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Heretofore, it has been the custom of the political parties which liavo divided 
the country, when they met in National Conventions to nominate candidates for 
President and Vice President of the United States, to lay clown a platform of 
principles upon which they asked the support of the American people. The vote 
of the citizen was given in accordance with his views of public policy and measures, 
and decided in favor of one or the other party as their principles of political action 
agreed with his. Men were supported only as the representative of principle. 
In this canvass, however, one of the political parties has deemed it proper or ex- 
pedient to depart from this salutary custom, and has absolutely refused to declare 
the political principles by which its supporters will be guided, or the political meas- 
ui'es they will seek to enact, should they be installed in power. We have only a 
general and unmeaning declaration in favor of the " Union, the Constitution, and 
a faithful execution of the laws," to which even Abraham Lincoln, the candidate 
of the Black Republicans, fully subscribes. They make no issue with any of the 
other political parties, not even the Black Republicans. They refuse to inform 
us of their construction of the Constitution — whether it warrants squatter sov- 
ereignty in the Territories, or guarantees to every citizen in them the full pro- 
tection of his property. We are left in the dark as to whether, according to their 
interpretation, this Constitution is a Know-Nothing Constitution, or proclaims 
civil and religious liberty to every man. Nor are we informed what "laws" 
they propose to enact and enforce. All is vague and unmeaning. They differ 
from nobody, so as to get the vote of everybody. For all we know, their views 
may not materially differ from those of the supporters of Lincoln and Hamlin. 
Indeed, if the "past record" of the opinions of their candidates is any index, we 
can see no material difference between them. 

Nor are their candidates more explicit or disposed to furnish information of 
their views upon the exciting questions of the day. They have both refused to 
declare their sentiments, but refer us back to their " past history." Mr. Bell, in 
his letter of acceptance, used this language : 

"The Convention, in disregarding the use of platforms, exacts no pledge from those whom 
they deem worthy of the highest trusts under the Government, wisely considering that the 
surest guaranty of a man's future usefulness and fidelity to the great interests of the coun- 
try, in any official station to which he may be choseil, is to be found in his past history con- 
nected with the public service." 

And his home organ reiterates his language, and says : " Mr. Bell can refer 
only to his life and his opinions, already expressed. To these opinions he has 

nothing to add ; from them he has nothing to take aicay." The only mode, 
therefore, for the citizen to learn the views of these candidates is to refer to their 
" past history connected with the public service," to which they are invited. To 
the record, then, let us go. 

As the slavery question is the paramount issue in this canvass, let us first taka 
up the record of Mr. Bell in reference to it, before proceeding to other matters. 


Up to the 23d Congress, Mr. Bell had been the firm friend and supporter of Gen 
eral Jackson. He represented the district in which General Jackson lived in Ten- 
nessee, and the General knew him well. Up to this time he had voted uniformly 
with his party against the agitation of the slavery question in Congress through the 
presentation of Abolition petitions. But after abandoning General Jackson, and 
contorting with the Abolitionists, Federalists, and disappointed Democrats, in 
order to reach the Speaker's chair, all of which will be more fully explained here- 
after, we find him abandoning, by degrees, his opposition to the Abolitionists, and 
at last voting with them, and receiving their plaudits. 

During the 24th Congress, the Abolitionists and Federalists of New England 
first conceived the idea of annoying Congress by the presentation of large batches 
of Abolition petitions, praying for the abolition of slavery in the States, and in the 
D strict of Columbia. Mr. John Q. Adams, of Massachusetts, and Mr Slade, of 
Vermont, were their chosen mouth-pieces. These gentlemen would present these 
petitions, and then deliver long harangues upon them. To stop this agitation 
and was e of the public time, it was usual to lay these resolutions on the table. 
Accordingly, on the 18th of December, 1835, when a petition for the immediate 
abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia was presented, a motion was made 
to lay it on the table. Mr. Bell voted in the negative with Messrs. Adams, Sladt, 
& Co.— (See page 34.) 

Again, on the 21st of December, when a similar petition was presented, and a 
motion made to lay it on the table, which was carried by ayes 140, noes 76, we 
find Mr. Bell voting with Adams, Slade & Co., against the motion. — (Page 

The frequency of the presentation of these petitions, and the time wasted in 
their discussion, to the great detriment of the public interest, called for some de- 
cisive action on the part of the House. Consequently, Mr. Owens, of Georgia, 
moved to suspend the rules, in order to introduce the following resolutions : 

w Resolved, That in the opinion of this Houso, the question of the abolition of slavery in 
t'lio District of Columbia ought not to bo entertained by Congress. 

** And he it further resolved, That in case any petition praying the abolition of slavery in 
the District of Columbia be hereafter presented, it is the deliberate opinion of this House 
that the same ought to be laid upon the table without reading." 

Mr Bell voted with Adams, Slade, & Co., and defeated the motion to suspend 
the rules, two thirds being necessary for that purpose. — (Page 39.) 

In order to dispose of this matter, Mr. Pinckney, of South Carolina, moved a 
resolution providing for the appointment of a committee, " with instructions to re- 
port, that Congress possesses no constitutional power to interfere in aDy way with 
slavery in any of the States of this Confederacy ; and that in the opinion of this 
House, Congress ought not to interfere in any way with slavery in the District of 
Columbia, because it would be a violation of the public faith, unwise, impolitic, and 
dangerous to the Union." On the motion to suspend the rules for the purpose of 
offering this resolution, the yeas were 135, noes 65. Mr. Bell voted in the nega- 
tive. He also voted against ordering the main question to be put so as to bring 
the House to a vote on tho resolution3 3 but he yet lacked the nerve to vote againsfc 
them.— Pages. 170. Ill, 



During the month of May, Mr. Pinkney, from this committee, reported a se- 
ries of resolutions, the first of which was the following : o 

M Resolved, That Congress possesses no constitutional power to interfere in any way with 
tfao institution of slavery in any of the States of this Confederacy" 

The question then recurred upon bringing the House to a vote on the resolu- 
tions by ordering the main question to be put, when we find Mr. Bell voting with 
Adams, Slade, & Co. to stave off a vote. They did not succeed, however, and 
the question recurring on the resolution itself, we find Mr. Bell dodging the vote ! 
He did not desire to offend his Abolition friends, one of whom (Mr. Adams,) said 
in reference to the resolution : 

•'If the House would allow me five minutes' time, I pledge myself to prove that resolu- 
tion false and utterly untrue." Page 499. 

Finding by the above vote that they could not defeat the other resolutions, the 
Abolitionists then strove to stave off a vote on them by factious motions. They 
would move to adjourn, and then while that question was being taken, another of 
them, when his name was called, would ask to be excused from voting. The 
Speaker decided, while the yeas and nays were being called, no member could 
interrupt the proceedings by a motion to be excused from voting. An appeal 
was taken from the decision of the Chair, which was sustained, ayes 138, noes 
46, Mr. Bell voting with Adams, Sladc, & Co. in the negative, against the deci- 
sion. But their efforts did not prevail, and they were brought to a vote upon the 
others of the series of resolutions, the last of which was in these words : 

"And whereas it is extremely important and desirable that the agitation of this subject 
should be finally arrested, for the purpose of restoring tranquility to the public mind, your 
committee respectfully recommend the adoption of the following additional resolution, viz: 

"Resolved, That all petitions, memorials, resolutions, propositions, or papers relating in 
any way, or to any Extent whatever, to the subject of slavery, or the abolition of elavory, 
6hall, without being either printed or referred, be laid upon the table, and that no further 
action whatever shall be had thereoa." 

Mr. Bell, though in the House, refused to vote, or, in other words, dodged the 
vote. He would not offend his new Abolition friends by voting for the resolu- 
tion, and if he voted against it, the people of Tennessee would have laid him on 
the shelf forever. So, to get on good terms with both, he dodged the vote ! He 
could not conceal his chagrin, however, at being forced to shsw his hand or dodge, 
and he was indignant that his Abolition friends were not allowed to debate the 
resolutions, and, by factious motions, stave off a vote upon them. Hear him : 

** The minority of the House were tyrannized over, and they were Eaturally in a refrac- 
tory, restless, and perturbed condition, and if they could not be heard orderly, they would 
dqso disorderly." Page 513. 

Verily, Mr. Bell is the very model of a law-and-order-raan ! He was willing 
to join the Abolitionists to trample down the rules of the House, and set at defi- 
ance its authority. 

For all these proceedings, see Congressional Globe, 1st session 24th Congress. 
The pages have been already given. 

At the next session, the former order having expired in regard to the disposal 
of Abolition petitions, Mr. Davis moved a suspension of the rules, in order to 
adopt a resolution that all such petitions be laid on the table, without debate, and 
without being read. Mr. Bell voted with Adams, Slade, & Co., in the negative. 
Page 82. 

On the 23d of January, Mr. Adams, having presented a number of petitions 
for, the abolition of slavery in the District, and the Speaker having decided that, 
under the order of the House, they were to be laid on the table, Mr. Adams ap- 
pealed from the decision of the Chair. On ordering the main question to be put, 

the yeas were 129, nays 48, Mr. Bell voting with Adams, Slade, & Co., in the 
negative. On sustaining the decision of the Chair, the yeas were 145, nays 32, 
Mr. Bell dodging the vote! 

Mr. Adams then presented another similar petition, and on the Speaker reite- 
rating his decision, Mr. Adams again appealed, and the Speaker was sustained; 
yeas 170, nays 3. Mr. Bell again refused to vote. Pages 118 — 119. 

This contest went on in this way until the Gth of February, when Mr. Adams 
attempted to introduce a petition from slaves asking for the abolition of slavery. 
This threw the House into a furor of excitement. Several resolutions were intro- 
duced in reference to his ennduet : one to expel him ; another, to bring him before 
the bar of the House to receive the censure of the Speaker; and still another, 
declaring that he was guilty of a contempt, &c. A motion was made to lay these 
resolutions on the table, which was voted down, yeas 50, nays 144, Mr. Bell voting 
in the affirmative. Another motion was made to lay the whole matter on tha 
table, which was again negatived, Mr. Bell again voting in the affirmative. 

The question then recurred upon resolutions offered by Mr. Patton as an 
amendment to the other resolutions. The first declared against the right of offer- 
ing petitions from slaves. Mr. Bell screwed up his courage to vote for it. Thu 
second, for arresting all further proceedings in the matter, and excusing Mr. 
Adams, was voted down, a3<es 22, noes 137 — Mr. Bell voting with the illustrious 
22 to shield and protect his abolition friend ! 

These repeated insults aggravated the southern members very much ; and when, 
on the 20th of December, 1837, Mr. Slade presented a petition for the abolition 
of slavery in the District of Columbia, moved its reference to a select committee, 
with instructions to report a bill in accordance with the prayer of the petition, 
and then proceeded to deliver a most exciting and violent harangue upon the 
subject, the House was thrown into the wildest state of excitement. lion. Tho„>. 
H. Benton thus describes the scene in his " Thirty Years' View :" 

"The most angry and portentous debate which had yet taken place occurred at this time 
in the House of Kepresentatives. It was brought on by Mr. William Slade, of Vermont,, 
who, besides presenting petitions of the usual abolition character, and moving to refer 
them to a committee, moved their reference to a select committee, with instructions to re- 
port a bill in conformity with their prayer. This motion, inflammatory and irritating in 
itself, and without practical legislative object, as the great majority of the House was 
known to be opposed to it, was rendered still more exasperating by the manner of sup- 
porting it." 

Repeated efforts were made by southern members to prevent the progress of 
the speech by calls to order and motions to adjourn; but Slade having the floor, 
refused to yield it, and was suffered to proceed. The excitement was intense. 
At last Mr. McKay, of North Carolina, made a point of order which the Speaker 
sustained, and Slade was forced to give way, still, however, keeping his feet, with 
the intention of resuming his speech, if possible. Mr. Rencher, another member 
from North Carolina, seized the opportunity thus afforded of getting the floor, 
and moved an adjournment. The contest had been bitter and violent to the last 
degree, and the House was in a tempest. The South and the conservative men 
of the North voted for the adjournment, while Slade and his backers opposed it. 
The list of nays was headed by John Quincy Adams, and numbered only 63, 
among whom was included the whole Abolition strength in the House Three 
nominal southern men only voted against adjourning, so as to enable Slade to 
continue his speech, and one of them was John Bell, of Tennessee. 

"This opposition to adjournment," says Mr. Bextox, "was one of the worst features of that 
unhappy day's work — the only effect of keeping the House together being to increase irri- 
tation and to multiply the chances for an outbreak. From the beginning, Southern mem- 
bers had been in favor of it, and essayed to accomplish it, but were prevented bv the tenacity 
with which Mr. Slade kept possession of the floor; and now, at last, when it was time to 
•.'djourn any way — when the House was in a condition in which no good could bo expected, 

and great harm might be apprehended, tbere were sixty-three members, being nearly one- 
third of the House, willing to continue it in csesMen." 

la order to avoid these scenes, on the nest day a resolution was offered that 
all abolition petitions should be laid on the table without being debated, printed, 
read, c" referred. On ordering the main question to be put, >n order to bring 
the House to a vote on the resolution, Mr. Bell voted in the negative with 
Adams, SJade & Co. The question then recurring on the passage of the resolu- 
tion, Mr. Bell found it convenient to doclje the vote. Pages 41, 45, Congress- 
ional Globe, 2d Session 25th Congress. 

Again, during this same session, (page 474,) Mr. Adams, in a speech relating 
to the annexation of Texas, going oif on the right of slaves to petition Congress 
for their freedom, and stating that he should have no hesitancy in presenting 
eucb a petition from a slave, was called to order by the Speaker. Mr. Adams 
appealed from the decision of the Chair. The House sustained the decision of 
the Chair, every man voting in the affirmative except the Abolitionists, who voted 
no, and Mr. Bell, who did not vole at all. 

At the next session, being the 3d session of the 25th Congress, Mr. Atherton 
brought forward his celebrated resolutions concerning the power of Congress over 
the subject of slavery. The last resolution was in these words : 

"Every petition, memorial, resolution, proposition or paper touching or relating in r.;iv 
way or to any extent whatever to slavery as aforesaid, or the abolition thereof, shall, on 
the presentation thereof, without any further action thereon, belaid upon the table without 
being debated, printed or referred." 

