, of Massachusetts
, in 1812, writes: ‘Is there no constitutional right in the people or the several States to judge whether the militia are, or are not, constitutionally called into service?
In whom from the very limitation in the Constitution
reposes the ultimate right to judge whether the cause does exist?
We answer, in the constituting power (i. e
., the State
), not in the delegate (i. e
., the general government), in the master, not in the servant; ultimately in the people of the several States.
The very idea of limitation excludes the possibility that the delegate (i. e
., the general government), should be the judge.’
The above, from the pen of a New Englander, expresses the sentiments of New England
in 1812, and is a strict declaration of the doctrine of States' Rights, according to the teachings of Jefferson
was the very man who revised the language of the Constitution
before its final adoption, and must, therefore, have understood its meaning.
These are his words: ‘That the Constitution
was a compact, not between solitary individuals, but between political societies-each State enjoying sovereign power.’
In a subsequent letter he says: ‘The Union is already broken by this administration.
Should we now rely upon it we would forfeit all claim to common sense.’
Such was then the opinion at that time of the North
in general, and of New England
in particular, as to their right to secede.
The Connecticut Courant
says ‘We have now already approached the era when they (the different States) must be divided.’