Anti-Texass Legion: Protest of some free men, states and presses against the Texass rebellion, against the laws of nature and of nations Page: 8 of 72
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JOHN Q. ADAMS.
JOHN OL. ADAMS.
During the late war with Great Britain, the military and naval com-
manders of that nation, issued proclamations inviting the slaves to
repair to their standards, with promises of freedom and of settlement
in some of the British colonial establishments. This, surely, was an
interference with the institution of slavery in the states. By the treaty
of peace, Great Britain stipulated to evacuate all the forts and places
in the United States, without carrying away any slaves. If the
government of the United States had no authority to interfere, in any
way, with the institution of slavery in the states, they would not have
had the authority to require this stipulation. It is well known that
this engagement was not fulfilled by the British naval and military
commanders; that, on the contrary, they did carry away all the slaves
whom they had induced to join them, and that the British government
inflexibily refused to restore any of them to their masters; that a claim
of indemnity was consequently instituted in behalf of the owners of the
slaves, and was successfully maintained. All that series of transactions
was an interference by congress with the institution of slavery in the
states in one way-in the way of protection and support. It was by
the institution of slavery alone, that the restitution of slaves enticed by
proclamations into the British service could be claimed as property.
But for the institution of slavery, the British commanders could neither
have allured them to their standard, nor restored them otherwise than
as liberated prisoners of war. But for the institution of slavery, there
could have been no stipulation that they should not be carried away
as property, nor any claim of indemnity for the violation of that
fBut the war power of congress over the institution of slavery in the
states is yet far more extensive. Suppose the case of a servile war,
complicated, as to some extent it is even now, with an Indian war;
suppose congress were called to raise armies; to supply money from
the whole Union to suppress a servile insurrection: would they have
no authority to interfere with the institution of slavery? The issue of
a servile war mzay be disastrous. By war, the slave may emancipate
himself; it may become necessary for the master to recognise his
emancipation, by a treaty of peace; can it, for an instant, be pretended
that congress, in such a contingency, would have no authority to
interfere with the institution of slavery, in any way, in the states ?
Why, it would be equivalent to saying, that congress have no consti-
tutional authority to make peace.
I suppose a more portentous case, certainly within the bounds of
possibility.-I would to God I could say not within the bounds of
probability. You have been, if you are not now, at the very point of
a war with Mexico-a war, I am sorry to say, so far as public rumor
is credited, stimulated by provocations on our part from the very com-
mencement of this Administration down to the recent authority given
to General Gaines to invade the Mexican territory. It is said, that
one of the earliest acts of this Administration, was a proposal made at
a time when there was already much ill-humor in Mexico against the
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Anti-Texass Legion. Anti-Texass Legion: Protest of some free men, states and presses against the Texass rebellion, against the laws of nature and of nations, book, January 1, 1845; Albany. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2356/m1/8/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .