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pre-emption principle, carry westward the advancing column of American states in one unbroken phalanx to the Pacific.
And let me ask you, what possible good has been accomplished by agitating in Congress and in presidential conflicts the slavery question? Has it emancipated a single slave, or improved their condition? Has it made a single state free where slavery otherwise would have existed? Has it accelerated the disappearance of slavery from the more northern of the slaveholding states, or accomplished any practical good whatever? No, my fellow-citizens, nothing but unmitigated evil has already ensued, with disasters still more fearful impending for the future, as a consequence of this agitation.
There is a law more powerful than the legislation of manmore potent than passion or prejudice—that must ultimately determine the location of slavery in this country; it is the isothermal line; it is the law of the thermometer, of latitude or altitude, regulating climate, labor, and productions, and, as a consequence, profit and loss. Thus, even upon the mountain heights of the tropics slavery can no more exist than in northern latitudes, because it is unprofitable, being unsuited to the constitution of that sable race transplanted here from the equatorial heats of Africa. Why is it that in the Union slavery recedes from the north, and progresses south? It is this same great climatic law now operating for or against slavery in Kansas. If, on the elevated plains of Kansas, stretching to the base of our American Alps—the rocky mountains--and including their eastern crest crowned with perpetual snow, from which sweep over her open prairies those chilling blasts, reducing the average range of the thermometer here to a temperature nearly as low as that of New England, should render slavery unprofitable here, because unsuited to the tropical constitution of the negro race, the law above referred to must ultimately determine that question here, and can no more be controlled by the legislation of man than any other moral or physical law of the Almighty. Especially must this law operate with irresistible force in this country, where the number of slaves is limited, and cannot be increased by importation, where many millions of acres of sugar and cotton lands are still uncultivated, and, from the ever-augmenting demand, exceeding the supply, the price of those great staples has nearly doubled, demanding vastly more slave labor for their production.
If, from the operation of these causes, slavery should not
GOVERNOR WALKER'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS.
exist here, I trust it by no means follows that Kansas should become a state controlled by the treason and fanaticism of ablition. She has, in any event, certain constitutional duties to perform to her sister states, and especially to her immediate neighbor-the slaveholding state of Missouri. Through that great State, by rivers and railroads, must flow, to a great extent, our trade and intercourse, our imports and exports. Our entire eastern front is upon her border; from Missouri come a great number of her citizens; even the farms of the two states are cut up by the line of state boundary, part in Kansas, part in Missouri; her citizens meet us in daily intercourse; and that Kansas should become hostile to Missouri, an asylum for her fugitive slaves, or a propagandist of abolition treason, would be alike inexpedient and unjust, and fatal to the continuance of the American Union. In any event, then, I trust that the constitution of Kansas will contain such clauses as will forever secure to tho state of Missouri the faithful performance of all constitutional guarantees, not only by federal, but by state authority, and the supremacy within our limits of the authority of the Supreme Court of the United States on all constitutional questions be firmly established.
Upon the south Kansas is bounded by the great southwestern Indian territory. This is one of the most salubrious and fertile portions of this continent. It is a great cotton growing region, admirably adapted by soil and climate for the products of the south, embracing the valleys of the Arkansas and Red rivers, adjoining Texas on the south and west, and Arkansas on the east, and it ought speedily to become a state of the American Union. The Indian treaties will constitute no obstacle any more than precisely similar treaties did in Kansas; for their lands, valueless to thein, now for sale, but which, sold with their consent and for their benefit, like the Indian land of Kansas, would make them a most wealthy and prosperous people; and their consent, on these terms, would be most cheerfully given. This territory contains double the area of the state of Indiana, and, if necessary, an adequate portion of the western and more elevated part could be set apart exclusively for these tribes, and the eastern and larger portion be formed into a state, and its lands sold for the benefit of these tribes (like the Indian lands of Kansas), thus greatly promoting all their interests. To the eastern boundary of this region on the state of Arkansas, run the railroads of that state; to her southern limits come the great railroads from
Louisiana and Texas, from New Orleans and Galveston, which will ultimately be joined by railroads from Kansas, leading through this Indian Territory, connecting Kansas with New Orleans, the Gulf of Mexico, and with the Southern Pacific railroad, leading through Texas to San Fransisco.
It is essential to the true interests not only of Kansas, but of Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, Iowa and Missouri, and the whole region west of the Mississippi, that this coterminous south-western Indian territory should speedily become a state, not only to supply us with cotton, and receive our products in return, but as occupying the area over which that portion of our railroads should run which connect us with New Orleans and Galveston, and by the southern route with the Pacific. From her central position, through or connected with Kansas, must run the central, northern, and southern routes to the Pacific; and with the latter, as well as with the Gulf, the connection can only be secured by this south-western territory becoming a state, and to this Kansas should direct her earnest attention as essential to her prosperity.
