Pennsylvania daily telegraph. (Harrisburg, Pa.) 1857-1862, January 11, 1861, Image 1

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TERMS.--SarGis Sm=sumoor
The DAILY TELEGRAPH is served to subscribers in IliL
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ins LAW OF 11141111PAPIRS
f subscribers order the discontinuance of their news
papers, the publisher 'may continue to send them until
all arrearages are paid.
If 'subscribers neglect or refuse to take their newspa
pers from the office to which they are directed, they are
responsible until they hav" settled the bills and ordered
them discontinued
General Jackson in 1832.
The Proclamation was read by the Clerk of
the House of Representatives, as follows :
Wuzazas, a convention assembled in the State
of South Carolina have passed an Ordinance, by
which they declare "That the several acts and
parts of acts of Congress of the United States,
purporting to be laws for the imposing of du
ties and imposts on the importation of foreign
commodities, and now baying actual operation
and effect within the United States, and more
especially" two acts, for the same purposes,
passed on the 29th of May, 1828, and on the
14th of July, 1832, "are authorized by the
Constitution of the United States, and violate
the true meaning and intent thereof, and are
null and void, and no law," nor binding on the
citizens of that State or its officers ; and by the
said Ordinance it is further declared to be un
lawful for any of the constituted authorities of
the State or of the United States, to enforce the
payment of the duties imposed by the said acts
within the same State, and that it is the duty
of the Legislature to pass such laws as may be
necessary to give full effect to the said Ordi
And whereas, by the said Ordinance, it is fur
titer ordained, that, in no case of law or equity
decided in the courts of said State, wherein
shall be drawn in question the validity of the
said Ordinance, or of the acts of the Legislature
that may be passed to give, it effect, or of the
said laws of the United States, appeal shall be
allowed to the Supreme Court of the United
States, nor shall any copy of the record be per
mitted or allowed for that purpose ; and that
any person attempting to take such an appeal
shall be punished as for a contempt of court :
And, finally, the said Ordinance declares that
the people of South Carolina will maintain the
said Ordinance at every hazard ; and that they
will consider the passage of any act by Con
gress, abolishing or closing the ports of the said
State, or otherwise obstructing the free ingress
or egress of vessels to and from the said, ports,
or any other act of the federal government to
coerce the State, shut up her ports, destroy or
harass her commerce, or to enforce the said acts
otherwise than through the civil tribunals of
the country, as inconsistent with the longer
continuance of South Carolina in the Union ;
and that the people of the said State will
thenceforth hold themselves absolved from all
further obligation to maintain or preserve their
political connexion 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 :
And whereas the said Ordinance prescribes to
the people of South Carolina a course of con
duct, in direct violation of their duty as citi
zens of the United States, contrary to the laws
of their country, subversive of its Constitution,
and having for its object the destruction of the
Union—that Union, which, coeval with our
political existence, led our fathers, without
any other ties to unite them than those of pa
triotism and a common cause, through a san
guinary straggle to a glorious independence—
that sacred Union, hitherto inviolate, which,
perfected by our happy Constitution, has brought
us, by the favor of Heaven, to a state of pros
perity at home, and high considerations abroad,
rarely, If ever, equalled in the history of na
tions To prserve this bond of our political
existence from destruction, to maintain invio
late this state of national honor and prosperity,
and to justify the confidence my fellow-citizens
have reposed in me, I, ANDREW Jecxsos, Presi
dent of the United Slates, have thought proper to
issue this my PROCLAMATION, stating my views
of the Constitution and laws applicable to the
measures adopted by the convention of South
Carolina, and to the reasons they put forth to
sustain them, declaring the course which duty
will require me to pursue, and, appealing to
the understanding and patriotism of the peo
ple, warn them of the consequences that must
inevitably result from an observance of the dic
tates of the convention.
Strict duty would require of me nothing
more than the exercise of those powers with
which I am now, or may hereafter be invested,
for preserving the peace of the Union, and for
the execution of the laws. But the imposing
aspect which opposition has assumed in this
by clothing itself with State authority,
and the deep interest which the people of the
United States must all feel in preventing a re. I
sort to stronger measures, while there is a hope
that anything will be yielded to reasoning and
remonstrance, perhaps demand, and will cer
sainly justify, a full exposition of South Caro-
lino, and the nation of the views I entertain of
this important question, as well as a distinct
enunciation of the course which my sense of
duty will require me to pursue.
