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GENERAL JACKSON ON THE RIGHT OF SECESSION.

99

pressed, I rely with equal confidence on to the objects which it was expressly formed your undivided support in my determination to attain. to execute the laws—to preserve the Union " Against all acts which may be alleged by all constitutional means—to arrest, if

to transcend the constitutional power of possible, by moderate, but firm measures, Government, or which may be inconvenient the necessity of a recourse to force. And if or oppressive in their operation, the Constiit be the will of Heaven that the recurrence tution itself has prescribed the modes of of its primeval cnrse on man for the shed redress. It is the attribute of free instituding of a brother's blood should fall upon tions that, under them, the empire of reason our land, that it be not called down by any and law is substituted for the power of the offensive act of the United States.

sword. To no other source can appeals for “Fellow-citizens! the momentous case is supposed wrongs be made, consistently with before you. On your undivided support of the obligations of South Carolina ; to no your Government depends the decision of other can such appeals be made with safety the great question it involves, whether your at any time; and to their decisions, when sacred Union will be preserved, and the constitutionally pronounced, it becomes the blessing it secures to us as one people shall duty, no less of the public authorities than be perpetuated. No one can doubt that the of the people, in every case to yield a patriunanimity with which that decision will be otic submission. expressed will be such as to inspire new “That a State, or any other great portion confidence in republican institutions, and of the people, suffering under long and inthat the prudence, the wisdom, and the tolerable oppressions, and having tried all courage which it will bring to their defense, constitutional remedies without the hope of will transmit them unimpaired and invigor- redress, may have a natural right, when ated to our children.

their happiness can be no otherwise secured, “May the great Ruler of nations grant, that and when they can do so without greater the signal blessings with which He has fa- | injury to others, to absolve themselves from vored ours may not, by the madness of their obligations to the Government, and party, or personal ambition, be disregarded appeal to the last resort, need not, on the and lost: and may His wise providence present occasion, be denied. bring those who have produced this crisis to “ The existence of this right, however, see the folly, before they feel the misery, of must depend on the causes which justify civil strife; and inspire a returning venera its exercise. It is the ultima ratio, which tion for that Union, which, if we may dare presupposes that the proper appeals to all to penetrate His designs, He has chosen as other means of redress have been made in the only means of attaining the high des good faith, and which can never be rightfully tinies to which we may reasonably aspire.” resorted to unless it be unavoidable. It is

not the right of the State, but of the individGeneral Jackson's Special Message It is the right of mankind generally to se

ual, and of all the individuals in the State. against Nullification” is equally de- cure, by all means in their power, the blesscided and thorough in its hostility to ings of liberty and happiness; but when for

these purposes any body of men have volunthe Calhoun heresy, under all its as- tarily associated themselves under any partipects, and dissects the Ordinance of cular form of government, no portion of Nullification, and the legislative acts acknowledging the correlative right in the

them can dissolve the association without based thereon, with signal ability and remainder to decide whether that dissolucogency. A single extract, bearing tion can be permitted consistently with the directly upon the alleged right of right dependent upon the power to enforce

general happiness. In this view, it is a Secession, will here be given: it. Such a right, though it may be admitted

to preëxist, and cannot be wholly surren“ The right of the people of a single State dered, is necessarily subjected to limitations to absolve themselves at will, and without in all free governments, and in compacts of the consent of the other States, from their all kinds, freely and voluntarily entered into, most solemn obligations, and hazard the and in which the interest and welfare of the liberties and happiness of the millions com individual become identified with those of posing this Union, cannot be acknowledged. the community of which he is a member. Such authority is believed to be utterly re In compacts between individuals, however pugnant both to the principles upon which deeply they may affect their relations, these the General Government is constituted, and principles are acknowledged to create &

30 January 16, 1833.

sacred obligation; and in compacts of civil | few months which followed a most
government, involving the liberty and hap-
piness of millions of mankind, the obligation vigorous and determined struggle to
cannot be less."

