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Mr. Petigru rose and addressed the meeting in an eloquent, patriotic and fearless speech, and was frequently interrupted by the cheering enthusiasm of the company. The following is the speech:

Fellow-Citizens, -I receive with deep sensibility this expression of your approbation, perfectly conscious that the sentiment is due not to any merit of mine, but to the cause in which I am devoutly engaged with so many better and abler men. In defence of the Union, Constitution and Liberties of the country, my fellow-citizens may indeed count upon me to the full measure of all the aid that I can bring. I will be excused for saying a few words on the subjects connected with our party. To love our country in the most extended acceptation of the word, and to honor her free institutions, was till very lately the character of every one aspiring to the praise of a good citizen. Those institutions are now the subjects of reproach and obloquy to that degree that we are from certain quarters daily urged as a matter of duty to resist the laws of the Union.

And why should we resist? Because, it is said, that the tariff of protecting duties is unconstitutional and ruinous to the South. These are grave charges; but we ought to be clear in our own minds that we proceed on sure grounds before we take a step by which we put at stake our honor and the peace and happiness of our country. That the tariff of protecting duties ought never to have been passed-that it is contrary to the spirit of amity and mutual concession in which the Constitution was conceived, and in which the government ought to be executed, I freely admit that it is injurious to the South I firmly believe; but, that it is unconstitutional, I wholly deny; and that it is ruinous in its operation on the South is no more than a rhetorical flourish. In such an address a very brief view is all that can be attempted.

Passing over the power of imposing duties, which is granted exclusively to Congress-though I never can concede that the enumerated. objects of this power refer to anything more than the purposes to which the revenue arising from these duties is to be applied-or that Congress have no discretion to make a difference between the objects of taxation on account of the resulting and incidental effects of imposts in their operation on the country, I will place the question on the power to regulate commerce. This power is given exclusively and absolutely. Now, although we may justly condemn the mode and manner in which it has been done, all my dislike to the measure itself, all my unfeigned deference for the opinions of some who think differently, cannot shake me in declaring as my settled conviction that the obnoxious laws are to all intents and purposes regulations of commerce, and such regulations, too, as all commercial nations have invariably made. Let it be admitted that these regulations were made expressly with a view to their effect on manufactures. The resulting and incidental effect of such regulations is within the discretion of Congress. The intent of commercial


regulations is not to benefit the merchant only, but to consult the interests of all, and the lawgiver must take into consideration the resulting consequences as well as the direct effect of the law. Where there is discretion, it may, from the nature of things, it must be frequently badly exercised; and in the late revenue laws I firmly believe that it has been much abused. But take away the supposed inequality of these laws, in the unequal burthen imposed on the South, and the constitutional objection vanishes. Suppose the benefits of them to be equally felt in this and in every other State, and it is incredible that any man would believe they were not within the province of the general government.

Then, admitting that the tariff presses unequally on the States, and imposes a greater burthen on the South than on the rest of the country, will this prove it unconstitutional? Such a state of things is highly improper; but the constitutionality of a law cannot possibly be determined on this ground. We can draw no other line than the Constitution has drawn: that imposts shall be equal in all the States, and no preference given to the ports of one State over those of another. If from extrinsic causes some States pay more than others, or pay with less facil•ity, it is a difficulty, in a great measure, inseparable from the nature of the thing; and a risk of which our forefathers were neither ignorant nor regardless when they entered into the Federal compact. While we take the benefits of that compact, we must stand to its terms and abide by it like men. I have great repugnance to the idea of construing a written instrument one way to-day and another way to-morrow, as interest predominates. The construction, I maintain, is not new; it is the same that was placed on the instrument by those who made it, and was sanctioned again and again, and even recently by the voice of South Carolina. It is certainly an unpleasant thing, after giving a deliberate opinion in a matter, in which one either is or thinks himself disinterested, to find that with the discovery of his interest comes the discovery of new light, and a total change of opinion. Let us place our opposition on the true ground, on the excess and impolicy of the protecting duties, and abide by our bargain. When the evil becomes enormous, the remedy lies in the principle of self-preservation, and the resort to revolutionary force.

But is the evil of that magnitude as to induce us to give up all the advantages of a stable government—all the ennobling associations of our common history, and the endearing ties of blood, as the price of relief from its pressure? On this point I appeal with confidence to the true sons of America, native and adopted. They will not weigh their allegiance against dross, nor calculate for how much money their country may be sold. The monstrous exaggerations of the State Rights and Free Trade Party have been exposed to-day by a master's hand.


Our orator has abolished the flimsy theory of nullification, and poured a flood of light on the mysterious darkness that filled the land of the producer with baleful images of ruin and tyranny, and boundless exaction. I rely on the republican virtue of our countrymen. Stripped of the prejudice arising from the supposed unconstitutionality of the measure, notwithstanding all the exaggeration with which the subject has been surrounded, the amount of the protecting duties would never justify in their hearts the contemplation of disunion and fratricidal discord. In this hope I shall rely, with the assurance that supported our countrymen in the darkest day of our history. But if the worst must come, if this Union, formed by the wisdom and cemented by the blood of the patriots of the Revolution, must be torn asunder, and its fragments given to the winds, my earnest prayer shall be that before the fatal day that sees America a divided people, I may sleep in the silent grave, far from "the dissonance of that wild rout" that shall announce the triumph of misrule and the downfall of my country's glory.

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Mr P., being called upon for a sentiment, gave:

"The Constitution of the United States: May it continue to the latest ages a monument of the truth that mankind are capable of self-government."


