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JAN. 29, 1833.]
[SENATE tion in the affirmative. Congress had the power to give fine of ten thousand dollars and five years' imprisonment this right in criminal as well as in civil cases, because the on any owner of a slave found in pursuit of him, and that second section of the third article of the constitution her jurors and judges are all sworn to regard this law, he speaks of "all cases in law and equity," and these com- would ask whether the United States' courts could not prehensive terms cover all. He referred to the case of have jurisdiction in this matter. The power of the JuMatthews vs. Zane, 4th Cranch, page 382, which decides diciary would be entirely nugatory if it could be evaded that, if two citizens of the same state, in a suit in their by throwing
the case into the form of a criminal proceedState court, claim title under the same act of Congress, ing. He referred the Senate to the cases of the United the Supreme Court has an appellate jurisdiction to revise States vs. Moore, 3d Cranch p. 159, where it was admitand correct the decision of that court.
ted that Congress might give the power; and to that of The decision was founded upon the principle that the Martin vs. Hunter's lessee, 1 Wheaton, p. 350-1, where 3d act of the constitution, considered in connexion with it was admitted that criminal are the strongest cases. the judiciary act of 1789, would not give it a more exten The fourth section of the bill was merely matter of sive construction than it merited; and that the great ob- form. There was no constitutional principle involved in ject was, to render uniform the construction of the laws it. It only authorized the courts of the United States to of the United States, and decisions under them upon the supply the want of a copy of the record. It was intended rights of individuals, and in such case it was entirely to obviate the difficulty which was likely to arise from immaterial that both parties were citizens of the same the novel provision contained in the 8th section of the State.
replevin law of South Carolina, which makes it penal in It was admitted by Mr. Harper, counsel for defendant the clerk to furnish such record. This provision did not in error, that the exercise of jurisdiction in such case meddle with the penalty of the clerk of the State court, would be undoubted, if it was to maintain the authority but contented itself with providing means to supply the of the laws of the United States against encroachments deficiency. of the State authorities. The clause in the constitution The fifth section authorizes the employment of military to which he had adverted refers to the character of the force under extraordinary circumstances too powerful to controversy, without regard to the parties, or the par- be overcome without such agency, and to be preceded by ticular form of the action. The object of the suit, and not the proclamation of the President. What he had already the tribunal, determined the jurisdiction. Was it to try said had reference also to this section of the bill. He the validity of an act of Congress? That question deter- would now merely refer the Senate to some precedents. mined the jurisdiction. Was it to try any indictment The first precedent which he would notice was to be for treason That question determined the jurisdic- found in the act of May 2d, 1792, vol. 2, p. 284, repealtion. It was more necessary that this jurisdiction shoulded by the act of February 28, 1795, renewing the power be extended over criminal than over civil cases. If to call forth the militia, which act was still in force. This it was not admitted that the federal judiciary had ju- law grew out of the Western Insurrection in Pennsylvarisdiction over criminal cases, then was nullification nia. Like the present bill, although it was merely inTatified and sealed forever: for a State would have nothing tended to meet that exigency, it was so framed as to conmore to do than to declare an act a felony or a misdemea- tinue in force. So the bill under consideration, although nor to nullify all the laws of the Union. There were nu-it had special reference to South Carolina, pointed not merous prejudices-prejudices peculiar to particular to her alone. If the opposition to the laws should exStates, which, under any other view, would throw all ju- tend itself, and the spirit of disobedience should exhibit risdiction into the State tribunals.
