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Speeches of the Honorable Jefferson Davis 1858
by Hon. Jefferson Davis
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Speeches of the Hon. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi,

Delivered During the Summer of 1858:



On Fourth of July, 1858, at Sea. At Serenade, at Portland, Maine. At Portland Convention, Maine. At Belfast Encampment, Maine. At Belfast Banquet, Maine. At Portland Meeting, Maine. At Fair at Augusta, Maine. At Faneuil Hall, Boston. At New York Meeting. Before Mississippi Legislature. &c. &c.

To the People of Mississippi.

I have been induced by the persistent misrepresentation of popular Addresses made by me at the North and the South during the year 1858, to collect them, and with extracts from speeches made by me in the Senate in 1850, to present the whole in this connected form; to the end that the case may be fairly before those by whose judgment I am willing to stand or fall.

Jefferson Davis.



Extracts From Speeches in U.S. Senate.

In the Senate of the United States, May 8, 1850, in presenting the Resolutions of the Legislature of Mississippi:

It is my opinion that justice will not be done to the South, unless from other promptings than are about us here—that we shall have no substantial consideration offered to us for the surrender of an equal claim to California. No security against future harassment by Congress will probably be given. The rain-bow which some have seen, I fear was set before the termination of the storm. If this be so, those who have been first to hope, to relax their energies, to trust in compromise promises, will often be the first to sound the alarm when danger again approaches. Therefore I say, if a reckless and self-sustaining majority shall trample upon her rights, if the Constitutional equality of the States is to be overthrown by force, private and political rights to be borne down by force of numbers, then, sir, when that victory over Constitutional rights is achieved, the shout of triumph which announces it, before it is half uttered, will be checked by the united, the determined action of the South, and every breeze will bring to the marauding destroyers of those rights, the warning: woe, woe to the riders who trample them down! I submit the report and resolutions, and ask that they may be read and printed for the use of the Senate.—(Cong. Globe, p. 943-4.)



In the Senate of the United States, June 27, 1850, on the Compromise Bill:

If I have a superstition, sir, which governs my mind and holds it captive, it is a superstitious reverence for the Union. If one can inherit a sentiment, I may be said to have inherited this from my revolutionary father. And if education can develop a sentiment in the heart and mind of man, surely mine has been such as would most develop feelings of attachment for the Union. But, sir, I have an allegiance to the State which I represent here. I have an allegiance to those who have entrusted their interests to me, which every consideration of faith and of duty, which every feeling of honor, tells me is above all other political considerations. I trust I shall never find my allegiance there and here in conflict. God forbid that the day should ever come when to be true to my constituents is to be hostile to the Union. If, sir, we have reached that hour in the progress of our institutions, it is past the age to which the Union should have lived. If we have got to the point when it is treason to the United States to protect the rights and interests of our constituents, I ask why should they longer be represented here? why longer remain a part of the Union? If there is a dominant party in this Union which can deny to us equality, and the rights we derive through the Constitution; if we are no longer the freemen our fathers left us; if we are to be crushed by the power of an unrestrained majority, this is not the Union for which the blood of the Revolution was shed; this is not the Union I was taught from my cradle to revere; this is not the Union in the service of which a large portion of my life has been passed; this is not the Union for which our fathers pledged their property, their lives, and sacred honor. No, sir, this would be a central Government, raised on the destruction of all the principles of the Constitution, and the first, the highest obligation of every man who has sworn to support that Constitution would be resistance to such usurpation. This is my position.

My colleague has truly represented the people of Mississippi as ardently attached to the Union. I think he has not gone beyond the truth when he has placed Mississippi one of the first, if not the first, of the States of the Confederation in attachment to it. But, sir, even that deep attachment and habitual reverence for the Union, common to us all—even that, it may become necessary to try by the touchstone of reason. It is not impossible that they should unfurl the flag of disunion. It is not impossible that violations of the Constitution and of their rights, should drive them to that dread extremity. I feel well assured that they will never reach it until it has been twice and three times justified. If, when thus fully warranted, they want a standard bearer, in default of a better, I am at their command.—(Cong. Globe, p. 995-6)



On Fourth of July, 1858, At Sea. [From the Boston Post.]

The fine ship Joseph Whitney, from Baltimore, Captain S. Howes, was making for this port on the day of the celebration of the nation's birth, and among an unusually brilliant array of passengers from different parts of the country, was the distinguished Senator, Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi. The patriotic suggestion of the captain, to celebrate the day in a manner befitting the great anniversary, met with a hearty response from the company, among whom were zealous republicans, democrats and Americans. A committee was appointed to invite the Senator to make an address, and he consented.

First, the Declaration of Independence was read by Sebastian F. Streeter, Esq., of Baltimore, when Senator Davis made an address of singular felicity of diction and impassioned eloquence, and of such a character as to command the admiration of those who listened to it. He commenced by happy allusions to the array of beauty and intelligence that stood before him from all parts of our common country; he then passed in review the condition of the feeble and separate colonies of 1776, and contrasted with it the country now—the only proper republic on earth, as it stood before the world in its wonderful progress in art, and agriculture, and commerce, and all the elements that constitute a great nation. When thus sailing on the Atlantic, looking to the coast of the United States, he was reminded of those bold refugees from the British and French oppression who crosses these water to found a home in what was then a wilderness. The memory, too, arose of the many sorrowing hearts and oppressed spirits since born over these waves to that refuge from political oppression which our fathers founded as the home of liberty and the asylum of mankind. Her terrtiory {sic}, which now stretches from ocean to ocean, contains a vast interior yet unpeopled; and, with a destiny of still further and continued expansion of area, why should the gate of the temple be now shut upon sorrowing mankind? Rather let it be that the gate should be forever open, and an emblematic flag, hereafter as heretofore, wave a welcome to all to come to the modern Abdella—fugitives from political oppression.

Senator Davis dwelt at some length on the right of search question—on the insulting claim which Great Britain made to a peace-right to visit our ships. Under the pretence of stopping the slave trade—a trade against which the United States was the first nation to raise its voice—she had interrupted and destroyed a lucrative commerce we had enjoyed in ivory and other products on the coast of Africa. The late outrages in the Gulf found us, as a people, with domestic quarrels on our hands; but if this power counted on existing divisions and on making them wider, the result showed how great was her error. The insult was resented by a united people; the Senate, as one man, leaped up against British pretensions; while England, as suddenly, astonished, withdrew her pretensions. The claim she so long preferred is given up—entirely abandoned. The same spirit that resented insult in the past will resent it in the future. I stand, said the Senator, substantially on the deck of an American vessel; it is American soil; the American flag floats over it; its right to course the ocean pathway is perfect. When the blue firmament reflected its own color in the sea, it was the unappropriated property of mankind; and it was arrogant and idle for any nation to deny to the United States her full enjoyment of this common property. It was for the full and undisturbed enjoyment of this right that out fathers, when much less prepared for war than we are now, engaged in the conflict of 1812; and for this right we were ready to strike in 1858. Let a feign power, under any pretence whatever, insult the American flag, and it will find that we are not a divided people, but that a mighty arm will be raised to smite down the insulter, and this great country will continue united.

Trifling politicians in the South, or in the North, or in the West, may continue to talk otherwise, but it will be of no avail. They are like the mosquitoes around the ox: they annoy, but they cannot wound, and never kill. There was a common interest which run through all the diversified occupations and various products of these sovereign States; there was a common sentiment of nationality which beat in every American bosom; there were common memories sweet to us all, and, though clouds had occasionally darkened our political sky, the good sense and the good feeling of the people had thus far averted any catastrophe destructive of our constitution and the Union. It was in fraternity and an elevation of principle which rose superior to sectional or individual aggrandizement that the foundations of our Union were laid; and if we, the present generation, be worthy of our ancestry, we shall not only protect those foundations from destruction, but build higher and wider this temple of liberty, and inscribe perpetuity upon its tablet.

In the course of his beautiful speech, senator Davis passed a noble eulogium on our mother country; and dwelt on the many reasons why the most cordial friendship should be maintained with her; and he concluded by a tribute to the fair sex—the women—beautiful woman; to the wondrous educational influence as the mother which she exercised over the minds of men. It is ever, at all times, felt and operative—upon the dreary waste of ocean, on the lonely prairie, in the troublous contests at the national halls. And when the arm is moved in the deadly conflicts of the battle-field, and the foe is vanquished, then the gentle influences instilled by women do their work, and the heart melts into tears of pity and prompts to deeds of mercy.

