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railroad along southern parallels that would build up the rivals of both Chicago and St. Louis. No one knew better than he that commerce and migration to the Pacific would follow the route of the first railroad. No one was closer than he to the railroad and commercial interests of Illinois. He had secured the first land grant ever made by the United States to a railroad company--the one to the Illinois Central. The Rock Island, first of all Illinois railroads to reach the Mississippi, had just been completed to the town whose name it now bears. Railroads were destined very soon to be constructed across Iowa. The natural route to the Pacific thence was up the broad valley of the Platte. If this region were open to white settlement the rush of population would carry the railroad on its shoulders and with it the trade not only of the west, but of the world that lay beyond, to Chicago. The price to pay,--ah, there was a price to pay--Douglas had learned that lesson well by ten years of defeat,--the price to pay,--was to satisfy the slave sentimentalists of the south,--the sticklers for states' rights,--the "constitutional" politicians--to offer them, prima facie, an equal opportunity with the north in settling the new territory and bring with them their own peculiar "property," knowing as Douglas knew,--as every shrewd observer of events might know,--that the superior energy and push of the free state migration would win in Nebraska as it already had won in Oregon and California.

     Such an offer would cut the ground from beneath the feet of the New Orleans-Texas-Mississippi opponents of the bill. They could no longer unite the south against a measure on the score of pretended sympathy for the Indian. It is significant that Douglas wrote the plan for the new Nebraska bill alone. The south itself was surprised; the north was dumbfounded. Senator Atchison's speech, already quoted, undoubtedly expressed the view of conservative southern men. They did not hope for the repeal of the Missouri Compromise; still less did they expect the proposition for this repeal from a northern political leader. It was like picking up privileges in the road, but, human-like, after the first shock of surprise the southern demand was for "More." Besides this, the southerners were afraid of Douglas. His moves were too shrewd for them and as they did not understand them, they naturally concluded there was some subtle, hidden purpose which they could not fathom. They would be satisfied with nothing less than an absolute, unequivocal repeal of the Missouri Compromise which any southern planter could understand without hiring a lawyer to guess at its meaning. Senator Dixon, of Kentucky, therefore expressed the southern mind when he gave notice on January 16, that he should offer an amendment when the Nebraska bill came up for consideration expressly repealing, in plain words, the obnoxious Missouri Compromise, and clinching the repeal with this sentence: "The citizens of the several states or territories shall be at liberty to take and hold their slaves within any of the territories of the United States or of the States to be formed therefrom, as if the said act (to-wit, the Missouri Compromise) had never been passed." This amendment was certainly a bold slap in the face of the north. Douglas at once went to Senator Dixon's seat and remonstrated against it. Dixon stood his ground firmly, saying that the Missouri Corn-



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Francisco Salway and Family, Noted Frontiersman

promise had not been repealed by the compromise of 1850, and that the south was determined to have the question settled beyond doubt. On the next day, Tuesday, January 17, 1854, Senator Douglas ordered a carriage and going to the home of Senator Dixon, the two men went out on a long drive. The historian would pay something to know the conversation during that carriage drive. What arguments were used, what motives appealed to, may be surmised. The conclusion only is known. When the drive ended Senator Douglas had adopted the Dixon idea and promised to put it in the bill. But Douglas was too wary a political general to risk so great a change in his plans and so hard a battle at the north as he knew must follow without making sure of carrying the measure. One thing more was needed to insure the passage of the bill in its proposed form that was the active support of President Pierce's administration, and with that the assistance of every pie-counter patron from Maine to Oregon. Jefferson Davis, then Secretary of War, now plays the important role, the story of which he relates in his own book. Davis was all powerful with President Pierce; they had fought together as fellow soldiers in the Mexican War and to the fraternal ties formed by that experience was added the fact that Davis was the stronger man intellectually. On Sunday, January 22, Davis accompanied Senator Douglas to the White House and secured for him a favor rarely granted by Pierce,--A Sunday audience on a political subject. The situation, the Nebraska bill and the proposed changes were discussed and the visitors carried away from the White House the president's promise to make the bill an administration measure enough, with the party discipline of that day, to insure its passage.

      Monday morning, January 23, Douglas introduced a substitute--no longer the Nebraska bill--but the Nebraska-Kansas bill, providing for two territories with the dividing line where it now stands between the states of Nebraska and Kansas. The bill further declared that the Missouri Compromise "approved March 6, 1820, which was superceded by the principles of the legislation of 1850 commonly called the Compromise measures, is declared inoperative." On the next day the Washington Union newspaper, the official democratic administration organ, declared the amended Nebraska-Kansas bill had the endorsement of the national administration and required the support of all faithful democrats.

