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vention, but every act of the Legislature, and every judgment of our own courts, the enforcement of which may devolve upon the executive. I claim no right to revise their acts. It will be my duty to execute them; and that duty I mean, to the utmost of my power, faithfully to perform."

He proceeded:

"If the sacred soil of Carolina should be polluted by the footsteps of an invader, or be stained with the blood of her citizens,

shed in her defense, I trust in Almighty God that no son of hers, native or adopted, who has been nourished at her bosom, or been cherished by her bounty, will be found raising a parricidal arm against our common mother. And even should she stand ALONE in this great struggle for constitutional liberty, encompassed by her enemies, that there will not be found, in the wide limits

of the State, one recreant son who will not fly to the rescue, and be ready to lay down his life in her defense. South Carolina cannot be drawn down from the proud eminence on which she has now placed herself, except by the hands of her own children. Give her but a fair field, and she asks no more. Should she succeed, hers will be glory enough to have led the way in the noble work of REFORM. And if, after making these efforts due to her own honor, and the greatness of the cause, she is destined utterly to fail, the bitter fruits of that failure, not to herself alone, but to the entire South, nay, to the whole Union, will attest her vir


The Legislature proceeded to pass the acts requisite to give practical effect to the Ordinance, and the Governor to accept the services of volunteers, who were not mustered into service, but directed to hold themselves in readiness for action at a moment's notice. Mr. Calhoun resigned the Vice-Presidency when he had three months still to serve, and was chosen to the Senate to fill the seat vacated by Mr. Hayne's acceptance of the governorship. Leaving his State foaming and surging with preparations for war, Mr. Calhoun, in December, calmly proceeded to Washington, where he took his seat in the Senate, and swore afresh to

maintain the Constitution, as if unconscious of the tempest he had excited, and which was now preparing to burst upon his head.

General Jackson had already" made provision for the threatened emergency. Ordering General Scott to proceed to Charleston for the purpose of "superintending the safety of the ports of the United States in that vicinity," and making the requisite disposition of the slender military and naval forces at his command, the President sent confidential orders to

the Collector for the port of Charleston, whereof the following extract sufficiently indicates the character and purpose:

"Upon the supposition that the measures of the Convention, or the acts of the Legislature may consist, in part, at least, in declaring the laws of the United States imposing duties unconstitutional, and null and void, and in forbidding their execution, and the collection of the duties within the State of South Carolina, you will, immediately after it shall be formally announced, resort to all the means provided by the laws, and particularly by the act of the 2d of March, 1799, to counteract the measures which may be adopted to give effect to that declaration. yourself authorized to employ the revenue "For this purpose, you will consider cutters which may be within your district, and provide as many boats and employ as many inspectors as may be necessary for the execution of the law, and for the purposes of the act already referred to. You will, moreover, cause a sufficient number of officers of cutters and inspectors to be placed on board, and in charge of every vessel arriving from a foreign port or place, with goods, wares, or merchandise, as soon as practicable after her first coming within your district, and direct them to anchor her she may be secure from any act of violence, in some safe place within the harbor, where and from any unauthorized attempt to discharge her cargo before a compliance with her at such place until the reports and entries required by law shall be made, both of Vessel and cargo, and the duties paid, or secured to be paid, to your satisfaction, and until the regular permit shall be granted for

the laws; and they will remain on board of

18 November 6th.


landing the cargo; and it will be your duty, against any forcible attempt, to retain and defend the custody of the said vessel, by the aid of the officers of the customs, inspectors, and officers of the cutters, until the requisitions of the law shall be fully complied with; and, in case of any attempt to remove her or her cargo from the custody of the officers of the customs, by the form of legal process from State tribunals, you will not yield the custody to such attempt, but will consult the law officer of the district, and employ such means as, under the particular circumstances, you may legally do, to resist such process, and prevent the removal of the Vessel and cargo.

"Should the entry of such vessel




in the

cargo not be completed, and the duti
or secured to be paid, by bond c
with sureties to your satisfaction,
time limited by law, you will, at the expira-
tion of that time, take possession of the car-
go, and land and store the same at Castle
Pinckney, or some other safe place, and, in
due time, if the duties are not paid, sell the
same, according to the direction of the 56th
section of the act of the 2d of March, 1799;
and you are authorized to provide such
stores as may be necessary for that purpose.”

