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The July 1855 Lexington Pro-Slavery Convention was held to discuss actions and resolutions which included the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, in reaction against eastern state colonization companies, and interference with slavery.  The following is their address to the people of the United States.


We have been appointed by a Convention of citizens of Missouri, mainly representing that portion of the State lying contiguous to the Territory of Kansas, to lay before you some suggestions, upon a topic which vitally concerns our State, and which, it is believed, may to a serious extent affect the general welfare of our country.

We propose to discharge this duty by a concise and candid exposition of facts, touching our condition, and its bearing upon Kansas, accompanied with such reflections as the facts naturally suggest.

That portion of Missouri which borders on Kansas contains, as nearly as can now be ascertained, a population of fifty thousand slaves, and their estimated value, at the prices prevailing here, is about twenty-five millions of dollars. As the whole State contains but about one hundred thousand slaves, it will be seen that one-half of the entire slave population of Missouri is located in the eighteen counties bordering on Kansas, the greater portion of which is separated from that Territory by no natural boundary, and is within a day's ride of the line. This part of our State is distinguished by an uniform fertility of soil, a temperate and healthful climate, and a population progressing rapidly in all the elements that constitute a prosperous community. Agriculture is in a most flourishing condition, and the towns and villages which have sprung up, indicate a steady progress towards wealth, refinement and commercial importance. Nor have the higher interests of education, religion and science, been neglected; but common schools, and respectable institutions of a higher grade, and churches of every Christian denomination, are found in every county. The great staple of this district is hemp, although tobacco, and corn, and wheat are also largely produced. The culture of hemp has been found profitable,--more so than cotton in the South; and this fact, with the additional ones, that almost every foot of land within the counties alluded to, is wonderfully adapted by nature to its production, in greater quantities, and finer qualities, and at smaller cost, than in any other State in the Union, and that the climate is such as to permit the growers of this article to reside on their estates, will readily explain and account for the unexampled growth of the country. Already it constitutes the most densely populated portion of our State, and its remarkable fertility of soil, and general salubrity of climate, with the facilities for outlet furnished by a noble river, running through its midst, and two great railroads, destined soon to traverse its upper and lower border, will render it at no distant period, if left undisturbed, as desirable and flourishing a district as can be found in the Mississippi Valley.

An idea has to some extent prevailed abroad, that Missouri contained but a very small slave population, and that the permanence of this institution here was threatened by the existence of at least a respectable minority of her citizens, ready and anxious to abolish it, and that only a slight external pressure was necessary to accomplish this purpose. We regret that this opinion has to some extent received countenance from the publication and patronage of journals in our commercial metropolis, evidently aiming at such a result. Without, however, going into any explanation of political parties here, which would be entirely foreign to our purpose, we think it proper to state, that the idea above alluded to is unfounded; and that no respectable party can be found in this State, outside of St. Louis, prepared to embark in any such schemes. In that city, constituting the great outlet of our commerce, as well as that of several other States and Territories, it will not seem surprising that its heterogeneous population should furnish a foothold for the wildest and most visionary projects. St. Louis was, however, represented in our Convention, and it is not thought unwarrantable to assume that the resolutions adopted by this body have received the cordial approbation of a large and influential portion of her citizens. Other counties, besides St. Louis, outside of the district to which our observations have been principally directed, were also represented by delegates; and had not the season of the year, the short notice of its intended session, and the locality where the Convention was held--remote from the centre of the State--prevented, we doubt not that delegates from every county in the State would have been in attendance. Indeed, a portion of the upper Mississippi and lower Mississippi counties are as deeply, though less directly interested in this question, as any part of this State; and their citizens are known to accord most heartily in the sentiments and actions of Western Missouri. Even in the south-west part of our State, from the Osage to the borders of Arkansas, where there are but few slaves, the proceedings of public meetings indicate the entire and active sympathy of their people. From the general tone of the public press throughout the State, a similar inference is deducible, and, we feel warranted in asserting, a very general, if not unanimous concurrence in the principles adopted by the Lexington Convention. Those principles are embodied in a series of resolutions appended to this address, and which, we are happy to say, were adopted with entire unanimity, by a body representing every shade of political opinion to be found in the interior of our State. These facts are conclusive of the condition of public sentiment in Missouri. The probabilities of changes here in reference to the question of slavery, are not essentially different from what they are in Tennessee, or Virginia, or Kentucky. In relation to numbers, a reference to the census shows that Missouri contains double the number of Arkansas, nearly double the number of Texas, and about an equal number with Maryland.

