The Southern museum. (Macon, Ga.) 1848-1850, September 08, 1849, Image 2

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oiwggKßißa sy m&mtm EDITED AND POBCISHED WEEKLY, BY WM. B . HARRISON. CITY PRINTER. From the Federal Union. Intercsiiugr Correspondence. Tbanquilla, Ga. > August 18, 1849.$ To Ilis Excellency, Gkorgk W. Towns ami Hon. Edward Y. Him.. ’Gentlemen: —The position which you now occupy before tho people cf Georgia renders it important in our estimation that they should distinctly understand your views upon certain great questions iuwhich the South is deeply interested. Will you therefore do us the favor to answer the following questions: Ist. Has Congress the right under the Constitution to legislate upon the subject of slavery in the Territories ? 2d. Is or is not the Wilmot Proviso a violation of tho Constitution 1 3d. Uo you approve of the Compromise Bill offered in the Senate of the United States, by Mr. Clayton, of Delaware ? 4th. In the event of the passage by Con gress of the Wilmot Proviso, or of its in terference with the subject of slavery in the District of Columbia, what course ought to be adopted by the South ? Respectfully yours, JOSEPH DAY, JUNIUS A. WINGFIELD, LEROY SINGLETON, BAILY BELL, JAS. W. SHROPSHIRE, DANIEL SLADE, JONATHAN PARISH, THOS. S. HUMPHRIES. Milledgeville, Aug. 25, 1849 t Gentleman: I avail myself of the first leisure moment, toacktiowledge tho receipt of your communication of the 18th inst. addressed jointly to my honorable compet itor, Judge Hill, and myself. 1 bad sup posed that my opinions upon most, if not all the questions propounded in your letter, were so generally understood, as to render any further expose at this lime unnecessa ry,— but as 1 have no concealment on the subject brought tiumy notice by you, or any other affecting the welfare of the State, I feel it my duty, regardless of all person al considerations, to respond to your inter rogatories. I shall not attempt an argu ment in support of the conclusions to \\ hicli my mind has arrived in reference to all the questions you propound, for reasons that must be obvious to all—but shall content myself by giving a direct answer in as few words as possible. “Ist. Has Congress the right under the Constitution, to legislate on the subject of slavery in the Territories 1” I think not. The Territories of the U nited States belong, of right, to all the States, as equals. The property held by the General Government in Territories, is in the nature and character of a trust, —in the exercise of which the Constitution im poses upon Congress certain restrictions and limitations, as well as prescribes cer tain duties ; but in no instance can Con gress exercise a power over the privale property of individuals residing within a Territory, that would change the nature cf that property from its condition in the State from whence it was removed. What ever, therefore, is private property in a State, remains so in a Territory. If this is not true, Congress has absolute and un limited power, within the Territories,over every description of property ;—a doctrine as absurd, as it is tyranical and unconsti tutional. In your next question you ask : “Is not the Wilmot Proviso a violation of the Constitution 1” I am perfectly satisfied it is clearly un constitutional ; and, if adopted by Con gress, will be as open and undisguised an infraction of that instrument, as it will be wantonly insulting and degiading to the Southern States. Thirdly.—You ask if I approve of the Compromise Bill offered in the Senate of the United States, by Mr. Clayton, of Del aware ? I did at the time approve of the Bill, and would have voted f r it, had I been in Congress ; —not because it was all I could have desired, but for the reason that its provisions were sufficient to protect our rights. I have seen no reason to change that opinion. Whatever may be our right to property in slaves, removed to the Ter ritories of the United States, must depend upon the guaranties of the Constitution; — for as soon as Territory is acquired by the General Government, whether by treaty or conquest, the principles of the Consti tution are extended over it, and tho conse quent obligation is imposed upon Congress by the Constitution, so to govern that Ter ritory as to protect the equal rights of the j Several States, and the property of the in habitants thereof respectively in such Ter ritory. From this it will be seen, if I am cor rect. that our right to bold negro slaves in the Territories of the United States re solves itself into a question of law ; and, therefore, as the “Compromise Bill of Mr. Clayton” provided a cheap and summary mode of settling that question, the slave holder was directly interested in its pas sage. It should never lie forgotten, that woof the South, place our right to bold slaves in the Territories, mainly, upon the grounds, that the States are equals,—were equals, before the adoption of the Consti tution, and by that instrument the powers of the Government, Executive, Legisla tive and Judicial, were restricted and lim ited, so as to preserve and perpetuate the equality of rights between the States and the citizens thereof respectively, which existed before its formal ion. Property in slaves was known to exist in several of the States, at and before the formation of the Constitution, and the consideration and adjustment of that question, was one of the most delicate that engaged the attention of the Convention, whose deliberations re sulted in the recognition of tire right