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spirit of conservatism. It embraces in its comprehensive view the whole country. It is not influenced by a narrow, contracted, selfish, sectional policy. At this moment, it is well known that most of the Northern Whigs are willing to cast their vote for a Southern man for President of the United States. And shall it be said that we of the South should force upon them a geographical issue, and compel our Northern friends to vote for a Northern man, and thus elect a Northern president, Northern speaker, Northern clerk, Northern officers of all kinds, and establish a Northern government?
"The accomplished Speaker of the House of Representatives, in his own state, resisted successfully the adoption of the principle upon which Southern Democrats insist that Southern Whigs should have acted. At the Springfield (Massachusetts) Convention, held in September last, a resolution was offered 'that the Whigs of Massachusetts will support no man for the office of President and Vice President but such as are known, by their acts or declared opinions, to be opposed to the extension of slavery.' Mr. Winthrop opposed and prevented the passage of this resolution, avowing his determination to support a slaveholder for the presidency, should he be the candidate of the Whig party.
"It was the duty of Southern Whigs to sustain such a man. I could not reconcile it to myself to adopt a false principle of action which this gentleman had repudiated, and make him the first victim to Southern selfishness, by refusing to vote for him as presiding officer of the House of Representatives, after he had pledged himself to vote for the Whig candidate as presiding officer of fhc nation, should he come from the section of tin country I represent.
"The unpardonable sin which Mr. Winthrop has committed was in offering a proviso to the Oregon Bill, at the second session of the twenty-eighth Congress, to the effect 'that there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.' For this, any language fails to furnish words strong enough to express the inditrnant feelings of the Richmond Enquirer and other Democratic papers in my own and other Southern States. What will the country think of the affected indignation and pretended devotion of these journals to Southern rights, when it is told that Mr. John W. Davis, the late Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, voted for this same i iniquitous proviso? and that the name of Mr. Davis is found recorded with that of Mr. Winthrop throughout the whole of the proceedings of the House on the said Oregon Bill? And what can exceed the impudence of these exclusive friends of the South in their present hypocritical professions? Every Democratic representative of the last Congress voted for Mr. Davis. If these Democratic editors really believe that the Southern Whigs who voted for Mr. Winthrop have, by so doing, proved themselves i traitors to the South,' what term, according to their own confessions, should be applied to them for their support of a man for the identical office whose votes are identical with those of Mr. Winthrop?
"The Richmond Enquirer, speaking of this subject, says: i But this did not satisfy Mr. Winthrop. On the 1st of February, 1845, when the bill was under consideration, he moved, as a section to the bill, the identical proviso which is at this time called the Wilmot Proviso.' This assertion has been made and repeated in most of the Southern papers. I hold them to it, and i out of their own mouths will I condemn them.' Mr. John W. Davis voted for this proviso. The Democrats of the last Congress stand self-convicted of having elected to the speakership an advocate of the i identical proviso1 introduced by Mr. Wilmot. I do not regard Mr. Winthrop's proviso i identical' with Mr. Wilmot's. The Democrats say they do, and, so believing, voted for its advocate.
"The offense which the Southern Whigs of the present Congress have committed is, not that they have voted for a gentleman who sustained the anti-slavery proviso to the Oregon Bill, but that they have elected a Whig speaker of a Whig House of Representatives. Had Mr. Winthrop been a Democrat, he would have been eulogized by his present revilers as i a Northem man with Southern principles.' t
"After this i infamous proviso' had been appended to the Oregon Bill, every Southern Democrat but Three voted for it, Mr. Winthrop voting against the bill with the proviso, and Mr. Davis voting for it (See House Journal, second session, twenty-eighth Congress, pages 318 to 322 inclusive.)
"I make no apology for Mr. Winthrop for having introdueed this proviso, though he voted against the bill, much less can I justify Mr. Davis, who voted both for the proviso and the bill. Southern Democrats, who voted with him, can doubtless make an excuse for him.
"The charge of want of fealty to the South comes with a bad grace from gentlemen who supported Mr. Davis, and most of whom contributed to the election of Mr. Van Buren, who acknowledged the 'right of Congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia,' and who, in the New York Convention, voted to place free negroes on a footing with whites.
"It is charged that this proviso to the Oregon Bill was the origin of the famous 'Wilmot Proviso;' but it will be found, by reference to the same journal, page 260, that another bill had been previously passed which may justly claim the paternity of this distinguished offspring. I allude to the 'joint resolution for the annexation of Texas.' The third 'condition' on which 'the consent of Congress' was given to the annexation of Texas, concludes thus:
"' And such states as may be formed out of that portion of said territory lying south of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, commonly known as the Missouri compromise line, shall be admitted into the Union with or without slavery, as the people of each state asking admission may desire; and in such state or states as shall be formed out of said territory north of said Missouri compromise line, Slavery Oh Involuntary Servitude (except for crimes) Shall Be Prohibited.'