After this intellectual repast, then succeeded congratulations; the air was made vocal with song; while, through the foresight of the gallant captain, at the evening hour, the sky about the good ship Joseph Whitney was brilliant with those various pyrotechnic displays which must be so grateful to the spirit of patriotic John Adams, of bonfire and illumination-memory.



Speech at the Portland Serenade, July 9th, 1858.

After the music had ceased, Mr. Davis appeared upon the steps, and as soon as the prolonged applause with which he was greeted had subsided, he spoke in substance as follows:

Fellow Countrymen:—Accept my sincere thanks for this manifestation of your kindness. Vanity does not lead me so far to misconceive your purpose as to appropriate the demonstration to myself; but it is not less gratifying to me to be made the medium through which Maine tenders an expression of regard to her sister Mississippi. It is moreover, with feelings of profound gratification that I witness this indication of that national sentiment and fraternity which made us, and which alone can keep us, one people. At a period, but as yesterday when compared with the life of nations, these States were separate, and in sorts respects opposing colonies; their only relation to each other was that of a common allegiance to the government of Great Britain. So separate, indeed almost hostile, was their attitude, that when Gen. Stark, of Bennington memory, was captured by savages on the head waters of the Kennebec, he was subsequently taken by them to Albnny {sic} where they went to sell furs, and again led away a captive, without interference on the part of the inhabitants of that neighboring colony to demand or obtain his release. United as we now are, were a citizen of the United States, as an act of hostility to our country, imprisoned or slain in any quarter of the world, whether on land or sea, the people of each and every State of the Union, with one heart, and with one voice, would demand redress, and woe be to him against whom a brother's blood cried to us from the ground. Such is the fruit of the wisdom and the justice with which our fathers bound contending colonies into confederation and blended different habits and rival interests into a harmonious whole, so that shoulder to shoulder they entered on the trial of the revolution, step with step trod its thorny paths until they reached the height of national independence and founded the constitutional representative liberty, which is our birthright.

When the mother country entered upon her career of oppression, in disregard of chartered and constitutional rights, our forefathers did not stop to measure the exact weight of the burden, or to ask whether the pressure bore most upon this colony or upon that, but saw in it the infraction of a great principle, the denial of a common right, in defence of which they made common cause; Massachusetts, Virginia and South Carolina vieing with each other as to who should be foremost in the struggle, where the penalty of failure would be a dishonorable grave.

Tempered by the trials and sacrifices of the revolution, dignified by its noble purposes, elevated by its brilliant triumphs, endeared to each other by its glorious memories, they abandoned the confederacy, not to fly apart when the outward pressure of hostile fleets and armies were removed, but to draw closer their embrace in the formation of a more perfect union. By such men, thus trained and ennobled, our Constitution was formed. It stands a monument of principle, of forecast, and, above all, of that liberality which made each willing to sacrifice local interest, individual prejudice or temporary good to the general welfare, and the perpetuity of the Republican institutions which they had passed through fire and blood to secure. The grants were as broad as were necessary for the functions of the general agent, and the mutual concessions were twice blessed, blessing both him who gave and him who received. Whatever was necessary for domestic government, requisite in the social organization of each community, was retained by the States and the people thereof; and these it was made the duty of all to defend and maintain.

Such, in very general terms, is the rich political legacy our fathers bequeathed to us. Shall we preserve and transmit it to posterity? Yes, yes, the heart responds, and the judgment answers, the task is easily performed. It but requires that each should attend to that which most concerns him, and on which alone he has rightful power to decide and to act. That each should adhere to the terms of a written compact and that all should cooperate for that which interest, duty and honor demand. For the general affairs of our country, both foreign and domestic, we have a national executive and a national legislature. Representatives and Senators are chosen by districts and by States, but their acts affect the whole country, and their obligations are to the whole people. He who holding either seat would confine his investigations to the mere interests of his immediate constituents would be derelict to his plain duty; and he who would legislate in hostility to any section would be morally unfit for the station, and surely an unsafe depositary if not a treacherous guardian of the inheritance with which we are blessed.

No one, more than myself; recognizes the binding force of the allegiance which the citizen owes to the State of his citizenship, but that State being a party to our compact, a member of our union, fealty to the federal Constitution is not in opposition to, but flows from the allegiance due to one of the United States. Washington was not less a Virginian when he commanded at Boston; nor did Gates or Greene weaken the bonds which bound them to their several States, by their campaigns in the South. In proportion as a citizen loves his own State, will he strive to honor by preserving her name and her fame free from the tarnish of having failed to observe her obligations, and to fulfil her duties to her sister States. Each page of our history is illustrated by the names and the deeds of those who have well understood, and discharged the obligation. Have we so degenerated, that we can no longer emulate their virtues? Have the purposes for which our Union was formed, lost their value? Has patriotism ceased to be a virtue, and is narrow sectionalism no longer to be counted a crime? Shall the North not rejoice that the progress of agriculture in the South has given to her great staple the controlling influence of the commerce of the world, and put manufacturing nations under bond to keep the peace with the United States? Shall the South not exult in the fact, that the industry and persevering intelligence of the North, has placed her mechanical skill in the front ranks of the civilized world—that our mother country, whose haughty minister some eighty odd years ago declared that not a hob-nail should be made in the colonies, which are now the United States, was brought some four years ago to recognize our pre-eminence by sending a commission to examine our work shops, and our machinery, to perfect their own manufacture of the arms requisite for their defence? Do not our whole people, interior and seaboard, North, South, East, and West, alike feel proud of the hardihood, the enterprise, the skill, and the courage of the Yankee sailor, who has borne our flag far as the ocean bears its foam, and caused the name and the character of the United States to be known and respected wherever there is wealth enough to woo commerce, and intelligence enough to honor merit? So long as we preserve, and appreciate the achievements of Jefferson and Adams, of Franklin and Madison, of Hamilton, of Hancock, and of Rutledge, men who labored for the whole country, and lived for mankind, we cannot sink to the petty strife which would sap the foundations, and destroy the political fabric our fathers erected, and bequeathed as an inheritance to our posterity forever.

Since the formation of the Constitution, a vast extension of territory, and the varied relations arising there from, have presented problems which could not have been foreseen. It is just cause for admiration—even wonder, that the provisions of the fundamental law should have been found so fully adequate to all the wants of government, new in its organization, and new in many of the principles on which it was founded. Whatever fears may have once existed as to the consequences of territorial expansion, must give way before the evidence which the past affords. The general government, strictly confined to its delegated functions, and the States left in the undisturbed exercise of all else, we have a theory and practice which fits our government for immeasurable domain, and might, under a millennium of nations, embrace mankind.

From the slope of the Atlantic our population with ceaseless tide has poured into the wide and fertile valley of the Mississippi, with eddying whirl has passed to the coast of the Pacific, from the West and the East the tides are rushing towards each other—and the mind is carried to the day when all the cultivable and will be inhabited, and the American people will sign for more wildernesses to conquer. But there is here a physico-political problem presented for our solution. Were it was purely physical—your past triumphs would leave but little doubt of your capacity to solve it.

A community, which, when less than twenty thousand, conceived the grand project of crossing the White Mountains, and, unaided, save by the stimulus which jeers and prophecies of failure gave, successfully executed the herculean work, might well be impatient, if it were suggested that a physical problem was before us, too difficult for their mastery. The history of man teaches that high mountains and wide deserts have resisted the permanent extension of empire, and have formed the immutable boundaries of States. From time to time, under some able leader, have the hordes of the upper plains of Asia swept over the adjacent country, and rolled their conquering columns over Southern Europe. Yet, after the lapse of a few generations, the physical law to which I have referred, has asserted its supremacy, and the boundaries of those States differ little now from those which obtained three thousand years ago. Rome flew her conquering eagles over the then known world, and has now subsided into the little territory on which her great city was originally built. The Alps and the Pyrenees have been unable to restrain imperial France; but her expansion was a leverish action; her advance and her retreat were tracked with blood, and those mountain ridges are the re-established limits of her empire. Shall the Rocky Mountains prove a dividing barrier to us? Were ours a central consolidated government, instead of a Union of sovereign States, our fate might be learned from the history of other nations. Thanks to the wisdom and independent spirit of our forefathers, this is not our case. Each State having sole charge of its local interests and domestic affairs, the problem which to others has been insoluble, to us is made easy. Rapid, safe, and easy communication and co-operation among all parts of our continent-wide republic. The network of railroads which bind the North and the South, the slope of the Atlantic and the valley of the Mississippi, together testify that our people have the power to perform, in that regard, whatever it is their will to do.

