{o} {開 Yes, sir, that was the propitious moment, when our country stood alone, the last hope of the world, struggling for her existence against the colossal power of Great Britain, "concentrated in one mighty effort to crush us at a blow; "that was the chosen hour to revive the grand scheme of building up "a great northern confederacy" -- a scheme which it is dated in the work before me, had its origins as far back as the year 1796, and which appears never to have been entirely abandoned.

In the language of the writers of that day, (1796) "rather than have a constitution such as the anti-federalists were contending for, (such as we are now contending for,) the Union ought to be dissolved; "and to prepare the way for that measure, the same methods were resorted to then that have always been relied on for that purpose, exciting prejudice against the south. Yes, sir, our northern brethren were then told "that if the negroes were good for food, their southern masters would claim the right to destroy them at pleasure." (Olive Branch, p.267.) Sir, in 1814, all these topics were revived. Again we hear of "a northern confederacy." "The slave states by themselves;" "the mountains are the natural boundary;" we want neither "the counsels nor the power of the west," &e., &c. The papers teemed with accusations against the south and the west, and the calls for a dissolution of all connection with them were loud and strong. I cannot consent to go through the disgusting details. But to show the height to which the spirit of disaffection was carried. I will take you to the temple of the living God, and show you that sacred place, whichsh ould be devoted to the extension of "peace on earth and good will towards men," where " one day's truce ought surely to be allowed to the dissensions and animosities of mankind," converted into a fierce arena of political strife,where, from the lips of the priest, standing between the horns of the altar, there went forth the most terrible denunciations against all who should be true to their country in the hour of her utmost need.

"If you do not wish," said a reverend clergyman, in a sermon preached in Boston, on the 23d July, 1812, "to become the slaves of those who own slaves, and who are themselves the slaves of French slaves, you must either, in the language of the day, CUT THE CONNECTION, or so far alter the national compact as to insure to yourselves a due share in the government," (OliveBranch p 319.) "The Union," says the same writer, (p. 320,) "has been long since virtually dissolved, and it is full time that this part of the disunited states should take care of itself."

Another reverend gentleman, pastor of a church at Medford (p. 321,) issues his anathema -- "LET HIM STAND ACCURSED -- against all, all who, by their "personal services ," or "loans of money," "conversation," or "writing," or "influence," give countenance or support to the unrighteous war, in the following terms: "That man is an accomplice in the wickedness -- he loads his conscience with the blackest crimes -- he brings the guilt of blood upon his soul,and in the sight of God and his law, he is a MURDERER.

One or two more quotations, sir, and I shall have done. A reverend doctor of divinity, the pastor of a church at Byfield, Massachusetts, on he 7th ofApril, 1814, thus addresses his flock, (p. 321:) " The Israelites became weary of yielding the fruit of their labor to pamper their splendid tyrants. They left their political woes. THEY SEPARATED; where is our Moses ? Where the rod of his miracles? Where is our Aaron? Alas ! no voice from the burning bush has directed them here."

"We must trample on the mandates of despotism, or remain slaves forever,"(p. 322.) " You must drag the chains of Virginian despotism, unless you discover some other mode of escape. "Those Western States which have been violent for this abominable war -- those states which have thirsted forblood -- God has given them blood to drink," (p. 323.) Mr. President, I can go no further. The records of the day are full of such sentiments, issued from the press, spoken in public assemblies, poured out from the sacred desk.

God forbid, sir, that I should charge the people of Massachusetts with participating in these sentiments. The south and the west had there their friends -- men who stood by their country, though encompassed all around by their enemies. The senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Silsbee) was one of them, the senator from Connecticut (Mr. Foot) was another; and there are others now on this floor.

