« ZurückWeiter »
well known :" compromise" resolutions, and, THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE EX by his eloquence and great personal influence, CITEMENT-1819-21.
succeeded in securing their passage—thus The Territory of Missouri came forward, in averting the peril threatened, of a disruption December, 1818, for admission into the Union of the Union. The Compromise consisted of as a State. As Slavery existed in the territo- admitting Missouri as a Slave State, but conry, the admission as a State involved the prin- ceding, as an equivalent for Northern concesciples of a recognition of the peculiar insti- sion in the premises, the prohibition of any tution,” and its right to extension, The
further Slave territory north of the parallel Freesoil element of the Northern or Free 36 deg. 30 min. The Compromise, though States becoming alarmed, resolved to oppose unpalatable to the opponents of the right of the admission of the territory as a State with Slave extension, was accepted as a solemn a Slave clause in its constitution. The South, guarantee against all further extension, as, equally determined, resolved the State should south of the parallel named, the territory then have Slavery if it wanted it, and thereby was not ours. Had it not been proposed and assumed that position which it has ever since pledged as such a guarantee, the bill of Mr. persistently maintained—of a Slave right in Clay never could have passed the House of the territories. The issue, thus squarely pre
Representatives. sented, was met in the House of Represen
It was not until August, 1821, that the tatives by a bill (introduced by Mr. Tall- State was admitted. Prior to this the terrimadge, of New York,) prohibiting Slavery, tory had adopted a State Constitution, one “ except for the punishment of crimes
, and provision of which required the Legislature to that all children born in the said State after pass a law “to prevent free negroes from the admission thereof into the Union, shall be coming to and settling in the State.” When free at the age of twenty-five years." This presented to Congress, this provision was passed the House, but was lost in the Senate. strenuously opposed, but Missouri was finally For eighteen months the discussion was con- admitted, on condition that no law should be tinued in both branches of Congress with passed by which any citizen of either of the great ability, and not without great excitement
States of the Union should be excluded from which extended to every section of the Union the enjoyment of any of the privileges and On the one hand, it was contended that the
immunities to which such citizen is entitled ordinance of 1787, which excluded Slavery
under the Constitution of the United States. from all territory north-west of the river The vote upon the passage of the bill in the Ohio, was a public recognition of the princi- House was 86 to 82, several members from ples of the people of the United States in re- non-Slaveholding States voting for it. In the gard to the establishment of Slavery in new Senate it was passed two to one—28 to 14. States and Territories in that region, and that Missouri thus became one of the United States, the proposal to establish it in Missouri was a
measureably to increase the power of the Slave direct violation of these fundamental princi- States in the government. State by State had ples. On the other hand, it was urged that been added to the original thirteen-AlabaSlavery was incorporated in the system of so- ma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louiciety when Louisiana, which comprehended siana, all with Slavery in their borders, and the territory of Missouri in 1803, was pur- bearing to Congress the preponderating weight chased from the French, and that as the faith of their votes. The admission of Missouri, of the United States was pledged by treaty and the later admission of Arkansas and Floto all the inhabitants of that wide domain to rida, confirmed the supremacy of the South in maintain their rights and privileges on the the National counsels; a supremacy which was same footing with the people of the rest of the not disturbed until the repeal of the Missouri country, it would be a violation of that faith Compromise in 1854 called into life the party and those rights to abolish the institution of which, in 1860, succeeded to the majority.* Slavery without their consent.
* Mr. Everett states :-"Out of seventy-two years Henry Clay then came forward with his since the organization of this government, the Execu
head waters of the Arkansas river. Goorgia THE INDIAN DIFFICULTIES IN
made her demand peremptorily, since she GEORGIA, 1825.
held the Federal Government bound by a The immense tracts of lands held in Geor-compact to relieve her. This compact stipugia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi by the lated that, in consideration of Georgia relinCreeks, Choctaws, Chicksaw and Cherokee quishing her title and claim to the MississipIndians, proved, for awhile, the source of pi Territory, the General Government would
extinguish the Indian titles to the lands withmuch anxiety to government. The “reservations" guaranteed by solemn treaty to the in her confines, “whenever it could be peaceIndians, in the various Southern and Western ably done and on reasonable terms." After States, embraced immense bodies of choice making that agreement the Government suc
ceeded in extinguishing the title to about land, up to a comparatively recent period.
