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Against rebellion to its authority, the Fa- | as a pretext for the introduction of the "highly ther of his Country said :
"All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle [of liberty] and of fatal tendency."
And this reproof was administered to those factionists who arrogated the right of States to supremacy rather than concede to the Federal Government its needed centralization of power :
'And remember especially that, for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property."
Truly these words seemed to have been penned in a prophetic spirit. But they were those of wisdom-of disinterested patriotism -of Christian faith and manly dignity,-virtues, alas! to which the factionists of the year 1860 were strangers.* Opinions of Chief-Justice Marshall,
Chief-Justice John Marshall, of Virginia, one of the ablest and purest justices who ever adorned the United States Supreme Court, was a devoted supporter of the system of the Federal Union. When, in 1798,
Madison introduced his Nullification Resolutions into the Virginia Assembly, consequent or the passage of the Alien and Sedition laws, Judge Marshall wrote to Washington, (January 8th, 1799,) that the laws served but
* This precious heir-loom of the whole American people was the combined wisdom of Washington and Hamilton, both of whom labored upon its production. It also passed under the critical legal inspection of Judge Jay, and had his endorsement. See 'An Inquiry into the Formation of Washington's Farewell Address,' by Horace Binney, of Philadelphia 8vo. Parry & MacMillan, Publishers. 1859.'
dangerous" resolutions, in that, had they never passed Congress, the resolutions would have found some other pretext for their virulence, which was aimed at the dominant party-the Federalists-rather than at particular measures. He then referred to the papers introduced by Colonel Taylor, (in the Virginia Assembly,) and Mr. George K. Taylor, on Federal relations. Judge Marshall then says:
"The debates on these subjects were long and animated. In the course of them sentiments were declared and (in my judgment) views were developed of a very serious and alarming extent. To me it seems that there are men who will hold power by any means rather than not hold it, and who would prefer a dissolution of the Union to the continuance of the administration not of their own party. They will risk all the ills which may result from the most dangerous experiments rather than permit that happiness to be enjoyed which is dispensed by other hands than their own. It is more than ever essential to make great exertions at the next election, and I am persuaded that by making them we obtain a Legislature, if not federal, so divided as to be mode
"I feel with increased force the obligations of duty to make sacrifices and exertions for the preservation of American union and independence, as I am more convinced of the reality of the danger which threatens them."
Thomas Jefferson, the "Father of Democracy," an implacable adversary of the Federalists, as a partisan leader who considered any means would justify the ends of their overthrow, penned and secretly despatched to Opinions of Jefferson. resolutions which make him the Father of Kentucky those celebrated Nullification; yet, as a true patriot, he could but openly oppose the scheme of a separate Confederacy proposed by Colonel Taylor, (referred to in Judge Marshall's letter, quoted from above,) to be composed of Virginia and North Carolina. He thus expressed his unqualified dissent to the idea of "secer,
"In every free and deliberating society, there must, from the nature of man, be opposite parties and vio. lent dissensions and discords; and one of these, for the most part, must prevail over the other for a longer or shorter time. Perhaps this party division
VIEWS OF STATESMEN ON DISUNION.
"Have they said, 'We, the States? Have they made a proposal of a compact between States? If they had, this would be a Confederation; it is, otherwise, most clearly a consolidated Government. The whole question turns, Sir, on that poor, little thing, the expression, We, the People,' instead of the States,' of America."
Chancellor Kent adverts to the necessities which impelled the adoption of the Constitution as a substitute for the old Articles of the Confederation, in these terms:
is necessary to induce each to watch and to report | called to ratify or to reject the organic instruto the people the proceedings of the other. But if, ment:on a temporary superiority of the one party, the other is to resort to a scission of the Union, no Federal Government can ever exist. If to rid ourselves of the present rule of Massachusetts and Connecticut, we break the Union, will the evil stop there? Suppose the New England States alone cut off, will our nature be changed? Are we not men still to the South of that, and with all the passions of men? Immediately we shall see a Pennsylvania and a Virginia party arise in the residuary Confederacy, and the public mind will be distracted by the same party spirit. What a game, too, will the one party have in their hands by eternally threatening the other that unless they do so and so they will join their Northern neighbors. If we reduce our Union to Virginia and North Carolina, immediately the conflict will be established between the representatives of these two States, and they will end by breaking into their simple units. Seeing, therefore, that an association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry-seeing that we must have somebody to quarrel with, I had rather keep our New England associates for that purpose, than to see our bickerings transferred to others."
