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tutional remedy, the conservative power collision have they, in 1828, with the minof the state, which the South Carolina isters of King George the Fourth? What doctrines teach for the redress of political is there now, in the existing state of evils, real or imaginary: And its authors things, to separate Carolina from Old, further say that appealing with confidence more, or rather less, than from Ne to the constitution itself to justify their England ? opinions, they cannot consent to try their Resolutions, sir, have been recently accuracy by the courts of justice. În one passed by the legislature of South Carisense, indeed, sir, this is assuming an atti- lina. I need not refer to them; they go tude of open resistance in favor of liberty. no further than the honorable gentleman But what sort of liberty? The liberty of himself has gone-and I hope not so far. establishing their own opinions, in defi- I content myself therefore, with debating ance of the opinions of all others; the the matter with him. liberty of judging and of deciding exclu And now, sir, what I have first to say on sively themselves, in a matter in which this subject is, that at no time, and under others have as much right to judge and no circumstances, has New England, or decide as they; the liberty of placing any state in New England, or any respect. their opinions above the judgment of all able body of persons in New England, or others, above the laws, and above the con- any public man of standing in New Eng. stitution. This is their liberty, and this is land, put forth such a doctrine as this the fair result of the proposition contended Carolina doctrine. for by the honorable gentleman. Or it The gentleman has found no casehe may be more properly said, it is identical can find none—to support his own opin. with it, rather than å result from it. In ions by New England authority. New the same publication we find the follow- England has studied the constitution in ing: “Previously to our revolution, when other schools, and under other teachers, the arm of oppression was stretched over She looks upon it with other regards, and New England, where did our northern deems more highly and reverently, both of brethren meet with a braver sympathy its just authority and its utility and excelthan that which sprung from the bosom of lence. The history of her legislative proCarolinians ? We had no extortion, no op- ceedings may be traced—the ephemeral pression, no collision with the king's minis- effusions of temporary bodies, called toters, no navigation interest springing up, in gether by the excitement of the occasion, envious rivalry of England.

may be hunted up—they have been hunted This seems extraordinary, language. up. The opinions and votes of her public South Carolina no collision with the king's men, in and out of Congress, may be exministers in 1775! no extortion / no op-plored—it will all be in vain. The Caropression! But, sir, it is also most signifi- lina doctrine can derive from her neither cant language. Does any man doubt the countenance nor support. She rejects it purpose for which it was penned? Can now; she always did reject it. The honany one fail to see that it was designed to orable member has referred to expressions raise in the reader's mind the question, on the subject of the embargo law, made whether, at this time, that is to say, in in this place by an honorable and vener1828,-South Carolina has any collision able gentleman (MR. HILLHOUSE) now with the king's ministers, any oppression, favoring us with his presence. He quotes or extortion, to fear from England ? that distinguished senator as saying, that whether, in short, England is not as natur- in his judgment the embargo law was unally the friend of South Carolina as New constitutional, and that, therefore, in his England, with her navigation interests opinion, the people were not bound to springing up in ,envious rivalry of obey it. England ?

That, sir, is perfectly constitutional lanIs it not strange, sir, that an intelligent guage. An unconstitutional law is not man in South Carolina, in 1828, should binding; but then it does not rest with a thus labor to prove, that in 1775, there resolution or a law of a state legislature to was no hostility, no cause of war, between decide whether an act of Congress be or be South Carolina and England ? that she not constitutional. An unconstitutional had no occasion, in reference to her own act of Congress would not bind the people interest, or from regard to her own welfare, of this district although they have no lego to take up arms in the revolutionary con- islature to interfere in their behalf; and, test? Can any one account for the ex- on the other hand, a constitutional law of pression of such strange sentiments, and Congress does bind the citizens of every their circulation through the state, other state, although all their legislatures should wise than by supposing the object to be, undertake to annul it, by act or resolution. what I have already intimated, to raise the The venerable Connecticut senator is a question, if they had no “collision" constitutional lawyer, of sound principles (mark the expression) with the ministers and enlarged knowledge; a statesman of King George the Third, in 1775, what I practiced and experienced, bred in the

