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of sovereign power. The States, then, for grant? Will the inhabitants of the inland all these important purposes, were no longer States agree to pay the duties that may be sovereign. The allegiance of their citi- | imposed without their assent by those on zens was transferred, in the first instance, the Atlantic or the Gulf, for their own bento the Government of the United States; efit? Shall there be a free port in one State they became American citizens, and owed and onerous duties in another? No one beobedience to the Constitution of the United | lieves that any right exists in a single State States, and to laws made in conformity with to involve all the others in these and countthe powers it vested in Congress. This less other evils, contrary to engagements sollast position has not been, and cannot be, / emnly made. Every one must see that the denied. How, then, can that State be said other States, in self-defense, must oppose it to be sovereign and independent, whose cit | at all hazards." izens owe obedience to laws not made by it, and whose magistrates are sworn to disre
| Having thus frankly and vigorgard those laws, when they come in conflict ously set forth the fundamental prinwith those passed by another? What shows,
ciples of our political system, though conclusively, that the States cannot be said to have reserved an undivided sovereignty,
at much greater length, and with a is, that they expressly ceded the right to variety and fullness of illustration, punish treason—not treason against their
General Jackson proceeds to pro separate power, but treason against the United States. Treason is an offense against
claim sovereignty, and sovereignty must reside with
“That the duty imposed on me by the the power to punish it.”
Constitution to take care that the laws be Mr. Jefferson Davis, in one of his
faithfully executed' shall be performed to earlier manifestoes from Richmond,
the extent of the powers already vested in
me by law, or of such others as the wisdom saw fit to speak of the severance of
of Congress shall devise and intrust to me our Union as “the dissolution of a for that purpose; and to warn the citizens league.” General Jackson anticipa of South Carolina, who have been deluded
into an opposition to the laws, of the danger ted and refuted this assumption as
they will incur by obedience to the illegal follows:
and disorganizing Ordinance of the Conven“How is it that the most perfect of those
tion." several modes of Union should now be con- ' And he closes a most pathetic and sidered as a mere league, that may be dissolved at pleasure? It is from an abuse of evoquen
sem of eloquent appeal to the people of
appeal to the people of terms. Compact is used as synonymous South Carolina in these memorable with league, although the true term is not and stirring words: employed, because it would at once show the fallacy of the reasoning. It would not "Contemplate the condition of that coundo to say that our Constitution was only a try of which you still form an important league, but it is labored to prove it a com part!--consider its Government, uniting in pact (which, in one sense, it is), and then to one bond of common interest and general argue that, as a league is a compact, every | protection so many different States-giving compact between nations must, of course, to all their inhabitants the proud title of be a league, and that, from such an engage American citizens-protecting their comment, every sovereign power has a right to merce-securing their literature and their recede. But it has been shown that, in this arts---facilitating their intercommunication sense, the States are not sovereign, and that, -defending their frontiers--and making even if they were, and the national constitu their names respected in the remotest parts tution had been formed by compact, there of the earth! . Consider the extent of its would be no right in any one State to ex territory, its increasing and happy populaonerate itself from its obligations.
