The Nebraska bill originally reported, was a deception -- a fraud in
It was a cowardly attempt to abrogate the slave-prohibiting compact of 1820
It resulted, finally, in the present Kansas and Nebraska bill, by which
that compact is expressly declared to be "inoperative." The originators of
this proposed violation of a solemn and sacredly observed Adjustment, include
the President and portions of his Cabinet, rival presidential aspirants and
greedy recipients of governmental patronage and plunder.
The Missouri Compromise Act forever prohibited Slavery in that portion of the Territory ceded by France, under the name of Louisiana, north of 36* 30' north latitude. To repeal the slave-prohibiting provision of this act, which legislated Slavery out of this Territory will not, it is said, legislate Slavery into it; and hence the necessity for another deception, which has been assigned to the Committee on Indian Affairs in the House, of which Mr. ORR, of South Carolina, is the Chairman. This gentleman, as we are informed, has prepared an elaborate report, accompanied by a bill which, at the proper time, is to be presented to the House. It is ostensibly designed to humanize, civilize and christianize those Indians tribes which our Government has removed to the Nebraska Territory, and to which it has guaranteed the perpetual possession thereof. Such is the ostensible purpose of the bill -- but its real design is to legislate Slavery into this territory. The bill provides that each Indian shall be entitled to a specific quantity of land; that each Indian who has a wife, shall have a certain additional quantity, with another additional quantity for children, and for slaves, still another additional quantity, according to the number of slaves he may possess. Such is the substance of the bill.
Now it is well understood that some of the Indians, half-breeds and Indian traders, inhabiting Nebraska, have slaves; and this cunningly devised bill under the disguise of philanthropic and humane regard for the Indians, aims simply at a legislative recognition of Slavery within the territory. To grant to the owners of slaves a preemption right to lands, more or less according to the number of their slaves, would be a positive recognition of the sort. It would legislate Slavery into the Territory after the passage of Mr. Douglas's bill had abrogated and repealed the Act of 1820, which "forever prohibited" the institution from taking root on that soil.
The President, with his doubtful Free-Soil antecedents and surroundings, is
ready to second any proposition from the South, in the hope of winning its
support for a second term.
Douglas, with his insane aspirations for the Presidency, is content to
play second fiddle to the Executive, trusting that his Mississippi plantation,
covered with human chattels, will turn the scale of Southern support in his
And Northern doughfaces, who are the recipients and expectants of the
public plunder, will be the servile followers and abettors of any man or any
measure that promises either present or future enjoyment of the offal
distributed from the Executive table.
This document was produced as part of a document analysis project by Lloyd Benson, Department of History, Furman University. (Proofing info: Entered by Ben Barnhill, Proofed by Ryan Burgess.) This electronic version may not be copied, or linked to, or otherwise used for commercial purposes, (including textbook or publication-related websites) without prior written permission. The views expressed in this document are for educational, historical, and scholarly use only, and are not intended to represent the views of the project contributors or Furman University.