We require a railroad to the States of the Pacific for present uses; the time no doubt will come when we shall have need of two or three; it may be more. Because of the desert character of the interior country the work will be difficult and expensive. It will require the efforts of an united people. The bickerings of little politicians, the jealousies of sections, must give way to dignity of purpose and zeal for the common good. If the object be obstructed by contention and division as to whether the route to be selected shall be northern, southern or central, the handwriting is on the wall, and it requires little skill to see that failure is the interpretation of the inscription. You are a practical people and may ask, how is that contest to be avoided? By taking the question out of the hands of politicians altogether. Let the Government give such aid as it is proper for it to render to the Company which shall propose the most feasible and advantageous plan; then leave to capitalists with judgment sharpened by interest, the selection of the route, and the difficulties will diminish as did those which you overcame when you connected your harbor with the Canadian Provinces.

It would be to trespass on your kindness and to violate the proprieties of the occasion, were I to detain the vast concourse which stands before me, by entering on the discussion of controverted topics, or by further indulging in the expression of such reflections as circumstances suggest.

I came to your city in quest of health and repose. From the moment I entered it you have showered upon me kindness and hospitality. Though my experience has taught me to anticipate good rather than evil from my fellow man, it had not prepared me to expect such unremitting attention as has here been bestowed. I have been jocularly asked in relation to my coming here, whether I had secured a guaranty {sic} for my safety, and lo, I have found it. I stand in the midst of thousands of my fellow citizens. But my friend, I came neither distrusting, not apprehensive, of which you have proof in the fact that I brought with me the objects of tenderest affection and solicitude—my wife and my children; they have shared with me your hospitality, and will alike remain your debtors. If at some future time, when I am mingled with the dust, and the arm of my infant son has been nerved for deeds of manhood, the storm of war should burst upon your city, I feel that, relying upon his inheriting the instincts of his ancestors and mine, I may pledge him in that perilous hour to stand by your side in the defence of your hearth stones, and in maintaining the honor of a flag whose constellation though torn and smoked in many a battle, by sea and land, has never been stained with dishonor, and will I trust forever fly as free as the breeze which unfolds it.

A stranger to you, the salubrity of your location and the beauty of its scenery were not wholly unknown to me, nor were there wanting associations which bust memory connected with your people. You will pardon me for alluding to one whose genius shed a lustre upon all it touched, and whose qualities gathered about him hosts of friends, wherever he was known. Prentiss, a native of Portland, lived from youth to middle age in the county of my residence, and the inquiries which have been made, show me that the youth excited the interest which the greatness of the man justified, and that his memory thus remains a link to connect your home with mine.

A cursory view, when passing through your town on former occasions, had impressed me with the great advantages of your harbor, its easy entrance, its depth, and its extensive accommodation for shipping. But its advantages, and if facilities as they have been developed by closer inspection, have grown upon me until I realize that it is no boast, but the language of sober truth which in the present state of commerce pronounces them unequaled in any harbor of our country.

And surely no place could be more inviting to an invalid who sought a refuge from the heat of a southern summer. Here waving elms offer him shared walks, and magnificent residences surrounded by flowers, fill the mind with ideas of comfort and of rest. If weary of constant contact with his fellow men, he seeks a deeper seclusion, there, in the back ground of this grand amphitheatre, lie the eternal mountains, frowning with brow of rock and cap of snow upon the smiling fields beneath, and there in its recesses may be found as much of wildness, and as much of solitude, as the pilgrim weary of the cares of life can desire. If he turn to the front, your capacious harbor, studded with green islands of ever varying light and shade, and enlivened by all the stirring evidences of commercial activity, offer him the mingled charms of busy life and nature's calm repose. A few miles further, and he may site upon the quiet shore to listen to the murmuring wave until the troubled spirit sinks to rest, and in the little sail that vanishes on the illimitable sea, we may find the type of the voyage which he is so soon to take, when, his ephemeral existence closed, he embarks for that better state which lies beyond the grave.

Richly endowed as you are by nature in all which contributes to pleasure and to usefulness, the stranger cannot pass without paying a tribute to the much which your energy has achieved for yourselves. Where else will one find a more happy union of magnificence and comfort, where better arrangements to facilitate commerce? Where so much of industry, with so little noise and bustle? Where, in a phrase, so much effected in proportion to the means employed? We hear the puff of the engine, the roll of the wheel, the ring of the axe, and the saw, but the stormy, passionate exclamations so often mingled with the sounds, are no where heard. Yet, neither these nor other things which I have mentioned; attractive though they be, have been to me the chief charm which I have found among you. For above all these I place the gentle kindness, the cordial welcome, the hearty grasp, which made me feel truly and at once, though wandering far, that I was still at home.

My friends, I thank you for this additional manifestation of your good will.



Speech at the Portland Convention.

On Thursday, August 24th, 1858, when the Democratic Convention had nearly concluded its business, a committee was appointed to wait on Mr. Davis, and request him to gratify them by his presence in the Convention. He expressed his willingness to comply with the wishes of his countrymen, and accordingly repaired to the City Hall. On entering he was greeted in the most cordial and enthusiastic manner. After business was finished, he proceeded to the rostrum, and, addressing the Convention, said:

Friends, fellow-citizens, and brethren in Democracy, he thanked them for the honor conferred by their invitation to be present at their deliberations, and expressed the pleasure he felt in standing in the midst of the Democracy of Maine—amidst so many manifestations of the important and gratifying fact that the Democratic is, in truth, a national party. He did not fail to remember that the principles of the party declaring for the largest amount of personal liberty consistent with good government, and to the greatest possible extent of community and municipal independence, would render it in their view, as in his own, improper for him to speak of those subjects which were local in their character, and he would endeavor not so far to trespass upon their kindness as to refer to anything which bore such connection, direct or indirect—and he hoped that those of their opponents who, having the control of type, fancied themselves licensed to manufacture facts, would not hold them responsible for what he did not say. He said he should carry with him, as one of the pleasant memories of his brief sojourn in Maine, the additional assurance, which intercourse with the people had given him, that there still lives a National Party, struggling and resolved bravely to struggle for the maintenance of the Constitution, the abatement of sectional hostility, and the preservation of the fraternal compact made by the Fathers of the Republic. He said, rocked in the cradle of Democracy, having learned its precepts from his father,—who was a Revolutionary Soldier—and in later years having been led forward in the same doctrine by the patriot statesman—of whom such honorable mention was made in their resolutions—Andrew Jackson, he had always felt that he had in his own heart a standard by which to measure the sentiments of a Democrat. When, therefore, he had seen evidences of a narrow sectionalism, which sought not the good of the whole, not even the benefit of a part, but aimed at the injury of a particular section, the pulsations of his own heart told him such cannot be the purpose, the aim, or the wish of any American Democrat—and he saw around him to-day evidence that his opinion in this respect had here its verification. As he looked upon the weather-beaten faces of the veterans and upon the flushed cheek and flashing eye of the youth, which told of the fixed resolve of the one, and the ardent, noble hopes of the other, strengthened hope and bright anticipations filled his mind, and he feared not to ask the questions shall narrow interests, shall local jealousies, shall disregard of the high purposes for which our Union was ordained, continue to distract our people and impede the progress of our government toward the high consummation which prophetic statesmen have so often indicated as her destiny?—[Voices, no, no, no! Much applause.]

Thanks for that answer; let every American heart respond no; let every American head, let every American hand unite in the great object of National development. Let our progress be across the land and over the sea, let our flag as stated in your resolutions, continue to wave its welcome to the oppressed, who flee from the despotism of other lands, until the constellation which marks the number of our States which have already increased from thirteen to thirty two, shall go on multiplying into a bright galaxy covering the field on which we now display the revered stripes, which record the original size of our political family, and shall shed its benign light over all mankind, to point them to the paths of self-government and constitutional liberty.

He here referred to the history of the Democratic party, and numbered among its glories the various acts of territorial acquisition and triumphs through its foreign intercourse in the march of civilization and National amity, as well as in the glories which from time to time had been shed by the success of our arms upon the name and character of the American people. He alluded to the recent attempt by some of the governments of Europe, to engraft upon National law a prohibition against privateering. He said whenever other governments were willing to declare that private property should be exempt from the rigors of war, on sea as it is on land, our government might meet them more than half way, but to a proposition which would leave private property the prey of national vessels and thus give the whole privateering to those governments which maintained a large naval establishment in time of peace, he would unhesitatingly answer no. Our merchant marine constituted the militia of the sea—how effective it had been in our last struggle with a maritime power, he need not say to the sons of those who had figured so conspicuously in that species of warfare. The policy of our government was peace. We could not consent to bear the useless expense of a naval establishment larger than was necessary for its proper uses in a time of peace. Relying as we had and must hereafter upon the merchant marine to man whatever additional vessels we should require, and upon the bold and hardy Yankee sailor, when he could no longer get freight for his craft, to receive a proper armament, and go forth like a knight errant of the sea in quest of adventure against the enemies of his country's flag.