     But while these politicians' combinations were being formed the north was rising in rebellion. Whig and democrat and abolitionist had now a common cause. On the very day that the Union declared the Nebraska-Kansas bill a test of democratic faith, there appeared in print the "Appeal of the Independent Demo-



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An Old French-Canadian Trapper

crats," signed by Salmon P. Chase, Joshua R. Giddings, Charles Sumner, Gerritt Smith, Edward Wade, Alexander DeWitt--a fiery review of the iniquity of the Nebraska-Kansas bill and a stirring call of the free states to action. The free states responded. Mass meetings, newspapers, pulpits, voiced a mighty chorus of protest. The legislatures of five northern states sent solemn resolutions against the bill to Congress. Douglas discovered that he must drive hard, and he drove. From January 30 until March 3 the bill was debated in the senate every day in the intervals of other business, with Douglas urging every day toward a final vote. On the night of March 3, Douglas spoke from midnight until daybreak, closing the debate.

      The roll was called and the senate passed the bill by a vote of 37 to 14. Fourteen northern democrats, fourteen southern democrats, and nine southern whigs voted "aye." Four northern democrats, six northern whigs, two free soilers, one southern whig (Bell of Tennessee) and one lone southern democrat (Sam Houston of Texas) voted "nay." One important amendment had been attached to the bill against the wish of its friends. This was called the "Clayton amendment," proposed by Senator Clayton of Delaware. It provided that only citizens of the United States should vote or hold office in the new territories. This was designed to shut foreign immigrants, who had declared their intention of becoming citizens, from settlement in the new region and was fastened to the bill by the close vote of 23 for to 21 against. The Know-Nothing movement was just then in the flood of its rising power and honeycombed both whig and democratic parties with its followers.

     The bill now went to the house where Richardson was still at 'the head of the committee on territories. In order to secure its early consideration he moved, March 21, its reference to that committee. But there were other rocks and rapids in the river besides those raised by northern abolitionists. There was a big democratic quarrel in the all important state of New York as to who should hold the offices. There were two factions, the "Hards" and the "Softs" or as they were more picturesquely called, the "Hunkers" and "Barnburners." The 'Hards" were the fellows who always voted the democratic ticket no matter who was nominated or what was in the platform. They naturally felt that their superior democratic virtue entitled them to all the federal offices and were aggrieved just at this juncture because they were not getting them all. They hung out their



democratic family washing on the congressional clothesline to air, and page upon page of the congressional record at this period is filled with the flap of lacerated democratic shirt tails. When Mr. Richardson, acting his appointed part as the lieutenant of Senator Douglas, moved that the Nebraska-Kansas bill be referred to his committee, Mr. Cutting, a "Hunker" democrat from New York, moved to refer it to the committee of the whole, where there were fifty bills ahead of it which must be disposed of before it could be reached. In spite of all that Richardson and Douglas could do the House approved Cutting's proposition by a vote of 110 to 95, and there the Nebraska-Kansas bill lay beneath an avalanche of other legislation. A fist fight between Cutting and a fellow democrat,--Breckenridge of Kentucky, --was one of the features of the occasion.

      The opposition of the north grew louder every day. It astonished those who had reckoned on an uprising. Out of 3,800 clergymen of all denominations in New England, three thousand signed a protest which was sent to congress. In the northwest five hundred clergymen signed a similar protest and sent it to Douglas himself to present,--which he did with some caustic remarks upon preachers who meddled in politics. The leading northern newspapers were filled with reports of mass meetings of laborers, farmers and merchants to protest against any further extension of the system of negro slavery. But there was another power in the field,--mightier for the moment than pulpit or press,--the power of the pie-counter. The Pierce administration made it distinctly known that no democrats need apply for office who did not push for the Nebraska-Kansas bill. Important appointments were held back until the bill was passed Every democratic congressman felt the mighty force of the party machine, joined with the pleadings of its personal friends at home for office. The business of getting out of the way those fifty bills on the calendar which had precedence of the Nebraska-Kansas bill was pushed with extraordinary energy, and on May 8, Richardson moved that the House resolve itself into a committee of the whole for the purpose of laying aside, one by one, the eighteen bills which then remained ahead of his own Nebraska bill. This was done,--the minority fighting every inch of the road. Richardson then moved a substitute for his own bill. This substitute was the senate bill with the Clayton amendment cut out. The democrats of the north had found that too heavy a burden to carry. It meant losing their foreign born voters en masse and certain defeat in several northern states.

