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 and adoption of the Constitution, to form again a more perfect union by dissolving that which could no longer bind, and to leave the separated parts to be reunited by the law of political gravitation to the centre. It is very evident that Mr. Adams and the people of New England generally regarded these views as the correct interpretation of the original compact which bound the people together. I will call attention to the fact that three years later, January 24, 1842, he presented a petition to Congress from citizens of Haverhill, Mass. I read from Congressional Globe, volume XI, page 977: Monday, January 24th.—In the House. Mr. Adams presented the petition of sundry citizens of Haverhill, in the State of Massachusetts, praying that Congress will immediately adopt measures favorably to dissolve the union of these States. First. Because no union can be agreeable and permanent which does not present prospects for reciprocal benefit; second, because a vast proportion of the revenues of one section of the Union is annually drained to sustain the views and course of another section, without any adequate return; third, because, judging from the history of past nations, that union, if persisted in in the present state of things, will certainly overwhelm the whole nation in destruction. There was a strong manifestation against receiving the petition, and by some it was denounced as treason and perjury. On page 980 Mr. Adams spoke in his own defence and in favor of the petition. He said: I hold that it is no perjury, that it is no high-treason, but the exercise of a sacred right to offer such a petition, and that it is false in morals, as it is inhuman, to fasten that charge on men who, under the countenance of such declarations as I have here quoted, come and ask of this House a redress of grievances. And if they do mistake their remedy, this government should not turn them away, and charge them with high-treason and subordination of perjury; but ought to take it up, to weigh the considerations which can be urged in their favor; and if there be none but those which are so eloquently set forth in the pamphlet I have quoted, these should be considered. If they have mistaken their remedy, the House should do as the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Marshall) told us he was ready to do—admit the facts. Mr. Gilmer, page 983, introduced the following resolution: Resolved, That in presenting to the consideration of this House a
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