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it. The gentleman has not seen how to reply to this otherwise than by sup-
plain tale explains the whole matter. In 1816, I, had not acquiesced in the tariff, then supported by South Carolina. To some parts of it, especially, I felt and expressed great repugnance. I held the same opinions in 1821, at the meeting in Faneuil Hall, to which the gentleman has alluded. I said then, and say now, that, as an original question, the authority of Congress to exercise the revenue power, with direct reference to the protection of manufactures, is a questionable authority, far more questionable in my judgment, than the power of internal improvements. I must confess, sir, that, in one respect, some impression has been made on my opinions lately. Mr. Madison's publication has put the power in a very strong light. He has placed it, I must acknowledge, upon grounds of construction and argument which seem impregnable. But even if the power were doubted, on the face of the constitution itself, it had been assumed and asserted in the first revenue law ever passed under the same constitution; and, on this ground, as a matter settled by contemporaneous practice, I had refrained from expressing the opinion that the tariff laws transcended constitutional limits, as the gentleman supposes. What I did say at Faneuil Hall, as far as I now remember, was, that this was originally matter of doubtful construction. The gentleman himself, I suppose, thinks there is no doubt about it, and that the laws are plainly against the constitution. Mr. Madison's letters, already referred to, contain, in my judgment, by far the most able exposition extant of this part of the constitution. He has satisfied me, so far as the practice of the government had left it an open question.
With a great majority of the representatives of Massachusetts, I voted against the tariff of 1824. My reasons were then given, and I will not now repeat them. But nothwithstanding our dissent, the great states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky went for the bill, in almost unbroken column, and it passed. Congress and the president sanctioned it, and it became the law of the land. What, then, were we to do? Our only option was either to fall in with this settled course of public policy, and to accommodate ourselves to it as well as we could, or to embrace the South Carolina doctrine, and talk of nullifying the statute by state interference.
The last alternative did not suit our principles, and, of course, we adopted the former. In 1827, the subject came again before Congress, on a proposition favorable to wool and woollens. We looked upon the system of protection as being fixed and settled. The law of 1834 remained. It had gone into full operation, and in regard to some objects intended by it, perhaps most of them had produced all its expected effects. No man proposed to repeal it — no man attempted to renew the general contest on its principle. But, owing to subsequent and unforeseen occurrences, the benefit intended by it to wool and woollen fabrics had not been realized. Events, not known here when the law passed, and had taken place, which defeated its object in that particular respect. A measure was accordingly brought forward to meet this precise.deficiency, to remedy this particular defect. It was limited to wool and woollens. Was ever anything more reasonable? If the policy of the tariff laws had become established in principle as the permanent policy of the government, should they not be revised and amended, and made equal, like other laws, as exigencies should arise, or justice require? Because we had doubted about adopting the system, were we to refuse to cure its manifest defects after it became adopted, and when no one attempted its repeal? And this, sir, is the inconsistency so much bruited. I had voted against the tariff of 1824 —but it passed; and in 1827 and 1828, I voted to amend it in a point essential to the interest of my constituents Where is the inconsistency? Could I do otherwise? 13
Sir, does political consistency consist in always giving negative votes ? Does it require of a public man to refuse to concur in amending laws because they passed against his consent? Having voted against the tariff originally, does consistency demand that I should do all in my power to maintain an unequal tariff, burdensome to my own constituents, in many respects, — favorable in none? To consistency of that sort I lay no claim; and there is 'another sort to which I lay as little — and that is, a kind of consistency by which persons feel themselves as much bound to oppose a proposition after it has become the law of the land as before.
The bill of 1827, limited, as I have said, to the single object in which the tariff of 1824 had manifestly failed in its effect, passed the House of Representatives, but was lost here. We had then the act of 1828. I need not recur to the history of a measure so recent. Its enemies spiced it with whatsoever they thought would render it distasteful; its friends took it, drugged as
Vast amounts of property, many millions, had been invested in manufactures, under the inducements of the act of 1824. Events called loudly, I thought for further regulations to secure the degree of protection intended by that act. I was disposed to vote for such regulations, and desired nothing more; but certainly was not to be bantered out of my purpose by a threatened augmentation of duty on molasses, put into the bill for the avowed purpose of inaking it obnoxious. The vote may have been right or wrong, wise or unwise; but it is little less than absurd to allege against it an inconsistency with opposition to the former law.
Sir, as to the general subject of the tariff, I have little now to say. Another opportunity may be presented. I remarked, the other day, that this policy did not begin with us in New England; and yet, sir, New England is charged with vehemence as being favorable, or charged with equal vehemence as being unfavorable, to the tariff policy, just as best suits the time, place, and occasion for making some charge against her. The credulity of the public has been put to its extreme capacity of false impression relative to her conduct in this particular. Through all the south, during the late contest, it was New England policy, and a New England administration, that was inflicting the country with a tariff policy beyond all endurance, while on the other side of the Alleghany, even the act of 1828 itself the very sublimated essence of oppression, according to southern opinions — was pronounced to be one of those blessings for which the west was indebted to the “generous south.”.
With large investments in manufacturing establishments, and various interests connected with and dependent on them, it is not to be expected that New England, any more than other portions of the country, will now consert to any measures destructive or highly dangerous. The duty of the government, at the present moment, would seem to be to preserve, not to destroy; to maintain the position which it has assumed; and for one, I shall feel it an indispensable obligation to hold it steady, as far as in my power, to that degree of protection which it has undertaken to bestow. No more of the tariff.
