Washington (DC) National Era, “Presidential Intervention Against Slavery,” December 31, 1857

    Source citation
    “Presidential Intervention Against Slavery,” Washington (DC) National Era, December 31, 1857, p. 210: 4.
    Original source
    Richmond (VA) Enquirer
    Newspaper: Publication
    Washington National Era
    Newspaper: Headline
    Presidential Intervention Against Slavery
    Newspaper: Page(s)
    Newspaper: Column
    Date Certainty
    Wes McCoy, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as true to the original written document as possible. Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.


    Mr. Douglas was severely censured by some Administration Senators, for insinuating that Washington influence would be brought to bear, to induce the Pro-Slavery men in Kansas to vote for the Constitution without Slavery, so as to embarrass him and him friends in their opposition to the Constitution.

    The Washington correspondent of the Richmond (Va.) Enquirer, who seems to speak with authority concerning the acts and counsels of the Administration, in a letter to that paper dated December 21st, makes the following curious revelation:

    “The President adheres firmly to the positions assumed in his annual message, and thinks Gov. Walker’s pronunciations will not entirely annihilate him. If the Constitution should be stripped of the Slavery clause by the vote in Kansas today, and such Mr. Buchanan thinks will be the case, he is sanguine Congress will accept the Constitution and admit the State – thus banishing from the halls of national legislation this apple of discord, this bone of contention, this fruitful source of agitation and sectional excitement.

    I understand that Gen. Denver, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, was dispatched to Kansas, with special instructions to induce every Administration Democrat, whether Pro-Slavery or not, to vote against the Slavery clause of the Lecompton Constitution. This was the only salvation for the Constitution; and if the Free State men refused to vote it out, the Pro-slavery men would have it to do. Events transpiring, after Gen. Denver left here, induced the President to appoint him Secretary of the Territory of Kansas, in the place of Mr. Stanton, removed.”

    The correspondent who writes the foregoing is a warm supporter of the Administration paper of the South. We presume he knows whereof he affirms. If the statement be true, it furnishes an extraordinary illustration of the doctrine of Non-Intervention, so strongly insisted upon by the Administration; and it shows, too, the desperate shifts the President has resorted to for the purpose of maintaining an untenable position.

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