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will be transferred, and remain an eternal blot on the memory of those who caused the disorder.
"Fellow-citizens of the United States, the threat of unhallowed disunion, the names of those, once respected, by whom it is 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. Having the fullest confidence in the justness of the legal and constitutional opinion of my duties, I rely, with equal confidence, on your undivided support in my determination to execute the laws, to preserve the Union by all constitutional means, to arrest, if possible, by moderate, but firm, measures the necessity of a recourse to force; and, if it be the will of Heaven that the recurrence of its primeval curse on man for the shedding of a brother's blood should fall upon our land, that it be not called down by any offensive act on the part of the United States.
"Fellow-citizens: The momentous case is before you. On your undivided support of your Government depends the decision of the great question it involves, whether your sacred Union will be preserved, and the blessings it secures to us as one people shall be perpetuated. No one can doubt that the unanimity with which that decision will be expressed will be such as to inspire new confidence in republican institutions, and that the prudence, the wisdom, and the courage which it will bring to their defence will transmit them unimpaired and invigorated to our children."
Despite the President's proclamation the legislature of South Carolina continued to organize State troops and collect munitions of war. Accordingly, early in January, the President sent a special message to Congress.
SPECIAL MESSAGE ON NULLIFICATION
"I regret to inform you that the several acts of the legislature of South Carolina, which I now lay before you, and which have passed after a knowledge of the desire of the Administration to modify the laws complained of, are too well calculated, both in their positive enactments, and in the spirit of opposition which they obviously encourage, wholly to obstruct the collection of the revenue within the limits of that State.
"A recent proclamation of the present Governor of South Carolina has openly defied the authority of the Executive of the Union, and general orders from the headquarters of the State announced his determination to accept the services of volunteers. Under these orders the forces referred to are directed to 'hold themselves in readiness to take the field at a moment's warning.'
"Under these circumstances there can be no doubt that it is the determination of the authorities of South Carolina fully to carry into effect their ordinance and laws after the 1st of February. It therefore becomes my duty to bring the subject to the serious consideration of Congress, in order that such measures as they, in their wisdom, may deem fit shall be seasonably provided; and that it may be thereby understood that, while the Government is disposed to remove all just cause of complaint, as far as may be practicable consistently with a proper regard to the interests of the community at large, it is, nevertheless, determined that the supremacy of the laws shall be maintained.
"On the 27th of November the legislature assembled at Columbia; and, on their meeting, the Governor laid before them the ordinance of the convention. In his message, on that occasion, he acquaints them that 'this ordinance has thus become a part of the fundamental law of South Carolina'; that 'the die has been at last cast, and South Carolina has at length appealed to her ulterior sovereignty as a member of this confederacy, and has planted herself on her reserved rights. The rightful exercise of this power is not a question which we shall any longer argue. It is sufficient that she has willed it, and that the act is done; nor is its strict compatibility with our constitutional obligation to all laws passed by the general Government, within the authorized grants of power, to be drawn in question, when this interposition is exerted in a case in which the compact has been palpably, deliberately, and dangerously violated. That it brings up a conjuncture of deep and momentous interest is neither to be concealed nor denied. This crisis presents a class of duties which is referable to yourselves. You have been commanded by the people, in their highest sovereignty, to take care that, within the limits of this State, their will shall be obeyed.' "The measure of legislation,' he says, 'which you have to employ at this crisis is the precise amount of such enactments as may be necessary to render it utterly impossible to collect, within our limits, the duties imposed by the protective tariffs thus nullified. You must look to and provide for all possible contingencies. In your own limits your own courts of judicature
must not only be supreme, but you must look to the ultimate issue of any conflict of jurisdiction and power between them and the courts of the United States.'
"If these measures cannot be defeated and overcome by the power conferred by the Constitution on the Federal Government the Constitution must be considered as incompetent to its own defence, the supremacy of the laws is at an end, and the rights and liberties of the citizens can no longer receive protection from the Government of the Union.
"In point of duration, also, those aggressions upon the authority of Congress, which, by the ordinance, are made part of the fundamental law of South Carolina, are absolute, indefinite, and without limitation. They offer to the United States no alternative but unconditional submission. If the scope of the ordinance is to be received as the scale of concession their demands can be satisfied only by a repeal of the whole system of revenue laws, and by abstaining from the collection of any duties or imposts whatsoever.
"By these various proceedings, therefore, the State of South Carolina has forced the general Government, unavoidably, to decide the new and dangerous alternative of permitting a State to obstruct the execution of the laws within its limits, or seeing it attempt to execute a threat of withdrawing from the Union. That portion of the people at present exercising the authority of the State solemnly assert their right to do either, and as solemnly announce their determination to do one or the other.
"In my opinion, both purposes are to be regarded as revolutionary in their character and tendency, and subversive of the supremacy of the laws and of the integrity of the Union. The result of each is the same; since a State in which, by a usurpation of power, the constitutional authority of the Federal Government is openly defied and set aside, wants only the form to be independent of the Union.
"The right of the people of a single State to absolve themselves at will, and without the consent of the other States, from their most solemn obligations, and hazard the liberties and happiness of the millions composing this Union, cannot be acknowledged. Such authority is believed to be utterly repugnant both to the principles upon which the general Government is constituted and to the objects which it is expressly formed to attain.
"Against all acts which may be alleged to transcend the constitutional power of the Government, or which may be inconvenient or oppressive in their operation, the Constitution itself has prescribed the modes of redress. It is the acknowl
edged attribute of free institutions, that, under them, the empire of reason and law is substituted for the power of the sword. To no other source can appeals for supposed wrongs be made consistently with the obligations of South Carolina; to no other can such appeals be made with safety at any time; and to their decisions, when constitutionally pronounced, it becomes the duty, no less of the public authorities than of the people, in every case to yield a patriotic submission.
"Misrule and oppression, to warrant the disruption of the free institutions of the Union of these States, should be great and lasting, defying all other remedy. For causes of minor character the Government could not submit to such a catastrophe without a violation of its most sacred obligations to the other States of the Union who have submitted their destiny to its hands.
"There is, in the present instance, no such cause, either in the degree of misrule or oppression complained of, or in the hopelessness of redress by constitutional means. The same mode of collecting duties, and for the same general objects, which began with the foundation of the Government, and which has conducted the country, through its subsequent steps, to its present enviable condition of happiness and renown, has not been changed. Taxation and representation, the great principle of the American Revolution, have continually gone hand in hand; and at all times, and in every instance, no tax, of any kind, has been imposed without their participation; and in some instances, which have been complained of, with the express assent of a part of the representatives of South Carolina in the councils of the Government. Up to the present period no revenue has been raised beyond the necessary wants of the country and the authorized expenditures of the Government. And as soon as the burden of the public debt is removed those charged with the administration have promptly recommended a corresponding reduction of revenue.
"South Carolina still claims to be a component part of the Union, to participate in the national councils, and to share in the public benefits, without contributing to the public burdens; thus asserting the dangerous anomaly of continuing in an association without acknowledging any other obligation to its laws than what depends upon her own will.
"In this posture of affairs the duty of the Government seems to be plain. It inculcates a recognition of that State as a member of the Union, and subject to its authority; a vindication of the just power of the Constitution; the preservation of the in
tegrity of the Union; and the execution of the laws by all constitutional means.
"While a forbearing spirit may, and I trust will, be exercised toward the errors of our brethren in a particular quarter, duty to the rest of the Union demands that open and organized resistance to the laws should not be executed with impunity."
In accordance with the recommendations of the President in a special message on January 16, 1833, William H. Wilkins [Pa.], of the Judiciary Committee, reported a bill in the Senate to facilitate the execution of the tariff laws in South Carolina by authorizing, in case of conflict between the Federal officers and citizens, the change of ports of entry and the removal of the customs office from one building to another, and the employment of the land and naval forces of the United States to put down resistance to the collection of duties. This was at once denounced by Southern Senators as a "force" bill, a "bloody" bill, etc. The bill became a law on March 2, 1833.
The chief speakers in the debate in the Senate on this bill were Senator Wilkins, Felix Grundy [Tenn.], and Daniel Webster [Mass.] in its favor, and John Tyler [Va.] and John C. Calhoun [S. C.] in opposition.
THE "FORCE" BILL
SENATE, JANUARY-MARCH 2, 1833
SENATOR WILKINS.-Here nullification is disclaimed, on one hand, unless we abolish our revenue system. We consenting to do this, they remain quiet. But if we go a hair's breadth toward enforcing that system, they present secession. We have secession on one hand, and nullification on the other. The Senator from South Carolina [Calhoun] admitted the other day that no such thing as constitutional secession could exist. Then civil war, disunion, and anarchy must accompany secession. No one denies the right of revolution. That is a natural, indefeasible, inherent right-a right which we have exercised and held out, by our example, to the civilized world. Who denies it? Then we have revolution by force, not constitutional secession. That violence must come by secession is certain. Another law passed by the legislature of South Carolina is entitled a bill to provide