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The trial for misdemeanor then proceeded, and ended, in October, by acquittal, on the ground that the offense was committed in Ohio-therefore, that Virginia had no jurisdiction.
sippi. He was there seized by the Gover-where he was soon after tried for treason and nor of Mississippi, but managed shortly after misdemeanor, the trial commencing May 22d, to effect his escape. A reward of two thou- 1807. This trial was one of the most remarka sand dollars was offered for his apprehen-ble which ever transpired on this continent. sion, and many arrests were made of his sup- Chief Justice Marshall, "the Washington of posed accomplices. The narrative of his ar- the bench," presided over the court. The legal rest is as follows:-"About the 1st of Feb., talent engaged embraced such names as those late at night, a man in the garb of a boat- of Wirt, for the prosecution, and Luther Marman, with a single companion, arrived at the tin and Edmund Randolph, for the defence. door of a small log-cabin in the backwoods Fourteen days were spent in getting a jury. of Alabama. Col. Nicholas Perkins, who was Nine days were exhausted in arguments on present, observed by the light of the fire the inadmissibility of indirect evidence, in that the stranger, though coarsely dressed, which Burr's astonishing tact was too much possessed a countenance of unusual intelli- | for his opponents. The trial for treason ended gence, and an eye of sparkling brilliancy. August 29th. The Chief Justice charged the The tidy boot, which his vanity could not jury September 1st, and, in a few moments, surrender with his other articles of finer cloth- the verdict came in, in irregular and equivocal ing, attracted Perkins' attention, and led him shape, not guilty. truly to conclude that the mysterious stranger was none other than the famous Colonel Burr. That night Perkins started for Fort Stoddart, on the Tombigbee, and communicated his suspicions to the late General Edmund P. Gaines, then the lieutenant in command. The next day Gaines, with a file of soldiers, started in pursuit of Burr and arrested him on his journey. Burr attempted to intimidate his captor; but the young officer was resolute, and told him he must accompany him to his quarters, where he would be treated with all the respect due the ex-Vice-President of the United States. In about three weeks Burr was sent to Richmond, Va., under a special guard selected by Colonel Perkins, upon whom he could depend in any emergency. Perkins knew the fascinations of Burr, and fearing his familiarity with the men-indeed, fearing the same influences upon himself-he obtained from them the most solemn pledges that they would hold no interviews with the prisoner, nor suffer him to escape alive.
Thus released, Burr fled-none knew whither, except his few friends. Liable to be carried to Ohio for further trial-to be tried in New York and New Jersey for murder-he could only escape by secretly leaving the country. All the winter of 1807-8 he was kept secure from discovery, and, in June, 1808, passed over to England as G. H. Edwards.
THE HARTFORD CONVENTION CON-
The Embargo act of 1809 gave intense dissatisfaction in Massachusetts. At that time that State had a heavy interest at sea, and the embargo affected her commerce disastrously. Many leading loyal men of the State pronounc
"In their journey through Alabama they always slept in the woods, and, after a hastily prepared breakfast, it was their custom to re-ed the act to be unconstitutional. A large mount and march on in gloomy silence. Burr was a splendid rider, and in his rough garb he bestrode his horse as elegantly, and his large dark eyes flashed as brightly, as if he were at the head of his New York Regiment."
