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every statesman, and indeed every elector in this country, ought to be familiar.
We turn from it with pain and shame to examine the continuation of this history, by Professor Fowler; with pain, because we have long known the author, and regarded him as a friend, a scholar, a gentleman, and a patriot. But we had not read a dozen pages before we were satisfied that the proper title of the book was a sectional view of a sectional controversy.” If the author had been nursed by the mother of Robert Toombs, and brought up in the family of John C. Calhoun, he would not have been more intensely Southern in all his views and feelings. How he could have been brought into this condition, we have tried in vain to conjecture. One would have thought, that having been first a student and then a tutor in Yale College, and then for many years a member successively of the faculties of two other New England Colleges, he would have been, almost to a certainty, clear in his perceptions, logical in his reasonings, and loyal in his attachments. It is marvelous how the Chauncey blood, at least, that flows in his veins, should have been so perverted.* As it can be traced, according to what we understand to be Professor Fowler's claim, in one line to William the Conqueror, and in another to Charlemagne, we should have thought its tendency would have been to build up rather than to destroy. Possibly in its descent through the rebellious and disorganizing old feudal earls and barons, it may have acquired a tendency to anarchy! Be this as it may, it is evident that the blood has degenerated in this their remote descendant, for he advocates a theory of the Constitution which would make the Union a laughingstock among the nations. It has occurred to us, that if Alex
* We would suggest to our readers, and to the learned Judge to whose pen we owe this review of Professor Fowler's book, that an explanation of what has caused his surprise may be found in an often observed physiological fact, that, in families distinguished for virtues and public services, the bad qualities of several generations seem sometimes to be drawn off, at intervals more or less regular, into some one individual. There is no family in New England more respectable or more respected than that of the Chaunceys; none which, in its various branches, has furnished a greater number of patriotic statesmen.
Yet even VOL, XXII.
ander H. Stephens, and Jefferson Davis, are dissatisfied with the “corner stone” which they selected some months ago for their new Confederacy, they might find in a class of men at the North, of whom our author appears to be a fit representative, what would serve as a tolerably good substitute.
Another thing which attracts our attention in this book of Professor Fowler's, is the extraordinary care and diligence which he has manifested in searching out and bringing to light whatever expressions can be found in the speeches and letters of Northern politicians, in the reports of assemblies, and in the columns of newspapers, engendered by the bitterness of party strife, or used for party purposes, which might be regarded as a precedent for the doctrine of secession. Quotations from the speeches of such men as Otis and Quincy, from the sermons of Gardiner and Parish, and from the editorials of the Boston Gazette and Connecticut Courant, containing sentiments suggesting a separation of the states as a remedy for the evils inflicted on New England by the embargo and the war of 1812, have been carefully collected, accompanied with an eulogy on the high character and standing of the men who entertained such views.
among its members, disloyalty is not without a precedent. In the Memorial of the family edited a few years ago by Professor William Chauncey Fowler himself, there will be found on page 284, the following significant description of the unfortunate individual in whom cropped out the bad qualities of his generation:
Amherst (Massachusetts) Committee,
Amherst, Aug. 26, 1776. Whereas, Isaac Chauncey, of said Amherst, convicted of being notoriously
inimical to the American States, and confined within certain limits, hath, in defiance of authority, disregarded the injunctions laid on him and clandestinely departed ('tis supposed) to some part of Connecticut, on no good design;
This is therefore to desire the good people of that State, or of other States, where he may be found, to secure him in such manner that he may not have it in his power to injure America.
Natu’ı Dickinson, Jun. It will be found to be a curious and instructive inquiry, for those who are willing to take the necessary pains: Were the grandfathers and greatgrandfathers of our Northern secessionists, patriots or tories in the times of the Revolution ?-ED. NEW ENGLANDER.
The famed Hartford Convention is deemed worthy of being the subject of a particular chapter, from which we are left to infer, that the object of it was what its enemies claimed and its advocates denied, to prepare for a dissolution of the Union, on a certain contingency; without a word of condemnation, if such was its object, and without alluding to the fact, that it has been universally denounced by all who have professed to believe that such was the purpose, for which it was convened. Professor Fowler's search for old pamphlets, antiquated newspapers, and forgotten sermons, must have been very thorough. He quotes Daniel Webster freely when his remarks, to any extent, favor his views; and it would have been well if he had followed his example, when, in reply to Hayne, who had pursued a course similar to the author's, to defame New England, he proudly exclaimed, “I employ no scavengers !"
