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IN 1856, as now, many of the leading Statesmen and editors of the Democratic party in the Southern States uttered predictions of Disunion, made arguments for Disunion and very solemn threats of Disunion in case they should be beaten in the Presidential Election. Mr. Slidell, Senator from Louisiana, and the particular friend and champion of Mr. Buchanan, declared in 1856 that "if Fremont should be elected, the Union would be dissolved." Mr. Toombs, of Georgia, said "that in such an event the Union would be dissolved, and ought to be dissolved." Mr. Butler, of S. C., a leading member of the U. S. Senate and chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 1856, said:

When Fremont is elected, we must rely upon what we have a good State Government. Every Governor of the South should call the Legislature of his State together, and have measures of the South decided upon. If they did not, and submit to the degradation, they would deserve the fute of slaves. I should advise my Legislature to go at the tap of the drum.

Mr. Keitt, of S. C., made a fiery speech at Lynchburgh, Va., in 1856 and in view of the apprehended election of Col. Fremont, exclaimed:

I tell you now, that if Fremont is elected, adherence to the Union is treason to liberty. (Loud cheers.) I tell you now, that the southern man who will submit to his election is a traitor and a coward. (Enthusiastic cheers.)

This speech was indorsed as "sound doctrine" by the Hon. John B. Floyd, of Va., now Mr. Buchanan's Secretary of War.

arm of southern freemen upon the Treasury and archives of the Government. (Applause.)

The Charleston "Mercury," the recognized organ of the South Carolina Democracy, in a recent article says:

Upon the policy of dissolving the Union, of separat ing the South from her northern enemies, and estab lishing a southern Confederacy, parties, presses, poli ticians, and people, are a unit. There is not a single public man in her limits, not one of her present repre sentatives or senators in Congress who is not pledged to the lips in favor of disunion. Indeed, we well remember that one of the most prominent leaders of the coope ration party, when taunted with submission, rebuked the thought by saying, "that in opposing secession, he only took a step backward to strike a blow more deadly against the Union."

In the autumn of 1856, Henry A. Wise, then Governor of Virginia, told the people of that State that

To tell

The South could not, without degradation, submit to the election of a Black Republican President. me we should submit to the election of a Black Republican, under circumstances like these, is to tell me that Virginia and the fourteen Slave States are already subjugated and degraded, [cheers ;] that the southern people are without spirit, and without purpose to defend the rights they know and dare not maintain. [Cheers] If you submit to the election of Fremont, you will prove what Seward and Burlingame said to be true that the South cannot be kicked out of the Union.

During the Presidential campaign of 1856, the Washington correspondent of the "New Orleans Delta," a journal high in the confidence of the Pierce administration, wrote:

It is already arranged, in the event of Fremont's election, or a failure to elect by the people, to call the concert measures to withdraw from the Union before

Legislatures of Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia 'to Fremont can get possession of the Army and navy and the purse-strings of government. Governor Wise is acBut-tively at work already in the matter. The South can rely on the President in the emergency contemplated. The question now is, whether the people of the South will sustain their leaders.

Mr. Preston S. Brooks was complimented for his attempted (and nearly successful) assassination of Senator Sumner, by an ovation at the hands of his constituents at which Senators ler, S. C., and Toombs, of Georgia, assisted. The hero of the day, Mr. Brooks, made a speech on the occasion from which the following is an extract;

We have the issue upon us now; and how are we to meet it? I tell you, fellow-citizens, from the bottom of my heart, that the only mode which I think available for meeting it is just to tear the Constitution of the United States, trample it under foot, and form a Southern Confederacy every State of which will be a slavehold ing State. Loud and prolonged cheers.) I believe it, as I stand in the face of my Maker; I believe it on my responsibility to you as your honored representative, that the only hope of the South is in the South, and that the only available means of making that hope effective is to cut asunder the bonds that tie us to gether, and take our separate position in the family of nations. These are my opinions. They have always been my opinions. I have been a disunionist from the time I could think,

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Now, fellow-citizens, I have told you very frankly and undisguisedly, that I believe the only hope of the South is in dissolving the bonds which connect us with the Government-in separating the living body from the dead carcass. If I was the commander of an army, I never would post a sentinel who would not swear that Slavery is right."