After a number of interesting adventures Perkins and his prisoner reached Richmond,
meeting in Boston declared the act arbitrary and unconstitutional, and that all who assisted in carrying out the law should be regarded as enemies of the State and as hostile to the liberties of the people. To aggravate the evil feeling there appeared, in the New Eng land States, one John Henry, whose mission, it eventually became apparent, was to foment
the excitement into open rupture against the ❘ was not less hostile to the general government. Federal Government. Madison, in his special Her Legislature refused to Captain Lawrence, message to Congress, said of him:-"He has afterwards of the ill-fated Chesapeake, a vote been employed as a secret agent of the British of thanks for his capture of the Peacock, begovernment in the New England States in lieving, in the language of the resolution, intrigues with the disaffected, for the purpose "that in a war like the present, waged withof bringing about resistance to the laws, and out justifiable cause, and prosecuted in a maneventually, in concert with a British force, of ner indicating that conquest and ambition destroying the Union and forming the eastern were its real motives, it was not becoming a part thereof into a political connection with moral and religious people to express any apGreat Britain." He was in correspondence probation of military and naval exploits not with parties in Canada, and was known to directly connected with the defence of our maintain intimate relations with some of the seacoast and soil.' At the same time the peoleading malcontents in Boston and other New ple of the New England States began to cry England cities. He intrigued and plotted out for 'a separate peace.' The Vermont mibeyond the power of Government to arrest litia were withdrawn from the field, and on a "a subject of the British crown." proposition being made in Congress to prosecute the Governor for this act, Harrison Gray Otis laid on the table of the Massachusetts Senate a resolution, expressive of the duty of his State to aid with her whole power the Governor of Vermont in support of her con
The declaration of war against Great Britain, June 18th, 1812, brought the excitement to its climax. A "Peace Party" was formed in New England, pledged to offer all possible opposition to the war. Taxes to support State levies of militia were not readily assess-stitutional rights, by whomsoever infringed." ed nor easily collected. The New England States were so backward in sending their quotas and supplies to the field that, for much of the time, the army on the Northern frontier was in a powerless condition. The United States treasury was in a distressed condition. The banks throughout the country, except those of New England, had suspended specie payment. Everything betokened a weak government, and a want of confidence and harmony among the States.
A late writer says:-"During the year 1814 the situation of the New England States was in the highest degree critical and dangerous. The services of the militia for two years had been extremely severe, and the United States had been compelled to withhold all supplies for their sustenance, and throw upon the States the burden of supporting the troops which defended their coast from invasion and their towns from pillage. Congress gave the command of this militia to the officers of the regular army. To this the Governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut refused to submit, and the authorities of the latter State passed a law for raising a provisional army of 2,000 men for 'special State defence,' of which one of her own citizens was made the commander. The course of Massachusetts in other respects
The spirit of opposition went so far in Connecticut that the enemy's vessels, which lay off the harbor of New London to intercept Decatur's frigates, were advised by blue lights on the hills, of the movements of the American ships. This incident gave rise to the expression-"Blue-light Federalists," which became a term of opprobrium for the opponents of the war.
The State Legislatures of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, &c., passed laws forbidding the use of their jails by the United States for the confinement of prisoners, committed by any other than judicial authority, and directing the jailors at the end of thirty days to discharge all British officers, prisoners of war, 'committed to them. The President, however, applied to other States of the Confederacy for the use of their prisons, and thus the difficulty was in a measure obviated.
This opposition of course met with the sharpest recrimination from the Central and Southern States of the Union, which, generally, supported the war policy of the Government. Anathema and invective were freely bestowed upon the "Yankees," and, as a natural result, the friendly feeling of the New Englanders did not wax warmer toward their confederates. Action, long threatened, final
work of peaceable times and deliberate consent.
