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"Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the congress may, by general laws, prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved and the effect thereof." Art. 4, sec. 1. Without this provision, a person against whom a judgment has been obtained, might remove with his property into another state, where the property could not be taken on execution without a new trial and judgment; which, at so great a distance from the residence of the creditor and his witnesses, would be very difficult and expensive, and perhaps impossible. Now, the proceedings of the court in which a judgment is obtained, if sent to the place where the debtor resides, have the same effect as in the state in which such proceedings were taken.

§2. There are several other cases which this provision is intended to meet. But, as is seen, the effect of these acts, records, and judicial proceedings, and the manner of proving them are to be prescribed by congress. In pursuance of the power here granted, congress has enacted, that a certificate under seal of the clerk of a court of record, transmitted to any state of the union, shall there be deemed evidence of the facts therein stated. But if the thing certified is a judicial proceeding, such sealed certificate must be accompanied by the certificate of the presiding judge or justice, that the attestation of the clerk is in due form. Acts of a state legislature, to be entitled to credit in another state, must have the seal of the state affixed to them.

§3. The next section of this article provides, that "the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all the immunities and privileges of citizens in the several states." This means that the citizens of any state going into other states, shall not, by the laws of those states, be deprived of any of the privileges of citizens; but shall be entitled to the privileges which are enjoyed by persons of the same description in the states to which they remove. Without such a provision, any state might deny to citizens coming into it from other states, the right to buy and hold real estate, or to become voters, or to enjoy equal privileges in trade or business. A state may, however, prescribe a certain term of residence therein as a qualification for voting at elections.

§4. The next clause of this section provides for apprehending "a person charged with crime, who shall flee from justice and be found in another state." The governor of the state from which such person has fled, sends a requisition to the governor of the state in which he is found, demanding his delivery to the proper officers, to be conveyed back for trial. Without such authority to apprehend criminals, they might escape justice by taking shelter in another state.

§5. In the same section it is provided, that "no person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due." This clause was intended for the benefit of the slaveholding states. By the common law, a slave escaping into a non-slaveholding state became free. As it was presumed that other northern states would follow Massachusetts in abolishing slavery, the southern states wanted some provision to enable them to reclaim their fugitive slaves.

§6. The manner in which slaves are to be reclaimed, is prescribed by an act of congress. The owner of a runaway slave, finding him in a free state, arrests him and brings him before a magistrate; and if he proves his title to the slave to the satisfaction of the magistrate, the slave is delivered to the owner or claimant. Free colored persons have sometimes been arrested, and, on false testimony, delivered to claimants, taken to slave states and held as slaves. Hence the opinion prevails extensively that a person claimed as a slave should be entitled to trial by a jury; and that the fact of his being a slave should be proved to the satisfaction of a jury before his delivery to a claimant. Many persons, believing freedom to be the natural right of all men, hold that all laws for returning fugitive slaves are wrong, and ought not to be obeyed.

§7. The first clause of the next section provides, that "new states may be admitted into this union," and requires the consent of congress and of the states concerned, to the formation of new states from old ones. A provision of this kind was deemed necessary in view of the large extent of vacant lands within the United States, and of the inconvenient size of some of the states then existing. The territory north-west of the Ohio river had been ceded to the general government by the states claiming the same; and a territorial government had already been established therein by the celebrated ordinance of 1787. From this territory have since been formed and admitted, the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

§8. South of the Ohio river also was a large tract, principally unsettled, within the chartered limits of Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia, extending west to the Mississippi river, from which, it was presumed, new states would be formed. Justice, however, to these states, as well as to others in all future time, required the general provision above mentioned, that "no state should be divided without the consent of its legislature and of congress."

§9. The next clause authorizes congress "to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory and other property of the United States." If the general government has power to acquire territory, it must have the right to exercise authority over it. This express grant establishes beyond doubt a power which had been questioned under the confederation. In pursuance of the power here granted, congress has made rules and regulations for governing the people of different portions of such territory previously to their admission as states into the union.

§10. The next section declares, that "the United States shall guaranty to every state in this union a republican form of government; and shall protect each of them against invasion, and on the application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened,) against domestic violence." Art. 4, sec. 4. The propriety of a power to prevent a state from changing its government to any other than a republican form, is evident. It is equally proper that a state, when invaded by a foreign enemy, or in case of an insurrection within its own borders, should have protection and aid from the general government; especially as the states have surrendered to it the right to keep troops or ships of war in time of peace. (Art. 1, sec. 10.)