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VIII. State rights—Nullification.

So long as the people of any State withheld their assent from the Federal Constitution, it was represented and reprobated by its adversaries as a scheme of absolute and undisguised consolidation. They pointed to its sweeping provisions, whereby all power with regard to war, to treaties, and to diplomatic or commercial intercourse with foreign nations, to the currency, to naturalization, to the support of armies, etc., etc., was expressly withdrawn from the States and concentrated in the Federal Government,1 as proof irresistible of the correctness of their position. The express inhibition of any alliance, compact, or treaty between two or more of the States, was even more conclusive on this head. They pointed to the fact, that the very preamble to this instrument proclaimed it the work of “the people of the United States,” and not a mere alliance or pact between the States themselves in their capacity of separate and sovereign political communities. Patrick Henry urged this latter objection with much force in the Virginia ratifying Convention.2 These cavilers were answered, frankly and firmly: “It is the work of ‘the people of the United States,’ as distinguished from the States in their primary and sovereign capacity; and why should not the fact be truly stated?” General Washington did not hesitate to assert, in his plain, earnest, practical way, that the end sought by the new framework was the “consolidation of [82] our Union,” 3 which he never ceased to regard as of the highest importance and the greatest beneficence. History teaches scarcely anything more clearly than that it was the purpose of the framers of the Constitution to render the inhabitants of all the States substantially and perpetually one people, living under a common Government, and known to the rest of mankind by a common national designation.4 The advantages secured to the people of all the States by the “more perfect Union” attained through the Constitution, were so striking and manifest that, after they had been for a few years experienced and enjoyed, they silenced all direct and straightforward opposition. Those who had originally opposed and denounced the Constitution became — at least in profession — its most ardent admirers and vigilant guardians. They volunteered their services as its champions and protectors against those who had framed it and with difficulty achieved its ratification. These were plainly and persistently accused of seeking its subversion through the continual enlargement of Federal power by latitudinous and unwarranted construction.5 They vehemently disclaimed any desire to return to tile chronic feebleness and anarchy of the supplanted Confederation, and consecrated their energies to battling against the measureless ills of an unbalanced and centralized despotism. They generally rejected the appellation of Anti-Federalists, and chose to be distinctively known as Republicans. Thomas Jefferson, who had been absent as embassador to France throughout the five or six preceding years, and who had therefore taken no conspicuous or decided part either for or against the Constitution in its incipiency, became the leader, and was for many years thereafter the oracle, of their party.

The Federalists, strong in the possession of power, and in the popularity and( influence of their great chief, Washington, were early misled into some capital blunders. Among, these was the passage of the acts of Congress, famous as the Alien and Sedition laws. The aliens, whom the political tempests then convulsing Europe had drifted in large numbers to our shores, were in good part turbulent, restless adventurers, of desperate fortunes, who sought to embroil [83] us in the contest then devastating the Old World. Washington, and the Federal magnates who surrounded him, were inflexibly averse to this, and baffled all attempts to involve us in a foreign war. This very naturally offended the European refugees among us, who looked anxiously to this country for interference to reestablish them in power and prosperity in their own. Hence, they generally took the lead in reprobating and stigmatizing the negotiation and approval of Jay's treaty6 with Great Britain, whereby our past differences and misunderstandings with that power were adjusted. They were in good part politicians and agitators by trade, instinctively hostile to a government so cold-blooded and unimpulsive as ours, and ardently desired a change. Regarding them as dangerous and implacable enemies to the established policy of non-intervention, and to those who upheld it, the Alien law assumed to empower the President to send out of the country any foreigner whose further stay among us should be deemed by him incompatible with the public safety or tranquillity. The Sedition law provided for the prosecution and punishment of the authors of false, malicious, and wicked libels on the President, and others high in authority. The facts that no one ever was sent away under the Alien act, and that the Sedition law was hardly more than the common law of libel applied specially to those who should venture to speak evil of dignities, proved rather the folly of such legislation than its necessity or its accordance with the Constitution. Party spirit and party feeling ran high. It was far easier to libel a hated opponent than to refute his arguments. The best newspapers of that day would hardly maintain a comparison, either for ability or decorum, with the third class of our time; and personalities largely supplied the place of learning and logic. Hence, many prosecutions under tile Sedition law; some of them, doubtless, richly deserved ; but all tending to excite hostility to the act and its authors. No other contributed half so palpably to the ultimate overthrow of the Federal ascendency.

When John Adams became President, in 1797, the South had become the stronghold of the Opposition. Mr. Madison had dissolved his earlier association with the great body of the framers of the Constitution, and become the lieutenant of Mr. Jefferson. Kentucky--a Virginia colony and offset — was ardently and almost unanimously devoted to the ideas and the fortunes of Jefferson; and he was privately solicited to draft the manifesto, through which the new State beyond the Alleghanies proclaimed, in 1798, her intense hostility to Federal rule. The famous “Resolutions of ‘98” were thus originated; Mr. Jefferson's authorship, though suspected, was never established until lie avowed it in a letter more than twenty years afterward. These resolutions are too long to be here quoted in full, but the first is as follows:

Resolved, That the several States composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government, but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special purposes — delegated [84] to that Government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force; that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and as an integral party, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party; that the Government created by this compact was not made tile exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; hut that, as in all other cases of compact among ,powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.

The resolves proceed, at great length, to condemn not only the Alien and Sedition laws, as utterly unconstitutional and void, but even the act, recently passed, to punish frauds committed on the Bank of the United States, as well as other acts and parts of acts; and conclude with a call on the other States to unite with Kentucky in condemning and opposing all such usurpations of power by the Federal Government, and by expressing her undoubting confidence

That they will concur with this commonwealth in considering the said acts as so palpably against the Constitution as to amount to an undisguised declaration that that compact is not meant to be the measure of the powers of the General Government, but that it will proceed in the exercise, over these States, of all powers whatsoever: that they will view this as seizing the rights of the States, and consolidating them in the hands of the General Government, with the power assumed to bind the States (not merely as to the cases made federal (casus foederis), but) in all cases whatsoever, by laws made, not with their consent, but by others against their consent: that this would be to surrender the form of government we have chosen, and live under one deriving its powers from its own will, and not from our authority; and that the co-States, returning to their natural right in cases not made federal, will concur in declaring these acts void and of no force, and will each take measures of its own in providing that neither these acts, nor any others of the General Government, not plainly and intentionally authorized by the Constitution, shall be exercised within their respective territories.

9th. Resolved, That the said Committee be authorized to communicate, by writing or personal conferences, at any times or places whatever, with any person or persons who may be appointed by any one or more co-States to correspond or confer with them, and that they lay their proceedings before the next session of Assembly.

The Virginia resolves on the same subject, passed by her Legislature in 1799, were drafted by Mr. Madison--doubtless after consultation with his chief, Mr. Jefferson--and did not differ materially in spirit or expression from those of Kentucky.

Mr. Jefferson became President on the 4th of March, 1801. Up to tills hour, he had been an extreme and relentless stickler for the most rigid and literal construction of the Federal pact, and for denying to the Government all authority for which express warrant could not be found in the provisions of that instrument. Said he7: “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

His fidelity to his declared principle was soon subjected to a searching ordeal. Louisiana fell into the hands of Bonaparte, who, it was not improbable, might be induced to sell it. It was for us a desirable acquisition; but where was the authority for buying it? In the Constitution, there clearly was none, unless under that very power to provide for the general welfare, which, as he had expressly declared, was meant by the instrument “to be subsidiary only to the execution of limited powers.” 8 He [85] was quite too large and frank a man to pretend that his action in this case was justified by the Constitution, as he understood and had always interpreted it. He said:9

This treaty must of course be laid before both houses, because both have important functions to exercise respecting it. They, I presume, will see their duty to their country in ratifying and paying for it, so as to secure a good which would otherwise be probably never again in their power. But I suppose they must then appeal to the nation for an additional article to the Constitution, approving and confirming an act which the nation had not previously authorized. The Constitution has made no provision for our holding foreign territory, still less for incorporating foreign nations into our Union. The Executive, in seizing the fugitive occurrence which so much advances the good of their country, have done an act beyond the Constitution. The Legislature, in casting behind them metaphysical subtleties, and risking themselves like faithful servants, must ratify and pay for it. and throw themselves on their country for doing for them unauthorized what we know they would have done for themselves had they been in a situation to do it. It is the case of a guardian, investing the money of his ward in purcluasing an important adjacent territory; and saying to him, when of age, “I did this for your good; I pretend to no right to bind you: you may disavow me, and I must get out of the scrape as I can. I thought it my duty to risk myself for you.” But we shall not be disavowed by the nation, and their act of indemnity will confirm, and not weaken, the Constitution, by more strongly marking out its lines.

In a letter to Wilson C. Nicholas,10 he examines and thoroughly refutes the assumption, suggested by Mr. N., that the power to purchase Louisiana “might possibly be distilled from the authority given to Congress to admit new States into the Union.” He says: “But when I consider that the limits of the United States are precisely fixed by the treaty of 1783, and that the Constitution expressly declares itself to be made for the United States, I cannot help believing the intention was not to permit Congress to admit into the Union new States, which should be formed outside of the territory for which, and under whose authority alone, they were then acting. I do not believe it was meant that they might receive England, Ireland, Holland, etc., into it, which would be the case on your construction.” After disposing in like manner of “the opinion of those whole consider the grant of the treaty-making power as boundless,” and completing his demonstration that there was no power whatever in the Constitution, as he construed it, to make this purchase, he, with more good sense than consistency, concludes: “I confess, then, I think it important, in the present case, to set an example against broad construction, by appealing for new power to the people. If, however, our friends shall think differently, certainly I shall acquiesce with satisfaction; confiding, that the good sense of our country will correct the evil of construction when it shall produce ill effects.”