Various motions were made to stave off a vote on the=>e resolutions. A call of 
the House was moved for the purpose of consuming time, when all but nine 
members answered to their names, being a remarkably full House. In order to 
get to a vote on the resolutions, a motion was made to dispense with the call, 
when Mr. Bell voted with Adams, Slade &, Co., in the negative. The call was 
dispensed with, however, and the House about to come to a Yote.f wlen up ^prancr 
Mr. Bell and moved to adjourn, and this, too, when the House had beea in ses- 
sion only one hour and forty minutes. The House refused to adjourn in spite of 
the votes of Bell, Adams, Slade & Co. The question then recurred on ordering 
the main question to be put, the object of which was to bring the House to a vote 
on the resolution. Mr. Bell again voted with Adams. Slade & Co., in the ne<ra- 
tive. A motion to adjourn was then again made, in order to consume time and 
delay a vote on the resolution. And, true to his Abolition friends, we find Mf-J 
Bell again voting with them in the affirmative. But the House refused to adjourn, 
and Mr. Bell bad to " toe the mark " All his efforts to stave off the quest;, n 
and dodge the vote were ineffectual, and he was compelled to face "'the music-." 
He voted for all the propositions until it came to the last one, given above, in 
reference to the disposal of abolition petitions. A noted Abolitionist from Penn- 
sylvania moved to lay this resolution on the table ; Mr. Bell voted in the affinn- 
tive with his Abolition friends, Adams, Slade & Co. But the House refused to 
lay it on the table, and the question recurring on its passage, Mr. Bell voted 
against it, in company with Adams, Slade & Co. Pages 27, 28 

The next day, (page 33,) Mr. Adams moved to suspend the rules in. order to 
allow him to offer a resolutiot to virtually repeal the Atherton resolutions, when 
Mr. Bell dodged the ! 

We come now to the 26th Congress. At its opcaing, Mr. Wise rose and said, 
that " with a view of preventing the strife which had heretofore agitated the 
House and country," he now took the earliest opportunity to move a suspension 
of the rules of the House for the purpose of submitting a resolution that in future 
all petitions for the abolition of slavery " should be considered as objected to." 
and laid on the table without debate. The point which the Abolitionists were 


giving at was to get Congress to admit, inferentially, by the reception of these 
petitions and their reference to committees, that Congress had power over the 
subject, and to open the door for the agitation of the question. These were, the 
objects at which they were driving, and Mr. Bell was willing to gratify them, for 
he immediately rose and inquired whether it would be in order for him to move 
an amendment to the resolution of Mr. Wise, " that all these petitions be refer- 
red to the Committee for the District of Columbia without debate ;" and, being 
told that " it would be wholly inconsistent" with the original resolution, replied, 
" then I will introduce a new resolution to this effect." Mr. Adams expressed 
himself satisfied with Mr. Bell's plan, except that he thought such petitions as 
did not relate to slavery in the District should go to a different committee. He 
desired " that these petitions should be received by the House, treated with re- 
spect, and referred to appropriate committees." Mr. Bell replied, that u it had 
always been his opinion that the best mode of disposing of these petitions would 
be to refer them to a committee, and hence it was that he had proposed to intro- 
duce a resolution of the kind before alluded to." Page 89. 

The day following, Mr. Wise 'renewed his resolution to lay all abolition peti- 
tions on the table, and moved a suspension of the rules in order to get his resolu- 
tion before the House. Mr. Bell dodged the vote, though he voted immediately 
before and immediately after. A resolution was then introduced to raise a select 
committee, to whom would be referred all abolition petitions, the very thing the 
Abolitionists most desired, as it would give them an opportunity to agitate and 
discuss the question, and on the motion to suspend the rules for its adoption, Mr. 
Bell voted with Adams, Slade & Co., in the affirmative. Two weeks later, Jan- 
uary 13, 1840, abolition petitions were presented, and their reception moved. 
Mr. Johnson, of Tennessee, moved to lay the question of reception on the table. 
And on this motion Mr. Bell, though shown to be present by the Journal, did 
not vote. Page 119. 

On the 15th of January, we again see him voting with Adams, Slade & Co., to 
lay on the table a resolution that all abolition petitions be laid on the tablo with- 
out being debated, printed, read, or referred. 

It had now become absolutely necessary, in the opinion of Congress, to discoun- 
tenance and prevent any further discussion over abolition petitions, praying Con- 
gress to do what it had often been solemnly declared it had not the power to do; 
and therefore they were not bound upon any principle to consider such petitions. 
On the 28th of January, 1840, Mr. W. Cost Johnson, a leading Whig member 
from Maryland, offered what was afterwards known as the famous " Twenty-first; 
Rule," declaring " that no petition, memorial, resolution, or paper, praying the 
abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, or any State or Territory, or the 
slave trade between the States or Territories of the United States, in which it 
now exists, shall be received by this House, or entertained in any way whatever." 

Mr. Johnson said, on presenting this as an amendment to the rules of the 
House, that "the resolutions which had been presented by others on this subject 
were too vague to meet his approbation, and he therefore worded this so as to 
leave no ambiguity, so that when a gentleman voted he could not deceive his con- 
stituents) and could clearly define his position." " He, (Mr. Johnson, Whig,) called 
upon those opposed to the Abolitionists to vote for if, and kill the hydra abolition 
m an instant, in such a manner that it could not germinate its species again." 

The question was then taken on ordering the main question to be put, which 
was decided in the affirmative — yeas 147, nays 61 — Mr. Bell voting with Adams, 
Slade & Co , in the negative. The question then came up on the adoption of the 
resolution, when Mr, Bell again voted with his abolition friends, Adams, Slade 
& Co., against it. It was not to be wondered at, then, that Mr. Bell received the 
votes of Adams, Slado & Co., for Speaker at three several Congresses. They 

knew their man, and the pertinacity with which they stuck to him duriDg this 
(the 26th) Congress, when parties were close, showed that they had confidence 
in his fidelity to their designs. 

On the loth of April, Mr. Adams presented an abolition resolution from Mas- 
sachusetts, on the subject of abolition petitions, when a motion was made to lay 
it on the table, which was adopted, Mr. Bell, with Adams, Slade & Co., voting 
in the negative. 

Shortly after this, Mr. Bell went out of Congress, and did not return again 
until December, 1847. 

It thus appears by the record, (the volume and page of which we have been 
careful to give, so that every one may examine for himself,) that upon every 
important question involving the rights of slavery, from the time he abandoned 
the Democratic party and joined hands with the New England Federalists in 
1835 to 1841, when he left the House, he voted uniformly with the Abolition- 
ists, Adams, Slade & Co., and against the great body of national men, North and 

We now propose to show that, with one or two exceptions, when he played the 
fire-eater in order to make a show of fidelity to the interests of his constituents 
iust before an election in Tennessee, he has continued to prove faithless to his 
own section, and willing to do the work of the Abolitionists, so far as he dared. 


Representing a slaveholding community, and dependent, so far as local popu- 
larity was concerned, upon a seeming readiness to sanction and maintain the rights 
and interests of slavery, it would hal r e been the sheerest madness in Mr. Bell 
aver to have avowed himself an open enemy to the institution. It matters but 
little, however, to the South what his sentiments are on the subject, so his acts 
and his votes have been given to betray the interests and abandon the rights of 
the slaveholding States of the Union. His record, as we have already shown, 
thus far discloses with what alacrity, for the bait of the Speakership, he could 
consort with the Abolitionists. Let us now follow him in his advent into the 
Senate in 1847. 

The acquisition of territory from Mexico, and the necessity of forming a Ter- 
ritorial government for Oregon, as well as New Mexico and California, led to a 
heated and bitter controversy on the slavery question. The Federal Abolition- 
ists of the North, under the lead of Hale, Hamlin, Chase, G-iddings & Co., were 
determined to expel slavery from those Territories by the passage of the Wilmot 
Proviso. The excitement ran high, and at one time threatened the peace of the 
country. In this emergency, the Senate, ever conservative, sought to cast oil 
upon the troubled waters, and allay the excitement. They raised a Committee 
of eight, consisting of four Democrats and four Whigs, one-half from the North, 
and one-half from the South. John M. Clayton, of Delaware, a most distinguished, 
able, and prominent Whig, was the Chairman of the Committee, and made so, 
too, by a Democratic Senate, in order to show that they regarded the settlement 
of this question high above all party considerations. Besides him, there were on 
the Committee the following distinguished Whigs : Underwood of Kentucky, 
Clark of llhode Island, and Phelps of Vermont. The Democrats were, Calhoun 
of South Carolina, Atchison of Missouri, Bright of Indiana, and Dickinson of 
New York. On the 18th of July, 1848, the Committee, through Mr. Clayton, 
reported a bill providing Territorial governments for New Mexico, California, and 
Oregon. On the subject of slavery, it provided that the Territorial Legislature 
should pass no law prohibiting or es-tablishing it ; but that the question should 
be referred to the Supreme Court of the United States for their decision. Mr. 
Clayton, on presenting the bill, remarked : 


"This bill resolves the whole question between the North and the South into a constitu- 
tional and judicial question. It only asks of men of all sections to stand by the Constitu- 
tion, and sutfer that to settle the difference by its own tranquil operation. * * * 
There is no principle sacrificed. Any man who desires discord will oppost the bill. But he 
who does not desire to distract the country by a question merely political, will be able by 
voting for this bill to refer the whole matter to the judiciary." 

Messrs. Calhoun, AtchisoD, Berrien, Butler, Clayton, Jeff. Davis, Benton, 
Borland, Downs, Foote, Houston, Hunter, Mangum, King, and other Southern 
men, expressed their willingness to refer the matter to the Supreme Court, and 
abide their decision. So said, also, Bright, Atherton, Breese, Dickinson, Han- 
negan, Phelps, and other conservative northern mea. Mr. Hale, the noted Abo- from New Hampshire, assailed the bill, stating : 

" I have no confidence in the Supreme Court as now constituted, and I am unwilling 
that that Court (composed of a majority of slaveholders) should decide the question. 
Again, the bill came short of the wishes of the people, who, throughout the whole length 
and breadth of the land, were demanding that slavery should be abolished." 

Mr. Hamlin, the present Black Republican candidate for the Vice Presidencv 
" designated the bill as guaranteeing and perpetuating slavery ijj the Territories/' 
Mr. Corwin said : 

"You have made the land (Mexico) red with blood nnder the pretence that you have 

gone thither to give freedom to the captive. You have shown, as he had always anticipated, 

that this was all hypocrisy, and that you now desire to fasten the iron heel, not only of 

peon slavery but of negro slavery upon them. He protested against this course of hypoc- 

isy and murder and cruelty, transcending in horror the bloody code of Draco." 

On the 2Gth of July, 1848, a vote was taken on the bill, and Mr. Bell voted 
with Hale. Hamlin, and Corwin against Sit ; voted with the ALolitioitists, and 
against his own section ; voted with agitators and mischief-makers, and against 
the great body of conservative men, to defeat a bill whose object and purpose 
were to giva the South an equal chance in the Territories with the North, and to 
end this slavery agitation and restore peace to the country. From the foundation 
of the Government until this time, never was a vote given in either House of 
Cot gress mora d sastrons to the interests of the South and more perilous to the 
union of these States than this vote of Mr. Bell. What was the result of thafc 
vote ? Encouraged by his example, eight Southern Whigs joined the uni;ed free 
soil vote in the House, and succeeded iu defeating it and adopting in its stead a 
bill securing a territorial government to Oregon alone, with the VVilrnot Proviso 
in it, prohibiting the introduction of slayery therein. When it reached the 
Senate, it was there amended by adopting the " Missouri Compromise" and 
extending it to the Pacific ocean. The House subsequently rejected the amend- 
ment and sent the bill back to the Senate in its original form. The question now 
c^ipc before the Senate upon a motion to recede from its amendment, and Mr. 
Bell, true to his old habits, while expressing his intention to vote against receding 
(doubtless knowing there were enough without him,) argued with those who were 
i>or receding. He said that — 

" He desired to see the Oregon bill passed, even without this (Missouri Compromise) 
restriction; and he could not use it as a means of attack on gentlemen. Whether he could 
vote for it or not was doubtful, regarding as he did the feelings of the friends with whom 
he was associated. He controverted the doctrine [that had been advanced by the oppo- 
nents of the Wilmot Proviso] that even if the whole country, North and South, was opposed 
to slavery, Congress had no power to legislate on the subject. Ue thought Ike Missouri 
( ontpromise HAD settled that point.'" (See Cong. Globe, 1st ses. 30th Cong., page 1074 — 5. ) 

The results, ef Mr. Bell's vote on this occasion against the Clayton Compromise 
were: 1st, the passage of the Wilmot proviso over the Territory of Oregon; 
'id, keeping open the slavery agitation in reference to New Mexico and Cali- 
ioruia, and the excitement which thereupon ensued, which so threatened the 

peace and stability of this Union as to call Mr. Clay from the quiet and repose 
of his home, to beat back the tide of fanaticism, and give pea^e once more to a 
distracted country; and third, the exclu;-ion of the South from the whole of Cali- 
fornia — for California finding herself without the protection of this Government-, 
framed the next year a State Constitution, and in order to gain admission into 
the Union, prohibited slavery therein. We entertain not a particle of a doubt, 
that had the Clayton Compromise passed, the southern portion of California 
would have been to-day a slave State. Thus bv the vote, example, and influ- 
ence of John Bell, a Senator representing a slavoholding people, was a fair com- 
promise of the slavery question defeated, the Wilmot proviso thrust down the 
throats of the South, the South deprived of a good opportunity of having a slave 
State in California, and the slavery question left open, to rankle in the public 
mind, and furnish fuel for the Abolition agitators. Congress adjourned in a few 
weeks, and Mr. Bell returned to Tennessee, and engaged in advocating the elec 
tion of Gen. Taylor to the Presidency; and in a speech at Murfreesboro', on the 
21st of September, reported in the Nashville Banner, he reviewed the action that 
had been had on the Oregon bill, saying : 

" He was not •willing to defeat that bill by any direct vote or movement on his part. He 
therefore voted against the proposition for postponement. Pie was glad the bill had passed, 
as he believed its defeat would have done mischief at the North. He did not feel called 
upon to vote for it, though he was not clearly certain that Congress had not the power to de- 
pose of the whole subject. The Missouri Compromise, so long acquiesced in, went far to 
settle that question." 