to hold slaves under the Constitution. That the Territories of the United States, of right belong, not to the non-slaveholding Sta'es, or either of them separately, but equally to all the States of tho Union, whether slaveholding or not, cannot be de n ed. Wherever the Constitution goes, slavery may or can exist, and that the slaveholder is protected in the enjoyment of property in his slave as absolutely and fully as he might or could have been in the Slate from whence be removed, is the legitimate conclusion drawn from the fore going premises. Either this is so, or it is idle for the Southern States to put up a claim to an equal participation in ilio com mon property of all. We are not equals, if there is any distinction, under the Con stitution, between the citizens of the differ ent States, as to what shall or shall not, be property in the common territory of all. If I am correct in the view here stated, where was the danger in submitting ibis question to the Judiciary I Will it do to say, we of the slave States, professing to claim rights under the Constitution, will not submit them to the decision of the Ju diciary? Is there an honest, intelligent, and candid man, who loves order, harmo ny and good government, that will assert, that he enjoys rights, or that he possesses property which the Constitution and laws of the country, are inadequate to protect No right or property can exist not known to the law, either constitutional, public, common or statute, and therefore to refuse to submit our right to hold slaves in the Territories, to an impartial and pure Ju diciary, is equivalent to an admission that we have none. What has been the effect of rejecting the bill of Mr. Clayton upon the slave States, is too obvious to admit of speculation ; and, though it is no part of my business, nor is it my intention, to speak of the motives that influenced a ma jority of the House of Representatives, in rejecting this bill, 1 have ever felt, that ii was the heaviest blow ever aimed at the institution of slavery. Our enemies have been emboldened,—our friends paralyzed, and hundreds and thousands through the length and breadth of the land, brought to and übt whether we can bo sincere in the opinion so long and often repeated in eve ry form, that we place our right to our slave property upon the guaiauties of the Constitution—there we placed it—and there we risk the issue ; and yet refuse to submit that question to the only tribunal known to our Government for its final ad justment. One word more in this connection. If the Supreme Court is not to be trusted, how is this question to be sett'ed ? Can Congress be trus ed ? Do we not know the House of Representatives have been a gainst us for years ? Have we not seen one after another of our Northern and Western friends desert u«, until we stand almost alone ? Os all the Representatives from the non-slaveholding States, how many, will any candid man say, can be re lied on to support and defend us in the moment of our greatest need ? There may be some, and doubtless are a few who are conscientious, right minded and pat riotic on this subject—but are they not powerless ? They are proscribed and hun ted down—their voice, their counsel, and their aid, can never come up to our relief on the floor of Congress. Every year, every month, every day, we are growing weaker and weaker—until now the con test between the two great parties in the free States, seems to be which can go far thest or dare most against our rights. In view of this state of things, what sin* cere friend to the South can pretend to say, he ever expects to see the rights of ihe Slaveholding to an equal en joyment of the recently acquired Mexican territory, secured by an Act of Congress ? —even admitting Congress possesses the power to legislaie upon the subject. But suppose Congress to pass an act es tablishing slavery in California and New Mexico, repealing the Mexican laws said to be in force there abolishing slavery, 1 then put it to every candid mind, if a ques tion touching slavery in said Territory should arise, would not the Supreme Court have jurisdiction ? Would not the con stitutionality of such an act of Congress make a question for the decision of that Court ? Would not all the questions arising under the alleged Mexican laws abolishing slavery, be the legitimate sub jects of adjustment before the Federal Judiciary? If correct in this, I come back to the main point—what has been gained to the slave States by the defeat of Mr. Clayton’s Compromise bill? It is a solemn question—and each man for him self should answer it—not as a Whig, or as a Democrat, hut as a Southern man— as a friend to good order and good neigh borhood—a friend to the prosperity of the whole country, and above all, as a friend to the Union itself, I do deplore the defeat of this bill. Had it have passed, no one could conjecture bow many slaves and slaveholders would at this day, have been in California, participating in the rich re wards of labor in that inviting field. Hundreds have, doubtless been deter red from going from the slave States, as they have been taught to believe the mo ment a slave is introduced into California by virtue of a Mexican law, it would be free. Emigrants from foreign countiies, and from every free State of the Union have rushed in free'y—they have possessed themselves of the whole country, with its boundless wealth and inexhaustible mines —but no action lias yet been taken by Congress to seltle the question ; nothing done or intended to be done, to