Professing to be provoked by what he chose to consider a charge made by me against South Carolina, the honorable member, Mr. President, has taken up a new crusade against New England. Leaving altogether the subject of the public lands, in which his success, perhaps, had been neither distinguished nor satisfactory, and letting go, also, of the topic of the tariff, he sallied forth in a general assault on the opinions, politics, and parties of New England, as they have been exhibited in the last thirty years. This is natural. The “par
w poli ublic lands had r arolina, and was not to be removed. The “accursed policy” of the tari lso, had established the fact of its birth a - - Same state. No wonder, therefore, the gentleman wished to carry the war, as he expresse it, into the enemy's country, Prudently willing to quit these subjects, he was doubtless desirous of fastening others, which could not be transferred south of Mason and Dixon's line. The politics of New England became his theme; and it was in this part of his speech, I think, that he menaced me with such sore discomfiture. Discomfiture! *y, sir, when he attacks any thing which I maintain, and overthrows it; when he turns the right or left of any position which I take up; when he drives me from any ground I choose to occupy, he may then talk of discomfiture, but not till that distant day. What has he done? Has he maintained his own charges? Has he proved what he alleged? Has he sustained himself in his attack on the government, and on the history of the north, in the matter of the public lands? Has he disproved a fact, refuted a proposition, weakened an argument maintained by me? Has he come within beat of drum of any position of mine? O, no; but he has “carried the war into the enemy's country!”. Carried the war into the enemy's country! Yes, sir, and what sort of a war has he made of it? Why, sir, he has stretched a dragnet over the whole surface of perished pamphlets, indiscreet sermons, frothy paragraphs, and fuming popular addresses; over whatever the pulpit in its moments of alarm, the press in its heats, and parties in their extravagances, have severally thrown off, in times of general excitement and violence. He has thus swept together a mass of such things, as, but that they are now old, the public health would have required him rather to leave in their state of dispersion. For a good long hour or two, we had the unbroken pleasure of listening to the honorable member, while he recited, with his usual grace and spirit, and with evident high gusto, speeches, pamphlets, addresses, and all that et ceteras of the political press, such as warm heads produce in warm times, and such as it would be “discomfiture” indeed for any one, whose taste did not delight in that sort of reading, to be obliged to peruse. This is his war. This is to carry the war into the enemy's country. It is in an invasion of this sort that he flatters himself with the expectation of gaining laurels fit to adorn a senator's brow. Mr. President, I shall not, it will, I trust, not be expected that I should, either now or at any time, separate this farrago into parts, and answer and examine its components. I shall hardly bestow upon it all a general remark or two. In the run of forty years, sir, under this constitution, we have experienced sundry successive violent party contests. Party arose, indeed, with the constitution itself, and in some form or other has attended through the greater part of its history. Whether any other constitution than the old articles of confederation was desirable, was itself, a question on which parties divided; if a new constitution was framed, what powers should be given to it was another question; and when it had been formed, what was, in fact, the just extent of the powers actually conferred, was a third. Parties, as we know, existed under the first administration, as distinctly marked as those which manifested themselves at any subsequent period. The contest immediately preceding the political change in 1801, and that,
again, which existed at the commencement of the late war, are other instances of party excitement, of something more than usual strength and intensity. In all these conflicts there was, no doubt, much of violence on both and all sides. It would be impossible, if one had a fancy for such employment, to adjust the relative quantum of violence between these two contending parties. There was enough in each, as must always be expected in popular governments. With a great deal of proper and decorous discussion there was mingled a great deal, also, of declamation, virulence, crimination, and abuse.
In regard to any party, probably, at one of the leading epochs in the history of parties, enough may he found to make out another equally inflamed exhibition as that which the honorable member has edified us. For myself, sir, I shall not rake among the rubbish of by-gone times to see what I can find, or whether I cannot find something by which I can fix a blot on the escutcheon of any state, any party, or any part of the country. General Washington's administration was steadily and zealously maintained, as we all know, by New England. It was violently opposed elsewhere. We know in what quarter he had the most earnest, constant, and persevering support, in all his great and leading measures. We know where his private and personal character held in the highest degree of attachment and veneration ; and we know, too, where his measures were opposed, his services slighted, and his character villified.
We know, or we might know, if we turn to the journals, who expressed respect, gratitude, and regret, when he retired from the chief magistracy ; and who refused to express either respect, gratitude or regret. I shall not open those journals. Publications more abusive or scurrilous never saw the light than were sent forth against Washington, and all his leading measures, from presses south of New England ; but I shall not look them up. I employ no scavengers no one is in attendance on me, tendering such means of retaliation ; and if there were, with an ass's load of them, with a bulk as huge as that which the gentleman himself has produced, I would not touch one of them. I see enough of the violence of our own times to be no way anxious to rescue from forgetfulness the extravagances of times past. Besides, what is all this to the present purpose? It has nothing to do with the public lands, in regard to which the attack was begun ; and it has nothing to do with those sentiments and opinions, which I have thought tend to disunion, and all of which the honorable member seems to have adopted bimself
, and undertaken to defend. New England has, at times, - so argues the gentleman, — held opinions as dangerous as those which he now holds. Be it so.. But why, therefore, does he abuse New England ? If he finds himself countenanced by acts of hers, how is it that, while he relies on these acts, he covers, or seeks to cover, their authors with reproach ?
But, sir, if, in the course of forty years, there have been undue effervescences of party in New England, has the same thing happened no where else? Party animosity aud party outrage, not in New England, but elsewhere, denounced President Washington, not only as a federalist
, but as a tory, a British agent, a man who, in his high office, sanctioned corruption. But does the honorable member suppose that, if I had a tender here, who should put such an effusion of wickedness and folly in my hand, that I would stand up and read it against the south ? Parties ran into great heats, again, in 1799. What was said, sir, or rather what was not said, in those years, against John Adams, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and its admitted ablest defender on the floor of Congress ? If the gentleman wants to