     Debate on the senate bill went on in the house until May 11, when Richardson rose and moved to close debate the next day at twelve o'clock and on that motion demanded the previous question. The opposition implored, denounced and threatened, but Richardson would not yield. Then began a filibuster, similar to the one that marked the repeal of the silver purchasing clause in the summer of 1893. Every known means to prevent a vote was employed by the minority. All day the 11th, all night, all the next day and until midnight was spent in ceaseless roll calls on dilatory motions. Both sides were worn out and adjourned. On Monday, May 15, the fight was renewed. The Pacific railroad bill here appeared again on the scene,--inseparable from the fate of Nebraska. It had been made a spe-



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Artesian Well at Lynch, Nebraska

cial order for consideration that week. A two-thirds majority was required to postpone the special order. There was not a two-thirds majority in favor of the Nebraska bill, but there were enough opponents of the Pacific railroad among those voting against the Nebraska measure to give Richardson the two-thirds majority for its postponement. A motion to close debate on the Nebraska bill at the end of the week then prevailed. General debate was thus closed, but there still remained under the rules the privilege of moving amendments and making five minute speeches upon them. How to cut off the flood of amendments and five minute speeches in the committee of the whole was the knotty



problem for the majority. It was solved by Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, who moved to strike out the enacting clause. This took precedence over any other motion to amend. Mr. Stephens explained upon the floor that his motion was made for the purpose of getting the bill beyond the reach of amendment or debate and that therefore the friends of the bill should support his motion. They did so. The enacting clause was accordingly stricken out. This was equivalent to rejecting the bill and made it necessary at once for the committee of the whole to rise and report its action to the house. The house voted down the report of the committee of the whole and then had the bill in its own hands where a simple majority could close debate and order a vote whenever it desired. The end so long fought for was reached, and at midnight, May 22, the House roll was called on the passage of the Senate bill, with the Clayton amendment stricken out. The vote was 113 to 100 in favor of the bill. Forty-four northern democrats, fifty-seven southern democrats and twelve southern whigs voted for the bill; forty-five northern whigs, forty-two northern democrats, seven southern whigs and two southern democrats voted against the bill.

      One thought neglected by the average partisan mind is suggested to the retrospective reader at the close of this long, fierce, sectional fight upon the subject of slave versus free territory: What has become of the rights of the Indian? No better illustration can, perhaps, be found in the annals of American history of the hypocrisy of political discussion than a comparison of the debate upon the Nebraska bill in the winter of 1853 with the debate upon the Nebraska-Kansas bill in 1854. The real issues involved on both occasions are the same, a year's time only intervenes, but the discussion of 1853 turns almost wholly upon Indian rights, and slavery is scarcely mentioned, while the discussion of 1854 turns almost wholly upon the slavery issue and the rights of the Indian are forgotten, except by one or two real friends of the Indian like Senator Sam Houston. The southern statesmen who fought against the Nebraska bill of 1853, because of their high regard for the sacred pledges made in the Indian treaties, in 1854 are ready to fight with their fists as well as their tongues in favor of a bill meaning the same thing for the Indian. If it is true that the dominant motive in Douglas' mind was to widen the commercial and political horizon of his own state and his own city,--to make Chicago what she is today, the metropolis of the Mississippi Valley and the future greatest city in the world,--no better tribute can be found to his own far-sighted political shrewdness than this changed attitude of the south.

     On May 25 the senate agreed to the changes made by the house, thus striking out the Clayton amendment, and on May 30, 1854, President Pierce signed the bill and Nebraska Territory was born after the fiercest political fight in the nation's history. The slave sentimentalists of the south had swallowed the Douglas bait. They had secured the "equality" their constituents had clamored for--the right to take their slaves with them into the Nebraska and Kansas territory,--an empty privilege. To get this they had wrought a revolution in the north. They had welded the minds of northern whigs, democrats and abolitionists into one controlling political determination--no more slave territory in the United States.



This determination appeared forthwith in the organization of the republican party,--which owes its origin to, and dates its birth from the summer which witnessed, the enactment of the Nebraska-Kansas bill.

     The shortsighted slavery statesmen of the south were the best friends of the republican party from the day of its organization. Their action drove the German immigrants into its ranks. The passage of the Nebraska-Kansas bill opened the northern path to the Pacific for settlement and survey. What use to agitate for a Pacific railroad across the sands of New Mexico and Arizona while the fertile prairies and valleys of Nebraska and Kansas were filling with frontiersmen and the broad emigrant trail up the Platte grew broader every year, its margin dotted with ranches, inviting the advent of the coming iron track binding the east and the west together? Is it any surprise that among the rivals of Chicago and St. Louis, --in New Orleans, in Texas and in Mississippi, --the newspapers of the day report no rejoicing over the passage of the Nebraska bill? There, at least, were southerners smart enough to know they had lost a battle--a battle for commercial supremacy, the foundation for all other supremacy.

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