I speak on my individual responsibility: If Fremont be elected President of the United States, I am for the people in their majesty rising above the law and leaders, taking the power into their own hands, going by concert or not by concert, and laying the strong

At a Union meeting recently held at Knoxville, Tenn., Judge Daily, formerly of Georgia, made a violent southern speech, in the course of which he said:

dressed letters to all the southern governors, and that During the Presidential contest, Governor Wise had adthe one to the Governor of Florida had been shown iness to prevent Fremont from taking his seat if elect him, in which Gov. Wise said he had an army in readed, and asking the cooperation of those to whom he wrote:

Charles J. Faulkner, formerly a Representative in Congress from Virginia, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Committee, in 1856, and now Minister to France, at a recent Democratic meeting held in Virginia, over which he presided, said:

When that noble and gallant son of Virginia, Henry Wise, declared, as was said he did in October, 1856, that if Fremont should be elected, HE WOULD SEIZE THE NATIONAL ARSENAL AT HARPER'S FERRY, how few would, at that time, have justified so bold and decided a measure? It is the fortune of some great and gifted minds to see far in advance of their contemporaries Should William H. Seward be elected in 1860, where is the man now in our midst, who could not call for the impeachment of a Governor of Tirginia who would silently suffer

that armory to pass under the control of such an Executive head!

The Richmond Enquirer, long one of the leading exponents of the Southern Democracy, in commenting on the murderous assault on Senator Sumner, said:

Sumner, and Sumner's friends, must be punished and silenced. Either such wretches must be hung or put in the penitentiary, or the South should prepare at once to quit the Union.

If Fremont is elected, the Union will not last an hour after Mr. Piérce's term expires.

If Fremont is elected, it will be the duty of the South to dissolve the Union and form a Southern Confederacy. Let the South present a compact and undivided front. Let her, if possible, detach Pennsylvania and southern Ohio, southern Indiana, and southern Illinois, from the North, and make the highlands between the Ohio and the lakes the dividing line. Let the South treat with California; and, if necessary, ally herself with Russia, with Cuba, and Brazil.

Senator Iverson, of Georgia, in a speech made to his constituents previous to the assembling of the second session of the 36th Congress, said: Slavery must be maintained-in the Union, if pos sible; out of it, if necessary: peaceably, if we may, forcibly if we must.

In a confederated government of their own, the South ern States would enjoy sources of wealth, prosperity, and power, unsurpassed by any nation on earth. No neutrality laws would restrain our adventurous sons. Our expanding policy would stretch far beyond present limits. Central America would join her destiny to ours, and so would Cuba, now withheld from us by the voice and votes of Abolition enemies.

the blessings of Slavery, like the religion of our Divine Master, to the uttermost ends of the earth; and, rebelllous and wicked as the Yankees have been, I would even extend it to them.

Whether we can obtain the Territory while the Union lasts, I do not know; I fear we cannot. But I would make an honest effort, and if we failed, I would go out of the Union, and try it there. I speak plainly- I would make a refusal to acquire territory, because it was to be slave ter ritory, a cause for disunion, just as I would make the refu sal to admit a new State, because it was to be a Slave State, a cause for disunion,

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The election of Mr. Seward, or any other man of his party, is not, per se, justifiable ground for dissolving the Union. But the act of putting the Government in the hands of men who mean to use it for our subjugation, ought to be resisted, even to the disruption of every tie that binds us to the Union.

Jefferson Davis, U. S. Senator from Mississippi, in an address to the people of his State, July 6, 1859, said:

the contingency of the election of a President on the For myself, I say, as I said on a former occasion, in platform of Mr. Seward's Rochester speech, let the Union be dissolved. Let the " great, but not the greatest of evils," come.

