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March 15, 1830.]
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
under it. The State has only to resolve, by its ordinary not a measure for defence, not a tax or an impost, but would Legislature, or, according to others, in a convention of produce a stoppage in the wheels of the political machine; its citizens, that a law enacted by the General Govern- the most pressing operations of Government must be susment is palpably unconstitutional and dangerous, and that pended until the amendments are proposed by Congress, it shall cease to operate, and it must cease to operate; until conventions are called in all the States, and they and, as an inevitable consequence, it may be resisted by have made their decisions. It is unfortunately no answer force; as another consequence, if death ensues, it is to say that this power would not be abused; that the argumurder in those who act under the General Government; ment supposes it to accrue only in palpable cases. Let justifiable homicide in those who resist. Now, sir, would the constitutional right be acknowledged, let it be known not these serious consequences have presented themselves that it may be exercised without risk, and local interest to the enlightened men who framed this constitution? will always be strong enough to suggest constitutional and, if they did, would not some provision have been scruples; nor will common interest, the incalculable inmade to prevent any illegal exertion of power by the Ex- terest of our Union, be a sufficient argument. When was ccutive, fraught with such danger? If they had supposed the interest of union more apparent than during the latter that this was it right reserved, would they not have de- years of the Revolutionary war, and those which immeclared the correlative obligation in the General Covern-diately succeeded the peace? Yet, when was the apathy ment to respect it? For, sir, it is superfluous to say that of the States more apparent to the considerations of comevery right carries with it its correspondent obligation, mon good? When were local interests more consulted? and that there cannot be two conflicting rights. If, the When was it more difficult to procure the slender contri. the States have a right to prevent the exccution of a law, butions which each State was bound to furnish to the comthe General Government is under an obligation to refrain mon fund? It is a most important truth, that the existence from enforcing it; yet, instead of declaring this obligation of the General Government must depend on that feature to respect this reserved right, not the slightest allusion is which permits the exercise of all its jlegitimate powers made to it. On the contrary, when a law is once passed, directly upon the people, without the intervention of the it is made the duty of the President to execute it.
Make that intervention necessary for the execuby the argument, the law has been passed as constitutional tion of those legitimate powers, or permit it to arrest them hy both Houses of Congress; it has been approved as such in cases which the States may deem illegal, and your Goby the President; and a judgment has been given by the vernment is gone; it changes its character; it becomes, Supreme Court, declaring it to be constitutional, and di- whatever other features you give to it, essentially an inefrecting that, in the particular case before them, it shall ficient confederation, without union at home, without conbe esecuted. The State against whose citizen the judg- sideration abroad, and must soon fall a prey to domestic ment is given declares it to be palpably and dangerously wars, in which foreign alliances will necessarily intervene contrary to the constitution, and that it is null and void, to complete its ruin. No, sir; adopt this as a part of our and shall not be executed. What is to be done? The constitution, and we need no prophet to predict its fall. right of the State, says the gentleman, must be respected; The oldest of us inay live long enough to weep over its but, unfortunately for the argument, the constitution does ruins; to deplore the failure of the fairest experimen: not say so; unfortunately, it says directly the contrary that was ever made, of securing public prosperity and The President is bound by his oath to canse every consti- private happiness, based on equal rights and fair repretutioral law to be executed. But he has approved this sentation; to die with the expiring liberties of our counlaw, therefore he believes it to be constitutional; but both try, and transmit to our children, instead of the fair inHouses have passed it, therefore they believed it so; but heritance of freedom, received from our fathers, a legacy the judges have decreed that it shall be executed; there- of war, slavery, and contention. fore, they, too, have believed it to be constitutional. But it is asked, will you deny to the States every porMust the President yield his own conviction, fortified as tion of their former sovereignty? Will you call this, with it is by these authorities, to the opimion of a majority- the Senator from Massachusetts, a strictly popular Governperlaps a small majority—in the Legislature of a single ment? Will you deny them all right of intervention, and State? If he must, again I say, show me the written ani- reduce them to the condition of mere corporations? Do thority. I cannot find it. I cannot conceive it. I am you renounce the doctrines for which you contended in not asking for the expression of the reserved right; 1 1798, and consider the Supreme Court as the umpire know that they are not enumerated. But I ask for the provided in all cases to determine on the extent of State obligation to obey that right; I ask for the written instruc- rights? God forbid that I should hold such doctrines. If tion to the Executive to respect it; I ask for a provision, my friends had stopped at the declaration that they adoptthat nothing but the grossest inattention, or the most con- ed the resolutions of the Virginia Legislature, i should sumate folly, could have omitted, if the doctrine contend- not, perhaps, have thought the difference between us of ed for be true.
sufficient consequence to have troubled the Senate with This might have been done by an article in these words: my opinions. For the most part, I coincide in the senti* Whenever, in the opinion of any one State, a law pas- ments of those resolutions; but my friends carried them sed by the Congress shall be deemed unconstitutional and out into their practical consequences farther than, I think, clangerous, such State may prevent its execution, and the they warrant; farther, certainly, than I am willing to fol. President and the courts shall forbear to enforce the same; low them. but Congress shall, in that case, if they persevere in think As I understand them, they assert the right of a State, ing the law expedient, submit the question as an amend. in the case of a law palpably unconstitutional and dangerment to conventions of the States, in the manner prescrib- ous, to remonstrate against it, to call on the other States ed by the constitution.” Now, sir, the inquiry cannot be to co-operate in procuring its repeal, and, in doing this, too often repeated, if such had been the intention of those they must, of necessity, call it unconstitutional, and, if so, who framed our form of government, or of those who in their opinion, null and void. Thus far I agree entirely arlopted it, and considered and amended it, would not with the language and substance of the resolutions. This, some expression of this kind have been inserted? and if I suppose, is meant by the expression, interpose for arinserted, would it not have been recommended or adopted resting the progress of the evil. I sec in those resoluand, if adopted, how long would it have continued in tions no assertion of the right contended for, as a constioperation? how many votes would have been interposed? tutional and peaceable exercise of a veto, followed out by bow many conventions would have been assembled Not the doctrine that it is to continue until, on the application an embargo, not a restriction, not a declaration of war, of Congress for an amendment, the States are to decide.
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
(Marcu 15, 1830.
If these are the true deductions from the Virginia resolu- ment be unpopular in particular States, which would seltions, I cannot agree to them, much as I revere the autho- dom fail to be the case, or even a warrantable measure be rity of the great statesman whose production they are. I so, which may sometimes be the case, the means of oppocannot assent to them; and it is because I revere him, and sition to it are powerful and at hand.” Now, şir, if the admire his talents, that I cannot believe he intended to go new doctrine were the true one, if the veto were a constithis length. I cannot believe it, also, for another reason. tutional measure, now we should bear of it! What more He thought, and he conclusively proved, the alien and powerful? What more at hand? What more effectual? sedition laws to be deliberate, unconstitutional, and dan- Why look for any other? Yet this constitutional rigtit
, so gerous acts; he declared them so in his resolutions. Yet, clearly deducible from the very terins of our national comsir, he never proposed that their execution should be re- pact, never occurred to the very man whose doctrines, i sisted; he never uttered or wrote a word that looked like 1798, are sad erroneously, 1. again repeat, to embrace it. this doctrine, now contended for, of a constitutional right What are the remedies which he there points out! "The to arrest the execution of the law until amendments could disquietude of the people, their repugnance, and, perbe proposed. The right he asserted, when he alludes to haps, refusal to co-operate with the officers of the Union, resistance, was one that all acknowledge, that of opposition the frowns of the Executive magistracy of the State, the to intolerable and unconstitutional oppression. MIr. Jef embarrassments created by legislative devices, which ferson, in the Kentucky resolutions, has used a word of would often be added on such occasions, would oppose, equivocal authority, as well as signification: he asserts the in any State, difliculties not to be despised; would furm, in right of a State to " nullify” an unconstitutional act. If a large State, very serious impediments; and where the he means by this any thing more than is contained in the sentiments of several adjoining States happened to be in Virginia resolutions, he must apply it to the extreme case unison, would present obstructions which the Federal of resistance, on the right of which there can be no con- Government would be hardly willing to encounter." trariety of opivion: for Mr. Jefferson does not, if I read These were the sentiments of Mr. Madison, in 1787; him aright, avow, any more than Mr. Madison does, the and such, I think, is the true construction of his language right now contended for, of a State veto, with its conse- in 1798. For he goes on, in the same paper, to follow up quences. This, it appears to me, is a more modern inven- the consequences of a perseverance of the Federal Goxtion, and, as I think I have proved, utterly incompatible ernment in unconstitutional measures, into the only result with the nature of our Government. Was it ever con- that all agree must, in extreme cases, happen--a resistance ceived, before the present day, to form a part of it? If by force; and that he may not be misunderstood, makes it it was, why is it not alluded to in any of the debates