Secession Era Editorials Project

Furman University Department of History


Nebraska - Mr. Douglas's Report.

New Haven, Connecticut, Register [Democratic]

(16 January 1854)

The report submitted to the Senate, Wednesday, by Mr. Douglas, chairman of the committee on Territories in the Senate, in regard to a territorial government for Nebraska, will be read with profound interest. This subject has been looked to with obvious apprehensions, in consequence of the supposition that it might fearfully revive the slavery agitation. Mr. Douglas was fully impressed with the importance and delicacy of the issue involved, and has devoted the full power of his capacious mind to its investigation. He has arrived at conclusions which seem to be unassailable. He plants himself resolutely upon the Compromise of 1850, as a final settlement -- not final merely as to the Territories then in dispute, but final as to all future legislation for territorial governments. Adopting this as the basis of his action, he has applied the great pacific principles of the Compromise measures of 1850, to the bill for organizing the Nebraska Territory. He goes further, and extends the provisions of the fugitive slave law to the Territories. The reasoning of Judge Douglas strikes our mind as unanswerable, and we indulge the confident hope that the propositions submitted by him will be unhesitatingly affirmed by Congress. They present a practical test of the sincerity of the covenant entered into by the democratic party at Baltimore. If the principles of the Compromise, as brought forward in the Nebraska bill, are sustained by the United democratic votes of senators and representatives, all doubt as to the final expulsion of the slavery question from the democratic organization, will be put at rest. We may then gladly proclaim the democratic organization a unit, and repose confidently on the conviction that the federal Union is safe. We commend Mr. Douglas' report not only for the ability with which it is prepared, but for the sound, national, Union-loving sentiments, with which it abounds.

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