Against the extension of slavery into free territory, and the traffic in slaves in the District of Columbia

March 2, 1849, Acts 73rd Legislature, p.334-335.

WHEREAS this legislature, prepresenting the views and opinions of the people of New Jersey, believing the institution of human slavery to be a great moral and political evil, and, if unrestrained by the general government, is calculated to sap the foundation of our social and political institutions---therefore,

1. RESOLVED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey, That while we would refrain from all manner of interference with the institution of slavery, in the states where it constitutionally exists, yet we would peacably, but firmly resist, by all constitutional means,its further extension.

2. Resolved, That our senators and representatives in the Congress of the United States be, and they are hereby respectfully requested to use their most strenuous efforts to secure, in any law that may be passed for the establishment of state or territorial governments within the bounds of our newly acquired territory of New Mexico and California, a fundamental condition, or provision, that slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, shall be for ever excluded from the said territory.

3. Resolved, That the existence of the traffic in slaves in the District of Columbia is inconsistent with the theory of our national institutions, and a reproach to us as a people, and ought, in the opinion of this legislature, to be speedily abolished; and that our senators and representatives be requested to use their influence in favour of this desirable object.

4. Resolved, That his excellency the governor of this state be, and he is hereby respectfully requested to transmit certified copies of the foregoing resolutions to each of our senators and representatives of the Congress of the United States from this state, with a request that they be laid before the bodies to which they respectively belong.

Approved March 2, 1849.