Edited with Introduction by Alexander Johnston. Reedited by James Albert Woodburn
Territory had not been extinguished, or, at least, a very small portion of it had been. Another was the Missouri compromise, or, as it is commonly called, the slavery restriction. It was my opinion at that time--and I am not now very clear on that subject--that the law of Congress, when the State of Missouri was admitted into the Union, excluding slavery from the Territory of Louisiana north of 36° 30', would be enforced in that Territory unless it was specially rescinded, and whether that law was in accordance with the Constitution of the United States or not, it would do its work, and that work would be to preclude slave-holders from going into that Territory. But when I came to look into that question, I found that there was no prospect, no hope, of a repeal of the Missouri compromise excluding slavery from that Territory. Now, sir, I am free to admit, that at this moment, at this hour, and for all time to come, I should oppose the organization or the settlement of that Territory unless my constituents, a
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