In this same speech he declared : 

"What his (General Taylor's) opinions were on the subject of the constitutional power 
of Congress over the question of slavery in the new Territories, he knew not, nor did he de- 
sire to know." 

It will thus be seen that he abandoned the South upon the first grave question 
that came up after he entered the Senate, involving an important constitutional 
right, dear to the South, and which was being recklessly warred upon by Corwin, 
Hale, Hamlin & Co., and which National Democrats and Whigs, North and 
South, were endeavoring to compromise upon the plan of referring to and abiding 
by the decision of the Supreme Court — a plan which Mr. Clayton, a good Henry 
Clay Whig, said " any man who desired discord will oppose, but he who does not 
desire to distract the country will vote for." And having aided in defeating this 
compromise, he then joined the North in favoring the passage of a bill for Ore- 
gon, with the Wilmot proviso attached, endeavoring to shield himself by simply 
recording his vote in the negative, and in favoring an amendment extending the 
Missouri restriction, but declaring at the same time, and subsequently, that he 
thought the passage of the old Missouri Compromise restriction had determined 
the power of Congress to apply the Wilmot Proviso, excluding the slave property 
of the South from the common territory. Well might General Zollicoifer, the 
Whig Representative in Congress from Mr. Bell's own district, say : 

"The open efforts of avowed Abolitionists are impotent for harm, because the masses of 
the American people strongly reprobate them as inimical to the Constitution and to the 
stability of the Government; but when Southern statesmen, whose patriotic purposes are not 
doubted, gravely declare that they believe the Wilmot Proviso is constitutional, the politicians 
and people of the North are not sloiv to adopt this theory; and then the only question left 
with them i8, Is it expedient to enact the Wilmot Proviso ? Believing, as the masses in the 
North do, that slavery is wrong, regarding it as obnoxious, as leading Democrats do, whom 
my colleague regards as sound and true statesmen, is it wonderful what demonstrations we 
have in the North in favor of the Wilmot Proviso, after the surrender of the constitutional 
question by those trusted at the South ?" 



Congress met in December, 1849, under peculiar circumstances. The country 
was wild with excitement, disturbing the public peace and threatening a dissolu- 
tion of the Union. Mad and bad men at the North adhered to their determina- 
tion to override the constitutional rights of the South, to break down the equality 
of the States, and prohibit slavery in the Territories. Party was forgotten, and 
good men everywhere were conferring together to prevent the outrage and pre- 
serve the Government from a bloody issue. Mr. Clay, seeing the great danger 
in which the country was, left the comforts of home and retirement, to mingle 
once more in the exciting scenes, in order to restore peace and quiet to the Union. 
It was the last great drama of his life. He came not as the leader of a party, 
but as a representative of American patriotism. He brought forward his plan 
of adjustment, embodied in a series of resolutions. He proposed the admission 
of California, the organization of territorial governments for New Mexico and 
Utah, without the Wilmot Proviso, and upon the principle of non-intervention 
according to the Clayton compromise, a more stringent fugitive slave law, and a 
peaceable adjustment of the boundary question between New Mexico and Texas. 
Instead of falling in with Mr. Clay, and giving him his support, Mr. Bell sought 
to embarrass and thwart the efforts of those friendly to a settlement of the ques- 
tion to the satisfaction of the South and the conservative men of the North. Up, 
therefore, he jumped, and proposed his plan. And what was it ? By the terms 
of the annexation of Texas, it was in the power of the people of Texas, whenever 
they so desired, to form four additional States out of their territory, making 
five in all. Their right in this matter Mr. Webster pronounced " complete, final, 
and irrevocable." Yet, John Bell, a Southern Senator, proposed to admit only 
two additional States, to be formed out of the Territory of Texas; and, said he, 
" when admitted they will be the last of their race. They will and must close 
the account, in my judgment, of slave States, then and forever, or for as long as 
this Union lasts." Here, then, his first proposition was to surrender a right, 
" complete, final, and irrevocable," to form four more slave States out of Texa3. 
Did he prove thus treacherous to the South out of ignorance ? Let him answer : 

"This number, (two, as he proposed,) you will recollect, Mr. President, falls far short 
of the calculations of Southern gentlemen ; of the advocates of the annexation of Texas, 
when that question was presented to the American people. Four or five slave .States, it 
was estimated, might and would be carved out of that Territory. Four slave States might 
be carved out of that Territory, because there is a country extensive enough, rich enough, fertile 
enough, to sustain a population that would authorize its division into four States ; but with ths 
arrangement now proposed, [his own,) it would be impossible that such a project should be 
ever entertained. * * * Therefore, sir, there can be no prospect of the further admission 
of slave States into the Union at any time." 

Thus we see Mr. Bell knowingly and wilfully proposing to surrender a " com- 
plete, final, and irrevocable" right to the formation of five slave States, to be 
carved out of Texas ! 

His next resolution was aho fatal to Southern rights. He proposed to take 
two and a half degrees from Texas, lying north of the 34th parallel of north 
latitude, and attach it to New Mexico, with the avowed intention of making it 
a free State. But we will let him tell the story in his own words : 

" The first point which will be suggested to the minds of honorable Senators by this 
resolution is, that here is a surrender of two and a half degrees of slave territory to be there- 
after free territory. * * It will be remembered that the Missouri Compromise line is 
the parallel of 36° 30'. Thus two and a half degrees of slave territory will be given up to 
become free, as I think will be conceded in the candid judgment of all. * * * While 
the present organization of material creation stands, African slavery can never find a foot- 
hold in New Mexico." — Cong. Globe, 1st sess. 31st Cong., page 436. 


Thus, again, for the purpose of forming a free State and despoiling Texas of 
her slave territory, we see Mr. Bell gravely proposing to surrender two and a 
half degrees of slave territory to "free soil I" Comment is unnecessary. 

His next resolution proposed the admission of California. 

Not a word is said about the fugitive slave law. No ; all his efforts were to 
strengthen the " powerful North" at the expense of the South. His proposition, 
together with all others, were referred to the committee of thirteen, of which 
Mr. Clay was the chairman, who reported a series of measures known as the 
" Compromise measures of 1850. " What was the course of Mr. Bell ? Ten- 
nessee had spoken in trumpet tones in favor of those measures, and instructed 
her Senators to vote for them. This placed it out of the power of Mr. Bell to 
vote against them, but it did not prevent his speaking against them and seeking 
to defeat them. The issue was between the President's (Gen. Taylor) plan and 
the adjustment presented by the Committee of Thirteen. For a better under- 
standing of the matter, we quote from a speech of Mr. Clay, delivered on the 
21st of May : 

"Now, what is the plan of the President? I will describe it by a simile in a manner 
which cannot be misunderstood. Here are five wounds : one, two, three, four, five — bleeding 
and threatening the well being if not the existence of the body politic. What is the plan 
of the President? Is it to heal all of these wounds? It is only to heal one of the five, 
and to leave the other four to bleed more profusely than ever, by the sole admission of 
California, even if it should produce death itself. The President, instead of proposing a 
plan comprehending all the diseases of the country, looks only at one. His recommenda- 
tion does not embrace, and he 6ays nothing about the fugitive slave bill or the District bill; 
but he recommends that the other two subjects of Territorial government and Texas bound- 
ary, remain and be left untouched, to cure themselves by some law of nature, by the vis 
medicatrix naturae, or some self remedy, in the success of which I cannot perceive any 
ground of the least confidence. * * * * * 

"The recommendation of the President, as I have already 6aid, proposes the simple 
introduction of California as a State into the Union — a measure which, standing by itself, 
has excited the strongest symptoms of dissatisfaction in the Southern portion of the Con- 
federacy. The recommendation proposes to leave all else untouched and unprovided for. 
In 6uch an abandonment, what will be the condition of things? The first approximate 
Territory to California is Utah, and in what condition is that left by the President's Mes- 
sage? Without any government at all. Without even the blessing or curse, as you may 
choose to call it, of a military government." * * * * 

"And when you come to New Mexico, what government have you? A military govern- 
ment by a Lieutenant Colonel of the army! A Lieutenant Colonel — a mere subordinate of 
the army of the United States — holds the government power there in a time of profound 
peace ! Stand up, Whig, who can — stand up, Democrat, who can, and defend the establishment, 
of a military government in this free and glorious Republic, in a time of profound peace ! Sir, 
we had doubts about the authority of the late President to do this in time of war, and it 
was cast as a reproach against him. But here, in a time of profound peace, it is proposea 
by the highest authority, that this government, that this military government — and by 
what authority it has continued since peace ensued, I know not — should be continued in- 
definitely, till New Mexico is prepared to come as a State into the Union. There are now 
about ten thousand people there, composed of Americans, Spaniards, and Mexicans ; and 
about eighty thousand or ninety thousand Indians, civilized, uncivilized, half civilized, and 
barbarous people ; and when will they be ready to come in as a State ? Sir, I say it under 
a full sense of the responsibility of my position, that, if to-morrow, with such a population 
and such a Constitution as such a population might make, they were to come here for ad- 
mission as a State, I, for one, would not vote for it. It would be ridiculous ; it would be 
farcical; it would bring into contempt the grave matter of forming Commonwealths as 
sovereign members of this glorious Union." 

Mr. Bell replied to Mr. Clay. On the third of July, 1850, he commenced 
one of the most extraordinary speeches ever delivered in the Senate, and contin- 
ued it for three days. In regard to Mr. Clay's plan of adjustment, he said: 

"I have up to this moment remained uncommitted to it, as the distinguished chairman 
(Mr. Clay) of the committee knows. * * It has at no time met my cordial approval. 

* * When the plan of such gentlemen falls so far short of what the Senate and the coun- 
try had a right to expect of them, it is to me, at least, a matter of deep regret." 

He then proceeded to defend the President's plan in the face of his own former 
proposition, and to suggest the most puerile objections to Mr. Clay's adjustment. 
He was exceedingly ingeuious in his attacks upon it. He sought to array the 
ultra Southern men and the Abolitionists against it. To the Southern men he 

" It is proposed by the 39th section of the bill, to establish a Territorial government for 
New Mexico. * * The extent of the concession to the South, I apprehend, will 
be found to consist in the mere forbearance to employ odious and obnoxious forms of en- 
actment, (the Wilmot proviso.) * * The principle of non-intervention is not 
violated, and that, it is said, is a great deal. * * I confess I do not see any sub- 
stantial concession to the South in all this. * * * Suppose that, contrary to 
all existing circumstances and presumptions, this bill having passed, slavery should be in- 
troduced into New Mexico, and after the lapse of years, when the inhabitants shall be au- 
thorized to form a State constitution, and slavery should be recognized by its provisions, 
what security has the South that with such a constitution, New Mexico will ever be admit- 
ted into the Union as a State? None at all." 

Yet this very same John Bell proposed only two or three months before, to take 
2£ degrees of slave territory from Texas, attach it to this New Mexico, and baud 
both over to the free-soilers. Further, in this very speech, towards its close, he 
actually proposed, in order to array the North against the compromise, to admit 
this very New Mexico immediately as a free State! 

Speaking to the ultra Southern men, he again said : 

"Besides the settlement of all the questions connected with Texas, I would have adopt- 
ed the spirit of the Missouri compromise, and set apart some portion of the Territories, 
into which the slaveholder might go with his property. This I would have considered a 
substantial concession to the South — a real compromise." 

Yet, in his speech from which we have heretofore quoted, delivered at this 
same session only four months before this one, we find Mr. Bell saying : 

" I know that many southern gentlemen, for whose opinion I entertain a high respect, 
say that the Missouri compromise line should at all hazards be adhered to. I cannot 
agree with them. I will not enter into a discussion now upon that point. I will only say, 
that, even if it could be obtained, even if there could be a recognition of slavery south of 
that line, it would be a barren victory, for there would be no slavery there. * * So 
that even if this recognition should be conceded by the North, I insist it would be of no 
value to the South " 

Consistent John Bell ! He next turned to the North, and tried to bring them 
into opposition to the compromise. He sets out by informing them that the 
Wilmot Proviso is not in the bills, and that it is not clear that Old Zack would 
veto it if it was put there. Hear him : 

"I have said that I neither knew, nor sought to know, General Taylor's views upon this 
subject during the late canvass. / do not noiv know what General Taylor would do — whethei 
he would veto a bill containing the Wdmot Proviso or not. Nor do I believe the man is 
living who can say, with truth, that he is better informed upou this subject than myself." 

Having stated that he did not understand General Cass to have declared what 
his course would have been under such circumstances, he added : 

" Sir, his objection to the Wilmot Proviso, being founded on his opinion of what the Con- 
stitution authorized, and not upon any opinion favorable to the extension of slavery, it would 
have been an act of unusual boldness to have declared that he loould disregard the former prac' 
tice of government, and given no weight to the precedents of the Missouri Compromise and 
the Oregon territorial act." 

Thus giving the North to understand that General Taylor, should Congress 
pass the Wilmot proviso, would not be guilty of an act of such unusual boldness 
as to veto it. Not content with this, he draws their attention to the fact that 
they are instructed to vote for it. He said : 


'/Look, sir, to the North and to the South, and see who thoy are who support the plan 
of the President. As to those of the North, are they not pledged and lied to the Wilmot pro- 
viso by their instructions ? And have they not already receded a little from their platform • 
in coming to the plan of the President? " 

Then still further, to alarm ami embarrass those Northern men who were dis- 
posed to go for the compromise, in spite of instructions, and trust to the people to 
support them, Mr. Bell said : 

"Sir, from the moment you pass this bill, and as long as a territorial government, ac- 
cording to its provisions, shall exist in New Mexico, the watchword at the North will be 
repeal, or the application of the Wilmot proviso." 