The Ordinance is founded, not on the inde- 1
feasible right of resisting acts which are plainly
unconstitutional and too oppressive to be en
dured, 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 sound by no other of its laws than
those it may choose to consider as constitu
'tknial. 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 u ncon t ro ll e d
right to decide what laws deserve that charac
ter, is to give the power of resisting all laws.--
For, as by the theory there is no appeal, the
reasons alleged by the State, good or bad, must
prevail. If it should be said that public opin
ion 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 in
defeasible, and which does not exist in the
other.. There are two appeals from an uncon
stitutional act passed by Congress—one to the
judiciary,--the other to- the people and .the
States. There is no appeal from the State de
cision in theory ; and the practical illustration
shows that the courts are closed against an fp-,
plication to review it, both judges and jurors
being aworn to decide in its favor. But reason
ieg on this subject is superfluous when our so
cial compact in express terms declares, that the
laws of the United States, its Constitution, and
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 there
by, anything in the Constitution or laws of any -
State to the contrary notwithstanding!:
_ 0 4.n4
it f ri sky be asserted, without fear of refOtathil;
that no federative govenunent could exist
without a &miler provision. Look itir a nio-
uns *
e I
1" .
kljt) 1,9 '
"irila"4cos,o"L'3X 4
$ 2.00
ment to the consequence. 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 col
lected anywhere ; for all imposts must be equal.
It Is no answer to repeat than an unconstitu
tional 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 perliips 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 dis
solved in its infancy. The excise law in Penn
sylvania, the embargo and non-intercourse law
in the eastern' States, the carriage tax in Vir
ginia, were all deemed unconstitutional, and
were' more unequal in their operation than any
of the laws now complained of ; but, fortunate
ly, 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 dis
grace, instead of victory and honor, if the
States who supposed it a ruinous and unconsti
tutional measure, had thought they possessed
the right of nullifying the act by which it was
declared, and denying supplies for its prosecu
tion. Hardly and unequally as those measures
bore upon-the severamembeis of the Union,
to - the Legislature* Of none did this efficient and
peaceable remedy, as it is called, suggest itself.
The diseovery of this important feature in our
Constitution was reserved to 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.
If the doctrine of a State veto upon the laws
of the Union carries with it internal evidence
of its impracticable absurdity, our constitu
tional history will also afford abundant proof
that it would have been repudiated with indig
nation, had it been proposed to form a feature
in our government.
In our colonial state, although dependent, on
another power, we very early considered our
selves as connected by common interest with
each other. Leagues were formed for common
defence, and before the declaration of inde
pendence, we were known in our aggregate
character as the Munn Commits or imanca..—
That decisive and important step was taken
jointly.. We declared ourselves a nation by a
joint, not by several acts ; and when the terms
of our confederation were reduced to form, it
was in that of a solemn league of several States
by which they agreed that, they would, collect
' ively, form one nation for the purpose of con
ducting some certain domestic concerns, and all
foreign relations. In the instrument forming
that Union, is 'found an article which declares
that "every State shall abide 'by the determi
nations of Congress on all questions which by
that confederation should be submitted to
Under "the confederation then •no State
could legally annul a decision of Congress, or
refuse to submit to its execution ; but no pro
vision was made to enforce these decisions.—
Congress made requisitions,. but they were not
complied with.' The government could not
operate on individuals. They had no judiciary,
no means of collecting revenue.
Bat the defects of the confederation need not
be detailed. Under its operation we could
scarcely be called a nation. We had neither
prosperity at home nor consideration abroad.
This state of things could not be endured, and
our present happy Constitution was formed,;
but formed in vain, if this fatal doctrine pre
vails. It was formed for important objects
that are announced in the preamble made in
the name and by the , authority of the people
of the United States, whose delegates
framed, and whose conventions approved
it The most important among these objects,
that which is placed first in rank, on which all
the others rest, is "to form a more perfect un
ion." Now, is it possible that, even if there
were no express provision giving
the Constitution and laws of the United States
over those of the States, it can be conceived,
that an instrument made for the purpose of
"forming a more perfect union" than that of
the confederation, could be so constructed by
the assembled wisdom of our country, as to
substitute for that confederation a form of gov
ernment dependent for its existence on the lo
ad interest, the party spirit of a State. or of a
prevailing faction in a State ? Every man: of
plain unsophisticated understanding,who hears
the question, will give'snch an answer as will
preserve the Union.- Metaphysical subtlety, in
pursuit of an impraoticabletheory, could alone
have devised one that is calculated to destroy
I consider, then, the power to annul a law of
the United States, assumed by, one State, in
compatible7With the existence of the Union,
contradicted expressly by the letter of the Con
stitution, unauttiorivail by its spirit, inoonsist
ent with every principle on which it was found
ed, and destructive of the great object for
' which it was formed.