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company of Washington, and holding just had then arisen. Massachusetts believed
views upon the nature of our governments. this law to be a deliberate, palpable, and
He believed the embargo unconstitutional, dangerous exercise of a poroer not granted
and so did others; but what then ? Who by the constitution." Deliberate it was,
did he suppose was to decide that ques- for it was long continued; palpable she
tion? The state legislature? Certainly thought it, as no words in the constitution
not. No such sentiment ever escaped his gave the power, and only a construction,
lips. Let us follow up, sir, this New Eng-l in her opinion most violent, raised it; dan-
land opposition to the embargo laws; let gerous it was, since it threatened utter ruin
us trace it, till we discern the principle to her most important interests. Here,
which controlled and governed New Eng. then, was a Carolina case. How did Mas
land throughout the whole course of that sachusetts deal with it? It was, as she
opposition. We shall then see what simi, thought, a plain, manifest, palpable viola-
larity there is between the New England tion of the constitution; and it brought
school of constitutional opinions and this ruin to her doors. Thousands of families,
modern Carolina school. The gentleman, and hundreds of thousands of individuals,
I think, read a petition from some single were beggared by it. While she saw and
individual, addressed to the legislature of felt all this, she saw and felt, also, that as
Massachusetts, asserting the Carolina doc- a measure of national policy, it was per-
trine-that is, the right of state interfer- fectly futile; that the country was no way
ence to arrest the laws of the Union. The benefited by that which caused so much
fate of that petition shows the sentiment individual distress; that it was efficient
of the legislature. It met no favor. The only for the production of evil, and all that
opinions of Massachusetts were otherwise. evil inflicted on ourselves. In such a case,
They had been expressed in 1798, in an- under such circumstances, how did Mas-
swer to the resolutions of Virginia, and sachusetts demean herself? Sir, she re-
she did not depart from them, nor bend monstrated, she memorialized, she address-
them to the times. Misgoverned, wronged, ed herself to the general government, not
oppressed, as she felt herself to be, she exactly with the concentrated energy of
still held fast her integrity to the Union. passion,” but with her strong sense, and the
The gentleman may find in her proceed- energy of sober conviction. But she did
ings much evidence of dissatisfaction with not interpose the arm of her power
the measures of government, and great rest the law, and break the embargo. Far
and deep dislike, she claimed no right from it. Her principles bound her to two
still to sever asunder the bonds of the things, and she followed her principles,
Union. There was heat, and there was lead where they might. First, to submit
anger in her political feeling. Be it so. to every constitutional law of Congress;
Her heat or her anger did not, neverthe- and secondly, if the constitutional validity
less, betray her into infidelity to the gov- of the law be doubted, to refer that ques-
ernment. The gentleman labors to prove tion to the decision of the proper tribunals,
that she disliked the embargo as much as The first principle is vain and ineffectual
South Carolina dislikes the tariff, and ex- without the second. A majority of us in
pressed her dislike as strongly. Be it so ; New England believe the embargo law un-
but did she propose the Carolina remedy ? constitutional; but the great question was,
Did she threaten to interfere, by state au- and always will be in such cases, Who is
thority, to annul the laws of the Union ? to decide this? Who is to judge between
That is the question for the gentleman's the people and the government? And, sir,
consideration.

it is quite plain, that the constitution of No doubt, sir, a great majority of the the United States confers on the governpeople of New England conscientiously ment itself, to be exercised by its appropribelieve the embargo law of 1807 unconsti- ate department, this power of deciding, tutionalmas conscientiously, certainly, as ultimately and conclusively, upon the just the people of South Carolina hold that extent of its own authority. If this had not opinion of the tariff. They reasoned thus: been done, we should not have advanced a Congress has power to regulate commerce; single step beyond the old confederation. but here is a law, they said, stopping all Being fully of opinion that the embargo commerce, and stopping it indefinitely. law was unconstitutional, the people of The law is perpetual, therefore, as the law New England were yet equally clear in the against treason or murder. Now, is this opinion—it was a matter they did not doubt regulating commerce, or destroying it? Is upon-that the question, after all, must it guiding, controlling, giving the rule to be decided by the judicial tribunals of the commerce, as a subsisting thing, or is it United States. Before those tribunals, putting an end to it altogether? Nothing therefore, they brought the question. Under is more certain than that a majority in New the provisions of the law, they had given England deemed this law a violation of the bonds, to millions in amount, and which constitution. This very case required by were alleged to be forfeited. They suffered the gentleman to justify state interference the bonds to be sued, and thus raised the

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question. In the old-fashioned way of set- I bring about a revolution, nor to break up tling disputes, they went to law. The case the Union; for I maintain, that, between came to hearing and solemn argument; submission to the decision of the constituted and he who espoused their cause and stood tribunals, and revolution, or disunion, up for them against the validity of the act, there is no middle ground-there is no was none other than that great man, of ambiguous condition, half allegiance and whom the gentleman has made honorable half rebellion. There is no treason, madmention, SAMUEL DEXTER. He was then, cosy. And, sir, how futile, how

very

futile sir, in the fulness of his knowledge and the it is, to admit the right of state interfermaturity of his strength. He had retired ence, and then to attempt to save it from from long and distinguished public service the character of unlawful resistance, by here, to the renewed pursuit of professional adding terms of qualification to the causes duties; carrying with him all that enlarge- and occasions, leaving all the qualifications, ment and expansion, all the new strength like the case itself in the discretion of the and force, which an acquaintance with the state governments. It must be a clear case, more general subjects discussed in the na- it is said; a deliberate case; a palpable tional councils is capable of adding to pro- case;. a dangerous case. But, then, the fessional attainment, in a mind of true state is still left at liberty to decide for hergreatness and comprehension. He was a self what is clear, what is deliberate, what lawyer, and he was also a statesman. He is palpable, what is dangerous. had studied the constitution, when he filled Do adjectives and epithets avail any public station, that he might defend it; he thing? Sir, the human mind is so constihad examined its principles, that he might tuted, that the merits of both sides of a maintain them. More than all men, or at controversy appear very clear, and very least as much as any man, he was attached palpable, to those who respectively espouse to the general government, and to the them, and both sides usually grow clearer, union of the states. His feelings and as the controversy advances. South Caroopinions all ran in that direction. À ques- lina sees unconstitutionality in the tarifftion of constitutional law, too, was, of all she sees oppression there, also, and she sees subjects, that one which was best suited to danger. Pennsylvania, with a vision not his talents and learning. Aloof from tech- less sharp, looks at the same tariff, and nicality, and unfettered by artificial rule, sees no such thing in it-she sees it all such a question gave opportunity for that constitutional, all useful, all safe. The deep and clear analysis, that mighty grasp faith of South Carolina is strengthened by of principle, which so much distinguished opposition, and she now not only sees, but his higher efforts. His very statement resolves, that the tariff is palpably unconwas argument; his inference seemed dem- stitutional, oppressive, and dangerous ; but onstration. The earnestness of his own Pennsylvania, not to be behind her neighconviction wrought conviction in others. bors, and equally willing to strengthen her One was convinced, and believed, and con own faith by a confident asseveration, resented, because it was gratifying, delightful, solves also, and gives to every warm affirm. to think, and feel, and believe, in unison ative of South Carolina, a plain downright with an intellect of such evident superiority. Pennsylvania negative. South Carolina

Mr. Dexter, sir, such as I have described to show the strength and unity of her opin. him, argued the New England cause. He ions, brings her assembly to a unanimity, put into his effort his whole heart, as well within seven votes; Pennsylvania, not to as all the powers of his understanding; for be outdone in this respect more than he had avowed, in the most public manner, others, reduces her dissentient fraction to his entire concurrence with his neighbors, one vote. Now, sir, again I ask the on the point in dispute. He argued the tleman, what is to be done? Are these cause; it was lost, and New England sub- states both right? Is he bound to conmitted. The established tribunals pro- sider them both rig’at? If not, which is nounced the law constitutional, and New in the wrong? or, rather, which has the England acquiesced. Now, sir, is not this best right to decide? the exact opposite of the doctrine of the And if he, and if I, are not to know gentleman from South Carolina ? Accord- what the constitution means, and what it ing to him, instead of referring to the is

, till those two state legislatures, and the judicial tribunals, we should have broken twenty-two others, shall agree in its conup the embargo, by laws of our own; we struction what have we sworn to, when should have repealed it, quoad New Eng- we have sworn to maintain it? ' I was land; for we had a strong, palpable, and forcibly struck, sir, with one reflection, as oppressive case. Sir, we believe the em- the gentleman went on with his speech. bargo unconstitutional; but still, that was He quoted Mr. Madison's resolutions to matter of opinion, and who was to decide prove that a state may inter fere, in a case it? We thought it a clear case; but, of deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exnevertheless, we did not take the laws into ercise of a power not granted. "The honolur hands, because we did not wish to orable member supposes the tariff law to

