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the sovereign State of South Carolina, is subject to Congress, or to any human power. Accordingly, we find that the Federal Government acts exclusively upon the citizens of the states, having no constitutional faculty whatever to operate upon the sovereignty of the states. Whatever position, therefore, this State may assume in its sovereign capacity, neither Congress, nor all the departments of the Federal Government united, can constitutionally do a solitary act to change that position. If they could, it would involve the absurd contradiction that the State is sovereign and subject at the same time. In my view of the subject, the great advantage of the confederacy of sovereign states over a consolidated government consists in the existence of an organized sovereignty, competent to protect those rights and interests from tyranny and oppression, which under other forms of government could only be protected by unorganized resistance, revolution and civil war.

We hear our oppressors, and not unfrequently our own citizens, very gravely talking about the treason and rebellion of resisting the unconstitutional acts of Congress, by interposing the sovereign power of the State; precisely as the English oppressors of our ancestors and the Tories of that day talked about the treason and rebellion of resisting our sovereign lord the King. But thanks to our illustrious and heroic ancestors, the states are no longer colonies. Whatever sovereign decree a state shall promulgate in protecting the rights and liberties of the people from outrage and oppression, every citizen within its limits would be bound by the most sacred ties of allegiance to carry into effect. The citizen would, of course, be exempted from the guilt of treason. The real traitor he who would be legally and constitutionally subject to be punished for treason, would bless the citizens of the State who took sides with our oppressors, and attempted to enforce the acts of unconstitutional tyranny. Where, then, is the difficulty and where the danger of interposing the sovereign power of the State, in a case of acknowledged injustice and oppression, perpetrated in opposition to the most solemn covenants of the Union? Allow me to tell you that there is no real difficulty or danger in the matter, that a freeman should regard for a moment.

It is true that our adversaries and their coadjutors amongst

us have managed to conjure up the most horrible phantoms of disunion, civil war and fraternal bloodshed. This is the stale artifice of tyrants. In all ages of the world, tyranny has endeavored to entrench itself behind some sacred barrier, or screen itself from scrutiny and responsibility by some sacred emblem. A Roman emperor, when surrounded by the seditious clamors of an indignant people, rushing forward to drag the detested monster from his polluted throne, could calm the storm of the multitude by hanging out the imperial eagle. A Turkish sultan, besieged in his palace, and in imminent danger of having his reign terminated by the bowstring, has only to exhibit the holy banner of the crescent, and infuriated janizaries bow down and worship it. In like manner, that most monstrous and intolerable of all tyrannies, an interested and mercenary majority, like the veiled prophet of Khorasan, seeks to conceal its horrible deformity by interposing the sacred banner of the Union. Those who dare not openly vindicate tyranny and justify oppression exclaim in the most patriotic agonies, "the Union, the Union, the Union is in danger." If this were true, if the Union were in ten times the peril that really exists, I would emphatically ask, upon whom rests the responsibility of bringing it into jeopardy? Does that responsibility rest upon those who violate the Constitution and perpetrate insufferable oppression, or upon those who, animated by the spirit and sustained by the example of their ancestors, nobly resolve to resist that oppression? No man is more sincerely attached to the Union maintained in the true spirit of the Federal covenant than I am. God forbid that it should ever be dissolved, if it can be preserved consistently with our constitutional rights and liberties; but God forbid that it should exist a single year after it shall be distinctly ascertained that it can only be preserved by the sacrifice of that glorious inheritage which our ancestors consecrated with their blood.

When a tyrannical and oppressive majority, throwing aside all the restraints of the Constitution, openly perpetrate robbery under the forms of legislation, and I am called upon to recognize this as the authority of the Union, I say, and I say it in the spirit of a decalogue, "I will not bow down and worship this false idol." The Union, such as the majority have made it, is a foul monster, which those who worship, after seeing its

