Newspaper of Bedford Gazette, 14 Aralık 1860, Page 1

Newspaper of Bedford Gazette dated 14 Aralık 1860 Page 1
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VOLUME S7. NEW SERIES. PRESIDENnjEM. fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of Uleprestntatives : Throughout thf year since our last meeting, the country has been eminently prosperous in ail its material interests. The general health has been excellent, our harvests have been a bundaut, anil plenty smiles throughout the land. Our commerce anil manufactures have been prosecuted with energy ami industry, and gave yielded fair and am; ' • returns. In short no nation in the tide i>! .. -■ has ever presen ted a spectacle'of greater material prosperitv than we haedone until within a very recent period. Why is it, then, that discontent now so ex tensively prevails, and the Union of the States, which is the source of all these blessings, is threatened with destruction? The long-continu ed and intemperate interference of the Northern people with the question of slavery in Ihe Southern States has at length produced its natural efT'Cts. ThediffVrent sections of the Union are now arrayed against each other, and the time has at rived, so much dreaded by the Father of his Country, when hostile geographical parties have been formed. I have long foreseen, and olten fore warned my countrymen olthe now impending danger. This does not proceed solely from the claim on the par t ol Congress or the territorial legislatures to exclude slavery fiom the lerri tones, nor from the efloits of o! ''erer.l {Slates to defeat the ex-cution of the fugitive-slave law All or any of these evils might have I een en dured by the South without danger to the Union others have been,) in the hope that time and reflection might apply 'he remedy. Fhe immediate peril arises not so much from these causes as from the fact that the incessant and violent agitation of the slavery question throughout the North for the last quarter of a century, has at length produced its malign in fluence on the slaves, and inspired them with vague notions ot freedom. Hence a sense of security no longer exists around the family al tar. This feeling of peace at home has given place to apprehensions of servile insurrection. Many a matron throughout the South retires at night in dread of what nr.ay befall herself and her children before the morning. Should this apprehension of domes'ic danger, whether leai or imaginary extend and intensity itseif until it sbalfpervade the ma -is of the Southern peo ple, then disunion will become inevitable. Self presetvaliot! t? too- 6m nature, an.! lias been implanted in the heart of man by hi- Cre ator for the wisest purpose ; and no political union, however fraught with Lless-ngs and ben efits in all other respects, can long continue, it the necessary consequence be to render Ihe homes and fir- ",u. -so! nearly huii the paities to it habitualiv and hopelessly insecure. Sooner or later the'ootids of such a Union must be sev ered. It is my conviction that this fatal period has not yet arrived ; and my ptayer to God is that He would preserve the Constitution and Union througnout all generations. But let us take warning in time, and remove the cause of danger. It cannot be denied that for five and twenty years, the agitation at the North against slavery in the South has been in cessant. In 1833 pictorial handi>ills, and in- p?aU, were circulated ex e siveh throi ghout the South, ola character to excite the passions ot the slaves: and, in the languag" of General Jackson, "to stimulate them toinsur rrction and produce ail the horrors of a servile war." This agitation has ever since been con tinued by the public press, by the proceedings of State and countv conventions, and by aboli tion sermons and lectures. The time ~f Con gress has been occupied in violent speeches on this never-ending subject ; and appeals in pam phlet and other torms, endorsed by distinguish ed names, nave been sent forth from this cen tral point, and spread broadcast over the U nion. How easy would it be for the American peo ple to settle the slavery question forever, and to restore peace and harm my* 'o tins dislraced country. They, and they alone, can <fo it. Ail that is necti.ai y to accomplish the obj.-cf, and all for which the slave States have ever contended, is to be let alone and permitted to manage their domestic institutions in their own way. As sovereign States, they, and they alone, are re sponsible b fore God and the world for the sla very existing among them, for this, the peo ple of the North are not more responsible, and have no more right to interfere, than with simi lar institutions in Russia or in Brazil. L pon their good sense and patriotic forbearance I con fess I'still greatly rely. Without their aid, it is beyond the newer (A any President, no mat ter what may be his own political proclivities, to restore peace and harmony among the States. Wisely limited and restrained as is his power, under our Constitution and laws, he alone can accomplish but little, for good or for evil, on such a momentous question. ■\nd this brings me to observe that the e'pc tio'n of any one of our fellow-citizens to the of* fice of President dot s not of itself afford just cause for dissolving the Union. 