"This is the true, bona fide Wilmot Proviso. Mr. Winthrop's proviso applied to territory already belonging- to the United Stales, and which properly came within the principle of the Missouri compromise; but here we see the principle for the first time extended to foreign territory, and we find every Southern Democrat, our special and peculiar friends, with Mr. John W. Davis, voting for it! Mr. Wilmot proposes that his proviso shall extend to all territory hereafter to be annexed; this 'condition' was applied to territory thereafter to be annexed.
"The entire Democratic party, except Mr. Holmes, of South Carolina, voted for Mr. B. B. French* for the office of clerk at the very time they were condemning the Southern Whigs for having voted for Mr. Winthrop; and I have not heard a suspicion expressed that Mr. French was opposed to the iWilmot Proviso.'
* Mr. French, in a letter to the editors of the " National Intelligencer" of a subsequent date, declares that he has at all times been "emphatically againtl" the Wilmot Proviso.
"The war against Mr. Winthrop, and those who voted for him, has been renewed at the South because of his late vote to refer certain abolition petitions to one of the standing committees pf the House.
"A Whig House of Representatives (the twenty-seventh Congress) refused to repeal a rule forbidding the reception of abolition petitions. The twenty-eighth Congress, having, as I am informed, about seventy Democratic majority, did repeal this rule. On the 10th of December, 1844 (see House Journal, second session, twenty-eighth Congress, page 48), Mr. Adams offered a petition praying the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. On the question,i Shall the petition be received V the vote stood, yeas 107, nays 81. (Page 50.) Among the yeas were Messrs. John W. Davis and R. C. Winthrop. A motion to lay on the table was lost (page 51). The petition was referred to the Committee for the District of Columbia. (Page 52.) These petitions continued to be referred to the committees after that time. In the present House of Representatives, which has a small Whig majority, the vote, on one occasion, was equally divided, and made the vote of the speaker necessary, a circumstance which never occurred with the twentyeighth Democratic Congress, in which these petitions were referred without the aid of the speaker's vote. It is now pretended that i Mr. Winthrop's vote has let in a flood of abolition petitions' to disturb the peace of the country. This i flood was let in' by the vote on the petition presented by Mr. Adams in December, 1844, for the reception of which Mr. Davis voted, as well as Mr. Winthrop. What Democrat refused to vote for Mr. Davis after this vote? None. And why this denunciation of Mr. Winthrop? There is but one answer: Mr. Davis is a Democrat, and Mr.Winthrop a Whig! Their acts are the same, but their offense widely different!
"It is well known to those who are engaged in this unholy purpose to stir the blood and exasperate the feelings of the South on this delicate subject of slavery, that the object of the Abolitionists can be obtained, so far as the reference of their petitions is concerned, without a vote of the House, simply by presenting them at the clerk's table. They have been repeatedly so referred. This is the course approved of by Mr. Winthrop. The committees have in all cases reported them back to the House, and asked to be discharged from their consideration. T, in common with most of the Southern members, have opposed their reference. But the idea that the reference of one of these petitions to a committee by a Whig House of Representatives renders our slave property less secure than the same reference which had frequently been made by a Democratic House, is t<Mi palpably absurd to deserve a moment's consideration.
"The new-born zeal of the Democratic journals, and their hypocritical cant about the ' invasion of the rights of the South,' 'the South in danger,' and such stuff, proceeds from no peculiar devotion to the South, but from blind partisan feeling, which makes them applaud or overlook in one of their own party what they condemn in a political opponent.
"It is further charged that the Whigs of the South, in voting for Mr. Winthrop, 'voted for an Abolitionist.'' I am not charitable enough to believe that this is not a willful misstatement. These journalists knmo such not to be the fact.
"Mr. Winthrop is opposed to the further extension of slavery. But what Southern heart does not beat in unison with the following patriotic sentiment, proposed by him at a festival in Fanueil Hall, on the 4th of July, 1845:
"' Our country: bounded by the St. John's and the Sabine, or however otherwise bounded or described, and be the measurements more or less, still our country—to be cherished in all our hearts, to bo defended by all our hands.'
"I shall not stop to defend Mr. Winthrop against this malicious accusation. Every man who reads knows the bitterness of the abolition opposition to him in his own district. The Abolitionists in the House of Representatives refused to vote for him, because, in their opinion, he was not 'sound on the question of slavery.' You have only to refer to any abolition paper of late date to find it filled with abusive articles of Mr. Winthrop. Northern Abolitionists and Southern Democrats are equally violent in their denunciations of him and those who voted for him.
"The object of this communication, I repeat, is not to mako