The author has shown equal zeal and equal diligence in hunting up every act passed by the General Government, and by state governments, which could possibly be tortured into a supposed invasion of the rights of the South. According to his views, almost every measure of the General Government, since its origin, which was not dictated by Southern politicians, has been sectional. He has made some extraordinary discoveries in this line. Jefferson Davis hinself will be astonished to learn how limited his views have been, and how many terrible grievances the South has endured, without being conscious of its wrongs. It appears now that the administration of Washington was shockingly sectional. The duties on tonnage and imports, the excise bill, the charter of the United States Bank, the assumption of the state debts, and the location of the seat of Government, were all carried by the North in opposition to the interests of the South. It is astonishing that South Carolina did not secede before the Father of his country had completed his second term !
Then, again, according to our author, the prevalence of the same sectional feeling at the North led to the opposition, by northern
to the restrictions on commerce before the war of 1812, to the war itself, to the Mexican war, to the annexation of Louisiana, Texas, and California, and more especially to the extension of slavery into the territories. The tariff of 1828 was
an unpardonable outrage. It is evident that the author thinks that in the great contest between Webster and Hayne, Mr. Hayne had the best of the argument. He is, we infer, also of the opinion that if the compromise measures had not been passed, General Jackson would not have been justified in collecting the revenue in Charleston.
But the author is more especially indignant at the violations of the rights of the South, by the passage of resolutions by state legislatures condemnatory of the Fugitive Slave Law, and by enacting personal liberty bills. One would suppose from a perusal of the work, that the whole history of our government was a series of aggressions on the part of the North, and of a meek submission to them on the part of the South.
Now we do not deny that the North has in some things been to blame. We do not approve of any acts of state legislatures which are calculated to thwart acts of Congress passed in pursuance of the provisions of the Constitution. Doubtless resolutions have been passed by legislatures and conventions which were not calculated to promote harmony between the different sections of the country. It was right in the author to refer to them. Still, we insist, that if any one undertakes to write the history of a sectional controversy, he is bound to state the facts on both sides. If he details the proceedings of legislatures in the New England States, adverse to the interests of slavery, he ought to mention also the acts of the Legislature of South Carolina, and other Southern States, in violation of the rights of citizens of the Free States. If he heads a chapter with the
. Hartford Convention, le ought to have headed another chapter with the South Carolina Convention, which openly adopted the treasonable measures which the other was only charged with designing. Common justice requires that when a man's acts are called in question the provocations which led to them, and which may extenuate if not justify them, should also be disclosed.
We shall not be surprised, however, at this one sided view of the subject, when we discover, as any one can do by reading half a dozen pages in any part of the book, the false and beretical doctrines regarding the Constitution, which pervade the work from the beginning to the end. Professor Fowler and
President Davis correspond exactly in sentiment. They both maintain, that by the Constitution, slaveholders have the right to take their slaves permanently into the territories, and temporarily into the free States, and consequenntly that Congress has no power or right to forbid it; that any attempt on the part of Congress or the free states to prevent this, is a violation of the Constitution; that the Union is simply a confederacy of states; and that consequently such a violation is a sufficient justification for the slave states to separate themselves from the free. The first of these propositions is stated with more cantion, and generally under cover of quotations from the writings or speeches of others, while the last is reiterated a greater number of times than can be found in all the messages and proclamations of President Davis put together.
How any rational man can read the history of the adoption of the Constitution, the biography of the great and patriotic men who were members of the Convention, and the Constitution itself, and come to either of these conclusions it is next to impossible to conceive. Their fallacy has been demonstrated over and over again. Notwithstanding this, as the subject is at the present time of paramount importance, we shall, as we think, establish beyond a doubt, first, that the convention which framed the Constitution never would have inserted in it the right to extend slavery beyond the states in which it existed, if it had been directly proposed, and that this is evident both from the known views of the members and from the instrument itself; second, that full power is vested in Congress to restrict it; and thirdly, that the United States is within its own peculiar sphere a distinct and independent sovereignty, to which allegiance is due from every citizen. A denial of this is treasonable doctrine, and any man who attempts to enforce it is a traitor.
George Washington, the President of the Convention, though a slaveholder, regarded slavery as a curse. The debates and votes in the Convention prore beyond a doubt that the whole delegation from Virginia viewed the subject in the same light. It was with difficulty that they could be induced to consent to any restriction on Congress, which would perpetuate the slave trade. Can any one believe that men who regarded slavery as