defeat his re-election. The unanimity and enthusiasm, At the South, the case was somewith which the people of the Free what different, though in every State States responded to these downright -South Carolina, of course, exceptmanifestations of a purpose to pre- ed—the President's course was apserve at all hazards the integrity of proved by a decided majority. The the Union, are still freshly remem- great mass of the voting population bered. Those States had just been of nearly all these States had just convulsed by a Presidential contest, given General Jackson their suffrages wherein their people were about for the second or third time—they equally divided into zealous advo- had long enough been told that he cates and equally zealous opponents was a despot, an usurper, a tyrant, of General Jackson's re-election. etc., without believing it; and they Though his triumph had been over- were little inclined to repudiate in a whelming, so far as the choice of moment the convietions and the assoElectors was concerned, the popular ciations of a lifetime. In Virginia majorities, whereby those electors alone was there any official exhibition were chosen, were very meager in of sympathy with South Carolina in several of the States, including New her self-invoked peril; and she sent York, Ohio, and New Jersey; while a commissionerøl to that State rather the majorities against him in Massa- to indicate her fraternal regard than chusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, to proffer any substantial assistance. Vermont, and Kentucky, were heavy. There was some windy talk of opBut the States which had opposed posing by force the passage of a Fedhis re-election, the citizens who had eral army southward through the Old deprecated it as confirming and re- Dominion on an errand of “subjuganewing a lease of virtually absolute tion;" and her Governor,” in his anpower in hands too prone to stretch nual Message, said something implyAuthority and Prerogative to the ing such a purpose. Ex-Governor utmost, now vied with their late an- Troup, of Georgia, and a few other tagonists in pledging devotion and doctrinaires of the extreme State support to the elected chief of the Rights school, muttered some words Republic in his efforts to preserve of sympathy with the Nullifiers, about its unity and vitality. Great public to be crushed under the iron heel of meetings were held in the principal Federal power—some vague protest cities to give formal and influential against Consolidation; but that was expression to the sentiment; the all. Had it become necessary to call Press, all but unanimously, echoed for volunteers to assert and maintain and stimulated the popular plaudits; the National authority on the soil and General Jackson was never be of the perverse State, they would fore nor afterward so strong through- doubtless have offered themselves out the Free States, as during the by thousands from nearly or quite

91 Benjamin Watkins Leigh.
32 John Floyd, father of the late John B. Floyd, Mr. Buchanan's Secretary of War.

MR. CLAY'S TARIFF COMPROMISE.

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every Southern as well as Northern the convictions of a majority of the State.

members, which would whelm them But it did not become necessary. in one common ruin. Finally”, Mr. Congress in due time took up the Clay was induced to submit his ComTariff, with a view to its revision and promise Tariff, whereby one-tenth of reduction. The Jacksonian ascend- the excess over twenty per cent. of ency was decided in every depart- each and every existing impost was ment of the Government. Andrew to be taken off at the close of that Stevenson (anti-Tariff), of Virginia, year; another tenth two years therewas Speaker of the House, Gulian C. after; so proceeding until the 31st Verplanck (anti-Tariff) was Chair of June, 1842, when all duties should man of its Committee of Ways and be reduced to a maximum of twenty Means, whence a bill containing per cent. This Compromise Tariff, sweeping reductions and equaliza- being accepted and supported by tions of duties was, at an early Mr. Calhoun and the Nullifiers, was period of the session, reported; and, offered in the House, as a substitute though no conclusive action was had for Mr. Verplanck's bill, by Mr. on this measure, the mere fact of Letcher, of Kentucky (Mr. Clay's imits introduction was seized upon by mediate representative and devoted the Nullifiers as an excuse for recoil- friend), on the 25th of February; ing from the perilous position they adopted and passed at once by a had so recklessly assumed. A few vote of 119 to 85; agreed to by the days before the 1st of February, the Senate; and became a law in the Nullifying chiefs met at Charleston, last hours of the session : General and gravely resolved that, inasmuch Jackson, though he openly condemned as measures were then pending in it as an unwise and untimely concesCongress which contemplated such sion to rampant treason, not choosreductions of duties on imports as ing to take the responsibility of vetoSouth Carolina demanded, the exe-ing, nor even of pocketing it, as he cution of the Nullifying Ordinance, clearly might have done. South Carand of course of all legislative acts olina thereupon abandoned her Ordisubsidiary thereto, should be post- nance and attitude of Nullification; poned till after the adjournment of and the storm that lowered so black that body!

and imminent suddenly gave place But Mr. Verplanck's bill” made to a sunny and smiling calm. such slow progress that its passage,

But General Jackson was deeply even at the last moment, seemed ex. dissatisfied, and with reason. He ceedingly doubtful. Mr. Webster for saw in this easy accommodation the cibly urged that no concession should seeds of future perils and calamities. be made to South Carolina until she He insisted that Calhoun was a traishould have abandoned her treasona- tor; and to the end of his days ble attitude. The manufacturers beset regretted that he had not promptly the Capitol in crowds, remonstrating arrested and tried him as such. He against legislation under duress, in denied that dissatisfaction with the defiance of the public interest and Protective policy was the real incite3 Reported December 28th.

24 February 12, 1833.

ment to the ambitious and restless | tiated by Henry Knox, Secretary of Carolinian's attempt at practical Nul- War, “being authorized thereto by lification. “The Tariff," he wrote in the President of the United States." 1834, to an intimate friend in Geor- A further treaty, negotiated in 1798, gia, "was but a pretext. The next under John Adams, recognized and will be the Slavery or Negro ques- ratified afresh all the obligations intion."