Our country and the world are regarding with profound interest the struggle now impending in Kansas. Whether we are competent to self-government–whether we can decide this controversy peacefully for ourselves by our own votes, without fraud or violence-whether the great principles of self-government and state sovereignty can be carried here into successful operation-are the questions now to be determined, and
upon the plains of Kansas may now be fought the last great and decisive battle, involving the fate of the Union, of state sovereignty, of self-government, and the liberties of the world. If, my fellow-citizens, you could, even for a brief period, soften or extinguish sectional passions or prejudice, and lift yourselves to the full realization of the momentous issues intrusted to your decision, you would feel that no greater responsibility was ever devolved upon any people. It is not merely shall slavery exist in or disappear from Kansas; but, shall the great principles of self-government and state sovereignty be maintained or subverted, State sovereignty is mainly a practical principle, in so far as it is illustrated by the great sovereign right of the majority of the people, in forming a state government, to adopt their own social institutions; and this principle is disregarded whenever such decision is subverted by Congress, or overthrown by external intrusion, or by domestic fraud or violence. All those who oppose this principle
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are the enemies of state rights, of self-government, of the constitution and the Union. Do you love slavery so much, or hate it so intensely, that you would endeavor to establish or exclude it by fraud or violence, against the will of the majority of the people? What is Kansas, with or without slavery, if she should destroy the rights and union of the states ? Where would be her schools, her free academies, her colleges and university, her towns and cities, her railroads, farms, and villages, without the Union, and the principles of selfgovernment? Where would be her peace and prosperity, and what the value of her lands and property? Who can decide this question for Kansas, if not the people themselves? And if they cannot, nothing but the sword can become the arbiter.
On the one hand, if you can and will decide peacefully this question yourselves, I see for Kansas an immediate career of power, progress, and prosperity, unsurpassed in the history of the world. I see the peaceful establishment of our state constitution, its ratification by the people, and our immediate admission into the Union, the rapid extinguishment of Indian title, and the occupancy of those lands by settlers and cultivators; the diffusion of universal education ; pre-emptions for the actual settlers; the state rapidly intersected by a network of railroads; our churches, schools, colleges, and university carrying westward the progress of law, religion, liberty, and civilization; our towns, cities and villages prosperous and progressing; our farms teeming with abundant products, and greatly appreciated in value; and peace, happiness and prosperity smiling throughout our borders. With proper clauses in our constitution, and the peaceful arbitrament of this question, Kansas may become the model state of the American Union. She may bring down upon us from north to south, from east to west, the praises and blessing of every patriotic American, and of every friend of self-government throughout the world. She may record her name on the proudest page of the history of our country and of the world, and as the youngest and last-born child of the American Union, all will hail and regard her with respect and affection.
On the other hand, if you cannot thus peacefully decide this question, fraud, violence, and injustice will reign supreme throughout our borders, and we will have achieved the undying infamy of having destroyed the liberty of our country and of the world. We will become a byword of reproach and obloquy; and all history will record the fact that Kansas was
the grave of the American Union. Never was so momentous a question submitted to the decision of any people; and we cannot avoid the alternatives now placed before us of glory or of shame.
May that overruling Providence who brought our forefathers in safety to Jamestown and Plymouth-who watched over our colonial pupilage-who convened our ancestors in harmonious councils on the birthday of American independence--who gave us Washington, and carried us successfully through the struggles and perils of the revolution---who assembled, in 1787, that noble band of patriots and statesmen from north and south who framed the federal constitution--who has augmented our numbers from three millions to thirty millions, has carried us from the eastern slope of the Alleghanies through the great valleys of the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri, and now salutes our standard on the shores of the Pacific-rouse in our hearts a love of the whole Union, and a patriotic devotion to the whole country. May it extinguish or control all sectional passions and prejudice, and enable us to conduct to a successful conclusion the great experiment of self-government now being made within your boundaries.
Is it not infinitely better that slavery should be abolished or established in Kansas, rather than that we should become slaves and not permitted to govern ourselves ? Is the absence or existence of slavery in Kansas paramount to the great questions of state sovereignty, of self-government, and of the Union ? Is the sable African alone entitled to your sympathy and consideration, even if he were happier as a freeman than as a slave, either here or in St. Domingo, or the British West Indies or Spanish America, where the emancipated slave has receded to barbarism, and approaches the lowest point in the descending scale of moral, physical, and intellectual degradation ? Have our white brethren of the great American and European race no claims upon our attention ? Have they no rights or interests entitled to regard and protection ? Shall the destiny of the African in Kansas exclude all considerations connected with our own happiness and prosperity? And is it for the handful of that race now in Kansas, or that may be hereafter introduced, that we should subvert the Union and the great principles of self-government and state sovereignty, and imbrue our hands in the blood of our countrymen! Important as this African question may be in Kansas, and which it is your solemn right to determine, it sinks into insignificance