Hon. John Cadwalader; 1805-1879.

Speech of Hon. John Cadwalader of Pennsylvania.

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Speech
of

HON. JOHN CADWALADER

of Pennsylvania,
on the
legislation of the United States upon the subject of slavery in the territories.
Delivered
in the House of Representatives, March 5, 1856.

___________

WASHINGTON:
Printed at the Congressional Globe Office.
1856.

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LEGISLATION OF CONGRESS UPON SLAVERY IN THE TERRITORIES

The House being in the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, and having under consideration the President’s Annual Message,
Mr. CADWALADER said:

Mr. Chairman: I avail myself of this occasion to reply to the remarks of the gentleman from my own State [Mr. Grow] who last addressed the House. His remarks deserve the particular consideration of those who, like myself, differ altogether from him in opinion. He is one of the few members of the present Congress from the State of which I am a citizen, who do not on this floor misrepresent their constituents. Other members from the same State who here act with him are the Representatives of districts which, since they were elected, have, by overwhelming votes, unequivocally condemned the political views which they still profess to sustain. On a former occasion, shortly after I took my seat in this Congress, I stated and explained the causes and modes of those deceptive artifices through which opposing political elements had been combined in their respective districts for the temporary defeat of the Democracy. I am therefore now relieved from the necessity of recapitulating these details.

I have the honor to represent a district in which, through Democratic organization, these combinations were happily defeated in the outset. Representing such a constituency, I rejoice that, as I rise to address the House in opposition to my colleague’s animadversions upon the President’s views on the subject of congressional legislation upon slavery in the Territories, a communication by telegraph is, received announcing that the Pennsylvania Democratic Convention, now in session at Harrisburg, have unanimously declared their approval of the President’s views of the subject, and have in decisive terms indorsed and approved the act of the last Congress by which the territorial governments of Kansas and Nebraska were organized. It requires no prophetic spirit to predict with confidence that, when the vote of Pennsylvania in the approaching presidential contest shall have been counted, the majority by tens of thousands in favor of the candidate of the Democracy will prove the sincerity of her devotion to the constitutional rights of our brethren of the slaveholding States.

For another and much more important reason, the remarks of the same gentleman [Mr. Grow] ought now to receive particular consideration.
This House is organized under an anti-Democratic majority, whose shortlived influence, if it were not already extinct, could not long survive certain recent suicidal measures of the combined factions of which it is composed. But, notwithstanding the present or future external annihilation of these factions, the action of this House during this Congress will necessarily receive its direction, in a greater or less degree, from its internal organization, which has unhappily been dependent upon this influence. Now, the gentleman [Mr. Grow] occupies through this influence the responsible and influential position of chairman of the Committee on Territories. The future organization of territorial governments on this continent is, in my humble opinion, at this crisis, the most important subject of congressional consideration. As the chairman of this committee has assumed upon himself the office of opening the debate on the President’s message, and has thought proper to select as the subject of his remarks that portion of the message which relates to the territorial


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