These facts are stated with a view to a proper understanding of our position in reference to the settlement of Kansas, and the legitimate and necessary interest felt in the progress and character of that settlement. Previous to the repeal of the Congressional restriction of 1820, by which Missouri was thrown into an isolated position in reference to the question of slavery, and made a solitary exception to a general rule, her condition in regard to the territory west of her border, and yet north of the geographical line which Congress had fixed as the terminus of Southern institutions, was truly unenviable. With two States on her northern and eastern border, in many portions of which the Constitution of the United States, and the Fugitive Slave Law, passed in pursuance thereof, were known to be as inefficacious for the protection of our rights as they would have been in London or Canada, it was left to the will of Congress, by enforcing the restriction of 1820, to cut Missouri off almost entirely from all territorial connexion with States having institutions congenial to her own, and with populations ready and willing to protect and defend them. No alternative was left to that body but to repeal the restriction, and thus leave to the Constitution and the laws of nature, the settlement of our territories, or, by retaining the restriction, indirectly to abolish slavery in Missouri. If the latter alternative had to be selected, it would have been an act of charity and mercy to the slaveholders of Missouri, to warn them in time of the necessity of abandoning their homes, or manumitting or selling their slaves--to give them ample time to determine between the sacrifice of fifty millions of slave property, or seventy millions of landed estate. Direct legislation would have been preferable to indirect legislation, leading to the same result, and the enforcement of the restriction in the settlement of Kansas was virtually the abolition of slavery in Missouri. But Congress acted more wisely, as we think, and with greater fidelity to the Constitution and the Union.

The history of the Kansas-Nebraska bill is known to the country. It abolished the geographical line of 36 deg. 30 min., by which the limits of slavery were restricted, and substituted a constitutional and just principle, which left to the settlers of the territories to adopt such domestic institutions as suited themselves. If ever there was a principle calculated to commend itself to all reasonable men, and reconcile all conflicting interests, this would seem to have been the one. It was the principle of popular sovereignty--the basis upon which our independence had been achieved--and it was therefore supposed to be justly dear to all Americans, of every latitude and every creed. But fanaticism was not satisfied. The abolitionists and their allies moved heaven and earth to accomplish its defeat, and although unsuccessful, they did not therefore despair. Out-voted in Congress, receiving no countenance from the Executive, they retired to another theatre of action, and, strange to say, they prostituted an ancient and respectable Commonwealth--one of the Old Thirteen--to commence, in her sovereign capacity as a State, with the means and imposing attitude incident to such a position, a crusade against slavery, novel in its character, more alarming in its features, and likely to be more fatal in its consequences, than all the fanatical movements hitherto attempted, since the appearance of abolitionism as a political party in 1835. They originated and matured a scheme, never before heard of or thought of in this country, the object and effect of which was to evade the principle of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and in lieu of _non-intervention by Congress_, to substitute _active intervention by the States_. An act of incorporation was passed; a company with a capital of five millions was chartered; and this company was authorized to enlist an army of mercenary fanatics, and transport them to Kansas. Recruiting officers were stationed in places most likely to furnish the proper material; premiums were offered for recruits; the public mind was stimulated by glowing and false descriptions of the country proposed to be occupied, and a _Hessian_ band of mercenaries was thus prepared and forwarded, to commence and carry on a war of extermination against slavery.