secure the equal lights of the South. Theslave liolder is still deterred ; ho still lingers on the Atlantic slope ; and, finally, we are informed, by the public prints, that the Hon. T. Bultler King, a member of Con gress from this State, was a short time since engaged in addressing the good peo ple of California, urging them to form im mediately, a Stale Government—settle the question of slavery for themselves— and giving them the strongest assurance that the next Congress would admit them into the Union as a State. This is the farce played off by the majority in the House of RepresentativesclaimingforCon gress the power, over the question of sla very in the Territories. This is the re. suit of rejecting Mr.Clayton’s compromise bill. The whole of Calif irnia is lost to us though our blood and treasure were freely given, and the gallant sons of the slave States distinguished themselves upon every battle field throughout the eventful struggle. We are now told, while all this and much more is true, it is deemed expedient, in order to set rid of the slaviry question , to let ihe present settlers in Caliornia, if, indeed, they can be so called, form a State govern ment, and be admitted into the Union though it is well known that our slaves will be excluded by any constitution that may now be adopted. I will add, more in sorrow than anger, that much of this has resulted from the want of harmony, union and conceit among the public men of the South ; and if I have a wish stronger than all others, it is the desire to see the whole South present a united front upon every question touching tho institution of slavery. It is our only reliance—upon it depends, in my opinion, the preservation of the Union, our property, and our honor. Lastly, you ask : “In the event of the passage by Congress of the Wilmot Pro viso, or with is interference with the sub. ject of slavery in the District of C’olum. bia, what course ought to be adopted by the Sooth ?” My answer is—first to look to ourselves rather than our oppressors—to take coun sel together without distinction of party, and upon one altar offer up all recollec tions of minor and past differences, and re* solve that if neither remonstrance, reason nor argument will arrest the brutal fanati cism that is sweeping over the land, threa tening a disruption of our social and politi cal union ; that we as slaveholders, regard ing the passage of the Wilmot Proviso as the prelude to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, as well as evi dence of a settled policy on the part ofthe free States to continue to disregard the constitutional provision for our protection in reference to fugitive slaves, will hence, forth look alone, to the justice of our cause to the protection of that Providence, who is able to direct our footsteps in the midst of the greatest peril, to our own union of all the means, physical and moral, to es tablish for ourselves, our wives and chil dren, freedom, equality, and liberty, or perish in the attempt. Let the watch-word be—the Constitution as it is—the Union as it was—down with all odious and un constitutional discrimination between the citizens or the property of the citizens of the different States by the Federal Govern ment, or that every patriot son ofthe South, having first exhausted all pacific and hon orable means to redress his wrongs, will rally to his post, and resolve to die or main tain his rights. These are my honest feel ings, and the result of my deliberate judg ment as to the course the slave Stales should pursue in the last resort ; but, I hope a returning sense ofjustice will stay the wicked career of our unnatural and cruel tormentors —and that no such dread ful alternative will be forced upon us; yet as you have thought proper to ask me “what course ough l to be adopted by the slave States,” 1 feel incapable of conceal ing my opinions, whatever may be the consequences to me personally. 1 am well awatetliat. 1 may subject myself to the assaults of-ome malignant and designing men, who, for party purposes, may ascribe to me sentiments unfriendly to the perpe tuity of the Union. Be this as it may, 1 cannot withhold, at a great crisis, like the present, from the people of my native State, my deliberate convictions as to the best mode of preserving the Union as well as our property. 1 know no man is more devoted to ihe Union than I am ; it is no new passion of mine ; it was my first, as I fervently pray it may he my last love—let my lamp go out under the folds of that banner, on which is inscribed Justice, i Equality, Union. Such an Union is worthy a patriot’s, a patriot’s blood bu' union with inequality, wi.h injustice, with dishonor, with oppression inscribed upon its folds,to the patriot’s heart would! be less tolerable than death itself. Enter taining these views you can appreciate ihe cordiality with which l subscribe to the sentiment embraced in one of the resolu tions ofthe late Democratic Convention— that in the event of the passage by Con gress, ofthe Wilmot Proviso, of “interfer ence with the subject of slavery in tho District of Columbia,'’ 1 can have no “diffi culty in choosing between ihe only alter natives that will remain—of abject sub mission to aggression and outrage on ihe one hand, or determined resistance on the other, at all hazards and to the last ex. trernity.” 