1 his is more especially true if his election has been effected by a mere plurality, and not by a majority, of the people, and has resulted from transient and temporary causes, which may probably never a*am occur. In order to justify a resort to rev el utionaij resistance, the I?edeial Government must be guilty of "a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise" of power not gianted by the Constitution. The late presidential elec tion, however, has been held in s'net confor mity with its express provisions. How, then, can the result justify a revolution to destroy this very Consti'uiion ? Reason, justice, a re gard for the Constitution, all require that we Thail wait for some overt and dangerous act on the part of the. President elect before resorting to such a remedy. It is said, however, that the antecedents of the President elect have been sufficient to jus- tify the fears of the South that he will attempt , :(o invade their consti'uiional rights. But are | such apprehensions of contingent danger in the j future sufficient to justify the immediate de- j ! structlO.l ot the noblest svstem ot government | ever devised by mor'als ? From the very na- j I ture of his office, and its high responsibilities, :he Ynust necessarily be conservative. The stern duty of administering the vast and coin-! plicated concerns of this Government affords iri j itself a guarantee that tie will not attempt any J violation ot a clear constitutional right. After | all, he is no more than the chief executive of- j fic-r of the Governine- "h province is not j —..,0u the laws ; and it i.s a re markable lact in our history, thai, notw...- • ding the repealed efforts ofthe anil-slavery par ty, no single act has ever passed congress, un- j less we may possibly except the Missouri Com- j promise, impairing, in the slightest degree, the j rights of the South to their property in slaves, j And it may also be observed, judging from p r es- j er.t indications, that no probability exists of ttie j passage of such an act, by ja majority of both Houses, either in the present or the next Cmi- ; 2res. Surely, under these ciicumstances, we j ought to be restrained from present .action by I j the precept of Him who spake as never man i ! spoke that •♦sufficient unto the day is the evil t i thereof." The day of evil may never come,' : unless we rashly bring it upon ourselves. : It is alleged as one cause tor immediateseces ! sinri that the Southern States are denied equal ; rights with other States in the common Terri- • j 'oties. But by what authority are these denied ? | Not by Congress, which has never passed, and j I believe never will pass, any act to exclude : slavery from these Territories; and certainly ! ! not by 'he Suprem- Court, which has solemnly j decided that slaves are property, and, like all j other property, their owners have a right to j I take them into the common Territories, and : hold them there under the protection of the Coti \ stitntion. So tar, then, as Congress is concerned, the objection is not to anything they have already done, but to what they may do hereatter. It will surely be admitted that this apprehension i of future danger is no good reason for an imtne- i diate dissolution of the Union. It is true that j the territorial legislature of Kan-as, on the 23d ! of February, 1860, passed in great haste an act | over Ihe veto of the governor, declaring that j slavery "is, and shall be, forever prohibited in ; ! this Territory." Such an act, however, plain- j I ly violating the rights of property secured by ! the Constitution, will surely be declared void by : the judiciary whenever it shall be presented in a legal form. Only three days after my inauguration the Supreme Court ofthe United States solemnly adjudged that this power did not exist in a ter- i ntoria! legislature. Vet such has been the fac tious temper of the times t.:at the correctness of j this decisis has been extensively impugned be- 1 fore tiie people, and the question has given; rise to angry political conflicts ihroughout the ! 1 counti ~ Those who have appealed from this judgment of our Highest constitutional tribunal i I to popu'ar assemblies would, it they could, in- j j vest a territorial legislature with power to an i nul the sacre 1 rights cf property. This power j Congress is expressly forbidden by the Federal Constitution to exercise. Every State leg:s!a ture in the Union is fo.bidden by its own con- i slitution to exercise it. It cannot be exercised in any State except by the ppople in their high- ; est sovereign capacity when framing or amen ding tfieir State constitution. In like manner, j it can only be exercised by the people of a Ter- j ritorv represented in a convention of delegates i for the pui pose of framing a constitution prepar- | atory to admission n~ a State into the Union.