To call these people _emigrants_, is a sheer perversion of language. They are not sent to cultivate the soil, to better their social condition, to add to their individual comforts, or the aggregate wealth of the nation. They do not move from choice or taste, or from any motive affecting, or supposed to affect, themselves or their families. They have none of the marks of the old pioneers, who cut down the forests of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana, or levelled the cane brakes of Tennessee and Mississippi, or broke up the plains of Illinois and Missouri. They are mostly ignorant of agriculture; picked up in cities or villages, they of course have no experience as farmers, and if left to their unaided resources--if not clothed and fed by the same power which has effected their transportation--they would starve or freeze. They are _hirelings_--an army of hirelings--recruited and shipped indirectly by a sovereign state of this Union, to make war upon an institution _now_ existing in the Territory to which they are transplanted, and thence to inflict a fatal blow upon the resources, the prosperity and the peace of a neighboring State. They are _military_ colonies, planted by a State government, to subdue a territory opened to settlement by Congress, and take exclusive possession thereof. In addition to that _esprit du corps_, which of necessity pervades such an organization, they have in common a reckless and desperate fanaticism, which teaches them that slavery is a sin, and that they are doing God's service in hastening its destruction. They have been picked and culled from the ignorant masses, which Old England and New England negro philanthropy has stirred up and aroused to madness on this topic, and have been selected with reference to their views on this topic alone. They are men with a single idea; and to carry out this, they have been instructed and taught to disregard the laws of God and man; to consider bloodshed and arson, insurrection, destruction of property, or servile war, as the merest trifles, compared with the glory and honor of seducing a single slave from his master, or harboring and protecting the thief who has carried him off!

That such a population would be fatal to the peace and security of the neighboring State of Missouri, and immediate destruction of such owners of slaves as had already moved to the Territory of Kansas, is too clear to admit of argument. A horde of our western savages, with avowed purposes of destruction to the white race, would be less formidable neighbors.

The colonization of Kansas with a population of this character was a circumstance which aroused attention, and excited alarm among our citizens here, and those who had already emigrated to Kansas. Could any other result have been expected? Did sensible men at the North--did the abolitionists themselves, expect any other?

Missouri contained, as we have seen, one hundred thousand slaves, and their value amounted to fifty millions of dollars. Had these fanatics who pronounced slavery an individual sin, and a national curse, ever yet pointed out any decently plausible scheme by which it could be removed? The entire revenue of our State, for ordinary fiscal purposes, scarcely reaches five hundred thousand dollars, and the abolition of slavery here would involve the destruction of productive capital estimated at fifty millions of dollars, or a taxation upon the people of five millions of dollars annually, which is the legalized interest upon this amount of capital, besides the additional tax which would be necessary to raise a sinking fund to pay off the debt created. The Constitution of Missouri prohibits the Legislature from passing laws emancipating slaves, without a full compensation to their owners; and it is therefore apparent, that ten-fold the entire revenue of the State would be barely sufficient to pay the interest upon a sum equivalent to the actual moneyed value of the slaves, without providing any means to extinguish the principal which such a debt would create. We omit altogether, in this calculation, the impracticability and impolicy and cruelty to both races, of liberating the slaves here, with no provision for their removal, and the additional debt which such removal would create, equal, in all probability, to that occasioned by their mere emancipation. It would seem then, that the merest glance at the statistical tables of our State, showing its population and revenue, must have satisfied the most sanguine abolitionist of the futility of his schemes. If the investigation was pursued further, and our estimate was made to embrace the three millions and a half of slaves now in the southern and south-western States, and the billions to which our computation must ascend in order to ascertain their value in money, this anti-slavery crusade, which presents itself in a form of open aggression against the white race, without the semblance or pretext of good to that race for which the abolitionist professes so much regard, and which stands so much higher in his affections than his own, is seen to be one of mere folly and wickedness, or, what is perhaps worse, a selfish and sectional struggle for political power.