tion, its advance in the arts, which render life “So obvious are the reasons which forbid agreeable, and the sciences which elevate this secession, that it is necessary only to the mind! See education spreading the allude to them. The Union was formed for lights of religion, humanity, and general inthe benefit of all. It was produced by mu- formation, into every cottage in this wide tual sacrifices of interests and opinions. Can extent of our territories and States ! Behold those sacrifices be recalled? Can the States it as the asylum where the wretched and who magnanimously surrendered their title the oppressed find a refuge and support 1 to the territories of the West, recall the Look on this picture of happiness and honor,
and say, WE, TOO, ARE CITIZENS OF AMERICA. / ants of the Pinckneys, the Sumpters, the Carolina is one of these proud States; her Rutledges, and of the thousand other names arms have defended, her best blood has which adorn the pages of your Revolutioncemented, this happy Union! And then ary history, will not abandon that Union, to add, if you can, without horror and re support which so many of them fought, and morse, “This happy Union we will dissolve bled, and died. I adjure you, as you honor —this picture of peace and prosperity we their memory, as you love the cause of freewill deface—this free intercourse we will dom to which they dedicated their lives—as interrupt-these fertile fields we will deluge you prize the peace of your country, the with blood—the protection of that glorious lives of its best citizens, and your own fair flag we renounce--the very name of Ameri- | fame, to retrace your steps. Snatch from cans we discard.' And for what, mistaken the archives of your State the disorganizing men! for what do you throw away these edict of its Convention-bid its members to inestimable blessings—for what would you rëassemble and promulgate the decided exexchange your share in the advantages and pression of your will to remain in the path honor of the Union ? For the dream of a which alone can conduct you to safety, separate independence-a dream interrupted prosperity, and honor-tell them that, comby bloody conflicts with your neighbors, and pared to disunion, all other evils are light, a vile dependence on foreign power! If | because that brings with it an accumulation your leaders could succeed in establishing a of all-declare that you will never take the separation, what would be your situation? | field unless the star-spangled banner of your Are you'-united at home? Are you free country shall float over you—that you will from the apprehension of civil discord, with not be stigmatized when dead, and dishonorall its fearful consequences? Do our neigh ed and scorned while you live, as the authors boring republics, every day suffering some of the first attack on the Constitution of new revolution or contending with some your country! Its destroyers you cannot be. new insurrection, do they excite your envy? | You may disturb its peace--you may inter
“But the dictates of a high duty oblige me | rupt the course of its prosperity--you may solemnly to announce that you cannot suc cloud its reputation for stability--but its ceed. The laws of the United States must tranquillity will be restored, its prosperity be executed. I have no discretionary power will return, and the stain upon its national on the subject--my, duty is emphatically character will be transferred, and remain an pronounced in the Constitution. Those who eternal blot on the memory of those who told you that you might peaceably prevent caused the disorder.” their execution, deceived you—they could not have been deceived themselves. They
Turning from the deluded minorknow that a forcible opposition could alone ity to the loyal and Union-loving prevent the execution of the laws, and they | know that such opposition must be repelled. | majority of the American people, the Their object is disunion: be not deceived President concludes his Proclamation by names. Disunion, by armed force, is treason. Are you really ready to incur its guilt? If you are, on the heads of the insti- "Fellow-citizens of the United States ! gators of the act be the dreadful conse- | The threat of unhallowed disunion, the quences on their heads be the dishonor; | names of those-(once respected) by whom but on yours may fall the punishment--on it was uttered, the array of military force to your unhappy State will inevitably fall all support it, denote the approach of a crisis in the evils of the conflict you force upon the our affairs, on which the continuance of our Government of your country. It cannot unexampled prosperity, our political existaccede to the mad project of disunion, of ence, and perhaps that of all free governwhich you would be the first victims-its ments, may depend. The conjuncture defirst magistrate cannot, if he would, avoid | manded a full, a free, and explicit annunciathe performance of his duty—the conse tion, not only of my intentions, but of my prinquence must be fearful for you, distressing ciples of action; and, as the claim was assertto your fellow-citizens here, and the friends ed of a right by a State to annul the laws of the of good government throughout the world. | Union, and even to secede from it, at pleasIts enemies have beheld our prosperity | ure, a frank exposition of my opinions in with a vexation they could not conceal-it. relation to the origin and form of our Govwas a standing refutation of their slavish ernment, and the construction I give to the doctrines, and they would point to our dis- | instrument by which it was created, seemed cords with the triumph of malignant joy. I to be proper. Having the fullest confidence It is yet in your power to disappoint them. in the justness of the legal and constitutional There is yet time to show that the descend- | opinion of my duties, which has been exGENERAL JACKSON ON THE RIGHT OF SECESSION.
pressed, I rely with equal confidence on to the objects which it was expressly formed your undivided support in my determination to attain. to execute the laws—to preserve the Union | “Against all acts which may be alleged by all constitutional means—to arrest, if to transcend the constitutional power of possible, by moderate, but firm measures, Government, or which may be inconvenient the necessity of a recourse to force. And if | or oppressive in their operation, the Constiit be the will of Heaven that the recurrence tution itself has prescribed the modes of of its primeval curse on man for the shed redress. It is the attribute of free instituding of a brother's blood should fall upon tions that, under them, the empire of reason our land, that it be not called down by any , and law is substituted for the power of the offensive act of the United States.