The sentiments I have read were the sentiments of a party embracing the political associates of the gentleman from Massachusetts. If they could only be found in the columns of a newspaper, in a few occasional pamphlets, issued by men of intemperate feeling, I should not consider them as affording any evidence of the opinions even of the peace party of New England. But, sir, theywere the common language of that day; they pervaded the whole land; they were issued from the legislative hall, from the pulpit, and the press. Our books are full of them; and there is no man who now hears me but knows that they were the sentiments of a party, by whose members they were promulgated. Indeed, no evidence of this would seem to be required beyond the fact that such sentiments found their way even into the pulpits of New England. What must be the state of public opinion, where any respectable clergyman would venture to preach, and to print, sermons containing the sentiments I have quoted ? I doubt not the piety or moral worth of these gentlemen. I am told they were respectable and pious men. But they were men, and they "kindled in a common blaze." And now, sir, I must be suffered to remark that, at this awful and melancholy period of our national history, the gentleman from Massachusetts, who now manifests so great a devotion to the Union, and so much anxiety lest it should be endangered from the south, was "with his brethren in Israel." He saw all these things passing before his eyes -- he heard these sentiments uttered all around him. I do not charge that gentleman with any participation in these acts, or with approving of these sentiments.

But I will ask, why, if he was animated by the same sentiments then which he now professes, if he can "augur disunion at a distance, and snuff up rebellion in every tainted breeze," why did he not, at that day, exert his great talents and acknowledged influence with the political associates by whom he was surrounded, and who then, as now, looked up to him for guidance and direction,in allaying this general excitement, in pointing out to his deluded friends the value of the Union, in instructing them that, instead of looking "to some prophet to lead them out of the land of Egypt," they should become reconciled to their brethren, and unite with them in the support of a just and necessary war? Sir, the gentleman must excuse me for saying, that if the records of our country afforded any evidence that he had pursued such a course, then, if we could find it recorded in the history of those times, that, like the immortal Dexter, he had breasted that mighty torrent which was sweeping before it all that was great and valuable in our political institutions -- if like him he had stood by his country in opposition to his party, sir, we would, like little children, listen to his precepts, and abide by his counsels.

{o} {開 As soon as the public mind was sufficiently prepared for the measure, the celebrated Hartford Convention was got up; not as the act of a few unauthorized individuals, but by authority of the legislature of Massachusetts; and, as has been shown by the able historian of that convention, in accordancewith the views and wishes of the party of which it was the organ. Now sir, I do not desire to call in question the motives of the gentlemen who composed that assembly. I knew many of them to be in private life accomplished and honorable men, and I doubt not there were some among them who did not perceive the dangerous tendency of their proceedings I will even go further, and say, that if the authors of the Hartford Convention believed that "gross, deliberate, and palpable violations of the constitution" had taken place, utterly destructive of their rights and interests, I should be the last man to deny their right to resort to any constitutional measures for redress. But, sir, in any view of the case, the time when and the circumstances under which that convention assembled as well as the measures recommended, render their conduct, in my opinion, wholly indefensible. Let us contemplate, for a moment, the spectacle then exhibited tothe view of the world. I will not go over the disasters of the war, nor describe the difficulties in which the government was involved. It will be recollected that its credit was nearly gone, Washington had fallen, the whole coast was blockaded, and an immense force, collected in the West Indies, was about to make a descent, which it was supposed we had no means of resisting. In this awful state of our public affairs, when the government seemed almost to be tottering on its base, when Great Britain, relieved from all her other enemies, had proclaimed her purpose of "reducing us to unconditional submission,'' we beheld the peace party of New England (in the language of the work before us) pursuing a course calculated to do more injury to their country, and to render England more effective service than all her armies." Those who could not find it in their hearts to rejoice at our victories sang Te Deum at the King's Chapel in Boston, for the restoration of the Bourbons. Those who could not consent to illuminate their dwellings for the capture of the Guerriere could give no visible tokens of their joy at the fall of Detroit. The "beacon fires" of their hills were lighted up, not for the encouragement of their friends, but as signals to the enemy; and in the gloomy hours of midnight, the very lights burned blue. Such were the dark and portentous signs of the times, which ushered into being the renowned Hartford Convention. That convention met, and, from their proceedings, it appears that their chief object was to keep back the men and money of New England from the service of the Union, and to effect radical changes in the government -- changes that can never be effected without a dissolution of the Union.