Well would it have been for the patriot's reputation for candor and consistency if, after penning such statesman-like views, he had not to father those incendiary resolves which afforded South Carolina a precedent for her conduct in 1832.
Hamilton, in his FederalHamilton's Views. ist, devoted all his intellectual resources to an elimination of the nature and powers of the Constitution. Having then to meet the question of State rights as superior to the rights of the Commonwealth, he said :
"The great and fundamental defect of the Confederation of 1781, which led to its eventual overthrow, was, that, in imitation of all former Con federacies, it carried the decrees of the Federal Council to the States in their sovereign capacity. The great and incurable defect of all former Federal Governments, such as the Amphictyonic, Achæan, and Lycian Confederacies, and the Germanic, Helvetic, Hanseatic and Dutch Republics, is, that they were sovereignties over sovereignties. The first effort to relieve the people of the country from this state of national degradation and ruin came from Virginia. The General Convention afterwards submitted to a convention of delegates chosen by met at Philadelphia in May, 1787. The plan was the people at large in each State for assent and ratification. Such a measure was laying the foundations of the fabric of our national polity where alone they ought to be laid-on the broad consent of the people." (Commentaries, Vol. I., p. 225.) Chief Justice Story tells us, in his exposition of the history of the compact between the States and General Government, that, "in the most elaborate expositions of the Constitution by its friends, its character as a permanent form of government, as a fundamental law, as a supreme rule, which no State was at liberty to disregard, to suspend, or to annul, was constantly admitted and in
Chief Justice Story's
"However gross a heresy it may be to maintain that a party to a compact has a right to revoke that compact, the doctrine has had respectable advocates. The possibility of such a question shows the necessity of laying the foundation of our national government deeper than in the mere sanction of de-sisted upon." (1 Story, 225.) And he furlegated authority. The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the people." Patrick Henry opposed Patrick Henry's the Constitution because it proposed a consolidated and indivisible government. He said, in his speech in the Virginia Convention of 1788,
ther adds: "There was no reservation of any right on the part of any State to dissolve its connection, or to abrogate its dissent, or to suspend the operation of the Constitution as to itself."
Mr. Madison, more than any other man, may be styled the Father of the Constitution, for his la
bors in Committee and in open Convention served to give the instrument the impress of his mind and his principles. When he came forward in the Virginia Assembly (1798) with his resolutions of nullification, he was actuated, unquestionably, by the motive ascribed by Judge Marshall-that of creating an issue to overthrow the Federalists. When, in 1830, Mr. Madison was appealed to, by Mr. Calhoun, as the author of the idea of nullification, he feelingly denied the truth of any such construction being placed upon his resolutions, or the address which he sent out with them to the States. Mr. Everett, referring to this position of Mr. Madison, says :—
"It was repeatedly and emphatically declared by Mr. Madison, the author of the resolutions, that they were intended to claim, not for an individual State, but for the United States, by whom the Constitution
was ordained and established, the right of remedying
its abuses by constitutional ways, such as united protest, repeal, or amendment of the Constitution. Incidentally to the discussion of nullification, he denied, over and over again, the right of peaceable secession, and this fact was well known to some of the members of the late Convention at Richmond.
Adams, Livingston, Jay, Franklin, Robert Morris, Randolph, Pendleton-all entertained similar opinions to those expressed in the Farewell Address, and gave their wisdom to preserve the word of the great Bond at once of our nationality and our prosperity from the perversions and demoralization of the faction which preferred State to country.