fifteen million acres, and conveyed the same Thus, the treaties secured to the savages, and
to the State of Georgia. There still remained promised protection from all infringements
9,537,000 acres in the possession of the Inby the whites on their domains, territories as
dians, of which 5,292,000 acres belonged to follows :-In Georgia, nine and a half millions of acres; in Alabama, seven and a half mil- the Cherokees and the remainder to the Creek liong; in Mississippi, fifteen and three-quarter Mr. Monroe's administration, the State Gov
nation. Shortly before the termination of millions: in the Territory of Florida, four
ernment became very urgent for the entire millions; in the Territory of Arkansas, fifteen and a half millions; in the State of Missouri, removal of the Indians, and at the solicitation two millions and three-quarters; in Indiana of the Governor two Commissioners were apand Illinois, fifteen millions, and in Michigan, the purchase of their lands. This was a trea
pointed to make a treaty with the Creeks for east of the lake, seven millions. The “march of civilization” soon compass the famous Chief, General William McIntosh,
ty negotiated on the 12th of February, 1825, ed these reservations with white settlements, and, as a matter of course, trouble followed. United States Indian Agent, by which all the
signing it in the presence of Mr. Crowell, the Encroachments would be made by the whites, Creek country and several millions of acres covetous of the land or of its game. Indians in Alabama were ceded to the United States. would murder the whites and give the State authorities and the general government plenty
Complaints followed it to Washington as havto do to keep them in bounds. So great being been concluded by McIntosh without the
authority of the nation. The ratification of came the anxiety, in the Southern States named, to get rid of the aborigines, that their
the treaty was opposed, but was finally carState Legislatures demanded of Government
ried by the strong vote of thirty-four to four. the entire removal of the red-men from their
This sanction, on reaching the ears of the dismidst to the unsettled Territories around the
contented Creeks, produced great excitement,
and a secret council of the nation being called, tive Chair has, for sixty-four years, been filled nearly they resolved not to accept the treaty. The all the time by Southern Presidents ; or when not by death of McIntosh was determined on, and Southern men, by those possessing the confidence of on the 30th of April his house was surroundthe South. For a still longer period the controlling in-ed by a party, who shot him and another fluences of the Legislative and Judicial Departments of chief, and burned his premises. This aroused the government have centered in the same quarter of the State authorities to a determined course, all the offices in the gift of the central power, in and Georgia resolved to take possession of every department, far more than her proportionate the lands by force. Troops were called out share has always been enjoyed by the South.” It is to sustain the claim. By this act the State well to remember so important a fact. Judge Holt, of Kentucky, uses these facts, in his speech made at opened a contròversy with the General Goy"Camp Holt,” late in July, 1860, with most damag- ernment, which was bound to protect the Ining force against those who make the plea that the dians in their just rights. South has been deusied her rights and just share in
When Mr, Adams came into power he made the Government.
the subject an early matter of examination,
and became convinced that the Indians were The passage of the Tariff Act of 1828 was right-that the treaty, as they represented, the immediate cause of the excitement known had been made by McIntosh without author- as the “Nullification” rebellion. That act ity, and therefore that the enforcement of its heavily taxed woolens and other imported provision ought not to be urged. As Georgia products-thus greatly enhancing their price had called out troops to force the savages to the South, and restricting importations. into an acceptance and fulfillment of the The complaint was one well calculated to treaty, it only remained for the President to excite a bitter feeling in the Cotton States, order a Federal force to the confines of the since it took the shape of a “Northern exacreservation to protect the Indians in their tion"—a “tribute to Northern capital and rights. This step aroused not only Georgia, labor” -an “unequal assessment of burdens,” but also the adjoining States, who were pre- &c. Mr. Hayne, U. S. Senator from South pared, with troops and money, to assist Geor- Carolina, in January, 1830, arraigned the act gia “against the Government and the In- as unconstitutional, and asserted the right dians."
and duty of the State to nullify the law - by To avoid this hazard of war, Mr. Adams refusing to pay the required duties. This succeeded in gathering at Washington, in speech called forth from Webster his great January, 1826, the head men and responsible oration on the powers of the Constitution. representatives of the Creeks, and concluded In it he so thoroughly killed the assumed a new treaty, which was substituted for the right of nullification, that, for the moment, old one, whereby all the lands in Georgia the friends of resistance to the law were inwere ceded, but none in Alabama. Notwith- timidated, if not convinced. standing the oposition of the Georgia delega The excitement, however, soon received a tion in Congress, the new treaty was ratified new impetus, from a most trivial but not less by the Senate at the ensuing session by a vote significant source. The matter is thus stated: of thirty to seven, and the appropriations On the 15th of April, 1830, the anniversary were made by the House of Representatives of the birthday of Thomas Jefferson was celeby à vote of one hundred and sixty-seven to brated by a numerous company at Washingten. This treaty was faithfully observed by ton city, among whom were the President the Indians, and Georgia became possessed of and Vice-President of the United States, sevtheir valuable land, after waiting a quarter eral members of his Cabinet, and a numerous of a century for Government to fulfil its agree attendance of the members of Congress. ment (made in 1802). At a late day the With the promulgation of the toasts the feelCherokees' title was extinguished in Alaba- ing began to spread that the dinner was got ma, though their removal to the West was up to inaugurate the doctrine of nullification, not accomplished until Gen. Scott took the and make Mr. Jefferson its father. Numbers matter in hand (in May, 1838).
left the table, but the company was still numerous and the festivity a success. When the regular toasts were over, the President
selves. The time has gone by for us as partisans to THE SOUTH CAROLINA NULLIFICA
make special pleas to explain away or qualify acts TION CONSPIRACY, 1832-3.
and expressions of great leaders. Let plain words
be interpreted in the plain way. There has been so This Conspiracy raised the direct issue, in- much“ pettifogging” in regard to the clear, Saxon vented by Mr. Jefferson in his Resolutions of expressions of the Constitution, so much good sense '98, of the right of a State to nullify the acts wasted in constructing equivocalities for party platof Congress and to be its own judge of the forms, so much legal doubt created by Supreme constitutionality of a law.*
Court decisions on property in men, that we should
be permitted to regard them all as consigned to the * It is denied that Mr. Jefferson is the originator past, and to read the records by the new and direct of the idea ; but, as we have before remarked, the light of a present disenthralment of mind from old evidence to the contrary is the resolutions them. I passions and prejudices.
was called upon for a volunteer, and gave Meetings took place throughout the State one which has since become historical. close upon the Presidential election. The
* Our Federal Union—it must be preserv- Legislature came together amid much exciteed." Under the peculiar circumstances of ment. One of its first acts was to appoint a the case—the feeling that had found vent in Committee to report on the relations of the South Carolina and elsewhere in that section, State with the General Government. It reand the excited state of the public mind gen-ported that the Federal Constitution was a erally, this simple sentiment was received as a compact originally formed, not between the proclamation from the President to announce people of the different States as distinct and a plot against the Union. The next toast independent sovereignties; that when any was by Mr. Calhoun, and it did not by any violation of the spirit of that compact took means allay the suspicions which existed in place, it was not only the right of the people, every bosom. It was this:
but of the State Legislature, to remonstrate - The Union, next to our liberty, the most against it; that the Federal Government was dear: may we all remember that it can only responsible to the State Legislatures whenbe preserved by respecting the rights of the ever it assumed powers not conferred; that States, and distributing equally the benefit notwithstanding a tribunal was appointed and burthen of the Union."
under the Constitution to decide controverIn the language of Thomas H. Benton, who sies where the United States. was a party, was present, “this toast touched all the ten- there were some questions that must occur der parts of the new question-liberty before between the Government and the State which Union-only to be preserved. State rights, it would be unsafe to submit to any judicial inequality of burthens and benefits. These tribunal; and finally, that there was a pecuphrases connecting themselves with Mr. liar propriety in a State Legislature's underHayne's speech, and with proceedings and taking to decide for itself, inasmuch as the publications in South Carolina, unveiled nul- Constitution had not provided any remedy. lification as a new and distinct doctrine in A convention of delegates was thereupon the United States, and the existence of a new ordered to assemble on the 19th of Novemparty in the field.”
