Crittenden Compromise Offer, December 18th 1860


Resolved by the Senate and the House of representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled, That the following articles be, and are hereby, proposed and submitted as amendments to the

Constitution of the United States,


Article 1. in all the territory in the United States now held, or hereafter acquired, situate North of Latitude 36 30’, slavery or involuntary servitude, except as punishment for Crime, is prohibited while such territory shall

remain under territorial government. In all the territory south of said line of latitude, slavery of the African race is hereby recognized as existing, and shall not be interfered with by Congress, but shall be protected as

property by all the departments of the territorial government during its continuance. And when any Territory, north or south of said line, within such boundaries as Congress may prescribe, shall contain the population

requisite for a member of Congress according to the then Federal ratio, of representation of the people of the United States, it shall, if its form of government be republican, be admitted into the Union, on an equal

footing with the original States, with or without slavery, as the constitution of such new State may provide.


Art. 2. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery in places under its exclusive jurisdiction, and situate within the limited of States that prohibit the holding of slaves.


Art. 3. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery within the district of Columbia so long as it exists in the adjoining States of Virginia and Maryland, or either, not without the consent of the inhabitants, nor

without just compensation made to such owners of slaves as do not consent to abolishment. Nor shall Congress at any time prohibit officers of the federal government, or members of Congress, or members of Congress,

whose duties require them to be in said District, from bringing with them their slaves, and holding them as such during the time their duties may require them to remain there, and afterward taking them from the District.


Art. 4. Congress shall have no power to prohibit or hinder the transportation of slaves from one State to another, or to a Territory in which slaves are by law permitted to be held, whether that transportation be by land or by the sea….


Art. 6. Mo future amendment of the Constitution shall affect the five preceding articles … and no amendment shall be made t the Constitution which shall authorize or give to Congress any power to abolish or interfere with slavery in any State by whose laws it is, or may be, allowed or permitted.


And whereas, also, besides these causes of dissention embraced in the foregoing amendments to the Constitution of the United States, there are others which come within the jurisdiction of Congress, and many remedied by its legislative power; Therefore


1. Resolved … That the laws now in force for the recovery of fugitive slaves are in strict pursuance of the plain and mandatory provisions of the Constitution, and have been sanctioned as valid and constitutional by the judgment of the Supreme Court of the United States; that the slave-holding States are entitled to the faithful observance and execution of those laws, and that they ought not be repeated, or so modified as to impair their efficiency; and that laws ought to be made for the punishment of those attempt by rescue of the slave, or other illegal means, to hinder or defeat the due execution of said laws.