— . j Then, and not until then, are they invested with power to decide the question whether sla very shall or shall not exist within their limits. This is an act of sovereign author ity, and not o) subordinate territorial legislation. VVere it ; I otherwise, then indeed would the equality of ( the Slates in the Territories be destroyed, "and the rights of property in slaves would depend, not upon guarantees ol the Constitution, but upon the shift ing majorities of an irresponsi-. ble territorial legislature. Such a doctrine, from its intrinsic unsoundness, cannot long influence any considerable portion of our people," much less can it ailoi d a good reason for a dissolution of the Union. The most palpable violation of constitutional •duty which hiave yet befit committed consists in the acts of different State legislatures to defeat the execution of the fugitive-slave-law. It ought to be remembered, however,.that for these acts, neither Congress nor any President can justly be held responsible. Having been passed in violation* of the Federal Constitution, they are therefore null and void. All the couits, both State and national, belore whom the question has arisen, have from the beginning declared the fumtive-siave-law to be constitutional. The single exception is that of a Slate corn! in Wis consin : and this has not only been reversed by the proper appellate tribunal, but has met with such universal reprobation that there can he no danger from it as a precedent. The validity 01. this law has been established over and over a gain by the Supreme Conrt of the United States with perfect unanimity. It is f >nruled upon an express provision of Ihe Const I'tr ion, requiring that fugitive slaves who escape from service in one Slate to another shall be "delivered up" to their masters. Without this provision it is a well-known historical fact that the Constitution itself could never have men adopted by the Con vention. In one form or another under the acts of 1793 and 1830, both being substantially the same, the fugilive-slave-law has been the law of the land from the tlavs of Washington until the [•resent moment. Here, then, a clear case is presented, in which it will be the duly of the next President, as it has fiepn my own, to ac' with vigor In executing this supreme law again- 1 the conflicting enactments ot State legislatures. [Should he fail in the performance of this high i duty, lie will then have manifested a disregard [of the Constitution and laws, to the great in jury of the people of nearly one hall of the BEDFORD, PA., FRIDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 11, 1860. States ofthe Union. But are we to presume in advance that he will thus violate his duty ; Th.s would be at war with every principle d justice and christian charily. Let us wait foi the overt act. The fugitive-slave-law has been carried into execution in every contested casr since the commencement of the present admin istration ; though often it is to be regretted, wit!, great loss and inconvenience to the master, and with considerable expense to the government. Let us trust (hat the State legislatures will re peal their unconstitutional and obnoxious enact ments. Unless Ibis ifiill be done without u., necessary delay, it is impossible for any human; power to save the Union. ~ T ly* , " n —■ Hie b as - -( 1 the Constitution, have a right t •' inis act > of justice from the States of the North. Should it he refused, then thf Constitution, to whicb ali the Slates arii parties, will have been wilful ly violated by one portion of them in a provi sion essential to the domestic security anil hap piness of tlie remainder. Jn that event the in jured States, after having first used all peaceful and constitutional means to obtain redress, would be justified in revolutionary resistance to j the Government of the Union. I have purposely confined my remaiks to j revolutionary resistance, because it has been \ claimed within the last few years (hat anv I State, whenever this shall be its sovereign wilt ' and pleasure, may secede I roar the Union, in : accordance with the Constitution, and without j any violation of the constitutional rights ofthe other members ofthe Confederacy. That as 1 eacli became parties to the Union by the vote ol its own people assembled in Convention, so anv j one of them may retire front the Union in a similar manner by the vote of such a cauven tion. In order to justify secession asa constitution al remedy it mu.-t be on the principle that the Federal Government is a mere voluntary asso ciation of States, to be dissolved at pleasure by any OIK- ot the contracting parties. It this b so, the Confederacy is a rope of sand, to be pen etrated and dissolved by the first adverse wave of public opinion in an of the States. In this manner our thirty-three States may resolve j themselves into as many petty, jarring, and hos- ; tile republic-', each one r. tiring from the Union, without responsibility, whenever anv sudderi i excitement might impel them to such a course. By this process a Union might be entirely bro ken into fragments in a few weeks, which cos! : our forefathers many years of toil, privation, and i blood to establish. Such a principle is wholly inconsistent wot. ' the history as well as the character of rfte ! eral Constitution. Alter it was framed, with j the greatest deliberation and care, it was sob- i mi'.ted to conventions :>( the people of the sev- j eral States tor ratification, its provisions were discussed at length in these bodies, composed of j the first men of the country. lis opponents J contended that it conferred powers upon the j Federal Gover. nent dangerous to Ihe rights of j the States, whilst its advocates maintained that I under a fair construction ot the instrument there i was no foundation for such apprehensions. In [ that mighty struggle between the fi'sl intellects