maintain a federal relation to each other. Events
ly came. The Massachusetts Legislature, by | bad administrations, it should be, if possible, the
pride of opinion, violence of party spirit, or the con-
that the causes are radical and permanent, a separa-
On the 18th of October twelve delegates were elected to confer with delegates from the other New England States. Seven delegates were also appointed by Connecticut and four by Rhode Island. New Hampshire was represented by two and Vermont by one. The Convention met at Hartford, Connecticut, on the 15th of December, 1814. After a session of twenty days a report was adopted, which, with but slight stretch of imagination, we may suppose to have originated from a kind of en rapport association with the Southernment. Carolina Convention of 1861. We may quote from the Report:
"To prescribe patience and firmness to those who are already exhausted by distress is sometimes to drive them to despair, and the progress towards reform by the regular road is irksome to those whose imaginations discern and whose feelings prompt to a shorter course. But when abuses, reduced to a system, and accumulated through a course of years have pervaded every department of government, and spread corruption through every region of the state; when these are clothed with the forms of law, and enforced by an Executive whose will is their source, no summary means of relief can be applied without recourse to direct and open resistance. It is a truth
not to be concealed that a time for a change is at hand. *** A reformation of public opinion, resulting from dear bought experience in the Southern Atlantic states at least, is not to be despaired of. They will have seen that the great and essential interests of the people are common to the South and to the East. They will realize the fatal errors of a system which seeks revenge for commercial injuries in the sacrifice of commerce, and aggravates by needless wars the injuries it professes to redress. Indications of this desirable revolution of opinion among our brethren in those states are already manifested. Finally, if the Union be destined to dissolution by reason of the multiplied abuses of
The Report then proceeds to consider the several subjects of complaint, the principal of which is the national authority over the militia, claimed by gov
Continuing, it says: "In this whole series of de
*This sentiment, here italicised, is that of State supremacy in its unadulterated form-such supremacy as really renders the hold of the Constitution and the power of Congress over the States that of a mere contract, to be dissolved at will. But, nullifying and disintegrating as it was, Mr. Jefferson himself set the precedent. In his Kentucky resolutions, before referred to, he began with a resolution that the Federal Constitution is a compact between States AS States, by which is created a General Government
HISTORY OF FORMER CONSPIRACIES.
The Convention adjourned January 5th, 1815, and, so doubtful was it of the propriety of its acts, that the resolutions adopted were not made public until two weeks after adjournment. These resolutions were, in brief, as follows:
The first recommended the Legislatures of the States represented to protect the citizens of the several States from the operation of acts passed by Congress, subjecting them to forcible drafts, conscriptions or impressments, not authorized by the Constitution.
The second recommended that the States be em
powered to defend themselves, and that they have
The third recommended each State to defend itself.
stitution as follows:
Apportionment of representation and taxation the basis of white population.
Congress shall not have power to interdict foreign trade without a vote of two-thirds of both houses.
Congress shall not make war by a less vote than two-thirds of both branches, unless in defence of territory actually invaded.
No naturalized citizen to be eligible to any civil office under the United States.
No President to be elected twice, or for two terms, nor to be chosen from the same State twice in succession.
The report concluded with the recommendation that if the foregoing resolutions should be unsuccess ful when submitted to the general government through the respective States, if peace should not be concluded, and the defence of the New England States be neglected, as it had been, it would be expedient for the Legislatures of the several States to appoint delegates to another Convention to meet at Boston, "with such powers and instructions as the exigency of a crisis so momentous may require." The sessions of the Convention, like those
New States to be admitted by a vote of two-thirds of similar conventions held in the seceded of both houses of Congress.
States at a later day, were secret. The people
Congress shall have no power to lay an embargo of Hartford, justly indignant at the presence of more than sixty days duration.
for special purposes-each State reserving for itself
common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions AS OF THE MODE AND MEASURE OF REDRESS." Perhaps the special pleader may be able to discover that this assumption, by Mr Jefferson, is not that of the Hartford Convention; but, to the mass of readers, who take words in their accredited signification, the Hartford resolves will seem but Mr. Jefferson's reproduced. If any lingering doubt exists as to the extent of Mr. Jefferson's nullification sentiments, they will be dissipated by the eighth resolution, which expressly and directly declares that (the States themselves being the sole judges) where Congress assumes powers not delegated by the people, "a nullification of the act is the right remedy; and that every State has a natural right, in cases not within the compact, to nullify, of their own authority, all assumptions of power by others within their limits." We are at a loss, in view of this express declaration, and that which immediately follows it in the same resolutions, to discover upon what authority Mr. Everett [See his address July 4th, 1861] denies the nullification sentiment as Mr. Jefferson's own. The "theoretic generalities" read so much like Hartford Convention and South Carolina Convention specialities, that ordinary perceptive faculties will not discover their
of a "body of disorganisers" in their midst, expressed their loyalty to the government in various ways. The resolutions brought forth a burst of indignation from all quarters of the Union. The good sense of the mass of New England people then perceived what a dangerous thing they had nursed into life, and none were more willing to consign the twentysix members of the Convention (twenty of whom were lawyers!) to infamy, than the intelligent and influential portion of the "Yankees" themselves.