itself, whether in the South or the North, the general Mr. W. would put a case to the Southern gentlemen, principles of the bill would be equally applicable. It was by way of illustration. It was one which they would feel an amendment of our code of laws to which the attention disposed to resent, and one to which he felt a repugnance of Congress had now been called, and which was renderto refer; but he would take it as illustrative of the opin- ed immediately necessary by the peculiarity of our preions he had thrown out. There was to be found in the sent situation. constitution a clause which gives the right to the owner The second precedent to which he would invite the of a slave to pursue him from one State to another, and attention of the Senate was the act of the 3d of March, to take him wherever he may find him. Now it was 1807, vol. 4, p. 115, " to suppress insurrections and obknown that there was in some states a strong feeling on structions to the laws," and "to cause the laws to be duly this subject, and that particularly was this sensibility to executed.” That act authorized the President to call be found in the State of Pennsylvania, where it was car- out the land and naval forces to suppress insurrections, ried to a very great extent. In great party times, he &c. These were the objects for which then, as in the would suppose that a party in Pennsylvania rallied on this present bill, this extraordinary power had been conferred. great principle.. Pennsylvania was covered over with Another precedent would be found in the act of Januzealous and highly respectable abolition societies. He ary 9, 1809, sec. 11, vol. 4, p. 194, to enforce the emwould suppose that Pennsylvania carried these feelings bargo, and which gives the power to employ the land and to such an extent, as to pass a law to nullify this clause in naval forces, in general terms, to assist the custom-house the constitution. He stated that he had, in the judicial officers. There was at that moment a great excitement, station which he had occupied, had cases brought before although nothing like the solemn position in which South him for decision, in which he had felt it to be extremely Carolina has now placed herself. 'Yet it was deemed exdifficult to keep down this feeling. It had been even pedient to confer on the President this power. contended before him that the pursuit of the slave by He would now refer to the last precedent with which his owner into that State was an unconstitutional act. He he should trouble the Senate. It so happened in the would suppose that Pennsylvania was to pass a law, de history of Pennsylvania, that that State took from Virclaring that the moment a slave sets foot on her soil, he ginia a strip of land bordering on the Alleghany and Ohio shall be at once elevated to the rank and privileges of a rivers. On this strip of land, where Virginia had been freeman, and that thus she should nullify the clause in the accustomed to exercise jurisdiction, for which she had constitution on this point.
opened the titles, and where she had held her courts, It would be deemed very hard by the Southern gentle- there arose an insurrection. This had been called the men that they could not try the question of the constitu- Western Insurrection, but it was a singular fact that it tionality of that law before the Supreme Court. And if was confined to this narrow strip of land which Pennsylthe State of Pennsylvania were to pass a law imposing a vania took from Virginia. The President was then author
Revenue Collection Bill.
[Jan. 30, 1833.
ized to call out the militia of the State, because they was to limit the operation of the bill to the close of the were not committed against the United States, but were next session of Congress. As the amendments were of willing to obey the call. The man to whose name his much importance, he had felt desirous to present them tory has no parallel put himself at the head of these more distinctly to the consideration of the Senate. troops to quell the insurrection. All power was placed in Mr. BIBB then rose to address the Senate. his hands by the act of November 24, 1794, vol. 2, p. 451, voice, said he, is still for peace. Thinking it expe. and the President was authorized to place in West Penn- dient, I desire to secure it by means most sure and sylvania a corps of 2,500 men, either draughted or enlisted. practicable. I did wish that the discussion might have
The sixth section of the bill had reference to the re- been delayed yet longer, to have advantage of all plevin law of South Carolina, and was justified and ren- circumstances that might occur, as well those which dered necessary by the 12th section of that act, which might result from the legislative action of the Congress, prohibited any person from hiring or permitting to be as from the action of the Legislatures of the States, and used any building, to serve as a jail for the confinement also from the friends of conciliation and fraternal concord of any person committed for a violation of the revenue generally. laws, under penalty of being adjudged guilty of a misde His wishes on this subject had to yield to those who meanor, and fined 1000 dollars, and imprisoned for one differed from him, and he was now compelled to enter year. The State law, therefore, closes all the jails and into this discussion, and to deliver such views as appeared buildings of South Carolina against prisoners held by pro- to him just, upon the question at issue. In doing this, he cess from the United States for a refusal to yield obe- hoped he should observe that decorum which became him dience to their laws. It was necessary, therefore, that as a member of that distinguished body; and that he should something should be done. The case might not be fully in no instance be found transcending that respect which met by the resolution of 3d March, 1791, vol. 2. p. 236; he had ever felt for those with whom he had the honor and this section merely incorporates that provision, with there to be associated. He sincerely hoped that, even in out the introduction of any novel principle.
