« PreviousContinue »
JAN. 28, 1833.]_
Revenue Collection Bill.
force follow the attempt to disobey the laws of South Ca-than those of the feudal system, so far as they apply to
Mr. CALHOUN. What paper is it? Has it a signature?
"CHARLESTON, January, 1833. "SIR:--You will, on receiving this letter, immediately take the proper measures for the purpose of ascertaining at what points depots of provisions, say of corn, fodder, and bacon, can be established on the main roads leading through your district, at suitable stations, say from thirty to forty miles apart. Looking to the event of a possible call for troops of every description, and especially of mounted men, in a sudden emergency, you will ascertain the routes by which they could most conveniently pass through your respective districts, and the proper points at which they may put up after the usual day's march. Having settled this, the next point will be to inquire whether there are any persons at or near those points, who would undertake, on terms to be stipulated, to furnish corn, fodder, and meat, in what quantities, and at what notice? It is desirable that this arrangement should be effected, so as to enable us to command an adequate supply in the event of its being wanted, without actually making purchases at present. If this be impracticable, however, you must then see on what terms purchases can be effected, where, and on what manner the articles can Mr. WILKINS-How can the ordinance refer to any be deposited and taken care of? I will here give you a laws of the United States, when they are excluded from general outline of my scheme. I will suppose three great any operation within the limits of the State? Why do routes to be marked out from the mountains towards the the laws and ordinance of South Carolina shut out the sea: one leading from Laurenceville, through Newberry, United States' courts from appellate jurisdiction? Why to Columbia; another from Yorkville and Union, by Winsdo they shut the doors of the State courts against any in- boro' and Chesterville, to Columbia; and the third from quisition from the United States' courts? They intend Pendleton, through Abbeville and Edgefield, Burnwell, that there shall be no jurisdiction over this subject, ex- and Colleton, to Charleston. Along these routes depots cept through their own courts. They cut off the federal would have to be established at intervals of thirty or judiciary from all authority in that State, and bring back forty miles, besides separate depots at Camden and some the state of things which existed prior to the formation of other places. From Columbia these stations would be the federal constitution. necessary along the State road to Charleston. But one Here nullification is disclaimed, on one hand, unless other route would then, perhaps, be necessary to be we abolish our revenue system. We consenting to do provided for, beginning at Darlington Court-house,and this, they remain quiet. But if we go a hair's breadth to- ending at Georgetown; one station to be at Kingstree, wards enforcing that system, they present secession. We and another at Lynche's Creek. From all other places have secession on one hand, and nullification on the other. some one of these stations might be struck. I present The Senator from South Carolina admitted the other day this imperfect outline merely to give you some idea of that no such thing as constitutional secession could exist. my general scheme. Your particular attention will, of Then civil war, disunion, and anarchy must accompany course, be directed to your own district; and, if you find it secession. No one denies the right of revolution. That necessary, you may call in my aids from the adjoining disis a natural, indefeasible, inherent right--a right which tricts, and such staff officers as you may think proper, we have exercised and held out, by our example, to the and consult with them as to the best method of connectcivilized world. Who denies it? Then we have revolu- ing the districts by some general plan, and favor me with tion by force, not constitutional secession. That violence the result. must come by secession is certain. Another law passed "Another object to which I would call your early and by the Legislature of South Carolina, is entitled A bill to particular attention, is the state of the arms, public and provide for the safety of the people of South Carolina. It private, in the hands of the men. Great numbers have advises them to put on their armor. It puts them in been issued from time to time, especially within a few military array; and for what purpose but for the use of years past. I wish to know how many of them may be force? The provisions of these laws are infinitely worse relied on in the event of actual service. For this purpose,
Force must inevitably be used in case any attempt is made by the Federal Government to enforce the acts which have been declared null and void. The ordinance clearly establishes nullification as the law of the land.
[Mr. MILLER: Will the Senator read a little further?] Mr. W. finished the paragraph, as follows:
And that the people of this State will thenceforth hold themselves absolved from all further obligation to maintain or preserve their political connexion with the people of the other States, and will forthwith proceed to organize a separate Government, and do all other acts and things which sovereign and independent States may of right do."
