It would be impossible to find a more honest and impartial set of journals than those in the Federal City, which are supporting Nebraska and aiming to get the public printing. The Evening Star is as busy and as spunky as the rest in both these pursuits. Of late, that journal has taken to abusing THE TRIBUNE. A few days ago it copied a portion of our remarks upon the probable attitude that Henry Clay would assume upon the infamous proposition to repeal the Missouri Compromise, were he now alive and in the Senate. To these observations The Star appends the following comments:
"Now, it is well known to many persons at this time in Washington,
that while the Compromise of 1850 was under consideration, Henry Clay was
accustomed to talk freely of the utter incompatibility of the Compromise of 1820
with it, and to express his gratification at the fact that its enactment would
restore the policy of the Government upon the Slavery question, violated, and
indeed, ignored in the Missouri act, which he regarded as unjust, if not
unconstitutional, and only to be tolerated as the sole alternative for
preventing a dissolution of the Union at the time of the enactment.
In one of his speeches in favor of the law of 1850, he distinctly held
positions synonymous with what we present above as his views of the law of 1820,
as expressed thus in private conversation among his friends."
Everybody who associated with Mr. Clay, or who is familiar with
his public declarations during the contests of 1850, knows that this is a gross
misrepresentation of the illustrious Kentucky Statesman.
In his published speeches made at that time may be found his memorable
declaration, that under no circumstances would he ever vote to extend Slavery
into Territory now free.
Those who heard that declaration will never forget the commanding manner
and impassioned tone in which it was pronounced.
It had been urged in various quarters that Mr. Clay's plan of
settlement for the difficulties of that period was tantamount to legislating
Slavery into free territory.
Mr. Clay promptly repelled this allegation, and in doing it the
fire of his youth returned: his frame glowed with preternatural excitement, and
rising to his full
But we nail this misrepresentation of The Star to the counter by the following direct and emphatic testimony to the point in question: Senator Cooper, of Pennsylvania, was one of the famous Committee of Thirteen that originated the Compromise measures, of which Mr. Clay was Chairman. Mr. Cooper states that the question of the effect of these measures upon the Compromise of 1820 came up and was discussed in that Committee, and that every member of it, and Mr. Clay especially, explicitly declared that the proposed Compromise of 1850 did not in any degree affect or impair the legislation of 1820, for no reference was made or intended thereto: and Mr. Clay even went so far, we understand, as to instance the salutary influence and stable character of the Compromise of 1820, which he declared no one thought of disturbing, as furnishing a happy precedent for the series of measures then under consideration.
This misrepresentation of Mr. Clay's views on this subject is
however no worse than
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