DEFENCE OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRACY AGAINST THE ATTACK OF JUDGE DOUGLAS - CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF THE STATES.
HON. J. P. BENJAMIN, OF LOUISIANA.
DELIVERED IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE, MAY 22, 1860.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Mr. President, when we met here in December the public mind was deeply stirred. It was stirred by an occurrence which had taken place for the first time in our history - the invasion of one of the States of the Confederacy by a band of fanatics for the avowed purpose of interfering with its domestic institutions and setting its slaves at liberty. The whole country was deeply stirred, but especially stirred was the South, and this universal excitement found immediate vent in Congress. Scarcely had we met, when numerous resolutions were placed upon our table by different Senators, which, on the 2d of February, were ordered, by a resolution of the Senate, to be printed together. The first was a resolution submitted by the honorable Senator from Ohio, [Mr PUGH,] who, on the 15th of December, proposed that the Committee on Territories
"Be instructed to inquire into the expediency of repealing so much of the acts approved September 9, 1850, for the organization of territorial governments in New Mexico and Utah. as require that all the laws passed by the legislatures of those Territories shall be submitted to Congress for approval or rejection."
That was offered on the 15th of December, before even the House of Representatives had been organized. To that an amendment was offered by the Senator from Iowa, [Mr. HARLAN,] which I shall not read. The next was a resolution submitted on the 16th of January by the Senator from Illinois, [Mr. DOUGLAS,] in relation to instructions to the Committee on the Judiciary to report a bill for the protection of the States and Territories of the Union against invasion. Next, on the 18th of January, were resolutions submitted by the Senator from Mississippi, [Mr. BROWN.] Next, were amendments to those resolutions submitted by the Senator from Minnesota, [Mr. WILKINSON.] Next, were the resolutions submitted by the other Senator from Mississippi, [Mr. DAVIS,] on the 2d of February; and finally, to those resolutions amendments were offered by the Senator from Delaware, [Mr. SAULSBURY.]
Here, then, was a series of propositions before the Senate, seven in number, all directed to the question of slavery in the States and Territories, and all ordered by the Senate "to be printed together for discussion." Under these circumstances, it became obvious that, unless some concert of action was had by gentlemen who professed the same