After this general view of the leading prin
ciple, we must examine the particular applies
tion of it which is made in the ordinance.
The preamble rests its justification on these
grounds: It assumes as a fact, that the obnox
ious laws, although they purport to be laws
for raising revenue, were, in reality, intended.
for the protection of manufactures, which pur
posedt asserts to be unconstitutional—that the
oteration of these laws is unequal—that the
amount raised by thorn is greater than is re
quired by the .wants of •thegovernment—and,
finally, - that the proceeds are to be applied. to
objects unauthorized by the. Constitution.—
These are the only causes alleged to justify an
open opposition to the laws - of the country, and
a threat of seceding from the Union, if any at
tempt should be 'made to enforce them. The
first virtually acknewledges that the law in
question was passed under s power expressly
given by the Constitution, to lay and collect
imposts ; but its constitutionality is drawn in
question from the motives of those who passed
it. However apparent this purpose may be in
the present case, nothing can be more danger
ous than to admit the_position, that an uncon
4ittstional 'purpose, ' entertained by the mem-
hers who assent to ,a liwenticted under a con
stitutionaltower , shall.mtike that law void
for how is . - that tiitiptee 'tit be ascertained ?
Whole to malte theiturntiny ? How often may
bad purposes be falsely-imputed fin how- many
cases arelhey condealeid bydalse professions ?
in how Many IS no• declaration ofmotive made?
Admit:this doctrine,. and YoUtiveto the States
an, uncontrolled ilglitledecide; Sad every T law
May be:intipilewi under this pretext. If, there
fore; #lO abouni and dangerous doctrine should
beadfaitteld that a•Statii may annul en necon
ititiltibiiallaw, Of One that" it"deettiti - Such, it
wHinotapply tetheOfiAnt ' cue. •
. ~ T hitaext. objection le, that the laws ,lagnes-
tion operate unequally. This objection may
be made with truth, to every law that has been
or can be passed. The wisdom of man never
yet contrived a system of taxation. that would
operate with perfect equality. If the unequal
operation of a law makes it unconstitutional,
and if all laws of that description may be ab
rogated by any State for that cause,then indeed
is the Federal Constitution unworthy of the
slightest'effort for its preservation. We have
hitherto relied on it as the perpetual bond of
our Union. We have received it as the work
of the assembled wisdom of the nation. -We
have trusted to it as to the sheet anchor of our
safety, in the stormy times of cent:Set with a
.foreign or domestic foe. We have looked to it
with sacred awe, as the palladium of our-liber
ties, and, with all the solemnities of
have pledged to each other our lives and for
tunes here, and our hopes of happiness hereaf
ter, in its defence and support. Were we mis
taken, my countrymen, in attaching this im
portance to the Constitution of our country ?
Was our devotion paid to the wretched, ineffi
cient, clumsy contrivance, which this new dec
line would make ite? Did we pledge ourselves
to the support of an airy nothing—a bubble
that must be blown away by the - first breath of
disaffection ? Was this self-destroying, vision
ary theory, the work of the profound states
men, the exalted patriots,; to whom the task of
constitutional reform was intrusted? Did tbe
name of Washington sanction, did the States
deliberately ratify, such an anomaly in the his
tory of fundamental legislation ? No: We
were not mistaken ! The letter *this great
instrument is free from this radical fault : its
language directly contradicts the imputation
its spirit—its evident intent—contradicts it.
No, we did not err! Our Constitution does
not contain the absurdity of giiing power to
make laws, and another power to resist them.
The sages, whose memory will always be rev
erenced, have given us a practical, and ; as, they
hoped, a permanent constitutional compact.
The Father of hie Country did not affix his re
vered name to so palpable an absurdity. Nor.
did the States, When they severally ratified it,
do so under the impression, that a veto on the
laws of the United States was reserved-to them
so that they could exercise it by implication.
Search the debates of all their conventions—
examine the speeches of the most 'zealous-op
posers of Federalanthority—iook at the amend
ments that were propmed. They are all silent
—not a sylable uttered, not a vote• given, not
a motion made, to correct the explicit supre
macy given to the laws of the Union, over
those of the States---or to show that implica
tion, as is now contended, could defeat it. No,
we have not •erred ! The Constitution is still
the object of our reverence, the bond 'of our
Union, our defence in danger, the source of
our prosperity andfpeace. It shall descend, as
we have received it, uncorrupted by sophistical
construction, to our posterity ; and the sacri
fices of local interests, of State prejudices, of
personal animosities,-that were made to bring
it into existence, will again be patriotically of
fered for its support.