The responses of such States as took the trouble to respond to the propositions made in the Constitution. The doctrines set forth to them, were adverse to the proposed changes both in the Address and Resolutions gave dissatisfaction to those dissatisfied with the embargo and the war. No second Convention was called, for, not a town or village in New England, one year later, would have tolerated the sittings of such a body in its precincts. Well would it have been for the country-for the lately seceded States-if the loyal people of the cotton-growing commonwealths had crushed their disloyal leaders as the New Englanders crushed out the treason hatched by the Hartford Disunion Convention !
THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE EX
well known "compromise" resolutions, and, by his eloquence and great personal influence, succeeded in securing their passage—thus averting the peril threatened, of a disruption of the Union. The Compromise consisted of admitting Missouri as a Slave State, but conceding, as an equivalent for Northern concession in the premises, the prohibition of any further Slave territory north of the parallel 36 deg. 30 min. The Compromise, though unpalatable to the opponents of the right of Slave extension, was accepted as a solemn guarantee against all further extension, as, south of the parallel named, the territory then was not ours. Had it not been proposed and pledged as such a guarantee, the bill of Mr. Clay never could have passed the House of Representatives.
It was not until August, 1821, that the
The Territory of Missouri came forward, in December, 1818, for admission into the Union as a State. As Slavery existed in the territory, the admission as a State involved the principles of a recognition of the "peculiar institution," and its right to extension. The Freesoil element of the Northern or Free States becoming alarmed, resolved to oppose the admission of the territory as a State with a Slave clause in its constitution. The South, equally determined, resolved the State should have Slavery if it wanted it, and thereby assumed that position which it has ever since persistently maintained—of a Slave right in the territories. The issue, thus squarely presented, was met in the House of Representatives by a bill (introduced by Mr. Tall-State was admitted. Prior to this the terrimadge, of New York,) prohibiting Slavery, "except for the punishment of crimes, and that all children born in the said State after the admission thereof into the Union, shall be free at the age of twenty-five years." This passed the House, but was lost in the Senate. For eighteen months the discussion was continued in both branches of Congress with great ability, and not without great excitement which extended to every section of the Union On the one hand, it was contended that the ordinance of 1787, which excluded Slavery from all territory north-west of the river Ohio, was a public recognition of the principles of the people of the United States in regard to the establishment of Slavery in new States and Territories in that region, and that the proposal to establish it in Missouri was a direct violation of these fundamental principles. On the other hand, it was urged that Slavery was incorporated in the system of society when Louisiana, which comprehended the territory of Missouri in 1803, was purchased from the French, and that as the faith of the United States was pledged by treaty to all the inhabitants of that wide domain to maintain their rights and privileges on the same footing with the people of the rest of the country, it would be a violation of that faith and those rights to abolish the institution of Slavery without their consent.
tory had adopted a State Constitution, one provision of which required the Legislature to pass a law "to prevent free negroes from coming to and settling in the State." When presented to Congress, this provision was strenuously opposed, but Missouri was finally admitted, on condition that no law should be passed by which any citizen of either of the States of the Union should be excluded from the enjoyment of any of the privileges and immunities to which such citizen is entitled under the Constitution of the United States. The vote upon the passage of the bill in the House was 86 to 82, several members from non-Slaveholding States voting for it. In the Senate it was passed two to one-28 to 14. Missouri thus became one of the United States, measureably to increase the power of the Slave States in the government. State by State had been added to the original thirteen-Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, all with Slavery in their borders, and bearing to Congress the preponderating weight of their votes. The admission of Missouri, and the later admission of Arkansas and Florida, confirmed the supremacy of the South in the National counsels; a supremacy which was not disturbed until the repeal of the Missouri Compromise in 1854 called into life the party which, in 1860, succeeded to the majority.*
* Mr. Everett states:-" Out of seventy-two years Henry Clay then came forward with his since the organization of this government, the Execu