The contrast between the spirit evinced in these instructions, and that exhibited by General Jackson's successor, on the occurrence of a similar outbreak at Charleston twentyeight years later, is very striking. Congress reconvened on the 3d of December; but the President's Message, delivered on the following day, made no allusion to the impending peril of civil convulsion and war. One week later, however, the country was electrified by the appearance of the famous Proclamation, wherein the President's stern resolve to crush Nullification as Treason was fully manifested. And, though this document received its final fashion and polish from the pen of the able and eminent Edward Livingston, who then worthily filled the post of Secretary of State, it is abundantly established" that the original draft was the


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After reciting the purport and effect of the South Carolina Ordinance, General Jackson proceeds:

The Ordinance is founded, not on the indefeasible right of resisting acts which are plainly unconstitutional and too oppressive to be endured; but on the strange position that any one State may not only declare an act of Congress void, but prohibit its execution; that they may do this consistently with the Constitution; that the true construction of that instrument permits a State to retain its place in the Union, and yet be bound by no other of its laws than those it may choose to consider as constitutional! It is true, they add that, to justify this abrogation of a law, it must be palpably contrary to the Constitution; but it is evident

that, to give the right of resisting laws of that description, coupled with the uncontrolled right to decide what laws deserve ing all laws. For, as, by this theory, there that character, is to give the power of resistis no appeal, the reasons alleged by the State, good or bad, must prevail. If it should check against the abuse of this power, it be said that public opinion is a sufficient may be asked why it is not deemed a sufficient guard against the passage of an uncon

stitutional act by Congress. There is, however, a restraint in this last case, which makes the assumed power of a State more

other. There are two appeals from an unindefensible, and which does not exist in the constitutional act passed by Congress-one to the Judiciary, the other to the people and

the States. There is no appeal from the State decision in theory, and the practical illustration shows that the courts are closed against an application to review it, both judges and jurors being sworn to decide in its favor. But reasoning on this subject is

19 See Parton's Life of Jackson, pp. 455-6.

superfluous when our social compact in express terms declares that the laws of the United States, its Constitution, and the treaties made under it, are the supreme law of the land; and, for greater caution, adds, 'that the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.' And it may be asserted, without fear of refutation, that no federative government could exist without a similar provision. Look, for a moment, to the consequences. If South Carolina considers the revenue laws unconstitutional, and has a right to prevent their execution in the port of Charleston, there would be a clear constitutional objection to their collection in every other port, and no revenue could be collected anywhere; for all imposts must be equal. It is no answer to repeat, that an unconstitutional law is no law, so long as the question of legality is to be decided by the State itself, for every law, operating injuriously upon any local interest, will be perhaps thought, and certainly represented as, unconstitutional; and, as has been shown, there is no appeal.

"If this doctrine had been established at an earlier day, the Union would have been dissolved in its infancy. The Excise law in Pennsylvania, the Embargo and Non-Intercourse law in the Eastern States, the carriage-tax in Virginia, were all deemed unconstitutional, and were more unequal in their operation than any of the laws now complained of; but, fortunately, none of those States discovered that they had the right now claimed by South Carolina. The war into which we were forced, to support the dignity of the nation and the rights of our citizens, might have ended in defeat and disgrace, instead of victory and honor, if the States who supposed it a ruinous and unconstitutional measure had thought they possessed the right of nullifying the act by which it was declared, and denying supplies for its prosecution. Hardly and unequally as those measures bore upon several members of the Union, to the Legislatures of none did this efficient and peaceable remedy, as it is called, suggest itself. The discovery of this important feature in our Constitution

was reserved for the present day. To the

statesmen of South Carolina belongs the invention, and upon the citizens of that State will unfortunately fall the evils of reducing it to practice."


