« AnteriorContinuar »
Jan. 30, 1833.]
Revenue Collection Bill.
sections of the bill. As to the others, although unguard-1 Mr. B. then passed to the consideration of the fifth ed and objectionable, they may be amended. So long as section, which he read as follows: the contest is between judiciary and judiciary, so long as Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That whenever the it is waged by opinions and counter-opinions, with press President of the United States shall be officially informed and paper, or pen and paper, it is comparatively harmless. by the authorities of any State, or by the circuit and one It is when force is to be employed that I am apprehensive of the district judges of the United States, in the State, of danger.
that, within the limits of such State, any law or laws of (Here Mr. B. read from the bill the provision which the United States, or the execution thereof, or of any authorized the removal of the custom-houses, and even process from the courts of the United States, will, in any to keep them on board a vessel, where the collection event, be obstructed by the employment of military force, of the revenue is obstructed or threatened: “and it or by any other unlawful means, too great to be overcome shall be the duty of the collector to reside at such place, by the ordinary course of judicial proceeding, or by the and there to detain all vessels and cargoes arriving within power vested in the marshal by existing laws, it shall be the said district, until the duties imposed on said cargoeslawful for him, the President of the United States, forthby law be paid in cash, deducting interest, according to with to issue his proclamation, declaring such fact or inexisting laws; and, in such cases, it shall be unlawful to formation, and requiring all such military and other force take the vessel or cargo from the custody of the proper forth with to disperse; and if, at any time after issuing officer of the customs, unless by process from some court such proclamation, any such opposition or obstruction of the United States."] ,
sball be made, in the manner or by the means aforesaid, On this part of the section he would remark, that, as it the President shall be, and hereby is, authorized promptwas applied to the State of South Carolina alone, it is a ly lo employ such means to resist and suppress the same, violation of the constitution, which requires that “no and to cause the said laws or process to be duly executed, preference shall be given, by any regulation of commerce as are authorized and provided in the cases therein menor revenue, to the ports of one State over another.” The tioned by the act of the twenty-eighth of February, distinction between one port and another is apparent and one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, entitled oppressive, which makes duties payable at one port in cash, " An act to provide for calling forth the militia to execute and in others in bonds. As to so much of the section as di- the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, repel invarects that the goods shall be kept till the money is paid, he sions, and to repeal the act now in force for that purwould say nothing, as he would not dwell on minute points pose;" and, also, by the act of the third of March, one while others of great importance demanded attention. I thousand eight bundred and seven, entitled “An ,act
The section goes on to provide that “in case of any authorizing the employment of the land and payal forces attempt otherwise to take any vessel or cargo by any force of the United States, in cases of insurrection." or combination, or assemblage of persons too great to be Mark the words; when the President is officially inovercome by the officers of the customs, it shall and may formed that the operation of the law "will, in any be lawful for the President of the United States, or such event, be obstructed by military force,” or “by any person or persons as he shall have empowered for that other unlawful means," &c., he may issue his propurpose, to employ such part of the land or naval forces, clamation, and thereafter employ military force. Now, or militia of the United States, as may be deemed neces- sir, I beg leave to ask the meaning of “any other unlawful sary, for the purpose of preventing the removal of such means.” vessel or cargo, and protecting the officers of the customs Are they not intended to include the state of things in in retaining the custody thereof; and also for the purpose South Carolina? Do they not mean that, if the State of suppressing any armed or riotous assemblage of per- shall not rescind the ordinance and her laws, the Presisons resisting the custom-house officers in the exercise of dent may employ the army, navy, and militia, to compel their duties, or in any manner opposing the execution of her? They are intended to oppose South Carolina by the revenue laws of the United States, or otherwise vio- force of arms--by war. Yes, sir, it is war against a State: lating or assisting and abetting violations of the same.” lit authorizes a declaration of war against the State of