He said our country was powerful for all military purposes, and if asked to compare her armies and her navy with those of the great powers of Europe, he would answer, that is not our standard. History teaches that our strength is in the courage and patriotism, the skill and intelligence of our people. A part of the American army was before him, and a part of the American navy was lying in the harbor of their city. That army and that navy had fought the battles of the Revolution, of the "war of 1812" and of the war with Mexico, and would never be found wanting, whilst the patriotism of the earlier days of the Republic, proved a sufficient cement to hold the different parts of our wide spread and extending country together. He said that everything around him spoke eloquently of the wisdom of the men who founded these colonies-their descendants, who sat before him, contrasted strongly, as did their history and present power, stand out in bold relief, when compared with those of the inhabitants of Central and Southern America. Chief among the reasons for this, he believed to be the self-reliant hardihood of their forefathers who, when but a handful, found themselves confronted by hordes of savages, yet proudly maintained the integrity of their race and asserted its supremacy over the descendants of Shem, in whose tents they had come to dwell. They preferred to encounter toil, privation and carnage, rather than debase their lineage and race. Their descendants of that pure and heroic blood have advanced to the high standard of civilization attainable by that type of mankind. Stability and progress, wealth and comfort, art and science, have followed their footsteps.

Among our neighbors of Central and Southern America, we see the Caucasian mingled with the Indian and the African. They have the forms of free government, because they have copied them. To its benefits they have not attained, because that standard of civilization is above their race. Revolution succeeds Revolution, and the country mourns that some petty chief may triumph, and through a sixty days' government ape the rulers of the earth. Even now the nearest and strongest of these American Republics, which were fashioned after the model of our own, seems to be tottering to a fall, and the world is inquiring as to who will take possession; or, as protector, raise and lead a people who have shown themselves incompetent to govern themselves.

He said our fathers laid the foundation of Empire, and declared its purposes; to their sons it remained to complete their superstructure. The means by which this end was to be secured were simple and easy. It involved no harder task than that each man should attend to his own business, that no community should arrogantly assume to interfere with the affairs of another—and that all by the honorable obligation of fulfiling that compact which their fathers had made.

He then referred to the commercial position of Maine, and spoke of her brightly unfolding prospects of prosperity and greatness. Many considered her wealth to consist of her forests, and that her prosperity would decline when her timber was exhausted—he held to a different opinion, and thought they might welcome the day, when the sombre shadows of the Pine gave place to verdant pastures and fruitful fields. Was he asked, what then was to become of the interest of ship-building? He would answer—let it be changed from wood to iron. The skill to be aquired be a few years' experience, would at a fair price for iron, enable our ship builders to construct iron ships, which, taking into account their greater capacity for freight and greater durability, would be cheaper than vessels of wood, even whilst timber was as abundant as now;—at least such was the information he had derived from persons well informed upon those subjects.

He expressed the gratification he felt for the courtesy of the Democracy in Maine, and doubted not that the Democracy of Mississippi would receive it, with grateful recognition, as evincing fraternal sentiment by kindness done to one of her sons, not the less a representative, because a humble member of her Democracy.



Speech at Belfast Encampment.

About the o'clock the troops at the encampment being under arms, Col. Davis was escorted to the ground and reviewed them. He was then introduced to the troops by Gen. Cushman, as follows—

Officers and fellow soldiers, I introduce to you Col. Jefferson Davis, an eminent citizen of Mississippi,—a man, and I say a hero, who has, in the service of his country, been among and faced hostile guns.

Col. Davis replied as follows—

Citizen Soldiers:—I feel pleased and gratified at the exhibition I have witnessed of the military spirit and instruction of the volunteer militia of Maine. I acknowledge the compliment which has been paid to me, and I welcome it as the indication of the liberality and national sentiment which makes the militia of each State the effective, as they are the constitutional defenders of our whole country.

To one who loves his country in all its parts, it is natural to rejoice in whatever contributes to the prosperity and honor, and marks the stability and progress of any portion of its people. I therefore look upon the evidence presented to me of the soldierly enthusiasm and military acquirements displayed on this occasion, with none the less pleasure because I am the citizen of another and distant State. It was not the policy of our government to maintain large armies of navies in time of peace. The history of our past wars established the fact that it was not needful to do so. The militia had bee found equal to all the emergencies of war. Their patriotism, their intelligence, their knowledge of the use of arms, had given to then all the efficiency of veterans, and on many bloody fields they have shown their superiority over the disciplined troops of their enemies. A people morally and intellectually equal to self-government, must also be equal in self-defence. My friends, your worthy General has alluded to my connection with the military service of the country. The memory arose to myself when the troops this day marched past me, and when I looked upon their manly bearing and firm step. I thought could I have seen them thus approaching the last field of battle on which I served, where the changing tide several times threatened disaster to the American flag, with what joy I would have welcomed those striped and starred banners, the emblem and the guide of the free and the brave, and with what pride would the heart have beaten when welcoming the danger's hour, brethren from so remote an extremity of our expanded territory.

One of the evidences of the fraternal confidence and mutual reliance of our fathers was to be found in their compact or mutual protection and common defence. So long as their sons preserve the spirit and appreciate the purpose of their fathers, the United States will remain invincible, their power will grow with the lapse of time, and their example show brighter and brighter as revolving ages roll over the temple our fathers dedicated to constitutional liberty, and founded upon truths announced to their sons, but intended for mankind. I thank you, citizen soldiers, for this act of courtesy. It will long and gratefully be remembered, as a token of respect to the distant State of which I am a citizen, and I trust will be noted by others, as indicating that national sentiment which made, and which alone can preserve us a nation.



Banquet After Encampment at Belfast.

The Mayor then gave:

The heroes who have fought our country's battles: may their services be appreciated by a grateful people.

Loud calls being made for Col. Jefferson Davis, that gentleman arose and said:

The sentiment to which he was called to respond excited memories which called up proud emotions, though their associations were sad. He could not reply to a compliment paid to the gallantry of his comrades in the war with Mexico, without remembering how many of them now mingle with the dust of a foreign land, and how many of them have sunk after the day of toil was done by reason of the exposure endured in the service of their country. The land has mourned, and still mourns, the fall of its bravest and best, and truly are our laurels mingled with the cypress, 'tis well, and 'tis wise, 'tis natural and 'tis proper, that in looking on the laurels of our glory we should pause to pay a tribute to the cypress which weeps over them, and having paid this tribute to the gallant dead, the memory of whose service can never die, we pass to the consideration of their acts, and the beneficial results which their sacrifices have secured. When that war begun, our history recorded evidence only of the power of our people for defence. The Fabian policy of Washington, admirably adapted to the condition of the Colonies, achieved so much in proportion to the means, that he would be rash indeed who should attempt to criticise it. The prudent, though daring course of Jackson, fruitful as it was of the end to be attained, did not yet serve to illustrate the capacity of our people for the trials and the struggles attendant on the operations of an invasive war. Hence it was commonly asserted that the American people, though they might resist attack, were powerless to redress aggression which was not connected with the invasion of their territory. The idea of reliance upon undisciplined militia was treated with contempt and derision. To borrow a simile from the pit, we were regarded as dung-hill soldiers, who would only fight at home. In the war with Mexico our armies carried their banners over routes hitherto unknown, through mountain passes where nature had almost completed the work of defence, and penetrated further into the enemy's country than any European army has ever marched from the source of its supplies. Not to prolong the comparison by a reference to events of a remote period, he would only refer to the last campaign in European war. The combined armies of France and England, after preparation worthy of their great military power, advanced through friendly territory to the outer verge of the country, against which they directed a war of invasion, and after a prolonged siege by sea and by land, finally captured a seaport town which they could not hold. Before them lay the country they had come to invade, but there, at the outer gate, their march was arrested, and in sight of the ships which brought them supplies and reinforcements, they terminated a campaign, the scale and proclaimed objects of which had caused the world to look on in expectation of achievements the like of which man had not seen. Why was it so? was it not that they were unable to move from the depot of supplies, though a distance less than half of that over which our army passed before reaching a productive region would have brought the allied forces to a country filled with all the supplies necessary for the support of an army. Is it boastful to say that American troops, and an American treasury, would have encountered and have overcome such an obstacle? He did not forget the complaints which had been made on account of the vast expenditures which had been made in the prosecution of the war with Mexico; but he remembered with pride the capacity which the country had exhibited to bear such expenditure, and believed that our people had no money standard by which to measure the duty of their government, and the honor of their flag. We bear with us from the wars in which we have been engaged no other memory of their cost than the loss of the gallant dead. To the printed reports and tabular statements we must go when we desire to know how many dollars were expended. The successful soldier when he returns from the field is met by a welcome proportionate to the leaves which he has added to the wreath of his country's glory. Each has his reward; to one, the admiring listener at the hearthstone; to another, the triumphal reception; to all, the respect which patriotism renders to patriotic service. To the soldier who, in the early part of the Mexican war, set the seal of invincibility upon American arms, and subsequently by a signal victory dispersed and disorganized the regular army of Mexico, his countrymen voted the highest reward known to our government. Twice before have the people in like manner manifested their approbation and esteem. Thus has the military spirit of the country been nursed; to-day it needs not the monarchial bundles of ribbons, orders and titles to sustain it. Thus has the American citizen been made to realize that it is sweet and honorable to die for one's country; and to feel proudest among his family memories of the names of those who successfully fought or bravely died in defence of the national flag. Often he had had occasion to feel, and to mark the mingled sensation of pride and of sorrow with which friends revert to those who gallantly died in the field. Even at this now remote day he could not travel in Mississippi without having the recollection of his fallen comrades painfully revived by meeting a mother who mourns her son with the agony of a mother's grief; a father, whose stern nature vainly struggles to conceal the involuntary pang, or tender children who know not the extent of their deprivation, though it is indeed the sorest of all. Let none then be surprised that he could not see thee laurel save through the solemn shade of the cypress. Time, however, softened the shadow long before it withers the leaf. On his way to this place he learned that it was possible, and he seized the occasion to visit the residence of Gen. Knox, of revolutionary memory. His own desire to see something which had been identified with a patriot soldier who had so largely contributed to the success of the revolution, and the establishment of the institutions we inherited, was but an indication of the military sentiment which lives in the American heart. It turns the step of the traveller from his direct path, it attracts the boy in his first reading, it fires the ambition of the youth, and encircles the veteran with the kindness of his neighbors, and swells the train which follows his bier when, his duty to his country performed, he answers the summons of his God, and is translated to a better sphere. It is that same military enthusiasm which calls you from the avocations and the pleasures of home to the duties and discomforts of the camp, that you may prepare yourselves whenever your country needs it to render her efficient service. On the militia of the country the rights of its citizens, and the honor of its flag, must mainly depend in the event of a war; they only need to be organized and instructed to render them a secure reliance. Mingled with the great body of the people, identified with their feelings and their interests, proud of the prowess of their fathers and jealousy careful of the country's honor, if properly instructed and prepared, the first trumpet call should bring from plain and from mountain a citizen soldiery who would encircle the land and check the invader with a wall of fire. Your plan of encampment seems best suited to the purposes of practical instruction. A pilgrim in search of health, his steps had been fortunately directed to Maine, the courtesy of the commander of this encampment had induced him to visit it and to review the troops. In all respects it had been to him most gratifying. The appointments, the movements, the stern faces, and stalwart forms of the men, spoke of the power to do, and the will to dare whatever it was needful and proper to perform. This day to manifest respect to a citizen of a distant State, whose only claim upon them is that he has been an American soldier, and is an American citizen, they had cheerfully marched through heavy mire. So much had they given to so small a demand on their natural sentiment, he could not doubt they would with equal alacrity, and with the same firm step, march over a field miry with the blood of comrade and of foe, where opposing causes make to men a common fate.

Among the objects which were of interest to him and which he had hoped to visit, was the fortification at the narrows of the Penobscot. During the last session of congress he had endeavored to obtain an appropriation for the completion of the work which had advanced to the point which made it effective against shipping, but left still liable to be carried by land attack. He was not of those who thought it necessary to raise walls wherever an enemy might land and march, for he would say that henceforward there would remain to an invading army but to choose between captivity and a grave. To protect commercial ports against naval assault forts are needful and should be completed so as to render them defensible by small garrisons, and to save those garrisons as far as possible from the sacrifice of life. Our people require no wall to separate them from other countries, unless it be needful for our own restraint. Our policy is peace, and the fact shines brightly on the pages of our history that not one acre of its extensive acquisitions have been claimed as the spoil of the sword. Unpeopled deserts have been purchased, and on its own application a community has been admitted to our family of states. But we have offered to the world the singular example of conquered territory returned to the vanquished.

Permit me in this connection, whilst ever mindful of the just relation and necessity for concurrent action between the civil and military departments of government, to bear testimony to the value of the militia for the purposes of peace. The principle of self-government and the spirit of independence are so deep rooted in the American mind that our people would illy brook the enforcement of law by any extraneous power, and it is to be hoped we never will see a case in which the people of a State will not be able to maintain the civil authority, and vindicate offended law against all opposers whomsoever. To give energy and activity to such popular action the organization of the militia will be most convenient whenever force shall be needful. It is not a little remarkable that though the first Presidents in emphatic language from time to time recommended a thorough organization of the militia as one of the most important duties of the government, but little more has yet been done than to make provisions for supplying them with arms, and for calling them out when required for federal purposes. There is a moral effect arising from the spectacle of each State possessed of a body of instructed militia, ready not only to maintain its government at home, but to unite with the militia of other States and to form an army upon which all can rely whenever a common danger calls for a common defence. It has been thus that from time to time the fraternity of our revolutionary fathers has been renewed among their sons, and additional assurance has been given that the sentiment of nationality on which our Union was founded could never die. That the expansion of the circle did not weaken its cohesive power, nor the piling of arch upon arch endanger the foundation on which our political temple was built. It was not a structure of expediency; master workmen cleared away the surface where the errors and prejudices of ages had accumulated, dug deep down to the unmutable rock of truth, and with unchanging principles constructed the walls to stand till time should become eternity. Who is there, then, forgetful of his revolutionary descent, insensible to the pride which the name of the United States justly inspires, faithless to the duty which the bond of his fathers imposes, and reckless of all which the honorable discharge of that duty ensures, would unite with impious purpose to destroy that foundation, and strive, with sacrilegious hand to tear the flag under which we had marched from colonial dependence to our present national greatness. Away with speculative theories, and false philanthropy of abstractions, which tend to destroy one half, one third, aye, or a single star of that bright constellation which lights the pathway of our future career, and sends a hopeful ray through the clouds of despotism which hang over less favored lands.

Our mission is not that of propagandists—our principles forbid interference with the institutions of other countries; but we may hope that our example will be imitated, and should so live that this model of representative liberty, community independence, and government derived from the consent of the governed, and limited by a written compact, should commend itself to the adoption of others. We now stand isolated among the great nations of the earth; the opposition of monarchial governments to the theory on which ours is founded, points to the possibility of an alliance against us, by which what is termed national law may be modified and warped to our prejudice if not to our assailment. It needs the united power, harmonious action and concentrated will of the people of all these States to roll the wheel of progress to the end which our fathers contemplated, and which their sons, if they are wise and true, may behold. May the kindness and courtesy which have characterized the present occasion on which Mississippi has been greeted by Maine, be a type of the feeling which shall ever exist between the extremes of our common country. From Florida to California, from Oregon to Maine, from the centre to the remotest border, may the possessors of our constitutional heritage appreciate its value, and faithfully, fraternally labor for its thorough development, looking back to the original compact for the purposes for which the Union was established, and forward to the blessing which such union was designed and is competent to confer.



Speech at the Portland Meeting.

When it became known that Mr. Davis had arrived at the Hall, he was loudly called for. Hon. Joseph Howard, chairman of the meeting, then introduced Mr. Davis, who, on coming forward, was greeted with cheer upon cheer from the vast audience. As soon as the prolonged and enthusiastic applause with which he was welcomed had subsided, Mr. Davis, addressing the audience as fellow citizens and Democratic brethren, said that the invitation with which he had been favored to address them, evinced a purpose to confer together for the common good—for the maintenance of the constitution, the bond of union. He would not be expected to discuss local questions; he would not in this imitate the mischievous agitators who inflame the Northern mind against the Southern States. He came among them, an invalid, advised by his physician to resort to this clime for the restoration of his health; as an American citizen, he had not expected that his right to come here would be questioned; as a stranger, or if not entirely so, known mainly by the detraction which the ardent advocacy of the rights of the South had brought upon him, he had supposed that neither his coming nor his going would attract attention. But his anticipations had proved erroneous. The polite, the manly, elevated men, lifted above the barbarism which makes stranger and enemy convertible terms, had chosen, without political distinction, to welcome his coming, and by constant acts of generous hospitality to make his sojourn as pleasant as his physical condition would permit.