They stop with nullification; but one step further on the part of the Government brings down secession and revolution.
Mr CALHOUN-It is not intended to use any force, except against force. We shall not stop the proceedings of the United States' courts, but maintain the authority of our own judiciary.
Revenue Collection Bill.
[JAN. 28, 1833.
it must be ascertained, from actual inspection or otherwise, system; by the admission of the whole list of protected how many men in each company have muskets, rifles, articles free of all duty, and raising the whole revenue or other arms fit for use; and any unfit for use must be derived from duties on imports exclusively from the repaired. The latter must be collected together and re- unprotected articles. The consequence of the adoption paired, if it can be effected in your neighborhood; and, of this policy would be most fatal and disastrous to the if not, they must be boxed up and sent to Charleston; industry of the Northern States. It would put the labor. when, after being repaired at the public expense, they ing classes of Pennsylvania on a footing with the paupers will be returned to the companies to which they may of the old world. It would prostrate at once and forever belong. To execute the arduous, responsible, and dif- the policy which Pennsylvania had long cherished, which ficult duties imposed by this order, you are authorized South Carolina had united with her in establishing and to call to your assistance all the officers of the staff within maintaining, and under which she was prosperous and your district; and, if further assistance is wanted, addi- happy. The admirable speech made by the Senator from tional officers will be appointed. The travelling ex- South Carolina, in 1816, in favor of the protective policy, penses of yourself, and such officers as you may employ was engraved on the hearts of the people of Pennsylvania. in this business, will be paid. You will issue the neces- In the dwellings of the farmer, the mechanic, and the sary orders in my name, countersigned by yourself as manufacturer, it hung upon the wall, by the side of aid-de-camp, to all officers within your district, urging Washington's Farewell Address. He well remembered them to do whatever you may find necessary to the that speech, for it had a powerful influence on his own prompt and effectual execution of this order. You will, mind in relation to the policy of the protective system. when convenient, call upon the brigadier or major generals, within your district, for their co-operation and assistance, and, generally, adopt all proper measures for the accomplishment of the important objects which I have in view, which may be stated in a few words to be, to Mr. WILKINS-I shall be happy to witness the exhisecure the means of subsistence, so as to be enabled to bition of the Senator's ingenuity in explaining the speech bring troops to any given point in the shortest possible in such a manner as to make it accord with his present time-to ascertain the state of the arms now in the hands views. I should not have alluded to it, had not the Sen. of the men--and to have those unfit for use put in com- ator remarked upon the bill from our committee as a bill plete order. If any other means occur to you of accom- "of abominations." plishing, in the promptest manner, these vitally important objects, you will be so good as to suggest them.
[Mr. CALHOUN here said, I thank the gentleman for alluding to that speech. It has been much and very often misrepresented, and I shall take an early opportunity to explain it.]
"I am, very respectfully, &c.
Mr. CALHOUN-It requires no apology.
Mr. WILKINS proceeded to state the considerations which rendered a compliance with the terms proposed by South Carolina improbable, if not impossible. For his "N. B. I annex the form of three orders, which you own part, he was free to say that he could not bring his may find it necessary to extend, to enable you to accom- mind to assent to so destructive a measure. He spoke plish the objects we have in view. You may modify them only for himself. What were the views of others of this as you think proper, and then have copies served on each body on this subject he did not know, for he was not in of the officers, who may be required to execute them the habit of making inquiries as to the opinions of others within your district. They are not to be published in the papers. Copies of all such orders as you may issue must be sent to me."
on such topics. Much as he loved the Union-much as he deprecated any collision between the State and Federal Governments-much as he was disposed to respect the Adverting to another circumstance, as tending to show opinions and wishes of a sister State-he would not himself the excitement prevailing in South Carolina against the assent to a total destruction even of incidental protection General Government, Mr. W. said, that in every part of the to our domestic industry. He would, however, go far, State, blue cockade, with the Palmetto button, was very far, even to the sacrifice of much of that protection generally worn. That bit of ribbon, and the button, were which we claim as just and necessary; but to the point no trifling sign of the military spirit prevalent among the proposed by South Carolina as her ultimatum, he could people. not go.
