Union, “ in the iron bonds of a perpetual Union.” These bonds were not of iron, or Carolina would never have worn them, but they are the enduring chains of peace and union. One link could not be severed from this chain, united in all its parts, without an entire dissolution of all the bonds of Union; and one State cannot dissolve the Union among all the States. Yet Carolina admits this to be the inevitable consequence of the separation of that State, for in the address of her Convention she declares that “the separation of South Carolina would inevitably produce a general dissolution of the Union.” Has the Government of the Union no power to preserve itself from destruction, or must we submit to “a general dissolution of the Union,” whenever any one State thinks proper to issue the despotic mandate? It was the declared object of our ancestors, the hope of their children, that they had formed “ a perpetual Union.” The original compact of Carolina with her sister States, by which the Confederacy was erected, is called “Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union.” In the 13th article of this Confederacy it is expressly declared that “the Union shall be perpetual,” and in the ratification of this compact, South Carolina united with her sister States in declaring, “and we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents” “that the Union shall be perpetual ;” and may she now withdraw the pledge, without a violation of the compact? By the old Confederacy, then, the Union was perpetual, and the declared object of the Constitution was, “ to form a more perfect union” than that existing under the former Confederacy. Now, would this union be more perfect under the new than the old Confederacy, if, by the latter, the union was perpetual, but under the former limited in its duration at the will of a single State. My hope is in the people; I believe they are not “tyrants” by choice or “ necessity,” and that in every State they would sustain their representatives in preserving the Union; from the poor man's cottage they would come forward and say, you did well to prefer Union and liberty to dollars and cents — they are the only inheritance we received from our fathers, the only legacy we can bequeath to our children, and you have saved the priceless heritage — and if any by their vote should say, dissolve the Union rather than reduce the revenue, and this last, fairest fabric of human liberty should crumble in the dust, the withering curses of unnumbered millions would blast his peace and blacken his memory, and his only epitaph would be, here lies a destroyer of the American Union. Let not Carolina's ordinance delay your action, The Union party in Caroline, cheered by the voice of the nation, may become the majority, and sweep that ordinance from the records of the State. Repealed or not, it must not repeal the Union, or prevent the execution of its laws. Let Congress, let every State Legislature, and the people of every county, fix the seal of reprobation upon the doctrines of nullification and secession, and doom them never more to disturb the harmony of the people, and shake the pillars of the American Union. Let the present Congress adjust the tariff, and they will stand next in the grateful recollection of the American people to the Congress of ‘76, that gave us Liberty and Union, and this preserved them. They will return in triumph to their constituents; not the triumph of party, but of the Union. The day this act of peace and concord shall be passed, should be celebrated as a national jubilee. Tyrants will cease to predict the downfall of the American Union, for it will stand firm and unbroken, a rock of adamant, imperishable though faction's storms have beat upon its brow, though mad ambition's volcanic fires have burnt around it, yet no human power could move it from the ever-during basis of the affections of a free, united, and a happy people.Mr. Walker said so important was it to sustain these great principles, that he begged leave to quote much higher authority than his own in favor of these great doctrines. On the 2d of May, 1836, Hon. Charles J. Ingersoll, member of Congress from Philadelphia, visited the venerable James Madison, then Ex-President of the United States. On his return to the Federal city, Mr. Ingersoll published the result of this interview in the Daily Washington Globe. On reference to that publication, it will be found that Mr. Madison fully indorsed this speech of mine against nullification and secession; and further declared that it contained the only true representation, not only of his own opinions, but those of Mr. Jefferson, on these great questions. (Enthusiastic applause.) Mr. Walker said, this is a death struggle in which we are engaged. If the doctrine of secession prevails, we never can have any Government, any Union, any flag, or any country, but anarchy will be inaugurated, to be succeeded by despotism. If, however, as he (Mr. Walker) said he fully believed, this doctrine of secession shall be forever suppressed by our success in this contest, we will emerge stronger than ever from the trial, and our Government more respected than ever, at home or abroad, and retaining every State and Territory intact. (Loud applause.) Mr. Walker said his second campaign in the defence of the Union was in Kansas, as the Governor of that Territory. He said that he went there upon the urgent and oft-repeated solicitation of the President, upon the express condition that the Lecompton Constitution, so called, should be submitted to the prior vote of the people for ratification or rejection. But for that pledge which he (Mr. Walker) gave to the people of Kansas, civil war would have been inaugurated in Kansas early in June, 1857. This principle was right in itself in all cases; but it was indispensably necessary in
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.