Secession Era Editorials Project

The Territorial Question.

Detroit, Michigan, Free Press [Democratic]

(12 January 1854)

We publish this morning the report of the Committee on Territories in the Senate, to which we alluded two days since. Our Washington correspondent advises us that the bill for the organization of the Territory of Nebraska, accompanying this report, will encounter considerable opposition, the Wilmot provisoists of the north and the ultra men of the south not being friendly to it. This is an excellent sign. It is a sign that the bill is right. The New York Journal of Commerce (which paper has always maintained a correct position on the slavery question) says of the report: "It is an important document, and will be much spoken of hereafter. In our opinion, it takes the right ground essentially, and we have no doubt that the nation will sustain it. It is precisely the ground of the Compromise. In short, it gives the people of each Territory, when they shall adopt a State constitution, the liberty of deciding whether they will have slavery or not. This is precisely the liberty granted to the Territories of Utah and New Mexico; and if it had been granted also to Oregon and California, no harm would have been done."

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