The two remaining objections, made by the
Ordinance to these. UM, ate; thatihe surristp*
tended to be raised by them, - are greater that)
are required, and that.the proceeds will be me
constitutionally employed.. The constitution
hasgiven expressly to-Congress, the right of
raising revenue, and of determining the sum
the public exigencies will require. The Statei
have no control over the exercise of this right,
other than that which'results from--the power
.of changing the representatives who abuse it,
and thus procure redress:
Congress may, undoubtedly, abuse this dis
cretionary power, but the same may be said of
others with which they: are vested. Yet the
discretion must exist somewhere. The, consti
tution has given it to' the repttsentatives of
the people; checked by the representatives of
the States, and by the executive. power. The.
South Carolina construction. gives-it to the
legislature or the convention of a single State,
where neither the people of the different States,
nor the States in their separate capacity, nor
the chief magistrate, elected by the:people,have
any representation. Which is the Most din
creet disposition of the power ? I do not ask
you, fellow-citizens, Which is, the constitutional
disposition-,that instrument sPeafts a language
not to be mieunderstood.. But if yon:: were as
sembled in general convention, which Would
you: thinklhe safest depository of this discre
tionary power, in the last resort? Would you
add a clause, giving r.t to each of the States ;
or would you eanction the wise -provisions al
ready made by your _constitution? If this
Should be the result of your, deliberations, when
providing -for the future, are you—can you be
—ready to risk all:that we:hold dear, to estab
lish, for a temporary and a local purpose, that
which yon must acknowledge to be destructive,
and even absurd, as a general provision? Car
ry out the consequences of this right vested in
the different States, and • you must perceive
'that the crisis your conduct presents at this
day, -would recur whenever any law of, the
United States displeased any of the States, and
that we should soon cease to be a nation.
The Ordinance, with the same knowledge of
the future that characterizes a - former objection,
tells you that the proceeds of the tax will be
unconstitutionally applied. If this should be
ascertained with certainty, the objection would,
with more propriety, be reserved for the law
so applying the proceeds, but surely cannot be
urged against the laws levying the duty.
These are the allegations contained in the
Ordinance. Examine them seriously, my fel
low-citizens—judge for yourselves. I appeal
to you to determine whether they are so clear,so
convincing, as to leave no doubt of their cor
rectness : and even if you should -come to this
conclusion, how far they justify the reckhes,
destructive course, which yon are directed to
pursue. Review these oblections, and the con
clusions drawn from them once more. What
are they ? Every law, then, for raising reve
nue, according to the South Carolina Ordi
nance, may be rightfully annulled, unless it be
so framed as no law ever will or can be framed.
Congress have a right to pass laws for raising
revenue, and each State has aright to oppose
their execution—two rights directly opposed to
each other ; and
,yet is this absurdity sup
posed to be contained in an instrument drawn
for the express purpese of avoiding collisions
between the States and the general govern
meat, by an assembly of the most enlightened
statesmen and Rarest patriots ever embodied
for a similar purpose.
In vain have these sages declared that Con
gress shall have power to lay and collect taxes,
duties, imposts, and excise—in vain have they
provided that they shall have power to pass
laws which shall be necessary and proper to
carry those powers into execution ; that those
laws and that constitution shall be the "su
preme law of the lands and that the judges in
every State ihall be bound thereby, anything
in the constitution or laws of any State to the
contrary notwithstanding." In vain have. the
people of the Several States - solemnly sane-
tioned these provisions, made them their, par
amount law, and individuallY'swotn toSupPoit
them whenever they were called on to execute
any office. Vain provisions I ineffectual re
striction vile profanation of oaths 1. miserable
mookery of legislation rif n, Wm. majority of
the Voters in any one. State, may,.on a real or
suPposed knowledge of the intent with which
a law has been putted, declare theresertes free
from its operation—say here it gives:too little
there too. much, and operates uneqnally—here
it suffers articles to be free that ought to be
taxed, there it tides Ahode that, ought to be
free—in this case the proceeds.are intended to
be applied to purposes which we do net approve ;-
inthat'the amount raisedis more than is want
ed. Congress, it is true, are invested by the
`constitution, with the right .of deciding these
questions according to their sound discretion.