The generation which. followed them embraced such men as Clay, Webster, and Benton, whose opinions of the Constitution all harmonised on the one principle of its national supremacy, to defy which was treason. Webster's opinions are so frequently cited as to be familiar to all. In his truly sublime defence of the Constitution against the rhetoric of Mr. Hayne, and the logic of Mr. Calhoun, he became known as the “Great Defender." At as late a day as March 7th, 1850, he was called upon to speak of "secession." We quote:
"I hear with distress and anguish the word " secession," especially when it falls from the lips of those who are patriotic, and known to the country, and known all over the world for their political ser vices. Secession! Peaceable Secession! Sir, your eyes and mine are never destined to see that miracle. The dismemberment of this vast country without convulsion! The breaking up of the fountains of the great deep without ruffling the surface! Who is so foolish-I beg everybody's pardon-as to ex
"No effort was spared by the leaders of the nullification school to draw from him even a qualified assent to their theories. But in vain. He not only refused to admit their soundness, but he devoted his time and energies for three laborious years to the preparation of essays and letters, of which the object was to demonstrate that his resolutions and report did not, and could not, bear the Carolina interpreta-pect to see any such thing? Sir, he who sees these tion."
Pinckney (Charles CotesPinckney's Views. worth), the tried patriot and trusted friend of Washington, and one of South Carolina's most revered statesmen, is thus reported in Elliott's Debates (IV, 301):—
"The separate independence and individual sovereignty of the several States were never thought of by the enlightened band of patriots who framed the Declaration of Independence. The several States are not even mentioned by name in any part of it, as if it was intended to impress this maxim on America, that our freedom and independence arose from our Union, and that without it we could neither be free nor independent. Let us, then, consider all attempts to weaken the Union, by maintaining that each State is separately and individually independent, as a species of political heresy which can never benefit us, and may bring on us the most serious distresses."
States now revolving in harmony round a common centre, and expects to see them quit their places and fly off without convulsion, may look the next hour to see the heavenly bodies rush from their spheres and jostle against each other in the realms of space, without causing the wreck of the universe." Henry Clay fairly abhorred the name of "Secessionist." In the Senate, (1850,) he thus referred to Mr. Rhett, who acted a leading part in the revolutionary proceedings of 1860–61:
Henry Clay's Sentiments.
"If he pronounced a sentiment attributed to him, raising the standard of disunion and of resistance to the common government, whatever he has been, if he follows up that declaration by corresponding overt acts, he will be a traitor, and I hope he will meet the fate of a traitor."
That he held his duty as a citizen of the United States paramount to his duty as a
THE POWERS OF THE CONSTITUTION.
citizen of Kentucky, we see from these re- | Fillmore, Judge Holt, Amos Kendall, Reverdy markable expressions:
"I have heard with pain and regret a confirmation of the remark I made, that the sentiment of disunion is becoming familiar. I hope it is confined in South Carolina. I do not regard as my duty what the honorable Senator seems to regard as his. If Kentucky to-morrow unfurls the banner of resistance unjustly, I never will fight under that banner. I owe a paramount allegiance to the whole Union-a subordinate one to my own State. When my State is
right—when it has cause for resistance-when ty ranny, and wrong, and oppression insufferable arise -I will then share her fortunes; but if she summons me to the battle-field, or to support her in any cause which is unjust against the Union, never, never will I engage with her in such a cause."-Benton's Ab. Deb.-Vol. xvi., p. 594.
Johnson, ex-President Van Buren, it is unne-
"When asked to concede the right of a State to secede at pleasure from the Union, with or without just cause, we are called upon to admit that the framers of the Constitution did that which was never
His ideas of the indissoluble nature of the done by any other people possessed of their good sense and intelligence-that is, to provide, in the compact of confederation may be learned from very organization of the Government, for its own the following extracts from the same speech: dissolution. It seems to me that such a course "I said that I thought that there was no right on would not only have been an anomalous proceeding, the part of one or more of the States to secede from but wholly inconsistent with the wisdom and sound this Union. I think that the Constitution of the Thir- judgment which marked the deliberations of those teen States was made, not merely for the generation wise and good men who framed our Federal Gov. which then existed, but for posterity, undefined, unernment. While I freely admit that such an opinion limited, permanent, and perpetual-for their pos- is entertained by many for whose judgment I enterterity, and for every subsequent State which might tain the highest respect, I have no hesitation in decome into the Union, binding themselves by that in-claring that the convictions of my own judgment are dissoluble bond. It is to remain for that posterity,
now and forever.
"Like another of the great relations of private life, it was a marriage that no human authority can dissolve or divorce the parties from; and, if I may be allowed to refer to this same example in private life, let us say what man and wife say to each other: We have mutual faults; nothing in the form of human beings can be perfect; let us, then, be kind to each other, forbearing, conceding; let us live in happiness and peace.