{o} {開 Let us now, sir, look at their proceedings. I read from "A Short Account of the Hartford Convention," (written by one of its members,) a very rare book,of which I was fortunate enough, a few years ago, to obtain a copy. [Here Mr. H. read from the proceedings.*]

{o} {開 It is unnecessary to trace the matter further, or to or what would have been the next chapter in this history, if the measures recommended had been carried into effect; and if, with the men and money of New England withheld from the government of the United States, she had been withdrawn from the war; if New Orleans had fallen into the hands of the enemy; and if, without troops and almost destitute of money, the Southern and the Western States had been thrown upon their own resources for the prosecution of the war and the recovery of New Orleans.

Sir, whatever may have been the issue of the contest, the Union must have been dissolved. But a wise and just Providence, which "shapes our ends, roughhew them as we will," gave us the victory, and crowned our efforts with a glorious peace. The ambassadors of Hartford were seen retracing their steps fromWashington, "the bearers of the glad tiding; of great joy." Courage and patriotism triumphed -- the country was saved -- the Union was preserved. And are we, Mr. President, who stood by our country then, who threw open our coffers, who bared our bosoms, who freely perilled all in that conflict, to be reproached with want of attachment to the Union? If, sir, we are to have lessons of patriotism read to us, they must come from a different quarter. The senator from Massachusetts, who is now so sensitive on all subjects connected with the Union, seems to have a memory forgetful of the political events that have passed away. I must therefore refresh his recollection a little further on these subjects. The history of disunion has been written by one whose authority stands too high with the American people to be questioned; I mean Thomas Jefferson. I know not how the gentleman may receive this authority. When that great and good man occupied the presidential chair, I believe he commanded no portion of the gentleman's respect.

{o} {開 I hold in my hand a celebrated pamphlet on the embargo, in which language is held, in relation to Mr. Jefferson, which my respect for his memory will prevent me from reading, unless any gentleman should call for it. But the senator from Massachusetts has since joined in singing hosannas to his name; he has assisted at his apotheosis, and has fixed him as "a brilliant star in the clear upper sky." I hope, therefore, he is now prepared to receive with deference and respect the high authority of Mr. Jefferson. In the fourth volume of his Memoirs, which has just issued from the press, we have the following history of disunion from the pen of that illustrious statesman: "Mr. Adams called on me pending the embargo, and while endeavors were making to obtain its repeal: he spoke of the dissatisfaction of the eastern portion of our confederacy with the restraints of the embargo then existing, and their restlessness under it; that there was nothing which might not be attempted to rid themselves of it; that he had information of the most unquestionable authority, that certain citizens of the Eastern States (I think he named Massachusetts particularly) were in negotiation with agents of the British government, the object of which was an agreement that the New England States should take no further part in the war (the commercial war, the 'war of restrictions,' as it was called) then going on, and that, without formally declaring their separation from the Union, they should withdraw from all aid and obedience to them, &c. From that moment," Says Mr. J., "I saw the necessity of abandoning it, [the embargo,] and, instead of effecting our purpose by this peaceful measure, we must fight it out or break the Union." In another letter, Mr. Jefferson adds, " I doubt whether a single fact known to the world will carry as clear conviction to it of the correctness of our knowledge of the treasonable views of the federal party of that day, as that disclosed by this, the most nefarious and daring attempt to dissever the Union, of which the Hartford Convention was a subsequent chapter; and both of these having failed, consolidation becomes the fourth chapter of the next book of their history. But this opens with a vast accession of strength, from their younger recruits, who, having nothing in them of the feelings and principles of '76, now look to a single and splendid government, &c., riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry." (vol. iv. pp. 419, 422.)

The last chapter, says Mr. Jefferson, of that history, is to be found in the conduct of those who are endeavoring to bring about consolidation; ay, sir, that very consolidation for which the gentleman from Massachusetts is contending -- the exercise by the federal government of powers not delegated in relation to internal improvements" and "the protection of manufactures." And why, sir, does Mr. Jefferson consider consolidation as leading directly to disunion? Because be knew that the exercise, by the federal government, of the powers contended for, would make this "a government without limitation of powers, "the submission to which he considered as a greater evil than disunion itself.

{o} {開 There is one chapter in this history however, which Mr. Jefferson has not filled up;and I must therefore supply the deficiency. It is to be found in the protests made by New England against the acquisition of Louisiana. In relation to that subject, the New England doctrine is thus laid down by one of her learned doctors of that day, now a doctor of laws, at the head of the great literary institution of the east; I mean Josiah Quincy, president of Harvard College. I quote from the speech delivered by that gentleman on the floor of Congress, on the occasion of the admission of Louisiana into the Union.

"Mr. Quincy repeated and justified a remark he had made, which, to save all misapprehension, he had committed to writing, in the following words: If this bill passes, it is my deliberate opinion that it is virtually a dissolution of theUnion; that it will free the states from their moral obligation; and as it will be the right of all, so it will be the duty of some, to prepare for a separation, amicably if they can, violently if they must.

Mr. President, I wish it to be distinctly understood, that all the remarks I have made on this subject are intended to be exclusively applied to a party, which I have described as the "peace party of New England" embracing, the political associates of the senator from Massachusetts -- a party which controlled the operations of that state during the embargo and the war, and who are justly chargeable with all the measures I have reprobated. Sir, nothing has been further from my thoughts than to impeach the character or conduct of the people of New England. For their steady habits and hardy virtues I trust I entertain a becoming respect. I fully subscribe to the truth of the description given before the revolution, by one whose praise is the highest eulogy, " that the perseverance of Holland, the activity of France, and the dexterous and firm sagacity of English enterprise, have been more than equalled by this recent people." Hardy, enterprising, sagacious, industrious, and moral, the people of New England of the present day are worthy of their ancestors. Still less, Mr. President, has it been my intention to say any thing that could be construed into a want of respect for that party, who, trampling on all narrow, sectional feeling, have been true to party principles in the worst of times; I mean the democracy of New England.

Sir, I will declare that, highly as I appreciate the democracy of the south, I consider even higher praise to be due to the democracy of New England, who have maintained their principles "through good and through evil report," who, at every period of our national history, have stood up manfully for "their country, their whole country, and nothing but their country." In the great political revolution of '98, they were found united with the democracy of the south marching under the banner of the constitution, led on by the patriarch of liberty, in search of the land of political promise, which they lived not only to behold, but to posess and to enjoy. Again, sir, in the darkest and most gloomy period of the war, when our country stood single-handed against "the conquererof the conquerors of the world," when all about and around them was dark and dreary, disastrous and discouraging, they stood a Spartan band in that narrow pass, where the honor of their country was to be defended or to find its grave. And in the last great struggle, involving as we believe, the very existence of the principle of popular sovereignty where were the democracy of New England? Where they always have been found, sir, struggling side byside, with their brethren of the south and the west, for popular rights, and assisting in that glorious triumph,which the man of the people was elevated to the highest office in their gift.

{o} {開 Who, then, Mr. President, are the true friends of the Union? Those who would confine the federal government strictly within the limits prescribed by the constitution; who would preserve to the states and the people all powers not expressly delegated; who would make this a federal and not a national Union, and who, administering the government in spirit of equal justice, would make it a blessing, and not a curse. And who are its enemies? Those who are in favor of consolidation; who are constantly stealing power from the states, and adding strength to the Federal government; who, assuming an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over the states and the people, undertake to regulate the whole industry and capital of the country. But, sir, of all descriptions of men, I consider those as the worst enemies of the Union, who sacrifice the equal rights which belong to every member of the confederacy to combinations of interested majorities, for personal or political objects. But the gentleman apprehends no evil from the dependence of the states on the federal government; he can see no danger of corruption from the influence of money or of patronage. Sir, I know that it is supposed to be a wise saying that "patronage is a source of weakness;" and in support of that maxim, it has been said, that "every ten appointments make a hundred enemies."

{o} {開 But I am rather inclined to think, with the eloquent and sagacious orator now reposing on his laurels on the banks of the Roanoke that "the power of conferring favors creates a crowd of dependents," he gave a forcible illustration of the truth of the remark, when he told us of the effect of holding up the savory morsel to the eager eyes of the hungry hounds gathered around his door. It mattered not whether the gift was bestowed on Towzer or Sweetlips, " Tray, Blanch, or Sweetheart,"while held in suspense, they were all governed by a nod, and when the morsel was bestowed, the expectation of the favors of to-morrow kept up the subjection of to-day.

{o} {開 The senator from Massachusetts, in denouncing what he is pleased to call the Carolina doctrine, has attempted to throw ridicule upon the idea that a state has any constitutional remedy, by the exercise of its sovereign authority, against "a gross, palpable, and deliberate violation of the constitution." He calls it "an idle" or "a ridiculons notion," or something to that effect. and added, that it would make the Union a "mere rope of sand." Now, sir, as the gentleman has not condescended to enter into any examination of the question, and has been satisfied with throwing the weight of his authority into the scale, I do not deem it necessary to do more than to throw into the opposite scale the authority on which South Carolina relies; and there, for the present, I am perfectly willing to leave the controversy. The South Carolina doctrine, that is to say, the doctrine contained in an expositionreported by a committee of the legislature in December, 1828, and published by their authority, is the good old republican doctrine of '98 -- the doctrine ofthe celebrated Virginia Resolutions " of that year, and of "Madison's Report" of '99, It will be recollected that the legislature of Virginia, in December, 98, took into consideration the alien and sedition laws, then considered by all republicans as a gross violation of the constitution of the United States, and on that day passed, among others, the following resolutions: --

" The General Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that
it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact to which the states are parties, as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting that compact, as no further valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them."

In addition to the above resolution, the General Assembly of Virginia "appealed to the other states, in the confidence that they would concur with that commonwealth, that the acts aforesaid [the alien and sedition laws] are unconstitutional, and that the necessary and proper measures would be taken by each for cooperating with Virginia in maintaining unimpaired the authorities, rights, and liberties reserved to the states respectively, or to thepeople."

{o} {開 The legislatures of several of the New England States, having, contrary to the expectation of the legislature of Virginia, expressed their dissent from these doctrines, the subject came up again for consideration during the session of 1799,1800, when it was referred to a select committee, by whom was made that celebrated report which is familiarly known as "Madison's Report," and which deserves to last as long as the constitution itself. In that report, which was subsequently adopted by the legislature, the whole subject was deliberately reexamined, and the objections urged against the Virginia doctrines carefully considered. The result was, that the legislature of Virginia reaffirmed all the principles laid down in the resolutions of 1798, and issued to the world that admirable report which has stamped the character of Mr. Madison as the preserver of that constitution which he had contributed so largely to create and establish. I will here quote from Mr. Madison's report one or two passages which bear more immediately on the point in controversy.

"The resolutions, having taken this view of the federal compact, proceed to infer 'that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities,rights, and liberties appertaining to them.' "

{o} {開 " It appears to your committee to be a plain principle, founded in com- monsense, illustrated by common practice, and essential to the nature of compacts, that, where resort can be had to no tribunal superior to the authority of the parties, the parties themselves must be the rightful judges in the last resort,whether the bargain made has been pursued or violated.

"The constitution of the United States was formed by the sanction of the states, given by each in its sovereign capacity. It adds to the stability and dignity, as well as to the authority, of the constitution, that it rests upon this legitimate and solid foundation. The states, then, being the parties to the constitutional compact,and in their sovereign capacity, it follows of necessity that there can be no tribunal above their authority to decide. in the last resort, whether the compact made by them be violated and consequently that, as the parties to it, they must themselves decide, in the last resort, such questions as may be of sufficient magnitude to require their interposition."

" The resolution has guarded against any misapprehension of its object by expressly requiring for such an interposition 'the case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous breach of the constitution, by the exercise of powers not granted by it.' It must be a case, not of a light and transient nature, but of a nature dangerous to the great purposes for which the constitution was established.

" But the resolution has done more than guard against misconstruction, by expressly referring to cases of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous attire. It specifies the object of the interposition, which it contemplates, be solely that of arresting the progress of the evil of usurpation, and of maintaining the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to the states, as parties to the constitution.

" From this view of the resolution, it would seem inconceivable that it can incur any just disapprobation from those who, laying aside all momentary impressions, and recollecting the genuine source and object of the federal constitution, shall candidly and accurately interpret the meaning of the General Assembly. If the deliberate exercise of dangerous powers, palpably withheld by the constitution, could not justify the parties to it in interposing even so far as to arrest the progress of the evil, and thereby to preserve the constitution itself, as well as to provide for the safety of the parties to it, there would be an end to all relief from usurped power, and a direct subversion of the rights specified or recognized under all the state constitutions, as well as a plain denial of the fundamental principles on which our independence itself was declared."