When, in 1811, the Territory of Orleans was moulded into the State of Louisiana, Mr. Josiah Quincy, a young and very ardent Federalist who then represented the city of Boston in the House, indulged in what resembled very closely a menace of contingent secession; and similar fulminations were uttered by sundry New England Federalists under the pressure of Mr. Jefferson's Embargo and of the War of 1812. The famous but unsavory Hartford Convention,11 held near the close of that war, and [86] by which the ruin of the Federal party was completed, evinced its discontent with matters in general, but especially with Democracy and the War, by a resort to rhetoric which was denounced as tending to disunion, but which does not seem to warrant the imputation. And whenever the right of secession or of nullification has been asserted, whether directly or by clear implication, in any part of the country, or by any party out of power, such assertion has called forth expressions of emphatic rebuke and dissent from other sections12 and antagoistic parties. Mr. Webster,13 in replying to Mr. Hayne of South Carolina on this subject, forcibly said:

“I understood the gentleman to maintain, that, without revolution, without civil commotion, without rebellion, a remedy for supposed abuse and transgression of the powers of the General Government lies in a direct appeal to the interference of the State Governments.”

Mr. Hayne here rose and said: “He did not contend for the mere right of revolution, but for the right of constitutional resistance. What he maintained was that, in case of a plain, palpable violation of the Constitution by the General Government, a State may interpose; and that this interposition is constitutional.”

Mr. Webster resumed:--“So, Sir, I understood the gentleman, and am happy to find that I did not misunderstand him. What he contends for is, that it is constitutional to interrupt the administration of the Constitution itself, in the hands of those who are chosen and sworn to administer it, by the direct interference, in form of law, of the States, in virtue of their sovereign capacity. The inherent right of the people to reform their government, I do not deny; and they have another right, and that is, to resist unconstitutional laws, without overturning the government. It is no doctrine of mine that unconstitutional laws bind the people. The great question is, ‘Whose prerogative is it to decide on the constitutionality or unconstitutionality of the laws?’ On that, the main debate hinges. The proposition that, in case of a supposed violation of the Constitution by Congress, the States have a constitutional right to interfere and annul the law of Congress, is the proposition of the gentleman. I do not admit it. If the gentleman had intended no more than to assert the right of revolution for justifiable cause, he would have said only what all agree to. But I cannot conceive that there can be a middle course between submission to the laws, when regularly pronounced constitutional, on the one hand, and open resistance, which is revolution or rebellion, on the other. I say, the right of a State to annul a law of Congress cannot be maintained, but on the ground of the inalienable right of man to resist oppression; that is to say, upon the ground of revolution. I admit that there is an ultimate violent remedy, above the Constitution and in defiance of the Constitution, which may be resorted to when a revolution is to be justified. But I do not admit that, under the Constitution, and in conformity with it, there is any mode in which a State Government, as a member of the Union, can interfere and stop the progress of the general movement, by force of her own laws, under any circumstances whatever. * * * Sir, the human mind is so constituted that the merits of both sides of a controversy appear very clear, and very palpable, to those who respectively espouse them; and both sides usually grow clearer as the controversy advances. South Carolina sees unconstitutionality in the tariff; she sees oppression there also; and she sees danger. Pennsylvania, with a vision not less sharp, looks at the same tariff, and sees no such thing in it; she sees it all constitutional, all useful, all safe. the faith of South Carolina is strengthened by opposition, and she now not only sees, but resolves, that the tariff is palpably unconstitutional, oppressive, and dangerous; but Pennsylvania, not to be behind her neighbors, and equally willing to strengthen her own faith by a confident asseveration, resolves also, and gives to every [87] warm affirmative of South Carolina a plain, downright, Pennsylvania negative. South Carolina, to show the strength and unity of her opinion, brings her assembly to a unanimity, within seven voices; Pennsylvania, not to be outdone in this respect any more than in others, reduces her dissentient fraction to a single vote. Now, Sir, again I ask the gentleman, What is to be done? Are these States both right? If not, which is in the wrong? or, rather, which has the best right to decide? And if he, and if I, are not to know what the Constitution means, and what it is, till those two State Legislatures, and the twenty-two others, shall agree in its construction, what have we sworn to when we have sworn to maintain it? I was forcibly struck, Sir, with one reflection, as the gentleman went on in his speech. He quoted Mr. Madison's resolutions14 to prove that a State may interfere, in a case of deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of a power not granted. The honorable member supposes the tariff law to be such an exercise of power; and that, consequently, a case has arisen in which the State may, if it see fit, interfere by its own law. Now it so happens, nevertheless, that Mr. Madison deems this same tariff law quite constitutional! Instead of a clear and palpable violation, it is, in his judgment, no violation at all. So that, while they use his authority for a hypothetical case, they reject it in the very case before them. All this, Sir, shows the inherent futility — I had almost used a stronger word — of conceding this power of interference to the States, and then attempting to secure it from abuse by imposing qualifications of which the States themselves are to judge. One of two things is true: either the laws of the Union are beyond the discretion and beyond the control of the States, or else we have no constitution of General Government, and are thrust back again to the days of the Confederation.”

In his brief speech, which closed that debate, and finished the doctrine of Nullification, Mr. Webster said:

Sir, if I were to concede to the gentleman his principal proposition, namely, that the Constitution is a compact between States, the question would still be, What provision is made in this compact to settle points of disputed construction, or contested power, that shall come into controversy? And this question would still be answered, and conclusively answered, by the Constitution itself. While the gentleman is contending against construction, he himself is setting up the most dangerous and loose construction. The Constitution declares that, the laws of Congress passed in pursuance of the Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land. No construction is necessary here. It declares also, with equal plainness and precision, that the judicial power of the United States shall extend to every case arising under the laws of Congress. This needs no construction. Here is a law, then, which is declared to be supreme; and here is a power established, which is to interpret that law. Now, Sir, how has the gentleman met this? Suppose the Constitution to be a compact, yet here are its terms; and how does the gentleman get rid of them? He cannot argue the seal off the bond, nor the words out of the instrument. Here they are; what answer does he give to them? None in the world, Sir, except, that the effect of this would be to place the States in a condition of inferiority; and that it results from the very nature of things, there being no superior, that the parties must be their own judges! Thus closely and cogently does the honorable gentleman reason on the words of the Constitution! The gentleman says, if there be such a power of final decision in the General Government, he asks for the grant of that power. Well, Sir, I show him the grant. I turn him to the very words. I show him that the laws of Congress are made supreme; and that the judicial power extends, by express words, to the interpretation of these laws. Instead of answering this, he retreats into the general reflection, that it must result from the nature of things, that the States, being parties, must judge for themselves.

I have admitted, that, if the Constitution were to be considered as the creature of the State governments, it might be modified, interpreted, or construed according to their pleasure. But, even in that case, it would be necessary that they should agree. One alone could not interpret it conclusively; one alone could not construe it; one alone could not modify it. Yet the gentleman's doctrine is, that Carolina alone may construe and interpret that compact, which equally binds all, and gives equal rights to all.

So, then, Sir, even supposing the Constitution to be a compact between the States, the gentleman's doctrine, nevertheless, is not maintainable; because first, the General Government is not a party to the compact, but a government established by it, and vested by it with the powers of trying and deciding doubtful questions; and, secondly, because, if the Constitution be regarded as a compact, not one State only, but all the States, are parties to that compact, and one [88] can have no right to fix upon it her own peculiar construction.

Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun--two of the most remarkable men ever produced in this or any other country — were destined to lead the rival forces by which the Nullification issue was finally brought to a practical conclusion. Though they became and died fierce antagonists, and even bitter personal enemies, their respective characters and careers exhibited many points of resemblance. Each was of that “Scotch-Irish” Presbyterian stock with which Cromwell repeopled the north of Ireland from Scotland, after having all but exterminated its original Celtic and Catholic inhabitants, who resisted and defied his authority. That Scotch-Irish blood to this day evinces something of the Cromwellian energy, courage, and sturdiness. Each was of Revolutionary Whig antecedents — Jackson, though but thirteen years of age, having been in arms for the patriotic cause in 1780; his brother Hugh having died in the service the preceding year. Andrew (then but fourteen), with his brother Robert, was taken prisoner by the British in 1781, and wounded in the head and arm while a captive, for refusing to clean his captor's boots. His brother was, for a like offense, knocked down and disabled. John C. Calhoun was only born in the last year of the Revolutionary War; but his father, Patrick Calhoun, was an ardent and active Whig throughout the struggle. Each was early left fatherless — Andrew Jackson's father having died before his illustrious son was born; while the father of John C. Calhoun died when his son was still in his early teens. Each was by birth a South Carolinian; for, though General Jackson's birth-place is claimed by his biographers for North Carolina, he expressly asserted South Carolina15 to be his native State, in the most important and memorable document to which his name is appended, and which flowed not merely from his pen, but from his heart. Each was of the original Anti-Federal, strict-construction school in our polities — Calhoun's father having vehemently opposed the adoption of the Federal Constitution; while Jackson, entering Congress as the sole representative of the newly admitted State of Tennessee (December 5, 1796), voted in a minority of twelve against the address tendering to General Washington, on his retirement from the Presidency, a respectful expression of the profound admiration and gratitude wherewith his whole public career was regarded by Congress and the country. General Jackson was not merely an extreme Republican of the Jeffersonian State-Rights School; he was understood to side with Colonel Hayne at the time of his great debate on Nullification with Mr. Webster. Each entered Congress before attaining his thirtieth year, having already taken a conspicuous part in public affairs. Each was first chosen to the House, but served later and longer in the Senate. Each was a slaveholder through most of his career, always found on the side of Slavery in any controversy affecting its claims or interests during his public life; and neither emancipated [89] his slaves by his will. Each became, for the first time, a candidate for the Presidency in 1824, when each counted with confidence on the powerful support of Pennsylvania. When that State, through her leading politicians, decided to support Jackson, Calhoun fell out of the race, but was made Vice-President without serious opposition; General Jackson receiving a plurality of the electoral votes for President, but failing of success in the House. In 1828, their names were placed on the same ticket, and they were triumphantly elected President and Vice-President respectively, receiving more than two-thirds of the electoral votes, including those of every State south of the Potomac. This is the only instance wherein the President and Vice-President were both chosen from those distinctively known as Slave States; though New York was nominally and legally a Slave State when her Aaron Burr, George Clinton, and Daniel D. Tompkins were each chosen Vice-President with the last three Virginian Presidents respectively. Alike tall in stature, spare in frame, erect in carriage, austere in morals, imperious in temper, of dauntless courage, and inflexible will, Jackson and Calhoun were each fitted by nature to direct, to govern, and to mould feebler men to his ends; but they were not fitted to coalesce and work harmoniously together. They had hardly become the accepted chiefs of the same great, predominant party, before they quarreled; and their feud, never healed, exerted a signal and baneful influence on the future of their country.

