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lative power in some particular manner, on some particular subject. ... But that a treaty with a foreign nation can deprive the Congress of any part of the legislative power conferred by the people, so that it no longer can legislate as it was empowered by the Constitution to do, I more than doubt. ...

But, in my judgment, this Treaty contains no stipulation in any manner affecting the action of the United States respecting the Territory in question. ... In my opinion, this Treaty has no bearing on the present question.

For these reasons, I am of opinion that so much of the several Acts of Congress as prohibited slavery and involuntary servitude within that part of the Territory of Wisconsin lying north of thirtysix degrees thirty minutes north latitude, and west of the River Mississippi, were constitutional and valid laws.

In my opinion, the judgment of the Circuit Court should be reversed, and the cause remanded for a new trial.

No. 114. Lecompton Constitution

November 7, 1857

A FREE State convention sitting at Topeka, in Kansas Territory, from Oct. 23 to Nov. 5, 1855, drew up a State constitution prohibiting slavery, which was submitted to the people Dec. 15, and adopted by a vote of 1,731 to 46, only free State men voting. A bill to admit Kansas under this constitution passed the House July 3, 1856, but failed in the Senate. A free State legislature, assuming to meet under the Topeka constitution, was dispersed by the United States troops, and a period of civil war in the Territory followed. September 5, 1857, a convention called by the proslavery legislature of the Territory met at Lecompton and drew up a constitution, which was submitted to the people for adoption "with slavery” or “without slavery.” The free State men, who objected to having the Lecompton constitution on any terms, refrained from voting, and Dec. 21 the constitution "with slavery" was adopted by a vote of 6,143, against 589 for the constitution “without slavery.” In the meantime, however, the free State party had got control of the Territorial legislature, and Jan. 4, 1858, the constitution was rejected by a majority of more than 10,000. A bill to admit Kansas under the Lecompton constitution passed the Senate March 23, 1858, by a vote of 33 to 25. April 1 the House, by a vote of 120 to 112, substituted a bill resubmitting the constitution to popular vote. The two Houses then compromised on the “English bill” (act of May 4, 1858), “according to which a substitute for the land ordinance of the Lecompton constitution was to be submitted to

popular vote in Kansas; if it was accepted, the State was to be considered ai admitted; if it was rejected, the Lecompten constitution was to be considered as rejected by the people, and no further constitutional convention was to be held until a census should have coc vn that the population of the Territory equalled or exceeded that required a representative” (Johnston). August 3 the land ordinance was rejected by a vote of 11,088 to 1,788. The Wyandotte constitution, prohibiting slavery, was ratified by popular vote Oct. 4. 1859. Under this constitution Kansas was admitted to the Union Jan. 29, 1861.

The following extracts comprise the provisions of the Lecompton constitution relating to slavery, the status of negroes, and ratification.

REFERENCES. - Text in Poore's Federal and State Constitutions, I., 598613, passim. For the struggle in Congress over the admission of Kansas, see the House and Senate Journals, 34th, 35th, and 36th Cong., and the Cong. Globe.


SEC. 25. It shall be the duty of all civil officers of this State to use due diligence in the securing and rendition of persons held to service or labor in this State, either of the States or Territories of the United States; and the legislature shall enact such laws as may be necessary for the honest and faithful carrying out of this provision of the constitution.



SECTION 1. The right of property is before and higher than any constitutional sanction, and the right of the owner of a slave to such slave and its increase is the same, and as inviolable as the right of the owner of any property whatever. SEC. 2.

The legislature shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of the owners, or without paying the owners previous to their emancipation a full equivalent in money for the slaves so emancipated. They shall have no power to prevent emigrants to the State from bringing with them such persons as are deemed slaves by the laws of any one of the United States or Territories, so long as any person of the same age or description shall be continued in slavery by the laws of this State: Provided, That such person or slave be the bona-fide property of such emigrants: And provided also, That laws may be passed to prohibit the introduction into this State of slaves who have committed high crimes in other States or Territories. They shall have power to pass laws to permit the owners of slaves to emancipate them, saving the rights of creditors, and preventing them from becoming a public charge. They shall have power to oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity, to provide for them necessary food and clothing, to abstain from all injuries to them extending to life or limb, and, in case of their neglect or refusal to comply with the direction of such laws, to have such slave or slaves sold for the benefit of the owner or owners.

SEC. 3. In the prosecution of slaves for crimes of higher grade than petit larceny, the legislature shall have no power to deprive them of an impartial trial by a petit jury.