It seemed to him, indeed, from all these facts, known to us, officially and by rumor, that it was impossible to avoid a collision with South Carolina, while her ordinance remained in force; and that those gentlemen who represented that the passage of any bill by us would defeat the ordinance, and prevent a collision, had mistaken the sense of the ordinance, and the intention of the people of South Carolina.
He did not believe that there was any probability of the assent, on the part of Congress, to the first proposition of South Carolina. There was but one other proposition made by South Carolina for the adjustment of this controversy, and that was even less hopeful than the former. It was by the call of a general convention of the States, and the submission to them of an ultimate arbitrament on the disputed powers. Mr. W. was of the opinion that the [Mr. MILLER here interposed, and said he had not division of the State representation assembled in convenexpressed the opinion that nullification would be aban- tion on the matters in controversy would not differ from doned upon the passage of a bill of any character in refer- the judgment of the representatives assembled in Conence to the tariff. If Congress passed a bill altering the gress. He did not think it at all probable that the contariff acts of 1828 and 1832, he was of opinion that such vention would either alter the constitution in respect to act would set aside the ordinance, which was specific in the powers of the Government over the subject of revenue, its application to the tariff acts of 1828 and 1832. Even or that the protective laws would be pronounced by them if a bill more oppressive than the existing acts should unconstitutional, and null and void. But it was not at all pass, the ordinance now existing would thereby be de- probable that two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of feated, and South Carolina would be under the necessity the States would agree to the call of a general convenof assembling another convention, and passing another tion. The people were averse to any change in the ordinance.] constitution, and were of opinion that it could not be amended for the better. For his own part, it was his earnest hope, and confident belief, that no change would ever be made in the terms of our admirable compact. Here Mr. W. yielded to a motion for adjournment, and
Mr. WILKINS found, he said, that he was not far from right. What prospect, then, was there of an abandonment, by South Carolina, of her present position? She offers us but two modes of adjusting the matter in dispute. The first is by the total abandonment of the protective the Senate adjourned.
JAN. 29, 1833.]
Revenue Collection Bill.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 29.
The subject again coming up
Mr. WILKINS resumed his remarks on it. He commenced by stating that, on a proper occasion, he should move one or two amendments to the bill, one of which would be to limit some of its provisions to the end of the next session of Congress: the provisions which it contained for amending the judicial system, he presumed, there would be no objection to leaving, as they are in the bill, unlimited.
edly preparing to resist force by force. But, let the United States withdraw its forces from her borders, and lay this bill upon the table, and her preparations would cease.
Mr. WILKINS resumed. That is, sir, if we do not oppose any of her movements, all will be right. If we fold our arms, and exhibit a perfect indifference whether the laws of the Union are obeyed or not, all will be quiet! This, I admit, would be an admirable mode to avoid collision and prevent disturbance; but is it one that we can submit to? The moment we fail to counteract the nullification proceedings of South Carolina, the Union is dissolved; for, in this Government of laws, union is obedience, and obedience is union. The moment South Carolina
When the Senate adjourned yesterday, (Mr. W. continuěd,) I was speaking of the tariff system-of this system for the protection of American industry, which a vast Mr. CALHOUN--Who relies upon force in this conportion of the American people believe to be intimately troversy? I have insisted upon it that South Carolina connected with the prosperity of the country. As a justi- relied altogether on civil process, and that, if the General fication of the adherence, as far as practicable, to this Government resorts to force, then only will South Carolina system, he had had reference to the conduct of gentlemen rely upon force. If force be introduced by either party, from the South in regard to it. At one period, he now upon that party will fall the responsibility. added, Maryland had been considered a Southern State, as she was still a slave-holding State: from the chief city of that State, directly after the meeting of Congress, under the constitution of 1787, a memorial was transmitted to Congress, reciting the weakness and inefficiency of the old Mr. CALHOUN.-I am sorry that South Carolina confederacy, and its inadequacy to protect the manufac- cannot appeal to the sense of justice of the General Goturing interests, and rejoicing that we had now a Govern- vernment. [Order! Order! from one or two members.] ment possessing all the necessary power to protect Mr. WILKINS.