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all its bearings, and of all its probable and possible issues, it is due to the gravity of the subject, and the solemnity of the occasion, that we should speak to our confederate brethren, in the plain language of frankness and truth. Though we plant ourselves upon the Constitution, and the immutable principles of justice, and intend to operate exclusively through the civil tribunals and civil functionaries of the State, yet we will throw off this oppression at every hazard. We believe our remedy to be essentially peaceful. We believe the Federal Government has no shadow of right or authority to act against a sovereign state of the confederacy, in any form, much less to coerce it by military power. But we are aware of the diversities of human opinions; and have seen too many fruits of the infatuation of human power, not to have looked, with the most anxious concern, to the possibility of a resort to military or naval force on the part of the Federal Government; and in order to obviate the possibility of having the history of this contest stained by a single drop of fraternal blood, we have solemnly and irrevocably resolved that we will regard such a resort as a dissolution of the political ties which connect us with our confederate States; and will, forthwith, provide for the organization of a new and separate govern

ment.

We implore you, and particularly the manufacturing states, not to believe that we have been actuated, in adopting this resolution, by any feeling of resentment or hostility towards them, or by a desire to dissolve the political bonds which have so long united our common destinies. We still cherish that rational devotion to the Union, by which this State has been preeminently distinguished in all times past. But that blind and idolatrous devotion, which would bow down and worship oppression and tyranny, veiled under the consecrated title—if it ever existed among us, has now vanished forever. Constitutional liberty is the only idol of our political devotion; and, to preserve that, we will not hesitate a single moment to surrender the Union itself, if the sacrifice be necessary. If it had pleased God to cover our eyes with ignorance-if He had not bestowed upon us the understanding to comprehend the enormity of the oppression under which we labor, we might submit to it without absolute degradation and infamy. But

the gifts of Providence cannot be neglected, or abused, with impunity. A people who deliberately submit to oppression, with a full knowledge that they are oppressed, are fit only to be slaves; and all history proves that such a people will soon find a master. It is the preexisting spirit of slavery in the people that has made tyrants in all ages of the world. No tyrant ever made a slave—no community, however small, having the spirit of free men, ever yet had a master. The most illustrious of those states, which have given to the world examples of human freedom, have occupied territories not larger than some of the districts of South Carolina; while the largest masses of population that were ever united under a common government have been the abject, spiritless, and degraded slaves of despotic rulers. We sincerely hope, therefore, that no portion of the states of this confederacy will permit themselves to be deluded into any measures of rashness, by the vain imagination that South Carolina will vindicate her rights and liberties, with a less inflexible and unfaltering resolution, with a population of some half a million than she would do with a population of twenty millions.

It does not belong to free men to count the costs and calculate the hazards of vindicating their rights and defending their liberties; and even if we should stand alone in the worst possible emergency of this great controversy, without the coöperation or encouragement of a single state of the confederacy, we will march forward with an unfaltering step until we have accomplished the object of this great enterprise.

REMARKS DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES

April 3 and 4, 1834, on the Resolution submitted by the Committee of Ways and Means in relation to the public deposits.

BUT to be serious, sir, I, for one, am not disposed to adjourn before something effectual is done to relieve the country from its distresses; and I will not do so with my own consent, even to avoid the fate of Cromwell's Parliament. In the present calamitous condition of the country we have a melancholy exemplification to prove how small a share of human wisdom is requisite to produce the greatest conceivable extent of human misery! The merest pigmy, armed with a scepter, can destroy, in a single day, the great fabric of a nation's prosperity, which all the intellectual giants of the land cannot rebuild in a long and laborious course of years. I will not tell the people to look for salvation to those who have involved them in this calamity. No, sir, this storm has been produced by a species of necromancy, which is endowed only with the faculty of mischief, and which, having raised the elements, has no power of exorcism to lay them. The Prospero whose fatal wand has conjured up these elements into this wild and fearful and disastrous commotion, has no magic power to call up the ministering spirits of the stormy deep, to rescue the sinking fortunes of a whole people, rashly and wickedly exposed to the rocks, winds, waves, and quicksands of this most desperate and imperious experiment.