sword. To no other source can appeals for “Fellow-citizens! the momentous case is supposed wrongs be made, consistently with before you. On your undivided support of the obligations of South Carolina ; to no your Government depends the decision of other can such appeals be made with safety the great question it involves, whether your at any time; and to their decisions, when sacred Union will be preserved, and the constitutionally pronounced, it becomes the blessing it secures to us as one people shall duty, no less of the public authorities than be perpetuated. No one can doubt that the of the people, in every case to yield a patriunanimity with which that decision will be otic submission. expressed will be such as to inspire new “That a State, or any other great portion confidence in republican institutions, and of the people, suffering under long and inthat the prudence, the wisdom, and the | tolerable oppressions, and having tried all. courage which it will bring to their defense, constitutional remedies without the hope of will transmit them unimpaired and invigor- redress, may have a natural right, when ated to our children.
their happiness can be no otherwise secured, "May the great Ruler of nations grant, that and when they can do so without greater the signal blessings with which He has fa- injury to others, to absolve themselves from vored ours may not, by the madness of their obligations to the Government, and party, or personal ambition, be disregarded appeal to the last resort, need not, on the and lost: and may His wise providence present occasion, be denied. bring those who have produced this crisis to “The existence of this right, however, see the folly, before they feel the misery, of must depend on the causes which justify civil strife; and inspire a returning venera- its exercise. It is the ultima ratio, which tion for that Union, which, if we may dare presupposes that the proper appeals to all to penetrate His designs, He has chosen as other means of redress have been made in the only means of attaining the high des- | good faith, and which can never be rightfully tinies to which we may reasonably aspire." resorted to unless it be unavoidable. It is
not the right of the State, but of the individGeneral Jackson's Special Message
ual, and of all the individuals in the State.
It is the right of mankind generally to seagainst Nullification is equally de cure, by all means in their power, the blesscided and thorough in its hostility to ings of liberty and happiness; but when for
these purposes any body of men have volunthe Calhoun heresy, under all its as
tarily associated themselves under any partipects, and dissects the Ordinance of cular form of govertiment, no portion of Nullification, and the legislative acts
them can dissolve the association without
acknowledging the correlative right in the based thereon, with signal ability and remainder to decide whether that dissolucogency. A single extract, bearing
tion can be permitted consistently with the
general happiness. In this view, it is a directly upon the alleged right of
right dependent upon the power to enforce Secession, will here be given : it. Such a right, though it may be admitted
to preëxist, and cannot be wholly surren“The right of the people of a single State dered, is necessarily subjected to limitations to absolve themselves at will, and without in all free governments, and in compacts of the consent of the other States, from their all kinds, freely and voluntarily entered into, most solemn obligations, and hazard the and in which the interest and welfare of the liberties and happiness of the millions com individual become identified with those of posing this Union, cannot be acknowledged. the community of which he is a member. Such authority is believed to be utterly re- | In compacts between individuals, however pugnant both to the principles upon which deeply they may affect their relations, these the General Government is constituted, and principles are acknowledged to create a
20 January 16, 1833.
sacred obligation; and in compacts of civil | few months which followed a most government, involving the liberty and happiness of millions of mankind, the obligation
vigorous and determined struggle to cannot be less."