Mr. Clay, of Alabama, in a recent speech in the Senate, contemplating the possible defeat of his party in the coming Presidential contest, said:

I make no predictions, no promise for my State; but, in conclusion, will only say, that if she is faithful to the pledges she has made and principles she has professed-if she is true to her own interest and her own honor-if she is not recreant to all that State pride, in

During the late memorable contest for Speaker, tegrity and duty demand-she will never submit to your the same Senator remarked, as follows:

Sir, I will tell you what I would do, if I had the control of the southern members of this House and the other, when you elect John Sherman. If I had control of the public sentiment, the very moment you elect John Sherman, thus giving to the South the example of insult as well as injury, I would walk, every one of us, out of the Halls of this Capitol, and consult our constituents; and I would never enter again until I was bade to do so by those who had the right to control me. Sir, I go further than that. I would counsel my constituents instantly to dissolve all political ties with a party and a people who thus trample on our rights. That is what I would do.

In an elaborate speech delivered later in the session by the same Senator, he said:

Sir, there is but one path of safety to the South; but one mode of preserving her institution of domestic Slavery; and that is a confederacy of States having no incongruous and opposing elements-a confederacy of Slave States alone, with homogeneous language, laws, interests, and institutions. Under such a confederated Republic, with a Constitution which should shut out the approach and entrance of all incongruous and conflicting elements, which should protect the institution from change, and keep the whole nation ever bound to its preservation, by an unchangeable fundamental law, the fifteen Slave States, with their power of expansion, would present to the world the most free, prosperous, and happy nation on the face of the Sir, with these views, and with the firm conviction which I have entertained for many years, and which recent events have only seemed to confirm, that the "irrepressible conflict" between the two sections must and will go on, and with accumulated speed, and must end, in the Union, with the total extinction of African Slavery in the southern States, that I have announced my determination to approve and urge the southern States to dissolve the Union upon the election of a Black Republican to the Presidency of the United States, by a sectional northern party, and upon a platform of opposition and hostility to southern Slavery.

wide earth;

Senator Brown, of Mississippi, in a recent peech to his constituents, said:

I want Cuba; I want Tamaulipas, Potosi, and one or two other Mexican States; and I want them all for the same reason for the planting and spreading of Slavery. And a footing in Central America will powerfully aid us in acquiring those other States. Yes; I want these countries for the spread of Slavery. I would spread

authority. I will add, that unless she and all the southern States of this Union, with perhaps but two, or, at most, three exceptions, are not faithless to the pledges they have given, they will never submit to the govern ment of a President professing your political faith and elected by your sectional majority.

When Mr. Clay had taken his seat, Mr. Gwin, of California, made a speech in which he declared it as "the inevitable result that the South would prepare for resistance in the event of the election of a Republican President."

On the 24th of January, 1860, the Hon. Robert Toombs, of Georgia, made a violent speech in the Senate, on Mr. Douglas' Resolution directing the Judiciary Committee to report a bill for the protection of each State and Territory against invasion from any other State or Territory. Mr. Toombs commenced his speech by the announcement that the country was in the midst of civil war, adding, "I feel and know that a large body of these Senators are enemies of my country." Mr. Toombs pro ceeded in an elaborate and vituperative speech to prove that the people of the North had violated the Constitution, by refusing to capture and return fugitive slaves to their masters in the South.

Sir, I have but little more to add-nothing for myself. I feel that I have no need to pledge my poor services to this great cause-to my country. My State has spoken for herself. Nine years ago a convention of her people met and declared that her connection with this government depended upon the faithful execution of this fugitive slave law, and her full enjoyment of equal rights in the common Territories. I have shown that the one contingency has already arrived; the other waits only the suc cess of the Republican party in the approaching Presiden tial election. I was a member of that convention, and stood then and now pledged to its action. I have faithfully labored to avert these calamities. I will yet labor until this last contingency happens, faithfully, honestly, and to the best of my poor abilities. When that time comes, freemen of Georgia redeem your pledge; I am ready to redeem mine. Your honor is involved-your faith is plighted. I know you feel a stain as a wound; your peace, your social system, your firesides are in

Mr. Crawford, of Georgia, said:

volved. Never permit this Federal Government to | I think I speak the sentiments of my own constituents an
pass into the traitorous hands of the Black Republican the State of South Carolina, when I say so.
party. It has already declared war against you and your
Institutions. It every day commits acts of war against
you it has already compelled you to arm for your de-
fense. Listen to "no vain babblings," to no treacherous
jargon about "overt acts;" they have already been com-
mitted. Defend yourselves; the enemy is at your door;
wait not to meet him at the hearthstone-meet him at the
door-sill, and drive him from the temple of liberty, or pull
down its pillars and involve him in a common ruin.