The offences included under the words “or in any South Carolina, to be made by proclamation of the Premanner opposing the execution of the revenue laws, or sident, in his discretion, upon after, not upon existing facts. otherwise assisting and abetting,” are too general and un- The power to declare war is, by the constitution, vestdefined. They do not go sutficiently into detail, to secure ed in the Congress. They are to judge and decide on the the rights of citizens in a free Government. Such general policy and expediency of so calamitous a measure, before terms in creating offences, conferring powers on military libe honest industrious yeomanry of the country are officers to shoot down the supposed offenders, suit only called from their peaceful homes to partake of the toile, despotic Governments, where the subject is considered privations, and miseries of war. But in defence of the but a thing, the property of the autocrat. They do not constitution, which he will violate by this very act, we comport with the genius of our institutions. If the mili- are to confer upon a single Executive Magistrate the tary is to supplant the civil authority; if, instead of a fair power vested in Congress by the constitution. Yes, sir, and impartial trial by jury, the supposed offender is to be it is giving power to the President to declare war, and to executed at once by the soldiery, shot down as a wild make such declaration effectual by the naval and military beast, the offence should be clearly defined and flagrant. forces. Sir, I am not in favor of this. “It has an awful Now, sir, I do object to conferring on the Chief Magis- squinting towards monarchy.” trate and his subordinate military officers the power to While on this part of the subject, my mind leads me declare and punish offences, included under such vague to those times when the colonies maintained, as rightful, expressions. The power which I would give to the Pre- resistance to unjust and oppressive usurpation; when the sident of my choice, I would give to any other President; spirit of freedom and patriotism animated the breasts of but I would not trust any President with such power. I our ancestors. Great Britain attempted to introduce miwould not set so bad an example, to exert its dangerous litary force to overawe and humble the colony of Massainfluence on future generations. If one President is in- chusetts. A resolution of the Legislature of Massachu. vested with such authority, it becomes a precedent for setts was passed in 1769, declaring “that the establishfuture Legislatures to imitate and enlarge. My objections ment of a standing army in this colony, in time of peace, are not aimed at the man who is in the Executive chair, is an invasion of natural rights; that a standing army is but they allude to general principles--to the safeguards not known as a part of the British constitution; that of civil liberty.
sending an armed force into the colony, under pretence
Revenue Collection Bill.
[Jan. 30, 1833.
of assisting the civil authority, is highly dangerous to li- To view these questions correctly, let us look to the berty, unprecedented, and unconstitutional.”
condition of the colonies before they threw off the yoke This bill proposes to send the army and navy against of the mother country. As colonies, they were separate South Carolina, under pretence of assisting the civil au- and distinct communities; each had its separate Legislathority of the United States. Instead of hearing the com- ture (by some termed General Court,) its Executive, and plaints of South Carolina, and legislating on the tariff, the Judiciary. They were settled under distinct charters source of her complaint, we authorize the President to granted by the crown. They were planted at different declare war. By an act of conciliation, we may heal the periods, and were emphatically distinct Governments. unhappy discontents. Because public sentiment defies in that condition they were when the arbitrary measures our law, we are invited to send a standing army to sup- of the British Government roused them to resistance. press the authorities of a sovereign State. Sir, is it not in this they had a common interest; a common feeling; monstrous, when the very message of the President de common burdens to complain of; and held, in common, a clares that the system complained of is unjust and op. spirit of freedom, which determined them to unite in depressive, to seize upon this bill, and bring into effect the fence of their violated rights. When resistance was the law of force, instead of the law of justice, reason, and question, they deliberated, separately at first: a common conciliation? Instead of turning a listening ear to the cause induced them to interchange communications, and complaints of South Carolina, we are to turn upon her a general Congress of the colonies was proposed and our cannon. Should we not first try to appease these adopted. In the general Congress the votes were taken discontents, by legislating on the subjects of her grievance, by colonies. The very declaration of independence was in a spirit of justice, attempted by a spirit of mutual con- voted by colonies. Some of the States had declared cession and conciliation? Is it not wanton, when we have themselves independent before the declaration promulat hand a remedy so easy and peaceful, to have recourse gated by Congress. North Carolina was the first; and I to the “ultima ratio," the law of force?
have seen an exemplification of the original document, in Nature has established diversity of climates, interests, which that State had declared herself free, sovereign, and habits, in the extensive territories embraced by this and independent, long prior to the declaration by conUnion. We cannot assimilate these differences by legis- gress. The State of Virginia, too, preceded Congress in łation. We cannot conquer nature. Other differences her declaration of independence. have been introduced by human laws and adventitious But it was in vain to go into details; for, before the 4th circumstances, very difficult, if not impossible, to be ad- of July, 1776, each of the States, by its acts of resistance justed by one General Legislature. Hence the necessity to tyranny and oppression, bad thrown off its allegiance cf local Governments with their appropriate powers, and to the crown of Great Britain, assumed to itself a sove. a General Government with its appropriate powers. reignty, and claimed the right to consult with co-States, Therefore, the respective States, in making up the pre- and to form a league for common defence; and, in virtue sent system of Federal Government, reserved to them- of such right, did send delegates to the General Congress; selves all the powers which were local in their nature, did there assume the right to take their stand among the and which, if exercised by any other than themselves, nations of the world. The first meeting of delegates was were likely to lead to the most prejudicial consequences. held in September, 1774, and from that time until July,
It seemed to him, that the proclamation and message 1776, continued to consult without any plan or league to assert, in substance, that, by the declaration of indepen-bind them.-[Here Mr. B, read from 1 vol. Laws U. S. dence, these United States were one single consolidated chap. 1. and p. 1.) Finally, in July, 1776, the declaranation; that the constitution was made by the United/tion of independence was agreed on; and it is called the States as one single nation; adopted by the people of the unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of United States as one people; or, in other words, that it America. But this is not all. The instrument, after was adopted by a consolidated mass of the whole people, giving a history of their grievances, and speaking of the in contradistinction to the views of many of our most dis- failure of Great Britain to hear their complaints and retinguished statesmen, that it was adopted by the people dress them, concludes with this emphatic language: of the States, respectively. It is important, to sustain the “We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States first and fifth sections of this bill, that the grounds taken of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to in the proclamation and message should be adopted; that the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our is to say, that the constitution be made to spring from the intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the whole as a mass, and not from the people in States, acting good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and de. as separate and distinct Governments. It is in the for- clare that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to mer view only that the people of South Carolina, acting be, free and independent States.” Not an independent in obedience to State authorities, can be treated as rioters nation, but, in the language of the declaration, free and and lawless banditti. If the other view of the constitu-independent States. And the instrument goes further. tion be correct, then we cannot treat the people of South It declares that they (the States) are absolved from all Carolina as rioters and lawless banditti, but regard them allegiance to the British crown, and that all political as a State, and war with them as a State.
connexion between them and the State of Great Britain My creed is, that, by the declaration of independence, is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free the States were declared to be free and independent and independent States, they have full power to levy war, States, thirteen in number, not one nation; that' the old conclude peace, contract alliances, cstablish commerce, articles of confederation united them as distinct States, and do all other acts and things which independent States not as one people; that the treaty of peace of 1783, ac- may of right do. And, for the support of this declaration, knowledged their independence as States, not as a single with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Provination; that the federal constitution was framed by States, dence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our submitted to the States, and adopted by the States, as dis- fortunes, and our sacred honor.” The very declaration tinct nations or States, not as a single nation or people. proclaiming to the world that thirteen stars had risen in
By canvassing these conflicting opinions, we shall the the firmanent of nations-not a single nation, but thirteenbetter understand how far South Carolina has transcend- ought to have arrested the statement advanced in the ed her reserved powers as a sovereign State; how far proclamation. we can lawfully make war upon her; and whether we, or 'On the 11th June, 1776, it had been resolved that a South Carolina, are likely to transcend the barriers pro- committee be appointed to prepare and digest a form vided in the constitution of the United States.
of confederation, to be entered into between the co
Jax. 30, 1833.]
Revenue Collection Bill.
lonies. Upon the 12th July, 1776, (Secret Journal, p. stipulation that “ His Britannic Majesty acknowledges 290,) that committee reported a draught of articles, which the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachuwere from time to time debated, until the 15th of Novem-setts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, ber, 1777.-(1 vol. Secret Journal, p. 349.)
