[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

powerful exceptions. To be convinced of this, we have only to direct our attention to the his. tory of mankind ; and whether we make our “survey of this history in the departments of re ligion, morals, or politics, we shall find the most abundant exceptions to your principle. Take, for instance, religion first ; and, I say, take it first, because it is, in truth, man's first and dearest concern ; because it is the nurse which sings the lullaby of repose to him in the hour of affliction, and the still more try. ing one of death 5–take religion, then, and shall we regard common consent here as al. ways a good argument in its favor If so, what will you say against the monstrous structure of Pagan superstition ? for that was supported by common consent. Again, it is by common consent that poligamy is sustained by the followers of Mahomet; and it is also by common consent that the contrary is maintained by. Christians. It was by common consent that the di. vine Saviour of mankind was put to an ignominious death ; and it is by common consent that Christians condemn the act, and call it Deicide. Now, if Paganism be false—if it degrade man's intellect and corrupt his heart, does common consent make it true, or in any respect change its character By no means. The system, whatever it is, remains what it was; and hence, àere, at least, the argument is not good. Let us now see how this principle operates in morals. antiquity, we shall find just as great a diversity in their system of morals as in those of reli. gion. It was not against the ethics of Lycur. gus to slay the deformed children of his democracy; and it was consonant with those of Sparta to thieve and lie. Such were their morals, and yet common consent supported them! The feelings of nature bowed before the tyrant custom, and yet common consent supported it. But, let us turn our attention now to civil government, and see how it operates here. It is by common consent that these are cre. ated ; and it is by the same common consent that they are preserved. Yet, however diver: sified may be their forms--however they may enlarge or circumscribe the boundaries of the rights of man--however they may tend to ele. vate or depress the dignity of his nature, still are they preserved—I speak generally--by common consent. It was this which called them into existence ; and it is upon this that they repose. Would you know what sustains the despotism of the Turk—what gives energy to his will, and maintains his sway Would you know what causes forty millions of men to bow their suppliant knee to the tyrant who rules them Would you know what has caused seven millions of Irishmen, brave as the lordly lion, and generous as that noble monarch of the forest, to endure for more than three hundred years, the lash of unremitted and unmerited persecution It was common consent. Common consent, then, is not always a sufficient reason for obedience to the law. No--common consent may be the parent of passive obedience and, non-resistance ; but

who will say that this doctrine is always corect ' Who will say that, when Czsar grispi the tyrant's sword, a patriot may not draw the dagger of a Brutus? Who will say that, when he is plundered of his property and stript of his rights, that he is bound to acquiesce, be. cause common consent supports it? It was not upon this principle that our ancestors acted. It is not upon this principle that our declaration of independence was based. No--they went

was originally against them. The theory and practice of the world were against them. All Europe, all Asia, all Africa, all America, except a mere speck of the continent, were against them. But, they cared not for this. They detected the fallacy which lurked under this proposition, and scorned to be the victim of its wiles. They resisted common consent; they battered it to the ground, and triumphed in the contest. We say that they were right in doing this; but if they were, was the rights of the whole people, in this case, one whit stronger than that of each individual who made a part of this people Was it not just as much his right to judge as theirs--just as much histo resist as theirs? Most clearly; and it is precisely upon the same principle, to resist any law which violates his constitution, or robs him of his rights. In vain may common consent be urged in its favor ; in vain may it be bolstered

If true, look into the history of on men distinguished for their learning, and, if

you please, for their virtues; yet, if it be not in accordance with the Constitution of the land —if it unjustly invade the inherent rights of han, it is the act of a tyrant, and the edict of injustice. And who will contend, if itbe such, that it ought to be obeyed? Will you contend? But I will conclude for the present, I have much more to say on this subject, and will reserve it for my future letters.

Extract from a letter to the editor, dated

ALBANY, 27th June, 1832.