{o} {開 But sir, our authorities do not stop here. The state of Kentucky responded to Virginia, and on the 10th of November, 1798, adopted those celebrated resolutions, well known to have been penned by the author of the Declaration of American Independence. In those resolutions, the legislature of Kentucky declare, "that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among parties having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge, for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress."

At the ensuing session of the legislature, the subject was reexamined,
and on the 14th of November, 1799, the resolutions of the preceding
year were deliberately reaffirmed, and it was, among other things, solemnly declared, --

" That, if those who administer the general government be permitted to transgress the limits fixed by that compact, by a total disregard to the special delegations of power therein contained, an annihilation of the state governments, and the erection upon their ruins of a general consolidated government, will be the inevitable consequence.

"That the principles of construction contended for by sundry of the state legislatures, that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism; since the discretion of those who administer the government, and not the constitution, would be the measure of their powers. That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction, and that a nullification by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under color of that instrument is the rightful remedy."

{o} {開 Time and experience confirmed Mr. Jefferson's opinion on this all important point. In the year 1821, he expressed himself in this emphatic manner: "It is a fatal heresy to suppose that either our state governments are superior to the federal, or the federal to the state; neither is authorized literally to decide which belongs to itself or its copartner in government; in differences of opinion, between their different sets of public servants, the appeal is to neither, but to their employers peaceably assembled by their representatives in convention." The opinion of Mr. Jefferson on this subject has been so repeatedly and so solemnly expressed, that they may be said to have been among the most fixed and settled convictions of his mind.

In the protest prepared by him for the legislature of Virginia, in December, 1825, in respect to the powers exercised by the federal government in relation to the tariff and internal improvements, which he declares to be "usurpations of the powers retained by the states, mere interpolations into the compact, and direct infractions of it, he solemnly reasserts all the principles of the Virginia Resolutions of '98, protests against these acts of the federal branch of the government as null and void, and declares that, although Virginia would consider a dissolution of the Union as among the greatest calamities that could befall them, yet it is not the greatest. There is one yet greater -- submission to a government of unlimited powers. It is only when the hope of this shall become a absolutely desperate, that further forbearance could not be indulged."

{o} {開 In his letter to Mr. Giles, written about the same time, he says, --

"I see as you do, and with the deepest affliction, the rapid strides with which the federal branch of our government is advancing towards the usurpation of all the rights reserved to the states, and the consolidation in itself of all powers, foreign and domestic, and that too by constructions which leave no limits to their powers, &c. Under the power to regulate commerce, they assume, indefinitely, that also over agriculture and manuactures, &c. Under theauthority to establish post roads, they claim that of cutting down mountains for the construction of roads, and digging canals, &c. And what is our resource for the preservation of the constitution. Reason and argument ? You might aswell reason and argue with the marble columns encircling them, &c. Are we then to stand to our arms with the hot-headed Georgian ? No; [and I say no, and South Carolina has said no ;] that must be the last resource. We must have patience and long endurance with our brethren, &c., and separate from our companions only when the sole alternatives left are a dissolution of our Union with them, or submission to a government without limitation of powers. Between these two evils, when we must make a choice, there can be no hesitation."

Such, sir, are the high and imposing authorities in support of "the Carolina doctrine," which is, in fact, the doctrine of the Virginia Resolutions of 1798.

Sir, at that day the whole country was divided on this very question. It formed the line of demarcation between the federal and republican parties; and the great political revolution which then took place turned upon the very questions involved in these resolutions. That question was decided by the people, and by that decision the constitution was, in the emphatic language of Mr. Jefferson, "saved at its last gasp." I should suppose, sir, it would require more self-respect than any gentleman here would be willing to assume, to treat lightly doctrines derived from such high resources.