On the other hand, men who make a trade of politics, and whose capital consists in the denunciation of the institutions of other States, had erroneously judged him by themselves, and had regarded his coming as a political mission; wherefore it was, he was led to suppose, that the scavengers of that party had been employed in the publication of falsehoods, both in relation to himself and his political friends at the South.

So far as it affected him personally their attacks were no more than the barking of a cur, which, by its clamor, indicates the inhospitable character of the master who keeps him. If his friends and himself were, as had been falsely charged, Disunionists and Nullifiers, they might naturally have looked for kinder considerations from a party which circulates petitions for a "prompt and peaceful dissolution of the Union" on account of the incompatibility of the sections—from a party, which, having proved faithless to the obligation of the constitution in relation to the fugitive from service or labor, then declares null and void the law which their dereliction made it necessary for Congress to enact. The fealty of himself and friends to the constitution, and their honorable discharge of its obligations was their rebuke to this party, in whose hostility he found the highest commendation in their power to bestow.

By reckless fabrication, by garbling and inserting new words into extracts, they had attempted to deceive the people here as to his opinions, and had crowned the fraud by the absurd announcement that his was the creed on which the people of Maine must vote next Monday.

It was due to the hospitality which he had received at their hands that he should not interfere in their domestic affairs, and he had not failed to remember the obligation; when republicans had introduced the subject of African slavery he had defended it, and answered pharisaical pretensions by citing the Bible, the constitution of the United States and the good of society in justification of the institutions of the State of which he was a citizen; in this he but exercised the right of a freeman and discharged the duty of a Southern citizen. Was it for this cause that he had been signalized as a slavery propagandists? He admitted in all its length and breadth the right of the people of Maine to decide the question for themselves; he held that it would be an indecent interference, on the part of a citizen of another State, if he should arraign the propriety of the judgment they had rendered, and that there was no rightful power in the federal government or in all the States combined, to set aside the decision which the community had made in relation to their domestic institutions. Should any attempt be made thus to disturb their sovereign right, he would pledge himself in advance, as a State-rights man, with his head, his heart and his hand, if need be, to aid them in the defence of this right of community independence, which the Union was formed to protect, and which it was the duty of every American citizen to preserve and to guard as the peculiar and prominent feature of our government.

Why, then, this accusation? Do they fear to allow Southern men to converse with their philosophers, and seek thus to silence or exclude them? He trusted others would contemn them as he did, and that many of our brethren of the South would, like himself, learn by sojourn here, to appreciate the true men of Maine, and to know how little are the political abolitionists and the abolition papers the exponents of the character and the purposes of the Democracy of this State.

And now having brushed away the cob-webs which lay in his path, he would proceed to the consideration of subjects worthy of the audience he had the honor to address.

Democrats, patriots, by whatever political name any of you may be known, you have a sacred duty to perform to your ancestry and to posterity. The time is at hand when for good or for evil, the questions which have agitated the public mind are to be solved. Is it true as asserted by northern agitators that there is such contrariety between the North and the South that they cannot remain united! Or rather, is it not true as our fathers deemed it, that diversity in the character of the population, in the products and in the institutions of the several States formed a reason for their union and tended to secure to their posterity the liberty which was the common object of their love, and by cultivating untrammeled intercourse and free trade between the States, to duplicate the comforts of all?

There was a time when the test of patriotism was the readiness to sever the bond which bound the colonies to the mother country. Recently our people with joyous acclamation have welcomed the connection of the United States with Great Britain, by the Atlantic cable. The one is not inconsistent with the other. When the home government violated the charters of the colonies, and assumed to control the private interests of individuals, the love of political liberty, the determination at whatever hazard to maintain their rights, led our fathers to enter on the trial of revolution. Having achieved the separation, they did what was in their power for the development of commerce. They secured free trade between the States, without surrendering State independence. Their sons, not only free, but beyond the possibility of future interference in their domestic affairs, now seek the closest commercial connection with the country from which their fathers achieved a political separation.

Had the proposition been made to consolidate the States after their independence had been achieved, all must know it would have been rejected—yet there are those who now instigate you to sectional strife for the purpose of sectional dominion and the destruction of the rights of the minority. Do they mean treason to the Constitution and the destruction of the Union? Or do they vilely practice on credulity and passion for personal gain? The latter is suggested by the contradictory course they pursue. At the same time they proclaim war upon the slave property of the South, they ask for protection to the manufactures of the staple which could not be produced if that property did not exist. And while they assert themselves to be the peculiar friends of commerce and navigation, they vaunt their purpose to destroy the labor which gives vitality to both; whilst they proclaim themselves the peculiar friends of laboring men at the North, they insist that the negroes are their equals; and if they are sincere they would, by emancipation of the blacks, bring them together and degrade the white man to the negro level. They seek to influence the northern mind by sectional issues and sectional organization, yet they profess to be the friends of the Union. The Union voluntarily formed by free, equal, independent States.

We of the South, on a sectional division, are in the minority; and if legislation is to be directed by geographical tests—if the constitution is to be trampled in the dust, and the unbridled will of the majority in Congress is to be supreme over the States; we should have the problem which was presented to our Fathers when the Colonies declined to be content with a mere representation in parliament.

If the constitution is to be sacredly observed, why should there be a struggle for sectional ascendency? The instrument is the same in all latitudes, and does not vary with the domestic institutions of the several States. Hence it is that the Democracy, the party of the constitution, have preserved their integrity, and are to-day the only national party and the only hope for the preservation and perpetuation of the Union of the States.

Mr. Jefferson denominated the Democracy of the North, the natural allies of the South. It is in our generation doubly true; they are still the party with whom labor is capital, and they are now the party which stands by the barriers of the constitution, to protect them from the waves of fanatical and sectional aggression. The use of the word aggression reminded him that the people here have been daily harangued about the aggressions of the slave power, and he had been curious to learn what was so described. It is, if he had learned correctly, the assertion of the right to migrate with slaves into the territories of the United States. Is this aggression? If so, upon what? Not upon those who desire close association with the negro; not upon territorial rights, unless these self-styled lovers of the Union have already dissolved it and have taken the territories to themselves. The territory being the common property of States, equals in the Union, and bound by the constitution which recognizes property in slaves, it is an abuse of terms to call aggression the migration into that territory of one of its joint owners, because carrying with him any species of property recognized by the constitution of the United States. The Federal government has no power to declare what is property anywhere. The power of each State cannot extend beyond its own limits. As a consequence, therefore, whatever is property in any of the States must be so considered in any of the territories of the United States until they reach to the dignity of community independence, when the subject matter will be entirely under the control of the people and be determined by their fundamental law. If the inhabitants of any territory should refuse to enact such laws and police regulations as would give security to their property or to his, it would be rendered more or less valueless, in proportion to the difficulty of holding it without such protection. In the case of property in the labor of man, or what is usually called slave property, the insecurity would be so great that the owner could not ordinarily retain it. Therefore, though the right would remain, the remedy being withheld, it would follow that the owner would be practically debarred by the circumstances of the case, from taking slave property into a territory where the sense of the inhabitants was opposed to its introduction. So much for the oft repeated fallacy of forcing slavery upon any community.

If Congress had the power to prohibit the introduction of slave property into the territories, what would be the purpose? Would it be to promote emancipation? That could not be the effect. In the first settlement of a territory the want of population and the consequent difficulty of procuring hired labor, would induce emigrants to take slaves with them; but if the climate and products of the country were unsuited to African labor—as soon as white labor flowed in, the owners of slaves would as a matter of interest, desire to get rid of them and emancipation would result. The number would usually be so small that this would be effected without injury to society or industrial pursuits. Thus it was in Wisconsin, notwithstanding the ordinance of '87; and other examples might be cited to show that this is not mere theory.

Would it be to promote the civilization and progress of the negro race? The tendency must be otherwise. By the dispersion of the slaves, their labor would be rendered more productive and their comforts increased. The number of owners would be multiplied, and by more immediate contact and personal relation greater care and kindness would be engendered. In every way it would conduce to the advancement and happiness of the servile caste.

No—no—it is not these, but the same answer which comes to every inquiry as to the cause of fanatical agitation. 'Tis for sectional power, and political ascendency; to fan a sectional hostility, which must be, as it has been, injurious to all, and beneficial to none. For what patriotic purpose can the Northern mind be agitated in relation to domestic institutions, for which they have no legal or moral responsibility, and from the interference with which they are restrained by their obligations as American citizens?