the heat of argument, not a single expression might escape The seventh and remaining section of the bill extends his lips, calculated to add to that excitement, which, both the writ of habeas corpus to a case not covered by ex- in doors and out of doors, was, he feared, already great isting laws. These laws do not extend to any other than enough, if not too great. But it was necessary, from the cases of confinement under the authority of the United nature of the subject, to touch on the conflicting opinions States, and when committed for trial before the United of two great parties which had been distinguished in the States' courts, or are necessary to testify. He referred United States, and had alternately held the reins of Govthe Senate tó vol. 2, p. 63, to the 14th section of the ernment. He had, from early life, belonged to one of judiciary act. The present section merely extended the these parties; he had never swerved from its doctrines; privileges of that act, which was so essential to the pro- and, in his old age, he still saw reason to abide by them. tection of the liberties of our citizens. It extended the It was his wish, therefore, on the present occasion, to put act to cases of imprisonment for executing the laws of the his opinions fairly before the public, that he might not United States. There would be nothing objectionable be understood or thought to advocate doctrines which he in this section; it came in conflict with no code of law. did not advocate. If a citizen were confined under the provisions of the or He would tell them, then, in the outset, that he loved dinance of the 24th November, 1832, he could have no the Union. It was because he did love the Union that he remedy under the laws as they now exist. As all such felt himself then compelled to join in that debate. He cases arose under the laws of the State of South Caro- wished to cherish the Union. He would cherish it as a lina, this section only extended the privileges of the writ safeguard against foreign invasion. He would cherish it of habeas corpus to meet those particular cases which as a bond of peace and concord at home. He would had originated in the present state of things.
cherish it as the most likely means of protecting the He had now done, having fully attempted to explain country from the evils which history told them had befalthe reasons which had induced him to give his sanction len other Governments, who had, at one time, enjoyed a to the bill. He should only say, in addition, that if it considerable share of liberty; the horrors which had be were the pleasure of Congress to enact this bill into a fallen revolutionary France; and the evils which had law, he should most fervently pray that no occasion might been acted almost before their eyes in South America. ever occur to require a resort to its provisions. It was He would not go into a detail of the horrors of civil war. his desire that the present bill, when it should become a He would leave them to the mind of every Senator to law, might be rendered unnecessary by a return of the imagine; but he must believe that the most vivid imaginastate of happy tranquillity which would renew the cement tion would fall far short of anticipating the horrors of a of our Union, and might lie for ages to come, without civil war like that which appeared about to be brought on the necessity of reference to its provisions, slumbering in this country. When he looked at the prospects before the libraries of the lawyer and among the archives of le-them, promising no alleviation of the burdens of the progislation.
tective tariff, and at the bill under consideration, he could
not but fear that those awful consequences, civil war and WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30.
disunion, must follow its passage. THE COLLECTION BILL.
A message had been sent to them from the President of
the United States, together with a proclamation addressed The Senate having resumed the consideration of the by him to the people of the United States. They had bill to provide further for the collection of the duties on been told by the honorable Senator, who was the chairimports
man of the committee by which this bill was reported, Mr. GRUNDY asked leave to re-state what had been and who opened the debate, that this bill was responsive already stated by the chairman of the Committee on the to the message of the Executive; that it was calculated Judiciary, as to the amendments which the committee and designed to meet the state of things there portrayed, proposed to move in the bill. The first amendment was the facts and the circumstances alluded to in the proclato strike out, in the 29th clause of the 1st section, the mation and message. Whilst it was admitted that this words "prevent or,” (the effect of which is to exclude was an act of high legislation, it was justified on the the power proposed to be conferred on the President of ground that it was necessary. He should, then, treat the the United States to use military force to prevent, as well bill as though the amendments offered that morning by as to suppress, any riotous assemblage, &c.) The second his friend from Tennessee were already in the bill; they
Jan. 30, 1833.]
Revenue Collection Bill.
Proposed to make it not a permanent law, but to limit its resoundings of the heavy-toned fiery-mouthed cannon; duration to the end of the next session of Congress. He when I shall see the glittering of small arms; when I shall should treat its provisions, therefore, as intended to ope- read the proclamation preparatory to mortal strife between rate directly on South Carolina--he meant the state of States and State, and know that the strife is in fact begun things in South Carolina as declared and portrayed in the in all the pride, and pomp, and circumstance of war,” I message of the President, in the ordinance of South Caro- shall then despair. There will be no assurance that the lina, in the test oath, and in all the other public acts constitution will erect its proud crest above the struggling alluded to in the message--the proclamation, and the train hosts, and come out unscathed from the contest. I have of reasoning in the proclamation and the message, as ap- no assurance that the Union will survive the carnage and plicable to the state of things in South Carolina--of things embittered feelings engendered in the impious war of expected, not done.