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be such an exercise of power, and that on the part of the state to interfere, and consequently, a case has risen in which arrest the progress of the evil. This is the state may, if it see fit, interfere by its susceptible of more than one interpretation. own law. Now, it so happens, neverthe- It may mean no more than that the states less, that Madison himself deems this same may interfere by complaint and remontariff law quite constitutional. Instead of strance, or by proposing to the people an a clear and palpable violation, it is, in his alteration of the federal constitution. This judgment, no violation at all. Só that, would all be quite unobjectionable; or it may while they use his authority for a hypo- be that no more is meant than to assert the thetical case, they reject it in the very case general right of revolution, as against all before them. All this, sir, shows the in-governments, in cases of intolerable opherent futility. I had almost used a pression. This no one doubts; and this, stronger word-of conceding this power of in my opinion, is all that he who framed interference to the states, and then attempt- these resolutions could have meant by it; ing to secure it from abuse by imposing for I shall not readily believe that he was qualifications of which the states them- ever of opinion that a state, under the selves are to judge. One of two things is constitution, and in conformity with it, true; either the laws of the Union are be- could, upon the ground of her own opinion yond the control of the states, or else we of its unconstitutionality, however clear have no constitution of general govern- and palpable she might think the case, ment, and are thrust back again to the annul a law of Congress, so far as it should days of the confederacy.

operate on herself, by her own legislative Let me here say, sir, that if the gentle- power. man's doctrine had been received and I must now beg to ask, sir, Whence is acted upon in New England, in the times this supposed right of the states derived ? of the embargo and non-intercourse, we Where do they get the power to interfere should probably not now have been here. with the laws of the Union? Sir, the The government would very likely have opinion which the honorable gentleman gone to pieces and crumbled into dust. maintains is a notion founded in a total No stronger case can ever arise than ex- misapprehension, in my judgment, of the isted under those laws; no states can ever origin of this government, and of the founentertain a clearer conviction than the dation on which it stands. I hold it to be New England States then entertained; and a popular government, erected by the if they had been under the influence of people, those who administer it responsithat heresy of opinion, as I must call it, ble to the people, and itself capable of bewhich the honorable member espouses, ing amended and modified, just as the peothis Union would, in all probability have ple may choose it should be. It is as popbeen scattered to the four winds. I ask ular, just as truly emanating from the the gentleman, therefore, to apply his prin- people, as the state governments. It is ciples to that case; I ask him to come forth created for one purpose; the state governand declare whether, in his opinion, the ments for another. It has its own powers; New England States would have been jus- they have theirs. There is no more auțified in interfering to break up the em- thority with them to arrest the operation bargo system, under the conscientious opin- (of a law of Congress, than with Congress ions which he held upon it. Had they a to arrest the operation of their laws. We right to annul that law? Does he admit, are here to administer a constitution emaor deny? If that which is thought palpa- nating immediately from the people, and bly unconstitutional in South Carolina jus- trusted by them to our administration. It tifies that state in arresting the progress of is not the creature of the state governthe law, tell me whether that which was ments. It is of no moment to the arguthought palpably unconstitutional also in ment that certain acts of the state legislaMassachusetts would have justified her in tures are necessary to fill our seats in this doing the same thing. Sir, I deny the body. That is not one of their original whole doctrine. It has not a foot of ground state powers, a part of the sovereignty of in the constitution to stand on. No public the state. It is a duty which the people, man of reputation ever advanced it in Mas- by the constitution itself, have imposed on sachusetts, in the warmest times, or could the state legislatures, and which they maintain himself upon it there at any might have left to be performed elsewhere,

if they had seen fit. So they have left the I wish now, sir, to make a remark upon choice of president with electors; but all the Virginia resolutions of 1798. I cannot this does not affect the proposition that undertake to say how these resolutions this whole government-President, Senate were understood by those who passed and House of Representatives—is a poputhem. Their language is not a little in- lar government. "It leaves it still all its definite. In the case of the exercise, by popular character. The governor of a Congress

, of a dangerous power, not granted state (in some of the states) is chosen not to them, the resolutions assert the right, directly by the mannle for the purpose of

time.