It is a singular fact, and one worthy of notice in this connexion, that in the history of African slavery up to this time, no government has ever yet been known to abolish it, which fairly represented the interests and opinions of the governed. Great Britain, it is true, abolished slavery in Jamaica, but the planters of Jamaica had no potential voice in the British Parliament. The abolition of slavery in New England, and in the middle States, can hardly be cited as an exception, since that abrogation was not so much the result of positive legislation, as it was of natural causes--the unfitness of climate and productions to slave labor. It is well known to those familiar with the jurisprudence of this country, and of England, that slavery has been in no instance created by positive statutory enactment, nor has it been thus abolished in any country, when the popular will was paramount in legislative action. Its existence and non-existence appears to depend entirely upon causes beyond the reach of governmental action, and this fact should teach some dependence upon the will of an overruling Providence, which works out its ends in a mode, and at a time, not always apparent to finite mortals.

The history of some of our slaveholding States, in relation to efforts of this character, it would seem, ought to be conclusive, at least, against those who have no actual interests involved, and whom a proper sense of self-respect, if not of constitutional obligation, should restrain from impertinent interference. Virginia in 1831, and Kentucky more recently, were agitated from centre to circumference by a bold and unrestricted discussion of the subject of emancipation. Upon the hustings and in legislative assemblies, the subject was thoroughly examined, and every project which genius or philanthropy could suggest, was investigated. Brought forward in the Old Dominion, under the sanction of names venerated and respected throughout the limits of the commonwealth--well known to have been a cherished project of her most distinguished statesmen--favored by the happening of a then recent servile disturbance, and patronized by some of the most patriotic and enlightened citizens, the scheme nevertheless failed, without a show of strength or a step in advance towards the object contemplated. The magnitude of the difficulties to be overcome was so great, and so obvious, as to strike alike the emancipationists and their adversaries. The result has been, both in Virginia and Kentucky, that slavery, to use the language of one of Kentucky's eloquent and distinguished sons, and one, too, of the foremost in the work of emancipation, "has been accepted as a permanent part of their social system." Can it be that there is a destitution of honesty--of intelligence--of patriotism and piety in slaveholding States, and that these qualities are alone to be found in Great Britain and the northern free States? If not, the conclusion must be, that the difficulties in the way of such an enterprise exceed all the calculations of statesmanship and philosophy; and their removal must await the will of that Being, whose prerogative it is to make crooked paths straight, and justify the ways of God to man.

We have no thought of discussing the subject of slavery. Viewed in its social, moral or economical aspects, it is regarded, as the resolutions of the Convention declare, as solely and exclusively a matter of State jurisdiction, and therefore, one which does not concern the Federal Government, or the States where it does not exist. We have merely adverted to the fact, in connexion with the recent abolition movements upon Kansas, that amidst all their fierce denunciations of slavery for twenty years past, these fanatics have never yet been able to suggest a plan for its removal, consistent with the safety of the white race--saying nothing of constitutional guarantees, Federal and State.

The colonization scheme of Massachusetts, as we have said, excited alarm in Missouri. Its obvious design was to operate further than the mere prevention of the natural expansion of slavery. It was intended to narrow its existing limits,--to destroy all equilibrium of power between the North and the South, and leave the slaveholder at the will of a majority, ready to disregard constitutional obligations, and carry out to their bitter end the mandates of ignorance, prejudice and bigotry. Its success manifestly involved a radical change in our Federal Government, or its total overthrow. If Kansas could be thus abolitionized, every additional part of the present public domain hereafter opened to settlement, and every future accession of territory, would be the subject of similar experiments, and an exploded Wilmot Proviso thus virtually enforced throughout an extended domain still claimed as _national_, and still bearing on its military ensigns the stars and stripes of the Union. If the plan was constitutional and legal, it must be conceded that it was skillfully contrived, and admirably adapted to its ends. It was also eminently practicable, if no resistance was encountered, since the States adopting it contained a surplus population which could be bought up and shipped, whilst the South, which had an interest in resisting, had no such people among her white population. The Kansas-Nebraska law, too, which was so extremely hateful to the fanatics, and has constituted the principal theme of their recent denunciations, would be a dead letter, both as it regarded the two Territories for which it was particularly framed, and as a precedent to Congress for the opening of other districts to settlement. The old Missouri restriction could have done no more, and the whole purpose of the anti-slavery agitators, both in and out of Congress, was quietly accomplished. But the scheme failed--as it deserved to fail; and as the peace, prosperity, and union of our country required it should fail. It was a scheme totally at variance with the genius of our government, both State and Federal, and with the social institutions which these governments were designed to protect, and its success would have been as fatal to those who contrived it, as it could have been to those intended to be its victims.

