Secession Era Editorials Project

Glorious News from Washington -- Passage of the Nebraska Bill.

Cincinnati, Ohio, Daily Enquirer [Democratic]

(24 May 1854)

Our telegraphic column, this morning, contains the announcement that the Nebraska Bill has passed the house by thirteen majority. It passed in the shape it came from the Senate, with the exception that the celebrated Clayton amendment is striken out. It will go back to the Senate, which will doubtless concur with the House in its action, be signed by the President, and soon become the law of the land. The minority in the House used the most unscrupulous parliamentary action to kill the bill, but it was ineffectual. The struggle upon its passage was vehement and severe, the House being in session nearly all of Monday night.

We need not say that the success of the bill is to us a subject of peculiar gratification. We advocated it from its introduction, the principle in it -- that of leaving the question of slavery to be decided by the people of the Territories themselves, which was so fiercely controverted -- being right in our judgment, and worthy of the support of all patriotic citizens who desire the perpetuity of our Federal Union. Those who desire to keep the disturbing and distracting subject of slavery in Congress, as an eternal bone of contention between the North and the South, instead of referring its decision to those to whom it legitimately belongs, will, of course, send up a howl of rage over the result, which, to them, is so calamitous. But it is a great and glorious triumph to every one who believes in the doctrine of popular sovereignty and the right of every State and Territory to do its local legislation.

The success of the Bill, we expect, be made the occasion for a fresh outburst of indignation upon the part of the fanatical disunionists and traitors of the North, who have threatened to do terrible things in that event; but in a few days we shall hear no more of it. Greeley and Garrison, Fred. Douglas, Sumner and Chase, may fret and foam, but it will have little effect upon the great body of the American people, who do not sympathize with them in their unpatriotic views. They will not be able to create half the excitement against it that they did against the Compromise measures in 1850. They may threaten to raise the banner of repeal, but that is well known to be an impossibility. Even could they carry a House of Representatives favorable to it, which is unlikely, the Senate, where the majority in its favor is more than two to one, can not be changed for many years to come. Its opponents, therefore, may as well make up their minds to acquiesce in it at once, for they will never be able to erase it from the statute book.

We rejoice over its passage for other reasons than the provision which is in it respecting slavery -- a territorial organization being sadly needed in Nebraska and Kansas, to render comfortable the great tide of overland emigration to California and Oregon. To the West, especially, it is very important. We cannot conclude our notice of its passage without a word of commendation of the noble band of Democrats from the North and West, more than forty in number, among whom we are pleased to recognize Mr. Disney, who, unmoved by the clamors of fanatics, and looking only to the good of the whole country, have given the bill their support. They will have their reward, not only in the approval of their own consciences, but in the future good opinion of their countrymen.

This document was produced as part of a document analysis project by Lloyd Benson, Department of History, Furman University. (Proofing info: Entered by and reverse-order proofed by Lloyd Benson, Proofed by Lloyd Benson.) 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.