Today in Texas History – January 14

From the Annals of the Constitution –  In 1860, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee of Thirty-Three submitted a proposed constitutional amendment protecting slavery in all areas where it already existed. The proposed amendment was intended to stop states from seceding.   Following the election of Abraham Lincoln, the secession fury picked up in the South.  The Republican Party was committed to restricting slavery in the Western territories, and Southerners were dead set on protecting their right to own other human beings.  The House of Representatives appointed the Committee of Thirty-Three, consisting of one member from each state, to investigate avenues of compromise that would keep the South from seceding.

Most of the floated plans involved an expansion of slavery into the Western territories, but that fight was what had killed off the Whigs and given rise to the Republican party, and Northern states were opposed to any further slave states entering the Union.  The only plan to make it out of the committee was submitted by Thomas Corwin of Ohio and called for an amendment to protect slavery, enforce the fugitive slave laws, and repeal state personal liberty laws.  The South was increasingly concerned faced with numbers of slaves escaping to the North and the personal liberty laws made it difficult to return persons to the condition of chattel slavery.  South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama had already seceded by the time Corwin made his proposal. The plan went no where and the issue of slavery was only resolved with a long and bloody civil war.

And this is why floating absurd plans to amend the Constitution to fundamentally alter our federal system are a stupid idea Governor Abbott.

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