The circumstance of novelty is entitled to its weight in politics as well as law. The abolition irruption upon Kansas is without precedent in our history. Seventy-nine years of our national life have rolled by; Territory after Territory has been annexed, or settled, and added to the galaxy of States, until from thirteen we have increased to thirty-two; yet it never before entered into the head of any statesman, North or South, to devise a plan of acquiring exclusive occupation of a Territory by State colonization. To Massachusetts belongs the honor of its invention, and we trust she will survive its defeat. But, she is not the Massachusetts, we must do justice to her past history to say, that she was in the times of her Adams', her Hancocks, and her Warrens; nor yet is she where she stood in more recent times, when her Websters, and Choates, and Winthrops, led the van of her statesmen. Her legislative halls are filled with ruthless fanatics, dead to the past and reckless to the future; her statute books are polluted with enactments purporting to annul the laws of Congress, passed in pursuance, and by reason of the special requirements of the Constitution; and her senatorial chairs at Washington are filled by a rhetorician and a bigot, one of whom studies to disguise in the drapery of a classic elocution, the most hideous and treasonable forms of fanaticism; whilst his colleague is pleased to harangue a city rabble with open and unadulterated disunionism, associated with the oracles of abolitionism and infidelity--a melancholy spectacle to the descendants of the compatriots of Benjamin Franklin!

No southern or slaveholding State has ever attempted to colonize a Territory. Our public lands have been left to the occupancy of such settlers as soil and climate invited. The South has sent no armies to force slave labor upon those who preferred free labor. Kentucky sprung from Virginia, as did Tennessee from North Carolina, and Kansas will from Missouri--from contiguity of territory, and similarity of climate. Emigration has followed the parallels of latitude and will continue to do so, unless diverted by such organizations as Emigrant Aid Societies and Kansas Leagues.

It has been said that the citizens of Massachusetts have an undoubted right to emigrate to Kansas; that this right may be exercised individually, or in families, or in larger private associations; and that associated enterprise, under the sanction of legislative enactments, is but another and equally justifiable form of emigration. Political actions, like those of individuals, must be judged by their motives and effects. Unquestionably, emigration, both individual and collective, from the free States to the South, and, _vice versa_, from the slave States to the North, has been progressing from the foundation of our government to the present day, without comment and without objection. It is not pretended that such emigration, even if fostered by State patronage, would be illegal, or in any respect objectionable. The wide expanse of the fertile West, and the deserted wastes of the sunny South, invite occupation; and no man, from the southern extremity of Florida to the northern boundary of Missouri, has ever objected to an emigrant simply because he was from the North, and preferred free labor to that of slaves. Upon this subject he is allowed to consult his own taste, convenience, and conscience; and it is expected that he will permit his neighbors to exercise the same privilege. But, no one can fail to distinguish between an honest, _bona fide_ emigration, prompted by choice or necessity, and an organized colonization with offensive purposes upon the institutions of the country proposed to be settled. Nor can there be any doubt in which class to place the movements of Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Societies and Kansas Leagues. Their motives have been candidly avowed, and their objects boldly proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of the land. Were this not the case, it would still be impossible to mistake them. Why, we might well enquire, if simple emigration was in view, are these extraordinary efforts confined to the Territory of Kansas? Is Nebraska, which was opened to settlement by the same law, less desirable, less inviting to northern adventurers, than Kansas? Are Iowa, and Washington, and Oregon, and Minnesota, and Illinois and Michigan, filled up with population--their lands all occupied, and furnishing no room for Massachusetts emigrants? Is Massachusetts herself overrun with population--obliged to rid herself of paupers whom she cannot feed at home? Or, is Kansas, as eastern orators have insinuated, a newly discovered paradise--a modern El Dorado, where gold and precious stones can be gathered at pleasure; or an Arcadia, where nature is so bountiful as not to need the aid of man, and fruits and vegetables of every desirable description spontaneously spring up?

