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the creation of new political sovereignties, within the limits of the old United States, was contemplated. Among the records of the old Congress, will be found a resolution, passed as long ago as the 10th of October, 1780, contemplating the cession of unappropriated lands to the United States, accompanied by a provision, “ that they shall be disposed of for the common benefit of the United States, and be settled and formed into distinct republican states, which shall become members of the federal union, and have the same rights of sovereignty, freedom and independence, as the other states. Afterwards, on the 7th of July, 1786, the subject of " laying out and forming into states,” the country lying northwest of the river Ohio, came under the consideration of the same body; and another resolution was passed, recommending to the legislature of Virginia to revise their act of cession, so as to permit a more eligible division of that portion of territory, derived from her; “ which states,” it proceeds to declare, 6 shall hereafter become members of the federal union, and have the same rights of sovereignty, freedom and independence as the original states, in conformity with the resolution of Congress of the 10th of October, 1780.”. All the territories, to which these resolutions had reference, were, undeniably, within the ancient limits of the United States. Here, then, is a leading fact, that the article, in the constitution, had a condition of things, notorious at the time when it was adopted, upon which it was to act, and to meet the exigency, resulting from which, such an article was requisite. That is to say, new states, within the limits of the old United States, were contemplated at the time when the foundations of the constitution were laid. But we have another authority upon this point, which is, in truth, a contemporaneous exposition of this article of the constitution. I allude to the resolution passed on the 3d of July, 1788, in the words following.

[Here Mr. Quincy read the resolution.] In this resolution of the old Congress, it is expressly

declared, that the constitution of the United States, having been adopted by nine states, an act of the old Congress could have no effect to make Kentucky a separate member of the union, and that, although they thought it expedient that it should so be admitted, yet that this could only be done under the provisions made in the new constitution. It is impossible to have a more direct contemporaneous evidence that the case, contemplated in this article, was that of territories, within the limits of the old United States; yet the gentleman from North Carolina, (Mr. Macon,) for whose integrity and independence I have very great respect, told us the other day, that “ if this article had not territories without the limits of the old United States to act upon, it would be wholly without meaning. Because the ordinance of the old Congress had secured the right to the states within the old United States, and a provision for that object, in the new constitution, was wholly unnecessary.” Now, I will appeal to the gentleman's own candor, if the very reverse of the conclusion he draws, is not the true one; after he has considered the following fact that by this ordinance of the old Congress, it was declared, that the boundaries of the contemplated states, and the terms of their admission, should be, in certain particulars, specified in the ordinance, subject to the control of Congress. Now, as by the new constitution the Old Congress was about to be annihilated, it was absolutely

necessary for the very fulfilment of this ordinance, that the new constitution should have this power for the admission of new states, within the ancient limits; so that the ordinance of the old Congress, far from showing the inutility of such a provision for the territories within the ancient limits, expressly proves the reverse; and is an evidence of its necessity to effect the object of the ordinance itself.

I think there can be no more satisfactory evidence adduced, or required, of the first part of the position, that the terms “ new states," did intend new political sovereignties within the limits of the old United States.

For it is here shown, that the creation of such states, within the territorial limits fixed by the treaty of 1783, had been contemplated; that the old Congress itself expressly asserts, that the new constitution gave the power for that object; that the nature of the old ordinance required such a power, for the purpose of carrying its provisions into effect, and that it has been, from the time of the adoption of the federal constitution unto this hour, applied exclusively to the admission of states, within the limits of the old United States, and was never attempted to be extended to any other object. Now, having shown a purpose, at the time of the adoption of the constitution of the United States. sufficient to occupy the whole scope of the terms of the article, ought not the evidence to be very strong to satisfy the mind, that the terms really intended something else besides this obvious purpose; that it may be fairly extended to the entire circle of the globe, wherever title can be obtained by purchase or conquest, and that new partners in the political power may be admitted at the mere discretion of this legislature, anywhere that it wills ? A principle, thus monstrous, is asserted in this bill.

But I think it may be made satisfactorily to appear, not only that the terms “new states," in this article, did mean political sovereignties to be formed within the original limits of the United States, as has just been shown, but, also negatively, that it did not intend new political sovereignties, with territorial annexations, to be created without those original limits. This appears, first, from the very tenor of the article. All its limitations have respect to the creation of states, within the original limits. Two states shall not be joined; no new state shall be erected within the jurisdiction of any other state, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned, as well as of Congress. Now, had foreign territories been contemplated, had the new habits, customs, manners and language of other nations been in the idea of the framers

of this constitution, would not some limitation have been devised, to guard against the abuse of a power, in its nature so enormous, and so obviously, when it occurred, calculated to excite just jealousy among the states, whose relative weight would be so essentially affected by such an infusion, at once, of a mass of foreigners into their councils, and into all the rights of the country? The want of all limitation of such power, would be a strong evidence, were others wanting, that the powers, now about to be exercised, never entered into the imagination of those thoughtful and prescient men, who constructed the fabric. But there is another most powerful argument against the extension of the terms of this article to embrace the right to create states without the original limits of the United States, deducible from the utter silence of all debates at the period of the adoption of the federal constitution, touching the power here proposed to be usurped. If ever there was a time, in which the ingenuity of the greatest men of an age was taxed to find arguments in favor of and against any political measure, it was at the time of the adoption of this constitution. All the faculties of the human mind were, on the one side and the other, put upon their utmost stretch, to find the real and imaginary blessings, or evils, likely to result from the proposed measure. Now I call upon the advocates of this bill to point out, in all the debates of that period, in any one publication, in any one pamphlet, in any one newspaper of those times, a single intimation, by friend or foe to the constitution, approving or censuring it for containing the power, here proposed to be usurped, or a single suggestion, that it might be extended to such an object, as is now proposed. I do not say, that no such suggestion was ever made. But this I will say, that I do not believe there is such an one anywhere to be found. Certain I am, I have never been able to meet the shadow of such a suggestion, and I have made no inconsiderable research upon the point. Such may

exist; but until it be produced, we have a right to reason as though it had no existence. No, sir, the people of this country, at that day, had no idea of the territorial avidity of their successors. It was, on the contrary, an argument used against the success of the project, that the territory was too extensive for a republican form of government. But, nowadays, there is no limit to our ambitious hopes. We are about to cross the Mississippi. The Missouri and Red River are but roads, on which our imagination travels to new lands and new states, to be raised and admitted, (under the power now first usurped,) into this union, among the undiscovered lands in the west. But it has been suggested, that the convention had Canada in view, in this article, and the gentleman from North Carolina told this House, that a member of the convention, as I understood him, either now, or lately a member of the senate, informed him, that the article had that reference. Sir, I have no doubt the gentleman from North Carolina has had a communication such as he intimates. But, for myself, I have no sort of faith in these convenient recollections, suited to serve a turn, to furnish an apology for a party, or give color to a project. I do not deny, on the contrary, I believe it very probable, that, among the coursings of some discursive and craving fancy, such thoughts might be started; but that is not the question. Was this an avowed object in the convention, when it formed this article ? Did it enter into the conception of the people when its principles were discussed ? Sir, it did not, it could not. The very intention would have been a disgrace both to this people and the convention. What, sir? Shall it be intimated; shall it for a moment be admitted, that the noblest and band of patriots, this, or any other country, ever could boast, were engaged in machinating means for the dismemberment of the territories of a power, to which they had pledged friendship, and the observance of all the obligations, which grow out of a strict and perfect


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