child against parent, brother against brother. I have no Pursuing this object, he said that, so far as South Caro- assurance that the rays of civil liberty will again gladden lina was concerned, the ordinance was made by the peo- with their mild beneficence this once happy land. These ple of that State in their highest sovereign character, are my apprehensions. The union of these States is too organized in convention. It was done by South Carolina precious to be set at hazard, or sported with by tilts and in her character of a State. So were also her legislative tournaments. He said the provisions of the fifth section acts. The whole proceedings in South Carolina, to which of the bill appeared to him to lead, by a direct road, to the proclamation and message allude, are facts done upon civil war and a severance of the States. paper, committed by words, not an overt act of resistance Mr. B. said, it seemed to him that a false issue was in the country: not any blow struck ; no violence acted; presented. The question of war against South Carolina no plan executed by force ; no act done, or threatened, is presented as the only alternative. This issue was false. by a lawless banditti, or by a riotous assemblage of indi- The first question is between justice and injustice. Shall viduals convened without authority, or in contempt of we do justice to the States who have united with South the State authority, is communicated. But every fact in Carolina in complaint and remonstrance against the injusSouth Carolina complained of relates to things transacted tice and oppression of the tariff? Shall we cancel the by the people of South Carolina acting in their high sove obligations of justice to five other States, because of the reign character in convention, and through the legislative impetuosity and impatience of South Carolina under wrong and executive departments of their organized govern- and oppression? The question ought not to be whether ment. Every thing which has been complained of is done we have the physical power to crush - South Carolina; but by the State of South Carolina.
whether it is not our duty to heal her discontents; to conHere, once for all, he desired it to be remembered, that, ciliate a member of the Union; to give peace and happiwhen he spoke of a State, he did not mean an intangible ness to the adjoining States which have made common being, a mere
abstraction, without body, soul, intelligence, cause with South Carolina, so far as complaint and remonor moral responsibility; but of a State, in the sense in strance go. Are we to rush into a war with South Carowhich the term was understood in international law, and lina to compel her to remain in the Union? Shall we keep in our own codes, as people within a defined territory, her in the Union by force of arms, for the purpose of bound together by social compact, having a Government compelling her submission to the tariff laws of which she and laws to which they look for justice and protection, complains How shall we do this? By the naval and and to which they owe the corresponding obligations of military force of the United States, combined with the allegiance and support.
militia? Where will the militia come from? Will VirIn the argument he was about to make, he did not in- ginia, will North Carolina, will Georgia, Mississippi, or tend to justify the extremities to which South Carolina had Alabama, assist to enforce submission to the tariff laws, the gone, nor to defend all the positions she had assumed. justice and constitutionality of which they have, by resoHe meant to examine the constitution of the country; its lutions on your files, denied over and over again? Will constituent parts; its checks and balances; for the pur- those States assist to forge chains by which they thempose of testing the soundness of the doctrines in the pro- selves are to be bound? °Is this to be expected in the orclamation and the message, and proposed by the bill to be dinary course of chance and probability? established by force of arms.
He earnestly entreated the Senators to reflect on the It seems to me that the subjects embraced by the pro- probable consequences of the measures proposed by the ceedings of South Carolina afford ample field for the exer- bill. Are we not approaching too near to the condition cise of intellect with intellect; sufficient room for the ex- of Great Britain, when the colonies were petitioning for a ercise of a mutual spirit of amity, concession, and concilia- redress of grievances? when the ministry, armed with her tion, without resorting to the sword and the bayonet, to military and naval forces, looked on the remonstrances of put up or to put down the political creed of the one or the her colonies with contempt? Their complaints could not other party:
reach the throne; their reasonings could only awaken the I have witnessed the ragings of the natural elements, liberals of the kingdom, but could not quench the miniswhen the blackening clouds gathered. I have seen the terial thirst for money and for power. forked flashes blaze upon the mountain, and yet the rock Has not South Carolina been treated by the proclamathat decked the mountain's brow, and defied the storm, tion pretty much in the style in which Lord Hillsborough remained unscathed by the lightnings of heaven. I have treated the colony of Massachusetts, requiring that certain heard the clamoring of the winds, and seen the proud resolutions should be rescinded !--[Here Mr. BIBB read forest bend before the majesty of nature. In the fury of from Holmes's America, the following:) the storm I have seen the fond mother press her infant to “On the 22d of April, 1768, Lord Hillsborough wrote her bosom, and sigh with fearful apprehension that her to Governor Barnard, of Massachusetts, stating that the husband might be exposed, houseless, “to bide the pelt- proceeding which gave rise to the circular letter was ings of the pitiless storm." But, in the darkest gloom of unfair, contrary to the real sense of the assembly, and elemental strife, there was a consolation; for there was an procured by surprise;' and instructing him, so soon as assurance that the storm would cease; that the sun would the General Court is again assembled, to require of the again shed his gladdening rays on herb, tree, fruit, and House of Representatives, in his Majesty's name, to rescind flower, displaying the charms of nature in renovated health the resolution which gave birth to the circular letter from and refreshened verdure. But when, in the storm now ga- the Speaker, to declare their disapprobation of, and disthering in the political horizon, I shall hear the blast of a sent to, that rash and hasty proceeding." trumpet, the neighing of the steeds, the noisy drum, the Mr. B. proceeded to allude to the obnoxious acts which
Revenue Collection Bill.
