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Minutes of the State Convention, Convened at Columbus

man, and that he never would obey any law which conflicts with
that higher law, that has its seat in the bosom of God, and utters
its voice in the harmony of the world.
  Mr. Douglass having taken his seat, Mr. Day, of Lorain, obtain-
ed the floor, and addressing the President, in substance said:
   I cannot sit still, while this resolution is pending, and by my
silence acquiesce in it.  For all who have known me  for years
past, know that to the principle of the resolution I am, on princi-
ple opposed.  The remarks of the gentleman from  Cuyahoga,
(Mr. Douglass), it seems to me, partake of the error of many oth-
ers who discuss this question, namely,of making the construction
of the Constitution of the United States, the same as the Constitu-
tion itself.  There is no dispute between us in regard to the  pro-
slavery action of this government, nor any doubt in our minds in
regard to the aid which the Supreme Court of the United Sates
has given to Slavery, and by their unjust and, according to their
own rules, illegal decisions; but that is not the Constitution--they
are not that under which I vote.  We, most of us, profess to be-
lieve the Bible; but men have, from the Bible, attempted to justify
the worst of iniquities.  Do we, in such a case, discard the Bible,
believing, as we do, that iniquities find no shield there?--or do we
not rather discard the false opinions of mistaken men, in regard to
it?  As some one else says, if a judge make a wrong decision in an
important case, shall we abolish the Court?  Shall we  not rather
remove the judge, and put in his place one who  will judge right-
cously?  We all so decide.  So in regard to the Constitution.  In
voting, with judges' decisions we have nothing to do,  Our busi-
ness is with the Constitution.  If it says it was framed, to "estab-
lish justice," it, of course, is opposed to injustice; if it says plainly
no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without
due process of law,"--I suppose it means it, and I shall avail my-
self of the benefit of it.  Sir, coming up as I do, in the midst of
three millions of men in chains, and five hundred thousand only
half free, I consider every instrument precious which guaranties
to me liberty. I consider the Constitution the foundation of Ame-
rican liberties, and wrapping myself in the flag of the nation, I
would plant myself upon that Constitution, and using the weapons
they have given me, I would appeal to the American people for
the rights thus guarantied."
  Mr. Douglass replied by saying--
  The gentleman may wrap  the stars and stripes of his country
around him forty times, if possible, and with  the Declaration of
Independence in one hand, and the Constitution of our common
country in the other, may  seat himself under the shadow of the
frowning monument of Bunker Hill, and if the slave holder, under
the Constitution, and with the "Fugitive Bill," don't find you, then
there don't exist a Constitution.
    Yes, resumed Mr. Day, and with the Constitution I will find the
"Fugitive Bill."  You will mark this,--the gentleman has assumed
the same error as before, and has not attempted to reply to my
argument.  This is all I need now say.
   Mr. C. H. Langston obtained the floor and spoke as follows:--


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Minutes of the State Convention, Convened at Columbus


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