Secession Era Editorials Project

Passage of the Nebraska Bill.

Richmond, Virginia, Enquirer [Democratic]

(26 May 1854)

After a struggle such as was never before seen in the halls of Congress, the Nebraska bill has passed the House of Representatives by a majority of thirteen. As the bill was modified in the House, it must be sent back to the Senate for concurrence. In its present shape, the bill grants all the franchises of citizenship, as the right to vote and to hold office, to aliens; and although Mr. Clayton will again offer his amendment, the Senate will not accept it.

It has not been our opinion that the South would gain any very decisive advantage by the passage of the Nebraska bill in its present shape, but we have no wish that the event may justify our distrust. On the contrary, its is our earnest hope that the friends of the measure may have abundant reason to claim the gratitude of the South.

Against the delusion that the passage of the bill settles the slavery controversy, and, forever excludes abolition agitation from the halls of Congress, we would particularly admonish the people of the South. They must not be content with any partial triumph; they must not throw down their arms nor abate their vigilance in the confident expectation of peace and security:

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