[Jan. 30, 1833.
gave rise to the resistance of Massachusetts to the British Her ordinance and her laws are alluded to under the power--the Boston port bill, the tea tax, &c. Great words, “or in any other manner opposing, or otherwise Britain sent her armies in the confident expectation that assisting and abetting: Disguise it as they may, by ap. the province would be immediately overrun. But what plying nicknames, contrary to the usage of language, the had aggrieved and injured the interests of Massachusetts, Government, and authorities and people of South Carolina, touched the rights and interests of all; and all united in acting in obedience to her ordinance and laws, are aimed one common cause, united to resist what they all believed at, and intended to be included in the provisions of this to be oppressive and unjust.
bill. Mr. B. said he could not be under a mistake in this. He would here notice objections which he had heard the chairman of the committee has told us the bill was (he would not say on that floor) to reducing the tariff, responsive to the message; that argues upon the ordinance according to the recommendation of the President's mes- and laws of South Carolina; and so has the honorable sage.
chairman. It is said, “South Carolina has put herself in battle This bill proposes to treat the people of South Carolina, array against the Government; she has assumed a military who shall act in obedience to the State ordinance and attitude; and the Congress of the United States must not laws, as rioters and insurgents. It proposes to place the be dictated to by a member of the Union.” She must allegiance of the people of the State to their immediate submit. In like manner Lord North reasoned in his day. State Government in direct collision with their fidelity to (Here Mr. B. read from Mr. Holmes's History, as follows:) the Federal Government; to place the citizens of South
“On the 12th of April, 1770, the King gave his consent Carolina in an attitude in which they must be compelled to the act of repealing the duties, with the exception of the to take part in arms with the federal authorities, or with duty on tea. When the stamp act was repealed, the Par- the State authorities. Both Governments have the power liament took care to pass an act for securing the depen- to define and punish treason, and other offences; both dence of America on Great Britain.' That declaratory Governments have the power to call the militia into seract, and this reservation of the duty on tea, left the cause vice. The plain, peaceable, sober, industrious, unsophisof contention between the two countries in its entire force. ticated citizens, are to be placed in the sad alternative of Lord North, who had moved the repeal of the obnoxious committing treason and crime, either against their State port duties of 1776, excepting the duty on tea, being Government, or against the Federal Government. If they strongly urged by the members in opposition not to refuse to obey the call of their State, they are subject to persevere in the contention, when he relinquished the punishment; if they do obey, and appear in arms against revenue, replied: • Has the repeal of the stamp act the military of the Federal Government, they are to be taught the Americans obedience? Has our lenity inspired treated as enemies, and to be shot down. Take which them with moderation? Can it be proper, while they de- side they may, if they survive the conflict, they are liable ny our legal power to tax them, to acquiesce in the argu- to be punished as offenders and traitors by the power ment of illegality, and, by the repeal of the whole law, to which shall ultimately prevail in the contest. From treagive up that power? No: the properest time to exert our son, and crime, and disgrace, there is to be no refuge but rights of taxation is when the right is refused. To tem- in death. porize is to yield; and the authority of the mother coun- There is an important distinction running throughout, try, if it is now unsupported, will, in reality, be relin- between the cases for which the acts of Congress were quished forever. A total repeal cannot be thought of till heretofore made, and cited as military precedents
, and America is prostrate at our feet.""