ber, to act for the State, in the crisis. MeanFrom that moment the issue was. directly while the Virginia Legislature, also, by a vote presented in the shape of “our rights or dis- of 154 to 68, gave her assent to the principle union," and the State Rights party, in the of nullification. North Carolina declared extreme Southern States, became very power- against it and held out firmly for the Constiful, particularly in South Carolina—the home tution and the laws. Alabama and Georgia of both Mr. Hayne and John C. Calhoun, endorsed South Carolina heartily, and their where their influence was remarkably strong course led the country to feel that, in event
To meet the approaching storm, and avert of South Carolina's secession, they would folthe calamity of an open rupture with South low her lead. Government had just succeedCarolina, a modification was made of the of- ed at enormous cost, in extinguishing the Infensive act; but, the duties were not abated dian titles to lands in these States, and they enough. The fact that the movement for in return, were ready to cast off the Governnullification and secession had frightened ment. Congress into some concessions made the The Convention of Delegates assembled on State Rights men more strenuous than ever. the 19th of November. Governor Hayne It gave them the prestige which comes from (late United States Senator) was made its victory. Had not Mr. Calhoun been elected President. The Tariff acts of 1828 and 1832 Vice-President of the United States? Had were declared null and void and not binding Dot Congress made concessions and betrayed upon the citizens of the States. It was fura nervous apprehension of South Carolina ther declared that if the United States should threats? The leaders of the nullification attempt to enforce them by naval or military movement deemed the beginning auspicious force, the Union was to be dissolved, and a for a glorious ending.
convention called to form a government for
South Carolina. It further provided that no of the harbor at the cannon's mouth, if neces appeal should be permitted to the Supreme sary. Court of the United States in any question At the opening of Congress, Jackson sent concerning the validity of the ordinance, or in his Message, setting forth the facts of the of the laws passed to give effect thereto. case. His policy was one of peaceful settleThis threw the die for the movements to fol- ment, if possible; but, if Congress did not low. The Legislature immediately took all repeal or modify the law, he was ready to steps necessary to carry out the programme force South Carolina into submission. Nulof the Convention—the legislators being con- lification he termed revolution, which he vened for the especial purpose, by call of the was bound to suppress. The entire country, Governor. The acts adopted embraced one save the States of Virginia, South Carolina, authorizing the Governor to call on the mili- Georgia and Alabama, approved “Old Hicktia to resist any attempt on the part of the ory's” policy, and stood ready to sustain him. Goverament of the United States to enforce Even in these apparently disloyal States there the revenue laws. Ten thousand stand of was a very powerful Union party, which rearms and the requisite quantity of military pudiated the baleful idea of nullification, and munitions were ordered to be purchased, and which, eventually, succeeded in making itself any acts done in pursuance of that law were heard and felt. to be held lawful in the State courts.
The determined front of the governmentThis was followed by the resignation of the the argument read in General Scott's faceVice-President of the United States by Mr. the silent admonition of Moultrie's guns, inCalhoun, and he proceeded to Washington to duced a material abatement of the nullifiers' resume his seat in the Senate. The Presi- zeal. South Carolina, it became painfully dent, Andrew Jackson, just re-elected, felt evident to the leaders of the conspiracy, could extremely indignant toward Calhoun, and, it not get out of the Union if she would.
Her is now known, had made up his mind to ar revenues were collected by the Collector, at rest him, on his arrival at the Capital, to the regular Custom House, and, in all other try him for high treason, and to hang him if respects, the state of affairs was not changed. convicted. He was persuaded from this ex- The Convention, after its most extraordinary treme and hazardous course by Mr. Webster display of arrogance and opposition, resolved and others; and, on the 10th, issued his fa- to wait until Feb. 1st before ordering hostile mous proclamation against the nullifiers, in action! which was forcibly and plainly stated the na On the 21st of January, Mr. Wilkins, of ture of the American Government; the pre- Pennsylvania, introduced in the United States tended right of sovereignty was denied; the su- Senate his bill, to empower the President to premacy of the Federal Government declared, crush out all opposition to the collection of and an exhortation made to the citizens of the revenue by suminoning the military powSouth Carolina not to persist in a course er of the Confederacy. Pending the discuswhich must bring upon their State the force sion which followed, Calhoun delivered his of the Confederacy, and expose the Union to argument on the Constitution. It was a most the hazard of dissolution. At the same time powerful and subtle plea, claiming the rights all the disposable military force was ordered of states as states and independencies, and asto åssemble at Charleston, and a sloop-of-war suming nullification to be the bulwark of their was sent to that port to protect the Federal liberties. The speech was published and cirofficers, if necessary, in the discharge of their culated extensively throughout the country, duty. General Scott, then as at a later day, to be quickly followed by Webster's truly the watchful Guardian of the public wcal, magnificent reply, which, in fact, made the was given charge of the military movements, Government and the Constitution stronger under special instructions from Lewis Cass, for the assault of the Carolina logician. The Secretary of War. Ere the South Carolinians bill of Mr. Wilkins passed by an almost unawere aware Scott was in Fort Moultrie, with nimous vote—so united was the sentiment on a strong force, prepared to collect the revenues the question of sustaining the laws and pro