The Decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case, and its Tremendous Consequences.

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    "The Decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case, and its Tremendous Consequences.," Charleston (SC) Mercury, March 16, 1857, p. 2.
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    New York Herald
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    Charleston (SC) Mercury
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    The Decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case, and its Tremendous Consequences.
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    Sayo Ayodele
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    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
    The Decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case, and its Tremendous Consequences.

    The late decision, or, rather, the series of decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dred Scott case, is of more vital importance in reference to the settlement of the slavery question than any or all the other acts and proceedings upon this subject – legislative and judicial, State or Federal – since the organization of the General Government.

    This supreme and final tribunal in the interpretation of the constitution and the laws, has decreed that negros or men of the African race, whether bond or free, are not citizens of the United States by the Federal Constitution; that the ordinance of 1787 was superseded by the Constitution; that the Missouri Compromise of 1820 was an unconstitutional act; that slaveholders have the right to carry their slaves into the Territories; that the legal condition of a slave in a slave State is not affected by his temporary sojourn in a free State; and that Congress has no power over the question of slavery in a Territory, and cannot delegate any power over the subject to the Territorial Legislatures.

    The importance and comprehensive bearings of these decisions cannot be over-estimated – they cover all the disturbing party and sectional issues upon the slavery controversy, and strike at the root of mischief in every case.

    First, the supreme judicial tribunal of the Union decides that, according to the Constitution, negroes are not citizens, whether free men or slaves. In other words, ours is the white man’s Constitution, and the negro, as a citizen, is absolutely ignored. The consequence is, that all the existing Constitutions and laws of the free States elevating negroes to the rights and privileges of citizenship, are null and void; for in this authoritatively declared meaning of the Constitution, to be a citizen of a State is to be a citizen of the United States, inasmuch as the Constitution expressly ordains (Art. 4, sec. 2,) that “the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.” This decision, therefore, settles the old difficulty between Massachusetts and South Carolina concerning the free colored citizen cooks and seamen of the former, treated only as dangerous free negroes upon entering ports of the latter State. The decision is against Massachusetts and her free colored citizens and in favor of South Carolina.  

    The decisions concerning the Federal ordinance of 1787 and the Missouri Compromise of 1820, establish the full validity of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, as the true constitutional policy in regard to slavery in the Territories. The decision concerning slaves in transitu through a free State, or the temporary sojourn of a Southern slave in a free State, settles the Lemmon case, and all cases like that of Mr. Wheeler, of North Carolina, whose slaves, at Philadelphia, were so unceremoniously spirited away; and in all such cases the supreme decree is decisive of the slaveholder’s constitutional rights to his slave property.

    But the most important of these supreme decisions, in a political party view, is the judgment that Congress has no power, and can delegate no power over the question of slavery in the Territories. This decision, at a single blow, shivers the anti-slavery platform of the late great Northern Republican party into atoms. The policy of legislating slavery out of Kansas and the other Territories of the Union by Congress will no longer avail them. Congress has no power in the premises. That is settled. What was in doubt is in doubt no longer. The supreme law is expounded by the supreme authority, and disobedience is rebellion, treason and revolution. The Republican party henceforth must choose between submission and revolution – loyalty and treason to the government. The gall and bitterness of the New York Tribune are betrayed in its mad assertion that these vital and final decisions of our Supreme Judges are “entitled to just so much moral weight as would be the judgment of a majority of those congregated in any Washington bar-room” But this madness of our Seward organs will avail nothing. The only alternative to the anti-slavery factions of the North, from the Garrison to the Seward  and original Van Buren factions, is loyalty or treason, submission or rebellion.

    Unquestionably this bombshell from the Supreme Court, together with the inaugural and the Cabinet of the new administration, will at once re-open the slavery agitation in all its length and breadth; but henceforth slavery in the Territories is an issue which must be decided by the laws of climate, products, races, and the natural laws of our population and emigration; for Congress henceforth can have nothing to do with the subject. Meantime, the new administration, relieved of the precedents of the Missouri Compromise, the Wilmot Proviso, and all other unconstitutional laws and proceedings of the Government during the last forty years on the slavery question, has its course plainly and authoritatively marked out. In this respect Mr. Buchanan is particularly fortunate, and his administration will, we dare say, for the people are ever loyal to the Constitution and the laws. – N.Y. Herald.   
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