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Now, bearing in mind the dates of these respective trans- Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South actions, which will be found in the first volume of the Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, sovereign, and inde. Laws United States, p. 1 to 20, it will be seen that at the pendent States; that he treats with them as such." time these colonies were acting as distinct sovereignties, The fifth article of the definitive treaty stipulates “ that and made their declaration of independence, these articles the Congress shall earnestly recommend it to the Legislawere then in fieri, and were not even reported by the tures of the respective States to provide for the restitution committee. But after the declaration they were reported, of all estates, rights, and properties, which have been conagreed on, and sent to the several States for ratification. fiscated,” &c. The ratifications were adopted by the respective States, at The sovereignty of the States, and their power to redifferent times, and signed by their delegates at various store,or not, the confiscated estates, are distinctly acknowperiods between the 21st July, 1778, and the 1st of March, ledged by both parties to the definitive treaty of peace. 1781. (Here Mr. Bibb read from 1 vol. Laws United I shall not stop to battle the watch about unqualified States, p. 12 and p. 20, the dates of the signatures by the and qualified sovereignty. A monarchy may be limited respective States.
or unlimited. A republican Government may confer liThese facts show, conclusively, that so far from the mited powers to the agents of the people, or unlimited States forming themselves into a single nation by the de- powers. A qualified or unqualified sovereignty may claration of independence, they never came finally into exist in monarchies and in republics. In our Governments a confederacy until the delegates from Maryland sub- the sovereignty is in the people of each State. The State scribed the articles in 1781. The preamble itself, said Governments do not confer unlimited powers over the doMr. B., is a refutation of any idea that the United States mestic affairs of the State. But yet the people of a State, is one single nation. It is as follows:
united under a State Government, constitute a sovereign“Whereas the delegates of the United States of America, ty. A portion of sovereign power is expressly withheld in Congress assembled, did, on the fifteenth day of Novem- by the State constitutions. ber, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred But sovereigns may be united with sovereigns, and and seventy-seven, and in the second year of the inde- may divide delegated powers between the local sove. pendence of America, agree to certain articles of confe- reignties and the united sovereigns. The United States deration and perpetual union between the States of New are united sovereignties. The people have delegated a Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Pro. portion of their powers as State sovereignties to their vidence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jer- particular State Government, and another portion to the sey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Government of the united sovereignties. Neither GoyCarolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, in the words fol- ernment is an unqualified sovereignty. The State and lowing, viz:
Federal Governments are limited qualified sovereignties; " Articles of confederation and perpetual union be-all bound to keep within their respective spheres; each tween the States of," &c. (naming them.)
a usurper and a disturber of order when transcending the The first article declares that the style of this confede- limits prescribed. racy shall be “ The United States of America."
Such is the history of the old confederation which The second article declares « that each State retains brought us so gloriously through the war of the revoluits sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every tion. The idea that it was a single consolidated nation, power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this con- is repelled by the archives of the States, by the journals federation expressly delegated to the United States in of Congress, and by the definitive treaty of peace. Congress assembled.” So far, then, from being made one I will next proceed to examine whether this idea of a nation by the confederation, and acquiring the rights of na- single nation, this Government made by the people in tionality as such, the independence of the several States mass, as contradistinguished from the people of the repreceded both it and the declaration.
spective States, is sustained by the history and context of Again: the third article declares that the said States the existing constitution. hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship On the 21st of February, 1787, Congress, reciting in a with each other for their common defence, the security preamble " that there is a provision in the articles of of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare; confederation and perpetual union for making alterations binding themselves to assist each other against all force therein,” by assent of Congress and of the Legislatures offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, of the several States, passed a resolution, which will be on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other found in the first volume of the laws of the United States, pretence whatever.”
