Article Title

The Cloven Foot!


Newspaper Title

New-Haven Daily Register

Publication Date


Publication Place

New Haven, Connecticut

Event Topic

Nebraska Bill (Jan-May 1854)

Political Party



free state


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The Compromise of 1850 is well understood to be a "finality" -- superceding all previous action, and designed to stop all agitation of the slavery question, in or out of Congress.

Document Type

Article (Journal or Newsletter)

Full Text Transcription

For the last six months the Palladium has affected to be fearful that the Administration was about to abandon the principles of the Compromise of 1850, and signalize itself by an adoration of Free Soilism! and it has given two or three war dances and whoops to get up an early panic among the early friends of that measure, without success. It now shows the cloven foot, in its attacks on Mr. Douglas' bill, which, in organizing a territorial government for Nebraska, leaves the question of slavery to be settled by the people, whenever Nebraska shall become a State -- according to the spirit, if not the letter of the very compromise measure of 1850, which it was so fearful the Administration would not adhere to! -- This proves what we have always asserted, that the eleventh hour admiration of the Palladium for the Compromise measures, was a hollow pretence; for were it not so, we would not now find it objecting To the application of the principle to Nebraska. The Compromise of 1850 is well understood to be a "finality" -- superceding all previous action, and designed to stop all agitation of the slavery question, in or out of Congress. Well, Nebraska comes up for a territorial government, and Mr. Douglas very wisely, justly, and in accordance with the principles of the Compromise, and to prevent agitation, proposes to leave that question to the people of that territory to settle by themselves. The following are the sections having reference to it: --

That in order to avoid all misconstruction, it is hereby declared to be the true intent and meaning of this act, as far as the question of slavery is concerned, to carry into practical operation the following propositions and principles established by the compromise measures of 1850, to wit:

First -- That all questions pertaining to slavery in the territories and new states to be formed therefrom, are to be left to the decision of the people residing therein, through appropriate representatives.

Second -- That all cases involving the title of slaves and questions of personal freedom, are referred to the adjudication of the local tribunals, with the right to appeal to the supreme court of the United States.

Third -- That the provisions of the constitution and laws of the United States in respect to fugitives from service, are to be carried into faithful execution in all the organized territories, the same as in the states.

This leaves the subject where it belongs -- where it ought always to have been placed; and had it been pursued from the outset, we should long ago have had a "finality," and not a "reprieve," which Mr. Jefferson says was all we got by the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Would the Palladium have had Mr. Douglas engraft the Wilmot Proviso on his bill? or a section legalizing slavery? that would have been a flagrant violation of the Compromise measures! He therefore leaves the question of slavery to those only whom it interests, the people of the territory. Judge Douglas was one of the earliest and firmest friends of the compromise measures; a gentleman whose integrity no one can doubt; and whose regard for the union and the welfare of these United States has been proved by his public life, -- and the tongue of whig slander is not potent enough to sully his character, or defeat his measure. Speaking of this new crusade, the Boston Post well remarks --

The desperate attempts made by the freesoilers, abolitionists, and the freesoil portion of the whig party, to forestall public opinion, and array it in opposition to the organization of the Nebraska territory upon the democratic principle of allowing the inhabitants of all territories and states to form their local laws in such manner as they themselves may deem best for their own welfare, so long as these laws do not conflict with the constitution of the United States, will blaze like prairie grass on fire for a short time, consume a quantity of political stubble, and then be extinguished by the patriotism, justice, and good sense of the people of the United States.

Edited/Proofed by

Entered by Lloyd Benson. Proofed by Lloyd Benson




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Event Location


The Cloven Foot!

The Compromise of 1850 is well understood to be a "finality" -- superceding all previous action, and designed to stop all agitation of the slavery question, in or out of Congress.