question. In the old-fashioned way of set- | bring about a revolution, nor to break up tling disputes, they went to law. The case the Union ; for I maintain, that, between came to hearing and solemn argument; submission to the decision of the constituted and he who espoused their cause and stood tribunals, and revolution, or disunion, up for them against the validity of the act, there is no middle ground-there is no was none other than that great man, of ambiguous condition, half allegiance and whom the gentleman has made honorable half rebellion. There is no treason, madmention, SAMUEL DEXTER. He was then, cosy. And, sir, how futile, how very futile sir, in the fulness of his knowledge and the it is, to admit the right of state interfermaturity of his strength. He had retired ence, and then to attempt to save it from from long and distinguished public service the character of unlawful resistance, by here, to the renewed pursuit of professional adding terms of qualification to the causes duties ; carrying with him all that enlarge- and occasions, leaving all the qualifications

, ment and expansion, all the new strength like the case itself in the discretion of the and force, which an acquaintance with the state governments. It must be a clear case, more general subjects discussed in the na- it is said; a deliberate case; a palpable tional councils is capable of adding to pro- case; a dangerous case. But, then, the fessional attainment, in a mind of true state is still left at liberty to decide for her. greatness and comprehension. He was a self what is clear, what is deliberate, what lawyer, and he was also a statesman. He is palpable, what is dangerous. had studied the constitution, when he filled Do adjectives and epithets avail any public station, that he might defend it; he thing? Sir, the human mind is so constihad examined its principles, that he might tuted, that the merits of both sides of a maintain them. More than all men, or at controversy appear very clear, and very least as much as any man, he was attached palpable, to those who respectively espouse to the general government, and to the them, and both sides usually grow clearer, union of the states. His feelings and as the controversy advances, South Caroopinions all ran in that direction. A ques- lina sees unconstitutionality in the tariff tion of constitutional law, too, was, of all she sees oppression there, also, and she sees subjects, that one which was best suited to danger. Pennsylvania, with a vision not his talents and learning. Aloof from tech- less sharp, looks at the same tariff, and nicality, and unfettered by artificial rule, sees no such thing in it-she sees it all such a question gave opportunity for that constitutional, all useful, all safe. The deep and clear analysis, that mighty grasp | faith of South Carolina is strengthened by of principle, which so much distinguished opposition, and she now not only sees, but his higher efforts. His very statement resolves, that the tariff is palpably unconwas argument; his inference seemed dem- stitutional, oppressive, and dangerous; but onstration. The earnestness of his own Pennsylvania, not to be behind her neighconviction wrought conviction in others. bors, and equally willing to strengthen her One was convinced, and believed, and con own faith by a confident asseveration, resented, because it was gratifying, delightful, solves also, and gives to every warm affirm. to think, and feel, and believe, in unison ative of South Carolina, a plain downright with an intellect of such evident superiority. Pennsylvania negative. South Carolina

Mr. Dexter, sir, such as I have described to show the strength and unity of her opinhim, argued the New England cause. He ions, brings her assembly to a unanimity, put into his effort his whole heart, as well within seven votes; Pennsylvania, not to as all the powers of his understanding; for be outdone in this respect more than he had avowed, in the most public manner, others, reduces her dissentient fraction to his entire concurrence with his neighbors, one vote. Now, sir, again I ask the genon the point in dispute. He argued the tleman, what is to be done? Are these cause; it was lost, and New England sub- states both right? Is he bound to conmitted. The established tribunals pro- sider them both rig:it? If not, which is nounced the law constitutional, and New in the wrong? or, rather, which has the England acquiesced. Now, sir, is not this best right to decide? the exact opposite of the doctrine of the

And if he, and if I, are not to know gentleman from South Carolina? Accord- what the constitution means, and what it ing to him, instead of referring to the is, till those two state legislatures, and the judicial tribunals, we should have broken twenty-two others, shall agree in its conup the embargo, by laws of our own; we struction what have we sworn to, when should have repealed it, quoad New Eng- we have sworn to maintain it? I was land; for we had a strong, palpable, and forcibly struck, sir, with one reflection, as oppressive case. Sir, we believe the em- the gentleman went on with his speech. bargo unconstitutional; but still, that was He quoted Mr. Madison's resolutions to matter of opinion, and who was to decide prove that a state may interfere, in a case it? We thought it a clear case; but, of deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exnevertheless, we did not take the laws into ercise of a power not granted. The houour hands, because we did not wish to orable member supposes the tariff law to

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