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[450] our connection with Great Britain we shall always carefully and zealously endeavor to support and maintain.

I have, Mr. Secretary, at the risk of being regarded as prolix, a few more remarks to be made respecting that political myth of Judge Story's, the “one whole people,” or “We the people [one people] of the United States.”

To say nothing of publicists and jurists, no third-rate lawyer even will deny that any one people, whether called sovereign or not, cannot be in the possession of sovereignty who do not possess that great underlying title which is never surrendered or conveyed when fee-simple titles are granted by sovereigns to private purchasers of their land — I mean that great underlying title, the right of eminent domain in the soil. This right, this inestimable possession, is the very foundation-stone, or, to change the figure, the tap-root, the great and only source upon and from which all the other powers of inherent, original and undelegated sovereignty spring and depend for their vigor and existence.

A monarchy, an oligarchy or a republic that does not by virtue of this great right own the soil which it occupies, cannot be in possession of inherent, original sovereignty. If existing under any form of government whatever, and if it yet does not possess the right of eminent domain in the soil which it occupies, it necessarily cannot be an original sovereign power existing of and from its own right and vitality, but a mere creature, an agent exercising whatever powers it may possess by the permission and at the behest of some real sovereign or sovereigns.

Now, does that political personnel called the Government of the United States, or do those associated States, called the United States of America, possess, or do they pretend even at this day to possess, the right and power of eminent domain in the soil of a single State of this Confederacy of States called the United States of America? Of course the only answer to that question is, No, they do not. The practice of the United States Government from its foundation in 1789 down to this day (excepting the four years of the late war, when by the right, socalled, of might it exercised the rights of highway robbers on Southern soil) is alone sufficient to decide any question on that point. But the truth of this matter does not depend on the mere practice, significant as that is, of the General Government. Clause 18 of section 8 of article 1 of the Constitution acknowledges that the right of eminent domain in the soil of each separate State rests wholly and solely in the sovereign power and control of that distinct State. If the Government of France, or of Great Britain, or of Spain, should desire to take possession of and oust John Doe (their subject) from his three hundred acres of land at

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