There can be but one answer to these questions, and that answer shows conclusively the spirit and intent of this miscalled and pretended emigration. _It is an anti-slavery movement._ As such it was organized and put in motion by an anti-slavery legislature; as such, the organized army was equipped in Massachusetts, and transported to Kansas; and, as such, it was met there and defeated.

If further illustration was needed of the illegality of these movements upon Kansas, we might extend our observations to the probable reception of similar movements upon a State. If the Massachusetts legislature, or that of any other State, have the right to send an army of abolitionists into Kansas, they have the same right to transport them to Missouri. We are not apprised of any provisions in the constitutions or laws of the States, which in this respect distinguishes their condition from that of a territory. We have no laws, and we presume no slaveholding State has, which forbids the emigration of non-slaveholders. Such laws, if passed, would clearly conflict with the Federal Constitution. The southern and south-western slaveholding States are as open to emigration from non-slaveholding States as Kansas. They differ only in the price of land and the density of population. Let us suppose, then, that Massachusetts should turn her attention to Texas, and should ascertain that the population of that State was nearly divided between those who favored and those who opposed slavery, and that one thousand votes would turn the scale in favor of emancipation, and, acting in accordance with her world-wide philanthropy, she should resolve to transport the thousand voters necessary to abolish slavery in Texas, how would such a movement be received there? Or, to reverse the proposition, let it be supposed that South Carolina, with her large slaveholding population, should undertake to transport a thousand slaveholders to Delaware, with a view to turn the scale in that State, now understood to be rapidly passing over to the list of free States, would the gallant sons of that ancient State, small as she is territorially, submit to such interference? Now, the institutions of Kansas are as much fixed and as solemnly guaranteed by statute, as those of Delaware or Texas. The laws of Kansas Territory may be abrogated by succeeding legislatures; but, so also may the laws, and even the constitutions, of Texas and Delaware. Kansas only differs from their condition in her limited resources, her small population, and her large amount of marketable lands. There is no difference in principle between the cases supposed; if justifiable and legal in the one, it is equally so in the other. They differ only in point of practicability and expediency; the one would be an outrage, easily perceived, promptly met, and speedily repelled; the other is disguised under the forms of emigration, and meets with no populous and organized community to resent it. We are apprised that it is said, that the Kansas legislature was elected by fraud, and constitute no fair representation of the opinions of the people of the Territory. This is evidently the excuse of the losing party, to stimulate renewed efforts among their friends at home; but even this is refuted by the record. The Territorial Governor of Kansas, a gentleman not suspected of, or charged with partiality to slavery or to its advocates, has solemnly certified under his official seal, that the statement is false; that a large majority of the legislature were duly and legally elected. Even in the districts where Governor Reeder set aside the elections for illegality, the subsequent returns of the special elections ordered by him, produced the same result, except in a single district. There is, then, no pretext left, and it is apparent, that to send an army of abolitionists to Kansas to destroy slavery existing there, and recognized by her laws, is no more to be justified on the part of the Massachusetts legislature, than it would be to send a like force to Missouri, with the like purposes. The object might be more easily and safely accomplished in the one case than in the other, but in both cases it is equally repugnant to every principle of international comity, and likely to prove equally fatal to the harmony and peace of the Union.