Sir, the Executive branch of the Government has plunged the country into this stormy sea of desperate adventure, under circumstances which greatly aggravate the outrage committed upon the Constitution, and upon the rights and interests of the people. What excuse or apology can be offered for such a daring presumption and hazardous exercise of power by the Executive? When Cromwell usurped the supreme power in England, he saw the nation torn to pieces by factions and drenched in civil blood; and his strong arm clutched the fallen scepter to save the country from universal desolation. When Bonaparte returned from Egypt, and dispersed the Chamber of Deputies, he found the armies of the Republic driven back,

the finances involved in bankruptcy, and the combined powers of Europe menacing the existence of France. Where, said he, are the conquests I made, the victories I achieved, the resources I supplied, and the armies I left for the security of France? But what was the condition of the United States at that fatal moment, when the evil genius of the President prompted him to assume the fearful responsibility of destroying our system of credit, deranging our system of currency, in open and avowed contempt of the legislative power? What was there in that condition to afford the shadow for the pretext for the usurpation of which we complain? What civil dissensions was it designed to compose; what financial embarrassments and public sufferings was it calculated to relieve?

It is worth while to look back to the inception of this Executive experiment. The people of the United States were in the enjoyment of an unexampled prosperity-literally basking in the sunshine of tranquillity, abundance, and contentment -blessings the more exquisitely realized from their contrast with the troubled scenes which had recently passed away. They had seen a dark and portentous cloud lowering in the horizon, and could almost hear the distant thunder and see the prelusive flashes of the coming storm, which threatened to shake the mighty fabric of this Federal system to its deep foundation. But at this eventful crisis a redeeming power was interposed in the spirit of conciliation; a covenant of peace was ratified here, the storm passed away, and the rainbow circled the arch of the heavens, the cheering harbinger of that happiness and contentment which were the lot of a united people, until the fatal dog-days, when this most pernicious scheme of Executive usurpation was engendered, not to save the country from civil dissensions and restore its disordered finances, but to mar and destroy the brightest vision of happiness that ever blessed the hopes of any people.

And I regret to find that the authors of this fatal experiment are resolved to carry it on in the same reckless spirit in which it was conceived. Nothing has struck me more forcibly than the stubborn perseverance of the Administration in their desperate purposes, hoping against hope, blind to the palpable results of experience, and deaf to the cries of a suffering people. It is a spirit of heartless indifference to popular

suffering, wholly without excuse and almost without example. We have been told by a member of this House (Mr. Beardsley), in the exterminating spirit of that Roman who always concluded his speeches with the motto, "Carthage must be destroyed," that the Bank of the United States must be destroyed by whatever means, and at the hazard of whatever consequences. "Perish commerce, perish credit; give us broken banks and a disordered currency," rather than retrace the step of this Excutive crusade against the bank! And the Chief Magistrate himself declares that "neither the opinion of the Legislature, nor the voice of the people, shall induce him to abandon his purpose, whatever may be the sufferings produced," adding, for the consolation of the enterprising and industrious classes, that if those should fail "who trade upon borrowed capital," they deserve their fate!

Mr. Speaker, we can scarcely give credit to the historian. who records the degeneracy and degradation of a great people of antiquity, when he informs us that a Roman emperor amused himself by fiddling while the capital of his empire and the fortunes of the Roman people were involved in one general conflagration. But our own melancholy and woful experience is but too well calculated to remove any historical skepticism, which might induce us to suppose that the extraordinary spectacle to which I have alluded was drawn rather by the pencil of poetry than by the pen of historical truth. For, even at this early period in our national progress, in the very dawn of our republican institution, we are ourselves exhibiting to the world, which we vainly boast of enlightening by our example, a spectacle, in some of its aspects, more unnatural and revolting than its Roman prototype. If my recollection of this interesting chapter in the history of man be not imperfect, Nero was not himself the incendiary who applied the fatal torch by which the temples and the gods, the Senate House and the Forum, the gorgeous palaces, and the humble cottages of the imperial city were consigned to the devouring elements. Can you say as much, sir, I will not say for the President of the United States, but for that irresponsible cabal which is the living emblem of pestilence and famine, by which even his more noble and generous impulses are converted into instruments of mischief? Who is it that has kindled up that con

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