Thursday, July 25, 2013

"to disarm the squatters in violation of "the right of the people to bear arms""

   Who does not know that no free State has ever yet been admitted into the Union, into which, as a territory, Slavery was admitted? Who does not know that Slavery will go wherever a slaveholder goes, if he is permitted to take it with him; that Slavery exists in Kentucky, in a higher latitude than some counties of Ohio and Indiana, and in Missouri, several hundred miles further north than the southern limits of the free state of Illinois; that it is an institution easily planted in the infancy of settlements, and most difficult to be eradicated in their maturity?

   But why not let the people of the country decide the question for themselves? say these new professors of "Squatter Sovereignty," or at least said so before they introduced fire and sword into Kansas, to disarm the squatters in violation of "the right of the people to bear arms"--to break up their meetings in violation of their "right peaceably to assemble and petition for a redress of grievances"--to disperse their assemblies, gathered to make their own laws--to burn their houses, built with many toils and sacrificesin the midst of the prairies--to hunt  their wives and children into the wilderness, their only refuge from the fury of these guardians of squattters' rights. Why not let them decide the question for themselves? If they who decide were only deciding for themselves, there might be some plausibility in the question. But they decide for themselves and for all future inhabitants of the Territory. They who come into a Territory after Slavery is introduced, have not a free choice in the matter. At the very least, wait until there is a sufficient population to make a State before you let Slavery come in. Was it ever heard that when a ship's company is making up for a voyage, the first ten passengers who put their feet on board may make rules for the ninety who follow--rules that shall be unalterable until the ship shall have been a hundred days at sea? And was it any better to enact a law that the few squatters who entered Kansas before October, 1855, should make laws which could not be altered for two years, even though the population should, in the next year, increase an hundred fold?--Address Adopted By The Democratic Republicans Assembled At Syracuse July, 24, 1856.

[New-York Daily Tribune, New-York, Wednesday, July 30, 1856. Vol. XVI.......No. 4,767. Pg. 3]

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