He went still further, and appealed to the cupidity of the North to defeat the 
compromise. He held out to them the glittering bait of another free State in 
New Mexico, the inhabitants of which were about forming a State constitution 
with a prohibition against slavery. He said : 

"Admit New Mexico as a State, or provide for its admission at some future day after 
Texas shall have acceded to a settlement of her boundary, aud though there may be some 
increased excitement at the South for a time, it will soon pass away, and all will be per- 
manently quiet. * * * * * 

Mr. Footk. I state with perfect conscientiousness, and with a complete conviction of 
what I say, that if New Mexico is admitted as a State, tho Union cannot continue to exist." 

In reply to Mr. Foote and Mr. Clay's declaration that he would not vote for 
the admission of New, Mexico as a State, Mr. Bell said : 

"It does appear to me to be a strange and extraordinary position for Senators to take, when 
they declare that under no circumstanccsj.cill they vote to admit New Mexico into the Union as a 

This hasty effort of Mr. Bell to drag another free State into the Union, with a 
population, according to Mr. Clay, of about ten thousand Americans, Mexicans, 
and Spaniards, and eighty or ninety thousand Indians, a " civilized, uncivilized, 
half-civilized, and barbarous people," must be considered very strange, not to say 
monstrous, when taken in connection with his subsequent conversioa to Know- 
Nothingism, and his zealous co-operation with thai party to proscribe and put 
down our f jreign-born citizens, in the election of 1855. But this was not all. 
He begged to remind the northern Senators that there was lo bill for the aboli- 
tion of slavery in the District of Columbia, and then proceeds to show that there 
is no constitutional impediments in the way. Hear him : 

" "With regard to the constitutional power of Congress over this subject, I would say that 
tbe only doubt I have of the existence of the power, either to suppress the slave trade, or to 
abolish slavery in this District, is inspired by the respecc I have for the opinions of so many 
distinguished and eminent men, both in and out of Congress, who hold that Congress has 
no such power. Readiog the Constitution for myself, 1 btlieve that Congress has all thepower 
over the subject in this District which the Stales have within their respective jurisdictions. * * 

" But, however great my respect may be for the opinions of others on the question of 
power, there are some considerations of such high account a9 in my judgment, to make it 
desirable that, unless by common consent the project of abolition shall be wholly given up 
and abandoned, the remnant of slavery existing in the District should be abolished at once. At 
the present moment, however, the exciting state of public sentiment in the South, growing 
out of the territorial questions, may seem to forbid such a course." * * * 

" I would be glad to see all cause of disturbance and contention in the District wholly 
removed; but let me say that this never can be done by the abolition of slavery, unless it 
be accompanied by some adequate provision for the removal or the effective control of the 
slaves after they shall be emancipated. With this qualification, and in order to test the 
determination of the North in regard to any further and continued aggression upon 
the Southern property, / would be content to see slavery in the District abolished to- 
day. " 

After surrendering everything to the North, with his eye on the future, Mr. 
Bell begs leave to call their attention to his subserviency to their policy and 


views, and that now when they are acquiring power and influence, they must not 
forget him. We quote his words : 

" I cannot forbear further to remind my northern friends that in the South and South- 
west there is a body of men, who, for a long period, have continued faithful and just to 
them; sustaining them in their FAVORITE POLICY through every vicissitude of political for- 
tune ; a body of men of liberal and catholic views of national policy, who look beyond the 
limited horizon of sectional interests, spurn the influence of sectional prejudice, and em- 
brace the whole Union as their common country. * * * 

" While that protracted domination of the South which has been so long and so keenly 
felt at the North, was always more imaginary than real, no southern man ever having at- 
tained the Presidency except by the concurrence, oftentimes, of more than half, and always 
of a large division of the North ; yet now it cannot be disguised that the period of southern 
ascendency — if ever it had a real existence — approaches its end. Political power and as- 
cendency, in a sectional view, have already passed away from the South forever, and this 
is so manifest that a Senator who spoke in this debate, could not forbear taunting the South 
with the prospect of their declining fortunes. A great change had taken place in the politi- 
cal vocabulary : ' It is no longer,' he exultingly exclaims, ' the South and the North ; it is 
now the North and the South."' 

For all these extracts see Appendix to Congressional Globe, 1st session 31st 
Congress, beginning at pages 1088, and 1667. 

His efforts to defeat the compromise failed, however. They were passed, and wo 
find Mr. Bell voting for the only feature in it obnoxious to the South, to wit : 
the admission of California — and voting against the Territorial bill for New 
Mexico, and dodging the vote on Utah, which left open those Territories for the 
emigration of the southerners with their peculiar property upon an equal footing 
with the people from any other section of the Union, leaving the people to deter- 
mine their domestic institutions for themselves when they shall come to form a 
State Government. We repeat, that Mr. Bell voted consistently with the 
fanatics of the North for that feature of the compromise which was the most un- 
just to the South; and with them against that feature, pertaining to the Terri- 
tories, that did the greatest justice, and was most approved at the South. — (See 
Appendix to Congressional Globe, volume 21, part 2d, pp. 1573 and 1589 — vol- 
ume 22, part 2d, page 1485.) 


This brings us to 1854, when governments were to be provided for Kansas and 
Nebraska. Early in the proceedings of the Senate, January, of that year, Mr. 
Dixon, a Whig Senator from Kentucky, offered an amendment to the bill, repeal- 
ing, by express words, the Missouri Compromise of 1820 — a compromise which 
has always been regarded as unjust to the South, and which the North had uni- 
formly shown an unwillingness to observe, except when it operated to their ad- 
vantage, a compromise which Mr. Bell had himself denounced in 1850, as " of 
no value to the South," and as M a submission of the South — a submission fatal 
to the interests of the South." The compromise of 1850 had virtually repealed 
the Missouri Compromise, and in order to make the present legislation accord 
with that, Mr. Dixon brought forward his proposition of repeal. The Legislature 
of Tennessee was in session at the time, and with but one dissenting voice in the 
Senatorial branch, and unanimously in the House, passed resolutions in favor of 
the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. The amendment of Mr. Dixon was 
afterwards offered by Mr. Douglas to the original bill, and when it came up in the 
Senate, was voted for by Mr. Bell, in connection with all other national men of 
both parties. It was the first time for many years that, upon any material ques- 
tion involving the rights of the South, he had failed to take ground against the 
South, and with his old Federal allies at the North. It was understood that the 
entire body of Whig Senators from the South would support the bill as thus 
amended. The National Intelligencer, their organ at Washington, was taking W>* 


contrary course, and fearing that it might create a false impression with the coun- 
try as to the position of the Whig party in the Senate, a caucus of the Whig 
Senators was held, and — 

'■Resolved, That we disapprove of the course of the National Intelligencer upon the 
Nebraska bill, and that, in our opinion, it does not truly represent the Whig party of the 

The Hon. John Bell was one of the members of this caucus meeting. " That 
resolution/' says the chairman of the meeting, Mr. Toombs, in a speech in the 
Senate, " was adopted without dispute. I did not hear the Senator's (Mr. Bell's) 
voice against it." Just before the meeting adjourned, say Mr. Toombs, Mr. 
Clayton, and Mr. Badger, in their speeches in the Senate, " it was suggested that, 
as it would be several weeks before all of us would have an opportunity of speak- 
ing on the bill, an authoritative annunciation of our position upon it in the 
Senate would promote the objects of the meeting. This was agreed to without 
dispute, whereupon the Senator from North Carolina was requested to state, in 
substance, that the Southern Whigs loere a unit in favor of the bill. The Sen- 
ator from North Carolina, Mr. Badger, having the floor next day, made the 
announcement accordingly. The statement went forth to the country. " The 
Senator from Tennessee," continued Mr. Toombs, " was present when it was 
made, but he did not utter publicly one word in opposition; and I never heard 
that the statement of the Senator from North Carolina did not truly represent 
the position of the Senator from Tennessee, until I heard of his vote against the 
bill when it passed that body." 

Senator Clayton, one of the purest men who e7er occupied a seat in the Senate, 
said : 

"The Southern Whigs (in that meeting) were unanimous in favor of the repeal of tho 
Missouri Compromise. They had consulted with each other, not in a caucus, but we un- 
derstood from private conversation with each other that we all thought tho Missouri Com- 
promise line ought to be repealed." 

Mr. Clayton further said, he understood Mr. Bell himself to take that ground 
in his speech. Mr. Badger said, in the Senate : 

"I certainly thought I was requested by the meeting of Whig Senators, then and there 
present, of whom my friend from Tennessee was one — not only authorized, but requested — 
in order to anticipate the delay which must take place before they could either vote or 
speak on the subject, that whatever course of reasoning we might adopt in bringing us to 
the conclusion, in support of the bill, we were all united." 

Every other gentleman who spoke confirmed these gentlemen in their state- 
ments. (See Appendix to Globe, vol. 29, pp. 940— 11.) 

And yet after having voted for the main feature of this measure, the repeal of 
the Missouri Compromise, offered as an amendment by Mr. Dixon — after having at- 
tended a meeting of the Whig members of the Senate, who were all agreed to favor 
the bill, and who, from their intercourse with Mr. Bell understood him as beinw 
with them, and who authorized one of their number, Mr. Badger, to announce 
in the Senate, that they were a unit for the Nebraska-Kansas bill, — Mr. Bell, 
true to his instincts, abandoned the South^, and even his party friends, on this 
question; and recorded his vote with the Abolitionists against it. The following 
is the negative vote : 

Nats. — Messrs. BELL of Tenn., CHASE of Ohio, Dodge of Wisconsin, Fessetoen of 
Maine, Fish of New York, Foot of Vermont, HAMLIN of Maine, Houston of Texas, 
James of Rhode Island, SEWARD of New York, Smith of Connecticut, SUMNER ot 
Massachusetts, WADE of Ohio, Walker of Wisconsin. — 14. Ayes 37. 

What new light broke in upon him between his vote for Mr. Dixon's amend- 
ment, in accordance with the instructions of his State, and his vote against the 


bill ? What inducements were held out to him by the Abolitionists which h- 
clined him to violate his instructions, stultify his own record, and return to their 
embraces? We will see. When, in 1856, meeting with the general disapproba- 
tion of his outraged constituency, it was rumored that he intended to resign a^d 
come home, the leading Black Republican organ of the North, the New York 
Tribune, contradicting the report, said : 

" He is as robust and hale to-day as when he bearded and conquered the old lion, Andrew 
Jackson, in his den, and as resolute and as ready to do service as when single handed hi 
bravely encounted the whole South upon the Nebraska Bill, and carried terkor into their 
ranks. The wisdom and experience of a man so eminent and pure are of no ordinary value 
at this time, when the country is convulsed with the wars of faction and the spirit of sub- 
jugation is abroad, threatening to overshadow a new land of promise, (Kansas. ) Let us 
hope they will be long exercised in the Senate or in some higher capacity, where the coun- 
try may equally enjoy their advantage." 

But we must hurry on. And this brings us to the — 


In 1857 Kansas applied for admission as a slave State. Her constitution was 
formed by a convention legally convened, and the question of slavery or no sla- 
very was submitted to a vote of the people, and they decided in favor of slavery. 
Gen. Zollicoffer, the Whig Representative in Congress from Mr. Bell's own dis- 
trict in Tennessee, truly said : 

" The great mass of those who oppose the admission of Kansas into the Union, oppose it 
because it comes with a pro-slavery constitution." 

The issue .was made up. The time was come to test the question whether the 
Black Republican doctrine, "No more slave States," should prevail. Tennessee, 
true to herself and the South, through her legislature, instructed Mr. Bell to 
vote for the admission of Kansas or resign. What did he do ? He gets up in 
the Senate, and insults the people of Tennessee by saying : 

"I undertake to say, that at this day (1858) there are not five hundred men in Ten- 
nessee who understand the Kansas-Nebraska bill. * * In my own intercourse with the 
people, I have yet to find the first man who understood that question properly." 

And then, to still further mark his contempt for the people, he voted with 
Hale, Seward, Sumner & Co., against the bill. He and Mr. Crittenden, of Ken- 
tucky, were the only Senators from the slave States in the Senate that, on that occa- 
sion, had the hardihood to desert their own section, and attach themselves to the 
Abolitionists of the North, and they have both been hurled by an indignant and 
betrayed constituency from their seats in that august body. 

In his speeches upon the question, Mr. Bell objected to scmie informalities and 
charges of fraud which had been thrown out by the Abolition Senators against 
the action of Kansas. He forgot that he had voted to admit California, with all 
her informalities, irregularities, and frauds. She had not had even a territorial 
government before. The convention that made her constitution was called to- 
gether by a military Governor; the question of convening it was not even sub- 
mitted to a vote of the people. There was no law directing who should or should 
not vote. All was chaos. The military Governor was the supreme authority, 
and evidences of astounding frauds were filed before Congress, undenied and 
undeniable. Mr. Bell himself admitted that the rights of the United States to 
the mineral lands were not guarded in her constitution. Yet he voted and 
spoke for her admission — she was a free State — he could then overlook the in- 
formalities, irregularities, and frauds. He went further. He was willing to 
admit New Mexico, with her uncivilized and semi-barbarous people, as a free 
State. But as soon as a slave State comes up for admission, and Giddings, Hale., 


Seward, Sumner & Co. start off, in accordance with their Abolition anti-slavery 
views, in full howl against it, Mr. Bell, tender, conscientious soul, sees informal- 
ities in every act, irregularity at every turn, and fraud at every corner. The 
" powerful .North," — that Noith with whom Mr. Bell had so long co-operated; 
that North which he had sustained in its favorite policy through every vicissi- 
tude of political fortune ; that North with whom he had formed a sacred alliance 
at Hartiord and at Boston, when he betrayed the Democratic party in 1836; 
that North with whom he had co-operated in reviving all the Federal measures 
of John Quincy Adams' administration; that North with whom he had labored 
for a United States Bank and a high Protective Tariff; that North, with whom 
he had combined to defeat the acquisition of Southern territory in the admission 
of Texas ; that North, with whom he had joined hands in denouncing the Mexi- 
can war and in impeding its vigorous prosecution ; that North, with which he 
had voted, almost uniformly, against his own section upon every question involv- 
ing the rights of slavery ; that North, whom he had aided in opening the doors 
of Congress for the reception of Abolition petitions, in applying the Wilmot pro- 
viso to the Territory of Oregon, and in making it a precedent against the South 
in future legislation; in defeating the Clayton compromise, which secured to the 
slave States whatever constitutional rights the Supreme Court should determine 
them entitled to ; in endeavoring to defeat the compromise measures of 1850, 
and adopt in their stead a plan of settlement which would have debarred the 
South from every inch of the newly acquired territory ; that North, with whom 
he stood shoulder to shoulder in their efforts to defeat the Kansas bill, and sub- 
sequently in prohibiting her admission into the Union under a slavery constitu- 
tion ; that North was now getting the ascendency by numerical force, not by any 
newly acquired constitutional rights, and Mr. Bell could not afford to break with 
them. On the contrary, he desired to remind them, as he saw the scale turning, 
that in their future triumphs they must not forget those in the South and South- 
west, " who for a long period have continued faithful and just to them, sustain- 
ing them in their favo/ite policy through every vicissitude of political fortune." 
He pointed back to his votes for the reception of Abolition petitions : and his 
declaration in favor of the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and 
then adds : 

" / hold the same sentiments now. I do not find the least occasion to change them." 