We conclude, then, that this irruption upon Kansas by Emigrant Aid Societies and Kansas Leagues, under the patronage of the Massachusetts legislature, is to be regarded in no other light than a new phase of abolitionism, more practical in its aims, and therefore more dangerous than any form it has yet assumed. We have shown it to be at variance with the true intent of the act of Congress, by which the Territory was opened to settlement; at variance with the spirit of the Constitution of the United States, and with the institutions of the Territory, already recognized by law; totally destructive of that fellowship and good feeling which should exist among citizens of confederated States; ruinous to the security, peace and prosperity of a neighboring State; unprecedented in our political annals up to this date, and pregnant with the most disastrous consequences to the harmony and stability of the Union. Thus far its purposes have been defeated; but renewed efforts are threatened. Political conventions at the north and north-west have declared for the repeal of the Kansas-Nebraska law, and, anticipating a failure in this direction, are stimulating the anti-slavery sentiment to fresh exertions, for abolitionizing Kansas after the Massachusetts fashion. We have discharged our duty in declaring the light in which such demonstrations are viewed here, and our firm belief of the spirit by which they will be met. If civil war and ultimate disunion are desired, a renewal of these efforts will be admirably adapted to such purposes. Missouri has taken her position in the resolutions adopted by the Lexington Convention, and from that position she will not be likely to recede. It is based upon the Constitution--upon justice, and equality of rights among the States. What she has done, and what she is still prepared to do, is in self-defence and for self-preservation; and from these duties she will hardly be expected to shrink. With her, everything is at stake; the security of a large slave property, the prosperity of her citizens, and their exemption from perpetual agitation and border feuds; whilst the emissaries of abolition are pursuing a phantom--an abstraction, which, if realized, could add nothing to their possessions or happiness, and would be productive of decided injury to the race for whose benefit they profess to labor. If slavery is an evil, and it is conceded that Congress cannot interfere with it in the States, it is most manifest that its diffusion through a new territory, where land is valueless and labor productive, tends greatly to ameliorate the condition of the slaves. Opposition to the extension of slavery is not, then, founded upon any philanthropic views, or upon any love for the slave. It is a mere grasp for political power, beyond what the Constitution of the United States concedes; and it is so understood by the leaders of the movement. And this additional power is not desired for constitutional purposes--for the advancement of the general welfare, or the national reputation. For such purposes the majority in the North is already sufficient, and no future events are likely to diminish it. The slaveholding States are in a minority, but so far, a minority which has commanded respect in the national councils. It has answered, and we hope will continue to subserve the purposes of self-protection. Conservative men from other quarters have come up to the rescue, when the rights of the South have been seriously threatened. But it is essential to the purposes of self-preservation, that this minority should not be materially weakened; it is essential to the preservation of our present form of government, that the slave States should retain sufficient power to make effectual resistance against outward aggression upon an institution peculiar to them alone. Parchment guarantees, as all history shows, avail nothing against an overwhelming public clamor. The fate of the Fugitive Slave Law affords an instructive warning on the subject, and shows that the most solemn constitutional obligations will be evaded or scorned, where popular prejudice resists their execution. The South must rely on herself for protection, and to this end her strength in the Federal Government cannot be safely diminished.

If indeed it be true, as public men at the North have declared, and political assemblages have endorsed, that a determination has been reached in that quarter to refuse admission to any more slave States, there is an end to all argument on the subject. To reject Kansas, or any other Territory from the Union, simply and solely because slavery is recognized within her limits, would be regarded here, and, we presume, throughout the South and South-west, as an open repudiation of the Constitution--a distinct and unequivocal step towards a dissolution of the Union. We presume it would be so regarded everywhere, North and South. Taken in connexion with the abrogation of that provision of the Constitution which enforces the rights of the owners of slaves in all the States of the Union, into which they might escape, which has been effected _practically_ throughout nearly all the free States, and more formally by solemn legislative enactments in a portion of them, the rejection of Kansas on account of slavery would be disunion in a form of grossest insult to the sixteen slave States now comprehended in the nation. It would be a declaration that slavery was incompatible with republican government, in the face of at least _two formal recognitions_ of its legality, _in terms_, by the Federal Constitution.

We trust that such counsels have not the remotest prospect of prevailing in our National Legislature, and will not dwell upon the consequence of their adoption. We prefer to anticipate a returning fidelity to national obligations--a faithful adherence to the Constitutional guarantees, and the consequent prospect--cheering to the patriot of this and other lands--of a continued and _perpetual_ UNION.


                                    WM. B. NAPTON, _Chairman_.

                                    STERLING PRICE,

                                    M. OLIVER,

                                    S. H. WOODSON.