the cases to which this bill is intended to apply. In the Lord North's pompous idea of prostrating America be- former, all the persons against whom the military force fore the British lion proved to be but a phantasma which was authorized, were truly insurgent individuals, rioters, tickled the brain of a haughty aristocracy, in the confi- disturbers of the peace, not having the countenance, comdence of power, forgetting right: a project of oppression mand, or panoply of State law and State authority-, and injustice which the Omnipotent Dispenser of Justice offenders against all authority, both State and federal. In would not suffer to be carried into execution. Let us the latter, the persons are countenanced, commanded, take warning from our experience; let us profit by the and authorized, and have the protection of the State. example; let us avoid a similar catastrophe. If we turn The former were literally and truly insurgents, banditti, a deaf ear to the complaints and remonstrances of the rioters, and lawless: the latter are a nation, a State, a South; if we attempt to silence and put down, by force of component member of this Union. arms, the voice of reason and justice; may not the attempt The bill proposes to invest the President with power to be followed by similar misfortunes-by a like fatal catas- march the troops of one State into the bosom of another; trophe? May we not see a union of common resistance, to put the Union at war with itself; to wage a war which established by common interest, among those who suffer must involve the innocent with the guilty. Is not this n common with South Carolina? May we not see another consideration weighty enough of itself to turn our thoughts union arise, on the ruins of the present constitution, in from such a measure, and to search for some other means that section of the country which is now complaining and of securing peace and good order? suffering under the system of protective duties? Let us Mr. President: If we make war upon the ordinance, pause before we follow the example of Great Britain; let and Government, and laws, and people of South Carolina us not rashly rush into civil war; let us examine the foun--conquer her, prostrate her in the dust, what are we to dations of our institutions; let us look at the past and the do? Govern the people and territory as a conquered future, and see if it be wise, prudent, or just, to make war colony? South Carolina is a member of the Union, and upon a sovereign people-a State a constituent member the constitution guaranties to her a republican form of of this union of States. It is not a mob, a parcel of riot. Government. If we extinguish her from the federal ers, a lawless pack of banditti and insurgents, that this escutcheon, we violate the constitution. If we govern bill proposes to "suppress” by military force. It is not ber by a peculiar law, different from the rule applicable a “riotous assemblage of persons resisting the custom- to the other States, we break the constitution. * Viewed house officers,' “or in any other manner” opposing the in every light in which it is presented to my mind, the bill execution of the revenue laws, “or otherwise assisting and seems to me to be in conflict with the constitution, and abetting violations of the same.” No; it is the State of tends to drive South Carolina from the Union by the powSouth Carolina: the people acting in convention by ordi- er of the sword. nance; the Legislature and the Executive of South Caro- That I may not appear to have spoken too strongly, I lina, untruly called by this bill a “riotous assemblage.” will call the attention of the Senate to the first and fifth
Jax. 30, 1833.]
(SENATE. sections of the bill. As to the others, although unguard- Mr. B. then passed to the consideration of the fifth ed and objectionable, they may be amended. So long as section, which he read as follows: the contest is between judiciary and judiciary, so long as Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That whenever the it is waged by opinions and counter-opinions, with press President of the United States shall be officially informed and paper,or pen and paper, it is comparatively harmless. by the authorities of any State, or by the circuit and one It is when force is to be employed that I am apprehensive of the district judges of the United States, in the State, of danger.
that, within the limits of such State, any law or laws of [Here Mr. B. read from the bill the provision which the United States, or the execution thereof, or of any authorized the removal of the custom-houses, and even process from the courts of the United States, will, in any to keep them on board a vessel, where the collection event, be obstructed by the employment of military force, of the revenue is obstructed or threatened: "and it or by any other unlawful means, too great to be overcome shall be the duty of the collector to reside at such place, by the ordinary course of judicial proceeding, or by the and there to detain all vessels and cargoes arriving within power vested in the marshal by existing laws, it shall be the said district, until the duties imposed on said cargoeslawful for him, the President of the United States, forthby law be paid in cash, deducting interest, according to with to issue his proclamation, declaring such fact or inexisting laws; and, in such cases, it shall be unlawful to formation, and requiring all such military and other force take the vessel or cargo from the custody of the proper forthwith to disperse; and if, at any time after issuing officer of the customs, unless by process from some court such proclamation, any such opposition or obstruction of the United States.”]
