Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/37

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of the States. That decision goes still further: It tells you that if Congress has seen fit, for its own convenience and somewhat in accordance with the sympathies and instincts and genius of our institutions, to accord a form of government to the people of the territories, it is to be administered precisely as Congress can administer it, and to be administered as a trust for the co-equal States of the Union, and the citizens of those States who choose to emigrate to those territories. That decision goes on to tell you this: That as Congress itself is bound to protect the property which is recognized as such of the citizens of any of the States — as Congress itself not only has on power, but is expressly forbidden to exercise the power to deprive any owner of his property in the territories; therefore, says that venerable, that passionless representative of justice, who yet hovers on the confines of the grave, therefore, no government formed by that Congress can have any more power than the Congress that created it.

Mr. Yancey then went on to explain that Mr. Douglas and his followers insisted upon a construction which virtually nullified the Dred Scott decision. He said:

They put themselves directly in conflict with the venerable chief justice of the Supreme court of the United States, and with the recorded decision of the court itself. . . . Now then, who shall the Democracy recognize as authority on this point — a statesman, no matter how brilliant and able and powerful in intellect, in the very meridian of life, animated by an ardent and consuming ambition, struggling as no other man has ever done for the high and brilliant position of candidate for the presidency of the United States, at the hand of his great party — or that old and venerable jurist who, having filled his years with honor, leaves you his last great decision before stepping from the high place of earthly power into the grave to appear before his Maker, in whose presence deception is impossible and earthly position as dust in the balance? (Loud and continued cheering.)

Notwithstanding this eloquent appeal, the vote was taken and by a bare majority the minority report was substituted for the majority report. This was the signal for