defeat his re-election. The unanimity and enthusiasm, At the South, the case was somewith which the people of the Free what different, though in every State States responded to these downright -South Carolina, of course, exceptmanifestations of a purpose to pre-ed—the President's course was apserve at all hazards the integrity of proved by a decided majority. The the Union, are still freshly remem- great mass of the voting population bered. Those States had just been of nearly all these States had just convulsed by a Presidential contest, given General Jackson their suffrages wherein their people were about for the second or third time they equally divided into zealous advo- had long enough been told that he cates and equally zealous opponents was a despot, an usurper, a tyrant, of General Jackson's re-election. etc., without believing it; and they Though his triumph had been over were little inclined to repudiate in a whelming, so far as the choice of moment the convictions and the assoElectors was concerned, the popular ciations of a lifetime. In Virginia majorities, whereby those electors alone was there any official exhibition were chosen, were very meager in of sympathy with South Carolina in several of the States, including New her self-invoked peril; and she sent York, Ohio, and New Jersey, while a commissioner?l to that State rather the majorities against him in Massa- to indicate her fraternal regard than chusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, to proffer any substantial assistance. Vermont, and Kentucky, were heavy. There was some windy talk of opBut the States which had opposed posing by force the passage of a Fedhis re-election, the citizens who had eral army southward through the Old deprecated it as confirming and re- Dominion on an errand of “subjuganewing a lease of virtually absolute tion;" and her Governor, 22 in his anpower in hands too prone to stretch nual Message, said something implyAuthority and Prerogative to the ing such a purpose. Ex-Governor utmost, now vied with their late an Troup, of Georgia, and a few other tagonists in pledging devotion and doctrinaires of the extreme State support to the elected chief of the Rights school, muttered some words Republic in his efforts to preserve of sympathy with the Nullifiers, about its unity and vitality. Great public to be crushed under the iron heel of meetings were held in the principal Federal power—some vague protest cities to give formal and influential against Consolidation; but that was expression to the sentiment; the all. Had it become necessary to call Press, all but unanimously, echoed for volunteers to assert and maintain and stimulated the popular plaudits; the National authority on the soil and General Jackson was never be of the perverse State, they would fore nor afterward so strong through- doubtless have offered themselves out the Free States, as during the by thousands from nearly or quite
21. Benjamin Watkins Leigh. ..?'John Floyd, father of the late John B. Floyd, Mr. Buchanan's Secretary of War.
MR. CLAY'S TARIFF COMPROMISE.
101 every Southern as well as Northern | the convictions of a majority of the State.
members, which would whelm them But it did not become necessary. in one common ruin. Finally,24 Mr. Congress in due time took up the Clay was induced to submit his ComTariff, with a view to its revision and promise Tariff, whereby one-tenth of reduction. The Jacksonian ascend- the excess over twenty per cent. of ency was decided in every depart- each and every existing impost was ment of the Government. Andrew to be taken off at the close of that Stevenson (anti-Tariff), of Virginia, year; another tenth two years therewas Speaker of the House, Gulian C. after; so proceeding until the 31st Verplanck (anti-Tariff) was Chair- of June, 1842, when all duties should man of its Committee of Ways and be reduced to a maximum of twenty Means, whence a bill containing per cent. This Compromise Tariff, sweeping reductions and equaliza- being accepted and supported by tions of duties was, at an early Mr. Calhoun and the Nullifiers, was period of the session, reported; and, offered in the House, as a substitute though no conclusive action was had for Mr. Verplanck's bill, by Mr. on this measure, the mere fact of Letcher, of Kentucky (Mr. Clay's imits introduction was seized upon by mediate representative and devoted the Nullifiers as an excuse for recoil- friend), on the 25th of February; ing from the perilous position they adopted and passed at once by a had so recklessly assumed. A few vote of 119 to 85; agreed to by the days before the 1st of February, the Senate; and became a law in the Nullifying chiefs met at Charleston, last hours of the session: General and gravely resolved that, inasmuch Jackson, though he openly condemned as measures were then pending in it as an unwise and untimely concesCongress which contemplated such sion to rampant treason, not choosreductions of duties on imports as ing to take the responsibility of vetoSouth Carolina demanded, the exe- ing, nor even of pocketing it, as he cution of the Nullifying Ordinance, clearly might have done. South Carand of course of all legislative acts olina thereupon abandoned her Ordisubsidiary thereto, should be post nance and attitude of Nullification; poned till after the adjournment of and the storm that dowered so black that body!
and imminent suddenly gave place But Mr. Verplanck's billmade to a sunny and smiling calm. such slow progress that its passage, But General Jackson was deeply even at the last moment, seemed ex- dissatisfied, and with reason. He ceedingly doubtful. Mr. Webster for- saw in this easy accommodation the cibly urged that no concession should seeds of future perils and calamities. be made to South Carolina until she He insisted that Calhoun was a traishould have abandoned her treasona- tor; and to the end of his days ble attitude. The manufacturers beset regretted that he had not promptly the Capitol in crowds, remonstrating arrested and tried him as such. He against legislation under duress, in denied that dissatisfaction with the defiance of the public interest and Protective policy was the real incite
23 Reported December 28th.
24 February 12, 1833.