MVB to Samuel Gwin, 11 July 1834
MVB to [Samuel Gwin], 11 July 1834
July 11, 1834.
I owe you an apology for not having sooner acknowledged the receipt of your obliging letter of 26th of May. My opinions on the subject of the power of Congress over Slave Property in the Southern States, are so well understood by my friends, that I am surprised that an attempt to impose upon the public respecting them should be hazarded.
The subject is, in my judgment, exclusively under the control of the State Governments; and I am not apprised, nor do I believe, that a contrary opinion to an extent deserving consideration, is entertained in any part of the U. States. The charge, therefore, to which you have had the goodness to call my attention, that I "am in favor of an interference by Congress in manumitting your slave property," is destitute of foundation: so far from it, I do not see on what authority the General Government could interfere, without a change of the Constitution, even at the instance of either or of all the slave-holding States.
With great respect and regard,
I am, dear sir, very truly, yours,
(Signed) M. VAN BUREN.
Addressed To _____ _____, Clinton, Mississippi. Also published in Mr. Van Buren's Opinions, [April 1835].