j ol ttiis or any other country, i never occurred j to any individual, either among its opponents or j advocates, to assert, or ev n to intimate, that i their e.torts were all vain labor, because the moment that any State felt herself aggrieved she might secede from the Union. What a! crushing argument would this have proved a- i gainst those who dreaded that the rights ofthe j Slates would be endangered by the Constitu- j lion. Tne truth is. that it was not until many j years after the origin of the Federal Govern- j inent that such a proposition was first advanced, j It was then met and refuted by the conclusive arguments of Goneral Jackson, who in his mes sage ol I (jth Januaiy, 1833, transmitting the nullity i;:g ordinance of South Carolina to Con gress, employs I tie following language : -'The right of the people ot a single State 'o absolve themselves at will, and without the consent of the other States, from their most solemn obliga- j lions, and hazard the libeily and happiness ofj the millions composing tins Union, cannot fit- j acknowledged. Such authority is believed to be utterly tepugnant botli to the principles up on which the General Government is constitu ted and to ttie objects which it was expressly formed to attain." It is not pretended that anv clause in the Constitution gives countenance ta such u theory. It is altogether founded upon inlerence, not from any language contained m iho instiumenl itself, but Irorn ttie sovereign character ol tire several States by which it was ratified. But is it beyond tile power ola State, like an individ ual, to yield a portion ol its sovereign rights to secure ttie remainder? In the language ol Mr. Madison, who has been called the fattier of the Constitution : "It was formed by the Slates— tfiat is, by ttie people in each of the States, ac tio' in their highest sovereign capacity ; and lormeil consequently by the same authority I winch formed me Slate constitutions." "Nor is the Government of the United States, created bv the Constitution, less a Government ift ttie stuct sense of the term, within the sphere ot its powers, than the governments created by the constitutions of the Stales are, within their several spheres. It is, like them, organized in to legislative, executive, and judiciary depart ments. It operates, like them, directly on per sons and things; and, like them, it has at command a physical lorce for executing the powers committed to it." It was intended to be perpetual, and not to be annulled at the pleasure ol any oneof the contracting parlies. The o!o articles ot con federation were entitled "Articles of Confeder ation and Perpetual Union between the Slates ;" and by the I 3th article it is expressly declared that' (tie articles of tins Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the U nion shall be perpetual." The preamble to the Constitution ofthe United States, having express reference to the articles of Confedera tion, rtcites that it was established ♦Mn order to

' form a more perfect union." And yet it is con- Freedom of Thought and Opinion. tended that this "mm- perf-ct union" does not include the essential attribute of perpetuity. But that the Union was deigned to be per petual appears conclusively Itom the n wure an i extent ofthe powers conferred by the Lun stitution on the Federal Government. These powers embtace the very highest attributes of national sovereignly. Thry place both the sword and the purse under its control. Con gress has power to make war, and to inike peace; to iaise and support armies and navies, and to conclude treaties with foieign governments. It is invested with the power to coin monev, and to iegu 1 ate_tbe ye thereolj^pij n to regu , several States, it is not necessary to enu merate the other high powers v. hich have been conferred upon the Federal Government. In : order to cany the enumerated powers in'o ef fect, Congress possesses the est lusive right to lay and collect duties on imports, and in com mon with the States to lay and collect all other taxes. But the Constitution has not only conferred these high powers upon Congress, but it has a dopted elf ctual means to restrain the States from interfering with their exercise. For that purpose it has, in strong prohibitory language, expiessly declared that "no State shall enter into any treaty, alliance,cr confederation ; grant letteis ol rnaique and reprisal; coin money; emit bills o! credit ; make anything but gold and s'lver coin a tender in payment of debts ; pass any bill ot attaind-r, ex post facto lau, or law impairing the obligation ot contracts." Mow over, "without Ihe consent of Congress, no State shall lay any ; imposts or duties on any imports or exports, except what may be absolute ly necessary forex°cuting its inspection laws ;" and, it they exceed this amount, the txcess shall belong to the United Slates. And "no State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty ol tonnage ; keep troops, or ships ol war, in lime of peace enter into any agreement or compact Willi another State, or with a loreign power . or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as wilt not admit ot delay." In order still further to secure the uninter rupted exercise ot these high powers against State interposition, it is provhled "that this Constitution and ti.e laws of the United States