He also goes on to endorse the heretical doctrines of the Abolitionists on the 


that it was not binding or obligatory upon them. The Supreme Court had de- 
cided, in the Dred Scott case, with remarkable unanimity : 1st, that a negro was 
not a citizen ; 2d, that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional, and that 
Congress had no power to prohibit slavery in the Territories ; and 3d, that slaves 
were property, and that the citizens of all the States had a right to go into the 
Territories with their property — the right to which could not be impaired by either 
Congress, or the Territorial Legislatures, they possessing alone " the power coupled 
with the duty to protect it." 

Mr. Seward, Mr. Hale, and all the other Abolition agitators denounced the de- 
cision in the most unmeasured terms. They threatened to re-organize the court, 
and proclaimed that they would not obey the decision. Mr. Douglas, who had 
been fighting side by side with them, told the people of Illinois : 

" It matters not what way the Supreme Court may hereafter decide as to the abstract question, 
whether slavery may or may not go into a Territory under the Constitution, the people have the 
lawful means to introduce or exclude it as they please. * * * * * 

"No matter what the decision of the Supreme Court may be on that abstract question, still the 


right of the people to make a slave Territory or a free Territory, is perfect and complete under 
tlie Nebraska Bill." 

Abraham Lincoln, the Black Kepublican candidate for the Presidency, on the 
same occasion said : 

" If I were in Congress, and a vote should come up on a question, -whether slavery should 
be prohibited in a new Territory, in spite of the Dred Scott decision, I would vote that it 

Now, listen to John Bell, in the Senate of the United States : 

" Whatever may be the decision of the Supreme Court on the power of Congress to in- 
terfere with the question of slavery in the Territories, and however clear and well founded 
in principle and authority its decisions may be, I have supposed that inasmuch as it is a 
question of constitutional construction or interpretation, and relates to the jurisdiction 
and power of a special department of the government — a department always more or less 
under the influence of political considerations, TnE question would not be regarded as 
permanently settled ; and that whenever in future, as heretofore, Congress shall be 
ealled upon to legislate concerning a Territory, the question will again become the subject of 
decision, and such decision as the majority shall think proper to declare. Congress was never 
swayed by the opinion of the Supreme Court on the question of its powers to establish a 
National Bank ; nor will it be controlled by any of its opinions on questions involving political 
considerations ." 

Now, what is the difference between Bell, Douglas, and Lincoln ? All of them 
agree in setting at defiance the decision of the Supreme Court, declared by the 
Constitution of the United States to be " the supreme law of the land;" they 
proclaim the same dangerous and infamous doctrine, that Congress, and if Con- 
gress, then the citizen also, will not be bound by the decision of the highest tribu- 
nal known to the Constitution to interpret the laws of the country. If this is 
not counselling a contempt of the courts, and resistance, instead of obedience, to 
the constituted authorities of the Government, we cannot understand the force of 
the English language. Such a doctrine, of contempt for the laws and the courts 
would, if instilled into the minds of the people, inevitably lead to the disruption 
of the Government. He is not a sound statesman, nor a good man, nor a patriot, 
who loves his country and her institutions, who would thus seek to loosen the 
respect of the people for the judiciary and laws of their country. 


No wonder, then, the Abolitionists were loud in their praises of Mr. Bell. 
During a long and eventful history, he had never forsaken them. He had given 
himself wholly up to their " favorite policy." He had voted to receive, print, 
and refer their abolition petitions ; he had voted against the Clayton compromise, 
and spoke in favor of the Wilmot Proviso ; he was willing to vote to admit free 
States, and had voted against the admission of a slave State; he had spoken 
against the Compromise measures, and voted against the Kansas-Nebraska bill ; 
he had proclaimed the power of Congress, and his own desire, to abolish slavery in 
the District of Columbia; and now he had joined the Abolitionists to weaken 
the force of the decision of the Supreme Court. In view of all this, well might 
Mr. Seward, that arch-traitor of New York, alluding to Mr. Bell, say : 

"At last a new voice issues from your own region, from the South, from the slave Slates, 
and protests against your further persistence in this mad enterprise, \_of extending slavery, ] and 
admonishes you that it must and will fail. The cohorts arc gathering from the South ; the 
men of moderation and conservatism, who, as they have heretofore moderated in tavor of 
slavery and against freedom, will now be obliged, in consistency with their just and well 
established character and their patriotism, TO moderate against YOU IN favor of freedom, 

Well might the notorious Burlingame — he who blasphemously declared that 
"the times demand, and we must have, an anti-slavery Constitution, an anti- 
slavery Bible, and an anti-slavery God," thus bespatter Mr. Bell with praises :• 


"Sir, it was a prond day to me when I heard the speech of the venerable Senator from 
Kentucky, (Mr. Crittenden.) The melody of his -voice and his patriotic accent still sound 
in my ears. I was glad to hear him denounce fraud ; I was glad to hear him stand for the 
truth. * * I also felt proud to hear the speech of the distinguished Senator from Ten- 
nessee, (Mr. Bell.) * * I trust that this may be an omen of what may happen in the 
future. As to what may happen, it is not for me to prophesy. Let time and chance 

Horace Greeley, of the New York Tribune, was also loud in his praises of Mr. 
Bell. Hear him : 

" Most certainly we should prefer an original Republican — Gov. Seward or Gov. Chaao 
for instance — but we shall heartily and zealously support one like JOHN BELL, Edward 
Bates, or John M. Botts, provided we are well assured that his influence, his patronage, 
his power, if chosen President, will be used not to extend slavery, but to confine it within 
the States that see fit to uphold it." 

And again, in reference to who should he their candidate : 

"A speech, a vote, a proposition of the right stamp, and made at the right moment, may 
indicate him so that the clear-eyed can no longer doubt. And that man, whoever he may 
be, whether Seward, or Chase, or McLean, or Banks, or Fremont, or Bissell, or Collamer, 
or Bates, or Fessenden — nay, should he not have hitherto been regarded as technically a 
Republican, such as Gen. Scott, or JOHN BELL, or Horace F. Clark, or John M. Botts, or 
Henry Winter Davis, provided he be openly and unequivocally anti-slavery-extending, anti- 
Cuba-stealing, anti-Fillibuster — we shall heartily support both his nomination and hig 
election. We give fair notice that a practical triumph over the sham Democracy and its 
master, the slavery Propaganda, is the end for which we labor and to which we hold not 
only personal aspirations but party names wholly subordinate." 

Again, in a kmg article on the policy of taking up a Southern man, after laying 
down the platform of the Black Republican party, Greeley said : 

"Looking to the North, we regard as coming within the scope of the organization we 
have indicated, all such Democrats as John Reynolds, Horace F. Clark, Garnett B. Adrain, 
John W. Forney, and John Hickman ; and all such Americans as Nathaniel S. Benton, 
Daniel Ullman, James H. Campbell, Henry M. Fuller, and William Millward. At the 
South, unless we misunderstand their position, it would embrace such men as JOHN 
BELL, Edward Bates, H. Winter Davis, John M. Botts, EMERSON ETHERIDGE, 
and Kenneth Ratner. * * * * * * 

" Cannot they combine to overthrow the Nullifiers and Propagandists of the Calhoun 
school in their efforts to override the Constitution and make Negro Slavery the dominating 
interest of the country ? ARE NOT THESE THE ISSUES UPON WHICH THE PRES- 
Salmon P. Chase and Edward Bates, Schuyler Colfax and John Hickman, Henry M. Fuller, 
TO THESE ? And shall these gentlemen, and those who think with them, unite and give 
EFFICIENCY TO THEIR COMMON OPINION in the next National. Administration, or 
by warring on each oilier, insure a triumph to their common foe?" 

The New York Times, the organ of Senator Seward, discussing the probabili- 
ties as to the Chicago nominee, said : 

" The candidates prominent before the Opposition, are Senator Cameron, Senator Sew- 
ard, William L. Dayton, SENATOR BELL, Senator Crittenden, Governor Banks, Abra- 
ham Lincoln, John C. Fremont." 

And in confirmation of all this, the Times proceeded to detail a conversation 
between several "prominent Republicans," who stated : 

"That, notwithstanding they were personally in favor of Seward, yet that it would be 
more politic to nominate a Southerner, so that it might not be said it was a sectional strug- 
gle for power. It was further urged that BELL, of Tennessee, was the most available candidate 
for them." 

Even the National Era, the ultra Abolition paper, published at Washington 
City, was willing to take Mr. Bell, but did not like the abuse of the Republicans 
by the Nashville Banner, which was kept up to throw dust in the eyes of tho 
people of Tennessee. The Era said : 


"The Nashville Republican Banner, the organ of Jottn Bell, is spoiling all the fine pros- 
pects of that gentleman for the Presidency by its coarse abuse of the ' Black Repuplicans.' 
While Mr. Bell is hob-nobbing with the Republicans and semi- Republicans of Pennsylvania and 
New York, his organ is denouncing 'Black Republicans' as being no better than the Black 
Democracy, and the great original sin of eacti of these parties, according to the Republican 
Banner, is the fact that they trace their origin to Thomas Jefferson, who is denounced as 
aa accomplished and ineffable demagogue." 

So intense was the love of the AbolUionists for Mr. Bell, that we see them, 
with Horace Greeley at their head, tendering him the compliment of a publie 

We submit the questions to the heart and conscience of every Southern man: 
Is this man, whose life and course have been so opposed to Southern interests and 
Southern rights, as to receive the plaudits and approval of such Abolition leaders 
as Seward, Burlmganie, Greeley, Raymond & Co., a safe man for the Presidential 
chair '( Would you be willing to trust your rights and interests in his keeping 
for four years ? Does he deserve the support of the South, and can a true-hearted 
Southerner give bis vote to one who has been so regardless of Southern rights? If 
it had not been for the German element in the Republican party demanding that 
no one who had justified Know-Nothiugism should be nominated ac Chicago, 
John Bell would have been to-day their nominee inbtead of Abraham Lincoln. 


John Bell, at one time, was a most ardent supporter of General Jackson. But 
he was not content with supporting Jackson ; so hot was his zeal, that he must 
needs attack all those who opposed his favorite. Mr. Adams had been elevated 
to the Presidency in 1824, through Congress, over General Jackson, and the cry 
had gone forth that this act had been consummated through a. " corrupt bargain 
and intrigue" between Mr. Adams and Mr. C ay. Mr. Bell made haste 1 to re- 
iterate the charge of " bargain and intrigue " against Mr. Clay. On the 11th of 
October, 1826, he addressed a letter to his constituents, from which we quite: 

"Appealing, then, to those who know me best, for the proofs of my consistencyupon 
the subject of the formation and chai'acter of the present Administration of the General 
Government, these are my views, and these the reasons upon which they are founded: 
When the late election for Chief Magistrate devolved 07i the House of Representatives in Con- 
gress, the choice of the people, the favorite of the nation, teas indicated through a thousand chan- 
nels and by the most infallible signs: in the elevation, therefore, of the present incumbent over 
him, I consider that the first and best principle of that Constitution was violated and trodden 
underfoot. The sovereignty of the people was denied. The noble fabric of American liberty was 
endangered by the example, and the authors of it owe an atonement. The national safety de- 
mands that the atonement shoidd be their fall from power. If there had been no violation of an 
important principle in the late- election, I should have been opposed to an administration which 
owes its existence to a union of discordant and hostile interests, brought about by the ARTS OF 
POLITICAL MANAGEMENT AND INTRIGUE. These are arts fit only to be employed by 
the minions and ministers of princes, ivhose thrones are supported by the prostitution of public 
morals. When those arts reach their maturity in this country, the Republic perishes. The 
American masters, the people, who will decide for themselves in the next Presidential election, will 
reject Ike services of those who win their way to office by PRACTICES THAT TEND TO COR- 
RUPTION, and threaten destruction lo the Government. 

" When such an administration is to be opposed, it is fortuuate that there exists such a 
man as Andrew Jackson, to be the instrument, in the hands of the people, of its overthrow. 
A man whose purposes are admitted to be always pure ; whose mind seems iormed for 
great emergencies, and whose splendid services place him, in deserving public favor, at an 
immeasurable distance, in advance of all others. To aid in placing such a man, from any 
part of the Union, at the head of affairs, particularly to aid in elevating such a man from 
my native State, is not only in accordance with my private inclinations, but would be felt 
to be a part of my public duty." 

