[37]   That demand has since been made. Says MR. O'CONOR, counsel for the State of Virginia in the Lemon Case, page 44: ``We claim that under these various provisions of the Federal Constitution, a citizen of Virginia has an immunity against the operation of any law which the State of New-York can enact, whilst he is a stranger and wayfarer, or whilst passing through our territory; and that he has absolute protection for all his domestic rights, and for all his rights of property, which under the laws of the United States, and the laws of his own State, he was entitled to, whilst in his own State. We claim this, and neither more NOR LESS.''

Throughout the whole of that case, in which the right to pass through New York with slaves at the pleasure of the slave owners is maintained, it is nowhere contended that the statute is contrary to the Constitution of New-York; but that the statute and the Constitution of the State are both contrary to the Constitution of the United States.

The State of Virginia, not content with the decision of our own courts upon the right claimed by them, is now engaged in carrying this, the Lemon case, to the Supreme Court of the United States, hoping by a decision there, in accordance with the intimations in the Dred Scott case, to overthrow the Constitution of New-York.

Senator Toombs, of Georgia, has claimed in the Senate, that laws of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin, for the exclusion of slavery, conceded to be warranted by the State Constitutions, are contrary to the Constitution of the United States, and has asked for the enactment of laws by the General Government which shall override the laws of those States and the Constitutions which authorize them.

 [ return to text ]