Secession Era Editorials Project

The Nebraska Question

Richmond, Virginia, Enquirer [Democratic]

(25 January 1854)

It gives us sincere pleasure to observe that, on Monday, Senator Douglas of Illinois introduced an amendment to the Nebraska bill, intended to remove all room of doubt as to the true meaning and operation of the compromise of 1850. It declares, says the Union, that "by the principles of that Compromise, the Missouri Compromise was superseded, and, therefore, that the re-enactment of those principles in the Nebraska bill renders the Missouri Compromise act inoperative. It is designed, therefore, to carry out in good faith the principles of the Compromise of 1850; and as such it cannot fail to command the support of all Democrats who are standing faithfully and sincerely upon the compromise of 1850 as a final and permanent settlement of the slavery question. We cannot but regard the policy of the administration as directly involved in this question. -- That policy looks to fidelity to the Compromise of 1850 as an essential requisite to Democratic orthodoxy. The proposition of Mr. Douglas is a practical execution of the principles of that Compromise, and therefore cannot but be regarded by the administration as a test of democratic orthodoxy. The union of the Democracy on this proposition will dissipate forever the charges of free soil sympathies so recklessly and pertinaciously urged against the administration by our Whig opponents; whilst it will take from disaffection in our own ranks the last vestige of a pretext for its opposition."

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