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[101] every Southern as well as Northern State.

But it did not become necessary. Congress in due time took up the Tariff, with a view to its revision and reduction. The Jacksonian ascendency was decided in every department of the Government. Andrew Stevenson (anti-Tariff), of Virginia, was Speaker of the House, Gulian C. Verplanck (anti-Tariff) was Chairman of its Committee of Ways and Means, whence a bill containing sweeping reductions and equalizations of duties was, at an early period of the session, reported; and, though no conclusive action was had on this measure, the mere fact of its introduction was seized upon by the Nullifiers as an excuse for recoiling from the perilous position they had so recklessly assumed. A few days before the 1st of February, the Nullifying chiefs met at Charleston, and gravely resolved that, inasmuch as measures were then pending in Congress which contemplated such reductions of duties on imports as South Carolina demanded, the execution of the Nullifying Ordinance, and of course of all legislative acts subsidiary thereto, should be postponed till after the adjournment of that body!

But Mr. Verplanck's bill1 made such slow progress that its passage, even at the last moment, seemed exceedingly doubtful. Mr. Webster forcibly urged that no concession should be made to South Carolina until she should have abandoned her treasonable attitude. The manufacturers beset the Capitol in crowds, remonstrating against legislation under duress, in defiance of the public interest and the convictions of a majority of the members, which would whelm them in one common ruin. Finally2, Mr. Clay was induced to submit his Compromise Tariff, whereby one-tenth of the excess over twenty per cent. of each and every existing impost was to be taken off at the close of that year; another tenth two years thereafter; so proceeding until the 31st of June, 1842, when all duties should be reduced to a maximum of twenty per cent. This Compromise Tariff, being accepted and supported by Mr. Calhoun and the Nullifiers, was offered in the House, as a substitute for Mr. Verplanck's bill, by Mr. Letcher, of Kentucky (Mr. Clay's immediate representative and devoted friend), on the 25th of February; adopted and passed at once by a vote of 119 to 85; agreed to by the Senate; and became a law in the last hours of the session: General Jackson, though he openly condemned it as an unwise and untimely concession to rampant treason, not choosing to take the responsibility of vetoing, nor even of pocketing it, as he clearly might have done. South Carolina thereupon abandoned her Ordinance and attitude of Nullification; and the storm that lowered so black and imminent suddenly gave place to a sunny and smiling calm.

But General Jackson was deeply dissatisfied, and with reason. He saw in this easy accommodation the seeds of future perils and calamities. He insisted that Calhoun was a traitor; and to the end of his days regretted that he had not promptly arrested and tried him as such. He denied that dissatisfaction with the Protective policy was the real incitement

1 Reported December 28th.

2 February 12, 1833.

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