Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 17.djvu/440

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432 Southern Historical Society Papers.

" should be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said ter- ritory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the par- ties shall be first duly convicted.*' The substance of this condition had been proposed the Continental Cong^ress in the year 1784, and did not finally pass until about July 11, 1787.

Vermont was disputed territory and domestic slavery never found a foothold. She was always free soil. Kentucky inherited the institu- tion from Virginia, and never had a voice either for or against its intro- duction. No one of the colonies had a voice, and the colonies were none of them responsible for its existence within their borders ; so that negro slavery is to be wholly referred to the policy of another govern- ment, and the same that maintained control of our colonial affairs.

North Carolina made a contribution of her Tennessee country on the 22d day of December, 1789, and conditioned her grant so that

  • * no regulation made or to be made by Congress shall tend to

emancipate slaves." The financial condition of the general govern- ment was very poor at that time, and standing in urgent need of the gift she accepted it with the condition.

Georgia at first resented the introduction of slavery, but its en- croachments were so urgent that she first yielded, and afterwards re- pealed her anti-slavery statute. Her grants of Alabama and Missis- sippi were made to the general government, with all the restrictions, conditions, and privileges made in favor of the northwest territory, save and except that article which forbids slavery. This gift was likewise accepted with the condition.

About the year 1800 an attempt was made to extend the limitation of the act as to Ohio Territory, but Ohio was admitted a free State in the year 1802.

Indiana Territory also wrestled with the same question, then under the leadership of its governor, afterward President W. H. Harrison, and a petition from its legislature was presented in Con- gress for the suspension of the sixth article for the period of ten years, so that slaves born within the United States, or from any one of the States, might be admitted. This necessarily resulted in the appointment of committees, the discussion of the subject-matter and reports to the houses involving these discussions. The extension was not considered expedient, and was hence the subject of refusal. Following slowly afterward came into the Union the free States of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The latter was formed from the cession made by Great Britain to our government in 1796, and with like restriction.