Mr. Bond's speech and Mr. Brockman's remarks [p. 201-203]
Mr. BOND offered a resolution that the committee on Rights be instructed to report a provision prohibiting free negroes from emigrating into this State, and that no person shall bring slaves into this State from other States and set them free, and that sufficient penalties be provided to effect the object in view.
He said, that he thought this the proper time to give this question a fair and calm discussion, and had so framed the resolution as a test. He proceeded to give his reasons for introducing the resolution, and to state the grounds he occupied on this question. In doing so, he said, he had no desire to wound the feelings of any delegate, or impugn the motives which governed other gentlemen who occupied a different position. There was no one who had a greater desire to do justice to that class of unfortunate individuals, called free negroes. But they already had become a great annoyance, if not a nuisance, to the people of Illinois. While he would do the utmost to protect the rights of those who held this kind of property, which was recognized by the domestic institutions of sister States, he would do nothing to fasten more tightly the bonds by which these people were held in slavery. In his part of the State he had seen little settlements of these free negroes spring up, and their object was to aid slaves from the south to escape their masters. This was not right. But while he would not go to a man's stable, unlock it, and steal therefrom a horse, he might, if he met a negro whom he thought was escaping from his master, not ask the man to give an account of himself, and thereby stop him in his flight. He considered that there was no use of extending our philanthropy in favor of these people, unless we were willing to admit them to the privilege of the ballot box, and give them all the rights of freemen and citizens of a free republic. Can we, or ought we to, do this? He would answer nay. After alluding to the objects of colonization, he said, that he wanted no persons to come into this State, unless they came with right to be our equals in all things, and as freemen.
Mr. BROCKMAN said, that the people of his county were unanimous in their opposition to the emigration [sic] of negroes. The people of Schuyler and Brown were nearly all opposed to it. The negroes have no rights in common with the people, they can have no rights; the distinction between the two races is so great as to preclude the possibility of their ever living together upon equal terms.