1 have the honor to be, Your most obedient servant, GEORGE W. TOWNS. Messrs. Jus. Day, J. A. Wingfield, and others. Statistical Information. — It is esti. mated that the oak tree lives in a state of nature one thousand five hundred years. Hour glasses were iii'ented at Alexan dria one hundred and fifty years bes-re Christ. The sum of fifteen million dollars (*)» expended each year in London f r intoxi cating drinks. Vaccination was first tiidd upon con demned criminals, in the year 1721. The interest of the national debt ofGreat Britain is over twenty-four milli ,n pounds sterling. Looking glasses were first made at Ve nice, in the year 1300 Iron was first discovered by the burning of Mount Ida, one thousand four hundred and five years before Christ. Muslins were first manufactured in England, during the year 1781. The first jury ever empannelled was in England, during the year 970. Air is eight hundred and sixteen times lighter than its bulk in water. —A queer, but correct calculation. Military uniforms were first adopted in France, by King Louis X V. Let'ers were invented by Memnon, the Egyptian, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-two years before Christ. The plague in Europe, Asia, and Africa, commencing in the year 588, lasted for fifty years. Linen was first discovered and made in England, in the year 1253. The average coinage of the mint of Great Britain, for the last thirty years, is eighteen million pounds sterling per an num. Microscopes were first invented and used in Germany, in the year 1621. The cost of cigars smoked every day in New York city, is ten thousand dollars The first private library was that of Aris totle’s, collected five hundred and twenty four years before Christ. According to the statistics, one third of the population <>f England are paupers. . The first literary magazine in America, was published by Franklin, in 1741. Georgia—Her Resources, Policy and Duty. From an editorial article, with the a bovehead in the last Southern Whig, we copy the following interesting statistical facts in reference To Schools in this and other States. The editors make some useful remarks on the subject of common Schools, and close vviih a just hint at ihe necessity (considering our disturbed fra ternal relations as States) of Georgia and the whole South's being prepared, in their manufacturing, agricultural, commercial and educational policy, for any event which may possibly happen. “We cannot, perhaps, furnish anything more interesting to our Southern readers, than a few statistical statements, (for which we are indebted, with some accompany ing reflections, to the Southern Baptist Review,) calculated to show the impor tance attached lo the maintenance < f their common schools, by the people of New England. In Massachusetts,for example, according to the last report of tlie Board of Education, the number of public free schools, supported by the government of that State, is somewhat less than 4,000. — Ihe average number-of scholars in these schools, is about ISO,OOO or 45 to each school. 'lhe whole number of children in the State, between the ages of 4 and 16, is 214,436. Ihe amount of money raised by taxation last year, f>r the purpose of these schools, including only I be board and wages of teachers, and fuel, is about SSOO,- 000. 1 here are also supported at the public charge th ee Normal schools,where teachers are most thoroughly trained f r 'he r work The maintenance of these costs about $6,500. The amount invested in public school bouses, is said lo be not less than $2,750 000. Os this sum, $2,- 200,000 have been raised and expended in the cons ruction of these school houses within the last ten years. The estimated value of all the apparatus belonging to the public schools is about $25,000. The number of volumes in tlie sch ol libraries is nearly one hundred thousand. Massa chusetts has also four c lieges and 67 in corporated Academies, besides Theologi cal Seminaries. Boston has been author ized to establish a pub ic library, and to expend $5,000 a year in its support. By another legislative act any two adjacent towns, (precincts) not having moie than two thousand inhabitants each, may estab -li, h at the public charge, a high school, in which the blanches of a more liberal edu cation shall be taught A school for idi ots has also been established at ati expense 0f52,500 a year. Finally, a Stale Re. form School has gone into operation. It is designed to be a school for the instruc tion, reformation and employment of ju venile offenders A large farm is attach, ed, with buildings to accommodate 300 boys, at a cost of Slo9\ooo One is almost forced to ask, in view of these statistics,how large is Massachusetts? This question can be answered by e m paring it with some other Sta es. For ex ample, Georgia would make six such States, if mere superficial area be regar ded. Massachusetts, territorially consider ed, constitutes only about one four hundred and foiiy eigtli part ofthe Un on to which she belongs. In mineral resources, pro ductiveness of soil, and facilities for inter nal intercourse, she is far below in st of the other States. She has no navigable river ; no untold treasures of gold are known or suspected to exist under her rocky suiface. “Granite,” says the Hon. Horace Mann, “is her best mineral, and ice is the only pearl to bes <und in her wa ters.” Whence, then, conies the relative importance of Massachusetts ? Its unex. ampled prosperity is certainly riot owing to any one cause. Several causes the peo ple of that State believe that the general intelligence of its ci izetis is the chief. They are iti the habit, of looking upon their educated men, their intelligent and nidus triou men and women, and