shall be made, in the manner or by the means aforesaid, On this part of the section he would remark, that, as it the President shall be, and hereby is, authorized promptwas applied to the State of South Carolina alone, it is a ly to employ such means to resist and suppress the same, violation of the constitution, which requires that “no and to cause the said laws or process to be duly executed, preference shall be given, by any regulation of commerce as are authorized and provided in the cases therein menor revenue, to the ports of one State over another.” The tioned by the act of the twenty-eighth of February, distinction between one port and another is apparent and one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, entitled oppressive, which makes duties payable at one port in cash, “ An act to provide for calling forth the militia to execute and in others in bonds. As to so much of the section as di- the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, repel invarects that the goods shall be kept till the money is paid, he sions, and to repeal the act now in force for that purwould say nothing, as he would not dwell on minute points pose;" and, also, by the act of the third of March, one while others of great importance demanded attention. thousand eight hundred and seven, entitled “An act
The section goes on to provide that “in case of any authorizing the employment of the land and naval forces attempt otherwise to take any vessel or cargo by any force of the United States, in cases of insurrection.” or combination, or assemblage of persons too great to be Mark the words; when the President is officially in. overcome by the officers of the customs, it shall and may formed that the operation of the law “will, in any be lawful for the President of the United States, or such event, be obstructed by military force," or " by any person or persons as he shall have empowered for that other unlawful means," &c., he may issue his propurpose, to employ such part of the land or naval forces, clamation, and thereafter employ military force. Now, or militia of the United States, as may be deemed neces-sir, I beg leave to ask the meaning of “any other unlawful sary, for the purpose of preventing the removal of such vessel or cargo, and protecting the officers of the customs Are they not intended to include the state of things in in retaining the custody thereof; and also for the purpose South Carolina? Do they not mean that, if the State of suppressing any armed or riotous assemblage of per- shall not rescind the ordinance and her laws, the Presisons resisting the custom-house officers in the exercise of dent may employ the army, navy, and militia, to compel their duties, or in any manner opposing the execution of her? They are intended to oppose South Carolina by the revenue laws of the United States, or otherwise vio- force of arms—by war. Yes, sir, it is war against a State: lating or assisting and abetting violations of the same." it authorizes a declaration of war against the State of
The offences included under the words “or in any South Carolina, to be made by proclamation of the Premanner opposing the execution of the revenue laws, or sident, in his discretion, upon after, not upon existing facts. otherwise assisting and abetting," are too general and un- The power to declare war is, by the constitution, vestdefined. They do not go sufficiently into detail, to secure ed in the Congress. They are to judge and decide on the the rights of citizens in a free Government. Such general policy and expediency of so calamitous a measure, before terms in creating offences, conferring powers on military the honest industrious yeomanry of the country are officers to shoot down the supposed offenders, suit only called from their peaceful homes to partake of the toils, despotic Governments, where the subject is considered privations, and miseries of war. But in defence of the but a thing, the property of the autocrat. They do not constitution, which be will violate by this very act, we comport with the genius of our institutions. If the mili- are to confer upon a single Executive Magistrate the tary is to supplant the civil authority; if, instead of a fair power vested in Congress by the constitution. Yes, sir, and impartial trial by jury, the supposed offender is to be it is giving power to the President to declare war, and to executed at once by the soldiery, shot down as a wild make such declaration effectual by the naval and military beast, the offence should be clearly defined and flagrant. forces. Sir, I am not in favor of this. “It has an awful Now, sir, I do object to conferring on the Chief Magis- squinting towards monarchy." trate and his subordinate military officers the power to While on this part of the subject, my mind leads me declare and punish offences, included under such vague to those times when the colonies maintained, as rightful, expressions. The power which I would give to the Pre- resistance to unjust and oppressive usurpation; when the sident of my choice, I would give to any other President; spirit of freedom and patriotism animated the breasts of but I would not trust any President with such power. 1 our ancestors. Great Britain attempted to introduce miwould not set so bad an example, to exert its dangerous litary force to overawe and humble the colony of Massainfluence on future generations. If one President is in- chusetts. A resolution of the Legislature of Massachuvested with such authority, it becomes a precedent for setts was passed in 1769, declaring “ that the establishfuture Legislatures to imitate and enlarge. My objections ment of a standing army in this colony, in time of peace, are not aimed at the man who is in the Executive chair, is an invasion of natural rights; that a standing army is but they allude to general principles--to the safeguards not known as a part of the British constitution; that of civil liberty.
sending an armed force into the colony, under pretence