{o} {開 Resting on authority like this, I will ask gentlemen whether South Carolina has not manifested a high regard for the Union, when under a tyranny ten times more grievous than the alien and sedition laws, she has hitherto gone no further than to petition, remonstrate, and to solemnly protest against a series of measures which she believes to be wholly unconstitutional and utterly destructive of her interests. Sir, South Carolina has not gone one step further than Mr Jefferson himself was disposed to go, in relation to the present subject of our present complaints -- not a step further than the statesmen from New England were disposed to go, under similar circumstances; no further than the senator from Massachusetts himself once considered as within "the limits of a constitutional opposition." The doctrine that it is the right of a state to judge of the violations of the constitution on the part of the federal government, and to protect her citizens from the operations of unconstitutional laws, was held by the enlightened citizens of Boston, who assembled in Faneuil Hall, on the 25th of January, 1809. They state in that celebrated memorial, that "they looked only to the state legislature, who were competent to devise relief against the unconstitutional acts of the general government. That your power (say they) is adequate to that object, is evident from the organization of the confederacy."

A distinguished senator from one of the New England States, Mr. Hillhouse,) in a speech delivered here, on a bill for enforcing the embargo; declared, "I feel myself bound in conscience to declare, (lest the blood of those who shall fall in the execution of this measure shall be on my head,) that I consider this to be an act which directs a mortal blow at the liberties of my country -- an act containing unconstitutional provisions, to which the people are not bound to submit,and to which, in my opinion, they will not submit."

And the senator from Massachusetts himself, in a speech delivered on
the same subject in the other house, said, "This opposition is constitutional and legal; it is also conscientious. It rests on settled and sober conviction, that such policy is destructive to the interests of the people, and dangerous to the being of government. The experience of every day confirms these sentiments. Men who act from such motives are not to be discouraged by trifling obstacles, nor awed by any dangers. They know the limit of constitutional opposition; up to that limit, at their the discretion, they will walk, and walk fearlessly." How "the being of the government" was to be endangered by "constitutional opposition" to the embargo, I leave to the gentleman to explain.

Thus it will be men, Mr. President, that the South Carolina doctrine is the republican doctrine of '98 -- that it was promulgated by the fathers of the faith -- that it was maintained by Virginia and Kentucky in the worst of times -- that it constituted the very pivot on which the political revolution of that day turned -- that it embraces the very principles, the triumph of which, at that time, saved the constitution at its last gasp, and which New England statesmen were not unwilling to adopt, when they believed themselves to be the victims of unconstitutional legislation. Sir, as to the doctrine that the federal government is the exclusive judge of the extent as well as the limitations of its powers, it seems to me to be utterly subversive of the sovereignty and independence of the states. It makes but little difference, in my estimation, whether Congress or Supreme Court are invested with this power. If the federal government, in all, or any, of its departments, is to prescribe the limits of its own authority. and the states are bound to submit to the decision, and are not to be allowed to examine and decide for themselves, when the barriers of the constitution shall be overleaped, this is practically government without limitation of powers." The states are at once reduced to mere petty corporations and the people are entirely at your mercy. I have but one word more to add.

{o} {開 In all the efforts that have been made by South Carolina to resist the unconstitutional laws which Congress has extended over them, she has kept steadily in view the preservation of the Union, by the only means by which she believes it can belong preserved -- a firm, manly, and steady resistance against usurpation. The measures of the federal government have, it is true, prostrated her interests, and will soon involve the whole south in irretrievable ruin. But even this evil, great as it is is not the chief ground of our complaints. Is is the principle involved in the contest -- a principle which, substituting' the discretion of Congress for the limitations of the constitution, brings the states and the people to the feet of the federal government, and leaves them nothing they can call their own. Sir, if the measures of the federal government were less oppressive, we should still strive against this usurpation. The south is acting on a principle she has always held sacred -- resistance to unauthorized taxation. These, sir, are the principles which induced the immortal Hampden to resist the payment of a tax of twenty shillings. Would twenty shillings have ruined his fortune? No! but the payment of half-twenty shillings, on the principle on which it was demanded, would have made him a slave. Sir, if acting on these high motives -- if animated by that ardent love of liberty which has always, been the most prominent trait in the southern character -- we should be hurried beyond' the bounds of a cold and calculating prudence, who is there, with one noble and generous sentiment in his bosom, that would not be disposed, in the language of Burke, to exclaim, "You must pardon something to the spirit of liberty"?