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muskets to the body guard, and seeking where to lodge them, there being no room in the palace, I took them to my house, where I entertained them. A few days afterwards I sent to seek for their arms, ammunition, and luggage which they had saved when wrecked in crossing a river, where they lost nine horses laden with merchandise and clothing. So that according to their account they had had the intrepidity, though almost naked, to discover this realm and give to it communication with the colonies of New Orleans and Canada. And spurning all dangers and risks from hostile savages they have come to see the Spaniards, by whom they have been well received, having been invited by them to eat and lodge in their houses while awaiting the answer of Monseigneur, the archbishop viceroy of Mexico, Dom Jean Antoine Bizarou, a period of nine months during which time the brothers Mallet, who have been domiciled with me and eating at my table, bave maintained a very correct and christianlike demeanor, and being about to return I have advised them, that in case they obtain a royal license for commerce with this kingdom, they bring on their return a certificate and passport from the governor, in default of which, their goods would be liable to confiscation as contraband.
“In testimony whereof, etc. Given at Santa Fe this 30th day of April, 1740.
JEAN PAEZ HURTADO. Such is the unsatisfactory and imperfect memorial of an expedition which at that period called for and displayed as much sagacity, heroic endurance and bravery as any more recent discoveries in the Arctic regions or the wilds of Africa. The names of its heroes, except for the accident of being pigeon-holed a century and a half ago, would have been in our day utterly forgotten. The Mallet brothers, the leaders of this little band, have descendants still living in this country. Would it be out of place to suggest to the authorities of the Union Pacific, Burlington & Missouri, Northwestern, or other railways, and to others engaged in western enterprises who find it no easy task to select distinctive or appropriate appellations for the rapidly increasing towns of the western frontier, that those who gave its enduring name to our erratic river are entitled to have their own perpetuated in some flourishing station or village?
DEVELOPMENT OF THE FREE SOIL IDEA IN THE UNITED
By W. H. ELLER.
[Read before a meeting of the Society, January 14, 1890.)
The causes leading to the organization of Nebraska territory, date back of the adoption of the American constitution, and form a part of the history of that freedom which now distinguishes the people of the United States from all other governments.
The federal union is, within itself, a compact of free and independent states, formed from those physical parts, and bounded by those natural and artificial lines which peculiarly fit each separate dominion to become a part of the whole, all within the belt of the temperate zone of the western hemisphere.
The development of the free soil doctrine, which made it Nebraska, really began before it had a settler and before the American revolution had accomplished its great results, to understand which it is necessary to state a few facts in the history of African slavery. The African slave trade first introduced slavery into the province of Virginia in the year 1619, and by the year 1670 it is estimated that there were at least 2,000 slaves in that dominion. The first English slave ship fitted out in the colonies, sailed from Boston in 1646. The French admitted slavery to be established in their colonies in 1624. The whole “civilized” world engaged in the traffic for profit for more than a century afterward, and it became common in all American colonies.
About the year 1775, with the development of the doctrines of popular liberty, the evil began gradually to contract in the dominion of Canada and the Northern American colonies, owing to the unprofitable condition of slave labor upon the one hand, and the development and the assertion of equal and universal rights upon the other, so that in 1784, Rhode Island had led the way in the interdiction of importing slaves into her territory, and in the year following enacted a law for their gradual emancipation. When the census of 1840 was taken, she had but five slaves left within her borders. Massachusetts, by her bill of rights, abolished slavery in 1780, and the act went into full effect by the decision of her courts in 1783, and no slaves are shown by the census of 1790. In the same year Pennsylvania barred the further introduction of slaves, and also enacted a law for their gradual emancipation, and the census taken in 1840, found but sixty-four in servitude within her boundaries. In 1784, Connecticut followed her example, and in 1840 she had only 17 persons in involuntary servitude. Virginia prohibited the introduction of slaves from abroad in 1778, and North Carolina in 1786, Maryland in 1783, New Hampshire abolished slavery in 1793, and but few remained in the year 1800. In 1799 New York adopted gradual emancipation and had but few slaves left in the year 1840. New Jersey followed in the year 1820, but did not fairly rid herself of the evil prior to the first election of Abraham Lincoln. She had twenty slaves in the summer of 1860.