The Protective Policy, though its earliest conspicuous champion in our national councils was Alexander Hamilton, General Washington's Secretary of the Treasury, came, at a later day, to be mainly championed by Republicans. The great merchants were leading Federalists; the great sea-ports were mainly Federal strongholds; the seaboard was in good part Federal: it yearned for extensive and ever-expanding commerce, and mistakenly, but naturally, regarded the fostering of Home Manufactures as hostile to the consummation it desired. Mr. Jefferson's Embargo had borne with great severity upon the mercantile class, inciting a dislike to all manner of commercial restrictions. The interior, on the other hand, was preponderantly Republican, and early comprehended the advantage of a more symmetrical development, a wider diversification, of our National Industry, through the legislative encouragement of Home Manufactures. The Messages of all the Republican Presidents, down to and including General Jackson, recognize and affirm the wisdom, beneficence, and constitutionality of Protective legislation. The preamble to the first tariff act passed by Congress under the Federal Constitution explicitly affirms the propriety of levying imposts, among other ends, “for the protection of Domestic Manufactures.” Mr. Jefferson, in his Annual Message of December 14, 1806, after announcing that there is a prospect of an early surplus of Federal revenue over expenditure, proceeds:

“The question, therefore, now comes forward — to what other objects shall these surpluses be appropriated, and the whole surplus of impost, after the entire discharge [90] of the public debt, and during those intervals when the purposes of war shall not call for them? Shall we suppress the impost and give that advantage to foreign over domestic manufactures? On a few articles of more general and necessary use, the suppression, in due season, will doubtless be right; but the great mass of the articles on which impost is paid is foreign luxuries, purchased by those only who are rich enough to afford themselves the use of them. Their patriotism would certainly prefer its continuance and application to the great purposes of the public education, roads, rivers, canals, and such other objects of public improvement as it may be thought proper to add to the constitutional enumeration of federal powers. By these operations, new channels of communication will be opened between the States; the lines of separation will disappear; their interests will be identified, and their Union cemented by new and indissoluble ties.”

“Education is here placed among the articles of public care, not that it would be proposed to take its ordinary branches out of the hands of private enterprise, which manages so much better all the concerns to which it is equal; but a public institution can alone supply those sciences which, though rarely called for, are yet necessary to complete the circle, all the parts of which contribute to the improvement of the country, and some of them to its preservation. The subject is now proposed for the consideration of Congress, because, if approved, by the time the State Legislatures shall have deliberated on this extension of the federal trusts, and the laws shall be passed, and other arrangements made for their execution, the necessary funds will be on hand and without employment. I suppose an amendment to the Constitution, by consent of the States, necessary, because the objects now recommended are not among those enumerated in the Constitution, and to which it permits the public moneys to be applied.”

Mr. Jefferson, it will be seen, suggests an amendment to the Constitution, to give Congress power to raise and appropriate money to the “great purposes of education, roads, rivers, canals,” etc.; but he betrays no suspicion that the incidental Protection then confessedly enjoyed by our Home Manufactures was given in defiance of “the Constitution as it is.” On the contrary, an enlargement of federal power was suggested by him with reference to new objects, not to those already provided for. Had these required such enlargement, the duties should have been repealed or reduced at once, to be reimposed whenever Congress should be clothed with the requisite constitutional power.

Henry Clay entered Congress under Jefferson, in 1806, and was an earnest, thorough, enlightened Protectionist from the start. Mr. Calhoun first took his seat in 1811, when the question of war with Great Britain dwarfed all others; and his zealous efforts, together with those of Clay, Felix Grundy, and other ardent young Republicans, finally overbore the reluctance of Madison and his more sedate councilors, and secured a Declaration of War on the 18th of June, 1812. At the close of that war, a revision of the existing Tariff was imperatively required; and no man did more than John C. Calhoun — then, for his last term, a leading member of the House — to secure the efficient Protection of Home Manufactures, but especially of the Cotton Manufacture, by the Tariff of 1816; which Massachusetts, and most of New England, opposed, precisely because it was Protective, and therefore, in the short-sighted view, hostile to the interests of Commerce and Navigation. Internal Improvements, and all other features of what was termed the National in contradistinction to the Radical or strict-construction theory of the nature and functions of our Federal Government, found in Mr. Calhoun and his personal adherents their most thorough-going champious: and South Carolina was, about 1820, the [91] arena of a stirring conflict between her “National” school of politicians, headed by Calhoun and McDuffie, and the “Radicals,” whose chief was William H. Crawford, of Georgia. Repeated duels between Mr. McDuffie and Colonel William Cuming, of Georgia, in one of which McDuffie was severely wounded, were among the incidents of this controversy. Yet but few years elapsed before Mr. Calhoun and his trusty henchman, McDuffie, appeared in the novel character of champions of “State rights,” and relentless antagonists of Protection, and all the “National” projects they had hitherto supported! Mr. Calhoun attempted, some years afterward, to reconcile this flagrant inconsistency; but it was like “arguing the seal off the bond” --a feat to which the subtlest powers of casuistry are utterly inadequate. He did prove, however, that his change did not follow, but preceded, his quarrel with General Jackson--his original, though then unacknowledged, demonstration against Protection as unconstitutional, and in favor of Nullification as a reserved right of each State, having been embodied in an elaborate document known as “The South Carolina exposition,” adopted and put forth by the Legislature of his State near the close of 1828. The doctrines therein affirmed were those propounded by Hayne and refuted by Webster in the great debate already noticed.

The Tariff of 1828--the highest and most protective ever adopted in this country — was passed by a Jackson Congress, of which Van Buren, Silas Wright, and the Jacksonian leaders in pennsylvania and Ohio, were master-spirits. It was opposed by most of the members from the Cotton States, and by a majority of those from New England--some provisions having been engrafted upon it with the alleged purpose and the certain effect of making it obnoxious to Massachusetts and the States which, on either side, adjoined her. On the other hand, the members from the Middle and Western Free States, without distinction of party, supported it almost unanimously. This Tariff imposed high duties on Iron, Lead, Hemp, Wool, and other bulky staples, and was very generally popular. Under it, the industry of the Free States, regarded as a whole, was more productive, more prosperous, better rewarded, than ever before, and the country exhibited a rapid growth in wealth, intelligence, and general comfort.

The South--that is, the cottongrowing region — for Louisiana, through her sugar-planting interest, sustained the Protective policy, and shared in the prosperity thence resulting — now vehemently opposed the Tariff, declaring herself thereby plundered and impoverished. There is no evidence that her condition was less favorable, her people less comfortable, than they had been; but the contrast between the thrift, progress, and activity of the Free States, and the stagnation, the inertia, the poverty, of the cotton region, was very striking. And, as the South was gradually unlearning her Revolutionary principles, and adopting instead the dogma that Slavery is essentially right and beneficent, she could not now be induced to apprehend, nor even to consider, the real cause of her comparative wretchedness; though she was more than once [92] kindly and delicately reminded of it. Mr. George M. Dallas,16 of Pennsylvania--a life-long Democrat and anti-Abolitionist, cautious, conservative, conciliatory — replying to one of Mr. Hayne's eloquent and highwrought portrayals of the miserable state to which the South and her industry had been reduced by the Protective policy, forcibly and truthfully said:

What, Sir, is the cause of Southern distress? Has any gentleman yet ventured to designate it? I am neither willing nor competent to flatter. To praise the honorable Senator from South Carolina would be

To add perfume to the violet — Wasteful and ridiculous excess.

But, if he has failed to discover the source of the evils he deplores, who can unfold it? Amid the warm and indiscriminating denunciations with which he has assailed the policy of protecting domestic manufactures and native produce, he frankly avows that he would not “deny that there are other causes, besides the Tariff, which have contributed to produce the evils which he has depicted.” What are those “other causes?” In what proportion have they acted? How much of this dark shadowing is ascribable to each singly, and to all in combination? Would the Tariff be at all felt or denounced, if those other causes were not in operation? Would not, in fact, its influence, its discriminations, its inequalities, its oppressions, but for those “other causes,” be shaken, by the elasticity, energy, and exhaustless spirit of the South, as “dew-drops from the lion's mane?” These inquiries must be satisfactorily answered before we can be justly required to legislate away and entire system. If it be the root of all evil, let it be exposed and demolished. If its poisonous exhalations be but partial, let us preserve such portions as are innoxious. If, as the luminary of day, it be pure and salutary in itself, let us not wish it extinguished, because of the shadows, clouds, and darkness, which obscure its brightness, or impede its vivifying power.