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However distasteful it may be to my friend from New York (Mr. Clark), however much it may revolt the public sentiment or conscience of this country, I am not ashamed or afraid publicly to avow that the election of William H. Seward or Salmon P. Chase, or any such representative of the Republican party, upon a sectional platform, ought to be resisted to the disruption of every tie that binds this Confederacy together. (Applause on the Democratic side of the House.)

Mr. Pugh, of the same State, made a speech in the House, in which he said:

If, with the character of the Government well defined, and the rights and privileges of the parties to the compact clearly asserted by the Democratic party, the Black Republicans get possession of the Government, then the question is fully presented, whether the Southern States will remain in the Union, as subject and degraded colonies, or will they withdraw and establish a Southern Confederacy of coëqual homogeneous sovereigns?

In my judgment, the latter is the only course compatible with the honor, equality, and safety of the South; and the sooner it is known and acted upon the better for all parties to the compact.

The truest conservatism and wisest statesmanship demand a speedy termination of all association with such confederates, and the formation of another Union of States, homogeneous in population, institutions, interests, and pursuits.

Mr. Moore, of the same State, said:

I do not concur with the declaration made yesterday by the gentleman from Tennessee, that the election of a Black Republican to the Presidency was not cause for a dissolution of the Union. Whenever a President is elected by a fanatical majority at the North, those whom I represent, as I believe, and the gallant State which I in part represent, are ready, let the consequences be what they may, to fall back on their reserved rights, and say, "As to this Union, we have no longer any lot or part in it." Mr. Bonham, a member of the House from South Carolina, said:

As to disunion, upon the election of a Black Republican, I can speak for no one but myself and those I have here the honor to represent; and I say, without hesitation, that, upon the election of Mr. Seward, or any other man who indorses and proclaims the doctrines held by him and his party-call him by what name you please-I am in favor of an immediate dissolution of the Union. And, sir,

Now, in regard to the election of a Black Republican President, I have this to say, and I speak the sentiment of every Democrat on this floor from the State of Georgia: we will never submit to the inauguration of a Black Republican President. (Applause from the Democratic benches, and hisses from the Republicans.) I repeat it, sir-and I have authority to say so-that no Democratic representative from Georgia on this floor will ever submit to the inauguration of a Black Republican President. (Renewed applause and hisses.) The most confiding of them al are, sir, for "equality in the Union or independence out of it;" having lost all hope in the former, I am for "INDEPENDENCE NOW AND INDEPENDENCE FOREVER!"

Mr. Gartrell, of the same State, said:

Just so sure as the Republican party succeeds in electing a sectional man, upon their sectional, Anti-Slavery platform, breathing destruction and death to the rights of my people, just so sure, in my judgment, the time will have come when the South must and will take an unmistakable and decided action, and that then, "he who dallies is a dastard, and he who doubts is damned." I need not tell what I, as a Southern man, will do-I think I may safely speak for the masses of the people of Georgia -that when that event happens, they, in my judgment, will consider it an overt act, a declaration of war, and meet immediately in convention, to take into consideration the mode and measure of redress. That is my position; and if that be treason to the Government, make the most of it.

Mr. McRae, formerly Governor of Mississippi, now a member of the House of Representatives, recently spoke in that body as follows:

I said to my constituents, and to the people at the capital of my State, on my way here, that if such an event did occur, while it would be their duty to determine the course which the State would pursue, it would be my privilege to counsel with them as to what I believed to be the proper course; and I said to them, what I say now, and will always say in such an event, that my counsel would be to take independence out of the Union in preference to the loss of constitutional rights, and consequent degradation and dishonor in it. That is my posi tion, and it is the position which I know the Democratic

party of the State of Mississippi will maintain.

