RELATIONS OF STATES – 1860 SPEECH GIVEN BY JEFFERSON DAVIS IN THE US SENATE

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“Relations of States. SPEECH OF THE HON. JEFFERSON DAVIS, OF MISSISSIPPI, Delivered in the Senate of the United States, May 7th, 1860. On the Resolutions submitted by him on 1st of March, 1860.”  Printed by John Murphy & Co., Baltimore, 1860. 15 pp.

In early 1860, then US Senator Jefferson Davis attempted to lay a foundation for a policy which would prevent secession; this policy was defined in a series of seven resolutions introduced by him, which were debated for three months and adopted in May by a majority of the Senate.

The resolutions reaffirmed the legality of slavery and states’ rights, championed the doctrine of popular sovereignty, and called for faithful observance of fugitive slave laws, among other things. Offers a constitutional and legal history in defense of the resolutions.

Of particular note, Resolution #2 reads as follows:

Resolved, that negro slavery, as it exists in fifteen States of this Union, composes an important portion of their domestic institutions, inherited from their ancestors, and existing at the adoption of the Constitution, by which it is recognized as constituting an important element of the apportionment of powers among the States; and that no change of opinion or feeling on the part of the non-slaveholding States of the Union in relation to this institution can justify them or their citizens in open and systematic attacks theron, with a view to its overthrow; and that all such attacks are in manifest violation of the mutual and solemn pledges to protect and defend each other, given by the States, respectively, on entering into the constitutional compact which formed the Union, and are a manifest breach faith and a violation of the most solemn obligations.

Overall good condition, with light scattered soiling/foxing throughout; upper right corners of most pages have a crease. Has some markings and underlined sections in pencil.

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