Coniressis composed of the, representatives t of
all the States ; and of all the people ofllithe
States ; bnt vs, part - of the people of one State,
to whom the constitution has given no power
on the subject, from whom it has expressly
taken it away—we,, who have solemnly agreed
that this constitution shall be -criu law—we,
most of whom have sworn to - support it—we
now abrogate this law,
and swear, and force
others to swear, that it shall not be obeyed—
and w,e do this, not because Congress have no
right to pass such laps; this.we do not allege ;
but because they have passed Ahem with im
proper views. They are unconstitutional frctin'
the motives of those who passed them, which
we, can never with certainty know, from- their
_unequal operation ; although it is, impossible
from the nature of things that they should be
equab—and from the disposition which we pre
sume may be-made of their proceeds, although,
that disposition his not been declared. This
s the plain meaning of the Ordinance in rela
ion to laws which it abrogates for alleged un
onstitutionality. But it doea not stop there.t
It repeals, in express terms, an important par
of the constitution itself, and of laws
give it effect,' which have never beep alleged
to, be, unconstitutional. Tlie constitution de
clares that the judicial powers of the United
States extend to cases arising under the lawstof
the United States, and that , such laws, the
the - constitution, and treaties shall be para
mount to the State constitutions and laws.
,The judiciary aet prescribes the , mode by which
the case may be brought before a court of the
United States,, by appeal, when-a State .tribunal
shallfilecide against this provision of the con
stitution., The Ordinance declares there shill
be no appeal ; 'makes the State laws paramount
to the Constinition and laws of the United
States ; forces judges and jurors to swear that
they will disregard their provisions,; and even
makes. it penal in a suitor to attempt relief by
;appeal. It further" declares that it shall not be
lawful for the authorities of the United States,
or.ofthat State, to enforce the paymentof du
ties imposed
by. the revenue laws within its
limits. •
• n law of the United: States,: not even
pretended tor, be unconstitutional, repealed by
the authority of a small majority _of the voters
of a single. State, Here iff.:ll provision of the
Constitntion which is solemnly abrogated by
the same authority,
On such expositions and reasonings, the Or
dinance grounds, not only an assertion of the
right to annul the laws of - which it complains,
but to enforce it'by a threat Of Seceding froin
the Union, if any attempt is - Made to execute
them. '
Tbds right to'seeede is deduced - from the na-`
ture of. the Congtitution.,_which, they say, is a
compact between sovereign States, who have
preserved their whole sovereignty; and, there
fore, are subject to, no superior : that, becanie
they made the compact, - they can- break it
when, in their opinion, it has been departed
from by the other States. Fallacious as this'
course of reasoning is. it enlists State pride,
and finds advocates' in the honest prejudices of
those who have not studied the nature of out
government'sufficiently to see the radical error
on which it rests.
The people of the United States formed the
Constitution, acting through the State Legisla
tures in making the cob:Tact, to meet and dis
cuss its provisions, and acting in separate con
venitons when they ratified those provisional
but the terms used in its construction, show': it
to be a geveinment in which the People - of all
the States. collectively are represented. We
are one people, in the choice of the President and
.Vice President. liere the States have no other
agencythan to 'direct the mode in which the
votes shall be given. The candidates having
the majority of all the votes, are, chosen. The
electors of "a majority of States may have,given
their votes for one candidate, and yet another
maybe chosen. The people:then, and not; the.
States, - are represented in the executive branch.
In thelionse of Represeatatives.there is the,
difference,_ that the people of one State do not,
as in. the &iset'of President and Vice President,
all vote' folthe same officers. The people of
all the States, do not vote for all the members,
each State electing only its own - representatives.
But this creates no.material distinction. When
ehosen - they are ell - tepresentatives of the
United States, not represented* of the par
tictilir State' from which they come. They are,
paid by the' United States, not by . the State;
nor are they accountable to it for any act done
in, the performance of their legiilative func
tions ; And, however they may in practice, as it
is their duty to do, consult and ,prefer: the in
terests of their particular conatitnents when
they come in conflict with'any ether' partial or
local interest, yet it is their first and highest
duty, as representatives of the United States,
to promote the general'good.
the Constitution of the United Stites, then,
forms a government, not a league ; and whether
it be formed by cominint between the States, of
in any other manner, its character is the same.
It is a government in which all the people are
represented, winch operates directly on the
!pleludividually„ : not - upon States; they re
tained 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 de
stroys the unity of , a nation, and any injury to
that unity is not only a breach which would re
sult from the contravention of a cOmpact, but
it is an offence against the whole Union. To
say that any State may at pleasure secede from
the Union, is to say that the United StatCs are.
not a nation : bpcause it would be a solcciatn to
contend that any part or a nation might dis
solve its connexion with the other parts, to.
theirinjury or ruin, without committing any
offence. Secession, like any other revolution
ary act, may be moarlly justified by the' ex
tremity of oppression; but to call it a constitu-,
tional right is confoundiog the meaning of
terms; and can only be done through gross
error, or to deceive those-who are:aping to as,
Bert a right, but woulcipaute bCfore.theytriade
a revolution, or incur the ., penalties' consequent.
on a failure.
