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1 The reader will find some curious speculations and forebodings on this point in the very able speeches of Vice-President Calhoun and Governor Poindexter of Mississippi in the United States Senate. It is foreign to my present purpose to meddle in any way with the doctrine of Nullification,—--a doctrine which, whatever it may have been originally, has been recently so sublimated and mystified as to admit only of the Scotchman's well-known definition of metaphysics: ‘He that speaks disna weel ken what he says, and he that listens disna weel ken what he hears.’ But I would ask the reader to follow out the doctrine of the rights of the minority, or the inferior power, in point of physical of political strength, as maintained in the speeches above referred to, and see to what it will lead. If there could be found moral energy enough among the slaves of South Carolina to apply ‘the peaceful remedy,’ to enable them to stand upon their reserved rights as members of the great human family, and formally demand a reduction of their burdens, their sufferings, what course could South Carolina adopt If true to her principles—in which if she errs at all it is on the side of liberty—she would grant that reduction. Would she use coercion, brute force, because the law allowed it No. With the indignant eloquence of her own great champion she would scornfully repudiate ‘the idea, as sophistry, bloody sophistry, such as cast Daniel into the lion's den, and the three Innocents into the fiery furnace; the same sophistry under which the bloody edicts of Nero and Caligula were executed.’ She would scorn to ‘collect tribute from her slaves under the mouth of cannon,’ to‘enforce robbery by murder,’ to act upon the vague abstraction, the miserable sophistry of enforcing law whether just or unjust.—See Speech of J. C. Calhoun in the United States Senate on the Enforcing Bill.
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