By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Crisis of Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-One In The Government of The United States. - Its Cause, and How it Should be Met
Author: Steight, A. D.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Crisis of Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-One In The Government of The United States. - Its Cause, and How it Should be Met" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.






Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year eighteen hundred and
sixty-one, BY A. D. STREIGHT, In the Clerk's office of the District Court
of the United States for the District of Indiana.


  Crisis--its Cause                                              7

  Crisis--How to Meet it                                        17

  Constitution                                                  17

  Crittenden's Amendment                                        94

  Jackson's Proclamation                                        41

  Jackson's Administration compared with Buchanan's             68

  Missouri Compromise                                           93

  Missouri Compromise compared with Crittenden's Amendment      92

  Oath of President                                             22

  People--shall they rule                                       84

  People--duty of                                               85

  Treason--what constitutes                                     23

  Treason--who are guilty of                                    23

  Union--how to preserve the                                    81

  Union--the effects of war to sustain the                      83

  Union--why founded--Madison and others' opinions              36

  Union--utility of                                             24

  Webster's answer to Hayne                                     68



In presenting this volume to the people, we shall offer no apology. It has
been our constant effort to condense into as small a compass as possible
our views relative to the cause of our nation's calamity, and the proper
course to be pursued to restore the supremacy of the laws, the integrity
of the constitution, and to preserve the Union. We have aimed at nothing
but the good of our distracted country. That some will differ with us
relative to our proposed plan of managing our national affairs in this
hour of peril, is no more than we expect. We are aware that there are
true-hearted and well-meaning men who are of the opinion that we had
better compromise with the traitors to our country than to use forcible
means to compel obedience to the laws. But we think they are seriously
mistaken; that such a measure will but produce a temporary calm that will
be succeeded by a storm of increased violence. We have labored in the
first place to show that our present troubles are owing to a mistaken
policy on the part of our government in adopting temporary pacification
measures, instead of maintaining the supremacy of the laws. We have also
endeavored to show from letters written by some of the founders of our
government, that this is a government of the people collectly, and not a
government of the States. We have further endeavored to show that the
wisest of our statesmen were in favor of enforcing the laws regardless of
the feelings of those who rebelled against them; and finally, we trust,
that we have shown that a Republican government cannot be maintained
unless the people of every section of the country are compelled to submit
to the constitutional acts of the majority. We wish our Southern brethren
no harm, but they _must_ learn that this is a government composed of
freemen who will submit to their dictation no longer; and the sooner they
are apprized of this fact the better it will be for all parties concerned.
The necessity for a work of this kind has caused us to lay aside most
pressing business matters which needed our attention; but in these
perilous times we feel it our duty to do all we can to unite the people
upon this momentous crisis in our national affairs. The hurried manner in
which this work has been prepared, will account for the imperfections.




When we behold a blooming youth, just entering upon the sphere of manhood,
the fondest hopes of his honored parents, the admiration of all who know
him, the brightest genious of his age, begin to wither and decay, our
sinking spirits are aroused to make deep, anxious, earnest enquiry as to
the nature and cause of the disease that threatens to drag him to an
untimely grave, and bring misery, sorrow and pain to his unhappy parents,
friends and admirers, and if there is to be found a remedy within the
knowledge of man that will remove the malady, we are wont to apply it with
the utmost promptitude, and await its effects with fearful apprehensions
and the deepest suspense. No time is lost or exertion spared by the
friends of the afflicted, but with a united effort they rally, each
anxious to contribute the utmost of his ability to rescue the unfortunate
sufferer from the dangers that threaten to rob them of one to whom they
feel bound by every endearing tie that binds mankind to earth. Now, while
a case like this should justly excite our sympathies and awaken every
principle of humanity dwelling in the heart, yet how unimportant and
insignificant is such a case, when compared with the decaying symptoms of
a great, free, powerful and prosperous nation of over thirty millions of
inhabitants, whose institutions have been the hope and pride of the
friends of liberty, whose prosperity is the marvel of the world, whose
commerce extends to the most remote portions of the earth, whose territory
covers twenty-three degrees of latitude and sixty degrees of longitude,
whose soil is unsurpassed for the variety and richness of its
productions, whose government has been the shield and asylum for the
oppressed of all nations, and whose prosperity and power has been the
object of jealousy and dread of the tyrants of every division of the
globe. Yes, America has been, since the beginning of the nineteenth
century, the stumbling block of tyrany, the good samaritan to the poor and
unfortunate of the civilized portions of the earth, her unexampled
progress the astonishment and admiration of every lover of liberty and
friend of humanity, the framers of her institutions are honored as the
noblest statesmen of any age, for their patriotism, purity and wisdom. And
yet, strange as it may seem, this model government, this land of the free
and home of the brave, presenting an aggregate of individual and national
wealth, happiness and prosperity unequalled by the same numbers on the
face of the earth, although in the first century of its gigantic infancy,
it is now trembling with all the convulsive symptoms of revolution and
civil commotion, which threatens to undermine the very basis of our
institutions and our liberties. Nay, the threatening storm is now
producing a tumultuous sensation that is rocking the temple of liberty
from top to bottom, and from center to circumference.

Such being the sad picture of the true condition of our country, we will
proceed to make earnest enquiry as to the cause of the existing evils and
from whence they come; for it is a well known principle in politics, as
well as every other science, that in order to apply the rightful remedy
for an existing evil, it is of the utmost importance that the nature and
source of the evil should be carefully studied, and thoroughly understood
by those having the case in charge.

Although the threatening aspect of our national affairs have called forth
the opinions of some of our most able statesmen, relative to the causes of
our present troubles, yet, with due deference to their talents, sagacity
and wisdom, we feel constrained to say, that, in our opinion, they have
entirely overlooked, or omitted to mention, one of the chief causes that
have rendered the people of the Southern States so turbulant, defiant,
and, at last, nearly ungovernable.

We will now proceed to give a brief statement of what we believe to be
the source from whence most, if not all, our present difficulties can be
traced, and by so doing we trust the means for restoring peace to the
country will be more easily and unanimously decided upon.

In searching the political history of our country, it appears that in 1819
and '20, Congress objected to the further extension of slavery; (which, of
course, it had a perfect right to do,) consequently Missouri was rejected
when she applied for admission, because of her constitution recognizing
that institution. At this the South became very indignant, and her
statesmen predicted a speeded dissolution of the Union, unless Missouri
was admitted. The result was a compromise in which the South obtained all
she demanded, and then we learn nothing of her revolting spirit until the
celebrated tariff difficulty came up, which called out General Jackson's
proclamation, in 1832; and although that old hero stood his ground firmly
and did his whole duty nobly, yet there were those who were fearful that
South Carolina would injure herself, like the spoiled boy, who throws
himself on the floor, and in the midst of his rage, proceeds to bruise his
head against articles of a more substantial character, consequently there
was a compromise effected to appease her wrath. Again, when we were about
appropriating money to pay Mexico for territory obtained from her, David
Wilmot offered a proviso, that inasmuch as slavery did not exist in that
territory at the time it came into our possession, it should not exist
there thereafter. A very wise proviso, and a vast majority of the people
of the country were in favor of it, but then it did not suit the South,
consequently, her statesmen predicted an immediate dissolution of the
Union, if Mr. Wilmot's proviso should become a law, and, of course, most
of us loved the Union, hence we threw Mr. Wilmot's proviso overboard. But
shortly after that, California made application to come into the Union as
a free State. This was very obnoxious to our Southern brethren,
consequently, they would dissolve the Union, unless there was some
concessions made. Every body was at a loss to know what the nature of the
concession could be, for the government had already signed several blanks
for the South to fill out to their own liking, and it was supposed, that
in their wisdom, they had secured, at least, what belonged to them; but
then the country was declared to be in imminent danger of a speedy
dissolution, unless there could be a compromise effected with the South.
All hands were set at work to ascertain whether there was anything which
the government had not already granted them, and after diligent search it
was found that there was occasionally a fugitive slave escaping from
southern bondage, and as the people in some pertions of the country were
not much inclined to extend any great amount of sympathy to those who were
wont to pursue said fugitives, the South finally concluded to make this
proposition: That in case the government would compel every northern man
to aid in catching and returning the fugitive slaves at his own cost and
expense, then they, the South, would allow California to be admitted as a
free State, and suffer the Union to remain undivided. Most of us remember
well when this ultimatum was presented to us. We generally disliked the
idea of being called blood hounds and negro catchers, by the civilized
nations of the earth, saying nothing about the expense or our feelings
attending this unpleasant operation, but then we loved our country, and
could not think of its destruction without feelings of sadness, and when
the fire-eating gentry would show their teeth, brandish their bowie knives
and draw their revolvers, expressing their readiness, willingness, and
final determination to shoot down, cut and carve, and smash things
generally, provided we did not consent to catch Sambo; life being sweet to
us, and peace being desirable, we finally concluded to save our country,
even if we were compelled to chase Sambo to do it. And here again we
compromised upon the basis of what was called the Fugitive Slave Law of
1850. We do not claim any great show of bravery or firmness in this case,
but then if self degradation and humiliation to save our country is a mark
of patriotism, we would be sorry to hear of a more patriotic people than
we of the north proved ourselves to be in this transaction.

Peace being again declared to exist, things seemed to move quietly along
until the winters of 1853-'54, when, to everybody's surprise, (I mean in
the North,) one Stephen A. Douglas, desiring to become President of the
United States, set himself at work to find out whether there was not
something more which the South might have granted her to enhance her
interests. Stephen, being a man of great industry and perseverance,
searched carefully and thoroughly, and at last he found a restriction on
the extension of the institution of slavery north of thirty-six degrees
and thirty minutes north latitude. With great earnestness, and a show of
fairness, he entered into the task of removing this restriction. He was
soon made acquainted with the fact that this restriction was but a part of
a solemn compact, and that the party for whose benefit the restriction was
established, had paid for it a large price, and a disinheritance at this
time would be gross injustice toward the party aggrieved.

Even some of the Southern Senators labored hard to dissuade Stephen from
his purpose, on this account, but then Stephen was desirous of becoming
President, and not being excessively burthened with a high sense of
justice, he was inexorable in his undertaking, and pressed it with vigor
and energy. Southern statesmen espoused the cause with their usual
unanimity, and again declared that unless the restriction was removed this
Union would be dissolved. All will remember how reluctant the people of
the free States were to grant this demand; but, as in former times, we
loved our country, and when its very existence was threatened we were
desirous of avoiding the great calamity; hence, the restriction was
removed, and the famous Kansas and Nebraska Act became a law.

Although the South had thus far been successful in obtaining whatever they
demanded, nevertheless, the defiant course they had pursued, the
increasing frequency, and the nature of the demands, together with their
refusal to be governed by a compromise, even after dictating the terms of
it themselves, began to open the eyes of some of our Northern
statesmen--hence, the Republican party sprang into existence in 1854 with
the avowed intention of resisting through the ballot-box each and every
encroachment from our Southern brethren thereafter. This was declared by
the South to be very dangerous to the Union, and in 1856, when the
Republicans run a candidate in the person of John C. Fremont for the
Presidency, the South declared that to be a great insult to her dignity,
and a just cause for a dissolution of the Union. She blustered and
threatened to such an extent that they succeeded in frightening the people
of some of the free States into the support of James Buchanan, which,
together with her united vote, she succeeded in carrying the election, and
Mr. Buchanan became President. It soon became evident that the South were
not any way inclined to abandon their aggressive policy. The attempt to
subjugate the people of Kansas by forcing slavery upon them, against the
well known wish of three-fourths of the inhabitants, was sufficient to
wake up still another class of the people of the free States, which caused
large accessions to the Republican party, and a complete division of the
Democratic party. Finally, the Democrats met at Charleston on the 23d day
of April, 1860, to nominate candidates for President and Vice-President.
Protection for slave property in the territories was demanded by the
South--it was rejected--the convention split and adjourned. The South
nominated a separate candidate upon the slave protection platform, and
again resorted to her old tune of declaring the Union in danger; but the
people had become disgusted with this kind of electioneering, and most
emphatically refused to be bullied into the support of that dogma;
consequently they cast their votes for Abraham Lincoln, and elected him,
which is now declared by the South to be sufficient cause for dissolving
the Union. But some of the more moderate of the Southerners are willing to
suffer a portion of the Union to remain undivided, provided the North will
consent to amend the Constitution so as to legalize slavery as a national
institution. This is a very moderate request indeed; but, fellow
countrymen, _are you ready to grant it_?

We have thus sketched a brief history of what we believe to be the true
cause of the present crisis. And why is it the cause? The answer is plain
to everyone--the South have been in the habit of controlling the policy of
the government, by argument, if they could, but by threats of violence if
they failed with the first. They have been successful in so many schemes
of this kind, that they began to look upon that condition of things as
co-existent with our government. Now we shall not contend that our
Southern brethren are any more turbulent and ungovernable than the same
number of Northern men would be, if they had been similarly dealt with.
Had the government of the United States, instead of compromising with the
South when threats were made, pursued a straightforward course regardless
of the threats, or those who made them, and in case there had been
forcible resistance to the laws, called out sufficient force to suppress
the rebellion, then the people of the South would have learned one
important lesson in earlier times.

This would have saved both them and the government much trouble and
expense, but since they have not learned this lesson before, they should
learn it now; and though they may be somewhat like an overgrown,
high-spirited colt, that has never been harnessed, yet, with patience,
kindness and _firmness_, we trust they will still learn the lesson without
very seriously injuring either themselves or others. Should this not be
the case, if they are determined to resist all legal restraint, can there
be any advantage in further delaying the use of force? Can any one pretend
that further concession would help the case permanently? There is no use
of dodging the question. All must admit that the great cause of our
present troubles is owing to an unwillingness of the South to submit to
any terms except such as they may dictate. And some of them have even gone
so far as to say that even though they are allowed this privilege, they
would not abandon their treasonable designs. Verily we believe that Uncle
Sam has spoiled some of his boys by over indulgence. We will endeavor to
show this to be the case, by showing that, where resistance to the laws
has been met by force, instead of concession, the people are more
law-abiding citizens, at least we hear of no threats from that source of
overthrowing the government, unless certain measures are adopted. It is a
noticeable fact that, during our national existence, there has never been
any concession, on the part of the government of the United States,
granted to any portion of the north, where there has been resistance to
the laws; but the strong arm of the government has been used to put down
such resistance whenever it became necessary. The great rebellion of 1785,
called Shay's Rebellion, was met with force, and the leaders punished. The
great Whisky Rebellion, as it is called, was suppressed with an armed
force 15,000 strong in 1794. General Washington was then president,
showing that he recognised the principle of suppressing insurrection by
force, if necessary to do so, in order to maintain the supremacy of the
law. Again, we find the United States using force to carry out the
fugitive slave law in the Burns case, and, in fact, several others. The
Kansas troubles were met with force, not compromise. All these cases have
occurred in the north, and have been promptly met by the government, which
has had a tendency to teach the people of that section of the country
that, to resist the laws, is sure to incur the legal penalty. Remonstrance
has been of no avail--the laws were pointed to as the guide. This was the
case particularly in the Kansas troubles, when the laws of the notorious
bogus legislature were being forced upon the people by the government
bayonets. Mr. Buchanan was then implored to desist, and allow the people
to re-construct the laws of the territory. They were told that, although
the laws were oppressive, yet so long as they remained on the statute
books of the territory, they were the laws of that country, and must be
enforced. This has uniformly been the course of the government toward the
people of the north. We do not complain of this, but simply refer to it to
show that, while the people of the north have been taught to obey the
laws, or suffer the penalty of their violation, the people of the south
have been allowed to control the policy of the government by threats and
violence, and as might have been expected, they have at last become
entirely insufferable. They will no longer be satisfied with anything in
reason or out of reason. They will neither be peaceable, nor allow others
to live in peace. Their demands have become more frequent and of a more
startling character--and why is this? It is because they have never been
made sensible of the fact that the government of the United States is
capable of enforcing its laws in that portion of the country as well as in
any other.

How absurd it is, then, at this time, for us to offer them another
compromise--it would be like adding new fuel to the fire, it might
suppress the flame momentarily, but when it bursts forth again it would be
with increased vigor and violence. We should not compromise in the least
if we desire permanent peace, but administer the laws with firmness and
justice; and although it may take the force of arms to do so, yet a
rivulet of blood, spilt at this time, will prevent rivers of it in the
future. Let us not entail the evil effects of failing to perform our duty
upon our children, but sternly perform our whole duty, and transmit to the
next generation the good old ship of State in a sound and navigable
condition; and if there be mutineers who persist in her destruction let us
warn them manfully of the dangers they are incurring upon themselves, and
as a last resort, rather than give up the ship, let us arrest their
progress by force.

Although we have given at length what we believe to be the great primary
cause of our present crisis, yet there are other more immediate causes,
among which is the course that the Northern press have pursued since this
secession movement has assumed a more positive form. Many of the leading
papers have advocated the policy of allowing such States to secede as
choose to do so. And others have been loud with their demands for
concession and compromise upon any basis that would satisfy the traitors
and restore peace. While still another class have battled manfully for the
supremacy of the laws. This division of what is taken for the public
sentiment, has been a source of consolation and encouragement to the
traitors, while the government of the United States has stood silent with
folded arms and allowed itself to be robbed of millions of dollars worth
of property without raising a hand or uttering a solitary protest against
the theft. What more encouragement could those who have been engaged in
this treasonable scheme have asked for or desired? They have been told by
a portion of the Democratic press that they were perfectly justifiable in
dissolving the Union; and by a portion of the Republican press, that
although they were by no means justifiable in committing such an
outrageous act, yet, if they were really in earnest, and were determined
to do so or fight, then they could go ahead, for there would be no
fighting to maintain a Union with such unruly neighbors. Such seems to
have been the reckless and ill-timed course on the part of the press at
this present juncture, that it has encouraged the traitors by,
representing the friends of the Union as divided into fragments, thus
removing all opposition to their reckless course. Had the press of the
North presented an unbroken front in favor of the Union, and a
determination to stand by it regardless of threats or even of violence, we
have every reason to believe that the South would have hesitated and
considered the nature of the calamity they were bringing upon themselves
and their country. That the spirit of compromise heretofore exercised on
the part of our government toward those who have threatened violence, is
the great source of our political troubles, can hardly admit of a
doubt--why should we pursue the policy still further that has brought us
to the very verge of ruin? Since it is our wavering, compromising, and
undecided course that has brought our country to ruin, let us proceed to
adopt a more firm and decided course. Give the South all that is their
right, and boldly refuse to submit to any dictation beyond our
constitutional duty. This is not the time to amend constitutions nor to
change public opinion, but let every man rally to the support of his
country, and when peace is restored and traitors have laid down their arms
and signified a willingness to submit to the laws, we will have more
leisure to investigate the nature of the proposed constitutional



In the government of nations there are, sometimes, crises of the most
momentous importance. They either promote stability or terminate in ruin.
The result depends upon the virtue and patriotism of the mass of the
people, and the wisdom, prudence and unflinching firmness of their rulers
and statesmen.

The United States of America are in the midst of just such a crisis at
present, and nothing is more important than correct views with regard to
that crisis on the part of the people. To aid in the dissemination of such
views, in order to produce unity of action among all classes of the people
is the object of this publication, in which we shall ignore mere
partisanship and take large and patriotic and comprehensive views of the
genius and principles of our government.

One of the gravest questions for the consideration of the people of this
nation, and for their enlightened solution, has just arisen, that has ever
been presented for an answer since the formation of our republican
government. It is this: Has any State in the Union a right, under the
present Constitution, peaceably to withdraw itself from that Union, for
the purpose of setting up a separate, distinct, and, necessarily,
conflicting nationality?

Very important is it that this question should be correctly answered in
the present juncture, and that the people should be fully prepared to act
understandingly. Vast and immeasurable results depend upon it.

If this vital question could be answered in the affirmative, as some seem
to think, then would the federal compact, by which these States are held
together, be a mere rope of sand, without strength or tenacity, subject to
be ruptured by the slightest discord. Such a solution of the question, if
acted upon _practically_, would carry us back to the old confederation, by
the articles of which these States were connected in their associated
capacity previous to the adoption of the present constitution. And what
was that confederation? Merely a league of States, in which each
individual member of that league was at liberty to act in her sovereign
capacity, without any binding restrictions. Each individual member of that
confederation could levy taxes, raise revenue, make alliances, declare
war, make peace, and do whatever else she chose without consultation with
the rest of the members, and without being held amenable for her action,
except just so far as the general law of nations held her amenable. From
that confederation she could at any time withdraw or secede, without being
rebellious or traitorous to the other members.

Experience proved to the satisfaction of the wise, patriotic and far
seeing fathers of the republic, that such a confederation was entirely
ineffectual for the accomplishment of the great purposes for which it was
formed. It possessed not the concentrated power of binding and
irrepealable unity to protect the common flag of a common Union. It could
not, therefore, command the respect and the honor of other nations, nor
promote its own stability and permanence.

Is the present Union similar to that? Can a South Carolina, or a
Massachusetts, or any other disaffected State withdraw or secede at will,
as she could from the Old Confederation, and set up, if she choose, an
independent nationality? No such thing. The present compact and
constitution grew out of the absolute necessities consequent upon the
inefficiency of the old confederation. They were established solely to
prevent or obviate that inefficiency, and provide a common flag and a
common government capable of commanding respect. An examination of the
present Constitution will show that fact. We will, therefore, present
those provisions of that instrument which have a direct bearing upon the
decision of this question, and then show by the record how the fathers of
that Constitution understood its powers, and how that understanding has
been confirmed by all the precedents in the history of the government to
the present time.

The very preamble of the Constitution itself shows that it was formed for
the purpose of establishing a government stronger and more efficient than
the old confederation. It is in these words:

    "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect
    union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the
    common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings
    of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish
    this Constitution for the United States of America."

Among other things, this preamble declares that the present constitution
was "ordained and established" "in order to form _a union more perfect_"
than existed under the provisions of the old confederation--a union that
could not be dissolved at the pleasure or choice of any State or any
number of States without the consent of three-fourths of the sovereign
people. It conceded to a general government certain powers and rights,
which were, of course, subtracted from the powers and rights of the
separate State sovereignties, and these powers and rights were vested
solely in the hands of a President, "a Congress of the United States," and
a Supreme Court created and elected according to the provisions of that
constitution. And now, to understand this matter, what were those
particular powers and rights which were thus abstracted from the separate
State sovereignties and vested in a general government? They are very
emphatically, clearly and forcibly declared in article I, section 8, of
the constitution of the United States. They are thus expressed:

    "The Congress shall have power--

    "1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, excises; to pay the
    debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the
    United States; but all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform
    throughout the United States;

    "2. To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

    "3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several
    States, and with the Indian tribes;

    "4. To establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws
    on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    "5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin,
    and fix the standard of weights and measures;

    "6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and
    current coin of the United States;

    "7. To establish post offices and post roads;

    "8. To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing
    for limited times, to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to
    their respective writings and discoveries;

    "9. To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court; to define
    and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and
    offences against the law of nations;

    "10. To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make
    rules concerning captures on land and water;

    "11. To raise and support armies; but no appropriations of money to
    that use, shall be for a longer term than two years;

    "12. To provide and maintain a navy;

    "13. To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and
    naval forces;

    "14. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of
    the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions;

    "15. To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia,
    and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service
    of the United States, reserving to the States, respectively, the
    appointment of the officers and the authority of training the militia,
    according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    "16. To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over
    such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of
    particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of
    government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over
    all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the State in
    which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines,
    arsenals, dock yards and other needful buildings:--And

    "17. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying
    into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by
    this constitution in the government of the United States, or in any
    department or officer thereof."

The powers enumerated in this section are very definite, and nothing we
could say would make that fact appear more apparent. Now if these powers
are conferred upon the general government by the common consent of all the
States of the Union, or more especially by all the people of all the
States, can any one State exercise any of those reserved powers? Most
certainly not. But the framers of the constitution did not leave this to
be inferred. They settled the question definitely in section ten. Here it

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

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

This section plainly and positively _prohibits_ the States from doing
certain things _without the consent_ of Congress. They can neither
contract alliances, collect revenue, coin money, nor engage in war in
their capacity of States.

To guard the powers of the general government from encroachment on the
part of the States, and to preserve them intact and unimpaired, the
President of the United States, as the chief Executive officer of the
government, takes this oath:


We have thus far enumerated some of the _powers_ delegated by the
Constitution _to the_ federal government in the precise language of that
constitution, and have shown that the chief executive of the government is
sworn to exercise those powers by enforcing the constitution, and, of
course, the laws, &c., which are made under its sanction and by its

This constitution was adopted by a vast majority of the people of every
State in the Union--adopted too with the understanding that it was
_perpetually_ binding--adopted _without any proviso for withdrawal or
secession_ in case of dissatisfaction--adopted when it was known that,
even to amend it, either two-thirds of both houses of Congress must
"propose amendments, or two-thirds of all the State Legislatures unite in
an application to call a convention of States for proposing amendments,"
and that, when such amendments were proposed, they must "_be ratified_" by
"the legislatures of _three-fourths_ of all the States, or by conventions
in _three-fourths_ thereof." This shows clearly and conclusively that our
fathers considered that they were establishing a government
indissoluble--a government for all time, incapable of disruption by
separate State action or by the violence of local faction.

In the strong light of these facts how are we to regard the present
attitude of South Carolina? As treasonable and rebellious to rightful
authority, which she herself assisted to establish. She has no right
whatever, under the existing compact, to withdraw herself from the Union,
or to annul that compact into which she voluntarily entered, when she
adopted that constitution. By that adoption she forever signed away such a
right--voluntarily she sets her signature to a compact having no such
proviso of choice. If she secede then--if she break, or attempt to break,
that compact, she engages in a revolution, and revolution is
rebellion--revolution is _treason_. Of that capital crime she, or rather
her citizens, are even now guilty. "What constitutes treason? The
constitution defines it in Article 3, Section III:

    "1. Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying
    war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and
    comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the
    testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in
    open court.

    "2. The congress shall have power to declare the punishment of
    treason; but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood,
    or forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted."

Now has not South Carolina "levied war?" Has she not collected armies to
resist the United States? Has she not obstructed the collection of the
revenue of the nation? Has she not even taken the fortifications and
arsenals and confiscated the property of the United States? All these
things has she done, and if this be not "levying war"--if this be not
"treason"--rank "treason," I know not what is. And yet, strange as it may
seem, there are men in all the States so wedded to party that they
encourage and justify South Carolina in her mad secession schemes, and by
so doing give "aid and comfort" to the sworn "enemies" of the United
States. Did they ever think that they too are traitors, and that they are
as legally deserving of a halter as the madest secession hotspur of South

Like the old tories of the revolution, they are, however, but few in the
Northern States, and their number, thanks to the intelligence of the
people, is rapidly growing less. Soon will there be but one sentiment in
all sane minds upon this subject. All will see that this Union must be
preserved, unbroken by rebels, and traitors be brought to condign
punishment, unless we would insanely jeopardise all for which our fathers
fought and bled and died upon the battle fields of the revolution.

To aid in creating a healthy public sentiment upon this important subject,
I will now give some of the arguments in favor of the Union and of the
present constitution, advanced by some of the early fathers of the
republic. To do this, I shall first draw largely from certain political
papers, entitled the "Federalist," written while the adoption of the
present constitution was pending, and addressed to the people of the State
of New York, to explain the principles of the new constitution, and to
enforce the propriety and necessity of its adoption. They were the united
productions of John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton, three
brilliant political lights.

In the first eight numbers of these papers the dangers of foreign force
and influence, and of war between the States, and the effects of internal
war in producing standing armies unfriendly to liberty, were portrayed in
a very masterly manner. Several other papers follow from which I quote
largely, as they are just as appropriate now to show the benefits of a
stable and consolidated Union, and the evils of _disunion_, as then:


    "A firm union will be of the utmost moment to the peace and liberty of
    the States, as a barrier against domestic faction and insurrection.

    "It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece
    and Italy, without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the
    distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the
    rapid succession of revolutions, by which they were kept perpetually
    vibrating between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy. If they exhibit
    occasional calms, these only serve as short-lived contrasts to the
    furious storms that are to succeed. If now and then intervals of
    felicity open themselves to view, we behold them with a mixture of
    regret arising from the reflection, that the pleasing scenes before us
    are soon to be overwhelmed by the tempestuous waves of sedition and
    party rage. If momentary rays of glory break forth from the gloom,
    while they dazzle us with a transient and fleeting brilliancy, they at
    the same time admonish us to lament that the vices of government
    should pervert the direction and tarnish the luster of those bright
    talents and exalted endowments, for which the favored soils that
    produced them have been so justly celebrated.

    "From the disorders that disfigure the annals of those republics, the
    advocates of despotism have drawn arguments, not only against the
    forms of republican government but against the very principles of
    civil liberty. They have decried all free government as inconsistent
    with the order of society, and have indulged themselves in malicious
    exultation over its friends and partizans. Happily for mankind,
    stupendous fabrics reared on the basis of liberty, which have
    flourished for ages, have, in a few glorious instances, refuted their
    gloomy sophisms. And, I trust, America will be the broad and solid
    foundation of other edifices not less magnificent, which will be
    equally permanent monuments of their error.

    "But it is not to be denied, that the portraits they have sketched of
    republican government, were too just copies of the originals from
    which they were taken. If it had been found impracticable to have
    devised models of a more perfect structure, the enlightened friends of
    liberty would have been obliged to abandon the cause of that species
    of government as indefensible. The science of politics, however, like
    most other sciences, has received great improvement. The efficacy of
    various principles is now well understood, which were either not known
    at all, or imperfectly known to the ancients. The regular distribution
    of power into distinct departments; the introduction of legislative
    balances and checks; the institution of courts composed of judges,
    holding their offices during good behavior; the representation of the
    people in the legislature, by deputies of their own election; these
    are either wholly new discoveries, or have made their principal
    progress towards perfection in modern times. They are means, and
    powerful means, by which the excellencies of republican government may
    be retained, and its imperfections lessoned or avoided. To this
    catalogue of circumstances, that tend to the amelioration of popular
    systems of civil government, I shall venture, however novel it may
    appear to some, to add one more, on a principle which has been made
    the foundation of an objection to the new constitution; I mean the
    ENLARGEMENT of the ORBIT within which such systems are to revolve,
    either in respect to the dimensions of a single State, or to the
    consolidation of several smaller States into one great confederacy.
    The latter is that which immediately concerns the object under
    consideration. It will, however, be of use to examine the principle in
    its application to a single State, which shall be attended to in
    another place.

    "The utility of a confederacy, as well to suppress faction, and to
    guard the internal tranquility of States, as to increase their
    external force and security, is in reality not a new idea. It has been
    practiced upon in different countries and ages, and has received the
    sanction of the most approved writers on the subject of politics. The
    opponents of the PLAN proposed have with great assiduity cited and
    circulated the observations of Montesquieu on the necessity of a
    contracted territory for a republican government. But they seem not to
    have been apprized of the sentiments of that great man expressed in
    another part of his work, nor to have adverted to the consequences of
    the principle to which they subscribe with such ready acquiescence.

    "When Montesquieu recommends a small extent for republics, the
    standards he had in view were of dimensions far short of the limits of
    almost every one of these States. Neither Virginia, Massachusetts,
    Pennsylvania, New York, N. Carolina, nor Georgia, can by any means be
    compared with the models from which he reasoned, and to which the
    terms of his description apply. If we therefore receive his ideas on
    this point, as the criterion of truth, we shall be driven to the
    alternative either of taking refuge at once in the arms of monarchy,
    or of splitting ourselves into an infinity of little, jealous,
    clashing, tumultuous commonwealths, the wretched nurseries of
    unceasing discord, and the miserable objects of universal pity or
    contempt. Some of the writers who have come forward on the other side
    of the question, seem to have been aware of the dilemma, and have even
    been bold enough to hint at the division of the larger States as a
    desirable thing. Such an infatuated policy, such a desperate
    expedient, might, by the multiplication of petty offices, answer the
    views of men who possess not qualifications to extend their influence
    beyond the narrow circles of personal intrigue; but it could never
    promote the greatness or happiness of the people of America.

    "Referring the examination of the principle itself to an other place,
    as has been already mentioned, it will be sufficient to remark here,
    that in the sense of the author who has been most emphatically quoted
    upon the occasion, it would only dictate a reduction of the SIZE of
    the more considerable MEMBERS of the Union; but would not militate
    against their being all comprehended in one confederate government.
    And this is the true question, in the discussion of which we are at
    present interested.

    "So far are the suggestions of Montesquieu from standing in opposition
    to a general union of the States, that he explicitly treats of a
    CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC, as the expedient for extending the sphere of
    popular government, and reconciling the advantages of monarchy with
    those of republicanism.

    "'It is very probable, says he,[1] that mankind would have been
    obliged, at length, to live constantly under the government of a
    SINGLE PERSON, had they not contrived a kind of constitution, that has
    all the internal advantages of a republican, together with the
    external force of a monarchical government. I mean a CONFEDERATE

    "'This form of government is a convention, by which several smaller
    _States_ agree to become members of a larger _one_, which they intend
    to form. It is a kind of assemblage of societies, that constitute a
    new one, capable of increasing by means of new associations, till they
    arrive to such a degree of power as to be able to provide for the
    security of the united body.

    "'A republic of this kind, able to withstand an external force, may
    support itself without any internal corruption. The form of this
    society prevents all manner of inconveniences.

    "'If a single member should attempt to usurp the supreme authority, he
    could not be supposed to have an equal authority and credit in all the
    confederate States. Were he to have too great influence over one, this
    would alarm the rest. Were he to subdue a part, that which would still
    remain free might oppose him with forces, independent of those which
    he had usurped, and overpower him before he could be settled in his

    "'Should a popular insurrection happen in one of the confederate
    States, the others are able to quell it. Should abuses creep into one
    part, they are reformed by those that remain sound. The State may be
    destroyed on one side and not on the other; the confederacy may be
    dissolved and the confederates preserve their sovereignty.

    "'As this government is composed of small republics, it enjoys the
    internal happiness of each, and with respect to its external
    situation, it is possessed, by means of the association, of all the
    advantages of large monarchies.'

    "I have thought it proper to quote at length these interesting
    passages, because they contain a luminous abridgment of the principal
    arguments in favor of the Union, and must effectually remove the false
    impressions which a misapplication of the other parts of the work were
    calculated to produce. They have, at the same time, an intimate
    connection with the more immediate design of this paper; which is to
    illustrate the tendency of the Union to repress domestic faction and

    "A distinction, more subtle than accurate, has been raised between a
    _confederacy_ and a _consolidation_ of the States. The essential
    characteristic of the first, is said to be the restriction of its
    authority to the members in their collective capacities, without
    reaching to the individuals of whom they are composed. It is contended
    that the national council ought to have no concern with any object of
    internal administration. An exact equality of suffrage between the
    members, has also been insisted upon as a leading feature of a
    confederate government. These positions are, in the main, arbitrary;
    they are supported neither by principle nor precedent. It has indeed
    happened, that governments of this kind have generally operated in the
    manner which the distinction taken notice of supposes to be inherent
    in their nature; but there have been in most of them extensive
    exceptions to the practice, which serve to prove, as far as example
    will go, that there is no absolute rule on the subject. And it will be
    clearly shown, in the course of this investigation, that, as far as
    the principle contended for has prevailed, it has been the cause of
    incurable disorder and imbecility in the government.

    "The definition of a _confederate republic_ seems simply to be 'an
    assemblage of societies,' or an association of two or more States into
    one State. The extent, modifications, and objects of the federal
    authority are mere matters of discretion. So long as the separate
    organization of the members be not abolished, so long as it exists by
    a constitutional necessity for local purposes, though it should be in
    perfect subordination to the general authority of the Union, it would
    still be, in fact and theory, an association of States, or a
    confederacy The proposed constitution, so far from implying an
    abolition of the State government, makes them constituent parts of the
    national sovereignty, by allowing them a direct representation in the
    senate, and leaves in their possession certain exclusive, and very
    important, portions of the sovereign power. This fully corresponds, in
    every rational import of the terms, with the idea of a federal

    "In the Lycian confederacy, which consisted of twenty-three CITIES, or
    republics, the largest were entitled to _three_ votes in the COMMON
    COUNCIL, those of the middle class to _two_, and the smallest to
    _one_. The COMMON COUNCIL had the appointment of all the judges and
    magistrates of the respective CITIES. This was certainly the most
    delicate species of interference in their internal administration; for
    if there be anything that seems exclusively appropriated to the local
    jurisdictions, it is the appointment of their own officers. Yet
    Montesquieu, speaking of this association, says, 'Were I to give a
    model of an excellent confederate republic, it would be that of
    Lycia.' Thus we perceive that the distinctions insisted upon were not
    within the contemplation of this enlightened writer, and we shall be
    led to conclude that they are the novel refinements of an erroneous

The important paper just quoted from the "Federalist," is from the gifted
pen of James Madison, so long a prominent and leading statesman in the
democratic party, and one of the framers of our present government. Had we
space we would quote another, equally important, from the same source and
upon the same subject.

This paper, its pointed facts and its powerful reasoning in favor of a
stable Union, such as was contemplated by the present constitution, and
against the defects of the old confederation, we commend to the particular
attention of the thinking masses of the present democratic party. Although
written before the adoption of the existing constitution, and for the
express purpose of inducing the people to ratify that constitution, it
contains much that is applicable to the present political juncture,
inasmuch as the present secession dogmas of South Carolina and of the
Calhoun school of politicians are exactly the loose, inefficient
principles of that old confederation, and opposed to those of the present

We will here make an extract from another paper of the "Federalist," to
show how Jay, Madison and Hamilton regarded the defects of that
confederation--to illustrate, with clearness, the _absolute necessity_ of
the adoption of our present constitution, considering, as they did, that
it would constitute an efficient remedy for those defects:


    "In the course of the preceding papers, I have endeavored, my fellow
    citizens, to place before you, in a clear and convincing light, the
    importance of union to your political safety and happiness. I have
    unfolded to you a complication of dangers to which you would be
    exposed, should you permit that sacred knot, which binds the people of
    America together, to be severed or dissolved by ambition or by
    avarice, by jealousy or by misrepresentation. In the sequel of the
    inquiry, through which I propose to accompany you, the truths intended
    to be inculcated will receive further confirmation from facts and
    arguments hitherto unnoticed.

    "In pursuance of the plan which I have laid down for the discussion of
    the subject, the point next in order to be examined is the
    'insufficiency of the present confederation to the preservation of the

    "It may perhaps be asked what need there is of reasoning or proof to
    illustrate a position which is neither controverted nor doubted; to
    which the understandings and feelings of all classes of men assent;
    and which, in substance is admitted by the opponents as well as by the
    friends of the new constitution? It must in truth be acknowledged,
    that however these may differ in other respects, they in general
    appear to harmonize in the opinion, that there are material
    imperfections in our national system, and that something is necessary
    to be done to rescue us from impending anarchy. The facts that support
    this opinion are no longer objects of speculation. They have forced
    themselves upon the sensibility of the people at large, and have at
    length extorted from those whose mistaken policy has had the principal
    share in precipitating the extremity at which we have arrived, a
    reluctant confession of the reality of many of those defects in the
    scheme of our federal government, which have been long pointed out and
    regretted by the intelligent friends of the Union.

    "We may indeed with propriety, be said to have reached almost the last
    stage of national humiliation. There is scarcely anything that can
    wound the pride, or degrade the character, of an independent people,
    which we do not experience. Are there engagements, to the performance
    of which we are held by every tie respectable among men? These are the
    subjects of constant and unblushing violation. Do we owe debts to
    foreigners, and to our own citizens, contracted in a time of imminent
    peril, for the preservation of our political existence? These remain
    without any proper or satisfactory provision for their discharge. Have
    we valuable territories and important posts in the possession of a
    foreign power, which, by express stipulations, ought long since to
    have been surrendered? These are still retained, to the prejudice of
    our interest not less than of our rights. Are we in a condition to
    resent or to repel the aggression? We have neither troops, nor
    treasury, nor government.[2] Are we even in a condition to remonstrate
    with dignity? The just imputations on our own faith, in respect to the
    same treaty, ought first to be removed. Are we entitled, by nature and
    compact, to a free participation in the navigation of the Mississippi?
    Spain excludes us from it. Is public credit an indispensable resource
    in time of public danger? We seem to have abandoned its cause as
    desperate and irretrievable. Is commerce of importance to national
    wealth? Ours is at the lowest point of declension. Is respectability
    in the eyes of foreign powers, a safeguard against foreign
    encroachments? The imbecility of our government even forbids them to
    treat with us: Our ambassadors abroad are the mere pageants of mimic
    sovereignty. Is a violent and unnatural decrease in the value of land
    a symptom of national distress? The price of improved land, in most
    parts of the country, is much lower than can be accounted for by the
    quantity of waste land at market, and can be only fully explained by
    that want of private and public confidence, which are so alarmingly
    prevalent among all ranks, and which have a direct tendency to
    depreciate property of every kind. Is private credit the friend and
    patron of industry? That most useful kind which relates to borrowing
    and lending, is reduced within the narrowest limits, and this still
    more from an opinion of insecurity than from a scarcity of money. To
    shorten an enumeration of particulars which can afford neither
    pleasure nor instruction, it may in general be demanded, what
    indication is there of national disorder, poverty, and insignificance,
    that could befal a community so peculiarly blessed with natural
    advantages as we are, which does not form a part of the dark catalogue
    of our public misfortunes?

    "This is the melancholy situation to which we have been brought by
    those very maxims and councils, which would now deter us from adopting
    the proposed constitution; and which, not content with having
    conducted us to the brink of a precipice, seem resolved to plunge us
    into the abyss that awaits us below. Here, my countrymen, impelled by
    every motive that ought to influence an enlightened people, let us
    make firm stand for our safety, our tranquility, our dignity, our
    reputation. Let us at last break the fatal charm which has too long
    seduced us from the paths of felicity and prosperity.

    "It is true, as has been before observed, that facts too stubborn to
    be resisted, have produced a species of general assent to the abstract
    proposition, that there exist material defects in our national system;
    but the usefulness of the concession, on the part of the old
    adversaries of federal measures, is destroyed by a strenuous
    opposition to a remedy, upon the only principles that can give it a
    chance of success. While they admit that the government of the United
    States is destitute of energy, they contend against conferring upon it
    those powers which are requisite to supply that energy. They seem
    still to aim at things repugnant and irreconcilable; at an
    augmentation of federal authority, without a diminution of State
    authority; at sovereignty in the Union, and complete independence in
    the members. They still, in fine, seem to cherish with blind devotion
    the political monster of an _imperium in imperio_. This renders a full
    display of the principal defects of the confederation necessary, in
    order to show, that the evils we experience do not proceed from minute
    or partial imperfections, but from fundamental errors in the structure
    of the building, which cannot be amended, otherwise than by an
    alteration in the very elements and main pillars of the fabric.

    "The great and radical vice in the construction of the existing
    confederation, is in the principle of LEGISLATION for STATES or
    contradistinguished from the INDIVIDUALS of whom they consist. Though
    this principle does not run through all the powers delegated to the
    Union, yet it pervades and governs those on which the efficacy of the
    rest depends."

A violation of any of the articles of the old confederation was the act
only of the States, as sovereign and independent parties to a contract,
and did not implicate individuals in the crime of _treason_, if acting
_under the sanction_ of such a State. Not so, however, with individuals
under the present constitution, even though acting under the sanction of
particular States; because the present constitution is that of the
_people_ and not of the States as States in their sovereign capacity, for
the _people_ of the States have delegated to a general government, in the
constitution, certain powers, which are taken away from the States, and
cannot, therefore, be exercised by those States without subjecting the
_people_ of the States so exorcising them to punishment for _high

To show that eminent statesmen, even before the adoption of our present
constitution, so regarded the principles of the government proposed to be
established under it, we will quote another extract from the "Federalist,"
commencing on page 102 of vol. I:

    "If it be possible to construct a federal government capable of
    regulating the common concerns, and preserving the general
    tranquility, it must be founded, as to the objects committed to its
    care, upon the REVERSE of the principle contended for by the opponents
    of the proposed constitution. It must carry its agency to the PERSONS
    OF THE CITIZENS. It must stand in need of no intermediate legislation;
    but must itself be empowered to employ the arm of the ordinary
    magistrate to execute its own resolutions. The majesty of the national
    authority must be manifested through the medium of the courts of
    justice. The government of the Union, like that of each State, must be
    able to address itself immediately to the hopes and fears of
    INDIVIDUALS, and to attract to its support those passions which have
    the strongest influence upon the human heart. It must, in short,
    possess all the means, and have a right to all the methods, of
    executing the powers with which it is entrusted, that are possessed
    and exercised by the governments of the particular States."

An argument against the adoption of our present constitution was urged by
its enemies to prevent its adoption, that it would create a central
government _too strong_--a government _so strong_ as to endanger the
reserved rights of the States. This objection is thus stated and answered
upon pages 106 and 107, vol. I, of the "Federalist:"

    "It may be said, that it would tend to render the government of the
    Union too powerful, and to enable it to absorb those residuary
    authorities which it might be judged proper to leave with the States
    for local purposes. Allowing the utmost latitude to the love of power,
    which any reasonable man can require, I confess I am at a loss to
    discover what temptation the persons entrusted with the administration
    of the general government, could ever feel to divest the States of the
    authorities of that description. The regulation of the mere domestic
    police of a State appears to me to hold out slender allurements to
    ambition. Commerce, finance, negotiation, and war seem to comprehend
    all the objects which have charms for minds governed by that passion;
    and all the powers necessary to those objects ought, in the first
    instance, to be lodged in the national depository. The administration
    of private justice between the citizens of the same State; the
    supervision of agriculture, and of other concerns of a similar nature;
    all those things, in short, which are proper to be provided for by
    local legislation, can never be desirable cares of a general
    jurisdiction. It is, therefore, improbable that there should exist a
    disposition in the federal councils to usurp the powers with which
    they are connected; because the attempt to exercise them would be as
    troublesome as it would be nugatory; and the possession of them, for
    that reason, would contribute nothing to the dignity, to the
    importance, or to the splendor of the national government."

We will close our extracts from the luminous papers of the "Federalist,"
with the following, premising, however, that, in these fearful times of
raging secession madness, it would be well if the whole two volumes could
be put in the hands of every intelligent individual in the nation. This
extract refers again to the defects and the lamentable inefficiency of the
old confederation, as contrasted with the proposed efficiency and
stability of the government under the new constitution, a subject which
cannot be too deeply engraven upon the mind of every patriot to whatever
party he may belong. It can be found commencing upon page 131, of vol. 1,
of the "Federalist," and ending on page 133:

    "Having in the three last numbers taken a summary review of the
    principal circumstances and events which depict the genius and fate of
    other confederate governments, I shall now proceed in the enumeration
    of the most important of those defects which have hitherto
    disappointed our hopes from the system established among ourselves. To
    form a safe and satisfactory judgment of the proper remedy, it is
    absolutely necessary that we should be well acquainted with the extent
    and malignity of the disease.

    "The next most palpable defect of the existing confederation, is the
    total want of a SANCTION to its laws. The United States, as now
    composed, have no power to exact obedience, or punish disobedience to
    their resolutions, either by pecuniary mulcts, by a suspension or
    divestiture of privileges, or by any other constitutional means. There
    is no express delegation of authority to them to use force against
    delinquent members; and if such a right should be ascribed to the
    federal head, as resulting from the nature of the social compact
    between the States, it must be by inference and construction, in the
    face of that part of the second article, by which it is declared,
    'that each State shall retain every power, jurisdiction, and right,
    not _expressly_ delegated to the United States in Congress assembled.'
    The want of such a right involves, no doubt, a striking absurdity, but
    we are reduced to the dilemma, either of supposing that deficiency,
    preposterous as it may seem, or of contravening or explaining away a
    provision, which has been of late a repeated theme of the eulogies of
    those who oppose the new constitution; and the omission of which, in
    that plan, has been the subject of much plausible animadversion and
    severe criticism. If we are unwilling to impair the force of this
    applauded provision, we shall be obliged to conclude that the United
    States affords the extraordinary spectacle of a government destitute
    even of the shadow of constitutional power to enforce the execution of
    its own laws. It will appear, from the specimens which have been
    cited, that the American confederacy, in this particular, stands
    discriminated from every other institution of a similar kind, and
    exhibits a new and unexampled phenomenon in the political world.

    "The want of a mutual guarantee of the State governments, is another
    capital imperfection in the federal plan. There is nothing of this
    kind declared in the articles that compose it; and to imply a tacit
    guarantee from considerations of utility, would be a still more
    flagrant departure from the clause which has been mentioned, than to
    imply a tacit power of coercion, from the like consideration. The want
    of a guarantee, though it might in its consequences endanger the
    Union, does not so immediately attack its existence, as the want of a
    constitutional sanction to its laws.

    "Without a guarantee, the assistance to be derived from the Union in
    repelling those domestic dangers, which may sometimes threaten the
    existence of the State constitutions, must be renounced. Usurpation
    may rear its crest in each State, and trample upon the liberties of
    the people, while the national government could legally do nothing
    more than behold its encroachments with indignation and regret. A
    successful faction may erect a tyranny on the ruins of order and law,
    while no succor could constitutionally be afforded by the Union to the
    friends and supporters of the government. The tempestuous situation,
    from which Massachusetts has scarcely emerged, evinces, that dangers
    of this kind are not merely speculative. Who can determine what might
    have been the issue of her late convulsions, if the mal-contents had
    been headed by a Cæsar or by a Cromwell? Who can predict what a
    despotism, established in Massachusetts, would have upon the liberties
    of New Hampshire or Rhode Island, of Connecticut or New York?

    "The inordinate pride of State importance has suggested to some minds
    an objection to the principle of a guarantee to the federal
    government, as involving an officious interference in the domestic
    concerns of the members. A scruple of this kind would deprive us of
    one of the principal advantages to be expected from Union, and can
    only flow from a misapprehension of the nature of the provision
    itself. It could be no impediment to reforms of the State
    constitutions by a majority of the people in a legal and peaceable
    mode. This right would remain undiminished. The guarantee could only
    operate against changes to be effected by violence. Towards the
    prevention of calamities of this kind, too many checks cannot be
    provided. The peace of society and the stability of government depend
    absolutely on the efficacy of the precautions on this head. Where the
    whole power of the government is in the hands of the people, there is
    the less pretence for the use of violent remedies, in partial or
    occasional distempers of the State. The natural cure for an
    ill-administration, in a popular representative constitution, is a
    change of men. A guarantee by the national authority would be as much
    directed against the usurpations of rulers, as against the ferments
    and outrages of faction and sedition in the community."

We have thus far briefly enumerated some of the important powers granted
by the people of the United States in their sovereign capacity, to the
present federal government. We have endeavored to show that the people,
having granted certain powers to the general government, such powers are
necessarily withdrawn from the several States by the people thereof for
the purpose of establishing one grand central power, which, when exercised
within its delegated authority, should be recognized as the supreme law of
the land; hence the people of the several States having to the extent of
the powers granted, surrendered the separate State sovereignty, they
became one grand, inseparable, sovereign and independent nation. The very
fact that each and every citizen of our entire country has a voice in
controlling the policy of the general government, shows conclusively that
they owe obedience to its enactments, consequently, our national laws are
alike binding upon every individual from Florida to Maine, and from the
Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

But independent of our arguments, we have in the foregoing pages presented
copious extracts from letters written by Messrs. Madison, Jay and Hamilton
pending the adoption of the constitution, all of which must convince the
most skeptical, that all parties at that time understood that they were
granting certain powers to the general government that could not
thereafter be resumed and controlled by the various States. The able
manner in which the importance of such an arrangement is argued, the clear
and conclusive reasoning, the contrasts drawn between one great and
powerful nation and several petty, jealous, contending little
sovereignties, should cast into the shade the weak sophism that is palmed
off by the political demagogues of the present day for the purpose of
dividing the people, under the disguise of what is called State

The arguments already advanced to show that we have a national government
whose authority is supreme throughout the length and breadth of this
country, (State laws to the contrary notwithstanding,) should be
sufficient to convince the most ultra States rights secessionist that his
dogma is only a garbled name for treason. Nevertheless, we will now
proceed to give in full the celebrated Proclamation issued to the
nullifiers of South Carolina twenty-eight years ago by the hero of the
battle of New Orleans, recommending its careful perusal by every American
citizen who has a spark of patriotism left within him. Its noble,
patriotic sentiments will be found decidedly refreshing when contrasted
with the crouching imbecility and indecision that has characterized not
only James Buchanan but many of our leading politicians in the present
dangerous, suffering and distracted condition of our beloved country.

General Jackson, a brave, daring, noble hero, knowing his duty, hastened
to perform it in defiance of every obstacle; he resolves to save his
country, at every hazard, from falling into the vortex of anarchy, ruin
and disgrace.

When the hydra-headed monster, treason, began to make its appearance, the
honored son of Tennessee, whose name is held in reverence by every friend
of liberty, whose memory will be honored as the savior of his country,
actuated by a high sense of his duty, with true Roman firmness, standing
upon the temple of liberty, proclaiming to the world that he will maintain
the integrity of his country or perish while marching under its glorious
banner warning the enemies of the Union, to pause and consider the awful
consequences of persisting in their treasonable designs, and decide
whether they are prepared to assume such a terrible responsibility.

I will now give his proclamation in full, hoping that the spirit of
patriotism, firmness and justice therein contained will cause a heartfelt
response by my fellow countrymen.


_Proclamation of Andrew Jackson, President of the United States._

WHEREAS, 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 the congress of the United States, purporting to be laws for the
imposing of duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodities,
and now having 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 unauthorized 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 unlawful 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 ordinance:

AND WHEREAS, By the said ordinance, it is further 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, no appeal shall be allowed to the Supreme Court of
the United States, nor shall any copy of the record be permitted or
allowed for that purpose, and that any person attempting to take such
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 congress, 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
harrass her commerce, or to enforce the said acts otherwise than through
the civil tribunals of the country, as inconsistant 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 connection with the
people of the other States, and will forthwith proceed to organize a
separate government, and do all other acts and things which sovereign and
independent States may of right do.

AND WHEREAS, the said ordinance prescribes to the people of South Carolina
a course of conduct in direct violation of their duty as citizens 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 patriotism and a common
cause, through a sanguinary struggle 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
prosperity at home, and high consideration abroad, rarely, if ever,
equalled in the history of nations. To preserve this bond of our political
existence from destruction, to maintain inviolate this state of national
honor and prosperity, and to justify the confidence my fellow citizens
have reposed in me, I, ANDREW JACKSON, _President of the United States_,
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 have put forth to sustain them,
declaring the course which duty will require me to pursue, and, appealing
to the understanding and patriotism of the people, warn them of the
consequences that must inevitably result from an observance of the
dictates 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 case, by clothing
itself with State authority, and the deep interest which the people of the
United States must all feel in preventing a resort to stronger measures,
while there is a hope that anything will be yielded to reasoning and
remonstrance, perhaps demand, and will certainly justify, a full
exposition to South Carolina 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 indefeasible right of resisting acts
which are plainly unconstitutional, and too oppressive to be endured; but
on the strange position that any one State may not only declare an act of
congress void, but prohibit its execution--that they may do this
consistently with the constitution--that the true construction of that
instrument permits a State to retain its place in the Union, and yet be
bound by no other of its laws than those it may choose to consider as
constitutional. It is true, they add, that to justify this abrogation of a
law, it must be palpably contrary to the constitution; but it is evident,
that, to give the right of resisting laws of that description, coupled
with the uncontrolled right to decide what laws deserve that character, is
to give the power of resisting all laws. For, as by the theory, there is
no appeal, the reasons alleged by the State, good or bad must prevail. If
it should be said that public opinion is a sufficient check against the
abuse of this power, it may be asked why it is not deemed a sufficient
guard against the passage of an unconstitutional act by congress? There
is, however, a restraint in this last case, which makes the assumed power
of a State more indefensible, and which does not exist in the other. There
are two appeals from an unconstitutional act passed by congress--one to
the judiciary, the other to the people and the States. There is no appeal
from the State decision in theory, and the practical illustration shows
that the courts are closed against an application to review it, both
judges and jurors being sworn to decide in its favor. But reasoning on
this subject is superfluous, when our social 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 thereby,
anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary
notwithstanding." And it may be asserted without fear of refutation, that
no federal government could exist without a similar provision. Look for a
moment 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 collected
anywhere; for all imposts must be equal. It is no answer to repeat, that
an unconstitutional law is no law, so long as the question of its legality
is to be decided by the State itself; for every law operating injuriously
upon any local interest will be perhaps thought, and certainly
represented, as unconstitutional, and, as has been shown, there is no

If this doctrine had been established at an earlier day, the Union would
have been dissolved in its infancy. The excise law in Pennsylvania, the
embargo and non-intercourse law in the eastern States, the carriage tax in
Virginia, were all deemed unconstitutional, and were more equal in their
operation than any of the laws now complained of; but fortunately none of
those States discovered that they had the right now claimed by South
Carolina. The war into which we were forced to support the dignity of the
nation and the rights of our citizens, might have ended in defeat and
disgrace instead of victory and honor, if the States who supposed it a
ruinous and unconstitutional measure, had thought they possessed the right
of nullifying the act by which it was declared, and denying supplies for
its prosecution. Hardly and unequally as those measures bore upon several
members of the Union, to the legislatures of none did this efficient and
peaceable remedy, as it is called, suggest itself. The discovery of this
important feature in our constitution was reserved 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

If the doctrine of a State veto upon the laws of the Union carries with it
internal evidence of its impracticable absurdity, our constitutional
history will also afford abundant proof that it would have been repudiated
with indignation, had it been proposed to form a feature in our

In our colonial state, although dependent on another power, we very early
considered ourselves as connected by common interest with each other.
Leagues were formed for common defence, and, before the declaration of
independence, we were known in our aggregate character _as the United
Colonies of America_. 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
collectively form one nation for the purpose of conducting 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 determinations of congress on all questions which, by that
confederation, should be submitted to them."

Under the confederation, then, no State could legally annul a decision of
the congress, or refuse to submit to its execution; but no provision 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.

But 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 prevails. 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 the rank, on which all others rest, is, "_to form
a more perfect Union_." Now, is it possible that even if there were no
express provision giving supremacy to the constitution and laws of the
United States over those of the States--can it 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
government dependent for its existence on the local 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
such an answer as will preserve the Union. Metaphysical subtlety, in
pursuit of an impracticable theory, could alone have devised one that is
calculated to destroy it.

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

After this general view of the leading principle, we must examine the
particular application of it which is made in the ordinance.

The preamble rests its justification on those grounds: It assumes, as a
fact, that the obnoxious laws, although they purport to be laws for
raising revenue, were in reality intended for the protection of
manufactures, which purpose it asserts to be unconstitutional; that the
operation of these laws is unequal; that the amount raised by them is
greater than is required by the wants of the government; 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 attempt should be made to enforce them. The first virtually
acknowledges that the law in question was passed under a 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 dangerous than to admit the position that an
unconstitutional purpose, entertained by the members who assent to a law
enacted under a constitutional power, shall make the law void: for how is
that purpose to be ascertained? Who is to make the scrutiny? How often may
bad purposes be falsely imputed--in how many cases are they concealed by
false professions--in how many is no declaration of motive made? Admit
this doctrine, and you give to the States an uncontrolled right to decide,
and every law may be annulled under this pretext. If, therefore, the
absurd and dangerous doctrine should be admitted, that a State may annul
an unconstitutional law, or one that it deems such, it will not apply to
the present case.

The next objection is, that the laws in question 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
abrogated 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
conflict with a foreign or domestic foe. We have looked to it with sacred
awe as the palladium of our liberties, and with all the solemnities of
religion have pledged to each other our lives and fortunes here, and our
hopes of happiness hereafter, in its defence and support. Were we
mistaken, my countrymen, in attaching this importance to the Constitution
of our country? Was our devotion paid to the wretched, inefficient,
clumsy, contrivance which this new doctrine would make it? 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,
visionary theory, the work of the profound statesmen, the exalted
patriots, to whom the task of constitutional reform was entrusted? Did the
name of Washington sanction, did the States deliberately ratify such an
anomaly in the history of fundamental legislation? No. We were not
mistaken. The letter of 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 giving power to make laws, and another power
to resist them. The sages whose memory will always be reverenced, have
given us a practical, and, as they hoped, a permanent constitutional
compact. The Father of his Country did not affix his revered 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, or that they could exercise it by
implication. Search the debates in all their Conventions, examine the
speeches of the most zealous opposers of federal authority, look at the
amendments that were proposed--they are all silent--not a syllable
uttered, not a vote given, not a motion made, to correct the explicit
supremacy given to the laws of the Union over those of the States, or to
show that implication, 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 in
peace; it shall descend as we have received it, uncorrupted by sophistical
construction, to our posterity, and the sacrifices of local interest, of
State prejudices, of personal animosities, that were made to bring it into
existence, will again be patriotically offered for its support.

The two remaining objections made by the ordinance to these laws, are that
the sums intended to be raised by them are greater than are required, and
that the proceeds will be unconstitutionally employed.

The Constitution has given, expressly, to Congress the right of raising
revenue, and of determining the sum the public exigencies will require.
The States 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
discretionary power; but the same may be said of others with which they
are vested. Yet the discretion must exist somewhere. The Constitution has
given it to the representatives of all 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 discreet disposition of
the power? I do not ask you, fellow citizens, which is the constitutional
disposition--that instrument speaks a language not to be misunderstood.
But if you were assembled in general Convention, which would you think the
safest depository of this discretionary power in the last resort? Would
you add a clause giving it to each of the States, or would you sanction
the wise provisions already 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 establish, for a
temporary and a local purpose, that which you must acknowledge to be
destructive, and even absurd, as a general provision? Carry 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 could 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 fellow-citizens; judge for yourselves. I appeal to you to
determine whether they are so clear, so convincing, as to leave no doubt
of their correctness; and even if you should come to this conclusion, how
far they justify the reckless, destructive course which you are directed
to pursue. Review these objections, and the conclusions drawn from them,
once more. What are they? Every law, then, for raising revenue, according
to the South Carolina ordinance, 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 a revenue, and each State has a right to oppose
their execution--two rights directly opposed to each other; and yet is
this absurdity supposed to be contained in an instrument drawn for the
express purpose of avoiding collisions between the States and the general
government, by an assembly of the most enlightened statesmen and purest
patriots ever embodied for a similar purpose.

In vain have these sages declared that congress shall have power to lay
and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; 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 "supreme law of the land, and that the judges in
every State shall 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 sanctioned these provisions, made them their
paramount law, and individually sworn to support them whenever they were
called on to execute any office. Vain provisions! ineffectual
restrictions! vile profanation of oaths! miserable mockery of legislation!
if the bare majority of the voters in any one State may, on a real or
supposed knowledge of the intent with which a law has been passed, declare
themselves free from its operation--say here it gives too little, there
too much, and operates unequally--here it suffers articles to be free that
ought to be taxed--there it taxes those that ought to be free--in this
case the proceeds are intended to be applied to purposes which we do not
approve--in that the amount raised is more than is wanted. Congress, it is
true, are invested by the constitution with the right of deciding these
questions according to their sound discretion; congress is composed of the
representatives of all the States, and of all the people of all the
States; but we, 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 our
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 we do
this, not because congress have no right to pass such laws--this we do not
allege--but because they have passed them with improper views. They are
unconstitutional from 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 equal; and from
the disposition which we presume may be made of their proceeds, although
that disposition has not been declared. This is the plain meaning of the
ordinance, in relation to laws which it abrogates for alleged
unconstitutionality. But it does not stop there. It repeals, in express
terms, an important part of the constitution itself, and of laws passed to
give it effect, which have never been alleged to be unconstitutional. The
constitution declares that the judicial powers of the United States extend
to cases arising under the laws of the United States; and that such laws,
the constitution, and treaties, shall be paramount to the State
constitutions and laws. The judiciary act prescribes the mode by which the
case may be brought before a court of the United States by appeal, when a
State tribunal shall decide against this provision of the constitution.
The ordinance declares that there shall be no appeal, makes the State law
paramount to the constitution 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 of that State, to enforce the payment of duties imposed by the
revenue laws within its limits.

Here is a law of the United States, not even pretended to be
unconstitutional, repealed by the authority of a small majority of the
voters of a single State. Here is a provision of the constitution, which
is solemnly abrogated by the same authority.

On such expositions and reasonings, the ordinance 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 from the Union, if any attempt is made
to execute them.

This right to secede is deduced from the nature of the constitution, which
they say is a compact between sovereign States, who have preserved their
whole sovereignty, and therefore are subject to no superior; that because
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 our government
sufficiently to see the radical error, on which it rests.

The people of the United States formed the constitution, acting through
the State legislatures in making the compact, to meet and discuss its
provisions, and acting in separate conventions, when they ratified those
provisions; but the terms used in its construction, show it to be a
government, in which the people of all the States collectively are
represented. We are _one people_ in the choice of president and vice
president. Here the States have no other agency, than to direct the mode
in which the votes shall be given. The candidates having a 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 may be chosen. The people,
then, and not the States, are represented in the executive branch.

In the house of representatives there is this difference, that the people
of one State do not, as in the case of president and vice president, all
vote for the 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 chosen, they are all
representatives of the United States, not representatives of the
particular State from whence 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 legislative functions; and however they may in
practice, as it is their duty to do, consult and prefer the interests of
their particular constituents, when they come in conflict with any other
partial or local interest, yet it is their first and highest duty, as a
representative of the United States, to promote the general good.

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

Because the Union was formed by compact, it is said the parties to that
compact may, when they feel themselves aggrieved, depart from it; but it
is precisely because it is a compact, that they cannot. A compact is an
agreement, 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 have a
sanction, then the breach incurs the designated or implied penalty. A
league between independent nations generally has no sanction, other than a
moral one; or, if it should contain a penalty, as there is no common
superior, it cannot be enforced. A government, on the contrary, always
has a saction, express or implied; and in our case, it is both necessarily
implied, and expressly given. An attempt by force of arms to destroy a
government, is an offence, by whatever means the constitutional compact
may have been formed; and such government has the right, by the law of
self-defence, to pass acts for punishing the offender, unless that right
is modified, restrained, or resumed by the constitutional act. In our
system, although it is modified in 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 has 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 connects us; but as 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 make
greater personal sacrifices, or official exertions to defend them from
violation; but equal care must be taken to prevent, on their part, an
improper interference with, or resumption of the rights they have vested
in the nation. The line has not been so distinctly drawn, as to avoid
doubts in some cases of the exercise of power. Men of the best intentions,
and soundest views, may differ in their construction of some parts of the
constitution; but there are others, on which dispassionate reflection can
leave no doubt. Of this nature appears to be the assumed right of
secession. It rests, as we have seen, on the alleged undivided sovereignty
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, they have the right to secede. Both of these positions are erroneous,
and some of the arguments 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 league,
they surrendered many of their essential parts of sovereignty. The right
to make treaties, declare war, levy taxes, exercise exclusive judicial
and legislative powers, were all of them functions of sovereign power. The
States, then, for all these purposes, were no longer sovereign. The
allegiance of their citizens was transferred, in the first instance, to
the government of the United States; they became American citizens, and
owed obedience to the constitution of the United States, and to laws made
in conformity with the powers it vested in congress. This last position
has not been, and cannot be denied. How, then, can that State be said to
be sovereign and independent whose citizens owe obedience to laws not made
by it, and whose magistrates are sworn to disregard those laws when they
come in conflict with those passed by another? What shows conclusively
that the States cannot be said to have reserved an undivided sovereignty,
is, that they expressly ceded the right to punish treason, not treason
against their separate power, but treason against the United States.
Treason is an offence against _sovereignty_, 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 powers.

The unity of our political character (as has been shown for another
purpose) commenced with its very existence. Under the royal government we
had no separate character: our opposition to its oppressions began as
_united colonies_. We were the _United States_ under the confederation,
and the 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 light than as forming one nation. Treaties and alliances were
made in the name of all. Troops were raised for 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
governments; how is it, that the most perfect of those several modes of
union should now be considered as a mere league, that may be dissolved at
pleasure? It is from an abuse of terms. "Compact" is used as synonymous
with "league," although the true term is not employed, because it would
at once show the fallacy of the reasoning. It would not do to say, that
our constitution was only a league; but it is labored to prove it a
compact, (which in one sense it is,) and then to argue, that, as a league
is a compact, every compact between nations must of course be a league,
and that from such an engagement every sovereign power has a right to
recede. But it has been shown, that in this sense the States are not
sovereign, and that even if they were, and the national constitution had
been formed by compact, there would be no right in any one State to
exonerate itself from its obligations.

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

These are the alternatives, that are presented by the convention: A repeal
of all the acts for raising revenue, leaving the government without the
means of support; or an acquiescence in the dissolution of our Union by
the secession of one of its members. When the first was proposed, it was
known, that it could not be listened to for a moment. It was known, if
force was applied to oppose the execution of the laws, that it must be
repelled by force; that congress could not, without involving itself in
disgrace, and the country in ruin, accede to the proposition; and yet, if
this is not done on a given day, or if any attempt is made to execute the
laws, the State is, by the ordinance, declared to be out of the Union. The
majority of a convention assembled for the purpose have dictated these
terms, or rather this rejection of all terms, in the name of the people
of South Carolina. It is true, that the governor of the State speaks of
the submission of their grievances to a convention of all the States,
which, he says, they "sincerely and anxiously seek and desire." Yet this
obvious and constitutional 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
to this destructive measure. The State might have proposed the call for a
general convention to the other States; and congress, 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 functionaries of the general government of the merits of the
controversy," such a convention will be accorded to them, must have known,
that neither congress, nor any functionary 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 refused. If the legislature of
South Carolina "anxiously desire" a general convention to consider their
complaints, why have they not made application for it, in the way the
constitution points out? The assertion, that they "earnestly seek" it, is
completely negatived by the omission.

This, then, is the position in which we stand. A small 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 laws of the
United States must be repealed, or that they are no longer a member of
this Union. The Governor of that State has recommended to the Legislature
the raising of an army to carry the secession into effect, and that he may
be empowered to give clearances to vessels in the name 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," shall be
performed to the extent of the powers already vested in me by law, or of
such others as the wisdom of Congress shall devise and entrust to me for
that purpose, but to warn the citizens of South Carolina who have been
deluded into an opposition to the laws, of the danger they will incur by
obedience to the illegal and disorganizing ordinance of the Convention; to
exhort those who have refused to support it to persevere in their
determination to uphold the Constitution and laws of their country; and to
point out to all the perilous situation into which the good people of that
State have been led, and that the course they are urged to pursue is one
of ruin and disgrace to the very State whose rights they affect to

Fellow citizens of my native State, let me not only admonish you, as the
First Magistrate of our common country, not to incur the penalty of its
laws, but use the influence that a father would over his children whom he
saw rushing to certain ruin. In that paternal language, 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
pretences you have been led on to the brink of insurrection 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 diminution in the value of your lands, were the sole effect of
the tariff laws.

The effect of those laws was confessedly injurious, but the evil was
greatly exaggerated by the unfounded theory you were taught to believe,
that its burthens were in proportion to your exports, not to your
consumption of imported articles. Your pride was roused by the assertion
that a submission to those laws was a state of vassalage, and that
resistance to them was equal, in patriotic merit, to the opposition our
fathers offered to the oppressive laws of Great Britain. You were told
that this opposition might be peaceably--might be constitutionally made;
that you might enjoy all the advantages of the Union, and bear none of its
burthens. Eloquent appeals to your passions, to your State pride, to your
native courage, to your sense of real injury, were used to prepare you for
the period when the mask, which concealed the hideous features of
disunion, should be taken off. It fell, and you were made to look with
complacency on objects which, not long since, you would have regarded with
horror. Look back to the arts which have brought you to this state--look
forward to the consequences to which it must inevitably lead! Look back to
what was first told you as an inducement to enter into this dangerous
course. The great political truth was repeated to you, that you had the
revolutionary right of resisting all laws that were palpably
unconstitutional and intolerably oppressive; it was added that the right
to nullify a law rested on the same principle, but that it was a peaceable
remedy! This character which was given to it, made you receive, with too
much confidence, the assertions that were made of the unconstitutionality
of the law and its oppressive effects. Mark, my fellow citizens, that, by
the admission of your leaders, the unconstitutionality must be _palpable_,
or it will not justify either resistance or nullification! 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
intellect will fail to perceive. Is the unconstitutionality of these laws
of that description? Let those among your leaders who once approved and
advocated the principle of protective duties, answer the question; and let
them choose whether they will be considered as incapable, then, of
perceiving that which must have been apparent to every man of common
understanding, or as imposing upon your confidence, and endeavoring to
mislead you now. In either case, they are unsafe guides in the perilous
path they urge you to tread. Ponder well on this circumstance, and you
will know how to appreciate the exaggerated language they address to you.
They are not champions of liberty emulating the fame of our revolutionary
fathers; nor are you an oppressed people, contending, as they repeat to
you, against worse than colonial vassalage.

You are free members of a flourishing and happy Union. There is no settled
design to oppress you. You have indeed felt the unequal operation of laws
which may have been unwisely, not unconstitutionally passed; but that
inequality must necessily be removed. At the very moment when you were
madly urged on to the unfortunate course you have begun, a change in
public opinion had commenced. The nearly approaching payment of the public
debt, and the consequent necessity of a diminution of duties, had already
produced a considerable reduction, and that, too, on some articles of
general consumption in your State. The importance of this change was
underrated, and you were authoritatively told that no further alleviation
of your burthens were to be expected at the very time when the condition
of the country imperiously demanded such a modification of the duties as
should reduce them to a just and equitable scale. But, as if apprehensive
of the effect of this change in allaying your discontents, you were
precipitated into the fearful state in which you now find yourselves.

I have urged you to look back to the means that were used to hurry you on
to the position you have now assumed, and forward to the consequences it
will produce. Something more is necessary. Contemplate the condition of
that country of which you still form an important part. Consider its
government uniting in one bond of common interest and general protection
so many different States--giving to all their inhabitants the proud title
of American citizens, protecting their commerce, securing their literature
and their arts; facilitating their intercommunication; defending their
frontiers; and making their name respected in the remotest parts of the
earth. Consider the extent of its territory; its increasing and happy
population; its advance in arts, which render life agreeable; and the
sciences, which elevate the mind! See education spreading the lights of
religion, morality, and general information into every cottage in this
wide extent of our Territories and States? Behold it as the asylum where
the wretched and the oppressed find a refuge and support! Look on this
picture of happiness and honor, and say--_we, too, are citizens of
America!_ Carolina is one of these proud States--her arms have
defended--her best blood has cemented this happy Union! And then add, if
you can, without horror and remorse, this happy Union we will dissolve;
this picture of peace and prosperity we will deface; this free
intercourse we will interrupt; these fertile fields we will deluge with
blood; the protection of that glorious flag we renounce; the very name of
Americans we discard. And for what, mistaken men--for what do you throw
away these inestimable blessings? for what would you exchange your share
in the advantages and honor of the Union? For the dream of separate
independence--a dream interrupted by bloody conflicts with your neighbors,
and a vile dependence on a foreign power. If your leaders could succeed in
establishing a separation, what would be your situation? Are you united at
home--are you free from the apprehension of civil discord, with all its
fearful consequences? Do our neighboring republics, every day suffering
some new revolution, or contending with some new insurrection--do they
excite your envy? But the dictates of a high duty obliges me solemnly to
announce that you cannot succeed. The laws of the United States must be
executed. I have no discretionary power on the subject--my duty is
emphatically pronounced in the Constitution. Those who told you that you
might peaceably prevent their execution, deceived you--they could not have
been deceived themselves. They know that a forcible opposition could alone
prevent the execution of the laws, and they know that such opposition must
be repelled. Their object is disunion; but be not deceived by names;
disunion, by armed force, is _treason_. Are you really ready to incur its
guilt? If you are, on the heads of the instigators of the act be the
dreadful consequences--on their heads be the dishonor, but on yours may
fall the punishment; on your unhappy State will inevitably fall all the
evils of the conflict you force upon the government of your country. It
cannot accede to the mad project of disunion, of which you would be the
first victims--its First Magistrate cannot, if he would, avoid the
performance of his duty; the consequences must be fearful for you,
distressing to your fellow citizens here, and to the friends of good
government throughout the world. Its enemies have beheld our prosperity
with a vexation they could not conceal--it was a standing refutation of
their slavish doctrines, and they will point to our discord with the
triumph of malignant joy. It is yet in your power to disappoint them.
There is yet time to show that the descendants of the Pinckneys, the
Sumters, the Rutledges, and of the thousand other names which adorn the
pages of your revolutionary history, will not abandon that Union, to
support which so many of them fought, and bled, and died.

I adjure you, as you honor their memory--as you love the cause of freedom,
to which they dedicated their lives--as you prize the peace of your
country, the lives of its best citizens, and your own fair fame, to
retrace your steps. Snatch from the archives of your State the
disorganizing edict of its Convention--bid its members to re-assemble, and
promulgate the decided expressions of your will to remain in the path
which alone can conduct you to safety, prosperity, and honor. Tell them
that, compared to disunion, all other evils are light, because that brings
with it an accumulation of all. Declare that you will never take the field
unless the star spangled banner of your country shall float over you; that
you will not be stigmatized when dead, and dishonored and scorned while
you live, as the authors of the first attack on the Constitution of your
country. Its destroyers you cannot be. You may disturb its peace--you may
interrupt the course of its prosperity--you may cloud its reputation for
stability, but its tranquility will be restored, its prosperity will
return, and the stain upon its national character will be transferred, and
remain an eternal blot on the memory of those who caused the disorder.

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

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

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

In testimony whereof, I have caused the seal of the United States to be
hereunto affixed, having signed the same with my hand.

Done at the city of Washington, this 10th day of December, in the year of
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, and of the
independence of the United States the fifty-seventh.


  By the President:
    EDW. LIVINGSTON, _Secretary of State_.

Comment upon the imperishable document just quoted is entirely
unnecessary. It speaks for itself in thundering tones that strikes terror
to the traitor's heart. Mark the clear and lucid reasoning,[3] the kind,
paternal advice, the bold and manly warning that pervades this production,
of the true, noble, honored patriot of the Hermitage.

For the purpose of contrasting the administration of Andrew Jackson,
during the convulsion of 1832-'33, with that of James Buchanan, during our
present similar condition, we will give a brief summary of the course
pursued by the former:

On the 24th day of November, previous to the issuing of President
Jackson's proclamation, South Carolina had, through her convention,
effectually declared herself out of the Union, by an ordinance that was to
take effect on the first day of February, 1833. The President, being
apprehensive of trouble in collecting the duties imposed by congress in
the various ports of South Carolina, and more especially at Charleston,
dispatched, through his secretary of the treasury, Louis McLean,
confidential orders of the most strict and positive character, to the
collectors at the several ports of entry.

He writes to James K. Prinkle, Esq., collector at Charleston, ordering him
to use the utmost firmness and vigilence in seeing the laws promptly
executed in every particular. He ordered the revenue cutter Alert to
proceed to Charleston, and, in writing to Mr. Prinkle, he says, you will,
moreover, cause the officers of the cutter (showing that there were others
at hand), under your direction, to board all vessels departing from the
port of Charleston, and in case any shall be found without having been
regularly entered and cleared in the manner required by law, to seize and
detain the same, to be prosecuted according to law. The number of
assistants and employees were greatly increased, and every precaution
taken to prevent a surprise. But as time rolled around South Carolina, not
having penetrated the purposes of President Jackson sufficiently to
understand his position, felt confident in her final success, and was
defiant in her attitude. She began to collect her army that was to defeat
the government of the United States. She had appealed to her sister States
to aid her in sustaining her position. Dissatisfaction had already began
to show itself in various other sections of the country. The President
beheld the dangers and felt the responsibility resting upon him, and on
the 10th day of December he issued his Proclamation, declaring his
unalterable purpose to enforce the laws and collect the duties, and above
all to stand by the Constitution and the Union to the last, and warning
those who were precipitating their country into a civil war to beware of
the consequences and fearful responsibility they would incur by a
continuance in their reckless course.

But South Carolina had gone too far to be silenced by any ordinary means.
She continued her preparations, still hoping that she could spread
disaffection into other portions of the country sufficient to frighten the
government into granting her demands, and many of the true friends of the
Union trembled for its safety, so wide-spread was the sympathy South
Carolina had enlisted. Many members of Congress were ready with their
measures of pacification, each anxious to become the instrument of
settling the difficulty, and perhaps immortalize his name. The horrors of
civil war were as freely discussed as at the present day. Numerous were
those who were ready and willing to sacrifice everything, even the dignity
of the nation, to avert the dreadful calamity. But where was the brave
Jackson? He was at the helm of the great ship of State, and although the
storm was raging, and the billows threatening to engulf her or dash her to
fragments on the inhospitable shore of anarchy, yet the brave old hero,
with the Constitution for his guide and the God of liberty for his
counselor, bid defiance to the mutineers who were threateningly assembled
around him.

On the 16th day of December he sent a special message to Congress asking
for additional legislation for the purpose of meeting the exigency, he
reminding them of their sworn duty to protect the Constitution from every
encroachment, and appealed to their patriotism, and urged them, as true
Americans, to stand firmly by their country. Congress promptly responded
to the call, and the President thus prepared continued the collection of
customs uninterruptedly, and preserved the honor and dignity of the

South Carolina, after much blustering and threatening, quieted down, and
it is to be hoped that many of the leaders of the rebellion lived to see
the folly of their acts and the wisdom of the President.

But let us look for a moment at the course James Buchanan has pursued. It
is now over a year since men occupying high places in the government began
to publicly avow their determination to destroy this government and
involve all in one common ruin. Public speeches and the press of the
country have all proclaimed the determination of certain partain parties
to break up this Union. Conventions have been held and resolutions passed
declaring certain States out of the Union. Arsenals have been seized,
forts have been taken by bodies of armed men, public property confiscated,
and an unarmed steamer, bearing the flag of the nation, has been fired
into for attempting to comply with government orders--collectors of
customs are arrested and tried for treason for performing their duty. The
free navigation of the Mississippi is prevented; American citizens are
driven out of several of the States while peaceably attending to their
legitimate business, and some of the more unfortunate have suffered
tarring and feathering, whipping, scourging and even death at the hands of
those acting under authority, or at least within the knowledge of the
authorities of the several States; and yet, after all the enumerated
outrages, sufficient to disgrace even the half-civilized nation of
Morocco, not one word of unqualified rebuke has James Buchanan uttered
against those committing these outrages, not only against our government
but the very name of humanity. Surrounded by treason in his own
cabinet,[4] he has looked quietly on while his Secretary of War supplied
the insurgents with government arms. Open and defiant traitors have been
his daily counselors, while his imbecile, undecided course gives no one
confidence in his future policy. Treason is now openly and boldly
perpetrated throughout at least one-third of the entire country without
the least restraint from any source whatever.

If there is to be found within the pages of history where the government
of a great, powerful and prosperous nation suffered treason to spread over
one-third of the entire country, coupled with the open and revolting acts
of violence that have characterized this rebellion, without the first
attempt to check its destructive progress, it is not within the range of
my knowledge.

Although the grounds for argument to show that this government was
established by the people collectively of the whole country, (and not by
the several States, as claimed by some,) and that it can only be
rightfully altered or abolished by a constitutional majority of the same
power that established it, would seem to have been entirely gone over,
nevertheless we propose to introduce the additional evidence of that
noble, honored statesman, and able constitutional expounder, Daniel

On the 21st day of January, 1830, Mr. Hayne delivered in the Senate of the
United States a very able speech advocating the right of the various
States to nullify the laws of Congress in certain contingencies, or what
might be more properly called the South Carolina doctrine, embracing the
right to nullify the laws of Congress, or declare herself out of the Union
at pleasure. His speech was considered a complete succces by the
advocates of his sentiments, and was thought by them an unanswerable
vindication of those principles, and when Mr. Webster undertook the task
of replying to Mr. Hayne, he was met with jeers by the friends of
nullication; but as the volume of his reasoning began to unfold itself,
all eyes were attentively turned toward the speaker. After proceeding to
state the grounds upon which was founded the pretended right to nullify
the acts of Congress, Mr. Webster said:

    "This leads us to inquire into the origin of this government and the
    source of its power. Whose agent is it? Is it the creature of the
    State legislatures, or the creature of the people? If the government
    of the United States be the agent of the State governments, then they
    may control it, provided they can agree in the manner of controlling
    it; if it is the agent of the people, then the people alone can
    control it, restrain it, modify or reform it. It is observable enough,
    that the doctrine for which the honorable gentleman contends leads him
    to the necessity of maintaining, not only that this general government
    is the creature of the States, but that it is the creature of each of
    the States severally; so that each may assert the power, for itself,
    of determining whether it acts within the limits of its authority. It
    is the servant of four and twenty masters, of different wills and
    purposes; and yet bound to obey all. This absurdity (for it seems no
    less) arises from a misconception as to the origin of this government,
    and its true character. It is, sir, the people's constitution, the
    people's government; made for the people; made by the people; and
    answerable to the people. The people of the United States have
    declared that this constitution shall be the supreme law. We must
    either admit the proposition, or dispute their authority. The States
    are unquestionably sovereign, so far as their sovereignty is not
    affected by this supreme law. The State legislatures, as political
    bodies, however sovereign, are yet not sovereign over the people. So
    far as the people have given power to the general government, so far
    the grant is unquestionably good, and the government holds of the
    people, and not of the State governments. We are all agents of the
    same supreme power, the people. The general government and the State
    governments derive their authority from the same source. Neither can,
    in relation to the other, be called primary; though one is definite
    and restricted, and the other general and residuary.

    "The national government possesses those powers which it can be shown
    the people have conferred on it, and no more. All the rest belongs to
    the State governments, or to the people themselves. So far as the
    people have restrained State sovereignty by the expression of their
    will, in the constitution of the United States, so far, it must be
    admitted, State sovereignty is effectually controlled. I do not
    contend that it is, or ought to be, controlled further. The sentiment
    to which I have referred propounds that State sovereignty is only to
    be controlled by its own 'feelings of justice;' that is to say, it is
    not to be controlled at all; for one who is to follow his feelings, is
    under no legal control. Now, however men may think this ought to be,
    the fact is, that the people of the United States have chosen to
    impose control on State sovereignties. The constitution has ordered
    the matter differently from what this opinion announces. To make war,
    for instance, is an exercise of sovereignty; but the constitution
    declares that no State shall make war. To coin money is another
    exercise of sovereign power; but no State is at liberty to coin money.
    Again, the constitution says, that no sovereign State shall be so
    sovereign as to make a treaty. These prohibitions, it must be
    confessed, are a control on the State sovereignty of South Carolina,
    as well as of the other States, which does not arise 'from feelings of
    honorable justice.' Such an opinion, therefore, is in defiance of the
    plainest provisions of the constitution."

Mr. Webster proceeded to investigate the South Carolina doctrine as it was
then termed; he referred to the resolutions of Pennsylvania and Kentucky
declaring the tariff laws constitutional, while in South Carolina the same
laws were declared to be a palpable, deliberate usurpation of power by
Congress; and in speaking of the absurdity of allowing each State to
decide in such cases, he said:

    "If there be no power to settle such questions, independent of either
    of the States, is not the whole Union a rope of sand? Are we not
    thrown back again precisely upon the old confederation?

    "It is too plain to be argued. Four and twenty interpreters of
    constitutional law, each with a power to decide for itself, and none
    with authority to bind anybody else, and this constitutional law the
    only bond of their union! What is such a state of things but a mere
    connection during pleasure, or, to use the praseology of the times,
    _during feeling_? And that feeling, too, not the feeling of the people
    who established the constitution, but the feeling of the State

In referring to remarks made by Mr. Hayne, concerning what Mr. Hillhouse
should have said about not being bound to obey an unconstitutional law,
Mr. Webster says:

    "He quotes that distinguished senator as saying, that in his judgment
    the embargo law was unconstitutional, and that, therefore, in his
    opinion, the people were not bound to obey it.

    "That, sir, is perfectly constitutional language. As unconstitutional
    law is not binding; _but then it does not rest with a resolution or a
    law of a State legislature to decide whether an act of congress be or
    be not constitutional_. An unconstitutional act of congress would not
    bind the people of this District although they have no legislature to
    interfere in their behalf; and, on the other hand, a constitutional
    law of congress does bind the citizens of every State, although all
    their legislatures should undertake to annul it, by act or resolution.
    The venerable Connecticut senator is a constitutional lawyer, of sound
    principles and enlarged knowledge; a statesman practiced and
    experienced, bred in the company of Washington, and holding just views
    upon the nature of our governments. He believed the embargo
    unconstitutional, and so did others; but what then? Who did he suppose
    was to decide that question? The State legislature? Certainly not. No
    such sentiment ever escaped his lips."

Mr. Webster went on to ask from whence this supposed right of the States
came? Where did they get the power to interfere with the laws of the
Union? He contended that the notion was founded in a misapprehension of
the origin of this government and of the foundation on which it stands. I
hold, said he, this to be a popular government, erected by the people,
those who administer it responsible to the people, and itself capable of
being amended and modified just as the people may choose it should be.

    "It is as popular, just as truly emenating from the people, as the
    State governments. It is created for one purpose; the State
    governments for another. It has its own powers; they have theirs.
    There is no more authority with them to arrest the operation of a law
    of congress, than with congress to arrest the operation of their laws.
    We are here to administer a constitution emenating immediately from
    the people, and trusted by them to our administration. It is not the
    creature of the State governments. It is of no moment to the argument
    that certain acts of the State legislatures are necessary to fill our
    seats in this body. That is not one of their original State powers, a
    part of the sovereignty of the State. It is a duty which the people,
    by the constitution itself, have imposed on the State legislatures,
    and which they might have left to be performed elsewhere, if they had
    seen fit. So they have left the choice of president with electors; but
    all this does not affect the proposition that this whole
    government--president, senate and house of representatives--is a
    popular government. It leaves it still all its popular character. The
    governor of a State (in some of the States) is chosen not directly by
    the people for the purpose of performing, among other duties, that of
    electing a governor. Is the government of the State on that account
    not a popular government? This government, sir, is the independent
    offspring of the popular will. It is not the creature of State
    legislatures; nay, more, if the whole truth must be told, the people
    brought it into existence, established it, and have hitherto supported
    it, for the very purpose, amongst others, of imposing certain salutary
    restraints on State sovereignties. The States cannot now make war;
    they cannot contract alliances; they cannot make, each for itself,
    separate regulations of commerce; they cannot lay imposts; they cannot
    coin money. If this constitution, sir, be the creature of State
    legislatures, it must be admitted that it has obtained a strange
    control over the volition of its creators."

Mr. Webster then proceeded to show that when the people erected this
government they gave it a Constitution, and in that Constitution they
enumerated the powers which they bestowed on it. That they had made it a
limited government, and defined its authority and restrained it to the
exercise of such powers as were granted, and all others were reserved to
the States or the people. But they did not stop there, being aware that no
Constitution could be so plainly written but what there would be a
difference of opinion on the construction of some points, consequently
they (the people) in order to avoid a recurrence of the difficulties
experienced under the old confederacy and render the laws of Congress
effective and binding upon all parties without applying to State
authority, thus rendering the government complete within itself, declared
the Constitution and the laws of the United States, made in pursuance
thereof, should be the supreme law of the land. In referring to the
tribunal in which to decide questions arising under the Constitution, Mr.
Webster said:

    "But, sir, the people have wisely provided, in the constitution
    itself, a proper, suitable mode and tribunal for settling questions of
    constitutional law. There are, in the constitution, grants of powers
    to congress, and restrictions on those powers. There are also
    prohibitions on the States. Some authority must therefore necessarily
    exist, having the ultimate jurisdiction to fix and ascertain the
    interpretation of these grants, restrictions, and prohibitions. The
    constitution has itself pointed out, ordained, and established that
    authority. How has it accomplished this great and essential end? By
    declaring, sir, that '_the constitution and the laws of the United
    States, made in pursuance thereof, shall be the supreme law of the
    land, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the
    contrary notwithstanding_.'

    "This, sir, was the first great step. By this, the supremacy of the
    constitution and laws of the United States is declared. The people so
    will it. No State law is to be valid which comes in conflict with the
    constitution or any law of the United States. But who shall decide
    this question of interference? To whom lies the last appeal? This,
    sir, the constitution itself decides also, by declaring '_that the
    judicial power shall extend to all cases arising under the
    constitution and laws of the United States_.' These two provisions,
    sir, cover the whole ground. They are, in truth, the keystone of the
    arch. With these it is a government; without them it is a confederacy.
    In pursuance of these clear and express provisions, congress
    established, at its very first session, in the judicial act, a mode
    for carrying them into full effect, and for bringing all questions of
    constitutional power to the final decision of the supreme court. It
    then, sir, became a government. It then had the means of
    self-protection; and but for this, it would, in all probability, have
    been now among things which are passed. Having constituted the
    government, and declared its powers, the people have further said,
    that since somebody must decide on the extent of these powers, the
    government shall itself decide--subject always like other popular
    governments, to its responsibility to the people. And now, sir, I
    repeat, how is it that a State legislature acquires any right to
    interfere? Who, or what, gives them the right to say to the people,
    'We, who are your agents and servants for one purpose, will undertake
    to decide, that your other agents and servants, appointed by you for
    another purpose, have transcended the authority you gave them?' The
    reply would be, I think, not impertinent, 'Who made you a judge over
    another's servants. To their own masters they stand or fall.'"

He then went on to show that a State could not make treason against the
United States legal, and, says he, when I maintain these sentiments, I am
but asserting the rights of the people; I state what they have declared
and insisted on as their right to declare it. They have chosen to repose
this power in the general government, and I think it my duty to support it
like other Constitutional powers.

In referring to the importance of having but one tribunal, whose decisions
should be final--Sir, said he:

    "If we look to the general nature of the case, could any thing have
    been more preposterous than to have made a government for the whole
    Union, and yet left its powers subject, not to one interpretation, but
    to thirteen or twenty-four interpretations? Instead of one tribunal,
    established by all, responsible to all, with power to decide for all,
    shall constitutional questions be left to four and twenty popular
    bodies, each at liberty to decide for itself, and none bound to
    respect the decisions of others; and each at liberty, too, to give a
    new construction, on every new election of its own members? Would any
    thing, with such a principle in it, or rather with such a destitution
    of all principle, be fit to be called a government? No, sir. It should
    not be denominated a constitution. It should be called, rather, a
    collection of topics for everlasting controversy; heads of debate for
    a disputatious people. It would not be a government. It would not be
    adequate to any practical good, nor fit for any people to live under."

Mr. Hayne, already overborne with the overwhelming and unanswerable
arguments, was yet destined to receive the most cutting rebuke from his
vanquisher. Mr. Webster said:

    "And now, Mr. President, let me run the honorable gentleman's doctrine
    a little into its practical application. Let us look at his probable
    _modus operandi_. If a thing can be done, an ingenious man can tell
    _how_ it is to be done. Now, I wish to be informed _how_ this State
    interference is to be put in practice. We will take the existing case
    of the tariff law. South Carolina is said to have made up her opinion
    upon it. If we do not repeal it, (as probably we shall not,) she will
    then apply to the case the remedy of her doctrine. She will, we must
    suppose, pass a law of her legislature, declaring the several acts of
    congress, usually called the tariff laws, null and void, so far as
    they respect South Carolina, or the citizens thereof. So far, all is a
    paper transaction, and easy enough. But the collector at Charleston is
    collecting the duties imposed by these tariff laws--he, therefore,
    must be stopped. The collector will sieze the goods if the tariff
    duties are not paid. The State authorities will undertake their
    rescue: the marshal, with his posse, will come to the collector's aid;
    and here the contest begins. The militia of the State will be called
    out to sustain the nullifying act. They will march, sir, under a very
    gallant leader; for I believe the honorable member himself commands
    the militia of that part of the State. He will raise the _nullifying
    act_ on his standard, and spread it out as his banner. It will have a
    preamble, bearing that the tariff laws are palpable, deliberate, and
    dangerous violations of the constitution. He will proceed, with his
    banner flying, to the custom house in Charleston--

                        "all the while
        Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds."

    Arrived at the custom house, he will tell the collector that he must
    collect no more duties under any of the tariff laws. This he will be
    somewhat puzzled to say, by the way, with a grave countenance,
    considering what hand South Carolina herself had in that of 1816. But,
    sir, the collector would, probably, not desist at his bidding. Here
    would ensue a pause; for they say, that a certain stillness precedes
    the tempest. Before this military array should fall on custom house,
    collector, clerks, and all, it is very probable some of those
    composing it would request of their gallant commander-in-chief to be
    informed a little upon the point of law; for they have doubtless a
    just respect for his opinions as a lawyer, as well as for his bravery
    as a soldier. They know he has read Blackstone and the constitution,
    as well as Turenne and Vauban. They would ask him, therefore,
    something concerning their rights in this matter. They would inquire
    whether it was not somewhat dangerous to resist a law of the United
    States. What would be the nature of their offence, they would wish to
    learn, if they, by military force and array, resisted the execution
    in Carolina of a law of the United States, and it should turn out,
    after all, that the law _was constitutional_. He would answer, of
    course, treason. No lawyer could give any other reason. John Fries,[5]
    he would tell them, had learned that some years ago. How, then, they
    would ask, do you propose to defend us? We are not afraid of bullets,
    but treason has a way of taking people off that we do not much relish.
    How do you propose to defend us? 'Look at my floating banner,' he
    would reply; 'see there the _nullifying law_!' Is it your opinion,
    gallant commander, they would then say, that if we should be indicted
    for treason, that some floating banner of yours would make a good plea
    in bar? 'South Carolina is a sovereign State,' he would reply. That is
    true; but would the judge admit our plea? 'These tariff laws,' he
    would repeat, 'are unconstitutional, palpably, deliberately,
    dangerously.' That all may be so; but if the tribunals should not
    happen to be of that opinion, shall we swing for it? We are ready to
    die for our country, but it is rather an awkward business, this dying
    without touching the ground. After all, this is a sort of _hemp_-tax,
    worse than any part of the tariff.

    "Mr. President, the honorable gentleman would be in a dilemma like
    that of another great general. He would have a knot before him which
    he could not untie. He must cut it with his sword. He must say to his
    followers, defend yourselves with your bayonets; and this is
    war--civil war."

Mr. Webster continued to show that to resist by force the execution of a
law of the United States was treason, and that the Courts of the United
States could take no notice of a State law to authorize persons to commit
that grave crime. Said he, the common saying that a State cannot commit
treason herself, is nothing to the purpose. Can it authorize others to do
so? If John Fries[5] had produced an act of Pennsylvania annulling the
law of Congress, would it have helped his case? Talk about it as we will,
these doctrines go the whole length of revolution. They are incompatible
with any peaceable administration of the government. They lead directly to
disunion and civil commotion, and therefore it is, that at the
commencement, when they are first found to be maintained by respectable
men, and in a tangible form, that I enter my protest against them all. Mr
Webster proceeded to show that the people of the United States have not
chosen the State authorities as their guardians against encroachments from
the general government. Said he:

    "Sir, the people have not trusted their safety, in regard to the
    general constitution, to these hands. They have required other
    security, and taken other bonds. They have chosen to trust themselves,
    first to the plain words of the instrument, and to such construction
    as the government, itself, in doubtful cases, should put on its own
    powers, under their oaths of office, and subject to their
    responsibility to them; just as the people of a State trust their own
    State governments with a similar power. Secondly, they have reposed
    their trust in the efficacy of frequent elections, and in their own
    power to remove their own servants and agents, whenever they see
    cause. Thirdly, they have reposed trust in the judicial power, which,
    in order that it might be trustworthy, they have made as respectable,
    as disinterested, and as independent as practicable. Fourthly, they
    have seen fit to rely, in case of necessity, or high expediency, on
    their known and admitted power to alter or amend the constitution,
    peaceably and quietly, whenever experience shall point out defects or
    imperfections. And finally, the people of the United States have at
    no time, in no way, directly or indirectly, authorized any State
    legislature to construe or interpret _their_ instrument of government;
    much less to interfere, by their own power, to arrest its course and

    "If, sir, the people in these respects had done otherwise than they
    have done their constitution could neither have been preserved nor
    would it have been worth preserving. And if its plain provisions shall
    now be disregarded, and these new doctrines interpolated in it, it
    will become as feeble and helpless a being as enemies, whether early
    or more recent, could possibly desire. It will exist, in every State,
    but as a poor dependent on State permission. It must borrow leave to
    be, and will be no longer than State pleasure, or State discretion
    sees fit to grant the indulgence and to prolong its poor existence.

    "But, sir, although there are fears, there are hopes also. The people
    have preserved this their own chosen Constitution for forty years, and
    seen their happiness, prosperity and renown grow with its growth, and
    strengthen with its strength. They are now generally strongly attached
    to it. Overthrown by direct assault, it cannot be; evaded, undermined,
    _nullified_ it will not be, if we and those who succeed us here, as
    agents and representatives of the people shall conscientiously and
    vigilantly discharge the two great branches of our public trust
    faithfully to preserve and wisely to administer it."

We believe that after perusing the evidence already advanced, every
reasonable, unprejudiced person must come to the conclusion that the
fathers of our country established the government of the United States
with the full understanding and intent that it should be supreme, so far
as its delegated authority extended. That it was a unit and capable of
sustaining itself by force, if necessary. Mr. Madison's views are
repeatedly expressed on this point, explaining the advantages of
conferring sufficient powers upon the general government to enable it to
suppress internal violence and insurrection, thus providing against the
civil commotion that had overthrown other republics of a weaker and less
binding obligation on the part of the members composing them. See pages
24, 25 and 26 of this book. The papers here referred to are the more
important on account of being written while the question of adoption or
rejection of the Constitution was being discussed before the people.
Again, on pages 30 to 32, the defects and imperfections of the old
confederation in relation to the principles of legislation for the States
in their collective capacities, showing more fully that the intention was
to create a _government for the people of the United States_ that should
be binding on all persons, or combination of persons, for all time to
come. And again, on page 34, is another quotation from the joint
production of Madison, Jay and Hamilton, showing that the government was
expected to reach individuals without the aid, and independent of, State
authority. And still another quotation, on pages 35 and 36, goes to show
that there was a full understanding that the people were conferring
certain powers upon the general government, and of course taking them from
the States for the purpose of forming one great, inseparable and
indissoluble nation. There is not a particle of evidence to prove that the
people contemplated reserving or recognizing any State distinction or
State sovereignty, so far as the powers of the general government were
concerned; but the whole drift of evidence goes to show that they were
conscious of the necessity of uniting themselves under one grand
government, making themselves one people, reserving only to the States or
themselves such powers as were thought necessary to regulate their local
affairs, leaving the States in nearly the same relation to the general
government that a city municipality is to the government of the State in
which it is located; but all must owe obedience to the government of the
United States.

But this is not all the evidence we have on this subject. As we review the
history of the government, we find that Washington, Jackson, Webster,
Clay, and in fact nearly every statesman of any prominence in our
political history have either by their acts or words committed themselves
to this same policy. The proclamation of General Jackson, and the extracts
given of Mr. Webster's arguments, are the key-stone to the arch; they are
both conclusive in themselves, and comment by me would be but a weak
advocate of their masterly and unanswerable arguments, hence I close the
subject, conscious of having proven to the satisfaction of myself at
least, and, I trust, to some of my doubting Democratic friends and
weak-hearted Republican brethren, that we at least have a government,
established by our forefathers, constituting us one nation, one people,
with one common country and destiny. Whether we shall be found brave
enough to defend it and perpetuate it is a question which the God of
nations only knows, and time alone will reveal to man.


Shall this Union he maintained, or shall it be dissolved? are questions
that are the all absorbing topics of conversation amongst all classes of
people, through the length and breadth of our entire country. There seems
to be a great lack of firmness and decision at this time, in relation to
the proper course to be pursued in view of the momentous question now
about to be presented, discussed and decided upon by the American people.

While true men are thus dumfounded and amazed; I might say silenced with
almost a paralyzing astonishment at the daring and rapid movements of the
internal enemies to our country; the eyes of the civilized world are
turned towards us, and every true friend of liberty and human progression
is awaiting our decision upon this grave question, with an almost
breathless suspense. In view of this state of things, what course shall we
pursue in order to acquit ourselves honarably and preserve our nation from
the ruin that seems threatening to blot out the only guarantee that there
is such a government as "The United States?" There can be but one answer
to this from every true American patriot, and that is, that every attempt
to break up this government, let it come from few or many, will be met, be
the consequences what they may. The _integrity_ of this Union must and
shall be maintained, should be the watch-word of every man, woman and
child that values the blessing of liberty under which we have prospered as
individuals and as a nation. It is contended by some that it is better to
allow those States that choose to secede to go in peace than to enter into
a civil war, the end of which no man can foretell. This would look very
plausible were it not that there is a principle at stake which is at the
very foundation of every Democratic government, and without the
maintenance of this vital principle self-government is but a farce and a
deception. And what is this principle? Why it is nothing more nor less
than compelling the minority to submit to the constitutional acts of the
majority. Now, who will pretend that a Democratic government can be
sustained without this principle is both recognized and, if necessary,

I am not one of those who think that the question of slavery is the great
and only cause of our present troubles; far from it, you may banish every
vestige of slavery from our country, and other differences of opinion will
rise up, and cause other disputes equally as difficult to settle. Nor is
the extent of our country, or the variety of the climate to be charged
with our difficulties, for even in our city and State elections we find
there is a wide difference of opinion, which results in crimination and
recrimination. The same will be found in the various school districts and
in many of the churches. Where ever there is a government there must and
will be a difference of opinion. It is not to be expected that we will all
agree in relation to the various schemes that are presented from time to
time for our consideration. But shall we revolt and overthrow the
government because our pet scheme is defeated? If not, then should we
allow others to involve us in one common ruin because of their defeat?
There would be no end to this rebellious spirit if the obligation to
submit to a constitutional election was removed. What would be the result
of giving way to those who are now threatening our peace? Would not every
other community have the same right; and we having once granted the right
by allowing a portion of the nation to set up an independent government,
how could we in justice punish those who choose to go and do likewise?
State governments will have the same difficulty to contend against that
the United States have now, and instead of strength and prosperity we will
be weak and divided and without honor at home or abroad.

I think that every sane man will agree with me when I say that it is much
better to meet on one grand battle field and settle this question at once
than to dodge the responsibility for the present, only to allow dissention
to spread broad cast over the land. When this great nation has been torn
into fragments by this ranting, ungovernable spirit, we, or our children,
will have to enforce this great principle, that some of our best meaning
friends are willing to abandon for the sake of peace.


The effect of a war to sustain our government would be to plant the seed
of true patriotism in the breast of every law-abiding and liberty-loving
citizen of America. We should be able to contrast the two extremes of our
unheard of prosperity and the miseries and horrors of civil war--which of
itself would do much towards insuring peace for centuries to come. Let
those who expect that we love peace so well, or dread war so much as to
allow them to bid defiance to all laws, learn that they are mistaken; that
we are not the degenerate sons of a noble ancestry, but knowing our rights
and loving our country, we are determined to defend them against every
encroachment, and we will hear no more threats about disunion or rebellion
in consequence of a political defeat. We shall then have established
beyond a controversy that the minority must and shall submit to the
constitutional acts of the majority. We will then have established in the
minds of the civilized world that our government is not one of straw, but
that it is not only capable of vindicating its honor in defiance of
foreign foes, but it is equally able to chastise those who rebel against
its authority at home. War would be to our political system, what the
thunderstorm is to the atmosphere. Its purifying influences would be
manifested by inspiring new life, vigor and purity into everything that
surrounds us. Political demagogues will be cast aside as unfit for public
confidence, and better and more patriotic men will spring up from among
the masses who will have before them the history of the troubles through
which their country has passed as lesson and a warning to shun a like

We have heretofore shown ourselves to be equal to our undertakings, and
now when the great crisis in our national affairs is at hand, and the eyes
of the friends of liberty throughout the civilized world are gazing upon
us with the deepest anxiety, shall we be found unworthy of the liberties
we enjoy? Should we be found unfaithful to the trust imposed on us by our
forefathers? We would be the just object of scorn and contempt, and the
historian who shall undertake the task of writing the true history of the
rise and fall of the American government, will have the painful duty of
drawing the contrast between the noble and patriotic heroes who
established it, and the cowardly, selfish and unprincipled traitors who
became its destroyers.


This question is frequently asked by those who are encouraging the
Southern rebellion. I answer, most emphatically, in the affirmative. But
let us see who the people are. It is plain that the people of a State are
not those of one or more of the counties, unless the people of those
counties are a majority of all the people in the State. Now the
Constitution of the United States comes from the people of all the States,
consequently it will be perceived that they alone and not the people of
one State have the right to alter or abolish it. As well might the people
of Indianapolis declare the Constitution of the State of Indiana null and
void, as for the people of one State to declare this Union dissolved. It
is true that men talk about "States' rights," "the equality of the
States," and in fact invent every manner of argument for the purpose of
shielding those who are committing treason against the government of the
United States, but where is the clause of the constitution that discloses
any such sentiments? There is none, but on the other hand we find the most
positive proof that the framers of that article intended that we should be
one great nation, and to secure us against the liability of sudden and
unnecessary changes they provided that in order to amend the constitution
the consent of three-fourths of all the States were necessary, hence it
will be perceived that a simple majority of the people of the United
States could not amend the constitution, much less declare it null and

In view of this wise provision so necessary to secure stability to our
government, how rediculous it is to talk about a single State declaring
this Union dissolved against the well-known wish of four-fifths of all the
people of our entire country. The thing is absurd in the extreme and
should not be entertained for a moment, for such a principle once
established would be the end of all constitutional governments. But
suppose we grant the independence of such States as choose to withdraw
from the Union. In order to do this we must amend the constitution so as
to empower Congress to act upon the matter, and until then, every member
of Congress is bound to stand by the constitution as it is, for there is
no power granted them to treat with a portion of this nation as an
independent sovereign power. The framers of the Constitution did not grant
Congress any more than a State the right to dismember or dissolve the
Union. And who would for a moment consent to the assumption of such
extraordinary and important authority by those who were sent to Washington
to support the very constitution which they are now called upon to
disregard and destroy.


In my opinion, the best way to stop this disunion and treasonable clamor,
is for all friends of the Union to come out and call meetings, and pass
resolutions such as are appropriate for the times, telling our enemies
that it was for this Union our fathers fought, bled and died, and we will
do (if necessary) as our fathers did. Let there be but one sentiment, and
the unbroken ranks of eighteen millions of freemen will do more to silence
treason than all the constitutional amendments that could be prepared by
twice the number of pacificators that are now offering their services to
induce the government to meet the traitors on what is termed "middle
ground." It is this continued wavering and uncertain position of the
people that give those who are plotting our destruction such full and
perfect confidence in their final success. Few men could be found who
would enter the enemies ranks, if the certainty of being dealt with
according to the laws of our country was before them. The boasted bravery
of those chivalrous gentlemen who are now firing the hearts of the
ignorant with bitter hatred against the noblest government on earth, would
hesitate, reflect, and recoil at the sight of the hangman and the gallows.
I question not their bravery, neither do I doubt their determination, but
with the certainty of defeat before them, would they strike the fatal
blow? Every sane man is apt to count the chances of success when he enters
upon any very important undertaking, and if there is nothing before him
but humiliation and defeat, where is the man who would be found fool hardy
enough to risk his life in such a hopeless enterprise? They are few and
far between. We are told that unless the nation gives way to these
traitors, that the war that will ensue will be the most bloody and
desperate ever known to civilized man. There is no doubt but they will
fight, but will they be found any more brave and determined in destroying
than we will be in maintaining our glorious country? I presume not. Then
we can easily discover the character of the war by deciding upon the
course we would pursue in such a contingency. This talk about such a war
being any worse than other wars, is a mere bugbear, sent out to frighten
the timid into submission, and the less notice there is taken of it, the
more unfrequent will it be referred to. It is a noticeable fact, that
those who are bringing about this great calamity are the very ones who are
picturing to our visions the horrible consequences that would result from
an effort to stop their career. Can impudence go further? Could Arnold
have done more to have accomplished his base and ignoble purpose?

Then let the friends of our country rally under its banner, and then and
there resolve anew to stand by this Union as the only safety for our
peace, our prosperity, and our liberties. There should be no partizan
prejudice, for it is not the question who shall rule the country, but
whether we shall have a country to rule. We all have a common interest in
preserving this government, and none should wait for this or that
politician, for they are all waiting to see the determination of the
people before they will take a very decided stand. Nor can the
politicians alone save our country. Far from it. They are the parties who
aided in bringing about our present political troubles which are
threatening to involve us in a deadly contest to save our country from
dissolution. As well might you prescribe arsenic and expect it to cure a
patient who was threatened with death from the excessive use of that
poisonous drug, as to look to the politicians to restore peace and
prosperity to our distracted country.

Since it is the people that must save our country, if saved at all, let
there be unanimity, firmness and decision upon the all important question
of preserving the Union; not if we can carry out our pet scheme; not if
South Carolina is willing. Neither should we make any other condition, but
resolve unalterably to stand by the constitution and the laws to the end,
and never for one moment think of abandoning our undertaking, until this
noble object shall have been accomplished. It is a duty that we owe to
ourselves, to our homes and firesides, to the friends of freedom
throughout the civilized world, to those who are plotting treason against
our government, and to the God of liberty, that we should speak out
plainly and to the point, and warn those who are expecting such an easy
victory, that they are sadly and seriously mistaken; that we are not, as
has been represented to them, divided, but we are as one man for our
country, unconditionally and unalterably, and though we may differ in
relation to the policy of conducting the great ship of state, yet we will
not abandon her, nor allow others to commit depredations against her. The
people of this great nation will never consent to a peaceable distruction
of this noble fabric. Never! never! no, never! Then should we not warn
those who are expecting an easy victory, against the awful consequences of
a persistence in their destructive policy? By our silence we encourage
them, by our inactivity we strengthen them, and by our indecision we give
them confidence. The policy to be pursued should be distinctly laid down
and presented to them. They have been deceived and encouraged with the
prospect of success by the course we have pursued, and should war become
necessary in order to enforce the laws, we are culpable, in a measure, for
not showing more firmness at an earlier period. There is no room to doubt
their determination to bid defiance to the constitution and the laws of
the land, and nothing short of a show of the ability and the determination
to stand by our country, will induce them to desist. It may now be too
late to avoid bloodshed, but the sooner the remedy the less severe will be
the calamity.

We are told that to stir this matter up at the north will only excite and
spread the feeling of dissatisfaction more swiftly over the land, but the
time has come when, to my mind, we must prepare to decide between our
national existence or non-existence. And should we be afraid of offending
the enemies of our country? Those who would turn against the government,
provided their peculiar notions in relation to some particular question is
rejected, are against the whole spirit of a democratic government, and
will be found against us in the end, and we may as well count them there
first as last. A submission to their dictation would be to yield the reins
of government into the hands of those who are determined to either rule or
ruin, which must evidently result in the latter.

Let us examine the bearing of this rule or ruin policy, and see where it
would end, provided we give way to those who choose to adopt it. I know of
no better example, to test its destructiveness, than the one presented to
us in the present unsettled condition of our country. The people have
elected a President and Vice President in strict conformity with the
provisions of the constitution, made and provided for that purpose. Of
this there is no dispute. There is no use in talking about the issue being
sectional, for every person who was legally entitled to vote for President
and Vice President of the United States, and who concurred with the
sentiments of the party, was invited to take part in the election. There
was no distinction between North and South in this matter, and the plea
set forth that there was no support from one-half of the country, does not
alter the case, especially since it is well known that the political
opponents of Mr. Lincoln would not allow the free discussion of the
various issues presented to the people for their consideration. Had this
course been pursued in the North, there would not have been a
Breckenridge party in many of the Northern States. It will be perceived,
that owing to this intolerant spirit exhibited in some portions of the
South, Mr. Lincoln's views were not, and could not be presented to the
people for their consideration, which is in itself entirely inconsistent
with the spirit of a free government, as well as a violation of the
constitution and laws of our country. But who was to blame for this spirit
of mobocracy? Was it Mr. Lincoln or his friends? Nothing but a bigoted
blindness could lead any reasonable and well informed man to an
affirmative conclusion. The simple fact that Mr. Yancey, the leader of the
most ultra opponents of the Republicans, was allowed to advocate his views
all over the North without molestation or even insult, proves to the
contrary. But we are told that the Republican principles are contrary to
Southern interests. What if they are? Is that a reason why the right of
free discussion should be blotted out of existence? The principles of Mr.
Yancey are thought by a large majority of the people of the free States,
to be _decidedly_ against the interest of the whole country.

But did they propose to destroy this government if Mr. Breckenridge was
elected? Did they insult him, or drive him from the country as a felon?
No, he was kindly treated and listened to. The people, however, did not
conclude to vote his principles, and for this they are treated as
criminals of the deepest dye. _Comment is unnecessary._ But supposing Mr.
Breckenridge had been elected, and Massachusetts had placed herself in the
unenviable position that South Carolina has assumed, where is the
statesman who would have advocated the justice of her position, or her
right to secede, and thereby break up this government, unless Mr.
Breckenridge would renounce his doctrine, and propose a change in the
constitution recognizing the Republican principles, and who would be found
willing to compromise the honor and dignity of the government by conceding
to such demands? If any there be who would lend their aid to such a
scheme, they are mere political demagogues without honor, and are not
entitled to the confidence of the people. In this, I presume, nearly every
person will agree with me. Still, when we turn to the South, there seems
to be some diversity of opinion in relation to what course should be
pursued. Now, why this difference? Can it be charged to anything but
political prejudices? True patriotism never begets such inconsistencies.

Now it is plain that if any party make it a condition that they must be
allowed to control this government, in order to allow us to live in peace,
then that party, above all things, should not be allowed such control. The
mere demand shows the incompetency of such party to occupy such an
important position in our national affairs. Suppose we should grant the
present request. Are we prepared to grant the next that may be made at any
future time? If so, tell me, if you please, when and where you will be
willing to make a stand for the vindication of our constitutional rights?
Are we to give way to one demand after another until we have transferred
all the rights which we now possess to this rule or ruin party?

It is contended by some that, by allowing those States which desire to
secede from this Union, to go without opposition, it will insure us peace,
and at the same time remove the slave question from congress, and,
thereby, our political troubles are at an end. Happy man is he who can
imagine such a political millennium so near at hand, and so easily to be
obtained. I would ask whether other questions may not come up that will
divide the people, and cause the same bitter feeling that now distracts
the whole country when another section will demand a separation from the
remaining States; and whether they will not have the same right that we
are now called upon to grant to the Cotton States? It is plain to me that
if this policy, of allowing any State to secede that can raise a pretext
for doing so, is to be adopted, we will soon have no government at all;
but in the place of this law-abiding and liberty loving community, where
peace, plenty and prosperity has smiled upon us so many happy years,
anarchy will reign, with all its blasting and withering influences, laying
waste our brightest hopes, and casting a gloom and dispair over everything
that has heretofore been the pride of every true American citizen. We are
now called upon to consent to divide this nation under the penalty of
civil war; the horrors of which we all deeply deplore, and are willing to
prevent by all reasonable measures. But, can we grant what is asked
without establishing a precedent that will lead to further demands, and a
consequent sub-division, and, in fact, division after division until this
glorious and prosperous country shall be (instead of one great, powerful
and honored nation,) thirty-three petty contending States, each striving
to get the advantage of the other? It is contended by some that, by making
concessions, both war and dissolution can be prevented. But, let us look
at their character, and the circumstances under which they are demanded,
and see whether such results, under existing circumstances, are likely to
be realized.

The people of the United States have just cast their votes in accordance
with the usages and customs heretofore adopted, as well as in perfect
conformity with their constitutional rights, and, as usual in such cases,
there has been more than one party. The result has been that one party
elected their choice, while the others were necessarily unsuccessful; and
instead of submitting, like true patriots, peaceably to the constitutional
acts of the people, a portion of the defeated party demand of those who
have, by their numbers, carried the election, the surrender of their
principles. This is the basis of the compromise that the freemen of this
nation are unblushingly asked to make. But, upon inquiry as to whether
said conditional rebels (for they are nothing else) are willing to aid in
suppressing the more ultra and unconditional rebels of such States that
have already declared themselves out of the Union, we find them bitterly
opposed to everything that tends to show the supremacy of the laws over
this traitorous secession dogma; and our candid opinion is, that every
individual who places himself upon this platform, is contemplating a deep
laid scheme for the purpose of obtaining all the public territory they
possibly can for the institution of slavery, and then withdraw from the
Union with their booty. Ask them if they are willing to submit in case the
people reject their demands, and the answer is, no, they will die first.
Thus the ultimatum is presented to us to either surrender our principles,
our country, or fight to sustain it. Fellow-countrymen we need not ask you
which you will do.

Let us sift this unparalleled scheme of impudence and see whether it is
going to be productive of permanent good to any one except to those who
are desirous of involving us in anarchy and ruin.

Supposing the Republicans should abandon their principles, which seem to
be the terms upon which peace is offered, and, in 1864, the Democrats
should succeed in electing the President upon the slave-extension
platform, and the Republicans, feeling that their interests were likely to
be trampled upon by the dominant party, should say to the Democracy that,
unless said Democrats would abandon the principles of their party, and
secure the Republicans against the exercise of their principles in the
future, by an amendment to the constitution itself, they (the Republicans)
would dissolve this Union? It will be observed that, if one party has the
right to demand concessions, the other party has the same right,
consequently it would not be the majority that would rule, but the
minority. Neither have we any guarantee that, by granting the present
demands, that other and still more absurd and threatening demands will not
be made. We are now called upon to incorporate into the constitution
certain additional rights and privileges for slavery; and what is the
threatened penalty that is offered to the freemen of this nation if they
fail to grant what is demanded? Why it is nothing less than a complete
overthrow and destruction of this government--and yet the Republicans are
taunted with the charge of being the cause of all the consequences of the
great calamity that seems awaiting our destruction. I call especial
attention to this subject, more particularly in consequence of the
probable effort that will be made to force what is called the "Crittenden
Amendment," upon the people. It should be remembered that Mr. Crittenden
proposes, not only to give all the territory south of 36° 30' to the slave
interests, but all the territory hereafter acquired.

The restoration of the Missouri Compromise sounds very smooth and pleasant
to the ear, but is it the Missouri Compromise that Mr. Crittenden proposes
to restore? Far from it. Let us look at the broad difference between the
two measures, and see whether there is not something that looks as though
there was deception, of the deepest dye, about to be practiced upon those
who are desirous of preserving the territories free from the blighting
curse of slavery. We have heard much about the Missouri Compromise, also
about Mr. Crittenden's amendment, and, for the benefit of those who are
not familiar with the two measures, we will give them both in full. The
following is all that relates to the institution of slavery in what is
called the Missouri Compromise:

    "SEC. 8. _And be it further enacted_, That, in all the territory ceded
    by France to the United States, under the name of Louisiana, which
    lies north of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north latitude,
    not included within the limits of the State contemplated by this act,
    (meaning Missouri,) slavery and involuntary servitude, otherwise than
    in the punishment of crime, whereof the parties shall have been duly
    convicted, shall be and is hereby forever prohibited; provided,
    always, that any person escaping into the same, from whom service is
    lawfully claimed in any State or Territory of the United States, such
    fugitive may be lawfully re-claimed and conveyed to the person
    claiming his or her services as aforesaid."

It will be perceived that the above section does not establish slavery
anywhere, but, on the contrary, it prohibited it in all the territory
north of 36° 30' north latitude, while south of that (we can only infer
for there is nothing explicit on the subject) the people were to have
slavery or not as they might decide amongst themselves. But, in order to
the more fully understanding the effect of the Missouri Compromise, it is
necessary to know the amount of territory belonging, at that time, to the
United States, lying south of said above mentioned line. The territory
that now constitutes the State of Arkansas, and a small tract of Indian
territory, which now belongs to four tribes of Indians, to-wit: the
Chickasaws, Seminoles, Cherokees, and Choctaws, all of which territory,
including that of Arkansas, is not much larger than the State of Missouri,
was all the territory that remained of the Louisiana purchase, belonging
to the United States, south of 36° 30' north latitude, at the time of the
passage of said compromise. How different, in effect, from the above is
the Crittenden amendment. Let us see. The following is the said amendment
that is harped about as being a restoration of the Missouri Compromise.
Read and behold the difference:

    "WHEREAS, Serious and alarming dissensions have arisen between the
    Northern and Southern States, concerning the rights and security of
    the rights of slaveholding States, and especially their rights in the
    common territory of the United States; and whereas, it is eminently
    desirable and proper that these dissensions, which now threaten the
    very existence of this Union, should be permanently quieted and
    settled by constitutional provisions, which shall do equal justice to
    all sections, and thereby restore to the people that peace and good
    will which ought to prevail between all the citizens of the United
    States: Therefore,

    "_Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
    States of America in Congress assembled_, (two-thirds of both houses
    concurring,) That the following articles be, and are hereby proposed
    and submitted as amendments to the Constitution of the United States,
    which shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of said
    Constitution, when ratified by conventions of three-fourths of the
    several States:

    "ART. 1. In all the territory of the United States now held, or
    hereafter acquired, situated north of latitude 36 deg. 30 min.,
    slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, is
    prohibited while such territory shall remain under territorial
    government. In all the territory south of said line of latitude,
    slavery of the African race is hereby recognized as existing, and
    shall not be interfered with by Congress, but shall be protected as
    property by all the departments of the territorial government during
    its continuance. And when any territory, north or south of said line,
    within such boundaries as Congress may prescribe, shall contain the
    population requisite for a member of Congress according to the then
    federal ratio of representation of the people of the United States, it
    shall, if its form of government be republican, be admitted into the
    Union, on an equal footing with the original States, with or without
    slavery, as the constitution of such new State may provide.

    "ART. 2. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery in places
    under its exclusive jurisdiction, and situate within the limits of
    States that permit the holding of slaves.

    "ART. 3. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery within the
    District of Columbia, so long as it exists in the adjoining States of
    Virginia and Maryland, or either, nor without the consent of the
    inhabitants, nor without just compensation first made to such owners
    of slaves as do not consent to such abolishment. Nor shall Congress at
    any time prohibit officers of the Federal Government, or members of
    Congress, whose duties require them to be in said District, from
    bringing with them their slaves, and holding them as such during the
    time their duties may require them to remain there, and afterwards
    taking them from the District.

    "ART. 4. Congress shall have no power to prohibit or hinder the
    transportation of slaves from one State to another, or to a Territory,
    in which slaves are permitted to be held, whether that transportation
    be by land, navigable rivers, or by sea.

    "ART. 5. That in addition to the provisions of the third paragraph of
    the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution of the
    United States, Congress shall have power to provide by law, and it
    shall be its duty so to provide, that the United States shall pay to
    the owner who shall apply for it, the full value of his fugitive slave
    in all cases when the Marshal or other officer, whose duty it was to
    arrest said fugitive, was prevented from so doing by violence, or
    when, after arrest, said fugitive was rescued by force, and the owner
    thereby prevented and obstructed in the pursuit of his remedy for the
    recovery of his fugitive slave under the said clause of the
    Constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof. And in all such
    cases, when the United States shall pay for such fugitive, they shall
    have the right, in their own name, to sue the county in which said
    violence, intimidation, or rescue was committed, and to recover from
    it, with interest and damages, the amount paid by them for said
    fugitive slave. And the said county, after it has paid said amount to
    the United States, may, for its indemnity, sue and recover from the
    wrong doers or rescuers, by whom the owner was prevented from the
    recovery of his fugitive slave, in like manner as the owner himself
    might have sued and recovered.

    "ART. 6. No future amendment to the Constitution shall affect the five
    preceding articles; nor the third paragraph of the second section of
    the first article of the Constitution; and no amendment shall be made
    to the Constitution which shall authorize or give to Congress any
    power to abolish or interfere with slavery in any of the States by
    whose law it is, or may be, allowed or permitted.

    "And whereas, also, beside those causes of dissension embraced in the
    foregoing amendments proposed to the Constitution of the United
    States, there are others which come within the jurisdiction of
    Congress, and may be remedied by its legislative power; and whereas it
    is the desire of Congress, as far as its power will extend, to remove
    all just cause for the popular discontent and agitation which now
    disturb the peace of the country, and threaten the stability of its
    institutions: Therefore,

    "1. _Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
    States of America_, in Congress assembled, That the laws now in force,
    for the recovery of fugitives, are in strict pursuance of the plain
    and mandatory provisions of the constitution, and have been sanctioned
    as valid and constitutional by the judgment of the Supreme Court of
    the United States: that the slaveholding States are entitled to the
    faithful observance and execution of those laws, and that they ought
    not to be repealed, or so modified or changed as to impair their
    efficiency; and that laws ought to be made for the punishment of those
    who attempt, by rescue of the slave or other illegal means, to hinder
    or defeat the due execution of said laws.

    "2. That all State laws which conflict with the fugitive slave acts of
    congress, or any other constitutional acts of congress, or which in
    their operation impede, hinder or delay the free course and due
    execution of any of said acts, are null and void by the plain
    provisions of the constitution of the United States; yet those State
    laws, void as they are, have given color to practices, and led to
    consequences, which have obstructed the due administration and
    execution of acts of congress and especially the acts for the delivery
    of fugitive slaves, and have thereby contributed much to the discord
    and commotion now prevailing. Congress, therefore, in the present
    perilous juncture, does not deem it improper respectfully and
    earnestly to recommend the repeal of those laws to the several States
    which have enacted them, or such legislative corrections and
    explanations of them as may prevent their being used or perverted to
    such mischievous purposes.

    "3. That the act of the 18th of September, 1850, commonly called the
    fugitive slave law, ought to be so amended as to make the fee of the
    commissioner, mentioned in the 8th section of the act, equal in
    amount, in the cases decided by him, whether his decision be in favor
    of or against the claimant. And to avoid misconstruction, the last
    clause of the 5th section of said act, which authorises the person
    holding the warrant for the arrest or detention of a fugitive slave,
    to summon to his aid the _posse comitatus_, and which declares it to
    be the duty of all good citizens to assist him in its execution, ought
    to be amended so as to expressly limit the authority and duty to cases
    in which there shall be resistance or danger of resistance or rescue.

    "4. That the laws for the suppression of the African slave trade, and
    especially those prohibiting the importation of slaves in the United
    States, ought to be made effectual, and ought to be thoroughly
    executed, and all further enactments necessary to those ends ought to
    be promptly made."

The above is unblushingly urged upon the people by some portions of the
Democracy as being eminently conservative, and, above all, a middle
ground, upon which all patriots should be willing to stand or fall for the
Union; but as for me I am entirely unable to see that there is any middle
ground about it. What can we understand by this proposition? Is it not
granting all the South have ever asked? When, and wherein, have they asked
more? Could Mr. Yancey himself have made out a stronger document? And
yet, we are told that the South are making great concessions when they
submit to this measure, and cease to commit treason against the
government. In the name of enlightened reason, I ask, could there be a
greater insult offered to the free men of this nation, than to demand of
them the sanction of the above proposed amendment, and thus engraft it
into the Constitution of this government, claiming, as we do, to be the
freest government in the world.

Upon an examination of Mr. Crittenden's proposition, it will be perceived
that he irrevocably consigns to slavery all the Territory that we now
have, or may hereafter acquire, south of thirty-six degrees and thirty
minutes, north latitude, and north of that line he leaves the matter for
the people to decide when they come to form a State government. By
comparing this measure with the Missouri Compromise, it will be perceived
that Mr. Crittenden proposes to leave the northern territory in the same
condition that the Missouri Compromise left the territory south of said

But let us view this beautiful document of Mr. Crittenden's a little
further, and see how modestly the people of the free States are asked to
pay for Sambo whenever he gets it into his head to emigrate northward,
provided some one or more of his sable brethren should chance to advise
those whose duty it may be to invite Sambo to return to the "Sunny South,"
to make tracks with the heels towards the shanty, and allow Sambo to
remain where the winters are longer. Yes, we are asked by Mr. C. to pay
for Sambo whenever the marshal, whose duty it is to arrest him, is
_intimidated_. This sounds most beautiful. Let the people once agree to
this and we would soon have the privilege of paying for hundreds of
thousands, I might say millions, of the refractory portion of the slave
population, and in order to understand these fully, the consequences of
adopting Mr. Crittenden's amendment, it will be well for us to estimate
the probable number of the slave population in the future, as well as
their inclination to escape.

It is a well known fact, that if the slave population should increase for
the next eighty years as fast as they have for the past eighty years, they
will amount to between forty and fifty millions of inhabitants. Now let
us imagine that number of slaves, with the natural increase of
intelligence, together with a corresponding decrease of the preponderance
of African blood in their veins, and it will not take a very strong
imaginative individual to perceive that the number of fugitives will
increase at a fearful rate, and to such an extent that it would impoverish
the whole nation to pay for them. By a careful examination of Mr.
Crittenden's amendment it will be perceived that it provides for
recovering the value of the slave, by the United States, of the county in
which said violence, INTIMIDATION, or rescue was committed.

Now let us suppose that this should become a part and parcel of the
Constitution of the United States, and some one or more of the States
should pass laws nullifying said provision, and at the same time demand a
revision of the Constitution in such a manner as to annul said clause, as
a condition that they would remain in the Union, will our Union-saving
friends be willing to meet the case by granting the demand, or will they
stand up for the enforcement of the laws and the preservation of the
Union? If so, then why not assist in enforcing the laws against South
Carolina or any other State that proposes to nullify the Constitution and
the laws made in pursuance thereof. Partisan prejudice cannot prevent any
person from seeing that if one portion of the people have the right to
make a demand for concessions, then any and all other portions are
entitled to the exercise of the same right, and where such demands have
been complied with in one case, there is no rule whereby they could justly
be denied in another. Is there not great danger that by granting the South
what they are now demanding, especially since the demand is accompanied
with threats of such a grave character, we will establish a precedence
that will sap the very principle upon which our government is based? In
all Democratic governments it is the duty of every individual to submit to
the laws duly enacted by a constitutional majority; and whenever one
portion of the people rebel against said laws they become not only
traitors to their country but to the very principles upon which self
government is founded. In view of this, it is clear to me that to make any
concession, under the existing menacing threats, would be to offer a
bounty to all future conspirutors against the government, and thus
endanger the peace of our country for all time to come. Such being the
case, why talk about compromises and concessions. Let us enforce obedience
to the present government before we talk of compromises. To treat with men
who bid defiance to the supreme law of the land, who are now engaged in
open and active treason against the government, would be humiliating to
every true American citizen, and a disgrace to us as a nation, besides
showing to the world the most _positive_ evidence of our weakness; but on
the other hand let firmness and justice be the order of the day, and
although war may ensue let the consequences rest with those who are trying
to overthrow this great temple of freedom, and we shall outride the
threatend storm and transmit to posterity, unimpaired, this sacred legacy,
bequeathed to us by our forefathers and sealed by their blood. We will
then have shown ourselves worthy of the free institutions we have
inherited, and our children's children will be stimulated by our example
to extra exertions to perpetuate and strengthen the bonds that is to
preserve this nation in all its destined magnificent grandeur.

In conclusion, let me exhort my fellow-countrymen to stand or fall by our
country. Let us not forget that our fathers, as well as we, loved peace
and abhorred the calamities of war; and although the most of them have
long since "gone to that bourne from which no traveler returns," yet when
they were called to their country's service, they were surrounded by all
the endearing ties which we now enjoy. Many a son received the mother's
last parting blessing, and bid her his last farewell this side of the
grave. Husbands bid their wives an affectionate adieu, to meet no more on
earth; and many a bitter tear has flown from the weeping eyes of the loved
ones in that lonely home, bereft of a father, husband, or brother who has
fallen in the deadly struggle for the liberties we have inherited. And
should we prove recreant to our trust, the immortal spirits of those
noble-hearted, self-sacrificing patriots who fell while struggling with a
powerful tyrant in front, and a deadly savage foe in the rear, to gain the
freedom of this our beloved country, would rise up from their graves and
rebuke us for our low, cringing cowardice. No, my fellow-countrymen, you
will not be found wanting for courage--you will not allow this temple of
freedom to be destroyed--you will stand by the Constitution and the Union,
and prove yourselves worthy of your noble ancestry.


[1] Spirit of Laws, Vol. I, Book IX, Chapter I.

[2] I mean for the Union.

[3] Joseph Story, LL. D., although a most bitter political opponent of
Gen. Jackson, in his commentaries on the constitution of the United
States, thus refers to the proclamation:

"While this sheet was passing through the press, President Jackson's
proclamation of the 10th of December, 1832, concerning the recent
ordinance of South Carolina on the subject of the tariff, appeared. That
document contains a most elaborate view of several questions, which have
been discussed in this and the preceding volume, especially respecting the
supremacy of the laws of the Union; the right of the judiciary to decide
upon the constitutionality of those laws; and the total repugnancy to the
constitution of the modern doctrine of nullification asserted in that
ordinance. As a State paper it is entitled to very high praise for the
clearness, force and eloquence, with which it has defended the rights and
powers of the national government. I gladly copy into these pages some of
its important passages, as among the ablest commentaries ever offered upon
the constitution."

[4] We are happy to say that within a few days he has dismissed some, and
others, disgusted with their own acts, have withdrawn.

[5] John Fries was a noted leader in what was called the Whisky Rebellion,
which became so formidable in 1794 that President Washington issued a
proclamation exhorting all persons to desist from any proceedings tending
to prevent the execution of the laws. This did not have the desired
effect, however, and it became necessary for the President to order out a
strong force, numbering some 15,000 men. This argument seemed conclusive
and convincing to the rebels of that day, consequently they returned to
their several avocations, and by this means quiet was restored. But at
that time, as well at the present, there were numerous sympathizers with
the traitors, which created a strong and powerful party against the
administration of General Washington; but he knew his whole duty, and
performed it unhesitatingly, regardless of the denunciations of those who
were ever ready to excuse the turbulent for committing treason.


This valuable work is a large, royal octavo volume of nearly 1,200 pages;
containing nearly twice as much matter on the subject of health and
disease, as can be found in any similar work ever before offered to the
American people. Instead of describing diseases and remedies in the
mysterious and incomprehensible terms of the profession, the author has
used language such as the people understand. No less than _three hundred
and seventy forms of disease_, including diseases of women, diseases of
children, chronic diseases, as well as those of a surgical nature are
accurately described and the most successful methods of treatment made

Nearly _five hundred simple medicines are described_, together with their
virtues and medicinal uses. And the recipes for some _two hundred and
fifty valuable and successful compounds and preparations_ are given.

The following are some of the numerous notices and recommendations the
work has received by those who have given it an examination.

The following is from the justly celebrated Dr. Burnham, proprietor of the
Chronic Disease Infirmary of this city.


A. D. STREIGHT, ESQ.: _Dear Sir_--Having carefully examined a work of your
publication entitled, "New American Family Physician," by John King, M.
D., I find in point of style that it is concise, couched in plain
language, and free from technicalities. Voluminous in variety of topics
discussed, it comprises an amount of practical matter pertaining to the
preservation of health, the history and treatment of disease unequaled in
adaptation for popular use. A more general diffusion of knowledge upon the
topics therein discussed, will serve as one of the greatest protections
against the intrusions of ignorant pretenders who propose to tamper with
human health and life. And I trust will be cordially hailed by every
intelligent physician appreciating the fact that the stupid credulity of
ignorance is much more forminable to encounter than the wisdom of an
enlightened intelligence. In fine, the volume is worthy of the well earned
reputation of its author, and I cheerfully commend it as highly deserving
a promient place in the library of every family.

  Truly yours,
    N. G. BURNHAM, M. D.

[_From Dr. G. M. Thompson, Agent for Kansas_]

Tell Dr. King that I have had the pleasure of selling a copy of his
"Physician" to Ex-Governor C. Robinson, Ex-Governor F. P. Stanton,
Ex-Governor Wilson Shannon, and all the principal men in the Territory, as
far as I have been able to canvass.


_Dear Sir_--I have examined the medical work of John King, M. D., entitled
the "American Family Physician," &c. I am highly pleased with it. In fact
it supplies a long needed want, in the field of domestic medicine. It is
written in a plain, easy style and readily comprehended by the
non-professional reader, to which it will be a valuable aid in the
treatment of the diseases incident to their own families. In truth, any
one with a family will save double the cost of the book yearly, besides
much useless and pernicious drugging. The remedies recommended are
principally selected from the vegetable kingdom, many of which may be
found at home. From my examination of this work and my acquaintance with
the author, I can sincerely recommend it to both the professional and
unprofessional reader, as a highly useful book and one that should be
found in the library of every person.

  R. B. TREAT, M. D.
    (Dr. Treat is mayor of the City of Janesville.)

[_From Prof. A. J. Howe. M. D._]

I am acquainted with all the works on Domestic Medicine of any account,
and unhesitatingly pronounce "King's American Family Physician" _the

    Cincinnati, O., 1860. Professor of Surgery.

[_From the Indianapolis Journal._]

* * * As to its origin, it comes from one who certainly stands at the head
of the medical profession in the West, John King, M. D., and Professor of
Medicine, Cincinnati, is a man of more than twenty years' experience in
the healing art, and stands pre-eminent as an educator in the same. The
book deserves much credit for its simplicity of style. It is not written
for the purpose of scientific display, _but for the good of the people_.
It goes further toward redeeming those practical facts contained in
medical science from the dead masses of technical lumber, by which they
have heretofore been secluded from the comprehension of those who have the
best right to understand them, than any work extant which it has been our
privilege to review. Any man of common sense may * * * fully understand
it; and by still further application of his mother wit, may successfully
treat almost all forms of disease peculiar to this country, and thereby
_save much of his hard earnings_. * * * We commend it to the people

JANESVILLE, WIS., OCT. 20, 1860.

I have examined with care the "New American Family Physician," by John
King, M. D., and I am free to say that it contains a great amount of
medical information which ought to be put into the hands of every family
in the land. Its household suggestions are invaluable. Its circulation
will do much in the physical education of the people.

    Presiding Elder of Janesville District Conference.

This work is sold only through Agents duly appointed by the publisher, or
his General Agent.

ADDRESS, A. D. STREIGHT, Publisher, Indianapolis, Ind.

N. B. A General Agent wanted. One who is competent to take charge of a
portion of territory and employ canvassers.

THE CRISIS OF Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-One, IN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE


The intention of the author in bringing this work before the people at
this time, is to promote unity of action in sustaining our country from
the dangers that seem threatening to not only destroy our government, but
the very principles upon which our liberties are based. And, for the
purpose of giving it a wide spread circulation, we have put the wholesale
price within a fraction of the cost of manufacturing.

PRICES.--25 cents per single copy; $2.25 per dozen copies; $7.50 for fifty
copies, and $12.50 per hundred.

Orders from the friends of the Union, and the trade generally, are
solicited, and will receive prompt attention. Address

    Indianapolis, Ind.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Crisis of Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-One In The Government of The United States. - Its Cause, and How it Should be Met" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.