p. 59, in these words:-Resolved, That in the opinion of And again: the articles of confederation, after giving Congress, it is expedient that, on the second Monday in various powers to the Government, in the thirteenth ar- May next, a convention of delegates, who shall have been ticle, declare that
appointed by the several States, be held at Philadelphia, “Every State shall abide by the determination of for the sole and express purpose of revising the articles of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions confederation, and reporting to Congress and the several which by this confederation are submitted to them. And Legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as the articles of this confederation shall be inviolably ob- sball, when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the served by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual: States, render the federal constitution adequate to the nor shall any alteration, at any time hereafter, be made in exigencies of the Government, and the preservation of any of them, unless such alteration be agreed to in a Con- the Union." gress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed in pursuance of this resolution, delegates, appointed by the Legislature of every State.”
by the several States, met in convention. On the 17th of But the proof does not stop here. By the provisional September, 1787, Congress received the report of the articles of peace of the 30th November, 1782, and by the convention lately held in Philadelphia, in the following definitive treaty of the 3d of September, 1783, made be. words; (Here the constitution was set forth, verbatim.-tween the United States and Great Britain, mutually 1st vol. Laws U. S. p. 59, 60.) agned and accepted, the first article in each contains the To this constitution were appended two resolves of the
Revenue Collection Bill.
[Jan. 30, 1833.
convention, (same vol. p. 70.) The first is, that the re-l 3. New Jersey, December 18, 1787.
8. South Carolina, May 23, 1788. The second resolution recommends, that, as soon as 9. New Hampshire, June 21, 1788. nine States had ratified, the Congress “ should fix a day 10. Virginia, June 26, 1788. on which the electors should be appointed by the States 11. New York, July 26, 1788. which shall have ratified the same," a day for assembling It would appear that, Congress having appointed the the electors to vote for President and Vice President, first Wednesday in January, 1789, for choosing electors, and the time and place for commencing proceedings un- and the first Wednesday in March, 1789, for proceedings der this constitution, &c.
Junder the constitution, it went into operation without To the reports of the constitution was also appended North Carolina and Rhode Island, North Carolina did an address agreed upon, by the unanimous order of the not ratify the new constitution until the 21st November, convention, to the President of Congress. In this letter 1789; Rhode Island not until the 29th May, 1790. Of these sentiments are conveyed: the desire long felt, the two Carolinas, the North State was the first to throw “that the power of making war, peace, and treaties, that off the colonial subjection to the British crown, and to of levying money and regulating commerce, and the encounter boldly the consequences of those awful words, correspondent executive and judicial authorities, should rebel and traitor, with which kings never fail to denounce be fully and effectually vested in the General Government those who defy their power and struggle for liberty. of the Union.”
She was quick to risk all in war against a foreign power, “It is obviously impracticable in the Federal Governfor liberty and independence, but slow to come into the ment of these States to secure all the rights of indepen- compact, until she believed the principles of civil and dent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest (political liberty were sufficiently guarded from controand safety of all.” The difficulty which had arisen in versy at home. fixing the rights to be surrendered, and those to be re. It cannot be denied that the constitution was made and served, because of the difference among the several adopted by the States, severally and distinctly; for, until States as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular it was ratified by a State for herself, and by her own interests; the great importance which they had kept in consent, it had no obligation on her. The ratification of view, “the consolidation of our Union, in which is in- eleven States could not impose it upon North Carolina volved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national and Rhode Island; and the vote of twelve States, which existence."
Jincluded more than twelve-thirteenths of the population That “the constitution we now present is the result of of the United States, could not impose it upon the small a spirit of amity, and of that mutual deference and con- State of Rhode Island, until accepted by her. There cession which the peculiarity of our political situation was not one single State that did not ratify in the name of rendered indispensable.”
the State, in the name of the people who were bound to. That each State should consider “that had her interest gether in the State Government. Mr. B. referred to the rabeen alone consulted, the consequences might have been tification by the State of Pennsylvania, and quoted from it particularly disagreeable or injurious to others.”
the following words: “Be it known unto all men, that we, Upon this report, the Congress, on the 28th Septem- the delegates of the people of the commonwealth of ber, 1787, came to the following resolve: (p. 60.) Pennsylvania in general convention assembled, bave as.