SEC. 4. Any person who shall maliciously dismember or deprive a slave of life shall suffer such punishment as would be inflicted in case the like offence had been committed on a free white person, and on the like proof, except in case of insurrection of such slave.

BILL OF RIGHTS. 23. Free negroes shall not be permitted to live in this State under any circumstances.


Sec. 7. This constitution shall be submitted to the Congress of the United States at its next ensuing session .

Before this constitution shall be sent to Congress, asking for admission into the Union as a State, it shall be submitted to all the white male inhabitants of this Territory, for approval or disapproval, as follows: ... The voting shall be by ballot. The judges of said election shall cause to be kept two poll-books by two clerks, by them appointed. The ballots cast at said election shall be endorsed, “Constitution with slavery,” and “Constitution with no slavery.” ... The president [of the convention] with two or more members of this convention, shall examine said poll-books, and if it shall appear upon said examination that a majority of the legal votes cast at said election be in favor of the Constitution with slavery," he shall immediately have the same transmitted to the Congress of the United States, as hereinbefore

provided; but if, upon such examination of said poll-books, it shall appear that a majority of the legal votes cast at said election be in favor of the “Constitution with no slavery,” then the article providing for slavery shall be stricken from this constitution by the president of this convention, and slavery shall no longer exist in the State of Kansas, except that the right of property in slaves now in this Territory shall in no manner be interferred with, and shall have transmitted the constitution, so ratified, (to Congress the constitution, so ratified,) to the Congress of the United States, as hereinbefore provided.

No. 115.

South Carolina Ordinance of


December 20, 1860 It was clear that the success of the Republicans in the election of 1860 would mean the exclusion of slavery from the Territories. The legislature of South Carolina met Nov. 4 to choose presidential electors, and remained in session until it was known that Lincoln had been elected. On the 7th an act was passed calling a State convention, to meet at Columbia Dec. 17, to consider the question of withdrawing from the Union. The convention met at the time and place appointed, but adjourned to Charleston because of an epidemic of small-pox in Columbia. On the 20th an ordinance of secession was unanimously adopted by the one hundred and sixty-nine delegates present, and the president of the convention proclaimed South Carolina to be “an independent Commonwealth.” On the 21st the Representatives of the State in Congress announced their withdrawal from the House. A “Declaration of the immediate causes which induce and justify the secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union” was adopted on the 24th.

REFERENCES. Text in War of the Rebellion, Official Records, Series I., vol. I., p. 110.

For the proceedings of the convention, see Amer. Annual Cyclopædia, 1861, pp. 646-657; Moore's Rebellion Record, I., Doc. 2. The declaration of causes, and ordinances of secession passed by the other Southern States, are collected in Amer. Hist. Leaflets, No. 12. On the steps preliminary to secession, see Pike's First Blows of the Civil War. Buchanan defended his official conduct during 1860-61 in The Administration on the Eve of the Rebellion (London, 1865); a later defence is in Curtis's Buchanan, II., chap. IS:

AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union between the State of South Carolina and the other States united with her under the compact entitled “The Constitution of the United States of America”:

We, the people of the State of South Carolina in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, that the ordinance adopted by us in convention on [May 23, 1788] ..., whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also all acts and parts of acts of the general assembly of this State ratifying amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repealed; and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of the “United States of America," is hereby dissolved.

No. 116. Constitution of the Confederate

States of America

March 11, 1861 THE secession of South Carolina was followed, Jan. 9, 1861, by similar action in Mississippi. Ordinances of secession were adopted by Florida Jan. 10, Alabama Jan. 11, Georgia Jan. 19, and Louisiana Jan. 26. A resolution of the legislature of Mississippi, Jan. 19, in favor of a congress of representatives from the seceded States to form a provisional government, was endorsed by the other States, and Feb. 8 a congress at Montgomery, Ala., adopted a provisional constitution. A permanent constitution was adopted March 11, and signed by delegates from each of the States above named, and by those of Texas, which had passed an ordinance of secession Feb. 1. The constitution was ratified by conventions in the several States. The first election under the permanent constitution was held Nov. 6, 1861. The congress under the permanent constitution met Feb. 18, 1862, superseding the provisional congress. The Confederate States of America were accorded belligerent rights by England and France through proclamations of neutrality, but were never formally recognized as a government, either by the United States or by any foreign power.

The permanent constitution was modelled after the Constitution of the United States, and is in the main a reproduction of that instrument, with verbal or minor changes necessary to adapt it to the style of the new confederacy. All the sections embodying other than verbal or formal changes are given in the extracts following, with references to facilitate comparison between the two documents.

REFERENCES. Text in Conf. Stat. at Large (Richmond, 1864, ed. Mat

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