Our country was, therefore, called upon to wrestle with popular slavery as a domestic institution during those years, and under those limitations and obstructions in her way when asserting her own independence and legislating for the establishment of her own popular liberty. The importation of slaves into her borders was not, therefore, forbidden by her general government until the year 1808. The census of 1790 kindly gives us 59,456 free colored persons,
in the United States, the great majority of whom were of pure
African descent. The second census gives us 108,395, the third makes the figures to 186,466 the fourth raises the figures to 233,524, the fifth increases them to 319,599, in 1840 the whole number was 386,303, and in 1850 the census brought in 434,495, which was increased to about 500,000 in the year 1860. The slave population in 1790, was about 700,000, which increased to nearly 4,000,000 by the year 1860. The states were at this time half slave and half free, and slavery had so far receded that the territories north of 360 30 min. were free soil, and but five slave states remained north of that line, which were afterwards designated border states. The growth and development of the free soil doctrine, therefore, had for its counterpart the history of that legislation, those common debates and discussions which had restricted and confined the American system of African slavery to the southern part and parts of our common country. The history of this legislation begins with the year 1783.
In 1790, two distinct and separate doctrines of civil government prevailed among the statesmen of our nation, the one the federal idea, which comprised the doctrines of a strong and centralized system, dominant over all local colonies, and into which the original thirteen states with ceded territory in their separate capacities should become merged in one common whole, constituting one strong and centralized power; and the other, the democratic theory, following strictly in its construction the preamble to that great charter known as the constitution of the states, and which refers all power of the governed to the people themselves. All disc.issions of importance on the bill of rights, the purchase of lands, their division into territories and their organization and government as such, their internal improvement, consequent development, and final admission into the union as states, have arisen from the public consideration of these political dogmas, as enunciated and applied by successive administrations. Each territory and state has partaken of these doctrines as successively brought forth and constituted, with the single exception of Kentucky, which was ceeded by Virginia and directly admitted upon her acceptance of the constitution, without becoming a ward of the general government under that political tutelage known as a territory, taking effect June 1, 1792.
The federal idea had for its home the New England colonies, bound together by the ties of religion, kindred, community of interests in Indian wars, and early confederation in opposition to the mandates of the mother country. It also extended gradually westward with emigration. The remaining colonies were embraced in separate and distinct grants from the British government to the original proprietors and patentees, and were subdivided at an early day into great and broad baronies, vestiges of which still remained. The immunity shared by them from invasions, insurrections, and the general pacific relations with Indian tribes, had rendered a compact unnecesary.
Other reasons for the view may be had by considering the religion and character of the settlers of the southern colonies. Maryland was peculiarly Catholic, Virginia Episcopal, South Carolina Huguenot, and North Carolina was a refuge for all the distressed classes of
Britain. Nothing had occurred up to the year 1775 to create a community of interest in these southern colonies.
At this time the colonies were possessed in their original grants by the general treaty with Britain, and owned vast tracts of territory over which they held jurisdiction and control. The boundaries were not always well defined, but the titles were unquestioned. In adjust. ing the indebtedness of the several states and of the general government, these vast tracts were ceded to the latter, and control assumed by the United States. These grants included all the unsettled country north of Florida and west of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Carolinas. The organization of the territory northwest of the Ohio immediately followed, and a restriction imposed that there “ should be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the parties shall be first duly convicted.” The substance of this condition had been proposed in the Continental congress in the year 1784, and did not finally pass until about July 11, 1787.
Vermont was disputed territory, and domestic slavery never found a foothold. She was always free soil. Kentucky inherited the in. stitution from Virginia, and never had a voice either for or against its introduction. No one of the colonies had a voice, and the colonies were none of them responsible for its existence within their borders, so that negro slavery is to be wholly referred to the policy of another government, and the same that maintained control over our colonial affairs.
North Carolina made a contribution of her Tennessee country on the 22d day of December, 1789, and conditioned her grant so that "ono regulation made or to be made by congress shall tend to emancipate slaves.” The financial condition of the general government was very poor at that time, and standing in urgent need of the gift, she accepted it with the condition.
Georgia at first resented the introduction of slavery, but its encroachments were so urgent that she first yielded, and afterward repealed her anti-slavery statute. Her grants of Alabama and Mississippi were made to the general government, with all the restrictions, conditions, and privileges made in favor of the northwest territory, save and except that article which forbids slavery. This gift was likewise accepted with the condition.