--The Government will appeal to that domestic industry, and praying the interposition of Con- political sense which exhorts obedience to the laws of the gress for that purpose. Another incident he mentioned, country, as the first duty of the citizen. It will appeal to which, he said, many members would recollect, of a mem- the moral force in the community. If that appeal be in ber of Congress from South Carolina having, in the year vain, it will appeal to the judiciary. If the mild arm of 1809, offered a resolution proposing that all the members the judiciary be not sufficient to execute the laws, it will of Congress should appear, at the commencement of the call out the civil force to sustain the laws. If that be innext ensuing session, clad entirely in clothing of American sufficient, God save and protect us from the last resort! manufacture. He had already adverted to the agency of But if the evil does come upon the country, who is rethe South in passing the tariff law of 1816, and now, said sponsible for it? If force be brought in to the aid of law," he, let me make a personal reference, in connexion with who, I ask of gentlemen, is responsible for it to the peoit, to another gentleman from South Carolina, now a ple of the United States? That is the question. Talk of member of this body, [Mr. MILLER;] which reference it as you please, mystify matters as you will, theorize as make with all possible respect for that gentleman. When you may, pile up abstract propositions to any extent, at the bill of 1816 was under discussion, that gentleman, last the question resolves itself into one of obedience or then a member of the other House, made a motion, deeply resistance of the laws-in other words, of union or disinteresting to Pennsylvania, and for which I, as one of her union. Wherein (said Mr. W.) consists our liberty? What sons, feel grateful to him, to raise the duties on hammer- is the foundation of our polítical institutions which we ed bar iron (which the bill proposed to raise from nine to boast of, which we hold up to the world for imitation, sixteen dollars per ton,) to twenty dollars per ton. Thus and for the enjoyment of which the votary of freedom amended, the bill passed the House, but the duty was re- pants in every country of the globe--what is it? It is that duced in the Senate to sixteen. On the final passage of of a Government where the people make the laws, and the bill, including that and other duties, three members where the people obey the laws which they themselves only from South Carolina were present, and they all voted have made. That is our system of Government, and by a for the bill. Strange revolution of opinion! It is now large majority of the people it is respected accordingly. contended by the same gentleman that a duty of eighteen Why, sir, (said Mr. W.) if you were to carry into effect the dollars upon the same article, (two dollars below her own ultra doctrine of South Carolina at this moment, repeal proposition,) as fixed by the tariff of 1832, is so onerous, your whole protective system, shut up our factories, stop oppressive, and tyrannical, that the whole country is to our wheels, extinguish our fires, &c.-nay, ruin us by be involved in a civil war, if not only that, but every other your legislation-yet would the people of Pennsylvania protective duty be not abolished! obey the laws, and abide your decision. But then they Mr. W. said he had also spoken, yesterday, in justifi- would appeal to the people; they would endeavor to bring cation of the strongest provisions of this bill, of the talked-public opinion to act upon Congress, and bear them back of resistance to the laws in South Carolina. He had un-into the right course. They would appeal to moral influderstood the Senator from South Carolina, [Mr. CALHOUN,]ence, and to that alone.
Mr. WILKINS said, if we examine the measures taken by the administration in reference to the present crisis, it would be found that they were not at all of that military character to justify the measures of South Carolina which it was alleged had followed them. Mr. CALHOUN said that South Carolina was undoubt
Mr. WILKINS--The General Government will not appeal, in the first instance, to force. It will appeal to the patriotism of South Carolina-to that magnanimity of which she boasts so much.
the other day, as acknowledging that there was military I know (said Mr. W.) that the gentleman from South array in South Carolina, but contending that it followed Carolina cannot anticipate the application of force in the and did not precede the array of force by the United States. case now presented; but I pray him, again and again, to Mr. CALHOUN said he had admitted that there was advert to one particular paragraph of the ordinance. military preparation, not array. There were several cases in which the use of force is referred to in the ordinance, in which Mr. W. admitted the right to use it. If, for example, as in a case supposed, Congress intended to overrun and subdue the State of South Carolina, and overturn their liberties, he admitted the right of resistance by force. But, come down to the contingency in which the ordinance declares that force
Revenue Collection Bill.