But this is not all. At a dinner given to Gen. Jackson, at Vauxhall Gardens, 
in Nashville, on the 4th of July, 1827, Mr. Bel! proposed a toast, in which he 
designated Henry Clay as " the guilty statesman." The following is the toast : 




But he was not yet clone with Mr. Clay. On the 7th of September, 1827, he 
prepared another letter for the public, yi which, alluding to Mr. Adams' election 
to the Presidency, and the appointment of Mr. Clay as Secretary of State, ho 
said : 

" i" have seen the highest and most important office in the Government filled by means and under 
circumstances affording all tub evidences of a coalition formed upon the basis of mu- 
tual benefits to be received and conferred, independently of any controverted point in the de- 
tails, that the Government can never expect the light of in any combination that has been or may 
be entered into, to defeat the will of the people. Ambitious and aspiring politicians who have 
great characters to sustain, and sense enough to guard against the common blunders of less prac- 

seldom expose themselves to the danger of detection from positive proof It is not, therefore, in 
my viciv, of so much importance to consider whether a possibility of innocence can be admitted 
in favor of the parties implicated, as to determine whether the presumption to the contrary 
is not so great in the present instance that their continuance ivould be incompatible with the safety 
and well-being of our political institutions." * * * * 

" General Jackson had been presented a candidate for the first office in the gift of the 
people — I may sny, for the highest office in honor and dignity in the world, fir the reason, 
that it is the gift of a nation of freemen. The electors of the people, acting in reference to 
their wishes, had pointed to him as the object of their preference. Their opinions had 
been fairly expressed — fully indicated; yet when the question was fully brought to the 
consideration of Congress, the preference thus manifested ivas disregarded and a selection made 
contrary to the wishes of those who had a rigid to direct and govern ; of this the freemen of the 
United States had a right to complain, and they did complain ; nor zcill they, I trust, cease to 
do so until they shall have vindicated those rights which were thus outraged, and wrested from 

Yet, after these denunciations of Mr. Clay, and the most fulsome eulogies of 
General Jackson, which we have not the space to quote, he became, to suit his 
purposes, the most ardent admirer and eulogist of the man he had so grossly 
abused, and the most bitter reviler and defamer of the other he had formerly be- 
spattered with praise. It was not in his nature to continue long as the friend 
of any man, and accordingly, after eulogizing Mr. Clay for a number of years, he 
deserted him for General Taylor, because he thought Mr. Clay's star was in its 
wane, as he bad done with General Jackson. He came out in favor of General 
Taylor's nomination, over Mr. Clay, for the Presidency in 1848, and as there 
were then Whigs in Tennessee wedded to Mr. Clay, he made a speech at Mur- 
freesborough, in that State, which was published in his organ, the Nashville Ban- 
ner, to convince them that they ought to give up Clay and take Taylor. We 
have room only for a short extract : 

" He believed that hostility to Mr. Clay had become a fixed sentiment with many. His 
admiration of Mr. Clay's talents was not less than that of those who thought his claims 
should have been preferred, lie had prejudices in regard to him to overcome like many 
others, but many others had not yet overcome them. He was for Taylor because he 
thought the honest and patriotic of all parties could unite upon him. He had heard of 
some Whigs who had rather sink with Clay than swim with Taylor. That was not his view 
of the duty of a patriotic Whig. In giving up Mr. Clay he knew that all did not agree 
with him. A movement had been made in New York lately, by W 7 higs, who still thought 
Mr. Clay the only proper representative of Whig principles. He did not think the Whig 
party so poor that they could boast but one man who deserved their suppcrt." 

Again, in 1850, after his extraordinary effort to defeat the Compromise meas- 
ures, Mr. Clay thought proper, among the opponents of the adjustment, to class 
Mr. Bell with the Northern Abolitionists, and to say that all they wanted was 
the Wilmot Proviso incorporated in it. Whereupon Mr. Bell thus replied : 

"I am aware of the vast control the honorable Senator has over the will and sentiments 
of men, especially in the Whig ranks; and this he has had for years. But, when the hon- 


orable Senator so indignantly denounces military authority, is he unconscious that he 
is himself A GREAT MORAL DESPOT? I know something of these moral despotisms. 
I have had to encounter them in my time." 

Is there a man in the United States, who reveres the memory of Henry Clay, 
can give his vote for his most hitter reviler — John Bell ? What say you, Whigs 
of Kentucky, the legitimate custodians of the fame and honor of your great 
leader ? You who clung to him in every emergency, and never deserted him. 
He sleeps in the bosom of Kentucky's soil, among those whom he so much loved ; 
and who so much loved him ! What say you; will the vote of Kentucky be casv 
for his defamer? What say you, Whigs of Tennessee, of Maryland, of the Union, 
who rallied around his banner so gallantly in days of yore, will you now cast yon 
votes for his calumniator ? Answer in November next. 


We have said that Mr. Bell was at one time the firm supporter and eulo^* 
of General Jackson. So he was up to the 23d Congress, when upon the rudy 
nation of Mr. Stevenson, the Federalists and Abolitionists tendered hiw th-j 
Speakership in order to beat James K. Polk, the Administration candidate. Mr. 
-Bell's " easy virtue" could not withstand the temptation, and he yielded io their 
desires, became their candidate, and through a coalition of the Federalists, Abo- 
litionists, Whigs, and disappointed Democrats, he was elected. Ycf, he still 
claimed to be a friend of General Jackson, and returning to Tenn&vxe, by his 
fulsome eulogies upon the Old Hero, so deceived the Democrats they re- 
elected him. Having failed to get into General Jackson's Cabinet, for which he 
was warmly urged by his friend, Judge White, he became a candidate for re-elec- 
tion to the Speakership, and in order to reach that station, wr^ f>nd him making 
"fair weather" with all the aspiring candidates for the Presidency — Judge 
White, of Tennessee, Mr. Van Buren, and Colonel B. M. Jiii'json, of Kentucky. 
In the fall of 1834, he wrote to the Hon. C. P. White, tU bosom friend of Mr. 
Van Buren, that : 

" As tet Tennessee nAs taken no active, decided cod*/^ on this question, BUT 

The editor of the Kentucky Gazette, a friend of Colonel Johnson, in answer 
to a letter, made a publication in which he said : 

" In the month of August or September last, (1834,) J toink it was, Mr. Bell did write a 
letter to Colonel Johnson of the character which you atf-cnbe, and which I saw. I do not 
remember, if, in that particular letter, he (Mr. Bell) ujgtd Colonel Johnson to become a 
candidate for the Presidency or not; but I know xetj well that he had pressed him, and 
the means of success were to be based upon the grcwi.du to which you allude, (support of 
the Bank.)" 

It is difficult to trace the tortuous course of Mr. Bell at this time. He was for 
the administration of Gen. Jackson, and against the administration of Gen. Jack- 
son ; he was for the United States Bank, and against the United States Bank; 
he was for Mr. Van Buren, and against Mr. Van Buren ; he was for Col. John- 
son, and against Col. Johnson ; he was for Judge White, and against Judge 
White; he was for John Bell all the time, and never against John Bell, as will 
be seen by the following paragraph from a letter addressed by him, May 11th, 
1835, to Charles Cassidy, esq. : 

" To defeat me for the Speaker's chair is the main interest which Mr. Polk and Johnson 
have in this whole contest, as I believe. 

" It would not do to ask Polk to vote for me against himself, but he might be made to 
pledge himself for me against any other candidate. My course in appointing him Chairman 
of the Committee of Ways and Means could be used to show that I have not been influenced 
by personal considerations against him, where the country is concerned." 


It will thus be observed, that however tortuous may have been Mr. Bell's 
oourse upon all other matters, he had but one opinion (to which all other opin- 
ions were subordinate) upon the propriety of his own election to the Speakership. 

But Mr. Bell received but little encouragement from the friends of Col. John- 
son, Mr. Van Buren, or Mr. Polk. It had become too evident that he was in- 
triguing with the Opposition and forming new party alliances with tho view of 
greater certainty of future political promotion. 

Mr. Polk defeated him for the Speakership, however, though he received the 
whole opposition vote. Yet still he smothered his wrath, and did not attack 
Gen. Jackson openly. That would not have done, for the very reason he after- 
wards himself gave that — 

" The impression is current and general, that a man who dares to make a direct issue, 
right or -wrong, upon any matter of complaint with the President, must go down in public 

He was too sly a fox to run in the face of public opinion, and besides General 
Jackson's term of office would not expire for two years longer, and he wanted 
some favors at his hands. So he went home, and took to President-making. 
With the exception of Gen. Jackson, no man stood so high in tho esteem and 
confidence of the people of Tennessee as Judge White, then a Senator from that 
State in Congress, and an ardent Democrat and supporter of Gen. Jackson's ad- 
ministration. Gen. Jackson's preference was known to be for Mr. Van Buren — 
Mr. Bell attached himself to Judge White, and brought him out as a candidate 
for the Presidency, not, however, as in opposition to Gen. Jackson. He was too 
cautious for that. In a speech delivered at Nashville, on the 23d of May, 1835, 
he said : 

" Gen. Jackson has been eminently successful and triumphant in all his measures. It is one 
of the happy consequences of his great success that the friends of his Administration may 
choose from among his friends, &c. He yet possesses a vast and undoubted control and 
influence in the country. * * * The friends of Judge White, therefore, upon 
grounds of policy, if upon no other and better ones, will not seek to disturb the tranquillity 
of Gen. Jackson's administration, or to defeat or unsettle any of those great measures upon 
which he has acquired so much of his present power and influence. * * * But, 
gentlemen, the friends of Judge White will adhere to Gen. Jackson and his administration, 
from consistency and respect for their own character, and because they will be supporting their 
own principles." 

At a caucus of the friends of Judge White, Mr. Bell drew up a paper in which 
he stated that if by running Judge White, " our party" would be divided, " we 
ought not to take him up." The old hero of New Orleans was not to be cheated 
or fooled. He had a high opinion of Judge White, but he appreciated the un- 
fairness and injustice of Tennessee again claiming the Presidency, after having 
had it for eight years. He also appreciated John Bell, as the following letter, 
dated May 10, 1835, to Gov. Blount, of Tennessee, will show: 

" I would to God that our old friend, Judge White, would soon disentangle himself from 
the false position that he has been placed in by Bell, Crockett & Co. If he does not, he will 
ae politically lost, since John Bell has turned a good Whig, and put him up as the candidate 
of the opposition." 

The old hero knew the vacillations and intriguing disposition of John Bell. 
He was not to be deceived by his loud-mouthed asseverations of his fidelity to 
the party and its principles. He had watched his course in Congress, and had 
seen him coalescing with the opposition for the Speakership. He knew his man ; 
and time, that unerring test, showed that he was right. Mr. Van Buren received 
the nomination, but instead of taking him off, Mr. Bell insisted on running 
Judge White as an independent candidate. And then commenced his abuse of 
Gen. Jackson. It was the last year of his Presidential term ; the old hero wa 
about going out of office, and would soon be unable to dispense those services a 


favors which he had, heretofore, lavished on Mr. Bell ; this was a favorable op- 
portunity to display his gratitude and gratify his malignant, feelings. In three 
set speeches, covering 54£ closely printed pages in the Congressional Globe, he 
assailed Gen. Jackson in the most vindictive Listen to a few extracts: 

" But, again : Is not the Senate, which -was intended by the Constitution to be in itself a 
standing check and limitation upon the use and abuse of the Executive patronage to that 
extent, and as regards that purpose of its institution, actually expunged, and that, too, by 
Executive power and influence? I demand of gentlemen to answer me, and say if then; 
exists at this moment, practically, any controlling power in the Senate over the will of the 
Executive? Is not the Constitution itself, for the time being, abrogated, subverted, over- 
throivn? All men must now see, and acknowledge that the duty of sending nominations of 
public officers to the Senate, for advice and confirmation, is reduced in practice to mere 
form. Have we not a Senate of the United States notoriously replenished and organized 
upon the principle of non-resistance, and of passive obedience to the Executive will and 
authority ? And how, sir, has this state of things been brought about? The State Legis- 
latures, those sentinel towers, as they have heretofore been supposed, upon the ramparts 
of the Constitution and of the public liberty, have been boldly entered, and by Executive 
influence seduced and prostituted to purposes of federal power and domination. * * * Sir, 
I may add that the legislative proceedings of State Assemblies have been interfered with, 
and many of those bodies have already been reduced to the condition of mere dependent 
and co-ordinate portions of the great party machinery by which it is supposed this country 
may hereafter be governed — the supple and convenient instruments of the federal Execu- 

This slander not only upon GeneralJackson, but upon the Senate of the United 
States, finds a full answer in the statement that it was composed of a majority of 
opponents to the Administration, and among them we find the names of Henry 
Clay, Daniel Webster, John M. Clayton, Crittenden, Mangum, White, Calhoun, 
John Tyler, and others, while among the friends of General Jackson were James 
Buchanan, Silas Wright, Thomas H. Benton, Isaac Hill, and others — all of them 
men not likely to be supple instruments in the hands of any man. 

The assault upon the State Legislatures is equally as unfounded, and shows the 
contempt of Mr. Bell for the opinions and views of the people. Those State Leg- 
islatures had instructed their Senators on the questions of expunging the resolu- 
tion of censure against General Jackson, and in relation to the removal of the 
deposites. It was to these matters Mr. Bell alluded. 

He then goes on in this same speech to charge the President with trying to in- 
fluence the elections, and the choice of his successor, and assailing those opposed 
to him, by sending scurrilous articles against them under his own frank, and 
through the agency of the office-holders. And then closes thus : 

" Sir, with the powers and influence of the Executive, as at present exercised, this Gov- 
ernment is an elective monarchy. It is well that we no longer deceive ourselves with names. 

In these speeches Mr. Bell accused General Jackson of striving to re-enact the 
sedition law of 1798, because he thought Congress ought to devote itself to its 
legitimate duty of legislation instead of engaging in President-making ; of over- 
aweing and tyrannizing over Congress ; of concentrating in his person the sword 
and the money of the Government; of squandering the public money in objects 
of internal improvements; of creating a war panic, and disarranging the business 
of the country j of controlling the people by " a series of pretenses and impos- 
tures;" of corrupting the public press, and the people; and of corruptly plunging 
the country into Indian wars withont cause. — (See Appendix to Congressional 
Globe, 1st session, 24th Congress, pages 637, 651.) And all this from the man 
who but one year before had spoken of "the happy consequences of General Jack- 
son's great success," and professed such devotion to him and the party. As was 
to be expected these assaults led to the appointment of an investigating commit- 
tee, moved by the enemies of General Jackson in order to defame his administra- 


tion, and to justify a proce c s of impeachment; as suggested by Mr. Bell in the 
following extract, from his speech : 

" Ay, sir, the President may not only be impeachld by this House, but it is Us bounden 
and sacred duty to impeach him/or adequate cause." 

