislatures of the States to express their will in
regard to calling a Convention for amending the Constitution.
The question then came up on adopting the resolutions of
the Peace Conference. Mr. Hunter, of Virginia, moved to
substitute the first of Mr. Crittenden s resolutions for the first
of those reported by the Committee. Mr. Crittenden opposed
76 PEESIDENT LINCOLN S ADMINISTRATION*
it, and urged the adoption of the propositions of the Peace
Conference in preference to his own. Mr. Mason, of Virginia,
opposed the resolutions of the Peace Conference, on the ground
that it would not satisfy the South. Mr. Baker, of Oregon,
advocated it. Mr. Green, of Missouri, opposed it as surren
dering every Southern principle, in which he was seconded
by Mr. Lane, of Oregon.
At this stage of the proceedings Mr. Douglas gave a new
turn to the form of the proceedings of the Senate, by moving
to take up the resolution adopted by the House to amend the
Constitution so as to prohibit forever any interference with
slavery in the States. This motion was carried. Mr. Pugh
moved to amend by substituting for this resolution the resolu
tions of Mr. Crittenden. This was rejected ayes 14, noes
25. Mr. Brigham, of Michigan, next moved to substitute a
resolution against any amendment of the Constitution, and in
favor of enforcing the laws. This was rejected ayes 13, noes
25. Mr. Grimes, of Iowa, then moved to substitute the reso
lution of Messrs. Seward and Trumbull, as the minority of the
Select Committee, calling on the State Legislatures to express
their will in regard to calling a Convention to amend the
Constitution. This was rejected ayes 14, noes 25. The
propositions of the Peace Conference were then moved by
Mr. Johnson, of Arkansas, and rejected ayes 3, noes 34.
Mr. Crittenden s resolutions were then taken up, and lost by
the following vote :
AYES. Messrs. Bayard, Bright, Bigler, Crittenden, Doug
las, Gwin, Hunter, Johnson of Tenn., Kennedy, Lane,
Latham, Mason, Nicholson, Polk, Pugh, Rice, Sebastian,
Thomson, and Wigfall 19.
N OES< Messrs. Anthony, Bingham, Chandler, Clark, Dixon,
Doolittle, Durkee, Fessenden, Foote, Foster, Grimes, Harlnn,
King, Morrill, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson,
and Wilson 20.
THE SECESSION MOVEMENT UNCHECKED. 77
The resolutions were thus lost in consequence of the with
drawal of Senators from the disaffected States. The question
was then taken on the House resolution to #mend the
Constitution so as to prohibit forever any amendment of the
Constitution interfering with slavery in any State, and the
resolution was adopted by a two -thirds vote ayes 24, nays