which shall be made in putsuanee thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be mode uu <:er the authority of the U-nited States, shall be the supreme law ol ttie land ; and the judges in eveiy State shall be bound thereby, anything m the Constitution or laws of any Stale to the contrary noi wiihstanoing. ' 1 he solemn sanction of religion has bepn su pe added to the obligations ot official duty, and all senators and representatives of the United S'ates, all members of State legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, -'both ol the Uin- ' led States and of tile several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution." In cider to carry into effect these powers, the Constitution has es'.ablishtd a perfect Govern ment in ail its forms, Legislative, Executive, ar.d Judicial: and this Government, to the ex tent of its powers, acts directly upon the indi vidual citizens of every State, and executes its own decrees by the agency ot its own ollicers. In this respect it differs entirely from the Gov ernment •wider the old Confederation, which was confined to making requisitions on the States in their soveieign character.— This left it in the discretion ot each whether to obey or to retuse, and they oiler, dec.'ined to comply with such r pt tions. It thus became nece ary, tor tile j iit . ;> e c>| removing tins bar rn r, and "in order to firm a more perfect U nion," to establish a Government v. turh could act ditecfly upon tlm pec,.!e, and execute its j own laws without the intermediate agency of the States. This has been accomplished by the Constitution of the United States. In shoit, the Government cieated bv the Constitution, and deriving its authority from the sovereign people of each oft.be several Staics has precisely the fame right to exercise its power over the people ol all these States, in ll.e enumerated cases, that each one of them possesses over subjects nut delegated to the Uni ted States but "tesei ved to the States respective ly, or to (tie people." To the extent of the delegated powers the Conslitu'ion of the United S ales is as much a t art of the constitution ot each State, and is as binding upon its people, as though it had been textually inserted therein. This Government, therefore, is a great ami powerlul Government, invested with all the at- . ti ibute-a of sovereignty over the special subjects to which its authority extends. Its l'ramers i never intended to implant in its bosom the seeds • ol its own destruction, nor were they at i's creation guilty ofthe absurdity of providing for its own dissolution. It was not intended hy its frameis to be the baseless fabric of a vision which f at the touch of the enchanter, would vanish to thin air, but a substantial and rnightv Irbric, capable of resisting the slow decav of time and of defying the storms of ages. Indeed, well may the jealous patriots of that dav have indulged fears that a government of such high powers might violate the reserved rights of the Slates, and wisely did they adopt ttie rule of a strict construction of these powers to prevent the danger! But they did not fear, nor had they any reason to imagine, that the Constitu tion would ever be so interpreted as to enable any State, by her own act, and without the consent ot her sister States, to discharge her people from all or any of their Federal obliga tions. Jt may be asked, then, are the people of Ihe States without redress against the tyranny and oppression ot the Fedeial Government ? By no means. Ti.e right ot resistance one the pail j of the governed against the oppression of their governments cannot be denied. It exists mde- pendently of all constitutions, and has been ex > ercised at all periods of the world's history.— Under it old governments have been destroyed, ja id new ones have taken their place, it is em j bodied in strong and express language in our j own Declaration of Independence. But the dis'incl-.oii must ever be observed, that (his i i revolution against an es'ablisbej Government, anil not a voluntary secession from it bv virtue of an inherent constitutional light. In shut, j let us look the danger fairly in the face : Seces sion is neither more nor le.-.s than revolution.— It may or it may not be a justifiable revolution, but still it is revolution. •Vha , in the mean time, is the responsibility anil true position of the Executive ? He i> fiijO'HU-raKe <*are I bat I lie hws f,e '. llc CJUn * ecuted," and liom this obli fie absolved by any human power. But what if 'fie performance of this duty, in whole or in part, has been rendered impracticable by events over which he could have evercised no control ? Such,at the present moment, is the case through out the Stale of Sou li Carolina, so far as the laws ol Ihe United S'ates to s-xure the adm ini tiation of just ce bv means of the Federal Judi ciary aie concerned. All the Federal officers Within its limits through whose agency alone these laws can be cauied into execution, have a!r t a!v resigned. We no longer have a dis trict judge, a district attorney, or a marshal, in South Carolina. In fact, the whole machinery of the Federal Government, necessary for the distribution of remedial justice among the peo ple, has been demolished ; and it woulj be ditii cu't, it not impossible, to replace it. '1 he only acts ol Congress on the