deformity, are worthy of their chains. What! Shall a freeman, whose love of liberty is cherished by the example of the glorious ancestry, like the wretched and deluded victim of Eastern idolatry, when the car of destruction is rolling over him and crushing him to death, breathe out his last breath in loud hosannas to the monster-god, who rides upon the car and revels in his blood? Whatever they may pretend, and whatever they may believe, those are not the true friends of the constitutional Union who recommend passive obedience to every act of tyranny and oppression, perpetrated in the name of that Union. But this Union is not the worst of the spectral dangers that have been conjured up by the artful devices of our adversaries. Frightful pictures of war and blood are presented to alarm the timid, and it is with deep mortification I acknowledge that many have been imposed upon by so shallow an artifice. It is impossible to contemplate the conduct of our ancestors, when placed in similar circumstances, without blushing for our degeneracy. They commenced the Revolution that secured our liberty when their oppressions were not one-hundredth part as grievous as ours. A miserable tax of threepence a pound on tea was the extent of their grievance. Being dependent colonists, they had no organized sovereignty to protect them from the perils of rebellion and treason. With halters round their necks, and the stigma of treason on their foreheads, nobly disdaining to count the costs of a contest which, though they should perish, was to secure liberty to their posterity, they fearlessly encountered the gigantic power of a mighty nation. And with this glorious example before us, shall we basely surrender the inheritance of our children from a disgraceful panic excited by imaginary dangers? Shall we be terrified by mere phantoms of blood, when our ancestors, for less cause, encountered the dreadful realities? Great God! Are we the descendants of those ancestors; are we freemen; are we men-grown men-to be frightened from the discharge of our most sacred duty, and the vindication of our most sacred rights, by the mere nursery stories of raw-head and bloody bones, which even the women of our country laugh to scorn?

The idea of bloodshed and civil war, in a contest of this kind, is utterly ridiculous. How would the war commence?

Who would begin it, and what would be the occasion or the pretext of using arms? I confess I am utterly at a loss to imagine.

We have but one difficulty to prevent us from achieving a glorious victory over our oppressors: It is our own unfortunate division. I have a most consoling confidence that the intelligence and patriotism of the people will overcome this. With united counsels the State cannot fail to be triumphant; but with divided and distracted counsels it will be in vain to hope that we shall ever be relieved from our oppression. Those, therefore, who persevere in a course which shall paralyze the efforts of the State to relieve our citizens from unconstitutional oppression will assume a tremendous responsibility. Whatever may be their motives, they will make themselves the accomplices of our oppressors. We have but one course to pursue. Let us stand firm and immovable upon our principles, holding out the banner of constitutional liberty to all who choose to rally under it. If the State so wills it we are free. But if the public voice should decree otherwise, and unconditional submission be our doom, we shall at least have the consolation of reflecting that we have had no agency in forging chains for our children.

ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES Before the Convention of the People of South Carolina. Adopted November 24, 1832.

IT is in vain that we attempt to console ourselves by the empty and unreal mockery of our representation in Congress. As to all those great and vital interests of the State which are affected by the protecting system, it would be better that she had no representation in that body. It serves no other purpose but to conceal the chains which fetter our liberties under the vain and empty forms of a representative government. In the enactment of the protecting system, the majority of Congress is, in strict propriety of speech, an irresponsible despotism. A very brief analysis will render this clear to every understanding. What, then, we ask, is involved in the idea of political responsibility, in the imposition of public burthens? It clearly implies that those who impose the burthens should be

responsible to those who bear them. Every representative in Congress should be responsible, not only to his own immediate constituents, but through them and their common participation in the burthens imposed, to the constituents of every other representative. If in the enactment of a protecting tariff, the majority of Congress imposed upon their own constituents the same burthens which they impose upon the people of South Carolina, that majority would act under all the restraints of political responsibility, and we should have the best security which human wisdom has yet devised against oppressive legislation.

But the fact is precisely the reverse of this. The majority in Congress, in imposing protecting duties, which are utterly destructive of the interests of South Carolina, not only impose no burthens, but actually confer enriching bounties upon their constituents, proportioned to the burthens they impose upon us. Under these circumstances, the principle of representative responsibility is perverted into a principle of absolute despotism. It is this very tie, binding the majority of Congress to execute the will of their constituents, which makes them our inexorable oppressors. They dare not open their hearts to the sentiments of human justice, or to the feelings of human sympathy. They are tyrants by the very necessity of their position, however elevated may be their principles in their individual capacities.

The grave question, then, which we have had to determine, as the sovereign power of the State, upon the awful responsibility under which we have acted, is, whether we will voluntarily surrender the glorious inheritage, purchased and consecrated by the toils, the sufferings, and the blood of an illustrious ancestry, or transmit that inheritance to our posterity, untarnished and undiminished? We could not hesitate in deciding this question. We have, therefore, deliberately and unalterably resolved, that we will no longer submit to a system of oppression which reduces us to the degrading condition of tributary vassals, and which would reduce our posterity, in a few generations, to a state of poverty and wretchedness, that would stand in melancholy contrast with the beautiful and delightful region in which the providence of God has cast our destinies. Having formed this resolution, with a full view of

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