• Because the Union was formed by compact,
it eaid the parties to that compact may,
;when: they feel themselves aggrieved, depart
from it ' • but it is precisely because it is a com
pact that they cannot. A compact is an agree-
Aleut or binding obligation. It may, by its
terms, have a sanction or penalty for its breach,
or it may not. If it contains - no sanction, it
may be broken with no other consequence than
moral guilt : if it hive a sanction. then the
breach incurs the designated or implied penal
ty. A league between independent nations,
generally, has no sanction other than a moral
one ; or, if it should contain a penalty, aa - there
is no common superior, it cannot be enforced.
A government, on the contrary, always has a
unction, expressed or implied ; and; in our
case, it is both necessarily impliedand express
ly given. An attempt by, force of arms to de
stroy a government, is an offence, by whatevbr
means the constitutional compact may have
been formed ; and such government has the
iight, by : the law of self-defence, to pass acts
for punishing the offender, unless, hat right. hi
mbdified, restrained or resumed, by the consti
tutional act. In our system, although it is the case of treason, yet authority - is
expressly given to pass all laws necessary to
carry its powers into effect, and under this
grant provision bas been made for punishing
acts which obstruct the due administration of
the laws.
It,Would seem superfluous to add anything
to show the nature of that union which con
nects us; but .ail erroneous ,opinions on this
subject are the foundation of doctrines the
most destructive to our peace, I must give
some further development to my views on this
subject. No one, fellow-citizens, has a higher
reverence for the reserved rights of the States,
than the magistrate Who now addresses you.—
No one would inakkgreater personal =tikes,
or official ex.erthins; to defend -them from vio
lation; but equal care must be taken to prevent
on-their part animproper interference with, or
i•esuinption of,-the rights 'they-have treeted in
the nation. The line - has been so distinctly
drawn as to avoid doubts in some cases of the
exercise of power. Men of the beat intentions
and soundest views 'may differ in their con
struction of some parts of the Constitution; buf
there are others on which dispassionate reflec
tiOn can leave no clOubt: Of this nature appears
to be the assumed' right of secession. Irrests,
:as we have seen, on the alleged undivided soy
ereignty of the States, and on their having
formed in this sovereign capacity a compact
which is called- the - Constitution, from which,
-because they made it, theyhave a right to se
cede. Both of:these Vaal-ens - are erroneous,
and some of the argtitnents to prove them so
have been anticipated.
The - States severally have not retained their
entire sovereignty. It has been shown that in
becoming parts_of a nation; not members of a
Teague,-they-,surrendered many of their essen
.tial parts of sovereignty. The right to 'make
t,reaties—deelare.war = Levy taxe&--exercilseva
clusive .judicial and legislative powers--vfere
&Ltd them. functions of sovereign power. - The
States, then, for all these important purposes,
ware-no- longer Sovereign. • The allegiance of
their citizens was transferred, in the first in
stance, 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 canthat State -be said to be sover
eign and independent, whose citizens owe obe
dience to laws not made by it, - - and Whose ma
gistratesaresworn to disregard those leis, when
they come in conflict with those passed by an
other ? What shows conclusively that the
States cannot be said to have reserved an fun
divided.sovereignty, is, that they expressly ce
ded the right to punish treason—not treason
Against their separate power—but treason
against the United States, Treason lean offence
againit aovesriglity; and - sovereignty must reside
with: the power to punish it. But the reserved
rights.of the:States are not less sacred, because
they have.for their common interest-made the
general government the depository of these
Me unity of our.politioal. character (as has
been shown for. another. purpose) commenced
with . its very existence. Under the royal gov
ernment we.had no separate character—outiop
prition te 9pp,tessions, cIB,IJ=I2ID "POL.
ONlith.. We Were the Unman Siam under the
confederation, and e name was perpetuated,
and the Union rendered more perfect, by the
federal Constitution.. In none of these stages
did we consider ourselves in any other rlight
than as forming one nation. Treaties and al
lianc,es were , made in- the name of all. Troops
were raised frr the joint defence. How, then;
with,all these proofs that, - under all changes of
our, position, we, had, for designated purposes
and with defined powers,created national gov
ernments—how is , it, that -the most perfect of
those several modes of .union should now be
considered as a mere league, that it may, be
dissolved at pleasure? It is from an abuse of.
terms. Compactis used as synonymous with
league, althoughthe true term is not employe
ed, because it would at once show the fallacy
.of the r.easoning. It would not do to say that
our Constitution was only a league, but,. itis
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 secede. ..But it has been shown, that
in this sense the States are not sovereign ' and
that even if they were, and the national Con,
stitution had been formed by a compact, there
would be no right a in any one State to exhono
rate itself from its obligations.
So obvious are the reasons, which forbid this
secession,' that it 'is necessary only to allude to
them. The:Unioia VMS, foinirs:l ior the benefit
of all, slt Wes. produced by mutual sacrifices of
interests anclopinionit.. an-those sacrifices be
recalled I', Can the, Stites who magnanimously
starendered their:titles to_the teiritoriei of the
wee% recall the grant ? Will the inhabitants
of the inland Stites agree to pay the duties that
may be. imposed,Without their assent by those
on the Atlantic or the*Gulf, for. their oWn ben
efit _ Shall there be a tree port in one State,
and onerous duties In.another ? No one be
lies. that .any right. exists in .a single State to
involve all the others in these and countless
other evils,. contrary.- to the engagements
SO/emnlyy. made. - Everyone must see that. the
other. States, in self-defence; must oppose it at
These.are.theAlternatives thature presented
by. he convention: a xepeal of all the acts for.
.raising revenue, leaving the government with
ootthe mearusof support, or an acquiescence iii
the dissolution:Of the Union:by the secession of
one cif its members:: WhOn :the first was pro
posed, it was known that it could not be list=
, ened to•for a moment:. It .was kaown, if forco
was; applied - to, oppose the :execution of the,
Jaws, ,must he , Lrepellad. force-=that
Ckmgretis`canld notovithout involviAg
ktfain is fart
Having procured Steam Power 'Presses, we are
prepared to execute JOB and BOOR PRINTING of every
description, cheaper that it can be done at any other es.
tablishmentin the country.
Four lines or constitute one-balf Square. Fig
lines or more than four constitute a square.
Half Square. one day
one week
one month id ..{”•••••1 44444444 •
. three months . 3 00
" six m0nth5......, . . ... , . ...,....„,.. 4 0
one year • • _, , b 00
One Square one day . . 50
i ono week 2 00
" one month, „......... ............. 8 00
CI three months., , , ...,.
........... 5 00
" ISIX months.... , '...L. & 00
. .•
one year 10 00
....... .....
*a-Business notices inserted in the Local col umn, or
before Marriages and Deaths, FIVE CENTS FEE UNE
for each Insertion. - -
NO. 7.
%a-Marriages and Deaths to be charged
as regular
advertisements. .- • -
disgrage, and the country in ruin, accede to the
proposition ; and yet, if this is not done in a
given day, dr if any attempt is made to execute
the laws, the State is, by the ordinance, de
clared to be out of the Union. The majority
Of a convention assembled for that purpose,
have dictated these terms, or rather this rejec
tipmf all terms, in the name of the people of
South. Carolina. It is true, that the Governor
oftihe State speaks of the submission of. their
grievances to a convention of all the , States;
which, he says; they " sincerely" find aiiiiensly
seek and destre." Yet this obvious and con
stitutional mode of obtaining the sense of the
other States, on the construction of the federal
compact, and amending it, if necessary, has
never been attempted by those who have urged
the State on this' destrnctive measure: The
State might have:proposed the call fur a gene
ral convention, to the other States, and Con
gress, if a sufficient number of them concurred,
must have called it. But the 'first magistrate
of South Carolina, when he- expressed a hope
that, " on a,review by Congress and the lune
tionariei of the.general government of the
merits of the controversy,. sucila convention
will be accorded to them, must have known
that neither Congress nor any functioriary of
the general' government has authority to call
such a convention, unless it be demanded by
two:thirds of the States. This suggestion, then,
is another instance of the reckless inattention
to the provisions of the Constitution with
which this crisis has been madly hurried on; or
of the attempt to persuade, the people that a
constitutional remedy had been sought and re
fused. If the legislature of South Carolina
"anxiously desire" a general convention-to
oonsider their complaints, why have they not
made application for it in the way the Consti
tution points out? The assertion that they
"earnestly seek" It, is completely negatived by
the °Mission. •
This, then, is the position in which we stand.
A =all majority of the citizens of one State in
the Union have elected delegates to a State
convention: that convention 'has ordained that
all the revenue liws of the United States most
oe repealed, or that they are no longer a mem
ber of the Union. The Governor of that State
Wu; recommended to the legislature the raising
of an army to carry the seoesaion into effect,
and that he may be empowered to give clear
ances to vessels in the mune of the State. No
act of violent opposition to the laws has yet
been committed, but such a state of things is
hourly apprehended, and it is the intent of this
instrument to PROCLAIM not only that the duty
imposed on me by the Constitution "to take
care that the laws be faithfully executed,"
shalt be performed to the extentof the powers
already vested in me by law, or of such other
as the wisdom of Congress shall devise and en
trust to men for that purpose, but to warn the
citizens of South Carolina, who have been de
luded into an opposition to the laws, of the
danger they will incur by obedience to the ille
gal and disorganizing ordinance of the conven
—to exhort those who have refused to sup
port it to persevere in their determination to
uphold the Constitution and laws of their coun
try, and to point out to all the perilous situa
tion into which the good people of that State
have been led,—and that the. course they are
urged to pursue is one of ruin' nd disgrace to
the very State whose rights they affect to sup
Fellow-citizens of my native State!—let me
not only admonish you, as the first magistrate
of our common" country, not fo . incur the pen
alty of its laws, but use the influence that a
father would over his children whpm he saw
rushing to certain ruin. In that paternal lan
guage, with that paternal feeling, let me tell
you, my countrymen, that you are deluded by
men who are either deceived themselves, or
wish to deceive you. Mark under what pre
tences you have been led on to the brink of in
surrection and treason, on which you stand !
First, a diminution of the value of your
staple commodity, lowered by over production
in other quarters, and the Consequent diminu
tion in the value of your lands, were the sole
effect of the tariff laws. The effect of those
laws is confessedly injurious, but,the evil was
greatly exaggerated by the nnfounded- theory
yon were taught to believe, that `its' burdens
were in proportion to your .exporta, not to
your consumption of imported articles. Your
pride,wai reused' by the assertion that a sub
mission to those. laws was a state - of vassalage,
and that resistance to . ,theth was equal, in patri
otic inetit; dppartion our fathers offered
to the oppressive lawe of that Britain. You
were told that, this oppositithrmight be peace
ably—Might be constitutionally made—that
you might enjoy all the advantages of the Un
ion and'bear pone of its burdens.
Eloquent appeals .to year - passions to your
State' , -pricle,lo - yonr. native., courage; to your
Sense - of:real injury,, wore uSed:icilirepare you
for 'thee Peritid. :"tv hen: the thisli. --- whiCh COncealed
the hideous' featurec - Of-dientriOd'shOghl be torn
off. It fell,. and you were Made to look with
complanency on objects *high, not leng.iiince,
- von woiddhOyd - roppled: with hoirbi. _Look
back" - itt the aitC'whfch have brought You to
this'itate- , -lonic forward - to".the.cciptieqUences
icrivhictrittrinst inevitably ,lead ',Look - back
to *heti* first told you'aCtiii' indimement to
enter into this "..dangeroui course: The great
politiCal truth' was' repeated': to' you, that .you
had. the re . YolitianOryright of resistingall laws
thaftiere.polpably . tineOnetitittiontil,"and futol
erably oppressive it was added thet the right
to nullify - a law reste,d - Ma:the.earrie"Principle,
bat that it was apeaceable remedy I This Char
acter which was giyett to it, - receive
with too much ccinfideneethesaQitions that
Were made of the unconstitutionality of the
law, and its oppressive effects. Mark, my fel
low-citizentr, that,' by the tialiiisiion of your
leaders, the'unconstitutionality must be palpa
ble, or it wilt not justify tither resistance or
'nullification I What is the meaning of the
word palpable, in the sense in which it is here
used.?.-that which is apparent to . every one ;
that:which no man of ordinary intedect will
tail to perceive Is the unconstitutionality of
these Jaws of that description? . Let those
ameng.Your leaders who once approved and ad
vocated the principle of protective - duties; an
swer the question; and let them choose wbeth
et' they Will he considerediti ineapahle; than,
of perceiving that whictimust have bgen appar
ent to every man of common.underatandiug,or
'as - tin - posing upon your confidence; and endeav - , •
In, either case, they are unsafe, guides in the
pollens path they urge you to tread. Ponder
well on this cirbuirietence; end:yen-wig know
how to ~appreciato the _exaggerated) onguage
they address to you. They are not champions
of liberty, • etnulating -the:faMe of our revolu
tionory-fathem; nor, are you on-oppressed peo-
Ple;ixtriteirdittg, as they repeat to you, against
worse than!' - colonial vassalage. You- are free
members of aliourishhtz and. happy . :Union.—
Tilariiir no setil4d design to oppress you. You
hate indeedzfelt the unequal operation of laws
..Pmfted ointrih/vit.