[JAN. 29, 1833.
shall be used, and it is in the event of the attempt by which is the only taxation known to our laws; and the the United States to enforce the execution of the reve- people of the rest of the Union are compelled to pay nue laws. "Enforce" is the word employed by the taxes. South Carolina participates in the benefits, but ordinance. For the meaning of this word it was not ne-not in the burdens of the Government. The ordinance, cessary to resort to Johnson or Webster: the law may be to this effect, South Carolina is pledged to maintain; and "enforced" by execution, by judicial process, by a simple it declares that no power shall prevent free ingress and demand of payment of duties by a United States' officer. egress into and from her ports. Every stream of water It needs not the iron grasp of power, the naked sword, or in the limits of the State, accessible from the ocean, is the fixed bayonet, to constitute enforcement of the laws. made a free port. Wherever goods are introduced and You enforce the laws every day, and every hour of every landed, all obligation to pay the duties vanishes before the day, in the most tranquil state of society. This enforce- magical influence of nullification. ment of the laws it is which is, after the 1st of February, to be construed into an attempt to put down the people of South Carolina, and to justify the calling forth of thousands upon thousands of armed men to resist it.
The State of South Carolina is, quoad the revenue laws, out of the Union. As to the revenue system, our fellowcitizens of South Carolina are gone from us. What, then, is to prevent the goods imported into the State from Mr. W. here referred to the Charleston Mercury, which being distributed into every part of the interior and along he held in his hands, containing the proceedings of a the coast? A legalized system would be introduced-he great meeting held at Charleston, South Carolina, on the would not say of smuggling, for he would not impute so 21st instant, among which were a number of resolutions, opprobrious a crime to the authorities of that State; but adopting the cockade to which he had reference yesterday, free ports make free goods, and nullification makes free intermingled with notices of "Call to arms!" "Attention, ports. Well, sir, what will prevent the goods from volunteers!" &c.; and one of these resolutions (which he being sent to other States? Take the marks off from the read) declares that the persons assembled at this meeting goods, and they may be sent any where. If nullification not only affirm the right of the State peaceably to secede exempts goods from duties in South Carolina, it exempts from the Union, but are prepared, if needs be, to peril them every where. They are marked "State rights," their lives in the assertion of this claim, &c. Yes, sir, said and the vessel is called "State sovereignty." They will Mr. W., if not prevented, secession is at hand; for the not be imported under the glorious flag of the Union, very moment that the marshal of the district calls out the but under the flag of South Carolina. South Carolina posse comitatus, and heads that posse to enforce a judg-has got her ordinance. Now we shall see how she will ment of the federal court to compel the payment of put it in execution, how it works practically. It will make duties on imports, (after the1st of February,) then has the general confusion, defeat equality in public burdens, and contingency occurred an attempt to enforce the laws; demoralize the community. then has secession become the alternative. With regard As nullification is now about to go into full operation, to secession, Mr. W. went on to cite cases to show the what is to stay the hands of South Carolina, and prevent consequences to which the admission of this right in any her from executing her present purpose? He was aware State would lead, should other States adopt the heresy of the wide range of discussion which the question conaffirmed by the meeting whose proceedings he had read. nected with this subject would lead to. But this was This view of the subject he followed by saying, that nul- the time for bringing those questions before Congress lification, unless merged in revolution, was not to be for decision. They should decide now, in one way or stopped. The honorable member had told the House, other. I am young and stout, said Mr. W., and am wilthat laying this bill on the table, and passing the bill de-ling to see the question tried, and to abide the end of pending in the other House, would put a stop to nullifica- it. The whole question comes to a single point. What tion. But what surety was there even of this? After is the constitutional relation of a single State to the United the 1st of February, nullification, with all its attributes States? If the Government is merely an "alliance of and incidents, was to be in full operation in South Caro- States, a federal league between several distinct and inlina. What would be its political operation? Where dependent sovereignties, from which any one may withwould it end? He put this question plainly to the gentle- draw, there is an end of the question and of our bill. man from South Carolina. A convention of the States For South Carolina, leaning upon her sovereignty and was out of the question; an amendment of the constitu- reserved rights, has exercised the power which she tion was out of the question-where was the contest to claims of obeying and disobeying a law of the Union, end? Why, the laws must be suspended. South Caro-just as she may construe it to be constitutional or unconlina, whilst represented on this floor, (ably as she is, and stitutional. he hoped long would be,) participating in the making of laws, would be obeying just such of them as she pleased, and no more-cutting and carving with her own sword to suit herself! What a state of things was this!