“ Resolved, unanimously, That the said report, with the sented to and ratified, and do, in the name and by resolutions and letter accompanying the same, be trans- the authority of the same people, and for ourselves, assent mitted to the several Legislatures, in order to be submit to and ratify the foregoing constitution," &c. Further, ted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each State, by in the ratification by the State of New Jersey, is to be the people thereof, in conformity to the resolves of the found the following language: “In convention of the convention made and provided in tbat case.”
State of New Jersey,” (ihen the act of the Legislature The constitution, so transmitted to the Legislatures, of New Jersey, authorizing the convention, is recited.) was by them respectively submitted to State conven- “Now be it known, that we, the delegates of the State tions, elected in each State, and assembled under the law of New Jersey, chosen by the people thereof for the of each several State.
purpose aforesaid, having maturely deliberated on and On the 13th September, 1788, nine States unanimously considered the aforesaid constitution, do hereby, for and in Congress adopted a preamble and resolution, reciting on behalf of the people of the said State of New Jersey, the resolve of February 21st, 1787, for revising the arti- ratify and confirm the same, and every part thereof." cles of confederation; the report of the convention of the these two ratifications are fair specimens of the residue, 17th September, 1787; the resolve of Congress of the and seem to show the sense and understanding of those 28th of September, 1787, for transmitting the report, who did the acts; that they did it for the State, for the resolutions, and letter to the several Legislatures; and people of the State, acting in pursuance of an act of the that the said constitution had been ratified by a sufficient Legislature, as binding that State, but not as operating benumber, which ratifications had been received by Con- yond the limits and jurisdiction of the State. gress. Therefore they appointed the first Wednesday in | Thus I have given an authentic history of the rise, proJanuary, 1789, for choosing the electors in the several gress, and ratification of the constitution of the United States which before that should have ratified; the first States. It grew out of the league of friendship and Wednesday in February, 1789, for the electors to assem- perpetual union contained in the articles of confederable to vote for President and Vice President; and the first tion. Wednesday in March, 1789, for commencing proceedings. It was proposed by virtue of a provision for amendment under said constitution at New York. (See preamble and contained in these articles. resolution of 13th September, 1788. Laws U. S. vol. i. The resolution of Congress, proposing to the States the p. 60.)
convention, recited the provision in the articles of confeThe ratifications were at the following times:
deration as the cause. 1. Delaware, December 12, 1787.
The convention was appointed by States, and voted by 2. Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787.
Revenue Collection Bill.
Jax. 30, 1833.]
The report of the convention was approved by the action on the proposed constitution. Each convention Congress, voting by States.
acted as the agents and delegates of a people knit togeIt was transmitted to the Legislatures of the several States. ther by the particular State Government under whose au
The several Legislatures authorized the elections of thority it was elected and assembled, not as the agents of the conventions, and defined the object, and their powers. people who had no Government, or who intended to
It was ratified by States; and, being so ratified, it be- dissolve their existing State Government. came obligatory, according to the seventh article, which That the State Governments are the first-born, the elder; is in these words:
that they were endowed with the rights of " free and “ The ratifications of the conventions of nine States independent States;" in possession of the powers, privishall be sufficient for the establishment of this constitu- leges, attributes, and prerogatives of sovereign States; tion, between the States so ratifying the same.",
that the Federal Government is the younger; that it Aye, sir, "ibetween the States;" not over the people, sprang from the States; that it owes its being and powers but between the States so ratifying. How ratifying? By to the concessions of the State Governments; that its conventions of the people in each State. If these con- powers are delegated and limited; derivative, not inherventions were not the representatives and delegates of ent; that the powers not delegated to it are reserved to States, why did the constitution provide that, upon the the States--are solemn truths, attested by the memory of ratification of nine States, it should be established “be- witnesses; by the journals; by public records; by authentic tween the States so ratifying the same?" To say that testimonials deposited in our archives, and in those of these conventions were not the representatives of States; foreign nations; by the constitution itself. Neither the to say that the constitution was ratified by and over a breath of sophists, nor the denials of politicians, nor the mass of people, independent of the authorities and juris dictums of courts, nor the proclamation of a President, dictions which distinguish and divide them into States, can obliterate the past, deniolish the facts, nor hide these contradicts the language of the constitution, and the fact. truths from the common sense of mankind.