Gen. Dury GREEN; Sir-About the 10th of March, 1831, I addressed you a letter, sisting that it was contemplated here by the friends of Mr. Van Buren, to run him for the Wice Presidency at the ensuing presidential election; that it was then a secret with his confidential friends, or intended to be such; and that, if he should be elected with General Jackson, the latter

rite, the Vice President, in possession of robes, honors, and patronage of the Presidency, in the same manner that Van Buren conferred upon Enos T. Throop the executive functions of this State in 1828. You published the substance of that communication in the U. S. Telegraph in July following, upon which Mr. Rit. chie, and other consistent editors of the Van Buren school, affected to treat such a plot with ridicule, and the venerable editor of the Richmond Enquirer solemnly declared, that whatever Mr. Van Buren's friends might wish to do in relation to this matter, for his own part he should not be accessary to the “rlot,” nor would he (Mr. Ritchie) support Mr. Van Buren

upon a different principle. Common consent,

would immediately resign, and leave his favo-'

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

for that office. That the plot did exist at that time, will be made manifest. My letter was written long before the dissolution of General Jackson's first, or “unit” cabinet, and previous to Mr. Calhoun's appeal, and the publication of the subsequent correspondence between that gentleman and General Jackson. The plot, then, being in contemplation anterior to the events which might be urged as the cause of it, it will preclude the possibility of Van Buren's friends availing themselves of the argument that these events, such as the dissolution of the cabinet, the rejection by the Senate, etc. were the only reasons why he was now presented to the people for Jhe Vice Presidency. The whole bargain, then, appears to have been this. Finding that the “malign influence” could not be made to operate successful. ly, it was resolved to dissolve the cabinet. The ex-Secretary of State was to go to England for the residue of the Presidential term, (see Gov. Poindexter's speech on Van Buren's nomina. tion,) to prepare himself for the duties expect. ant, and the office in remainder, upon the resignation of the President. If his nomination should be confirmed, it would prove his strength in the Senate—if rejected, then to avail himself of the cry of proscription, persecution, etc., and to appropriate the sympathy of the people. These would be urged as the cause (yet in futuro) of what was already resolved upon. But he could not be elected unless first nominated, and how was this to be done? Isaac Hill, of New Hampshire, through his trusty feudatories in that State, was charged with touching this spring of the machinery, and accordingly the “granite State” sounded the first note of preparation. According to orders, most other States came into the measure, and furnished delegates to a National Convention. The whole proceedings being arranged long before the collegation of this delegated body of republican patriots, the work was soon accomplished, and Martin Van Buren was regularly nominated for the office of Vice President of the United States! So much of the plot is accomplished. Let Gen. Jackson be re-elected, and Van Buren elected to this office, and the whole will be consummated. Are the people prepared for such a denouement? Are the southern States willing to aid and abet such bargaining? This State will not -she will not give her vote for Gen. Jackson or Martin Van Buren, as time will prove. A NEW YOtt KER. P. S. My former letter was subscribed, “A republican member of the New York Legislature.” I cannot now claim that honor.

toCONGRESSIONALs Mondar, June 25, 1832, In the SENATE, on Saturday, Mr. Tox. rimson presented resolutions adopted at a meeting of farmers, mechanics, and other citizens in Sharon, Connecticut, rotesting against any modification being made in the existing tariff laws, by which adequate protec

tion shall be withdrawn from any branch of domestic industry : ordered to be laid on the table and to be printed. The Committee on Pensions were discharged, on the motion of Mr. Foot, from the consideration of the petition of Daniel Harrington. On the motion of Mr. Foot, the resolution to indefinitely postpone the several bills from the House on the subject of pensions, was taken up and agreed to. Mr. FRELINGHUrsex, from the Committee on the Library, reported without amendment, the resolution authorizing the Secretary of the Senate to purchase Rembeant Peale's portrait of General Washington, to be placed in the Sertate Chamber, the price not to exceed dollars. It was read a first time, and ordered to a second reading. Mr. B1BB called up the joint resolution, to appropriate unexpended balances from the Patent Office, to the arranging and indexing of the papers in the office of the Secretary of State. Mr. MANgum was opposed to any money being appropriated for the purpose, asserting that the necessity for it must have arisen from neglect of duty, and stating it as his opinion, that less labor was done in the public offices in Washington than in any State in the Union. Mr. Brah differed with the Senator from North Carolina ; there was no ground for such accusation ; the amount of labor had not fallen off; the want of facility in referring to any particular paper, arose from the documents being classified in bundles ; but those bundles had no index to refer to the particular document required. Mr. Foot observed, that he now began to see the effects of the removals from office that had taken place. Difficulties that were formerly unknown in obtaining any information desired, were now of constant occurrence. He slightly adverted to individual instances in the days of Mr. Monroe and Mr. Adams, where the individuals had ob. tained, almost instantaneously, divers information applied for by them ; and deprecated the employment of clerks to assist clerks who might have effected it themselves. Mr. Johnston, abstracting from the merits of the question that had been raised, thought that such an index as was contemplated would be of much utility. But he feared that the mode proposed would only put every paper and document in confusion. He thought, to prevent this, the bundles ought to be first indexed, after which a further analysis might then be made. However, he had no doubt the Secretary of State would have it done correctly; it was not for his individual use, but for the benefit of the public; and as the money to be expended, was a surplus from the appropriation for the Patent Office, he had no objection to leave it at his disposal. Mr. White rose, seeing that the subject was about to take up considerable time, to move that it be laid on the table, and that the Senate proceed to the consideration of Executive business. The resolution was accordingly laid on the table. Mr. Johnston requested that the gentleman would for a moment suspend his motion to go into Executive business,

in order to allow him to move that the bill “making appropriations for internal improvements for the year 1832” be read a third time. Mr. White acquiesced. The bill was then read a third time, (on motion of Mr. Foot, by its ...) and, on the question “shall this bill pass " Mr. Hill asked for the yeas and nays. A sufficient number rising, the question was decided in the affirmative, by the following vote : Ayes–Messrs. Bell, Ben on, Chambers, Clay, Clayton, Dallas, Dickerson, Dudley, Ewing, Foot, Frelingnuysen, Hendricks, Holmes, Johnston, Kane, Knight, Naudain, Prentiss, Robbins, Robinson, Ruggles, Seymour, Silsbee, Smith, Tipton, Tomlinson, Webster, and Wilkins—28. Noes–Messrs. Bibb, Ellis, Grundy, Hayne, Mangum, Marcy, Miller, Moore, Poindexter, Tazewell, Tyler, and White—14. So the bill was passed. Mr. HArse requested his resolution to amend the


Choate, of Massachusetts; Cambreleng, of New York, McCoy and Stewart, of Pa.; Mercer, of Virginia; Foster, of Georgia; White, of Louisiana; Sevier, of Arkansas; Wing, of Michigan. The resolution presented by Mr. Thompsos, of Georgia, for the meeting of the House at 8 o'clock, A. M. and making the tariff bill the special order for each day at nine o'clock, was postponed till this day. Mr. VERPlanck moved the House to take up,

Mexican treaty, but the consent was withheld. Mr. Johnson, of Kentucky, moved to take up the resolution, now lying on the table,providing for the adjournment of the present session of Congress on the 25th instant. Mr. Boon, who presented the resolution,moved to substitute the 2d of July for the 25th of June; but this was declared not to be in order

12th rule of their proceedings relative to the at present.

division of questions on taking the vote, &c., should be taken up. The resolution was con. sidered and agreed to.

On the question of taking up the resolution, Mr. Thomson, of Ohio, asked for the ayes and

After a question from |noes, which were ordered and taken, when it

Mr. Tiptox, respecting a bill. before the Com-|was carried in the affirmative—ayes, 118; noes, mittee on Commerce, the motion of Mr. White|52.

being renewed, the Senate proceeded to the consideration of Executive business. Adjourned. In the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, after the transaction of some preliminary business, the consideration of the tariff question was resumed. We have given, injanother part of our paper, the bill at length, in the shape in which it is now pending in the House. Mr.

So the resolution was taken up. Mr. Boon then proposed to modify the reso. lution by fixing the day for the 2d of July. Mr. WatMough moved to postpone the further consideration of the resolution till, next Monday. Mr. Mehcen rose briefly to contradict the prevailing ruinor with respect to the existence, or the probanle existence, of the cholera, in a

Fitzgen ALD moved a reconsideration of the vessel in the Potomac, near Alexandria. He

vote on the clause in the 18th section, imposing a duty on fossil, and crude mineral salt, but the motion was negatived, after a long debate, by a vote of 98 to 84. Mr. McDuffir moved the following amendment to the third item of the second section. “That on all manufactures of cotton, not dy.

compared the report to the well known story of the three black crows, and averred that there was not the slightest foundation for the state. ments that had been upon the subject. Mr. Consen would suggest to the gentle. man from Pennsylvania, (Mr. Warnough,) the propriety of modifying his motion so as to post

ed, colored, printed, or stained, the cost of pone the further consideration of this question

which, at the place of exportation, shall not exceed fi teen cents per square yard, there shall b levied, collected, and paid 124, per cent. ad valorem, and no more.” This proposition likewise was negatived, ayes 73, noes 115, Mr. McDuffIE then moved to amend by striking out the works in the fifth item of the second section, “not manufuclured in whole or in part by rolling,” and in the sixth clause of the same section, the words “on bar and bol iron, made wholly or in part by rolling, thirty dollars perton.” The object of the amendment was the aboli. tion of the discriminating duty between British and Sweedish, and Russian iron; but the propo. sition was rejected, ayes 67, noes 114. Mr. Davis, of Massachusetts, renewed the amendment formerly proposed by him in com mittee on the subject of woollens; but before a - decision was arrived at, the House, at 6 o'clock, adjourned. Tuesday, JUNE 26. In the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, yesterday, memorials were presented by Messrs.

until Thursday. At that time, he (Mr. Q.) thought it possible they might be able to dis. pose of the uriff question. He had never before, since he had been a member of that House, voted against an adjournment, an early adjournment, of the long session of Congress, He might attach too much importance to th: opinions of his constituents; but thinking and feeling as a southern man, as he was, and * garding as he ought southern interests,he could not give his consent for an adjournment until this question was settled. If it was to be adjust: ed, and the people of this country, quiet d. which he trusted in God they might, he should be justified by the result: if it were not, he would not, by his vote, throw any obstacle in the way of a fair expression of the opinion of this House. His wish and his object were to leave the result of this question to his constituents, after having seen a fair vote taken on it, as he could then say they had done all they could do, but that their opponents had refus. ed to meet them. He concluded by expressing a hope that the modification would be accepted. Mr. is acks said, that if the House should do

by unanimous consent, the billia relation to the

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

nothing decisive on this great question—if they should not or could not arrive at a satisfac. tory adjustment of it, they had already sat othere too long for their own credit, and for the peace and security of the country. If that most important and desirable object could be accomplished, who would hesitate to sit there He would, there

two or three weeks longer?
fore, in the hope of being able to effect it,

cheerfully consent to procrastinate the time of

rising still longer.
Mr. Blain, of South Carolina, had hoped

that the tariff question would be satisfactorily

adjusted, but if no disposition of it was to be

made satisfactory to the House, he should feel no interest in remaining here one moment lon. He was willing to meet it then, and he should be willing to adjourn to-morrow, al


though he trusted the subject of the resolution would not be postponed. The south had now no cause for hope that this matter could be brought to a termination in a proper and equi. table spirit, and she might prepare for the worst.

Mr. Mencka said, that nearly two months ago he had stated that he for one would not

give his consent to a proposition for a journment until the two great questions of the bank and the tariff have been disposed of With re

to what the gentleman from South Caro

ina (Mr. BLAIR) had said of the opinions of

the south, he must say that that was an extensive section of the country, and that no one

member of that House could be presumed to

represent the whole of its opinions there. Mr. ANDEason asked for the I-revious question, which was refused by the House. Ayes 75, noes 87. A message was here received from the Senate with various bills. A message was received also from the President of the U.States, transmitting a report from the Secretary of State on the subject of the abolition of discriminating duties on the tonnage upon Spanish vessels It was, on the motion of Mr. CAMBRELENG, laid on the table and ordered to be printed. Mr. Wayne considered that nothing which had as yet been done was at all calculated to al. lay the irritation of the south. He had seen proE. made to that House which might slave ad that effect, and had advocated them ; but, he regretted to say, without effect. Would the postponement of the question, he asked, quiet the south? In what way then was it to be done? By deliberately discussing the bill before them. Let the propositions most obnoxious to southern men be tried to-day, to. morrow, and next day. He (Mr. W.) would, in the name and in the face of his country, protest against any manifestation of the sense of the majority of that House going forth, which would indicate that the south had no longer reason to hope that the question should be adjusted by a compromise, if there should be such a result, if their hopes were to be extinguished, they would endeavor to obtain redress in the way

539 be provided for by the constitution, if they did separate from those who denied them justice, it would be apparent that it was gross and pal. pable oppression; it would be such oppression that every man could put his finger upon it; and at all events, under these circumstances, he should join with others, and go all lengths with his fellow-citizens. He (Mr. W.) repeated, that he would go all lengths with the south, for the relief of his country from the tariff, but he could not consent to allow the matter to be prejudged by his assent to an adjournment, when the most important question was coming before them. Try it to-day and to-morrow, and if it be tried in vain, try it again the next day. He would not despair, because so soon as they began to despond, exertion would cease, and that seemed to be the case with his friend from South Carolina, (Mr. Blain.), Mr. W. after making a few other remarks, concluded by declaring that he was ready to go into the detail of the bill. There was no necessity of wandering from the details of the bill, for he did believe that the discussion on the general principles of the protective policy tended to rend them wider asunder in opinion than before. Mr. Blain, of South Carolina, said that it seemed he was to be rebuked for not having desponded at an earlier period of the session. He had desponded for a week past, and he felt convinced now, that those who could still hope,

under present circumstances, that a satisfactory adjustment of this question could be made, could hope against hope itself. For his part he repeated, that he had no hope of adjusting the details of this measure in a proper manner. Till recently he had entertained a different opinion, and he had held up hopes, under that impression, to the people of the south, that their complaints would be listened to, and their wrongs redressed. He would hold up these hopes no longer to them, for he was convinced they were vain and futile. He certainly did not sit there to express the opinion of the south, but he had a right to express his own opinion as one of the south—and that opinion, he thought, would be found to coincide with the feelings and sentiments of those who sent him to represent their interests there. Mr. Dranbons hoped the motion for postponement would prevail. He had never doubted, and he did not now doubt, but that a tariff could be adjusted, more acceptable to the country than the existing one. He saw nohing in the present aspect of affairs to induce despondency. It was true that an excitement prevailed on this subject, not only at the south, but at the north also; and he, (Mr. D.) was not surprised at it. The present was one of the most important eras which had ever occurred in the history of the Republic. The representatives of the people were there, and they ought to remain at their posts; the eyes of the nation wereupon them, and forbearance and compromise were expected from them. It was looked for at the right hand and the left. If at this crisis of the public business they should fix the

wo by the constitution. If it should not

period of adjournment, it would spread terror


and dismay throughout the land. It was not
to be expected that a tariff could be framed
which should be satisfactory to all, but the pre-
sent law might be so amended as to allay much
of the asperity that prevailed. He adjured
them in the course of the debate upon the bill
in its details, to dispense with the language of
crimination and recrimination, and to allow all
angry feelings to subside. Bring to it only
their cool judgments and the love of their coun-
try, and whatever might be the emergency, he
hoped they would be prepared to meet it, and
to decide upon the matter in a spirit of patri-
otism. He concluded, after some further re-
marks, by repeating the hope that the motion
for postponement would prevail.
Mr. Sreight said he was glad to hear the
sentiments expressed by the gentleman from
Massachusetts, (Mr. DeAnnon N,) and it would
give him still more pleasure if the votes of that
gentleman had corresponded with what he had
said. He, (Mr. S.) had been an attentive observer
of the course of this debate—he had remained
silent, but had watched its progress closely,
in the hope that something might occur which
could induce an opinion favorable to the settle.
ment of this agitating matter, in harmony and
peace. . But what had he seen? What had they
all seen? Every proposition which had atendency
to relieve the oppressed south, had been in that
debate, in a spirit of any thing but frankness
and conciliation—in any spirit, indeed, but the
one that ought to pervade that hall. Every
such proposition had been voted down. He ap-
pealed to the gentleman from Massachusetts,
whether he himself, (Mr. DEAR boax,) had not
voted against every measure that might proba-
bly conduce to a settlement of the agitation of
this distracted country. He asked the gentle-
man to state what he would concede in, inor-
der that the south might understand what it had
to expect from his good wishes. He fully
agreed with the gentleman form Tennessee,
(Mr. Isacks.) that if they were not to act upon
the tariff, they had been here already too long
for their own credit, and he said with him also,
that if there was any assurance of their coming
to a decision on the question, he would cheer-
fully remain even till the first of August, or to
any time that might be necessary. But he
most say with the gentleman from South Caro.
lina, (Mr. Blaia,) that his hopes were gone,
and that they might prepare to meet a most se-
rious result. It was his decided opinion, that if
they parted without adjusting the question, this
would be the last Congress of the United States
that would meet in peace and harmony. He
would vote against postponing the resolution.
Mr. Thompson, of Georgia, believed that a
returning sense of justice—that feelings of libe.
rality and generosity—would induce the sup-
orters of the tariff system to relieve the south
rom the oppression it was suffering under, by
the action of Congress during the present sea.
sion. He would cónfess, that, like the gentle.
man from South Carolina, (Mr. Blain,) he be.
n now to doubt whether the question would
be settled, but was still willing to cling to the

last plank of hope, for certainly the salvation of
the Union was yet worth struggling for. He
had heretofore been opposed, and was now op-
posed to fixing the day of adjournment. When
a fitting opportunity should offer, the House
could carry an adjournment at once. Why
should they fix the day of adjournment? Would
it accelerate their action on the subject? He
had other reasons why he was opposed to fix.
ing a day. He was one of those who thought
that the arguments upon the general principle
of this great subject had long since been ex-
hausted. -
He thought that southern members ought not
to speak on the subject; that the southern de-
legation ought to have met together and ap-
pointed an individual to say to the friends of
the tariff-"We yield the subject to you; we
demand the right of relief from this oppression;
we do not intend to discuss the subject; we
leave it to you, we propose to you to speak;
we give you time to act on the subject to make
a proposition of compromise, and give it in a
way that we can accept it. You hold in your
hands the destinies of the republic.” It might
still be possible to do something during the
present session, for there seemed to be a spirit
of liberality in the House. Allow him (Mr.
T.) to say, with perfect deference to the
House, that he was as much a friend of the
Union as any man in it. He would tell gentle.
men, however, that they were endangerin
the Union. If this session should be cl
without coming to a decision on this subject,
they might rely on it there would be commo.
tions in the south. Should the present state of
things be continued, and made the policy of
the country, he would go on and stave off such
Mr. Buhn was anxious that the House should
have adjourned at a reasonable and early pe.
riod, but the important questions of the bank
and the tariff were before them, and in his opi-
nion their duty required an action upon them.
He went on to urge the necessity of a delibero-
tive consideration and a proper decision intels:
tion to them; and for his own part he declared
that he respected the fair south, and had to
dear a regard for its interests as any one could
have, but still he was not to be deterred from
the performance of what he conceived to bea
great public duty by any menaces of disunion,
Mr. BRAxcil observed, that he had only one
word to say. He would vote for an early day
of adjournment, for he believed that the coun-
try would be in a state of more quiet and re-
pose under the existing tariff, than if the one
proposed in the bill before them should be
aggreed to. He was of opinion that it would
be far preferable to defer the subject to the
next session of Congress, than give to the pet-
ple the certairty of the continuance of the so
tem by passing the bill. For this reason o
was anxious for an adjournment; and he was
well aware of the necessity of alloying the on"
gry feelings which now prevailed. It was go
tifying certainly to see the small degree of pet-

sonal auimosity that was manifested; but stilität

« ForrigeFortsett »