An attempt on his part to throw any additional light on this subject would be as unnecessary as to contribute a drop of water to the ocean. It was enough for him that he had a few well settled principles on this point, which [Mr. CALHOUN here said, that South Carolina would he had always entertained, and which had been acted on be content to maintain this contest upon the principle of from the foundation of the Government to the present protection, paying, without objection, whatever taxes time. The constitution was formed by the people. It might be required to be levied for the purposes of re- was adopted by the States, which, like individuals, survenue.] rendered a portion of their sovereignty for the security Mr. WILKINS-If South Carolina appeals to the of the rest. Those powers which are thus surrendered, federal judiciary, she can bring up the question of the however limited in number, are supreme in extent and validity of any part of the revenue laws for decision, by application. The second paragraph in the 6th article of the federal courts. Mr. W. had no doubt of the influence the constitution was, as it appeared to him, framed to of the Senator from South Carolina over the people of meet this very case-to meet State legislation, State nulthat State, but no one had power to say what course that lification-to meet the case of State legislation which atState would take if the suggestion of the Senator should tempts to overthrow national legislation. be adopted. We must take this matter as we unfortunately find it. The merchants of Charleston may import goods free of duty, and the merchants of Baltimore, New York, &c. must pay duties. The people of South Carolina are exempt from all taxation by duties on imports,
"This constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made or which shall be made under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby.
JAN. 29, 1833.]
Revenue Collection Bill.
He would pass to the consideration of the provisions in the bill. The first section of the bill contains provisions which are preventive and peaceful. Mr. W. then read from the first section of the bill, as follows:
any thing in the constitution or laws of any State to the by availing themselves of the replevin law; and it had contrary notwithstanding." been doubted whether the force of the ordinance would This supremacy of power was necessary for the general be tried. But, as he had expected, the politicians, not welfare, because it consists in the use of powers which the merchants, had formed a plan for trying the expericould not be confined to, nor exercised by, any one State. ment. Preparations had been made to bring the question We always had a Union. The great object of the peo- to an issue as soon as the 1st day of February arrived. ple, from one period to another, has been to render the He had made a note of the questions which would arise Union "more perfect." Virginia took the lead in the out of these considerations, but he would not detain the last attempt, and her statesmen were among its foremost Senate by noticing them. champions. Experience had manifested the want of a supreme power to bear immediately upon the people of the States. The laws of the old confederation bore on the States alone. Hence the constitution begins, "We, the people;" and the conclusion of the 8th section of the 1st article, giving power to Congress "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof," and the emphatic conclusion declaring such laws to be the supreme law of the land, in the aggregate sense of the term. We owe allegiance both to the United States and to the State of which we are citizens. Are there, sir, any citizens who owe no allegiance to the United States? Have the people of South Carolina abandoned the proud title of citizens of the United States? Has the General Government any power or quality of political sovereignty at all? If it has, that power must be brought to bear di- and districts as they now are, open for the commercial rectly upon the people of the States, and of each State. convenience of the good people of the State; and even
"Be it enacted, &c. That whenever, by reason of unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages of persons, or unlawful threats or menaces against officers of the United States, it shall become impracticable, in the judgment of the President, to execute the revenue laws, and collect the duties on imports in the ordinary way in any collection district, it shall and may be lawful for the President to direct that the custom-house for such district be established and kept in any secure place within some port or harbor of such district, either upon land or on board any vessel," &c.