the children in ail these schools, as prophetic- of future eminence to the State, as they believe her p esent eminence is mainly the result of her system of common school education. Let us now turn to some statistical in formation, showing the position of Geor gia with reference to this important sub ject. For the following we are indebted to the Masonic Journal; and we can, with all our heart, endorse and adopt what is urged by its intelligent correspondent, as the unfortunate position, and the duty of our State ; In IS4O there were 622 students atten ding the several Colleges and Universi ties ofthe State 7,878 attending the Aca demies and Grammar Schools, and 15,561 attending the primary schools. Os these these last, 1,333 were instructed at pub lic charge. i lie aggregate number in at tendance upon all tne schools in the State was 25,061. Now there were in Georgia at that time children between the ages of 5 and 10 ; 27,136 between 10 2t „j 15 ; and 20,897 between 15 and 20, ma. king an aggregate cf 81,932 who were a , the proper ages to receive instruction. Thus it will be seen that only about 3g per cent, of the entire number between the ages of 5 and 20 attended school at all At the same period there were in tb e State 30,717 white persons, over 20 years who could neither read nor write, showing an excess of 6,656 over the whole n Uffi . her of pupils in the State ! When we remember that only 1333 or about 6 per cent, of those atlendin® school, received aid from the public, it seems fair to conclude tlvat the remain, ing 22.723 were »he children of parents who were able to pay for their tuition and and that the major part of the 57,332 who were uninstructed remained in ignmance from the lack of means adequate to edu cate them It is believed tiiat the census of 1850, while it will show a gratifying increase in the agricultural, ma 11 ufacia, riu and commercial interes-s of Georgia, will not exhibit a corresponding progress in education. That not much mote than 30 per cent, of the white population be tween the ages of 5 and 20 will be found attending school at all ! From the .Scientific American. Facts and Observations on Cliolera and thi Atmosphere. BY H. F. STICKNF.Y. With facts and observations communi cated in my articles on Motion, with some facts subsequently obtained, principally by the exertions of others ; we think it can be shewn that when Epidemic Cholera prevails, there is greater weight in the at mosphere, and less eleclrici y. That the presence of carbonic acid gas expels the Electricity—lienee tbe cause of the epi demic. As stated in my articles on Motion, a number of years ago, in making experi ments on Electricity. 1 had coated jars at hand, and after having prepared some carbonic acid gas, and made use of what was then required, there being some left, 1 put it into a coated jar that belonged to an electrical battery, that was at hand.— Some time afie wards, the jar was requir ed for electricity,and an attempt was made to charge the jar, but in vain We now thought of the gas —and had it filled with water ; and after pouring it out and dry ing the jar, there was no difficulty ill char, ging it. This we took to be sufficient evi dence that the carbonic acid gas repelled the electricity. , We have seen recently an article indie -Scien'ific Ameiican containing the follow ing statement, by Professor S. C. Beek.of Rutger’s College, in a communication to the Newark (N. J.) Sentinel, expresses the same opinion, as Prof. Olmstead. He says that Dr. Prout of England, conducted a series of correct experiments on the atmosphere and discovered, that it became heavier when the Cholera first made its appearance in London, in 1832, and he attributed the increased weight of the atmosphere to some foreign body in it, which was in some way connected with the Cliolera. We think the above experiments shew that during epidemic cholera, there is pre sent in the atmosphere, some extraneous heavy fluid, that gives extraordinary car■ bonic acid gas. We have some other fads that go to show that t'-e same unusually heavy stale of the atmosphere has existed during the pie alence of epidemic chole ra, in this region of country- A French Mathematical 1 nstruinent maker, now of Cincinnati, came (Toledo, Ohio.) by the way of Sandusky City, by tbe name of Henry Meyer. He bad wi h him some barometers of bis own make, for sale. In conversation he told me, that at Sandusky City he took the height of Lake Erie a have the ocean. I asked how much he made it, he said 350 feet. I told him that he Lake was established at 574 by the survey of the Erie Cauul. I suggested a doubt of the accuracy of iiis instruments • he averred their accuracy could not be doubted, after the thousands of tests ofthe rules by which they were made. I exam ined bis instruments, measuied the length of the tubes, and the scales, and found them accurate; and I took one of them. I now commenced making observations hete, 13tli or 14th of July, 1549. Tbe Epidemic Cholera had commenced here, and was very violent at Sandusky City. — The atmosphere continued extraordinarily heavy until the 4th of August, when there was some thunder and rain and a small depression ofthe mercufy in the barome ter, showing lighter atmosphere. Tho 7th there was a heavy thunder shower,and the mercury sunk near half an inch. 1° the normal state of the atmosphere ' va should expect to see the mercury rise a* gain when the clouds cleared off. B ut this was not the case. The mercury that evening, although nearly cloar, bad risen