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[100] sacred obligation; and in compacts of civil government, involving the liberty and happiness of millions of mankind, the obligation cannot be less.

The unanimity and enthusiasm, with which the people of the Free States responded to these downright manifestations of a purpose to preserve at all hazards the integrity of the Union, are still freshly remembered. Those States had just been convulsed by a Presidential contest, wherein their people were about equally divided into zealous advocates and equally zealous opponents of General jackson's re-election. Though his triumph had been overwhelming, so far as the choice of Electors was concerned, the popular majorities, whereby those electors were chosen, were very meager in several of the States, including New York, Ohio, and New Jersey; while the majorities against him in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Kentucky, were heavy. But the States which had opposed his re-election, the citizens who had deprecated it as confirming and renewing a lease of virtually absolute power in hands too prone to stretch Authority and Prerogative to the utmost, now vied with their late antagonists in pledging devotion and support to the elected chief of the Republic in his efforts to preserve its unity and vitality. Great public meetings were held in the principal cities to give formal and influential expression to the sentiment; the Press, all but unanimously, echoed and stimulated the popular plaudits; and General Jackson was never before nor afterward so strong throughout the Free States, as during the few months which followed a most vigorous and determined struggle to defeat his re-election.

At the South, the case was somewhat different, though in every State--South Carolina, of course, excepted — the President's course was approved by a decided majority. The great mass of the voting population of nearly all these States had just given General Jackson their suffrages for the second or third time — they had long enough been told that he was a despot, an usurper, a tyrant, etc., without believing it; and they were little inclined to repudiate in a moment the convictions and the associations of a lifetime. In Virginia alone was there any official exhibition of sympathy with South Carolina in her self-invoked peril; and she sent a commissioner1 to that State rather to indicate her fraternal regard than to proffer any substantial assistance.

There was some windy talk of opposing by force the passage of a Federal army southward through the Old Dominion on an errand of “subjugation;” and her Governor,2 in his annual Message, said something implying such a purpose. Ex-Governor Troup, of Georgia, and a few other doctrinaires of the extreme State Rights school, muttered some words of sympathy with the Nullifiers, about to be crushed under the iron heel of Federal power — some vague protest against Consolidation; but that was all. Had it become necessary to call for volunteers to assert and maintain the National authority on the soil of the perverse State, they would doubtless have offered themselves by thousands from nearly or quite

1 Benjamin Watkins Leigh.

2 John Floyd, father of the late John B. Floyd, Mr. Buchanan's Secretary of War.

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