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Licking Valley Register

Covington, Kentucky

Saturday, January 18, 1845

Volume IV, Number 26.

Printed and Published By
R. C. Langdon & W. C. Munger

Devoted to General Intelligence, Politics, Morality, Literature, Education, the
Arts and Sciences, Agriculture, Commerce, and Advertising.

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Casius M. Clay's Position in Regard to Slavery.

From the Frankfort Commonwealth.

We insert the following letter from C.M. Clay, at his request, in order that his true position, which has been entirely misconceived by many, may be correctly understood by the country. Those who have supposed him an abolitionist, in the sense of teh term as commonly understood in political circles, will see that they have misunderstood him.

T.B. Stevenson, Esq:

Sir: I ask the liberty to make through your columns, a summary statement of my views upon the subject of slavery. By a portion of the people of this State, I never expect to be fairly represented. To the great mass of the people who have no interestin suppressing truth, I would appeal against the calumnies of unscrupulous partizans.

Slavery is a municipal institution. It exists by no other right and tenure than the Constitution of Kentucky.

I am opposed to depriving slave holders of their slaves by any other than Constitutional and legal means. Of course then I have no sympathy for those who would liberate the slaves of Kentucky in other ways. I have no connection with any man, or set of men, who would sanction or undertake the illegal liberation of slaves; and I feel bound, by my allegience to the State of Kentucky, to resist (by force, if necessary) all such efforts.

Whilst I hold that the United States Constitution has no power to establish slavery in the District of Columbia, or in the Territory, or in any place of its exclusive supremacy; so I contend, that in the States, once admitted into the Union and thereby become sovereign and independent, Congress has no power or right to interfere with or touch slavery, without the legitimate consent of the States.

I believe that the addition of new slave states, or slave territory, to this union is unconstitutional and impossible.

I am the avowed and uncompromising enemy of slavery and shall never cease to use all Constitutional, and honorable, and just means, to cause its extinction in Kentucky, and its reduction to its constitutional limits in the United States.

Born a Kentuckian and a slaveholder, I have no predjudices nor enmities to gratify; but impelled by a sense of self-respect, love of justice, and the highest expediency, I shall ever maintain that liberty is our only safety.

For freedom of speech and of the press, I never shall cease to battle while life lasts. If there is any Kentuckian so base to yield these constitutional and glorious priviliges, without which it is the veriest mockery to talk of being a free people, I envy him not: - A Slave to slaves, let him sodden in his infamy: With such I hold no fellowship; from such I ask no quarter. All I ask is an open field and a fair fight.

Your ob't Serv't.
C.M. Clay.

Frankfort, Ky., Jan. 8, 1845




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