It enjoins forbearance on the Executive, and gives him power to remove the custom-house to a secure place, where the duties may be collected. It leaves the ports
The Government of the United States forms a part of the custom-house would not be taken from the port or the Government of each State, enters into it, and sup- harbor where it now is. Our object in removing the plies whatever may be wanting in State powers. You custom-house is to prevent all collision, if possible. The cannot bring about obedience to the laws, if their obliga-words "threats and menaces" do not run through the tions and binding force are not directly on the people. residue of the section. The power given in this clause is If the laws are brought to bear on the States, they may not new; the clause is simply declaratory of the existing wrap themselves up in their sovereignty and their re- law, as it has been held by our courts; for it has been deserved rights, resort to nullification, and, claiming the cided, that where it is impossible to collect the duties, the power to put their veto on the acts of Congress, they officers of the customs may remove the custom-house. may overthrow your whole system of legislation. This The next paragraph provides for the cash payment of doctrine impairs not the sovereignty of the people. The duties under circumstances which render it impossible to people retain their sovereignty in reference to the United collect the duties in the ordinary way. This is no great States as well as to their respective States. They act matter. We have already abolished the credits on duties here as well as in their State Legislatures. Whenever you to some extent, and this law carries out the system farther. exercise one of your great constitutional powers, the Why should the practice of taking bonds be persisted in people act here, and are therefore bound by the law when they say they are not bound to pay the bonds. It which they themselves made. This is the perfection of is a mockery to take bonds when the constitution and the political institutions. The people make the laws, and law release the people bound from the obligation of the the laws govern. The States are secure in their rights, bonds. Suits must be brought to enforce the payment of and always were secure. He admitted their original ab- the bonds, and the authority of the State and federal trisolute sovereignty; but, as he had said before, they yield- bunals would thereby be brought into conflict, which ed up a portion of that sovereignty for the general good. conflict the bill sought to avoid. The 62d section of the This is a constitution of power "granted," as a law- act of the 2d March, 1799, refuses credit to merchants yer would say, “for a valuable consideration." By the who have refused to pay their bonds. The same princigrant of these powers, you created the constitution of the ple is applied to the present case, where people are Union. You cannot take them back at pleasure. Here combined to prevent the payment of bonds. are we asked--can the creature be greater than the creator? No. But the creator may be bound by the act of the creature; the principal may be bound by the act of the agent, if the agent acts in pursuance of delegated power, particularly when the interests of third persons are concerned. We say to South Carolina, our prosperity depends upon the permanence of a system which you created; and you cannot take back the power which you gave to your agents to exercise.
The third and remaining exigency provided for in this first section is the authority to employ the land or naval forces, or militia. This provision is entirely defensive. It merely confirms the authority for the protection of the custom-house and revenue officers. The simple question is-do you require obedience to the laws? How can you make the people of South Carolina pay the duties? The custom-house officers are not sufficiently numerous to enforce obedience to the laws; pains, penalties, indictOn the subject of practical nullification, Mr. W. said ments, all hang over the head of that man who is bold he had made some notes, and the very circumstances enough to exact payment. The Legislature forbids the which he had anticipated had happened. From a late enforcement of the law; and he who attempts to enforce number of the Charleston Mercury, which he held in his it must suffer the penalty of the law as surely as he is conhand, he read an account of a great State rights meeting victed of the offence. The marshal, in this stage of the at Charleston, whereat resolutions were adopted for form- business, cannot interpose. The militia cannot be called ing companies to import goods free of duty The mer-out, for the best reason in the world--that they are comchants of South Carolina would, it was thought, be reluc-mitted in support of the other side of the question. Now tant to hazard their commercial credit and convenience what is to be done? It is the duty of the President to take