of the analogous to the case of the colonial resistance to Great Federal convention which framed, or the State conven- Britain. tions which aslopted it? Surely it is of sufficient import Although, in my opinion, in every case which can lasance to have attracted attention, either as an advantage or fully be brought within the jurisdiction of the Supreme an objection; yet not a word is said about it. Nay, more, Court, that tribunal must judge of the constitutionality of if we refer to that luminous exposition of the whole cha- laws on which the question before them depends, and its racter of the General Government, and of its expected decrees must be final, whether they affect State rights of operation, “ The Federalist,' not a word can be found not; and, as a necessary consequence, that no State has any that favors this idea of a veto, now for the first time set up right to impede or prevent the execution of such sei, as a part of our constitution. The constitution, its advo- tence; yet i'am far from thinking that this Court is created cates, its opposers, the great contemporary exposition of an umpire to judge between the General and State Goits character, the practice under it for forty years, all vernments. I do not see it recorded in the instrument, silent on so important, so fundamental a doctrine! not but I see it recorded that every right not given is retained. this a fair, I might say a conclusive argument that it In an extreme case that has been put, of the United States does not exist; that it is what I have indicated it to be, declaring that a particular State should have but one sea modern invention? But this is not all: the case of a nator, or should be deprived of its representation, I see conflict of authority between the General and State au- nothing to oblige the State to submit this case to the Stthorities, under the new Government, was one that could preme Court; on the contrary, I see, by the enuineration not escape the foresight of the authors of “The Fed- of the cases and persons which may be brought within eralist.” A series of chapters on this, and subjects con. their jurisdiction, that this is not included; in this the it nected with it, are found in that collection, written by jured State would have a right at once to declare that it Mr. Madison. Here would have been the place, cer- would no longer be bound by a compact which had been tainly, to have developed the character and operation thus grossly violated. of this legal veto, if, in his opinion, it had existed. I consider the existence of the States, with that portion He could not have been silent on the subject. It im. of their sovereignty which they have reserved, to be possible that he could then have held the doctrines which most invaluable part of our Government; their rights are erroneously, in my opinion, said to be those of his should be most zealously watchcd over and preserved Virginia resolutions. In the 44th number, in arguing the preserved but not enlarged. An organized body, ready necessity of the article which makes the laws of the United io resist either Legislative or Executive encroachment
, States, made in pursuance of the constitution, paramount round which the people, whenever oppressed, may rally
, to the State constitutions, he says, if the State sovereignty will always keep oppression in awe; they are an interme had been left complete in this particular, among other ah- diate corps between the people and the Federal Gorerssurd and dangerous consequences, “The world would ment, and being a permanent one, they answer the same have seen, for the first time, a system of government end in our Goverment that a hereditary aristocracy cices founded on an inversion of the fundamental principles of in some others. They check the power of the federatire all government; it would have seen the authority of the head, while they themselves are kept within constituticnal whole society cvery where subordinate to the authority of bounds by the direct operation of the general taws or the pa: t3: it would have seen a monster in which the head their citizens through the Judiciary. Thicir agency and was under the direction of the members.” And, as more its effective utility were shown in 1798, in thic stand i licha immediately applicable to the present subject, in the 46th Virginia and some other States touk against the obnoxious numbei, he gives expressly what he supposes the only alien and sedition laws. They reasoned, they renonremedy for an unwarrantable,” by which he must mean strated, they appealed to the high feelings of patriotsid unconstitutional measure. “On the other hand, (he says) and freedom, as well as to the understanding of the per should an unwarrantable measure of the Federal Govern- ple; they demonstrated the usurpation of the power wlucha
Manca 15, 1830.]
(SENATE. had enacted these laws; they proved to conviction that Observe, sir, that, by popular government, the Senathey were void; and this had the desired effect. But they tor does not mean one adopted or made by the people of did not declare that the laws should not be executed; they each State, acting separately in their State capacity; if did not array the force of the State against the decrees of he did, there would be no dispute: for it cannot be dethe Judiciary; they did not interpose, or threaten to inter-nied, that the constitution was adopted by the people of pose, their constitutional veto.
each State in its separate convention.
This would not But if the power contended for, on the one side, be dan. contravene the idea of a compact, which his argument gerous, the doctrine by which it is opposed, on the other, totally denies. He means, and so I understand him clearseems no less so. If this be strictly a popular Government, ly to express, a Government framed by the people of all as contended for by the Senator from Massachusetts, that the States, acting in their aggregate capacity; and this is to say, a Government formed by the people of the Unit- doctrine, for the reasons I have stated, I think dangered States, considered in one mass, without any considera- ous in the highest degree. Even if no attempt be made tion of the relation in which they stand to each other as under it, it will, if acknowledged, lessen the dignity and citizens of different States, then the following important utility of the State Governments; they will be considerconsequences follow. Not a denial of State rights, as ed as mere tenants of their power at the will of the Fedhas, I think, been incorrectly and unjustly, in and out of eral head; which will be looked to as the source of all the House, charged to the Senator's argument: he express. honor and all profit. State rights will be disregarded, when ly, as I understand him, acknowledges that they retain all held by so precarious a tenure; encroachments will be that are not given the General Government. But, sir, submitted to that would not be otherwise hazarded, until although his argument acknowledged the existence of the gradually we are prepared for a consolidated Governreserved rights, yet it took away the means of preserving ment, which, on experiment, will be found to require them. If it be a popular Government in the sense I have inore energy for its support over the extensive country described, then what a majority of the whole people will, which it must embrace; and then the dormant resolumust be executed, and rightfully executed.' If this bé tion on your Journals will be called up, and His Highthe true construction of our fundamental compact, then, ness the President of the United States will be invested in ary future changes that our situation may call for, the with dictatorial or protectorate powers, for an enlarged people of a few large States, making a majority of the term, for life—and at last with reversion to his children. whole number of voters, must give the law to the greater Sir, this is the natural consequence of the doctrine, number of States, and may materially and injuriously alter should it be acquiesced in as correct, but not carried into or totally destroy the Union, which the argument supposes effect in an immediate attempt against the State sovenot to be a compact between the States, but the work of reignties. Suppose, however, the reverse should take the people, that is to say, the whole people of the nation. place, and the citizens of a number of States, sufficient It will be no answer to this to say, that alterations cannot to constitute a large majority of the inhabitants of the be made in the constitution but by the assent of the Union, should become converts to the Senator's doctrine, States; because, if there is no compact, there is no injury and determine to exercise the lawful right which a mato the States, any more than there would be by altering jority of every consolidated Government has, to change the boundaries or the representation of a county; or giving the constitution. The minority of numbers, constituting, to or taking from it advantages which were enjoyed under perhaps, two thirds of the number of States, are incredua State constitution. The majority of the people of a lous, and entertain the heretical opinion that there were State may do this at their pleasure, with regard to a coun- certain portions of their State sovereignty never surrenty; so might a majority of the people of the United States dered, and which they deem it a duty to defend. Can do, with regard to a 'State, if the Government has the no case be imagined that may, hy a diversity of local insame popular character in the one instance that it has interests, produce such a state of things and can the the other. As to the impediments imposed by the consti- consequences be calmly considered by any lover of his tution to the power of making alterations, by the clause country? which designates the mode in which they are to be made, The most dangerous of all errors are those which give by the assent of a requisite number of states, it affords no false impressions of fundamental political rights. When insurmountable difficulty. If the Government was made firmly convinced that they are true, it is thought a duty by the people, the same people have the right to alter it, to defend them at the risk of life--at the expense of forand a majority may alter that clause with the same ease tune. The tranquillity of the country is sacrificed, its inand the same right that they change any other in the con- stitutions destroyed, and its dearest interests disregarded, stitution. It is plain, therefore, that this argument places by men, who, with the purest intentions, have adopted three-fourths of the States at the mercy of one-fourth of oi trust the opinion of others, in whom they have confitheir number. Six States having on an average a million dence; and who are taught to believe that disobedience of inhabitants each, form a majority of the population. In to legitimate authority is resistance to oppression, or the a popular government, the will of the majority must be exercise of an mauthorized power is the assertion of a obeyed in making or altering constitutions as well as laws; constitutional right. This consideration alone, it appears therefore, if this be a popular Government, without any to me, should make us most tremblingly apprehensive of feature of compact in it, there is plainly no security for inculcating any new doctrine of this character; and it has even the existence of the State Governments tinder it. It made me scan with greater attention those which have is true, that the argument allows to them certain rights; been offered in this important branch of the debate. But, but if those rights were the result of the will of the peo- with a becoming distrust of my own judgment, and a ple, expuessed by their adoption of a popular Government, proper respect for that of the Senators who have precedis it not clear that whenever that will changes, and an-led ine, I cannot but see, in the doctrines of all, exceptother kind of Government is preferred by a majority, the ing only those of my friend from New Hampshire, (Mr. rights are gone, and rightfully gone! In short, the doc. WoodbU”Y] dangers of the gravest cast. Those I have trme puts the States precisely in the situation of counties, endeavored respectfully but decideilly to point out, and orany other political division of a consolidated Government to state what are my own views on the subject, that they
It is true, that, while the present forin of Government may be weighed and compared. I resume them. exists, States are necessary for its organization; but if it! i think that the constituition is the result of a compact be simply popular-if no compact enters into its compo-jentered into by the several States, by which they sursition, the State agency may be easily dispenseel with in rendered a part of their sovereignty to the Unioli, and the new changes thata majority may tieem expedient. vested the part so surrendered in a General Government.
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
[MARCH 15, 1830
That this Government is partly popular, acting directly cit provision in the constitution, it would have been unanion the citizens of the several states; partly federative, de- mously rejected, both in the convention which framed that pending, for its existence and action, on the existence and instrument, and in those which adopted it. action of the several States.
That the theory of the Federal Government, being the That, by the institution of this Government, the States result of the general will of the people of the United have unequivocally surrendered every constitutional right States, in their aggregate capacity, and founded, in no of impeding or resisting the execution of any decree or degree, on compact between the States, would tend to judgment of the Supreme Court, in any case of law or the most disastrous practical results; that it would place equity, between persons, or on matters, of whom, or on three-fourths of the States at the mercy of one-fourth, which, that court has jurisdiction, even if such decree or and lead, inevitably, to a consolidated Government, and, judgment should, in the opinion of the States, be uncon- finally, to monarchy, the doctrine were generally ad. stitutional.
mitted; and, if partially so, and opposed, to civil disThat, in cases in which a law of the United States may sension. infringe the constitutional right of a State, but which in These being my deliberate opinions on the nature and its operation cannot be brought before the Supreme consequences of the constructions hitherto given of the Court, under the terms of the jurisdiction expressly given Federal compact, and the obligations and rights of the to it over particular persons or matters, that court is not States under it; deeming those constructions erroneous, created the umpire between a State that may deem itself and, in the highest degree, dangerous to the Union, I felt aggrieved, and the General Government.
it a duty to my place, and to my country, to say so. Hav. That, among the attributes of sovereignty retained by ing done this, I ought, perhaps, to stop. But, sir, 1 dare the States, is that of watching over the operations of not! 1 dare not stifle the expression of apprehensions the General Government, and protecting its citizens which have fastened upon my mind. against their unconstitutional abuse; and that this can be It would be useless affectation to pretend ignorance of legally done
the discontent that prevails in an important section of the First, in the case of an act, in the opinion of the State Union; its language is too loud, too decisive, too menacpalpably unconstitutional, but affirmed in the Supreme ing, not to have been lieard, and heard with the deepest Court in the legal exercise of its functions,
It has already been more than once alluded to, By remonstrating against it to Congress;
in this debate, in terms of severest censure. I shall not By an address to the people, in their elective functions, assume that tone, although I cannot but deprecate the to change or instruct their Representatives;
light manner in which the greatest evil that can befal us By a similar address to the other States, in which they is spoken of, as if it were an every day occurrence. Arwill have a right to declare that they consider the act as guments for and against the dissolution of the Union art unconstitutional, and therefore void;
canvassed in the public papers; form the topic of dinner By proposing amendments to the constitution, in the speeches; are condensed into toasts; and treated, in every manner pointed out by that instrument;
respect, as if it were “a knot of policy that might be unAnd, finally, if the act be intolerably oppressive, and loosed familiar as a garter.” Sir, it is a Gordian knot, that they find the General Government persevere in enforcing can be severed only by the sword. The band cannot be it, by a resort to the natural right which every people have unloosed until it is wet with the blood of brothers. I canto resist extreme oppression.
not, thereforc, conscientiously, be silent; and, humbly as Secondly, if the act be one of those few which, in its I think of my influence or powers of persuasion
, I should operation, cannot be submitted to the Supreme Court, feel myself guilty if they were not exerted in admonition and be one that will
, in the opinion of the State, justify to both parties in this eventful controversy. The tariff the risk of a withdrawal from the Union, that this last ex- is the prominent grievance that excites the discontents in treme remedy may at once be resorted to.