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"The Constitution of the United States, then, forms a Government, not a league; and, whether it be formed by compact between the States, or in any other manner, its character is the same. It is a government in which all the people are represented, which acts directly on the people individually, not upon the States-they retained all the power they did not grant. But each State, having expressly parted with so many powers, as to constitute, jointly with the other States, a single nation, cannot, from that period, possess any right to secede; because such secession does not break a league, but destroys the unity of a nation, and any injury to that unity is not only a breach which would result from the contravention of a compact, but it is an offense against the whole Union. To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union, is to say that the United States are not a nation, because it would be a solecism to contend that any part of a nation might dissolve its connection with the other parts, to their injury or ruin, without committing any offense. Secession, like any other revolutionary act, may be morally justified by the extremity of oppression; but to call it a constitutional right, is confounding the meaning of terms, and can only be done through gross error, or to deceive those who are willing to assert a right, but would pause before they make a revolution, or incur the penalties consequent on a failure."


The dogma of State Sovereignty, as contravening or limiting the proper Nationality of the Republic, is thus squarely confronted:

"The States severally have not retained their entire sovereignty. It has been shown that, in becoming parts of a nation, not members of a league, they surrendered many of their essential parts of sovereignty. The right to make treaties, declare war, levy taxes, exercise exclusive judicial and legisla"I consider, then, the power to annul a lative powers, were all of them functions

General Jackson summed up objections to Nullification in these unambiguous terms:


of sovereign power. The States, then, for all these important purposes, were no longer sovereign. The allegiance of their citizens was transferred, in the first instance, to the Government of the United States; they became American citizens, and owed obedience to the Constitution of the United States, and to laws made in conformity with the powers it vested in Congress. This last position has not been, and cannot be, denied. How, then, can that State be said to be sovereign and independent, whose citizens owe obedience to laws not made by it, and whose magistrates are sworn to disregard those laws, when they come in conflict with those passed by another? What shows, conclusively, that the States cannot be said to have reserved an undivided sovereignty, is, that they expressly ceded the right to punish treason not treason against their separate power, but treason against the United States. Treason is an offense against sovereignty, and sovereignty must reside with the power to punish it."

Mr. Jefferson Davis, in one of his earlier manifestoes from Richmond, saw fit to speak of the severance of our Union as 'the dissolution of a


grant? Will the inhabitants of the inland States agree to pay the duties that may be imposed without their assent by those on the Atlantic or the Gulf, for their own benefit? Shall there be a free port in one State and onerous duties in another? No one believes that any right exists in a single State to involve all the others in these and countless other evils, contrary to engagements solemnly made. Every one must see that the other States, in self-defense, must oppose it at all hazards."

Having thus frankly and vigorously set forth the fundamental principles of our political system, though at much greater length, and with a variety and fullness of illustration, General Jackson proceeds to proclaim

"That the duty imposed on me by the Constitution 'to take care that the laws be faithfully executed' shall be performed to the extent of the powers already vested in me by law, or of such others as the wisdom of Congress shall devise and intrust to me for that purpose; and to warn the citizens of South Carolina, who have been deluded

league." General Jackson anticipa- into an opposition to the laws, of the danger

ted and refuted this assumption as follows:

"How is it that the most perfect of those several modes of Union should now be considered as a mere league, that may be dis

solved at pleasure? It is from an abuse of terms. Compact is used as synonymous with league, although the true term is not employed, because it would at once show the fallacy of the reasoning. It would not do to say that our Constitution was only a league, but it is labored to prove it a compact (which, in one sense, it is), and then to argue that, as a league is a compact, every compact between nations must, of course, be a league, and that, from such an engagement, every sovereign power has a right to recede. But it has been shown that, in this sense, the States are not sovereign, and that, even if they were, and the national constitutution had been formed by compact, there would be no right in any one State to exonerate itself from its obligations.

"So obvious are the reasons which forbid this secession, that it is necessary only to allude to them. The Union was formed for the benefit of all. It was produced by mutual sacrifices of interests and opinions. Can those sacrifices be recalled? Can the States who magnanimously surrendered their title to the territories of the West, recall the

they will incur by obedience to the illegal and disorganizing Ordinance of the Convention."