curred, the guaranties given, by for

mer treaties. Such stipulations conBut while Nullification was thus tinued to be made, at least down to sternly crushed out in South Caroli- 1817, when one was negotiated on na, it was simultaneously allowed a our part by Andrew Jackson and complete triumph in the adjoining others, again renewing and confirmState of Georgia. The circumstan- ing to the Cherokees all former stipces were briefly as follows:

ulations and guaranties. The once powerful and warlike still more: when, in 1814, the Aboriginal tribes known to us as Treaty of Ghent was negotiated, “Cherokees” and “Creeks,” origin- whereby the war of 1812 with Great ally possessed respectively large ter- Britain was terminated, the Britritories, which are now included ish commissioners long and fairly inwithin the States of North Carolina, sisted on including her Aboriginal Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama. allies in that war in the provisWith those tribes, treaties were from ions and stipulations of the treaty, time to time made by our Govern- especially that which exacted a mument, whereof each had for its main tual restoration of all territories or object the transfer, for a specified places taken by one party from the consideration, of lands by the Indi- other during the preceding contest. ans to the United States. One of the Our commissioners naturally demurconditions on which we sought and red to this, preferring to insert an obtained those lands was thus suc- article which set forth the humane cinctly expressed in the treaty with and benevolent principles whereby the Cherokees negotiated on the bank (as it alleged) our Government reguof the Holston, in 1791, under the lates its conduct toward the Indian Presidency of Washington:

tribes within our borders. And Mr. “Article 7. The United States solemnly Clay, one of the negotiators of that GUARANTY to the Cherokee Nation all their treaty, declared, in his speech on the lands not hereby ceded."

Cherokee Grievances in 1835, that The stipulations of this treaty were the British commissioners would nevrecognized, and their validity con er have been satisfied with this, if firmed by the treaty of 1794, nego- they had understood that those tribes

25 The following is that portion of the Treaty the possessions, rights, and privileges, which of Ghent relating to the Indians :

they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in

one thousand eight hundred and eleven, previ" Article the Ninth. The United States of ous to such hostilities. Provided always, That America engage to put an end, immediately such tribes or nations shall agree to desist from after the ratification of the present treaty, to all hostilities against the United States of hostilities with all the tribes or nations of In- America, their citizens and subjects, upon the dians with whom they may be at war at the ratification of the present treaty being notified time of such ratification; and forthwith to re to such tribes or nations, and shall 80 desist store to such tribes or nations, respectively, all | accordingly."

GEORGIA AND THE INDIANS.

103

held their rights and possessions guar- could be generally known. The anteed to them by Federal treaties Creeks, upon learning that such a subject to the good-will and pleasure pretended treaty had been made, held of the several States, or any of them. a general council, wherein it was

In 1802, Georgia ceded, on certain formally disavowed and denounced, conditions, her western territory, now and a party was at once dispatched composing the States of Alabama to the home of McIntosh, a chief who and Mississippi, to the Union. Among had signed the fraud, to execute the these conditions, our Government sentence of the law upon him. Mcundertook to extinguish the Indian Intosh and another principal signer title to all lands within the bound- were shot dead on sight, and due aries of the State as thereby consti- notice given that the pretended treaty tuted, so soon as this could be effect- was utterly repudiated. ed "peaceably and on reasonable Governor Troup, of Georgia, of terms."

And this object was ur course assumed the validity of the gently, perseveringly, and not always instrument, and prepared to take honorably, pursued. In February, forcible possession of the Creek lands. 1825, just as Mr. Monroe's Adminis- The Creeks appealed to the Governtration was passing away, certain ment, demanding the enforcement of commissioners, selected by Mr. Cal- the treaties whereby they were guarhoun, then Secretary of War, at- anteed protection in the peaceable tempted to obtain from the Creeks, enjoyment of their clearly defined at a council held at Indian Springs, territorial possessions. Mr. Adams, a cession of their lands; but were who had now succeeded to the Presibaffled by the stern resolve of chiefs dency, looked fully into the matter, and people—the tribe having pre- saw that their claim was just, and viously prescribed the penalty of assured them that they should be dedeath for anyone who should fended. Governor Troup threatened make such sale. Thus defeated, to employ force; Mr. Adams did the commissioners resorted to a employ it. He ordered General too common practice: they bribed Gaines, with a body of regulars, to an inconsiderable minority of the the scene of apprehended conflict, Creeks, including one or two alleged and gave Georgia fair notice that she chiefs, to give their formal assent to must behave herself. The Governor such an instrument as they desired. talked loudly, but did not see fit to This sham treaty was hurried to proceed from words to blows. The Washington, and forced through the Indian Springs fraud proved aborexpiring Senate on the last day of tive; but Georgia and her backers the session, before its true character scored up a heavy account against

* The following is the entire article:

Georgia, both which tracts had formally been

yielded by the Indians; and to the lands within "Fourthly, That the United States shall, at the forks of the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers; their own expense, extinguish, for the use of for which several objects, the President of the Georgia, as early as the same can be peaceably United States has directed that a treaty should obtained, on reasonable terms, the Indian title be immediately held with the Creeks; and that to the country of Talassee, to the lands left out by the United States shall, in the same manner, also the line drawn with the Creeks, in the year one extinguish the Indian title to all other lands thousand seven hundred and nin ht, which within the State of Georgia."

Stats had been previously granted by the State of Papers, vol. xvi, p. 114.

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