some of the Southern States, and particularly in South That the right of resistance to the operation of an act Carolina. It is denounced as unconstitutional, injurious of Congress
, in the extreme cases above alluded to, is not to the whole country, ruinous to the South, and beneficial a right derived from the constitution, but can be justified only to a particular interest in the North and East. only on the supposition that the constitution has been sentiments on this subject may be expressed in a very broken, and the State absolved from its obligation; and words. A decided convert to the free trade system, that, whenever resorted to, it must be at the risk of all think it may be departed from in the few cases in which the penalties attached to an unsuccessful resistance to es- restrictions may be used, with a hope of producing a per tablished authority.
laxation of similar restrictions by a foreign Power.! That the alleged right of a State to put a veto on the exe- therefore believe the present tariff unwise, unequal, and cution of a law of the United States, which such State oppressive in its operations, but I cannot think it uncob: may declare to be unconstitutional, attended (as, if it exist, stitutional. And I consider one of its worst consequences it must be) with a correlative obligation on the part of the to be, that, when it has been long persisted in, and.com General Government, to refrain from executing it, and sidered as the settled policy of the nation, so much of the the further alleged obligation, on the part of that Govern capital and population of the country may be employed in ment, to submit the question to the states, by proposing the manufactures protected by it, as to make it a matter amendments, are not given by the constitution, nor do they of serious calculation whether a sudden and total abangrow out of any of the reserved powers.
donment of the policy may not produce greater evil to That the exercise of the powers last mentioned would the whole nation than the benefit to be expected from introduce a feature in our Government not expressed in throwing open the trade. With these opinions on the the constitution, not implied from any right of sovereignty subject of the Southern discontents, I enter largely into reserved to the States, not suspected to exist by the friends their feelings, and join them in lamenting a policy which or enemies of the constitution, when it was framed or operates so distressingly on their prosperity. adopted, not warranted by practice, or cotemporane There is no doubt that, for some years past, the pecuniexposition, nor implied by the true construction of the ary difficulties of that part of the country have increased; Virginia resolutions in '98.
that the value of property has diminished; and that, from That the introduction of this feature in our Government a state of affluence, many of the citizens are, without ex would totally change its nature, make it inefficient, invite travagance or inciividual misfortune, greatly reduced to dissension, and end, at no distant period, in separation; circumstances
. But would it not be prudent calmh.com and that, if it had been proposed in the forin of an expli- consider whether all this distress is to be attributed to this
MARCA 15, 1830.]
(SENATE. one cause; whether the low price of the staples of that ence, the venerable Jefferson, in a moment of warmth and district (the immediate cause) has been produced by that irritation, said of the Representatives of the nation, “that measure; whether the actual price of imported goods, you might as well reason with the marble columns which paying the duty, or the same kind of goods protected by surround them,” that he uttered the cool dictate of his it, have not, from other causes, been kept down nearly to judgment. No, sir, he had a higher idea of the value of their former value? And that, therefore, although they representation in Government. In a debate like this, on may lose the advantage which the fall of prices would the importance of the Union, his genius would have drawn have given, independent of the tariff, whether the actual a different illustration from those objects which surround expenditure is increased beyond that of former years; and us, and sustain the dome under which we deliberate. if this should be the result, whether the evil is not of such What were they originally? Worthless heaps of uncona nature as may be borne, without recurring to extreini-nected sand and pebbles, washed apart by every wave; ties, in the hope, in the certain hope, that it will not be of blown asunder by every wind. What are they now? long continuance.