Mr. De Jarnette, a member of the House from Virginia, says:

Thus William H. Seward stands before the country a perjured traitor; and yet that man, with hands stained with the blood of our citizens, we are asked to elect President of the United States. You may elect him President of the North, but of the South never. Whatever the event may be, others may differ; but Virginia, in view of her ancient renown, in view of her illustrious dead, and in view of her sic semper tyrannis, will resist his authority. I have done.

Mr. Leake, also of Virginia, declares:

Virginia has the right, when she pleases, to withdraw from the Confederacy. (Applause from the Democratic benches.) That is her doctrine. We will not fight in the Union, but quit it the instant we think proper

to do so.

Mr. Singleton, of Mississippi, says:

You ask me when will the time (for disunion) come; when will the South be united? It will be when you elect a Black Republican-Hale, Seward, or Chase-President of the United States. Whenever you undertake to place such a man to preside over the destinies of the South, you may expect to see us undivided and indivisible friends, and to see all parties of the South arrayed to resist his inauguration.

We can never quietly stand by and permit the control of the army and navy to go into the hauds of a Black Republican President.

Gov. Letcher, of Virginia, in his recent message to the Legislature of his State, avows the rankest disunion and revolutionary sentiments. In this document, he declares that if a Repub lican Presiden is elected in 1860,

It is useless to attempt to conceal the fact that, in the present temper of the Southern people, it cannot be and



will not be submitted to. The "irrepressible conflict"|"The bargain between Freedom and Slavery contained in doctrine, announced and advocated by the ablest and the Constitution of the United States, is morally and pomost distinguished leader of the Republican party, is an litically vicious, inconsistent with the principles on which open declaration of war against the institution of African alone our Revolution can be justified; cruel and oppresSlavery, wherever it exists; and I would be disloyal to sive, by riveting the chains of Slavery; and grossly uneVirginia and the South if I did not declare that the qual and impolitic, by admitting that Slaves are at once election of such a man, entertaining such sentiments, enemies to be kept in subjection, property to be secured and advocating such doctrines, ought to be resisted by and returned to their owners, and persons not to be repre the slaveholding States. The idea of permitting such a sented themselves, but for whom their masters are privi man to have the control and direction of the army and leged with nearly a double share of representation;" and navy of the United States, and the appointment of high Whereas (to quote the language of Wm. Ellery Chanjudicial and executive officers, postmasters included, ning) "We in the Free States cannot fly from the shame cannot be entertained by the South for a moment. or guilt of the Institution of Slavery, while there are proOn this subject our fathers, in framing the Constitution, visions of the Constitution binding us to give it support. swerved from the right. We, their children, see the path of duty more clearly than they, and must walk in it. No blessings of the Union can be a compensation for taking part in the enslaving of our fellow-creatures ;" and Whereas (to quote the language of Josiah Quincy, Sen.), "Scar-"The arm of the Union is the very sinew of the subjection of the Slaves; it is the Slaveholder's main strength; its continuance is his forlorn hope;" and

The Hon. William L. Yancy, a leading and prominent Democratic politician of Alabama, and formerly member of Congress from that State, wrote the following letter in 1858, which the Washington States, a Democratic Journal, recently published under the title of the let Letter:"

MONTGOMERY, June 15, 1858. DEAR SIR: Your kind favor of the 15th is received.

I hardly agree with you that a general movement can be made that will clear out the Augean stable. If the Democracy were overthrown, it would result in giving place to a greater and hungrier swarm of flies.

The remedy of the South is not in such a process. It is in a diligent organization of her true men for prompt resistance to the next aggression. It must come in the nature of things. No national party can save us; no sectional party can ever do it. But if we could do as our fathers did-organize committees of safety all over the Cotton States (and it is only in them that we can hope for any effective movement) we shall fire the Southern heart, instruct the Southern mind, give courage to each other, and at the PROPER MOMENT, by one organized concerted action, we can precipitate the Cotton Stutes into a revolution.

