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peace and prosperity, but at our very existence as a people i When did the South ever place her hand on the North ? When did she ever interfere with her peculiar institutions ? When did she ever aim a blow at her peace and security ? When did she ever demand more than naked, sheer justice of the Union ? Never ! never! And can we reverse these questions, and have the same response from the North ? With what propriety or justice, then, can the Senator proclaim, hands off, to us—the aggressor to the aggressed ?
He must express his regret, that the Senator should be surprised into so hasty a course of remarks. He had habitually indicated, on this dangerous question, correct feelings, and was one of the last from whom he would have anticipated such remarks as fell from him ; and he felt assured that, in making them, he had not done justice to his liberal feelings on the subject.
[After some further remarks by Mr. Buchanan in reply, and Messrs. Hubbard, and Walker,
Mr. Calhoun said, that in compliance with the urgent wishes of his friends, rather than with his own judgment, he would consent to vote for the resolution as amended. It had undergone important modifications, making it out stronger than it was at first ; but yet it was still very feeble, and not at all suited to the occasion.
[On taking the question, the resolution as amended, was agreed to -Yeas, 35; nays, 9.
Jan. 12, 1838. The Senate resumed the consideration of the resolutions, the sixth being under consideration.]
Mr. Calhoun said, that frequent attacks had been made on the resolution under consideration in advance, which he did not think were altogether fair. The Senate had determined to consider each resolution by itself, on its own merits, beginning at the first. He felt himself bound by the determination, and, of course, did not feel at liberty to repel attacks made on resolutions in advance. We had now arrived at the sixth, and he would say one of the most important in the whole series. He had reviewed it with care, and believed it was critically true and correct in all its parts ; and now stood prepared to meet and repel, he trusted successfully, all attacks that might be made on it, from whatever quarter they might come; and that he might present the points distinctly to those who might desire to attack, he would repeat separately the various positions assumed in this resolution.
Its first and fundamental position is, that the Union rests on an equality among the several States that compose it. To support so obvious a truth, he did not deem it necessary to cite various parts of the constitution, which expressly recognized it ; nor to refer to the journals of the convention that formed the constitution, nor the debates of the conventions of the States by which it was adopted ; all of which would prove that it was constantly acted on as the principle on which the Union rested, and that, as such, it was watched throughout with the greatest care and jealousy. He would ask if there was any one at all conversant with the constitution, or the history of its formation and adoption, prepared to attack this fundamental position ?
The next position assumed was, that whatever destroyed this equality tended to destroy the Union itself. One so manifestly and irresistibly true, if the first be conceded, as not to admit of dispute.
The next declares that it is the solemn duty of all, but especially of this body, which represented the States in their corporate capacity, to resist all attempts to discriminate between the States, in the action of this Government, so as to give one an advantage over another, which is no less clear.
The next asserts, that to refuse to extend to the Southern and Western States any advantage fairly due them, and which might tend to strengthen them, or render them more secure, by extending their limits and population by the annexation of additional territories or new States, on the ground that their domestic institutions were sinful, immoral or otherwise obnoxious, would be contrary to that equality intended to be secured by the constitution alike to all the members of the Union. It claims nothing for the Southern and Western States on account of their domestic institutions. It simply asserts, that to withhold advantages on their account, to which they would otherwise be fairly entitled, would be contrary to the equality to which, as members of the Union, they were entitled. It does not affirm that new territory or States (Texas, in a word) should be annexed. That it left an open question, to be decided whenever it may be presented, on its general merits, in reference to the whole, as well as the adjacent section, and not on the ground of the peculiar character of the domestic institutions of the States of that section, on which the Vermont resolutions and the hundreds of petitions which have been presented place it. If the resolution goes further, or does not fully and unequivocally express what is intended, he stood prepared to modify it so as to place its intention beyond all doubt. All he regarded was the principle, which he deemed not only clear, but all-important, to the slaveholding States, and on that he trusted he would be permitted to have an expression of the opinion of the Senate.
Thus regarded, he would ask if there was any one who would venture to controvert this position ?
It is next and finally asserted in the resolution, that to withhold from the Southern and Western States the equality of advantages to which they are entitled, would be, in effect, to disfranchise them, and to subject them to all the burdens of the Government, without its advantges—a proposition too clear to admit of argument or illustration. He had now stated clearly and distinctly every position taken in the resolution, and he called on the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Clay), and others who had attacked it in advance, to bring forward their objections now, when the resolution is before us, and when their assaults can be fairly met. All he asked was, that their objections should be specific—no generalities ; no abstractions. (They have too deep an abhorrence of abstractions, he was sure, to rely on vague and general assertions.) State the particular position assailed, and make specific objections, and if he should not be able to repel them successfully, he would be more deceived than he ever was,-as he felt the utmost confidence in the correctness and strength of all the positions.
[Mr. Preston then moved to lay the resolution on the table, on the ground that this branch of the subject would be more appropriately discussed in connection with the resolutions introduced by him for the annexation of Texas to the Union, and also because it would be more advantageous to the interests of the South to take the question involved on the Texas resolutions. Mr. P. addressed the Senate in a speech of some length, and with much warmth, in support of the motion.]
Mr. Calhoun said, that he would assure his colleague that he had not the slightest intention to interfere with his resolution in reference to Texas; * nor did he think there could, by possibility, be any interference. They related to different objects. His was introduced, as he had frequently said, as antagonist to the Vermont resolutions, and the various petitions against the domestic institutions of the South Among other objections, they took position against the annexation of Texas to the Union, on the ground that our peculiar institutions were sinful and immoral. In drawing up these resolutions, he felt himself compelled to cover the whole ground assumed against us, and could not by possibility omit so prominent a one as the objection to the annexation of Texas, without a manifest surrender of one of our most important points to the abolitionists; but in covering it, he had drawn up his resolutions in general terms, and had omitted the name of Texas, so as to avoid, as far as possible, any question in relation to it.
* Mr. Calhoun's resolutions were introduced on the 27th of December, and Mr. Preston's on the 4th of January, on a previous notice, given early in the session.
The resolution of his colleague was, on the contrary, a direct question of annexation, which opened the whole ground in the broadest view of policy and the constitution. The only effect of the adoption of his resolution would be, to raise one of these questions, and that not the least embarrassing, and as such could have no possible injurious effect on the resolution offered by his colleague. But he understood his colleague to say, that a decision on his (Mr. C.'s) resolution could be had under his, which was broader, and that it would be more easy to get a favorable decision on the whole question, than on the isolated point which he presented.
Mr. C. said he could not but believe that his colleague was mistaken. Even an affirmative decision would not cover the broad and general principle of equality, and would discriminate between the institutions of the States of the Union, which his resolution asserted, and which he believed to be all-important to the slaveholding States to be recognized. Nothing more could be inferred from such a decision than that, under all the circumstances of the case, it was expedient to annex Texas, without a distinct recognition of any one principle on which it might be admitted. But he could not think, with his colleague, that it would be more easy to annex Texas than to pass the resolution under consideration. It presented but a single point, and that so unquestionable as to command the assent of all who did not deny so fundamental a principle of our Union as the political equality of