That “other causes” still, Mr. President, for Southern distress, do exist, cannot be doubted. They combine with the one I have indicated, and are equally unconnected with the manufacturing policy. One of these it is peculiarly painful to advert to; and when I mention it, I beg honorable Senators not to suppose that I do it in the spirit of taunt, of reproach, or of idle declamation. Regarding it as a misfortune merely, not as a fault — as a disease inherited, not incurred — perhaps to be alleviated, but not eradicated — I should feel self-condemned were I to treat it other than as an existing fact, whose merit or demerit, apart from the question under debate, is shielded from commentary by the highest and most just considerations. I refer, Sir, to the character of Southern labor, in itself, and in its influence on others. Incapable of adaptation to the ever-varying changes of human society and existence, it retains the communities in which it is established, in a condition of apparent and comparative inertness. The lights of Science and the improvements of Art, which vivify and accelerate elsewhere, cannot penetrate, or if they do, penetrate with dilatory inefficiency, among its operatives. They are not merely instinctive and passive. While the intellectual industry of other parts of this country springs elastically forward at every fresh impulse, and manual labor is propelled and redoubled by countless inventions, machines, and contrivances, instantly understood and at once exercised, the south remains stationary, inaccessible to such encouraging and invigorating aids. Nor is it possible to be wholly blind to the moral effect of this species of labor upon those freemen among whom it exists. A disrelish for humble and hardy occupation; a pride adverse to drudgery and toil; a dread that to partake in the employments allotted to color may be accompanied also by its degradation, are natural and inevitable. The high and lofty qualities which, in other scenes and for other purposes, characterize and adorn our Southern brethren, are fatal to the enduring patience, the corporal exertion, and the painstaking simplicity, by which only a successful yeomanry can be formed. When, in fact, Sir, the Senator from South Carolina asserts that “Slaves are too improvident, too incapable of that minute, constant, delicate attention, and that persevering industry which are essential to manufacturing establishments,” he himself admits the defect in Southern labor, by which the progress of his favorite section must be retarded. He admits an inability to keep pace with the rest of the world. He admits an inherent weakness; a weakness neither engendered nor aggravated by the Tariff — which, as societies are now constituted and directed, must drag in the rear, and be distanced in the common race.

South Carolina did not heed these [93] gentle admonitions. The convictions of her leading men were, doubtless, Pro-Slavery and Anti-Tariff; but their aspirations and exasperations likewise tended to confirm them in the course on which they had resolved and entered. General Jackson and Mr. Calhoun had become estranged and hostile not long after their joint election as President and Vice-President, in 1828. Mr. Calhoun's sanguine hopes of succeeding to the Presidency had been blasted. Mr. Van Buren supplanted him as Vice-President in 1832, sharing in Jackson's second and most decided triumph. And, though the Tariff of 1828 had been essentially modified during the preceding session of Congress, South Carolina proceeded, directly after throwing away her vote in the election of 1832, to call a Convention of her people, which met at her Capitol on the 19th of November. That Convention was composed of her leading politicians of the Calhoun school, with the heads of her great families, forming a respectable and dignified assemblage. The net result of its labors was an Ordinance of Nullification, drafted by a grand Committee of twenty-one, and adopted with entire unanimity. By its terms, the existing Tariff was formally pronounced “null, void, and no law, nor binding on this State, its officers, or citizens,” and the duties on imports imposed by that law were forbidden to be paid within the State of South Carolina after the 1st day of February ensuing. The Ordinance contemplated an act of the Legislature nullifying the Tariff as aforesaid; and prescribed that no appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States against the validity of said act should be permitted; no copy of the proceedings should be taken for the purpose of making such appeal; and any attempt to appeal to the Judiciary of the United States from any decision of a State court affirming and upholding this Ordinance, should be “dealt with as for a contempt of the court” thus upholding and affirming. Every office-holder of the State, and “every juror” was required expressly to swear to obey this Ordinance, and all legislative acts based thereon. Should the Federal Government undertake to enforce the law thus nullified, or in any manner to harass or obstruct the foreign commerce of the State, South Carolina should there-upon consider herself no longer a member of the Federal Union:

The people of this State will thenceforth hold themselves absolved from all further obligation to maintain or preserve their political connection with the people of the other States, and will forthwith proceed to organize a separate government, and do all other acts and things which sovereign and independent States may of right do.

Thus was Nullification17 embodied in an Ordinance preparatory to its reduction to practice. The Legislature, in which the Nullifiers were an overwhelming majority, elected Mr. Webster's luckless antagonist, Robert Y. Hayne, Governor of the State; and the Governor, in his Message, thoroughly indorsed the action of the nullifying Convention, whereof he had been a member.

I recognize, “said he,” no allegiance as paramount to that which the citizens of South Carolina owe to the State of their birth or their adoption. I here publicly declare, and wish it to be distinctly understood, that I shall hold myself bound, by the highest of all obligations, to carry into effect, not only the Ordinance of the Convention, [94] but every act of the Legislature, and every judgment of our own courts, the enforcement of which may devolve upon the executive. I claim no right to revise their acts. It will be my duty to execute them; and that duty I mean, to the utmost of my power, faithfully to perform.

He proceeded:

If the sacred soil of Carolina should be polluted by the footsteps of an invader, or be stained with the blood of her citizens, shed in her defense, I trust in Almighty God that no son of hers, native or adopted, who has been nourished at her bosom, or been cherished by her bounty, will be found raising a parricidal arm against our common mother. And even should she stand alone in this great struggle for constitutional liberty, encompassed by her enemies, that there will not be found, in the wide limits of the State, one recreant son who will not fly to the rescue, and be ready to lay down his life in her defense. South Carolina cannot be drawn down from the proud eminence on which she has now placed herself, except by the hands of her own children. Give her but a fair field, and she asks no more. Should she succeed, hers will be glory enough to have led the way in the noble work of Reform. And if, after making these efforts due to her own honor, and the greatness of the cause, she is destined utterly to fail, the bitter fruits of that failure, not to herself alone, but to the entire South, nay, to the whole Union, will attest her virtue.

The Legislature proceeded to pass the acts requisite to give practical effect to the Ordinance, and the Governor to accept the services of volunteers, who were not mustered into service, but directed to hold themselves in readiness for action at a moment's notice. Mr. Calhoun resigned the Vice-Presidency when he had three months still to serve, and was chosen to the Senate to fill the seat vacated by Mr. Hayne's acceptance of the governorship. Leaving his State foaming and surging with preparations for war, Mr. Calhoun, in December, calmly proceeded to Washington, where he took his seat in the Senate, and swore afresh to maintain the Constitution, as if unconscious of the tempest he had excited, and which was now preparing to burst upon his head.

General Jackson had already18 made provision for the threatened emergency. Ordering General Scott to proceed to Charleston for the purpose of “superintending the safety of the ports of the United States in that vicinity,” and making the requisite disposition of the slender military and naval forces at his command, the President sent confidential orders to the Collector for the port of Charleston, whereof the following extract sufficiently indicates the character and purpose:

Upon the supposition that the measures of the Convention, or the acts of the Legislature may consist, in part, at least, in declaring the laws of the United States imposing duties unconstitutional, and null and void, and in forbidding their execution, and the collection of the duties within the State of South Carolina, you will, immediately after it shall be formally announced, resort to all the means provided by the laws, and particularly by the act of the 2d of March, 1799, to counteract the measures which may be adopted to give effect to that declaration.

For this purpose, you will consider yourself authorized to employ the revenue cutters which may be within your district, and provide as many boats and employ as many inspectors as may be necessary for the execution of the law, and for the purposes of the act already referred to. You will, moreover, cause a sufficient number of officers of cutters and inspectors to be placed on board, and in charge of every vessel arriving from a foreign port or place, with goods, wares, or merchandise, as soon as practicable after her first coming within your district, and direct them to anchor her in some safe place within the harbor, where she may be secure from any act of violence, and from any unauthorized attempt to discharge her cargo before a compliance with the laws; and they will remain on board of her at such place until the reports and entries required by law shall be made, both of vessel and cargo, and the duties paid, or secured to be paid, to your satisfaction, and until the regular permit shall be granted fo<*> [95] landing the cargo; and it will be your duty, against any forcible attempt, to retain and defend the custody of the said vessel, by the aid of the officers of the customs, inspectors, and officers of the cutters, until the requisitions of the law shall be fully complied with; and, in ease of any attempt to remove her or her cargo from the custody of the officers of the customs, by the form of legal process from State tribunals, you will not yield the custody to such attempt, but will consult the law officer of the district, and employ such means as, under the particular circumstances, you may legally do, to resist such process, and prevent the removal of the vessel and cargo.

Should the entry of such vessel and cargo not be completed, and the dutie paid, or secured to be paid, by bond o<*> bonds, with sureties to your satisfaction, within the time limited by law, you will, at the expiration of that time, take possession of the cargo, and land and store the same at Castle Pinckney, or some other safe place, and, in due time, if the duties are not paid, sell the same, according to the direction of the 56th section of the act of the 2d of March, 1799; and you are authorized to provide such stores as may be necessary for that purpose.

The contrast between the spirit evinced in these instructions, and that exhibited by General Jackson's successor, on the occurrence of a similar outbreak at Charleston twenty-eight years later, is very striking.

