Anti-slavery resolutions from the State of New Hampshire to the State of Florida, December 1, 1858

Series: (Series 2153, Territorial and Early Statehood Records, 1821-1878)

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Civil War

Anti-slavery resolutions from the State of New Hampshire to the State of Florida, December 1, 1858


State of New Hampshire

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened, That the people of New Hampshire are unalterable in their attachment and devotion to the Constitution and the Union, and demand of the national administration a return and strict adherence to the cardinal principles on which the Constitution was founded, and by which alone the Union can be preserved.

Resolved, That freedom is the natural condition of man; that human slavery can exist only by force of positive law, and that the Constitution of the United States, the great charter of our law, has neither established nor recognized slavery as a national institution.

Resolved, That the recent attempts of the national government by promises and threats, to coerce the people of a territory desiring to be admitted into the Union, to the introduction and support of human slavery, are unprecedented and atrocious, and merit universal reprobation.

Resolved, That the legislation of the country and the expenditures of its resources, being directed mainly for the benefit of the slaveholding minority of the inhabitants, it is the imperative duty of the immense majority of freemen whose interests are disregarded, and whose rights are violated, to combine in political action to insure their own protection and security.

Resolved, That the action of the state department of the United States in refusing to grant passports to persons of African descent, contrary to previous practice, and of the treasury department in refusing to grant them registers for their own vessels with the right to navigate them as masters, and of the interior department in refusing them the right of entry upon the public domain to become purchasers, is an unjust and illegal denial and invasion of the rights of citizens of New Hampshire.

Resolved, That we are compelled to believe that these invasions of the rights of our citizens are the result of the Dred Scott decision coupled with a desire on the part of the national administration to favor and strengthen the slaveholding interests, which will continue so long as slavery remains a ruling element in the government of the country.

Resolved, That these and other aggressions of the slave power make the prohibition of the further extension of slavery a necessity, and its abolition, where we have the power, a duty.

Resolved, That the state government so far as it has the power; should secure, by its own authority, those rights to its citizens which are denied them by the general government.

Resolved, That our Senators be instructed and our Representatives requested to use all proper effort to procure such legislation by Congress as shall secure to every citizen of the State the full enjoyment of his rights.

Resolved, That Congress possesses the right to legislate for the territories of the United States—a right so long exercised and so firmly established, that it cannot now be questioned without insulting the intelligence of the American people; and the duty to exercise that right and to advance the cause of universal liberty cannot be abandoned without proving recreant to the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, and false to the memory of the founders of our glorious confederacy.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened, That the secretary of state be and is hereby directed to forward a copy of the resolutions just passed relating to national affairs to the legislature of the several States and of the Territories.


Speaker of the House of Representatives.
President of the Senate.

Approved, June 26, 1858