The expression, « we, the people of the United The federal constitution was not only created by the States," in the preamble of the constitution, ought not to States, but is a compact between the States. The seventh be detached from the seventh article, requiring the rati- article is a testimony to this. The ratification of nine fication of nine States, and from all other parts of the States shall make it “obligatory between the States so instrument, for the purpose of giving a meaning false in ratifying." The instrument abounds with compacts befact, and contradictory to its history. They are explained tween the States. The ratifications of the States of New by the resolution for transmitting it to the State Legisla- Hampshire and Massachusetts treat the instrument actures; by the fact that each State deliberated and ratified cording to truth, as a compact between the States. (Mr. for itself; and by the seventh article, which declared it B. read the ratification of the State of Massachusetts, as obligatory “between the States so ratifying;" by the follows: known truth that no State was bound, unless by its own “In convention of the delegates of the people of Masassent. The ratification of twelve States did not make it sachusetts, February 6th, 1778.” “ The convention havobligatory on the State or people of Rhode Island. “We, ing impartially discussed and fully considered the constithe people of the United States.” What is the meaning tution for the United States of America, reported to here of the word “united?” Does it mean a united Congress by the convention of delegates from the United people, consolidated into one mass, without reference to States of America, and submitted to us by a resolution of the respective sovereignties into which they had been the general court of the said commonwealth, passed the divided under separate State Governments? No, sir; it is 25th day of October last past, and acknowledging, with States united; not united people without their States. grateful hearts, the goodness of the Supreme Ruler of People may exist without States, but States cannot exist the universe in affording the people of the United States, without people. " United States," by the force of ex- in the course of his providence, an opportunity, delibepression, means a plurality of States, a plurality of sove- rately and peaceably, without fraud or surprise, of enterreignties or Governments united. The resolution of ing into an explicit and solemn compact with each other, Congress, of February 21, 1787, recommending the con- by assenting to and ratifying a new constitution, in order vention under which the delegates were appointed and to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure acted, declared the objects to be “for the sole and ex- domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, press purpose of revising the articles of confederation,” promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of and reporting “such alterations and provisions therein, liberty to themselves and their posterity, do, in the name as shall, when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by and behalf of the people of the commonwealth of Masthe States, render the federal constitution adequate to the sachusetts, assent to and ratify the said constitution for exigencies of Government, and the preservation of the the United States of America." Union.” What Union? That which had been formed, Mark the expressions, “in affording the people of the and then existing--the union of States--signified on their United States” “an opportunity” “of entering into an ensign armorial by the thirteen stripes and thirteen stars, explicit and solemn compact with each other," "do, in forming a new constellation; and yet signified on our the name and behalf of the people of the commonwealth escutcheon by the stars, the bundle of arrows in the talon of Massachusetts, assent to and ratify," &c. The people of the eagle, and the motto “ E pluribus unum"-out of of the “ commonwealth of Massachusetts” ratify is a many Governments, one.
compact." With whom? Between the said people of The respective State conventions, (called to deliberate the commonwealth of Massachusetts," and the people on the proposed alterations in the old “ federal constitu- of the other United States. The assent of the majority tion," by the new constitution,) represented the respect- of delegates of the people of the commonwealth of Masive State Governments. The assent of the State Legis- sachusetts bound the whole commonwealth to the comlature was a prerequisite to the assemblage of such a pact with the people of the other commonwealths, who, convention. The Legislature prescribed the time and by the assent of the majority in each commonwealth, manner of the election, and limited the purpose and bound the dissenting minorities. But the dissenting mipower of the convention. The convention, so elected nority in each commonwealth could not be bound to a and assembled, did not dissolve the State Government; compact, but by force of the power of the majority of a they had no power to dissolve or revise the State constitu- commonwealth to bind the minority, according to the tion; their delegations of power from the people were provisions of the State constitution. Dissenting minoriconfined, by the law for the election, to deliberations and ties could not contract with dissenting minorities, but by