Is it in this mode that the spirit of mutual support and common effort for the common good, is to be cultivated? Is it thus that confidence is to be developed and the sense of security to grow with the growing power of each and every State? Is it thus that we are to exemplify the blessings of self-government by the free exercise in each independent community of the power to regulate their domestic institutions as soil, climate, and population may determine?

Among the questions which have been made the basis of recent agitation, and has contributed as much, perhaps, as any other to popular delusion, was the act known as the Missouri Compromise. It will be remembered that the agitation of 1819 on the subject of slavery, was not masked as it has been since, by pretensions of philanthropy—it was an avowed opposition to the admission of a slave-holding State. A long and bitter controversy was terminated by the admission of the State of Missouri, and the prohibition of slavery north of the parallel of 36 deg. 30 minutes. He, and those with whom he most concurred, had always contended that Congress had no constitutional power to make the interdiction. But the people having generally acquiesced, the matter was considered settled; and when Texas, a slave-holding State, was admitted into the Union, Southern men, regarding the Missouri Act as a compact, assented to the extension of the line through the territory of Texas, with a provision that any State formed out of the territory north of 36: 30: should be non-slaveholding. But when, at a subsequent period, we made extensive acquisitions from Mexico, and it was proposed to divide the territory by the same parallel, the North generally opposed it, and after a long discussion, the controversy was settled on the principle of non-intervention by Congress in relation to property in the territories. The line of the Missouri Compromise was repudiated. And a Senator who had been most prominent in denouncing the repeal of the Missouri Compromise as a violation of good faith on the part of the South, in 1850, described it as a measure which had been the grave of every Northern man who supported it, and objected to the boundary of 36: 30: for the territory of Utah, because of the political implication which its adoption would contain.

The act having been thus signally repudiated by the denial in every form of the power of Congress to fix geographical limits within which slavery might or might not exist; when it became necessary to organize the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, it was but the corollary of the proposition which had been maintained in 1850 to repeal the act which had fixed the parallel of 36: 30: as the future limit of slavery in the territory of Louisiana.

Consistency demanded so much; fairness and manhood could not have granted less. He was not then a member of Congress; but if he had been, he should have voted for that repeal; for although in 1850 he had favored the extension of the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific Ocean, and believed that it would most conduce to the harmony of the States, he had yielded to the action of the Government, and considered the position then taken as conclusive against the retention of the line in Louisiana and Texas, which its beneficiaries had refused to extend through the territories acquired from Mexico. As a general principle, he thought it was best to leave the territories all open. Equality of right demanded it, and the federal government had no power to withhold it. Whatever validity the Missouri Compromise act had, it derived from the acquiescence of the people. After 1850 then it had none. The South had not asked Congress to extend slavery into the territories, and he in common with most Southern statesmen, denied the existence of any power to do so. He held it to be the creed of the Democracy, both in the North and the South, that the General Government had no constitutional power either to establish or prohibit slavery anywhere; a grant of power to do the one must necessarily have involved the power to do the other. Hence it is their policy not to interfere on the one side or the other, but protecting each individual in his constitutional rights, to leave every independent community to determine and adjust all domestic questions as in their wisdom may seem best.

Politicians of the opposite school seemed to forget the relation of the General Government to the States; even so far as to argue as though the General Government had been the creator instead of the creature of the States. He had learned that attempts had been made to impress upon the people of Maine the belief that they were in danger of having slavery established among them by decree of the Supreme Court of the United States. He scarcely knew how to answer so palpable an absurdity. The court was established, among other purposes, to protect the people from unconstitutional legislation; and if Congress, in the extreme of madness, should attempt thus to invade the sovereignty of a State, it would be within the power, and would be the duty of the court, to check the aggression by declaring such law void. The court have, on more than one occasion, asserted the right of transit as a consequence of the guarantees of the Constitution, but it would require much ingenuity to torture the protection of a traveller or sojourner into an assertion of a right to become resident and introduce property in contravention of the fundamental law of the State, or of a citizen to hold property within a State in violation of its constitution and its policy. The error of the proposition was so palpable that, like the truth of an axiom, it could not be rendered plainer by demonstration.

It is not within the scope of human foresight to see the embarrassments which may arise in the execution of any policy. When it was declared that soil, climate, and unrestrained migration should be left to fix the status of the territories, and institutions of the States to be formed out of them, no one probably anticipated that companies would be incorporated to transport colonists into a territory with a view to decide its political condition. Congress, as he believed, yielding too far to the popular idea, had surrendered its right of revision and thus had recently lost its power to restrain improper legislation in the territories. From these joint causes had arisen the unhappy strife in Kansas, which at one time threatened to terminate in civil war. The Government had been denounced for the employment of United States troops. Very briefly he would state the case.

The movement of the Emigrant Aid Societies of the North was met by counteracting movements in Missouri and other Southern States. Thus opposing tides of emigration met on the plains of Kansas. The land was a scene of confusion and violence. Fortunately the murders which for a time filled the newspapers, existed nowhere else; and the men who were reported slain, usually turned up after a short period to enjoy the eulogies which their martyrdom had elicited. But arson, theft and disgraceful scenes of disorder did really exist, and bands of armed men indicated the approach of actual hostilities. What was the Government to do? Perhaps you will say, call out the militia. But that would have been to feed and arm one of the parties for the destruction of the other. To call out the militia of neighboring States would have been but little better. The sectional excitement then ran so high, that they would probably have met upon the fields of Kansas as combatants, the government in the meantime furnishing the supplies for both armies. It was necessary to have a force—one which would be free from sectional excitement or partisan zeal and under executive control. The army fulfiled these conditions. It was therefore employed. It dispersed marauding parties, disarmed organized invaders, arrested disturbers of the peace, gave comparative quiet and repose to the territory, without taking a single life, aye, or shedding one drop of blood. The end justified the means, and the result equaled all that could have been anticipated.

The anomalous condition of a territory possessing full legislative power, but not invested with the sovereignty of a State, justified the anxiety exhibited by Congress to be relieved from the embarrassment which the case of Kansas presented. The Senate passed a bill to authorize a convention for the preparation of a constitution for the admission of Kansas as a State. It however failed in the House of Representatives, and the legislature of Kansas, availing themselves of the plenary power conferred upon them by the organic act, proceeded to provide for the assembling of a convention, and the formation of a constitution. The law was minute and fair in its provisions, so nearly resembling the bill of the Senate that the one was probably copied from the other. It seemed to secure to every legal voter every desirable opportunity to exercise his right. One of the parties of the territory, however, denying the legal existence of the legislature, chose to abstain from voting. The other elected the delegates who formed the constitution. The validity of the instrument he has been denied, because it was not submitted for popular ratification. He held this position to be wholly untenable, and could but regard it as a gross departure from the principle of popular sovereignty. A people—he used the word in its strict political sense—having the right to make for themselves their fundamental law, may either assemble in mass convention for that purpose, or may select delegates and limit their power to the preparation of an instrument to be submitted to a popular decision; or they may appoint delegates with full powers to frame the fundamental law of the land. Whether they adopt one mode or the other is a question with which others have no right to interfere, and he who claims for Congress the power to sit in judgment on the manner in which a people may form a constitution, is outside of the barrier which would restrain him from claiming for Congress the right to dictate the instrument itself. If the right existed to form a constitution at all, the power of Congress in relation to the instrument was limited to the simple inquiry: is it republican? In this view of the case it would not matter to him the ninety-ninth part of a hair whether a people should chose to admit or exclude slave property. Their right to enter the Union would be a thing apart from that consideration.

He had felt great doubt as to the propriety of admitting Kansas, and had only yielded those doubts to the peculiar necessities which seemed to make the case exceptional. The inhabitants of the territory had however decided not to enter the Union upon the terms proposed, and he thought their decision was fortunate. They had not the requisite population; their resources were too limited to give assurance that they would be able to bear the expenses of their government and properly to perform the duties of a State. But more than this, their legislative history shows that they are wanting in the essential characteristics of a community; whichever party has had the control of the legislature, has manifested by its acts not a desire to promote the public good, and protect individual rights, but a purpose to war upon their political opponents as a hostile power. The political party with which he most sympathized had marked its legislation by requiring test oaths, offensive to all our notions of political freedom; and the other party had assumed to take from the territorial executive the control of the militia and to place it in irresponsible hands, where, it reports speak truly, it has been employed in the most wanton outrages and disgraceful persecution of citizens of the opposite political party. He held, therefore, that the decision of the inhabitants was fortunate and wise. It was well, that before they assume the responsibilities of a State, they should gather population, develop the natural resources of the country, and above all acquire the homogeneous character which would give security to person and property, and fit them to be justly denominated a community.