The resolution fixing the duties of this committee was enclosed by the Chair- 
man in a note to the President. Old Hickory promptly rcp.ied : 

" If, after all the severe accusations contained in the various speeches of yourself and 
your associates, you are unwilling of your own accord to bring specific charges, then 1 will 
request your committee to call yourself and your associates, and every other member of 
Congress who has made the general charge of corruption, to testify, before God and our 
country, whether you or they know of any specific corruption or abuse of trust in the Ex- 
ecutive Departments ; and if so, what it is. If you are able to point to any case where there 
is the slighest reason to suspect corruption or abuse of trust, no obstacle which 1 can re- 
move shall be interposed to prevent the fullest scrutiny by all legal means. The offices of 
all the Departments will be opened to you, and every proper facility furnished for this 

This was the language of an innocent man, who courted and defied investiga- 
tion. Mr. Bell was summoned before that committee to make good his charges 
against General Jackson, and the following question asked him : 

"Do you of your own knowledge know of any act by the President or either of the heads 
of the Executive Departments, which is either corrupt, or a violation of their official 

After protesting against subjecting him to an examination of this character, 
and admitting that he knew nothing of his own knowledge, he proceeds to state 
his " beliefs,'' thus : 

" I consider every appointment or employment made or confirmed by the President, or 
any of the heads of the Executive Departments, as the consideration of services and in- 
fluence in any election, as a gross violation of official duty. I believe that most of the ap- 
pointments made of late were made chiefly with that motive. 

" The interference of the President, and other public officers, with his knowledge aud 
connivance, in elections, 1 believe to be one of the most mischievous and dangerous prac- 
tices of the existing Administration. 

'" I believe there has been a gross violation of official duty under the present Administra- 
tion in the appointment, by the President or the heads of the Departments, of numerou3 
officers as agents of the Department, and in annexing to such appointments stated salaries 
and allowances, without authority or warrant of law." (Mr. Bell certainly could not havo 
read the revenue law of 1798, which authorizes the employment of agents of the Depart- 

Concerning the Indian wars, without giving any facts, Mr. Bell testified to 
his impressions thus : 

" I therefore feel well warranted in my own mind, in attributing to the imbecility, culpa- 
ble neglect, or the CORRUPTION of the Administration, all the blood and expcnditura 
which have attended our recent hostile relations with the Creek Indians, and much of the nisuoxOB 
which must attach to the country by the reason of speculations in their lands." 

He then concludes by saying that he " considers" that the President was 
guilty of "a gross violation of official duty, in failing to inquire" into the 
abuses of the Post Office Department. 

The committee in reference to the testimony of Mr. Bell and effects; re- 
ported : 

"They were called upon as the best source to furnish the committee with proofs, or with 
the names of witnesses ; and, instead of doing so, they make complaints against tho com- 
mittee and the President, as if they were the authors of the charges, the movers of the 
resolution of inquiry, and the promoters of this whole question of investigation. They 
testify to no corrupt act that they know, but to much that they "have been informed of 
and verily believe," but give no names of informers or witnesses, who know the alleged 
act3 of corruption in official dutv," App. to Gales & Seaton's Register, vol. lo, part 2, 
pags 189. 


Thug was Gen. Jaclcson vindicated, and his defamer, John Bell, covered 
with confusion and shame. A man of feeling would have shrunk from the 
public gaze, and sought oblivion in retirement. But not so John Bell. The 
very next year he had the audacity and impudence to arraign G-en. Jackson 
before the country, and declare that he ought to have been impeached ! Hear 
him : 

"It has been my opinion, and I have not yet parted from it, that the lato President 
(Gen. Jackson) did trample upon some of the most important and vital principles of the 
Constitution. That no impeachment was actually moved against him, was not because there 
wa3 any doubt that the Constitution was invaded and trampled upon, nor because the sub- 
ject escaped attention at the time ; for, sir, I, for one, did call the attention of this House 
to the subject, and declared my solemn conviction to be, that until a great example should 
be exhibited of the power and justice of this House by impeachment, the evils of which 
we most complained would be progressive. And I questioned whether any other adequate 
remedy could be applied, under the Constitution, But, sir, I did not think of moving an 
impeachment against the late President, because, considering his great popularity and 
influence with the people — that, during the last years of his administration, and which 
were clearly the worst, he was sustained in all his conduct by a great majority iu this 
House and in the Senate — I held that to provoke, without the power to restrain, would 
only aggravate the evils of the times, and bring additional injury upon the country and its 
institutions. An impeachment, under such circumstances, was net to be thought of by a 
prudent statesman." — App. to Ceng. Globe, 2d sess. 25th Cong., page 560. 

Friends of Jackson ! who followed his proud banner through the thickest of 
the fight, and who loved the old soldier, when he was alive, now that he is 
dead and gone to his silent grave, will you not rebuke this calumniator of his 
honor, his integrity, and his fame? Answer at the ballot-box on the ides of 
November next ! 


The people cannot have forgotten the vehemence with which the Mexican war 
was denounced, especially by the Abolitionists of the North. One of their 
Senators, Mr. Corwin, encouraged the Mexicans to greet 'our soldiers " with 
bloody hands and welcome them to hospitable graves." Amos Tuck, of New 
Hampshire, in his abolition frenzy said : " Let the same vote that declared the 
war unnecessary and unconstitutional, starve it to death by withholding sup- 
plies." Abraham Lincoln, now the Black Republican candidate for President, 
.rising in his place in the House of Representatives, denounced it as a war 
in which the Mexicans were in the right and the Americans in the wrong, 
declaring that the President " feels the blood of this war, like the blood of 
Abel, crying to Heaven against him." Where stood John Bell ? Side by side 
with Lincoln, Corwin, and Tuck, in opposing the prosecution of the war and 
resisting the recommendation of the President for an increase of the military 
force. He voted with the Abolitionists against the Ten Regiment bill. He 
went farther, and in his speeeh defended the course of these men, and coun- 
selled the President to withdraw the army. Here is his own language : 

"I hold, sir, for one, that gentlemen who believe this war to be unjust and iniquitous, 
or, whether just or unjust, that the further prosecution of it is likely to inflict upon the 
country greater evils than can be compensated by all the territorial acquisitions which the 
courage and resources of the country may achieve,' have a perfect right to arraign the 
nuthors and advocates of it at the bar of public opinion, and to THWART THEM by all 
the means of speech, writing, and voting which the Constitution warrants. I hold, sir, 
that to deny them the exercise of this privilege by law would be an act of despotism under 
legal forms ; and to seek to forestall the exercise of this privilege by intimidation and the 
influence of official denunciation by charging those who avail themselves of this privilege 
k ns the allies of the public enemy and their auxiliaries in the war, is an attempt at moral 
despotism only to be excused as an emanntion of excessive and over-heated zeal, in which 
neither the judgment nor a proper regard for the institutions of freedom have had much 
to do. 


" But, sir, should the tone of remonstranco against this war rise so high in this chamber 


due them to our dominion, there are those who believe that a greater calamity may befall 
this country in the further prosecution of the war than even such a result as that. 

"Sir, if any should now desire to know my poor opinion upon the proper mode of termi- 
nating this war, I say to them to make the best treaty with any existing government you 
can. If you must have the Territories of New Mexico and California, get a cession of 
them ; if you cannot do that, come back to the Rio Grande, to the boundary you claim title 
to, and thus save your honor. 

My advice is, stop the tear! Flee the country as you would a city doomed to de- 
struction BY FIRE 1'ROM HEAVEN !" 

It will thus be seen that Mr. Bell was unwilling that an outraged public senti- 
ment should shame into silence the moral treason of the Abe Lincolns, Torn Cor- 
wins, Amos Tucks and others, but that they should be permitted to go on in their 
efforts to " thwart" the Government in its prosecution of the war, " by every 
means of speech, writing and voting," even " should the tone of remonstrance 
rise so high as to penetrate every vale in Mexico, reverberate among her moun- 
tains, and ROUSE the whole population to a spirit of resistance." What mat- 
tered it to him that Americans were there in deadly conflict with the enemy of 
their country ? No blood of his coursed the veins of an American soldier. 


After helping to throw over Mr. Clay, in 1848, and in 1850 proposing the 
admission as a State of New Mexico, with a population composed principally of 
" civilized, half-civilized, uncivilized, and barbarous" Indians, Spaniards, and 
Mexicans, we find Mr. Bell, in 1855, engaged in performing funeral obsequies 
over the death of the old Whig party, which he, more than any other one man, 
had contributed to kill, and in organizing a "new" (Know-Nothing) party in its 
stead. In September, 1855, he proceeded to Knoxville, Tennessee, and delivered 
a set speech, which was afterwards printed in pamphlet form, and distributed! 
through the country. We make the following extracts from it : 

" I have said that the Whig banner no longer floats over the stand in political assemblies 
in Tennessee. That is true ; but it has given place to another ensign, under which, I trust, 
all true and conservative patriots of both the old parties will rally, and make it equally 
glorious and more triumphant than the one which it has supplanted ; and, that it may never 
have to be lowered or resign its place to any other, less significant of patriotic purposes 
and stern determination to maintain the national character and institutions against all 
who would change the one or undermine the other. ***** 

" The councils of the American Order are denounced as secret political societies, fraught 
with and tending to all the mischiefs and atrocities of the Jacobin clubs of Paris in the 
French revolution ; yet since the order has become a political party all their alleged secret 
proceedings are known, almost upon the instant, to the public. The oaths administered 
on initiation of members, are denounced as immoral and amounting to a surrender of all 
freedom and independence in the exercise of the elective franchise; yet the oaths admin- 
istered in various other secret societies, or voluntary associations in this country, pass 
without notice or censure; and it is well known to these assailants, that any member of the 
Order can set aside the obligation of the oath he takes, so strongly objected to, at discre- 
tion, by withdrawing from the Order. The exclusion of Roman Catholics from the offi- 
cial pale is denounced as prescriptive, and an attempt to establish a religious test, in vio- 
lation of the constitution. The exclusion of naturalized foreigners from all official stations 
is denounced as proscriptive and likewise a violation of the constitutional rights of that 
class of citizens. To propose an amendment to the constitution by which Romanists shall 
be excluded from office, might justly be considered an attempt to establish a religious te-st; 
and to propose to exclude naturalized foreigners from office, by an amendment to the con- 
stitution, might, with truth, be said to be an attempt to proscribe them ; but the organiza- 
tion of a political party, upon the principle or policy of withholding the support and suf- 
frages of the members of that party in the public elections from Roman Catholics and 
naturalized citizens — and that is all the American party proposes to do — cannot, by any 


fair reasoning, or ingenious sophistry, be shown to be an attempt, to establish a religious 
test or to proscribe any class of citizens; nor, in regard either to Romanists or naturalized 
citizens, can the argument be maintained that the American party, in withholding from 
them their support in elections, is guilty of a violation of the constitution, in letter or 
spirit; unless the practice and maxims of >>oth the great parties, which have so long con- 
tended for the possession of power in this country, in elections and appointments to and 
removals from office, be admitted to be in violation of the constitution, or its spirit. * 

"The very name of the new party — American, struck terror into the leaders of the De- 
mocracy. The prestige of the name of the Democratic party, which had been a tower of 
strength to it, they foresaw, was likely to be so no longer, and they made haste to seize 
whatever advnntage, by way ol indemnity for the loss, they might expect to derive from 
the new issues presented by the new party, and if they could not destroy it in its birth, 
they calculated that by the violence of their assaults upon its policy, and their zealous ad- 
vocacy of he cause of foreigners and Romanists, at least to secure their undivided support 
in future elections ; and thus establish the relation of patron and client iu our country, 
between the Democratic party and the foreign population, founded on the basis of protec- 
tion on the one side, and support on the other ; — a formidable alliance truly! but if the 
American parti/ shall succeed in cutting off the perennial supply of fresh, recruits to the Demo- 
cratic standard, derived from the annual influx of the HJlf million of foreigners or more, the 
Democratic leaders may still find that they will have to fight their future battles with diminished 
chances of success, tut whatever alliances the Democrats may form with foreigners and 
Roman Catholics, — however the leaders may fret and rage, — with whatever obstinacy of 
purpose they may seek to resist or crusli the American party, they will fail to defeat the 
great end^ind fundamental policy of that party. 

" The fears of the timid have been appealed to, by the assailants of the American party, 
and their co-operation invoked, in putting it down, on the alleged ground that its policy in 
regard to foreigners tends to provoke riot, and bloodshed. It is said that this new parly 
has been stained with blood in its very birth, and that from this we may augur a bloody 
future. Yes, blood has been shed, and it may ioreshadow a bloody future. 1 will not stop 
to inquire who provoked the shedding of blood in Louisville and other places; but this 1 
will siy, that whatever party may have given the provocation, it is better that a little blood 
should sprinkle the pavements and sideivalks of our cities now, than that their streets 
should be drenched in blood hereafter; or that the highways and open fields of our coun- 
try should drink up the blood of its citizens slain in deadly conflict between armed bands, 
it may be between disciplined legions — native Americans on the one side, and foreigners, 
supported by native factionists, on the other. And this will be our future unless, now 
and before it is too late, we erect sufficient barriers to arrest the torrent of aliens and 
strangers which threatens in a few years more to flood the whole land." 

