New Law about Fugitive Slaves.
We have expressed our opinion that Congress ought not to present to pass any new law respecting the recapture of fugitive slaves. We think the South should not press it at this time. Any action upon it now, would like a triumph of the South over the North, and that mutual regard for the interests of the country that ought to govern all parties, would dictate to them to desist, at least till the present slavery agitation had time to cool.
In confirmation of our opinion, and to show that this is mainly pressed now to embarrass the Administration, we extract the following from an able article in the Richmond Whig. It will be seen that the South has till within a short time thought the present law ample for their security, and that it was as near perfect as it could be, for the purposes contemplated.
"Again, with respect to fugitive slaves: In 1838, Mr. Calhoun, a Whig member from Kentucky, proposed a new bill on the subject. It was voted down by a Democratic House; and we never heard a word on the subject from the self-constituted guardians of the South until General Taylor was elected. Then all of a sudden they became prodigiously alarmed! The subject had been before the Legislature of Virginia in 1841-2, and General Bayly-that mighty hero-reported that the law of '93 was as nearly perfect as it could be, and that no further legislation by Congress was necessary! But this worthy and all his associates saw new lights, just as soon as a Southern Whig President was elected! Then, nothing could save the South but the instant enactment of a more rigorous laws for the recapture of fugitive slaves. It is very true that under the Constitution we are entitled to the whole power of the Federal Government to protect our rights in this particular. But these gentlemen could not, or would not, see any necessity for new provisions, until Old Zack was elected! Then they raved! Was it faction or patriotism that influenced their conduct?