A stranger, and but a passing observer of events in Maine, he had nevertheless seen indications of a reaction in popular opinion, which promised hopefully for the future of Democracy, hopefully, it might be permitted for one to say who believed that the success of the Democracy was the only hope for the maintenance of the constitution and the perpetuation of the Union which sprung from and cannot outlive it. If the language of his friend who preceded him should prove prophetic, the waving of the banner he described would be the dawning of a day which would bring gladness and confidence to many a heart now clouded with distrust, and loud would be the cheers which, on distant plain and mountain, would welcome Maine again to her position on the top of the Democratic pyramid. He saw a brighter sky above him; he felt a firmer foundation beneath his feet, and hoped ere long through a triumph achieved by the declaration of principles, suited to every latitude and longitude of the United Slates, to receive the assurance that we have passed the breakers —that our ship may henceforth float freely on—that our flag, no longer threatened with mutilation or destruction, shall throw its broad stripes to the breeze and gather stars until its constellation shines a galaxy, and records a family of States embracing the new world and its adjacent islands.



Speech at State Fair at Augusta, ME. [From the Eastern Argus, Sept 29,1858.]

On Thursday evening a large and brilliant audience assembled in the Representatives' Hall, in the Capitol, to listen to the distinguished statesman from Mississippi, who, upon brief notice and without a moment's leisure for preparation, had kindly consented to address the Agricultural Society. We have already spoken of the gratifying character of what he termed his desultory remarks and of the cordially enthusiastic manner in which both the orator and his address were received. As the occasion, as well as the character of the remarks, will make them interesting to the whole people of our State, we are gratified in being able to lay before our readers a more extended and accurate report of them than has before appeared.

At about half-past eight o'clock, the Society came into the Hall, already crowded in every part, and its President, Hon. Samuel F. Perley, in brief and complimentary terms, introduced Col. Davis, who advanced to the speaker's stand, and was received with loud and prolonged applause. He said:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends and countrymen: To the many acts of kindness received from the people of Maine, I have to add the welcome reception this evening. The invitation of the Agricultural Society, with the attendant circumstances, serve further to impress me with the hospitality of ray fellow citizens of this State. Coming here, an invalid, seeking the benefits which your clime would afford, and preceded by a reputation which was expected to prejudice you unfavorably towards me, I have everywhere met courtesy and considerate attention, from the hour I landed on your coast to the present time. It was natural to ask, whence come these manifestations? Is it because the opinion which had been formed has been found to be unjust, and the reaction has been in proportion to the previous impulse? Or is it the exhibition of your regard for loyalty to one's friends, and devotion by a citizen to the community to which he belongs? Either the one or the other is honorable to you; but there is a broader and more beneficent motive—the prompting of that sentiment which would cause you to recognize in every American citizen a brother. That feeling which Daniel Webster indicated when he met me in company with your distinguished townsman, ex-Senator Bradbury, and taking us with the right hand and with the left, said in the peculiarly impressive manner which belonged to him, "My brethren of the North and of the South, how are ye?"

It is usual to offer to an Agricultural Society nothing less than a prepared address, and had I come with an intention to speak to you, I should not have failed to make that preparation which is evidence of due regard for the audience. The invitation under which I now speak, having been given and accepted this evening, I have no power to do more than to offer you desultory remarks on such subjects as my visit to the Fair have suggested, and which may occur to me as I progress.

With great pleasure I have witnessed evidences of much attention and deep interest in agriculture. It is the basis of all wealth. It is the producer—brings all new contributions to the general store. The mechanic arts are essential to its success, and they serve by changing the form, to multiply the value of agricultural products. And commerce too, by exchanging the products of individuals and of countries, enhances the value of labor, and increases the comfort of man. They are all essential to each other. I have no disposition to magnify or depreciate either, but my proposition is, that the soil is the source from which human wealth springs. In addition to these pursuits, society requires what are termed liberal professions. They are not producers, though they may contribute, by diffusing knowledge, to increase production. They may be necessary to give security to property and to take care of some physical wants. For instance you have lawyers and doctors; and the less need you have of them the better; for though necessary, like government, it is evil which makes them so. As to another class—those who have the cure of souls—their mission is so sacred, their function so high as to place them beyond comment; and of them I have nothing to say, except that I propose to say nothing.

Among the products of agriculture I of course intended to include the farmer's stock, and I must here bear my tribute of admiration to the fine display which has been made of horned cattle; particularly of work oxen, remarkable for their size, their adaptation to the purposes for which they are kept and the docility and yet the unflagging spirit which they manifested in the trials of strength and of deep ploughing. I have not before seen such fine specimens of the Devon cattle,—of course I speak of them as they present themselves to the eye—not pretending to judge of their relative value to other stock exhibited. Improvement in the breed of domestic animals goes hand in hand with agricultural mechanism, to give the ability to make two blades of grass to grow where but one grew before, and thus to render you indeed benefactors. Skill in the use, and ingenuity in devising and constructing implements, serve to render labor productive, and relieve it of its most dreary drudgery. It is this mechanical ingenuity which has compensated for the high price of labor among us, and aided in the development of resources which makes our country the greatest of the earth. Blest by soil, climate and government, if we are, as claimed, pre-eminent among nations, it is because we have added to other advantages a more general cultivation of the mind. The superiority is attributable not so much to physical energy, activity and perseverance, as to the improvement of that portion of the man which lies above the eyes.

Though you have done much for the improvement of agricultural implements, your work is far from being completed. It is not a little surprising that we should, to this day, have no reliable rule by which to make a plough, and though the model has been improved, certainly it is yet not unlike, and so far as exact science is concerned, is on a par with that implement as used by the Romans, and as it appeared in ancient architecture; the form, proportion and angular relation of the parts, and the adjustment of the whole to the power to be applied, offer problems alike interesting to the mechanic, and useful to the cultivator. In your ploughing matches sufficient evidence was afforded of the fitness of the implements employed to turn deep and wide furrows; but should we be content with such result as is obtained by trying different models, and then copying one which is found to be good?

Maine was so richly endowed with harbors and forests of ship timber that it was naturally to be expected, as it has fallen out, that the pursuits of navigation would most occupy the attention of her people. But let not her sons look to the period when her forests have disappeared as that beyond which her prosperity may not continue. There are large tracts of land which when labor is no longer directed to lumber, will become, in the hands of the farmer, what the valley of the Kennebec now is. The land may not offer soil so deep as alluvial districts, nor be at first as productive as those on which a deep vegetable mould has accumulated, yet its productiveness may not be less permanent than those. In them the elements which support the farmer's crop may be exhausted by cultivation or carried down into substrata of gravel or sand. In the remote West to which so many are pressing, the emigrant will encounter an arid climate in which irrigation is necessary to ensure a return for the labor of husbandry, and this involves an original expenditure which it will usually require large capital to bear. In this climate the sun, like a mighty pump, is daily raising the water which the currents of cold air from the mountains, or from the sea, precipitate in the form of genial showers during the period of your growing crops; and the granite of the mountains slowly, but steadily disintegrating, gives up its fertilizing property to be scattered by unseen hands over plain and over valley. With care and with skill in its use I can see no end to the productiveness of that portion of your land which is fit for cultivation.

Your crops, and your mode of tillage are different from that to which I am accustomed, and the result is that each supplies a different segment in the circle of man's wants. I am glad that it is so, that it must necessarily be so. Glad, because it is an everlasting bond between us; one which, whilst it binds, renders both doubly prosperous. Blessed is our lot in this, that our fathers linked us together, and established free trade between us. In the diversity of climate, and of crops, there is an assurance that entire failure cannot occur. If disaster and blight should fall upon one section, it need not go to a foreign land in search of bread. Famine, gaunt famine, with its skeleton step, can never pass our borders whilst the free trade of the Union continues.

But difference in pursuits, in population, and domestic institutions, have been made the basis of hostile agitation, and urged as a cause of separation. To my mind the reverse would be the rational conclusion. Each exchanging, the surplus of that which it can best produce for the surplus of another which it most requires, the benefit must be mutual, and the advantage common. Here is a commercial, a selfish bond to hold us together. But I will stop here, because the current of my thought is carrying me beyond the limit of topics proper to the occasion, and I must offer as an apology the fact, that though myself a cultivator of the soil, my mind has for several years been given so much to political subjects, that in speaking without having previously arranged what to say, the thought inadvertently runs from the matter I wished to present, into collateral questions of governmental concern. Before turning back, however, into the original channel, permit me to say that the diversity of which I have been speaking, formed no small inducement to the union of the States, and that it has been through that union that we have attained to our present position, and stand to-day, all things considered, the happiest, and among the greatest in the family of nations.

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