The idea has been shadowed forth in the South by Mr. Ruffin; has been taken up and recommended in The Advertiser (Published at Montgomery. Alabama), under the name of "League of United Southerners," who, keeping up their old party relations on all other questions, will hold the Southern issue paramount, and will influence parties, legislatures, and statesmen. Í have no time to enlarge, but to suggest merely. In haste, yours, etc.,



The Montgomery (Ala.) Confederation thus gives the record of the leading secession delegates from the Charleston Convention from that State. It says:

No one can be deceived as to what are the objects of the Charleston Convention. Listen to what their men


"I want the Cotton States precipitated into a revolution."-Wm. L. Yancey.

"If I had the power, I would dissolve this Government in two minutes."-J. T. Morgan.

"Let us break up this rotten, stinking, and oppressive Government."-George Gayle. "Resistance! Resistance to death against the Gov. ernment is what we want now."-David Hubbard.


The following Resolutions, prepared by Wm. Lloyd Garrison, were adopted at a Convention of the non-voting Abolitionists (better known as Garrisonians), at Albany, New-York, on the 2d of February, 1859:

Whereas (to quote the language of Mr. Underwood, of Kentucky, as uttered on the floor of Congress), “The Dissolution of the Union, making the Ohio River and Mason and Dixon's line the boundary line, is the Dissolution of Slavery. It had been the common practice for Southern men to get up on this floor and say, 'Touch this subject and we will Dissolve the Union as a remedy.' Their remedy was the destruction of the thing which they wished to save, and any sensible man could see it ;" and Whereas (to quote the language of Mr. Arnold, of Ten. nessee, on the same occasion), "The South has nothing to rely on, if the Union be Dissolved; for, supposing that Dissolution to be effected, a million of Slaves are ready to rise and strike for Freedom at the first tap of the drum :" therefore,

1. Resolved, That in advocating the Dissolution of the Union, the Abolitionists are justified by every precept of the Gospel, by every principle of morality, by every claim of humanity; that such a Union is a "Covenant with Death," which ought to be annulled, and "an agreement with Hell," which a just God cannot permit to stand; and that it is the imperative and paramount duty of all who would keep their souls from blood-guiltiness, to deliver the oppressed out of the hand of the spoiler, and usher in the day of Jubilee; to seek its immediate overthrow by all righteous instrumentalities.

2. Resolved, That (to quote the language of William H. Seward) "they who think this agitation is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitatorr,

and therefore ephemeral, mistake the case altogether: it is an Irrepressible Conflict between opposing and enduring forces and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a Slaveholding Natior or entirely a Free Labor Nation. It is the failure successful attempts at final Compromise between the Free to apprehend this great truth that induces so many unand Slave States; and it is the existence of this great fact that renders all such pretended Compromises, when made, vain and ephemeral." Therefore,

8. Resolved, That no matter how sincerely or zealously any Political Party may be struggling with side issues, in

cripple its power, while standing within the Union and relation to Slavery, to prevent its extension, or otherwise sanctioning its Pro-Slavery Compromises, and refusing to attack the Institution itself, its position is morally indefensible; it rests upon a sandy foundation; its testimonies are powerless, and its example fatal to the cause of liberty: hence we cannot give it any support.

4. Resolved, That "better a thousand times that all North America should be obliterated by a concurrence of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as a dead, revenging sea over buried Cities, than that we, after all our light and Liberty, should live only by removing the truth that gave us being, or should set the example to a terrified and struggling world of a Nation claiming and daring to exist Whereas (to quote the language of John Quincy Adams), only by sustained and sanctified oppression."


In view of the Dred Scott dicta and other encroachments upon the Liberties of the People and the rights of the States, that may well be apprehended from future decisions of a Federal partisan Judiciary, the opinions of the leaders of the old Jeffersonian Republican party on the powers and duties of the Supreme Court become matter of public interest.


In a letter to John Adams, dated Sept. 11, 1804, Mr. Jefferson says:

You seemed to think that it devolved on the Judges to decide on the validity of the Sedition Law. But nothing in the Constitution has given them a right to decide for the Executive, more than the Executive to decide for them, Both magistrates are equally independent in the sphere of action assigned to them. The Judges, believing the law constitutional, had a right to pass a sentence of fine and imprisonment, because the power was placed in their hands by the Constitution. But the Executive, believing the law to be unconstitutional, were bound to remit the execution of it, because that power had been confided to them by the Constitution."

