Prior to Mr. Lincoln's inauguration the politicians in congress held a peace conference, intended to propose measures that would serve to keep the slave-holding states in the Union. The Peace Conference was held in the Willard Hotel and was attended by 131 of America's leading politicians. It was convened at a time when seven states had already approved articles of secession. The conference clearly was aimed at keeping further desertions from the Union. Not surprisingly almost every section of the report deals with aspects of a single issue, that of involuntary servitude (slavery). The report was submitted to Congress by former President Tyler. The House never voted on the recommendations but they were approved by the Senate in a 28 to 7 vote. The recommendations were never passed and the nation continued on its path to civil war.
Here is a summary of the recommendations:
Section 1- Set up a freedom line across the continent at 36 degrees 30 minutes North latitude. North of that line territories would be admitted to the Union as Free States. South of the line new states would be slave states.
Section 2- This section requires a four-fifths of the Senate to ratify further land acquisitions.
Section 3- Nullified the ability of Congress to abolish or control slavery in the territories or states, even through Constitutional amendment. Nor can States or Congress interfere with transport of or tax persons bound to labor.
Section 4- Allows slave state courts and officers to enforce delivery of fugitive slaves in free states.
Section 5- Foreign importation of slaves is prohibited.
Section 6- Set up a situation where modifications to major portions of the Constitution, including those dealing with slaves, could not be amended or abolished without the consent of ALL states.
Section 7- Permits the government to repay the owners of fugitive slaves for the value of their labor if the marshals attempting to return them were threatened or subject to violence.