Bound together by an indissoluble cement of nature: fashFor, sir, let them also consider the powerful agents that ioned by the hand of skill, they are changed into lofty are at work for their relief. First, in point of efficiency, is columns, the component parts and the support of a noble the press. It may spread errors, but it also diffuses truths; edifice, symbols of the union and strength on which, alone, and, with an intelligent, an educated people, such as ours, our Government can rest; solid within, polished without: these last will ultimately prevail
. Political Economy was standing firm only by the rectitude of their position, they but lately, with us, considered as a science: a alse, but are emblems of what Senators of the United States should specious, and now exploded policy, usurped its place, be, and teach us that the slightest obliquity of position under the imposing title of the American System. The would prostrate the structure, and draw, with their true science was the subject of idle sneers and jests, by own fall, that of all they support and protect, in one those who found it easier to adopt an old error than to mighty ruin. study a new science, and to found political combinations Å distrust of the justice and good feeling of one part of upon sectional interests than to acquire popularity, on the Union by another, is a most dangerous symptom; it the broad basis of the general good. These doctrines are ought not to be indulged, even when occasional circumin a course of examination; they cannot stand the test of stances justify it. A distrust of the justice of the whole theory, still less of practice. Sir, the professor is in his is still more fatal. How can we hope for ready obedience chair! the press is at work! and a powerful but demoral to our laws, if the people are taught to believe in a perizing agent is demonstrating the truth of their science. manent hostility of one part of the Union towards another; The smuggler is abroad; his boats and cutters are in all and that every appeal made by reason and argument to your bays, and inlets, and rivers, on the Atlantic; his their common head is vain? Perseverance will do much; canoes are on your lakes; he is lurking in the woods of for, even if the illustration which has been made of paryour frontier; and presently, sir, when your oppressive ty obduracy, were just, we should remember that the laws have become unpopular, he will come in at noonday, hardest marble is worn by a succession of drops; much in defiance of them. You may seize and sue and prose- more may we hope that prejudice, however strong, will cute; but when the feelings of the people, in such a Go- yield to the claims of justice, frequently enforced by a revernment as ours, are enlisted against the laws, you can- petition of sound argument. not execute them; and this is one of the worst consequen Menace is unwise, because it is generally ineffectual; ces of the restrictive system-an unavoidable consequence. and of all menaces, that which strikes at the existence of Oaths are disregarded, evasions of the law considered as the Union is the most irritating Have those who thus proofs of genius; and the agent, or captain, who has most rashly use it, who endeavor to familiarise the people to the address in defeating the officers of the customs, is sure to idea, have they, themselves, ever done what they recombe most employed. Let any one who doubts this look mend? Have they calculated, have they considered, what back to the times of non-intercourse and embargo, How one, two, or three States would be, disjointed from the many vessels bound from Charleston or New Orleans to rest? Are they sure they would not be disjointed themNew York, blown by irresistible gales from Sandy Hook selves? That parts of any State, which might try the
to Liverpool; how many false log books, how many per- hazardous experiment, might not prefer their allegiance jured protests, how many acquittals against evidence; to the whole? Even if civil war should not be the corsepresenting a mass of perjury, fraud, and combination to quence of such disunion--an exemption from which I can. defeat the laws, perpetrated by men, in every other view not conceive the possibility—what must be the state of respectable, but who had become contaminated by the such detached parts of the mighty whole? Dependence corrupt influence of these demoralizing laws. In every on foreign alliances for protection against brothers and country in the world, high duties have been defeated by friends; degradation in the scale of nations; disposed of illicit trade; it is inevitable; no cause is more certain of by the protocols of allied monarchs to one of their dependproducing its effect; it will be so forever. If the morals ents, like the defenceless Greeks. But I will not enlarge of the country are correct, it will corrupt them. If the on this topic, so fruitful of the most appalling apprehen. frontier is small and guarded, the officers will be bribed; sions. Disunion! the thought itself, the means by which if it is extensive, their vigilance will be avoided. If it may be effected, its frightful and degrading consequenFrance, with thirteen thousand men, and England, with a ces, the idea, the very mention of it, ought to be banished fleet of revenue cutters, cannot prevent it, what can be from our debates, from our minds. God deliver us from expected from our insignificant revenue force, on a coast this worst, this greatest evil. All others we can resist of more than two thousand miles, and an inland frontier and overcome; encroachments upon individual or State of the same extent? These causes will disgust those, for rights cannot, under our representative Government, be whose exclusive use the system was intended , with its long or oppressively persevered in. There are legitimate operation, and, at the same time, convince the people of and effectual means to correct any palpable infraction of its injustice. It is possible, also, that the improvements our constitution. Try them all before recourse is had to in machinery, and the competition fostered by the protec- the menace of this worst of evils. But when an honest tion, may reduce the price of some of the domestic articles, difference of construction exists, surely such extreme so as materially to lessen the evil.
means or arguments ought not to be resorted to. Let the But, if these should fail, I cannot but place great reli. ance on an address to the justice of the nation, and do not
* The interior columns of the capitol arc of a beautiful marble, com. believe, when, in the confidence of private correspond-posed of variegnted pebbles, united by a natural calcareous cement,