Again, in a letter to Judge Roane, dated Poplar Forest, Sept. 6, 1819, Mr. Jefferson remarks:

In denying the right they usurp in exclusively explaining the Constitution, I go further than you do, if I understand rightly your quotation from the Federalist, of an opinion that "The Judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the Government, but not in relation to the rights of the parties to the compact under which the Judiciary is derived." If this opinion be sound, then indeed is our Constitution a complete felo de 86. For intending to establish three departments, coördinate and independent, that they might check and balance one another, it has given, according to this opinion, to one of them alone the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others, and to that one, too, which is unelected by and independent of the nation, The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax, in the hands of the Judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please. It should be remembered, as an eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also; in theory only at first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice as fast as that relaxes. Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law. My construction of the Constitution is

very different from that you quote. It is that each department is truly independent of the others, and has an equal right to decide for itself what is the meaning of the Constitution in the cases submitted to its action, and especially where it is to act ultimately and without appeal. In a letter to Mr. Jarvis, dated Monticello, Sept. 28, 1820, Mr. Jefferson says:

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Under date of Montecello, Dec. 25, 1820, be writes to Thomas Ritchie as follows:

The Judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under-ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. They are construing our Constitution from a coordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone.

On the 18th of August, 1821, Mr. Jefferson writes to Mr. C. Hammond, as follows:

It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression, that the germ of dissolution of our Federal Government is in the constitution

of the Federal Judiciary-an irresponsible body, working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little to-morrow, and advancing its noiseless step, like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the Government of To this I am opposed; beall be consolidated into one. cause, when all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one Government on another, and will which we separated. It will be as in Europe, where become as venal and oppressive as the Government from every man must be either pike or gudgeon, hammer or anvil. Our functionaries and theirs are wares from the same workshop, made of the same materials, and by the same hand. If the States look with apathy on this silent descent of their Government into the gulf which is to' swallow all, we have only to weep over the human character, formed uncontrollable but by a rod of iron, and the blasphemers of man as incapable of self-government, become his true historians.

In a letterto Judge Johnson, dated Monticello, March 4, 1820, he says

I cannot lay down my pen without recurring to one of the subjects of my former letter, for, in truth, there is no danger I apprehend so much as the consolidation of our Government by the noiseless, and therefore unalarming, instrumentality of the Supreme Court. This is the form in which Federalism now arrays itself.

In a letter dated June 12, same year, he says, The practice of Judge Marshall, of traveling out of his case to prescribe what the law would be in a moot case not before the court is very irregular and very censurable.

In writing to Mr. W. H. Torrance, June 11, 1815, Mr. Jefferson says:

with exclusive authority to decide on the constitutionality The second question, whether the judges are invested of a law, has been heretofore a subject of consideration with me in the exercise of official duties. Certainly there is not a word in the Constitution which has given that power to them more than to the Executive or Legislative branches. Questions of property, of character, and of crime, being ascribed to the judges through a definite course of legal proceeding, laws involving such You seem, in pages 84 and 148, to consider questions, belong, of course, to them; and as they decide the Judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional on them ultimately, and without appeal, they, of course, questions-a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one decide for themselv. 8. The constitutional validity of the which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. law or laws again prescribing executive action, and to Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. be administered by that branch ultimately, and without They have, with others, the same passions for party, for appeal, the Executive must decide for themselves, also, power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is, whether, under the Constitution, they are valid or not. boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem," and their So also, as to laws governing the proceedings of the Legpower the more dangerous as they are in office for life, islature, that body must judge for itself the constitutionand not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the ality of the law, and equally without appeal or control elective control. The Constitution has erected no such from its coördinate branches. And, in general, the single tribunal, knowing that, to whatever hands confided, branch which is to act ultimately, and without appeal on with the corruptions of time and party, its members would any law, is the rightful expositor of the validity of the Decome despots. It has more wisely made all the depart-law, uncontrolled by the opinions of the other coordi ments co-equal and co-sove: eign within themselves.

nate authorities.

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