"Mr. President, I have said what I solemnly believe -that the dissolution of the Union and war are identical and inseparable-that they are convertible
terms. Such a war, too, as that would be, following dissolution of the Union! Sir, we may search the pages of history, and none so furious, so bloody, so implacable, so exterminating, from the wars of Greece down, including those of the Commonwealth of England and the Revolution of France-none of them raged with such violence, or was ever conduct ed with such bloodshed and enormities as will th at war which shall follow that disastrous event-if that event ever happens-of dissolution."
The Union sentiments of such men as Messrs. Douglas, Cass, Crittenden, Dickinson,
well settled, that no such principle was contemplated in the adoption of our Constitution."
In view of this unanimity of sentiment among those best qualified to speak on the question, it is impossible to arrive at any other than the following conclusions, in regard to
THE POWERS OF THE CONSTITUTION.
1. That the Union is a permanent one, unless dissolved by the people. The ENACTING CLAUSE of the Constitution reads:
"We, the people of the United States, in order to domestic tranquillity, provide for the common deform a more perfect union, establish justice, insure fence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
2. That the Constitution is the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, to which all State laws are in subjection. Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution prescribes that Congress shall have power to lay and collect duties, imposts and excises; to provide for the common de
fence and welfare of the United States; to regulate commerce; to coin money; to establish post-offices and routes; to declare war, grant letters of marque; to make treaties, &c., &c.; and, finally, to make all laws necessary for carrying into execution the powers named and “all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or office thereof." This is SUPREME AUTHORITY. The Constitution must be abrogated, as specified above by the people before it will or can cease to be supreme.
3. That States are positively prohibited from exercising any of the functions delegated to Congress, and, therefore, possess no power to act independently of Congress, nor to sit in judgment on Congress, nor to invalidate its acts. To do so, in defiance of Congress, is rebellion and treason.
4. That to nullify acts of Congress, to "secede" from the Union, are only criminal when
the laws of the United States are opposed and inoperative in any State, by any action of the State authorities, or by the people. Such opposition the President is bound by his oath to suppress. He has no option in the matter, and not to suppress it is just cause for his impeachment. Such opposition is rebellion, and rebellion is treason, whose punishment Congress alone is empowered to prescribe.
5. That "secession" is extra-constitutional, because the Constitution does not provide for it, did not contemplate it, cannot allow it. Secession is, therefore, revolution.
The right and duty of the President to recover property belonging to the Union which may have been seized and made use of by other parties it is unnecessary to question, so long as the foregoing deductions are admitted. It is imperative on him to recover such property, even to calling out an army as a posse comitatus.
SECOND SESSION. MEETING THE QUESDISUNLON. THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE. HOSTILE
ATTITUDE OF SOUTHERN MEMBERS.
Вотн Houses of Congress assembled at noon, December 3rd. A full quorum being present the organization was immediately made. In the House of Representatives the Chaplain, Rev. Thomas Stockton, (Methodist,) delivered the following eloquent and touching prayer:
"O, God! we remember the past, and we are grateful for the past. We thank Thee for the discovery of this New World. We thank Thee for the colonization of our part of it. We thank Thee for the establishment of our National Independence. We thank Thee for the organization of our National Union. We thank Thee for all the blessings we have 'enjoyed within this Union. National blessings, civil blessings, social blessings, all kinds of blessings, unspeakably great and precious blessings, such blessings as were never enjoyed by any other people since the world began! And now, O Lord our God,
we offer to Thee our humble praise for the past, the present, and for all the future. Will it please Thee, for Christ's sake, to grant us Thy special aid? Thou art very high and lifted up. Thou lookest down over the whole land, from lake to gulf, from sea to sea, from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, and Thou knowest all our doings, and Thou knowest all our dangers. Thou knowest that our good men are at fault, and that our wise men are at fault; in the North and in the South, in the East and in the West, they are at fault. We know not what is best for us to do, and, with common consent, we come to Thee, O Lord our God! and we pray Thee to overrule all unreasonable and wicked men in all parts of our Confederacy. We pray Thee to inspire, and to strengthen, and to assist all true patriots in every part of the Union. May Thy blessing rest upon all departments of our Government. We remember with especial solicitude the President of the United States, and his immediate advisers. They lack wis dom, but if they call upon Thee Thou wilt give them