We have made full extracts from this speech. We wish to do him no injus- 
tice. We have given him the full benefit of his argument. Look at it ! Head 
it ! Study its import and its meaning ! Was such a cold-blooded speech ever 
before delivered in this country ? We know that there were many well-inten- 
tioned but unreflecting men decoyed into this new and now odious organization, 
who, while sanctioning its principles of hostility to a supposed dangerous increase, 
of the foreign element .in our country, yet loathed and condemned the bloody 
persecutions which reigned in some of our large cities. But not so with Mr. 
Bell. A man of mature years, when the passions are supposed to have subsided, 
and of long experience in the public service, we see him stepping forward not- 
only to endorse the principles of this " new " party, but also to justify its acts ol 
bloodshed, and, as a consequence, to incite the lawless men who had engaged in 
it to still further acts of murder and rapine. Was such a spectacle ever before 
presented to the people of this country ? " Better that a little blood should 
sprinkle the pavements and sidewalks of our cities I" To what did he allude '( 
To the horrors enacted in Louisville on " Bloody Monday." Has this scene 
passed from the recollection of the people ? It occurred on the 6th of August, 
1855, only about a month and a half before Mr. Bell made his speech Is it 
nectssary to rehearse the horrors of that day — to tell that the corpses of twenty 
dead men were picked up on the pavements, whose blood had sprinkled the side- 
walks — to recite how five men were penned up in a building and roasted to death — 
to depict the horrors of the brewery scene, where, after the building was fired, 


cannon was stationed so as to prevent the egress of the inmates, and how from 
its ruins was dragged the charred re ' bins 'fa icoman /i wj(J\ intj her infant to her 
breast? Our heart sickens at tin 1 bare thought of such horrors; and yet this old 
man — -John Bell — gets up in a public meeting, and in the coolest manner, tells 
his audience that it is "better" such scenes should occur; " better that a littlu 
blood should sprinkle the pavements and sidewalks/' than that this "new" party 
should not rule America. We cannot trust ourselves to commcut upon such con- 

We mi<rht e;o on and show that, after announcing in the Senate that if 
the people of Tennessee decided against him on the Kansas-Nebraska bill he 
would resigu, he proved recreant to his promise, after they had at three elections 
condemned his course, and the Legislature, in obedience to the popular will, had 
requested him to resign; that he has been for and against a national bank, for 
and against a protective tariff, for and against the distribution of the proceeds of 
the public lands among the States, for and against internal impi-ovcments, and 
river and harbor appropriations, in short, for and against every measure that was 
cauvassed during his political life; but we forbear. We have presented enough 
to show what manner of a politician he has been. We now leave him to tho 
judgment of the people, 



The position of candidate for Vice-President, although always important, is 
rendered now not even second in importance to that of the candidate for Presi- 
dent, if we arc to believe the predictions of the supporters of Bell and Everett. 
They argue that the election is sure to go into the House of Beprcsentatives, 
and their hope is, in case the Black-Ptepublicans will not come to their aid, as 
they say they have promised to do, and elect Mr. Bell, that they can succeed in 
giving enough electoral votes to Everett to place him ahead of General Lane, and 
second to Hamlin ; and that as the Senate, according to the Constitution, is com- 
pelled to choose between the two candidates receiving the highest electoral votes, 
they will be compelled, as a choice, to take Mr. Everett. According to their 
ideas, the position of Mr. Everett then becomes as important as that of Mr. Bell. 
In order, therefore, to show the southern people what sort of a President they would 
have iu him ; should the hopes of* his followers be realized, we invite their atten- 
tion to 


Mr. Everett was in the House of Bepresentatives with Mr. Bell, and voted, 
like him, for the reception, printing, and reference of Abolition petitions. 

On the 14th of October, 1837, Hon. Wm. Jackson, of Newton, Massachusetts, 
wrote to Mr. Everett a long letter oontaining the following questions : 

"Do justice, humanity, and sound policy, alike require that the slaves of this country 
should be emancipated ? 

44 Is it the right and duty of the citizens of the non-slaveholding States to require of the 
general government the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia? 

44 Is it just or safe, with regard to our foreign relations and domestic compact, to admit 
Texas into the Union?" 

To these inquiries Mr. Everett replied : 

"Boston, October 31, 1837. 
44 Sir : I have duly received your communication of the 14th instant, in which you desire 
to be furnished with my views on certain questions therein, propounded. Under other cir- 


cuinstances I should deem it proper to preface my answer with some preliminary remarks, 
but my engagements at the present time compel me to reply as concisely as possible. 

"In answer to the first question, I observe, that slavery being, by universal admission, 
a social, political, and moral evil of the fiest magnitude, it is required by justice, 
humanity, and sound policy, that the slaves should be emancipated by those having consti- 
tutionally the power to eti'ect that object, as soon as it can be done peacefully, and in a 
manner to better the condition of the emancipated. 

" In reply to the second question, I would remark, that all the considerations in favor of 
emancipation in the States apply with equal force to the District of Columbia. My opin- 
ions on this subject are fully expressed in the resolution adopted by the Legislature last 
winter, with a near approach to unanimity, in the following terms: 

" 'Resolved, That Congress having exclusive legislation in the District of Columbia, pos- 
sesses the rigid to ABOLISH SLAVERY in the said District, and that its exercise should 
onlj be restrained by regard to the public good.' 

"The last question propounded by you refers to the annexation of Texas. It presents 
the subject of slavery, in most of its bearings, in a new light. 

"The whole subject has been so ably discussed by Dr. Channing, in his recent letter to 
Mr. Clay, that it would be superfluous to enlarge upon it. I will only say, that if, at this 
moment, when an all-important experiment is in train, to abolish slavery by legal and 
peaceable means in the West Indies, the United States, instead of imitating their example, 
or even awaiting their result, should rush into a policy of giving an indefinite extension to 
slavery over a vast region incorporated into the Union, we should stand condemned before 
the civilized world. It would be in vain to expect to gain credit for any further professions 
of a willingness to be rid of slavery as soon as possible. No extenuation of it3 existence, 
on the ground of its having been forced upon the country, in its colonial state, would any 
longer avail us. It would be thought, and thought justly, that lust of power and lust of 
gold had made us deaf to the voice of HUMANITY and JUSTICE. We should be self- 
oonvicted of the ENORMOUS CRIME of having VOLUNTARILY given the greatest pos- 
sible ENLARGEMENT to an evil, which, in concert with the rest of mankind, we had af- 
fected to deplore, and that at a time when the public sentiment of the civilized world, 
more than at any former period, is aroused to its magnitude. 

" I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant, 


"Hon. William Jackson." 

In 1889, the following interrogatories were propounded to Mr. Everett, by 
the Hon. Nathaniel Borden, of Massachusetts : 

1. Are yon in favor of immediate abolition by law of slavery in the District of Columbia, 
aad of the slave traffic between the States of the Union ? 

2. Are you opposed to the admission into the Union of any new State, the constitution 
of which tolerates domestic slavery ? 

The following is his reply : 

Washington, Oct. 24, 1839. 

"Dear Sir: On Saturday last only I received your letter of the 18th, propounding to me 
certain interrogatories, and earnestly requesting an early answer. 

You are aware that several resolves on the subject of these inquiries and their kindred 
topics, accompanied by a very able report, was introduced into the Senate of the Common- 
wealth year before last, by a joint committee of the two Houses, of which the late la- 
mented Mr. Alvord was chairman. 

Those resolves, after having been somewhat enlarged by amendment, were adopted by 
the Legislature. They appear to cover the whole ground of your two interrogatories. 
Having cheerfully co-operated in the passage of the resolves, and concurring in the gen- 
eral reasoning by which they are sustained in the powerful report of the chairman of the 
committee, / respond to both your inquiries in the affirmative. 

The first of the three subjects embraced in your inquiry, is the only one of them which 
came before Congress while I was a member. I voted in the negative on tho motion to lay 
upon the table the petition of the American Anti-Slavery Society, for the abolition of sla- 
very in the District of Columbia, and on other motions of the like character introduced to 
wast off the consideration of this class of petitions. 

I am, dear sir, very respectfully, your friend and servant, 


Hon. Nathaniel A. Borden. 

Those " resolves " referred to were a set of resolutions adopted by the Mas- 


sachusetts Legislature during the year previous, when Mr. Everett was Gov- 
ernor of the State, and are as follows: 

Resolved, That Congress lias, by the Constitution, power to abolish slavery and the slave 
trade in the District of Columbia, and that there is nothing in the terms or circumstances 
of the acts of cession by Virginia and Maryland, or otherwise, enforcing any legal or moral 
restraint on its exercise. 

Resolved, That Congress ought to take measures to effect the ABOLITION OF SLAVERY 

Resolved, That the rights of humanity, the claims of justice, and the common good, alike 
demand the suppression by Congress of the slave trade carried on in and through thp Dis- 
trict of Columbia. 

Resolved, That Congress has, by the Constitution, power to abolish slavery in tlie Territo- 
ries of the United States. 

Resolved, That no neiv State shall hereafter be admitted into the Union whose constitution 
and government shall permit the existence of domestic slavery therein. 

Resolved, That Congress has, by the Constitution, power to abolish the traffic in slaves be- 
tween the different States of the Union. 

Resolved, That the exercise of this pou-er is demanded by the principles of humanity and 

Mr. Everett, by his letters and votes, now stands pledged to these doctrines : 
1st. The power and the duty of Congress to abolish slavery in the District of 
Columbia; 2d. The power and the duty of Congress to abolish slavery in the 
Territories of the United States ; 3d. The power and the duty of Congress to abol- 
ish the slave trade between the States; and, 4th. The admission of no more slave 
States. He lias never taken back or recanted these opinions. We defy any of 
his supporters to point to the letter or fpeech in which he has taken back one of 
these doctrines, or even intimated that his mind has undergone a change in refer- 
ence to them. We affirm that no such document can be produced. Is it any 
wonder, then, that that infamous Abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison, he who 
declared that " the American Constitution is a league with the devil and a cov- 
enant with hell," bespattered Mr. Everett with praise, and hoisted his name for 
Governor, in 1839 ? 

In 1841, when Mr. Everett was nominated by General Harrison as Minister to 
England, it appears that his confirmation was delayed in the Senate, and it was 
whispered that he would be rejected. Instantly the whole Abolition press was in 
a furor of excitement. 

One of them, the Boston Free American, was very indignant at " Southern 
arrogance and impudence assuming a censorship over Northern opinions." In- 
deed, so well known was Mr. Everett as an Abolitionist, that the legislature of 
Georgia passed, in 1841, a resolution censuring one of their Senators, Mr. Ber- 
rien, for voting to confirm his nomination. 

Mr. Everett was in the Senate in 1854, and spoke against the Kansas-Nebras- 
ka bill, and voted against tho clause repealing the Missouri Compromise. He 
was absent when the vote was taken on the bill, but afterwards, in the Senate, 
stated that u IfI had been here my vote would have been recorded in the nega- 
tive on the passage of the bill." Congressional Globe, 1st session, 33d Congress, 
page 550. 

We come down to a later date, to the Presidential election of 1856. The 
notorious and infamous Abolition Senator from Massachusetts, Charles Sumner, 
rose in his place in the Senate chamber, and delivered the vilest and most vin- 
dictive, malignant, and brutal attack upon the southern people, calling them 
" hirelings, picked from the drunken spew of an uneasy civilization/', and assail- 
ing Senators Butler and Mason in the coarsest language. Speaking of Kansas, 
he said : " It is the rape of a virgin Territory, compelling it to the hateful em- 
brace of slavery. ' And then, swelling with his subject he thus launched forth : 


Already the muster had begun. The strife is no longer local, but national. Even now 


•while I speak, portents hang on all the arches of the horizon, threatening to darken the 
broad land, which already yawns icith the mufkrihgs of CIVIL WAR. The fury of the propa- 
gandists of slavery, and the calm determination of their opponents, are now diffused from 
tho distant Territory over wide-spread communities, and the whole country in all its ex- 
tent — marshalling hostile divisions, and foreshadowing a strife, which, unlessbappilv averted 
hj the triumph of freedom, ictll become WAR— FRATRICIDAL, PARRLCIDALWAR— • with 
an accumulated wickedness beyond the wickedness of any war iu human annals." 

And nil this because Congress would not sanction the doing3 of a set of rebels 
and lawless men in Kansas, who, in defiance -of the legal authorities, had met at 
Topeka, and set up a Government of their own, and claimed the admission oi 
Kansas as a free State under their lawless authority ! We have not space for 
extended extracts from this miserable document, and will, therefore, only givo 
one more : 

"In offering herself for admission into the Union as a free State, she presents a single 
issue for the people to decide. And since the slave power now stakes on this issue all its 
ill-gotten supremacy, the people, while vindicating Kansas, will at the same time OVER- 
THROW THIS TYRANNY. Thus does the contest which she now begins involve not only 
liberty for herself, but for the whole country." 

This speech created a perfect furor of indignation. General Cass denounced it 
in his place in the Senate as "the most un-American and unpatriotic that 
ever grated upon the ears of the members of this high body." No one can 
forget the chastisement administered to Sumner for his abuse, by Mr. Brooks, 
of South Carolina. There was a man, however, in this country, who could denounce 
in a speech at Taunton^JVIass., the course of Mr. Brooks as " an act of lawless 
violence, of which I know no parallel in the history of constitutional govern- 
ment," yet had no other than words of praise and approval of Mr. Sumner 
and his speech. That man teas EDWARD EVERETT. Listen to him : 

"I have condemned from the outset, and still most decidedly condemn the policy of the 
late administration towards Kansas. I opposed the Kansas-N< braska bill in the Territorial 
Committee, of which I was a member. I voted against the amendment to the bill by which 
the Missouri compromise was repealed. With these views of the subject, thong 1 ', as I 
trust, for reasons higher than any effect on parry politics, I FULLY CONCURRED in the 
main line of argument in Mr. Sumner's speech. Abstaining, however, habitually myself 
from all personalities in debate, and believing that they always irritate and never persuade 
or convince, I could not of course bestow my 'unqualified approbation' on the manner in 
which he treated the subject." 

Disapproving alone of the personalities, Mr. Everett " fully concurred" in 
Mr. Sumner's assault upon the South and her institutions, and the " over- 
throw" of those institutions. Can any man point out the difference between 
Edward Everett and Hannibal Hamlin ? And is this the man whom the South- 
ern people would feel safe in supporting ? 



McGiii k Withebow, Printers.