James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
satisfactory to the Northern Democratic and border slave State senators, who together made up six of the committee. The two senators from the cotton States would have accepted it, had the understanding been clear that protection to slavery was to apply to all territory acquired in the future south of the Compromise line. The five Republican senators opposed the territorial article, and, as it had been agreed that any report to be binding must have the assent of a majority of these five, they defeated in committee this necessary provision of the Compromise. William H. Seward,1 one of the thirteen, the leader of the Republicans in Congress, and the prospective head of Lincolns Cabinet, would undoubtedly have assented to this article, could he have secured Lincolns support. But Lincoln, though ready to compromise every other matter in dispute, was inflexible on the territorial question: that is to say as regarded territory which might be acquired in the future. He could not fail to see that the Territories which were a part of the United States in 1860 were, in Websters words, dedicated to freedom by an ordinance of nature and the will of God; and he was willing to give the slaveholders an opportunity to make a political slave State out of New Mexico, which was south of the Missouri Compromise line.2 But he feared that, if a parallel of latitude should be recognized by solemn exactment as the boundary between slavery and freedom, filibustering for all south of us and making slave States of it would follow in spite of us. A year will not pass, he wrote further, till we shall have to take Cuba as a condition upon which they [the cotton
Note 2. A real slave State was impossible. Twenty-two slaves in the territory was the result of seven years work. III, 176, 268 n., 313. In New Mexico there was a belt 30 miles wide with additional width at the eastern end which was north of 36° 30. [back]