Congress reconvened on the 3d of December; but the President's Message, delivered on the following day, made no allusion to the impending peril of civil convulsion and war. One week later, however, the country was electrified by the appearance of the famous Proclamation, wherein the President's stern resolve to crush Nullification as Treason was fully manifested. And, though this document received its final fashion and polish from the pen of the able and eminent Edward Livingston, who then worthily filled the post of Secretary of State, it is abundantly established19 that the original draft was the President's own, and that he insisted throughout on expressing and enforcing his own sentiments and convictions. The language may in part be Livingston's; the positions and the principles are wholly Jackson's; and their condemnation of the Calhoun or South Carolina theory of the nature, genius, and limitations of our Federal pact, are as decided and sweeping as any ever propounded by Hamilton, by Marshall, or by Webster himself.

After reciting the purport and effect of the South Carolina Ordinance, General Jackson proceeds:

The Ordinance is founded, not on the indefeasible right of resisting acts which are plainly unconstitutional and too oppressive to be endured; but on the strange position that any one State may not only declare an act of Congress void, but prohibit its execution; that they may do this consistently with the Constitution; that the true construction of that instrument permits a State to retain its place in the Union, and yet be bound by no other of its laws than those it may choose to consider as constitutional! It is true, they add that, to justify this abrogation of a law, it must be palpably contrary to the Constitution; but it is evident that, to give the right of resisting laws of that description, coupled with the uncontrolled right to decide what laws deserve that character, is to give the power of resisting all laws. For, as, by this theory, there is no appeal, the reasons alleged by the State, good or bad, must prevail. If it should be said that public opinion is a sufficient check against the abuse of this power, it may be asked why it is not deemed a sufficient guard against the passage of an unconstitutional act by Congress. There is, however, a restraint in this last case, which makes the assumed power of a State more indefensible, and which does not exist in the other. There are two appeals from an unconstitutional act passed by Congress--one to the Judiciary, the other to the people and the States. There is no appeal from the State decision in theory, and the practical illustration shows that the courts are closed against an application to review it, both judges and jurors being sworn to decide in its favor. But reasoning on this subject is [96] superfluous when our social compact in express terms declares that the laws of the United States, its Constitution, and the treaties made under it, are the supreme law of the land; and, for greater caution, adds, “that the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” And it may be asserted, without fear of refutation, that no federative government could exist without a similar provision. Look, for a moment, to the consequences. If South Carolina considers the revenue laws unconstitutional, and has a right to prevent their execution in the port of Charleston, there would be a clear constitutional objection to their collection in every other port, and no revenue could be collected anywhere; for all imposts must be equal. It is no answer to repeat, that an unconstitutional law is no law, so long as the question of legality is to be decided by the State itself; for every law, operating injuriously upon any local interest, will be perhaps thought, and certainly represented as, unconstitutional; and, as has been shown, there is no appeal.

If this doctrine had been established at an earlier day, the Union would have been dissolved in its infancy. The Excise law in Pennsylvania, the Embargo and Non-Intercourse law in the Eastern States, the carriage-tax in Virginia, were all deemed unconstitutional, and were more unequal in their operation than any of the laws now complained of; but, fortunately, none of those States discovered that they had the right now claimed by South Carolina. The war into which we were forced, to support the dignity of the nation and the rights of our citizens, might have ended in defeat and disgrace, instead of victory and honor, if the States who supposed it a ruinous and unconstitutional measure had thought they possessed the right of nullifying the act by which it was declared, and denying supplies for its prosecution. Hardly and unequally as those measures bore upon several members of the Union, to the Legislatures of none did this efficient and peaceable remedy, as it is called, suggest itself. The discovery of this important feature in our Constitution was reserved for the present day. To the statesmen of South Carolina belongs the invention, and upon the citizens of that State will unfortunately fall the evils of reducing it to practice.

General Jackson summed up his objections to Nullification in these unambiguous terms:

I consider, then, the power to annul a law of the United States, assumed by one State, incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted expressly by the letter of the Constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which it was founded, and destructive of the great object for which it was formed.

A little farther on, he proclaimed his concurrence in the “National,” as contradistinguished from the “State rights,” theory of our Federation, in these words:

The Constitution of the United States, then, forms a Government, not a league; and, whether it be formed by compact between the States, or in any other manner, its character is the same. It is a government in which all the people are represented, which acts directly on the people individually, not upon the States--they retained all the power they did not grant. But each State, having expressly parted with so many powers, as to constitute, jointly with the other States, a single nation, cannot, from that period, possess any right to secede; because such secession does not break a league, but destroys the unity of a nation, and any injury to that unity is not only a breach which would result from the contravention of a compact, but it is an offense against the whole Union. To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union, is to say that the United States are not a nation, because it would be a solecism to contend that any part of a nation might dissolve its connection with the other parts, to their injury or ruin, without committing any offense. Secession, like any other revolutionary act, may be morally justified by the extremity of oppression; but to call it a constitutional right, is confounding the meaning of terms, and can only be done through gross error, or to deceive those who are willing to assert a right, but would pause before they make a revolution, or incur the penalties consequent on a failure.

The dogma of State Sovereignty, as contravening or limiting the proper Nationality of the Republic, is thus squarely confronted:

The States severally have not retained their entire sovereignty. It has been shown that, in becoming parts of a nation, not members of a league, they surrendered many of their essential parts of sovereignty. The right to make treaties, declare war, levy taxes, exercise exclusive judicial and legislalative powers, were all of them functions [97] of sovereign power. The States, then, for all these important purposes, were no longer sovereign. The allegiance of their citizens was transferred, in the first instance, to the Government of the United States; they became American citizens, and owed obedience to the Constitution of the United States, and to laws made in conformity with the powers it vested in Congress. This last position has not been, and cannot be, denied. How, then. can that State be said to be sovereign and independent, whose citizens owe obedience to laws not made by it, and whose magistrates are sworn to disregard those laws, when they come in conflict with those passed by another? What shows, conclusively, that the States cannot be said to have reserved an undivided sovereignty, is, that they expressly ceded the right to punish treason — not treason against their separate power, but treason against the United States. Treason is an offense against sovereignty, and sovereignty must reside with the power to punish it.

Mr. Jefferson Davis, in one of his earlier manifestoes from Richmond, saw fit to speak of the severance of our Union as “the dissolution of a league.” General Jackson anticipated and refuted this assumption as follows:

How is it that the most perfect of those several modes of Union should now be considered as a mere league, that may be dissolved at pleasure? It is from an abuse of terms. Compact is used as synonymous with league, although the true term is not employed, because it would at once show the fallacy of the reasoning. It would not do to say that our Constitution was only a league, but it is labored to prove it a compact (which, in one sense, it is), and then to argue that, as a league is a compact, every compact between nations must, of course, be a league, and that, from such an engagement, every sovereign power has a right to recede. But it has been shown that, in this sense, the States are not sovereign, and that, even if they were, and the national constitutution had been formed by compact, there would be no right in any one State to exonerate itself from its obligations.

So obvious are the reasons which forbid this secession, that it is necessary only to allude to them. The Union was formed for the benefit of all. It was produced by mutual sacrifices of interests and opinions. Can those sacrifices be recalled? Can the States who magnanimously surrendered their title to the territories of the West, recall the grant? Will the inhabitants of the inland States agree to pay the duties that may be imposed without their assent by those on the Atlantic or the Gulf; for their own benefit? Shall there be a free port in one State and onerous duties in another? No one believes that any right exists in a single State to involve all the others in these and countless other evils, contrary to engagements solemnly made. Every one must see that the other States, in self-defense, must oppose it at all hazards.

Having thus frankly and vigorously set forth the fundamental principles of our political system, though at much greater length, and with a variety and fullness of illustration, General Jackson proceeds to proclaim

That the duty imposed on me by the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed” shall be performed to the extent of the powers already vested in me by law, or of such others as the wisdom of Congress shall devise and intrust to me for that purpose; and to warn the citizens of South Carolina, who have been deluded into an opposition to the laws, of the danger they will incur by obedience to the illegal and disorganizing Ordinance of the Convention.

And lie closes a most pathetic and eloquent appeal to the people of South Carolina in these memorable and stirring words:

Contemplate the condition of that country of which you still form an important part!--consider its Government, uniting in one bond of common interest and general protection so many different States-giving to all their inhabitants the proud title of American citizens — protecting their commerce — securing their literature and their arts — facilitating their intercommunication — defending their frontiers — and making their names respected in the remotest parts of the earth! Consider the extent of its territory, its increasing and happy population, its advance in the arts, which render life agreeable, and the sciences which elevate the mind! See education spreading the lights of religion, humanity, and general information, into every cottage in this wide extent of our territories and States! Behold it as the asylum where the wretched and the oppressed find a refuge and support Look on this picture of happiness and honor, [98] and say, we, too, are citizens of America. Carolina is one of these proud States; her arms have defended, her best blood has cemented, this happy Union! And then add, if you can, without horror and remorse, “This happy Union we will dissolve — this picture of peace and prosperity we will deface — this free intercourse we will interrupt — these fertile fields we will deluge with blood — the protection of that glorious flag we renounce — the very name of Americans we discard.” And for what, mistaken men! for what do you throw away these inestimable blessings — for what would you exchange your share in the advantages and honor of the Union? For the dream of a separate independence — a dream interrupted by bloody conflicts with your neighbors, and a vile dependence on foreign power! If your leaders could succeed in establishing a separation, what would be your situation? Are you united at home? Are you free from the apprehension of civil discord, with all its fearful consequences? Do our neighboring republics, every day suffering some new revolution or contending with some new insurrection, do they excite your envy?

But the dictates of a high duty oblige me solemuly to announce that you cannot succeed. The laws of the United States must be executed. I have no discretionary power on the subject — my duty is emphatically pronounced in the Constitution. Those who told you that you might peaceably prevent their execution, deceived you — they could not have been deceived themselves. They know that a forcible opposition could alone prevent the execution of the laws, and they know that such opposition must be repelled. Their object is disunion: be not deceived by names. Disunion, by armed force, is treason. Are you really ready to incur its guilt? If you are, on the heads of the instigators of the act be the dreadful consequences — on their heads be the dishonor; but on your may fall the punishment — on your unhappy State will inevitably fall all the evils of the conflict you force upon the Government of your country. It cannot accede to the mad project of disunion, of which you would be the first victims — its first magistrate cannot, if he would, avoid the performance of his duty — the consequence must be fearful for you, distressing to your fellow-citizens here, and the friends of good government throughout the world. Its enemies have beheld our prosperity with a vexation they could not conceal — it was a standing refutation of their slavish doctrines, and they would point to our discords with the triumph of malignant joy. It is yet in your power to disappoint them. There is yet time to show that the descendants of the Pinckneys, the Sumpters, the Rutledges, and of the thousand other names which adorn the pages of your Revolutionary history, will not abandon that Union, to support which so many of them fought, and bled, and died. I adjure you, as you honor their memory, as you love the canse of freedom to which they dedicated their lives — as you prize the peace of your country, the lives of its best citizens, and your own fair fame, to retrace your steps. Snatch from the archives of your State the disorganizing edict of its Convention — bid its members to reassemble and promulgate the decided expression of your will to remain in the path which alone can conduct you to safety, prosperity, and honor — tell them that, compared to disunion, all other evils are light, because that brings with it an accumulation of all — declare that you will never take the field unless the star-spangled banner of your country shall float over you — that you will not be stigmatized when head, and dishonored and scorned while you live, as the authors of the first attack on the Constitution of your country! Its destroyers you cannot be. You may disturb its peace — you may interrupt the course of its prosperity — you may cloud its reputation for stability — but its tranquility will be restored, its prosperity will return, and the stain upon its national character will be transferred, and remain an eternal blot on the memory of those who caused the disorder.

Turning from the deluded minority to the loyal and Union-loving majority of the American people, the President concludes his Proclamation as follows:

Fellow-citizens of the United States! The threat of unhallowed disunion, the names of those (once respected) by whom it was uttered, the array of military force to support it, denote the approach of a crisis in our affairs, on which the continuance of our unexampled prosperity, our political existence, and perhaps that of all free governments, may depend. The conjuncture demanded a full, a free, and explicit annunciation, not only of my intentions, but of my principles of action; and, as the claim was asserted of a right by a State to annul the laws of the Union, and even to secede from it, at pleasure, a frank exposition of my opinions in relation to the origin and form of our Government, and the construction I give to the instrument by which it was created, seemed to be proper. Having the fullest confidence in the justness of the legal and constitutional opinion of my duties, which has been expressed, [99] I rely with equal confidence on your undivided support in my determination to execute the laws — to preserve the Union by all constitutional means — to arrest, if possible, by moderate, but firm measures, the necessity of a recourse to force. And if it be the will of Heaven that the recurrence of its primeval curse on man for the shedding of a brother's blood should fall upon our land, that it be not called down by any offensive act of the United States.

Fellow-citizens! the momentous case is before you. On your undivided support of your Government depends the decision of the great question it involves, whether your sacred Union will be preserved, and tile blessing it secures to us as one people shall be perpetuated. No one can doubt that the unanimity with which that decision will be expressed will be such as to inspire new confidence in republican institutions, and that the prudence, the wisdom, and the courage which it will bring to their defense, will transmit them unimpaired and invigorated to our children.

May the great Ruler of nations grant, that the signal blessings with which He has favored ours may not, by the madness of party, or personal ambition, be disregarded and lost: and may His wise providence bring those who have produced this crisis to see the folly, before they feel the misery, of civil strife; and inspire a returning veneration for that Union, which, if we may dare to penetrate His designs, He Has chosen as the only means of attaining the high destinies to which we may reasonably aspire.

General Jackson's Special Message against Nullification20 is equally decided and thorough in its hostility to the Calhoun heresy, under all its aspects, and dissects the Ordinance of Nullification, and the legislative acts based thereon, with signal ability and cogency. A single extract, bearing directly upon the alleged right of Secession, will here be given:

The right of the people of a single State to absolve themselves at will, and without the consent of the other States, from their most solemn obligations, and hazard the liberties and happiness of the millions composing this Union, cannot be acknowledged. Such authority is believed to be utterly repugnant both to the principles upon which the General Government is constituted, and to the objects which it was expressly formed to attain.

Against all acts which may be alleged to transcend the constitutional power of Government, or which may be inconvenient or oppressive in their operation, the Constitution itself has prescribed the modes of redress. It is the attribute of free institutions that, under them, the empire of reason and law is substituted for the power of the sword. To no other source can appeals for supposed wrongs be made, consistently with the obligations of South Carolina ; to no other can such appeals be made with safety at any time; and to their decisions, when constitutionally pronounced, it becomes the duty, no less of the public authorities than of the people, in every case to yield a patriotic submission.

That a State, or any other great portion of the people, suffering under long and intolerable oppressions, and having tried all constitutional remedies without the hope of redress, may have a natural right, when their happiness can be no otherwise secured, and when they can do so without greater injury to others, to absolve themselves from their obligations to the Government, and appeal to the last resort, need not, on the present occasion, be denied.

The existence of this right, however, must depend on the causes which justify its exercise. It is the ultima ratio, which presupposes that the proper appeals to all other means of redress have been made in good faith, and which can never be rightfully resorted to unless it be unavoidable. It is not the right of the State, but of the individual, and of all the individuals in the State. It is the right of mankind generally to secure, by all means in their power, the blessings of liberty and happiness; but when for these purposes any body of men have voluntarily associated themselves under any particular form of government, no portion of them can dissolve the association without acknowledging the correlative right in the remainder to decide whether that dissolution can be permitted consistently with the general happiness. In this view, it is a right dependent upon the power to enforce it. Such a right, though it may be admitted to preexist, and cannot be wholly surrendered, is necessarily subjected to limitations in all free governments, and in compacts of all kinds, freely and voluntarily entered into, and in which the interest and welfare of the individual become identified with those of the community of which he is a member. In compacts between individuals, however deeply they may affect their relations, these principles are acknowledged to create a [100] sacred obligation; and in compacts of civil government, involving the liberty and happiness of millions of mankind, the obligation cannot be less.

The unanimity and enthusiasm, with which the people of the Free States responded to these downright manifestations of a purpose to preserve at all hazards the integrity of the Union, are still freshly remembered. Those States had just been convulsed by a Presidential contest, wherein their people were about equally divided into zealous advocates and equally zealous opponents of General jackson's re-election. Though his triumph had been overwhelming, so far as the choice of Electors was concerned, the popular majorities, whereby those electors were chosen, were very meager in several of the States, including New York, Ohio, and New Jersey; while the majorities against him in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Kentucky, were heavy. But the States which had opposed his re-election, the citizens who had deprecated it as confirming and renewing a lease of virtually absolute power in hands too prone to stretch Authority and Prerogative to the utmost, now vied with their late antagonists in pledging devotion and support to the elected chief of the Republic in his efforts to preserve its unity and vitality. Great public meetings were held in the principal cities to give formal and influential expression to the sentiment; the Press, all but unanimously, echoed and stimulated the popular plaudits; and General Jackson was never before nor afterward so strong throughout the Free States, as during the few months which followed a most vigorous and determined struggle to defeat his re-election.

At the South, the case was somewhat different, though in every State--South Carolina, of course, excepted — the President's course was approved by a decided majority. The great mass of the voting population of nearly all these States had just given General Jackson their suffrages for the second or third time — they had long enough been told that he was a despot, an usurper, a tyrant, etc., without believing it; and they were little inclined to repudiate in a moment the convictions and the associations of a lifetime. In Virginia alone was there any official exhibition of sympathy with South Carolina in her self-invoked peril; and she sent a commissioner21 to that State rather to indicate her fraternal regard than to proffer any substantial assistance.

There was some windy talk of opposing by force the passage of a Federal army southward through the Old Dominion on an errand of “subjugation;” and her Governor,22 in his annual Message, said something implying such a purpose. Ex-Governor Troup, of Georgia, and a few other doctrinaires of the extreme State Rights school, muttered some words of sympathy with the Nullifiers, about to be crushed under the iron heel of Federal power — some vague protest against Consolidation; but that was all. Had it become necessary to call for volunteers to assert and maintain the National authority on the soil of the perverse State, they would doubtless have offered themselves by thousands from nearly or quite [101] every Southern as well as Northern State.

But it did not become necessary. Congress in due time took up the Tariff, with a view to its revision and reduction. The Jacksonian ascendency was decided in every department of the Government. Andrew Stevenson (anti-Tariff), of Virginia, was Speaker of the House, Gulian C. Verplanck (anti-Tariff) was Chairman of its Committee of Ways and Means, whence a bill containing sweeping reductions and equalizations of duties was, at an early period of the session, reported; and, though no conclusive action was had on this measure, the mere fact of its introduction was seized upon by the Nullifiers as an excuse for recoiling from the perilous position they had so recklessly assumed. A few days before the 1st of February, the Nullifying chiefs met at Charleston, and gravely resolved that, inasmuch as measures were then pending in Congress which contemplated such reductions of duties on imports as South Carolina demanded, the execution of the Nullifying Ordinance, and of course of all legislative acts subsidiary thereto, should be postponed till after the adjournment of that body!

But Mr. Verplanck's bill23 made such slow progress that its passage, even at the last moment, seemed exceedingly doubtful. Mr. Webster forcibly urged that no concession should be made to South Carolina until she should have abandoned her treasonable attitude. The manufacturers beset the Capitol in crowds, remonstrating against legislation under duress, in defiance of the public interest and the convictions of a majority of the members, which would whelm them in one common ruin. Finally24, Mr. Clay was induced to submit his Compromise Tariff, whereby one-tenth of the excess over twenty per cent. of each and every existing impost was to be taken off at the close of that year; another tenth two years thereafter; so proceeding until the 31st of June, 1842, when all duties should be reduced to a maximum of twenty per cent. This Compromise Tariff, being accepted and supported by Mr. Calhoun and the Nullifiers, was offered in the House, as a substitute for Mr. Verplanck's bill, by Mr. Letcher, of Kentucky (Mr. Clay's immediate representative and devoted friend), on the 25th of February; adopted and passed at once by a vote of 119 to 85; agreed to by the Senate; and became a law in the last hours of the session: General Jackson, though he openly condemned it as an unwise and untimely concession to rampant treason, not choosing to take the responsibility of vetoing, nor even of pocketing it, as he clearly might have done. South Carolina thereupon abandoned her Ordinance and attitude of Nullification; and the storm that lowered so black and imminent suddenly gave place to a sunny and smiling calm.

But General Jackson was deeply dissatisfied, and with reason. He saw in this easy accommodation the seeds of future perils and calamities. He insisted that Calhoun was a traitor; and to the end of his days regretted that he had not promptly arrested and tried him as such. He denied that dissatisfaction with the Protective policy was the real incitement [102] to the ambitious and restless Carolinian's attempt at practical Nullification. “The Tariff,” he wrote in 1834, to an intimate friend in Georgia, “was but a pretext. The next will be the Slavery or Negro question.”

But while Nullification was thus sternly crushed out in South Carolina, it was simultaneously allowed a complete triumph in the adjoining State of Georgia. The circumstances were briefly as follows:

The once powerful and warlike Aboriginal tribes known to us as “Cherokees” and “Creeks,” originally possessed respectively large territories, which are now included within the States of North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama. With those tribes, treaties were from time to time made by our Government, whereof each had for its main object the transfer, for a specified consideration, of lands by the Indians to the United States. One of the conditions on which we sought and obtained those lands was thus succinctly expressed in the treaty with the Cherokees negotiated on the bank of the Holston, in 1791, under the Presidency of Washington:

article 7. The United States solemnly guaranty to the Cherokee Nation all their lands not hereby ceded.

The stipulations of this treaty were recognized, and their validity confirmed by the treaty of 1794, negotiated by Henry Knox, Secretary of War, “being authorized thereto by the President of the United States.” A further treaty, negotiated in 1798, under John Adams, recognized and ratified afresh all the obligations incurred, the guaranties given, by former treaties. Such stipulations continued to be made, at least down to 1817, when one was negotiated on our part by Andrew Jackson and others, again renewing and confirming to the Cherokees all former stipulations and guaranties.

Still more: when, in 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was negotiated, whereby the war of 1812 with Great Britain was terminated, the British commissioners long and fairly insisted on including her Aboriginal allies in that war in the provisions and stipulations of the treaty, especially that which exacted a mutual restoration of all territories or places taken by one party from the other during the preceding contest. Our commissioners naturally demurred to this, preferring to insert an article which set forth the humane and benevolent principles whereby (as it alleged) our Government regulates its conduct toward the Indian tribes within our borders.25 And Mr. Clay, one of the negotiators of that treaty, declared, in his speech on the Cherokee Grievances in 1835, that the British commissioners would never have been satisfied with this, if they had understood that those tribes [103] held their rights and possessions guaranteed to them by Federal treaties subject to the good — will and pleasure of the several States, or any of them.

In 1802, Georgia ceded, on certain conditions, her western territory, now composing the States of Alabama and Mississippi, to the Union. Among these conditions, our Government undertook to extinguish the Indian title to all lands within the boundaries of the State as thereby constituted, so soon as this could be effected “peaceably and on reasonable terms.” 26 And this object was urgently, perseveringly, and not always honorably, pursued. In February, 1825, just as Mr. Monroe's Administration was passing away, certain commissioners, selected by Mr. Calhoun, then Secretary of War, attempted to obtain from the Creeks, at a council held at Indian Springs, a cession of their lands; but were baffled by the stern resolve of chiefs and people — the tribe having previously prescribed the penalty of death for any one who should make such sale. Thus defeated, the commissioners resorted to a too common practice: they bribed an inconsiderable minority of the Creeks, including one or two alleged chiefs, to give their formal assent to such an instrument as they desired. This sham treaty was hurried to Washington, and forced through the expiring Senate on the last day of the session, before its true character could be generally known. The Creeks, upon learning that such a pretended treaty had been made, held a general council, wherein it was formally disavowed and denounced, and a party was at once dispatched to the home of McIntosh, a chief who had signed the fraud, to execute the sentence of the law upon him. McIntosh and another principal signer were shot dead on sight, and due notice given that the pretended treaty was utterly repudiated.

Governor Troup, of Georgia, of course assumed the validity of the instrument, and prepared to take forcible possession of the Creek lands. The Creeks appealed to the Government, demanding the enforcement of the treaties whereby they were guaranteed protection in the peaceable enjoyment of their clearly defined territorial possessions. Mr. Adams, who had now succeeded to the Presidency, looked fully into the matter, saw that their claim was just, and assured them that they should be defended. Governor Troup threatened to employ force; Mr. Adams did employ it. He ordered General Gaines, with a body of regulars, to the scene of apprehended conflict, and gave Georgia fair notice that she must behave herself. The Governor talked loudly, but did not see fit to proceed from words to blows. The Indian Springs fraud proved abortive; but Georgia and her backers scored up a heavy account against [104] Mr. Adams, to be held good against him not only, but all future “ Yankee” and “ Puritan” aspirants to the Presidency.

General Jackson was chosen President in 1828, receiving more than two-thirds of the Electoral votes, including those of all the Slave States but Delaware and a part of Maryland. In Georgia, there were two Jackson Electoral tickets run, but none for Adams. And the first Annual Message of the new President gave the Indians due notice that Georgia had not so voted from blind impulse — that their dearest rights, their most cherished possessions, were among her “spoils of victory.” In this Message, the solemn obligations which our Government had volunteered to assume, in treaty after treaty with the Creeks and Cherokees, were utterly ignored, and the rights and possessions of the Indians dealt with precisely as if no such treaties had ever existed! Georgia had herself, through her citizens, participated in negotiating, and, through her Senators, united in ratifying those treaties; yet not only was she held at liberty to disobey and trample on them, but the United States was regarded as equally absolved, by the convenient fiction of State Sovereignty, from all liability to maintain and enforce them! No one could deny that we had solemnly engaged, by repeated treaties, to protect the Indians in the undisturbed use and enjoyment forever of the lands which we had admitted to be, and marked out as, theirs. No one could deny that we had obtained large cessions of valuable lands by these treaties. No one doubted that Georgia had urged us to make these treaties, and had eagerly appropriated the lands thus obtained by the Union, and passed directly over to her: but then, Georgia was a sovereign State, and entitled to do as she liked with all the lands within her borders, and all the people living thereon, no matter if in flagrant violation of the laws and treaties of the United States! And the new President did not scruple to assert and reiterate the untruth that the Creeks and Cherokees respectively were attempting to “erect an independent government within the limits of Georgia and Alabama,” ringing all possible changes on the falsehood, and gravely quoting from the Constitution that “No new State shall be formed or erected within the limits of any other State,” as precluding the maintenance by the Creeks and Cherokees of their governments in territories which they had possessed and governed long before Georgia had been colonized, or the name Alabama invented.

This deliberate and flagrant perversion of the question to be decided was persisted in through several pages of the Message. Says the President:

Actuated by this view of the subject, I informed the Indians inhabiting parts of Georgia and Alabama that their attempt to establish an independent government would not be countenanced by the Executive of the United States, and advised them to emigrate beyond the Mississippi, or submit to the laws of those States.

What the Indians demanded was simply that the portion of their immemorial possessions which they had reserved for their own use and enjoyment in making liberal cessions to our Government, should still be left to them — that they should be protected [105] in such enjoyment, by the United States, as we had solemnly stipulated by treaty that they should be, taking our pay for it in advance. But General Jackson, in urging them to migrate beyond the Mississippi, did not hesitate to speak of their rights and their immunities as follows:

This emigration should be voluntary; for it would be as cruel as unjust to compel the Aborigines to abandon the graves of their fathers, and seek a home in a distant land. But they should be distinctly informed that, if they remain within the limits of the States, they must be subject to their laws. In return for their obedience, as individuals, they will, without a doubt, be protected in the enjoyment of those possessions which they have improved by their industry. But it seems to me visionary to suppose that, in this state of things, claims can be allowed on tracts of country on which they have neither dwelt nor made improvements, merely because they have seen them from the mountain, or passed them in the chase. Submitting to the laws of the States, and receiving, like other citizens, protection in their persons and property, they will ere long become merged in the mass of our population.

How “voluntary” their emigration was to be, and what sort of “protection in their persons and property” they were likely to receive in case they refused to “abandon the graves of their fathers, and seek a home in a distant land,” let the laws which Georgia proceeded to enact bear witness. Grown weary of awaiting the operation of the methods whereby she had already secured, at no cost to herself, the gradual acquisition of the greater part of the Indian lands within her borders when she acceded to the Union, that State passed acts abolishing the government of the Cherokees, and reducing them at a word to the condition of unprotected vassals. Their lands were thereupon divided into counties, surveyed, and ordered to be distributed by lottery among the white citizens of the State, of whom each was to have a ticket. A reservation of one hundred and sixty acres to each head of a Cherokee family was made; but this reservation conferred or recognized only a right of possession during the good pleasure of the State Legislature. The Indians, whose government was thus abolished, were allowed no voice in that to which they were arbitrarily subjected; they could not even give testimony in a Georgia court, though denied a resort to any other. The fortunate drawer of Cherokee lands in the Georgia State lottery was entitled to call upon the Governor to put him in summary possession, expelling any adverse [Indian] claimant. If there were two or more antagonist white claimants, their respective claims were to be deliberately adjudicated by the courts, according to the dictates of ordinary jurisprudence. If any one sought to legally hold or recover lands against a claimant under this rule, lie must make express affidavit that he

was not liable to be dispossessed of said land by or under any one of the provisions of the said act of the General Assembly of Georgia, passed December 20, 1833: * * * in which issue the person to whom possession of said land was delivered shall join: a and which issue shall constitute the entire pleadings between the parties; nor shall the court allow any matter other than is contained in said issue to be placed upon the regular files of said court; * * * nor shall said court, at the instance of either party, pass any order, or grant any injunction, to stay said cause, nor permit to be ingrafted on said cause any other proceedings whatever.

It can hardly be necessary to say that the sole, unconcealed object of this legislation was to deprive the Cherokees of the protection of the courts of the United States, or any adjudication therein touching their rights, by precluding any appeal to [106] said courts for the sake of testing the validity of these acts of the Legislature of Georgia.

That State had already decisively indicated that, if unable to make or control such adjudication, she was abundantly ready to defy it.

A Cherokee named Tassells was arrested on a Georgia warrant for killing another Indian within the Cherokee territory. His counsel obtained a writ of error from a United States court, requiring Georgia to show cause why he should not be discharged and his case remitted to the Cherokee authorities, according to existing treaties. Georgia defied the writ and hung the Indian. And this finished the case.

Some time thereafter, two missionaries of the American Board among the Cherokees were arrested on a Georgia process, tried for, and convicted of, inciting the Indians to resist the policy of the State of Georgia designed to effect the expulsion of the Indians from her soil. They were of course sentenced to the State Prison. They appealed by writ of error to the courts of the United States, and the final adjudication thereon was had before the Supreme Court at Washington, the decision being pronounced by Chief Justice Marshall. It was entirely in favor of the missionaries and against the pretensions of Georgia, holding that the treaties between the United States and the Cherokees were valid and binding on all the States, and paramount to all State laws, according to that provision of the Federal Constitution which prescribes:

Article VI:, § 2. This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

The attorneys for the missionaries sought to have this judgment enforced, but could not. General Jackson was President, and would do nothing of the sort. “Well: John Marshall has made his decision: now let him enforce it!” 27 was his commentary on the matter. So the missionaries languished years in prison, and the Cherokees were finally (1838) driven into exile, in defiance of the mandate of our highest judicial tribunal.28 Georgia was permitted to violate the faith of solemn treaties and defy the adjudications of our highest court. South Carolina was put down in a similar attempt: for the will of Andrew Jackson, not the Constitution, was in those years “the supreme law of the land.” 29


1. No State shall enter into any treaty, or confederation; grant letters of marque or reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, expost-facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts; or grant any title of nobility.

2. No State shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all duties and imposts laid by any State on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress. No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty on tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another State or with a foreign power, or engage in war unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay. --The Constitution, Art. I., sec. 10.

2 In the Virginia Convention (Wednesday, June 4, 1788, and the day following) Mr. Henry spoke as follows:

That this is a consolidated government is demonstrably clear; and the danger of such a government is, to my mind, very striking. I have the highest veneration for those gentlemen [who formed the Constitution]; but, Sir, give me leave to demand, What right had they to say, We, the people? My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask, Who authorized them to say, We, the people, instead of We, the States? States are the characteristics and the soul of a confederation. If the States be not the agents of this compact, it must be one great, consolidated. national government, of the people of all the States. * * * I need not take much pains to show that the principles of this system are extremely pernicious, impolitic, and dangerous. --Elliot's Debates, vol. III., pp. 22, 44.

3 In the address of the Federal Convention to the people, signed by Washington as its President, September 17, 1787.

4 “Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your National capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.” --Washington's Farewell Address.

5 In the Federal Convention of 1787 (Debate of Monday, June 18th):

Mr. Hamilton, of New York, said: “The General power, whatever be its form, if it preserves itself, must swallow up the State Governments. Otherwise, it would be swallowed up by them. It is against all the principles of good government to vest the requisite powers in such a body as Congress. Two sovereignties cannot exist within the same limits.”

Mr. Wilson. of Pennsylvania (June 20th), “was tenacious of the idea of preserving the State Governments.” But in the next day's debate: “Taking the matter in the more general view, lie saw no danger to the States from the General Government. On the contrary, he conceived that, in spite of every precaution, the General (Government would be in perpetual danger of encroachments from the State Governments.” And

Mr. Madison, of Virginia, “was of the opinion, in the first place, that there was less danger of encroachment from the General Government than from the State Governments; and, in the second place, that the mischiefs from the encroachments would be less fatal, if made by the former, than if made by the latter.” --Madison's Papers, vol. II., pp. 884, 903, 921.

6 Signed November 19. 1794; ratified by Washington, August 14, 1795.

7 Eighth Kentucky Resolve.

8 Seventh Kentucky Resolve.

9 Letter to Senator Breckinridge, August 12, 1803.

10 September 7, 1803.

11 For proceedings of this Convention, see Niles's Register, January 14, 1815.

12 The following extract is a fair specimen of the prevailing sentiment, at the time of the assembling of the “Hartford Convention,” of the South--including south Carolina--on the subject of Secession:

No man, no association of men, no State or set of States, has a right to withdraw itself from this Union, of its own account. The same power that knit us together can unknit. The same formality which formed the links of the Union is necessary to dissolve it. The majority of the States which formed the Union must consent to the withdrawal of any branch of it. Until that consent has been obtained, any attempt to dissolve the Union, or distract the efficacy of its laws, is treason--treason to all intents and purposes. --Richmond Enquirer, November 1, 1814.

13 Debate on Foot's resolutions, January 26, 1830.

14 The Virginia Resolves of 1799.

15 “Fellow-citizens of my native State!” --appealing to South Carolinians in his Proclamation against the Nullifiers, Dec. 11, 1832. He can hardly have been mistaken on this head.

16 Speech in the Senate, February 27, 1832.

17 November 24, 1832.

18 November 6th.

19 See Parton's Life of Jackson, pp. 455-6.

20 January 16, 1833.

21 Benjamin Watkins Leigh.

22 John Floyd, father of the late John B. Floyd, Mr. Buchanan's Secretary of War.

23 Reported December 28th.

24 February 12, 1833.

25 The following is that portion of the Treaty of Ghent relating to the Indians:

Article the Ninth. The United States of America engage to put an end, immediately after the ratification of the present treaty, to hostilities with all the tribes or nations of Indians with whom they may be at war at the time of such ratification; and forthwith to restore to such tribes or nations, respectively, all the possessions, rights, and privileges, which they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in one thousand eight hundred and eleven, previous to such hostilities. Provided always, That such tribes or nations shall agree to desist from all hostilities against the United States of America, their citizens and subjects, upon the ratification of the present treaty being notified to such tribes or nations, and shall so desist accordingly.

26 The following is the entire article:

Fourthly, That the United States shall, at their own expense, extinguish, for the use of Georgia, as early as the same can be peaceably obtained, on reasonable terms, the Indian title to the country of Talassee, to the lands left out by the line drawn with the Creeks, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight, which had been previously granted by the State of Georgia, both which tracts had formally been yielded by the Indians; and to the lands within the forks of the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers; for which several objects, the President of the United States has directed that a treaty should be immediately held with the Creeks; and that the United States shall, in the same manner, also extinguish the Indian title to all other lands within the State of Georgia. --American State Papers, vol. XVI, p. 114.

27 I am indebted for this fact to the late Governor George N. Briggs, of Massachusetts, who was in Washington as a member of Congress when the decision was rendered.

28 President Jackson, in his first Annual Message, already referred to, had said:

A portion of the Southern tribes, having mingled much with the whites, and made some progress in the arts of civilized life, have lately attempted to erect an independent government within the limits of the States of Georgia and Alabama.

And Colonel Benton, in his “Thirty years view,” says (vol. i., p. 164), General Jackson “refused to sustain those Southern tribes in their attempt to set up an independent government within the State of Alabama and Georgia.”

Both these gentlemen well knew--Colonel Benton could not but know — that the Cherokees only claimed or sought the rights which they had possessed and enjoyed from time immemorial, which were solemnly guaranteed to them by treaty after treaty, whereof the subsisting validity and pertinence were clearly affirmed by the tribunal of ultimate resort.

29 The late Jeremiah Evarts, long the efficient and honored Secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, who devoted the best of his life to the cause of the Cherokees, has summed up, in a letter to a sympathizing friend, his convictions as to the ultimate cause of the perfidy and oppression of which they were the victims:

Without that disregard of human rights which is to be found among slaveholders only, nothing could have been done against the Indians; and without the base surrender of all personal dignity and independence to the capricious mandate of party discipline, the slaveholders would not have received aid enough to carry their point. --Life of Jeremiah Evarts, Boston, 1845, p. 367.

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