By Dr. James Moultrie, Jr., one of the Vice-Presidents:

"The Hon. Daniel Elliott Huger: Honor to the man, and success to the principles of him who seeks to save the State, and not rule it."

In this toast the company recognized a compliment to one they knew to be highly deserving of it, and accordingly it was received with the warmest manifestations of their approbation.

General Huger, after acknowledging the compliment with which he had been honored, said:

It was not the less gratifying that I am obliged to attribute it to your partiality and not to any merits of my own. If, gentlemen, I am authorized to claim any merit, it is that in which you all participate-the merit of loving our country-our whole country-that country which the fathers of American liberty and independence had won with united swords, and cemented into one people with their united blood. It is the benefit of such an Union we have been called upon to calculate. We, gentlemen, cannot calculate the benefits of loving our country, it must be left to such as are more cool, more dispassionate, more or less of men than we are, to apply the rules of geometry to our love of country; nor am I disposed to sympathize, on this great national day, with such as are hunting out the lines which once divided British provinces, but now obliterated with the blood of our patriot fathers, in the hope of finding some flaw in the title of the American people to that Union which the father of our country had so emphatically recommended to us as


essential to the existence of our liberty and independence. In the earlier days of the Revolution, these lines were more visible, as well as those nice distinctions between British power and American rights; but, as the Revolution advanced, these differences and distinctions faded, and at its close, when that proud banner (the American flag) waved over the heads of the conquerors of Europe, and more, conquerors over themselves, no other claim to Union, liberty and independence was pretended, than the will of our fathers, and their ability to enforce that will.

As yet, we have had no cause to resort to such distinctions, to sustain our rights or defend the honor of South Carolina. What the Constitution of our common country will not afford, the Declaration of Independence will. These are the muniments of our title to liberty and independence, and by these, and these alone, are we willing to be governed. To these our fathers subscribed; and by these we are in honor bound. These, too, are the great charters of this great confederated republic. As long as we all-North, South, East and West-resort to these common sources of our rights and faith, we shall be united and free; but if new lights are followed, if schismatics are encouraged, the unity of our faith must be destroyed, and all the confusion and evils which sectarian zeal and rage have produced in religion, will be experienced in our political concerns. We are now equal with all; but will continue so no longer than our great charter shall be preserved. It is not enough that we feel inconveniences, and are dissatisfied with the measures of government, to authorize its destruction. With no government can we be always satisfied, as long as we are free. When all are permitted to think, and to act as they think, differences of opinion and action must follow. For this, the first and best care is a submission to a majority of the people. If this will not do, republicanism is a cruel fallacy. If the minority cannot submit to a majority, by whom are they to be governed? Themselves? How? Still a majority must govern, or all must be governed by a despot. There are evils against which the wisdom of man cannot provide. We must meet them when they come. When this or any other government shall so oppress the minority as to render it insupportable, that minority must break off-but this will be an evil, come when it may. No people yet have ever changed their government by virtue of their sovereignty, without great privations and sufferings. Let the Constitution be changed in the mode prescribed by the Constitution, and no civil war can follow; but to force a State from the Federal Union, must shake society to its foundation-life, liberty and property must be put at hazard. This may become necessary; but has that necessity occurred? When it shall occur, Carolinians will not look to metaphysicians for their rule of conduct; they have a better in the Declaration of Independence:

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Could I believe, with a much respected representative of the State, that of our bales we are robbed by forties out of hundreds to enrich the Northern manufacturers, I too would be for "putting the State on her sovereignty." I love his boldness-he says what he thinks, and would do what he says. He thinks we are robbed, and should at every hazard" defend our property. But has the robbery been proved? This is a question for the country; and if they are not adequate. to the decision of this question, they should be despoiled of their liberty. The people can and ought to decide this question; and if the robbery be found, my voice will be for war. As one of the people, I will never abandon my right to understand our statesmen. The only security for freedom is jealousy. Let the people be indifferent as to their rights, and they will soon have a guardian. There are always kind, generous, chivalrous men enough to carry on government, and take good care of the people, without the smallest disposition to ask for advice, or explain their conduct. Sufficient proof has not been given of the robbery charged. I shall now endeavor to show that no robbery has been committed; and if I succeed in this, as I hope to do, my friend must be by my side.

That a tax on imported cotton goods may lessen the price of cotton wool, is not denied; this effect, however, will only follow when the tax lessens the consumption of the goods. If the price of goods be so much advanced by the tax as to diminish the consumption, this must necessarily diminish the demand for cotton wool-and the price of cotton, like everything else, must depend upon demand and supply. If the supply is the same, and the demand be lessened, the price of cotton wool will fall; and so if the demand be the same, and the supply be increased, the price must fall. If the consumption of cotton goods be diminished, and the price of cotton wool consequently falls, this fall will affect equally all the cottons in the general market. Liverpool is the general market of all cottons that compete with ours. A fall in the Liverpool market must affect, not only American cotton, but the cottons grown in Europe, the Indies, and South America. Whatever injury, therefore, is done by this supposed reduction in consumption of cotton wool, must be divided between all the cottons in the general market. If the reduction in consumption be 10, 20 or 30 per cent. in America, where are consumed from 250,000 to 300,000 bales, the 10, 20 or 30 0 per cent. on these 300,000 bales must be divided between all the cottons, the price of which is regulated by the Liverpool market, which is supposed to be from 1,750,000 to 2,000,000 bales. Our duty, therefore, can affect but slightly the price of American cottons. How much, Mr. Say is of opinion, it is difficult to decide, and I, therefore, shall not attempt to do so. I have said that the price of cotton wool cannot be affected but by a diminished consumption of cotton goods. I shall now attempt

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