And he closes a most pathetic and eloquent appeal to the people of South Carolina in these memorable and stirring words:

"Contemplate the condition of that country of which you still form an important part!-consider its Government, uniting in one bond of common interest and general protection so many different States-giving to all their inhabitants the proud title of American citizens-protecting their commerce-securing their literature and their arts-facilitating their intercommunication

defending their frontiers-and making their names respected in the remotest parts of the earth! Consider the extent of its territory, its increasing and happy population, its advance in the arts, which render life agreeable, and the sciences which elevate the mind! See education spreading the lights of religion, humanity, and general information, into every cottage in this wide extent of our territories and States! Behold it as the asylum where the wretched and the oppressed find a refuge and support! Look on this picture of happiness and honor,

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ants of the Pinckneys, the Sumpters, the Rutledges, and of the thousand other names which adorn the pages of your Revolutionary history, will not abandon that Union, to support which so many of them fought, and bled, and died. I adjure you, as you honor their memory, as you love the cause of freedom to which they dedicated their lives—as you prize the peace of your country, the lives of its best citizens, and your own fair fame, to retrace your steps. Snatch from the archives of your State the disorganizing edict of its Convention-bid its members to reassemble and promulgate the decided expression of your will to remain in the path which alone can conduct you to safety, prosperity, and honor-tell them that, compared to disunion, all other evils are light, because that brings with it an accumulation of all-declare that you will never take the field unless the star-spangled banner of your country shall float over you that you will not be stigmatized when dead, and dishonor

of the first attack on the Constitution of your country! Its destroyers you cannot be. You may disturb its peace-you may interrupt the course of its prosperity-you may cloud its reputation for stability-but its tranquillity will be restored, its prosperity will return, and the stain upon its nationai character will be transferred, and remain an eternal blot on the memory of those who caused the disorder."

and say, WE, TOO, ARE CITIZENS OF AMERICA. Carolina is one of these proud States; her arms have defended, her best blood has cemented, this happy Union! And then add, if you can, without horror and remorse, 'This happy Union we will dissolve -this picture of peace and prosperity we will deface-this free intercourse we will interrupt these fertile fields we will deluge with blood-the protection of that glorious flag we renounce the very name of Americans we discard.' And for what, mistaken men! for what do you throw away these inestimable blessings for what would you exchange your share in the advantages and honor of the Union? For the dream of a separate independence-a dream interrupted by bloody conflicts with your neighbors, and a vile dependence on foreign power! If your leaders could succeed in establishing a separation, what would be your situation? Are you united at home? Are you free from the apprehension of civil discord, with all its fearful consequences? Do our neigh-ed and scorned while you live, as the authors boring republics, every day suffering some new revolution or contending with some new insurrection, do they excite your envy? "But the dictates of a high duty oblige me solemnly to announce that you cannot succeed. The laws of the United States must be executed. I have no discretionary power on the subject my duty is emphatically pronounced in the Constitution. Those who told you that you might peaceably prevent their execution, deceived you--they could not have been deceived themselves. They know that a forcible opposition could alone prevent the execution of the laws, and they know that such opposition must be repelled. Their object is disunion: be not deceived by names. Disunion, by armed force, is treason. Are you really ready to incur its guilt? If you are, on the heads of the instigators of the act be the dreadful consequences on their heads be the dishonor; but on yours may fall the punishment-on your unhappy State will inevitably fall all the evils of the conflict you force upon the Government of your country. It cannot accede to the mad project of disunion, of which you would be the first victims-its first magistrate cannot, if he would, avoid the performance of his duty-the consequence must be fearful for you, distressing to your fellow-citizens here, and the friends of good government throughout the world. Its enemies have beheld our prosperity with a vexation they could not conceal-it was a standing refutation of their slavish doctrines, and they would point to our discords with the triumph of malignant joy. It is yet in your power to disappoint them. There is yet time to show that the descend

Turning from the deluded minority to the loyal and Union-loving majority of the American people, the President concludes his Proclamation as follows:

"Fellow-citizens of the United States! The threat of unhallowed disunion, the names of those (once respected) by whom it was uttered, the array of military force to support it, denote the approach of a crisis in our affairs, on which the continuance of our unexampled prosperity, our political existence, and perhaps that of all free governments, may depend. The conjuncture demanded a full, a free, and explicit annunciation, not only of my intentions, but of my principles of action; and, as the claim was asserted of a right by a State to annul the laws of the Union, and even to secede from it, at pleasure, a frank exposition of my opinions in relation to the origin and form of our Government, and the construction I give to the instrument by which it was created, seemed to be proper. Having the fullest confidence in the justness of the legal and constitutional opinion of my duties, which has been ex

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