previous next

His reply to Hayne.

Those who deny the right of secession are fond of quoting as their authority extracts from Mr. Webster's reply to Mr. Hayne, made in 1830. It is worthy of note that the Capon Springs and Buffalo speeches were made in 1851; and these last are the product of his riper thinking—his profounder reflections. He had evidently learned much about the Constitution in the twenty-one years that had intervened, and in his maturer years, was indeed speaking as a statesman, and not only as an advocate, as he did in 1830.

But it is all important to remember that Mr. Webster nowhere ill this whole speech refers to the right of secession. His whole argument in this connection, is against the right of nullification, another and very different thing; but one which, as we will presently show, was actually being exercised by fourteen out of the sixteen Free States in 1861. [177]

In 1855, Senator Benjamin F. Wade of Ohio (afterwards, as we know one of the most notorious South-haters), said in a speech delivered in the United States Senate:

Who is the judge in the last resort of the violation of the Constitution of the United States by the enactment of a law? Who is the final arbiter, the General Government or the States in their sovereignty? Why, sir, to yield that point is to yield up all the rights of the States to protect their own citizens, and to consolidate this government into a miserable despotism.

And he further said, on the 18th of December, 1860:

I do not so much blame the people of the South, because I think they have been led to believe that we to-day, the dominant party, who are about to take the reins of government, are their mortal foes, and stand ready to trample their institutions under foot.

And notwithstanding the expression of these sentiments, we know, as we say, that this man became one of the most ardent supporters of the ‘miserable despotism’ established by Abraham Lincoln, and became the second officer in that ‘despotism’ on the assassination of Mr. Lincoln.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Daniel Webster (2)
Abraham Lincoln (2)
Hayne (2)
Benjamin F. Wade (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1830 AD (2)
1861 AD (1)
December 18th, 1860 AD (1)
1855 AD (1)
1851 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: