« ForrigeFortsett »
which would effectually repeal all constitutional well as the President of the United States, bare and ail legal obligations.
sworn to support the Constitution. Bith be The Constitution declares that public officers and they bave taken the same oatis, in the same in the State Governments, as well as in the Ge- words. Now, sir, since he claims the right to neral Government, shall take an oath to sup- interpret the Constitution as he plesses
, boa port the Constitution of the United States. Inis can he deny the same right to them? Is hus oath 's all. Would it not have cast an air of less stringent than theirs? Has be a prerogative ridicule on the whole provision, if the Constitu. of dispensation, which they do not poss* tion had gone on to add the words, "us he un. How can he answer them, when they tell tim derstands it?" What could come nearer to a that the revenue laws are unconstitutional
, a solemn farce than to bind i man, by oath, an.they understand the Constitution, and that, therostill leave him to be bis own interpreter of his fore, they will nullify them? Will be reply to own ofligation Sir, those who are to execute them, according to the doctrines of bis atral the laws have no more a license to construe message in 1830, that precedent has se'lled the them for themselves, than those whose only du- question, if it was ever doubtful? They wil ty is to obey them.. Public officers are bound answer tim, in his own words, in the Veto Me to support the Constitution; private citizens are sage, that in such a case precedent is not disuk bound to obey it; and there is no more indul. ing. Will he say to them, that the feeDLE gence granted to the public officer, to support law is a law of Congres-, which must be execut the Constitution only as he understands it, then ed, unul it shall be declared vuid? They will to a private citizen su to obey it, only as he un- answer him, that, in other cases, he has hinseli derstands it; and what is true of the Constitution, refilsed to execute laws of Congress which had in this respect, is equally true of any law. Laws not been declared void, but which had been, are to be executed, and to be obeyed, not as on the contrary, declared valid. Will he urge individuals may interpret them, but according the force of judicial decision? They will al to public, authoritative interpretation and au. swer, that he himself does not admit the bindo judication. The sentiment of the message ing obligations of such decisions. Sir
, the Prewould abrogate the obligation of the whole crio.ident of the United States is of opioina that an minal code. It every man is to judge of the individual, cailed on to execute a law, may, Constitution and the laws for himself, if he is himself
, judge of its constitutional vability, to obey and support them only as he may say Has nulliñcation any tiving more revolutionary he understands them, a revloution, I think, than that? The President is up apinsan that you would take place in the administration of jus dicial interpretations of the Constitution and the tice; and discussions about the law of t.eason, laws do not bind the corisciences
, and ought niurder, and arson, should be addressed, not to not to bind the conduct, of men. Has nuilification the judicial bench, but to thuse who night any thing more disorganizing than that? The stanů charged with such offences. The object of President is of opinion that every offices is discussiou should be, if we run out this notion bound to support the Constitution only accord. to its natural extent, to convince the culpri: ing to what ought to be, in bus private opinie, himself how he cught to understand the law.
its construction. Has nullification, in its will Mr. President, how is it possible, that a sen- est fight, ever reached to an extravagance hike timent so wild, and so dangerous, so encourag- that No, sir
, never. The doctrine of multiing to all who feel a desire to oppose the laws, cation, in my judgment, a most false,dangerand to quarrel with the Constiution, should ous, and revolutionary doctrine
, is this, the have been ut:ered by the President of the Unit: the State, or a State, may declare the extent of ed States, at this tvenitul and critical moment ? the obligations which iis citizens are under to Are we not threaleneil with dissolution of the the United States; in other words, that a Stak, Union? Are we not told inat the laws of the by Slate laws, and State juricatures, inay cute Government shall be openly and directly resist-clusively construe the Constitution for its own ed? Is.not the whole country looking, with citizens. But tbat every individual may cu the utmost anxiety, to what may be the result strue it for himself
, is a refinement ou the them of these threatened courses ? And, at this very ry of resistance to constitutional power, a sublin moment, so full of peril to the States, the Chiet mation of the right of being disloyal to the Magistraie puts forth opinions and seritiments as Union, a free charter for elevation of pruste truly subversive of all Government, as absolute-spinion-above the authority of the fundamental ly in conflict with the authority of the Constitu- law of the State, such as was never presented
tion, as the wildest theories of 'nulification. Mr. to the public view and the public astonishment | President, I have very little regard for the law, even by nullitication itself. His first appearance
or the log.c, of nullification. But there is morfis in the Vero Mes-age. Melancholy and the an individual in its ranks, capaol: of putting mentable, indeed, sir, is our condition
, whet, a twu ideas logeiler, whr, if you will grant him a mom.vl of serious danger and wide-spread the principles of the Velo Jessage, cannot de aların, such sentiments are found to croced fend ili that nullification has ever threatened. trum the Chief Alagistrate of the Governacute To muke this assertion good, sir, let us see bow Sir, I cannot fori inat the Constitutions is safe ia the case stres. The Legislature of South such brands. I cannot feel dret the present and Carubwa, it is said, will nulliiy the late revenu: ministration is its tit and safe guardian. or tarili law, because, they say, it is not war. But let me ask, Sir, wbul evidence there is ranted by tie Constitution of the United States, that the President is hinsell uppused to the as they understand that Constitution. They, as doctrines of nullification. I do not say to the
political pariy which now pushes these docol against superseding the authority of the laws,
Mr. President, I shall not discuss the doc- with decisions of the tribunals. If, by any in. trine of nullification. I am sure it can have no genious devices, those who resist the laws esfriends here. Gloss it and disguise it as we cape from the reach of judicial authority, as it is may, it is a pretence incompatiile with the au- now provided to be exercised, it is entirely thority of the Constitution. If direct separa competent to Congress to make such new pro. tion be not its only mode of operation, separa- visions as the exigency of the case inay detion is, nevertheless, its direct consequence, mand. These provisions undoubtedly will be That a State may nullify a law of the Union, made. With a constitucional and efficient head and still remain in the Union; that she may of the Government, with an administration have Senators and Representatives in the Gu. really and truly in favor of the constitution, the vernment, and yet be at liberty to disobey and country can grapple with nusification. By resist thai Government; that she may partake the force vi' reason, by the progress of enlightin the common councils, 31d yet not be bound ened, opinion, by the natural. genuine patriot. by their results; that she inay control a law of ism of the country, and by the steady and well Congress, so that it shall be one thing with sustained operations of law, the progress of her, while it is another thing with the disorganization may be successfully checked, rest of the Sates; all these propositions seem and the union maintained. Let it be rememto be so absolutely at war with common sense bered, that where nullification is most pow. and reason, that I do not understand how any erful, it is not unopposed. Let it be reinemintelligent person can yield the slightest assent bered that they wiio would break up the union to them. Nullification, it is in vain to attempt by force, have to march toward that object to conceal ily is dissolution; it is disme:nber inruugh thick ranks of as brave and gooci inen Ineni; it is the breaking up of the Union. 11 as the country can rais ; men, strong in charit shall practically succeed, in any State, from cter, strong in intelligence, strong in the puthat moment there are twenty.four states in the cy of their own motives, and reariy, always Union no longer. Now, Sir, I think it exceed realy, 10 sacritice their fortunes and their lives ingly probable that the President may come to the preservation of the constirutional union to an open rupture with that portion of his of the states. If we can relieve the country original party which now consitutes what is from an administration which denies to tie calied the nullification party. I think it likely constitution thuse powers which are the breath he will oppose the proceed ngs of that pary, of its life, if we caii place the guvernment in if they shall adopt measures coming directly in the hands of its friends;. if we call secure it conflict with the laws of the United States against the dangers of irregular and unlawful and But how will he oppose? Wrat will be his course in litary force; it it can be unler t'ia leuch of an of remedy? Sir, i wise to call the attention wiadronnistration where inuleration, firmness, and ine nieeting, and of the people, earnestly to wisdom shall inspire contidence and command this question, how will the President attempt lo respect, we may yet surmount the dangers, put down nullificution, if he shull attempi it at numerous and foriniciable as they are, which all ?
surround us. Sir, for one, I protest in advance against such And, sir, I see little prospect of overcoming remedies as I have heard hinted. T'he admi- these dangers witaon! Coupe of men. After nistration itself keeps a profund silence, but all that has passed, llie re-election of the preits friends bave spoken for il. We are told, sir, sent executive will give ide national sunclicn that the President will immediately employ the lo sentiments, an i to measurit, which willofa militery force, and at once bluckade Chirleston? feciually change the government, wliich, in A nutary reinedy, a remedy by alrect belliger short, nust destroy the movimi:ht. If the ent uperation, has been thus suggested, and President be re-elected, w.tii concurrent and nothing else has been suggested, is the intend-co-op rating majanties buid louses of Con. ed mestis of preserving ihe U'mon, sir, there griss, I du not sealt, to four yea13. more, is no little reason to think that this sugge:tron all the powir whicle'i, suit red in reniten in is true. We cannot be allogether inomulo e guern.ani, walaot be huiden by the ex. the fact; and therefore we cannot be altogether ecudie hand. Nuhnication will proceed or unapprefiensive for the future. For onc, Sir, will ce put down by itp.) will as unconstirutionI raise my voice beforehand, against the unau. alas itself. The revenues will be managed thorized employment of military power, and by a treasury bank. The use of the Veru wil
be considered as sanctioned by the public voice principles, and having similar interests, will feel 'The Senate, if not "cut down,” will be bound the impulse of the same causes which affect down; and commanding the army and the navy, her. The people of the United States
, by a and holding all places of trust to be party pro- vast and countless majority, are attached to the perty, what will then be left, sir, for constitu- Constitution. If they shall be convinced that it tional reliance?
is in danger, they will come to its rescue, and Sir, we have been accustomed to venerate will save it. It cannot be destroyed even now, the judiciary, and to repose hopes of safety on if they will undertake its guardianship and prothat branch of the Government. But let us not tection. deceive ourselves. The judicial power cannot But suppose, sir, there was less hope than stand for a long time against the Executive pow. there is, would that consideration weaten the er. The judges, it is true, hold their places by force of our obligations? Are we at a post an independent tenure; but they are mortal. which we are at liberty to abando bwhen it beThat which is the common lot of humanity must comes difficult to hold it? May we dy at the make it necessary to renew the benches of jus approach of danger? Does our fidelity to the tice. And how will they be filled? Doubt- constitution require no more of us than to es less, Sir, they will be filled by incumbents, joy its blessings, bask in the prosperity which agreeing with the President in his constitution, it has shed around us and our fathers--and are al opinions. If the Court is felt as an obstacle, we at liberty to abandon it in the bour of its par doubtless the first opportunity, and every op ril, or to make for it but a faint and heartless srus portunity, will be embraced to give it less and gle, for the want of encouragement, and the less the character of an obstacle. Sir, without want of hope? Sir, if no state comes to sur pursuing these suggestions, I only say that the succor, if elsewhere the contest should be country must prepare ilsell for any change in given up, here let it be protracted to the last the Judicial Department, such as it shall delib. moment. Here, where the first blood of the erately sancliun in other departments. revolution was shed, let the last effort for that
Bui, sir, what is the prospect of change? Is which is the greatest blessing obtained by it, ? there any liope, ibat the national sentiment will free and united Government, be made. Sis
, in recover its accustomed tone, and restore to the rur endeavors to maintain our existing forms of Government a just and efficient administration? Government, we are acting not for ourselves
Sir, if there be something of doubt on this alone, but for the great cause of constitutional point, there is also something, perhaps much, liberty all over the globe. We are trustees of hope. The popularity of the present Chief bolding a sacred treasure, in which all the lovers Magistrate, springing trum causes not connect- of freedom have a stake. Not only in revolta ed with his administration of the Government, tionized France, where there are no longer has been great. Public gratitude for militery jects—where the monarch can no longer sy, de service has stood fast to him in defiance of many is the State-not only in reformed England
, things in bis civil administration calculated to where our principles, our institutions, our price weaken iis lold. At length, there are indica- tice of free Government are now daily quoted tions not to be denied, of new sentiments and and commended-but in the depths of German new impressions. At length a conviction of ny, 'and among the desolate fields, and the stil danger to important interests, and to the secu- smuking ashes of Poland, prayers are uttered rity of the Government, has made its lodgment for the preservation of our Union and happi in the public mind. At lengid, public senti- ness. We are surrounded, sir, by a cloud of ment begins to have its free course, and to pro- ujunesses. The gaze of the sens of liberty duce its just effects. I fully believe, Sir, ihut every where is upon us-anxiously
, in testy, a great majority of the nation desire a change in upon us. It may see uis fall in the struggle for the administration; and that it will be difficult our Constitution and Government, but Reret for party organization or party denunciation to forbid that it should see us fecant. suppress the effective utterance of that general At least, Sir let the star of Massachusetts be wish. There are unhappy differences, it is the last which shall be seen to fall liom Herren, true, about the fit person to be successor to the and to plunge into the utter durkness of die present incumbent in ile Chief Magistracy; and Juniun. Let her shrink back: let her boid otha it is possible that this disunion may, in the end, ers back, if she can; ut any rate
, let her kere defeat the will of the majority. But so far as herself back from this gull
, full, at 0874 we agree together, let us act together. Wher fire and of blackness; yes, sir, as far as filmas ever our sentiments concur let our hands co-op. foresight can scan,' or human immagatan
If we cannot at present agree wlio fathom, full of the fire, and the blood ii cine should be President, we are at least agreed war, and of the thick darkness of general pa who odght not to be. I tully believe, Sir
, that slitical disgrace, ignominy, and ruin. Though gratifying intelligence is already on the wing. the worst happen that can trappen, and thone While we are yetdeliberating in Massachusetts, we may not be able to prevent the catastrupit
, Pennsylvania is voting. To-day she elects yet, lei her maintain her own integrity, het op her mumbers to the nest Congress. 1. doubl high honor, her own unwavering tidligemist not, the rçsult of that election will show an im. that, with respect and decency, through with portant change in public sentiment in that a broken and bleeding heart, she may pay the Siate. I canliot doubt that the great states last uribuse to a glorious, Jeparted, free Dunia adjoining her, holding similar constitutional tution.
ciples and consequences of nullification, you
would add one more to the many obligations of TO THE EDITOR OF TILE "PENDLETON Mes- friendship I ove you. As I shall be, during SENGER."
the residue of the summer, in Charleston, be PENDLETON, Sept. 12th, 1832. pleased to direct to that place. Dear Sir: I am sure you will require 110
remain, my dear Sir, with great esteem, apology at my hands, for sending you the en.
Your's faithfully and respectfully, closed correspondence which has taken place
J. HAMILTON, Junior. between Mr. Calhoun and myself. After having
Hon. J. C. Calhoun, V. P. of the U. States. obtained his consent to the publication of his letter of the 28th ult. the only question that
Font Hill, August 28111, 1832. could arise was, as to the mode by which the My Dear Sir: I have received your note of publication could be made the most promptly the 31st July, requesting me to give you a and extensively useful. I have therefore seleci. fuller development of my views than thai con. ed your press, as the medium of communicating tained in my address last summer, on the right to the good people of South Carolina the opi- of a State to defend her reserved powers pions of one of the most distinguished of her against the encroachments of the General cons, on a question of deep and vital interest; Government. on which he has reflected with profound de. As fully occupied as my time is, were it liberation, --opiniors, which are as much their doubly so, the quarter from which the request property as his own, and which I cannot but comes, with my deep conviction of the vital imthink Mr. Calhoun bas presented in a light portar.ce of the subject, would exact a compli. approaching as nearly to demonstration as any ance. subject which belongs to moral and not mathé. No one can be more sensible than I am, that matical reasoning will permit.
the address of last summer fell far short of exConsider, therefore, the whole correspond. bausting the subject. It was in fact intended ence, as in your hands, to be published, if you as a simple statement of my views. I felt that please, as early as the engagements of your the independence and candor, which ought to press will permit.
distinguish one occupying a high public staI remain, dear sir, with great esteem, tion, imposed a duty on me to meet ihe call for Very respectfully, your ob't serv't, my opinion, by a frank and full izvowal ut iny J. HAMILTON, Junior. sentiments, regardless of consequences.
To Dr. F. W. SYMMES.
fulfil this duty, and not to discuss the subject,
was the object of this address. But in making PENDLETON, July 31st, 1832. these preliminary remarks, I do not intend to My Dear Sir: In reading again, a few days prepare you to expect a full discussion on the since, your communication addressed, last present occasion. What I propose is to touch summer, to the editor of the “Pendleton Mes, some of the more prominent points, what have senger,"containing an exposition of the doce received less of the public attention, tisat their trine of the right of interposition, which belongs importance seems to me to demand. to a sovereign State in this confederacy, io Strange as the assertion may appear, it is nearrest an usurpation on the part of the General vertheless true, that the great difficulty in de Government, of powers not delegated to it, I termining, whether a State has the righi to defelt satisfied, not only from a remark which tend the reserved powers aganst the Gencrat you yourself make in that article, but from an Government, or in fact any right ai all beyond obvious condensation of your argument, that those of a mere corpor-tion, is to bring the pub. there were still a variety of lights in which the lic mind to realise plain historical facts, contruth and vital importance of this highly con. nected with the origin and formation of the servative principle to the liberties of the States, Government. Till they are fully understool, it were quite familiar to the reflections of your is impossible that a correct and just view can own mind, which have not suggested themselves be taken of the subject. In this coun-ction, even to those who are the most zealously de- the first and most important point is io ascervoted to the doctrines in question.
iain distinctly who are the real suthors of the Your paiience has been so tieavily taxed by Constitution of the United States, whose powthe late oppressive session of Congress, Cop- ers created it, wiose voice clothed it with autho. pressive in every sense of the term,) that I feel rity,and wiose agent, the government it iormes some scruple in placing you under the requisi. in reality is. As this point commence the execiltion which my request is about to impose un tion of the task which your request has imposed. you; but if you could find leisure this simine r', The formation and adoption of the Constitufor my private satisfaction and information, to tion are events so recent, and all the connected 6ll out your argument of the last year, by going facts so fully allested, that it would seein imsomewhul more into detail both as to the prime I possible that there should be the least uncer
ple of the United States have been united, as mitted to the States for their separate raja
tainly in relation to them, and yet judging by forming political communities, and not as india what is constantly heard and seen, there are few viduals. Even in the first stage of existence subjects on which the public opinion is more they formed distinct colonies, independent of confused. The most indefinite expressions are each other, and politically united only through habitually used in speaking of them. Some- the British Crown. In their first informal usi times it is said that the Constitution was made on, for the purpose of resisting the encroach. by the States, and at others, as if in contradic-ments of the mother country, they united a tion, by the poeple, without distinguishing be- distinct political communities; and, pasing tween the two very different meanings which from their colonial condition, in the act esnay be attached to those general expressions; nouncing their independence to the world,tbey and this, net in ordinary conversation, but in declared themselves, by name and enumeration, grave discussions before deliberate bodies, and free and independent States. In that cario in judicial investigations, where the greatest ac- ter they formed the old confederation; ad, curacy, on so important a point, might be ex- when it was proposed to supercede the arteles pected: particularly, as one or the other mean of the confederation by the present Consta ing is intended, conclusions the most opposite tion, they met in convention as States
, acted must follow, not only in reference to the sub- and voted as States; and the Constitution, u ben ject of this communication, but as to the nature formed, was submitted for ratification to the and character of our political system. By a people of the several States; it was ratifed by State, may be meant either the Government of them as States, each State for itself; exch by a State or the people, as forming a separate its ratification binding its own citizens
; the and independent community; and by the peo- parts thus separately binding themselves
, and ple, either the American people taken collect. not the whole the parts; to which, if it be adó ively, as forming one great community, or as ed, that it is declared in the preamble of the the people of the several States, forming, as Constitution to be ordained by the people of the above stated, separate and independent commu- United States, and in the article of ratification, nities. These distinctions are essential in the when ratified, it is declared " to be binding ke inquiry. If, by the people, be meant, the peo- tween the States so ratifying," the conclusion ple collectively, and not the people of the sev. is inevitable, that the Constitution is the works eral States taken separately; and, if it be true, of the people of the States, considered as sepaindeed, that the Constitution is the work of the rate and independent political communities that American people collectively; if it originated they are its áuthors--their power created itwith them, and derives its authority from their their voice clothed it with authority that the will, then there is an end of the argument. Government it formed is in reality ibeir agen' The right claimed for a State, of defending her and that the Union, of which it is the bond, is reserved powers against the General Govern- an union of States, and not of individuals. No ment, would be an absurdity. Viewing the one, who regards his character for intelligence Am-rican people collectively, as the source of and truth, has ever ventured directly tn seng polical power, the rights of the States would be facts so certain; but while they are too certain mere concessions-concessions from the com- for denial, they are, also, tuo conclusive, in fa mon majoriry, and to be revoked by them with vor of the rights of the States for admission. the same facility, that they were granted. The The usual course las been adopted; to elude States would, on this supposition, bear to the what can neither be denied nor admitted; and Union the same relation that counties do to the never has the device been more successfully States; and it would, in that case, be just as practised. By confounding States with state preposterous to discuss the right of interposi-Governments, and the people of the stats tion, on the part of a State against the General with the Americali people collectively
, things Governinent, as that of the counties against the as it regards the subject of this coramunication, States themselves. That a large portion of the totally dissimilar, as much so as a triangle unt people of the United Siates thus regard the re- a square, facts, of themselves perfectly certain lation between the State and the General Go- and plain, and which, when well understood vernment, including many who call themselves must lead to a correct conception of the subject, the friends of State rights, and opponents of have been involved in obscurity and mystery. consolidation, can scarcely be doubted, as it is
I will next proceed to state some of the tu only on that supposition it can be explained, sults which necessarily fullnæ, from live fulls that so many of that description should denounce which have been estatlished. the doctrine for which the State contends, as so The first, and in reference to the subject of absurd. But forturiately, the supposition is this communication, the most important is, that entirely destitute of truth. So far from the there is no direct and immediate connexion de Constilution being the work of the American tween the individual citizens of a State and use people collectively, no such political body either General Government. The relation between now, or ever did exist. In that character the them is through the State. The Uavom is er people of this country never performed a single union of States, as communities
, and not that political act, nor indeed can, without an entire union of individuals. As members of a State revolution in all our political relations. her citizens were originally subject to come ning, and in all the changes of political exist=1 to no other
, except by the der up the siste I challenge an instance. From the begin-trol
, but that of the site and cold be scarpe ence through which we have passed, the peo-litself: The Constitution was accordingbraut