statute-book beating upon this subject, are those of the 2Slii February, 1793, and 3J March, ISO7. These authorize the President, alter he shall have as certained that the marshal with his posse comi tnfus is unable to execute civil or criminal pro cess i.i any particular case, to call loith the militia and employ the army and navy to aid him in performing this service, having first by Proclamation commanded ttie insurgents ">o disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes, within a limited time." This duty can not by possibility be performed in a State where no judic u authority exists to issue process,ami where there is no rnatshai to execute it and where, even it thete were such an officer, the entire population would constitute one soiid combination to resist him. Tile bare enumeration-of these provisions proves how inadequate they are without farther legislation to overcome a united opposition in a single State, not to speak of other States who may place themselves in a similar attitude.— Congress alone lias power to decide whether the pree,ii hjvvs can or cannot be amended so as to carry out more eflectually the objects or me Cms!it t on* Ttie same insuperable obstacles do not lie in the way of executing the laws for the collec tion of Ihe customs. The revenue still contin ues to be collected, as heretofore, at the custom house in Charleston ; arid should tfie collector unfortunately resign, a successor may he ap pointed to pei form this duty. Then in regard to the property of the Uni ted States in South Carolina. This has been ;> irehased for a fair equivalent "by the consent ol tiie legislature of the Slate," "for the erec tion of forts, magazines, arsenals," icc., and over these the authority "to exercise exclusive legislation" lias heen expressly granted bv the Cons! i tut ion to Congress, It is not believed t fiat any attempt will be made to expel the United Slates from this properly by force : but if in tins I should prove to be mistaken, ttie officer in command ofthe fort has received or des to act strictly on the defensive. In such a contingency, the responsibility for conse quences would rightfully test upon tile heads oi the assailants. Apart I run the execution of the laws, so far as tins may he practicable, the Executive has j n . authority to decide what shall be the ie -lit ions between the fe.Jei3l government and i South Carolina. lie has been invested with no such discretion. He possesses no power to j change the relations heretofore existing be tween them, much less to acknowledge ttie in dependence of thai Sta'e. This would be to invest a mere Executive officer, with Ihe power j of recognizing the dissolution of the Confedcra- ; cy among our thirty-three sovereign Stales. It : bears no lesemblance to the recognition of a; foreign de fuclo government, involving no ! such responsibility. Anv attempt to do lhi< j would, on !os part, be a naked ac! ot usurpation. It is, therefoie, my duty to submit to Congress the whoij question in all its bearings. Ihe j course of events is so idpiutv Hastening far I ward, that the emergency may sum aiise, when you may be calleu upon to decide the momentous question whether you possess the power, by force of arms, to compel a State to rensain in the Union. I should f.-el myself recreant to my duty were I not to express an opinion on this important subject. Ihe question fauiy stated i> : Has the Con stiiulion delegated to Congress the power to coerce aslate into submission which is attempt ing to w ilhdiaw or has actually withdrawn from the Confederacy ? If answered in the the affirmative, it must be on the principle that ttie power lias been conferred upon ("ongiess to declare and to make war against a S'a'e. — After much serious reflection I have ar.ived at the conclusion that no such power lias been delegated to Congress or to any other depart ment ofthe Federal Government. It is mani lest, upon an inspection of the Constitution, that this is not among the specific and enumera ted powers granted to Congress ; and it is equally apparent that its exercise is not "ner s j.iry and proper lor carrying into execution" ! any one of these powers. 'Bo tar from this (rower having been delegated to Congress, it j was expressly refused by the convention which liamed the Constitution, i It appears,' t from the proceedings of that body, j that on the 3lst May, 1787, the clause j "authorizing an exertion of the force of the ! whole against a delinquent State" came up for ' consideration. Mr. Madison opposed it in a beief but powerful speech, from which I shall WIIOIJ; K|IIBE3{, 2026. 1 exlract but a single sentence. lie observed : • 44 1'hu use of force against a Sia~ would look more like a decJaraftori of war 'ban an inflic tion of punishment ; and won! i probably be fconsiJiTe.l by the parly att.iciud as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might bo bound. ' Upon his motion the clause was unanimously postponed, and was never I be lieve again presented. Soon afterwards, on the Bth June, 1787, when trtcidenlllv advert ing to the subject, tie said : "Any Government for the United States, formed on the supposed practicability ol using force ihx un. ! co.istiiuii" i.-> j at-'i iaii iciotis as the govern ment of Congress," evidently meaning the then existing Congress of the old Confedera tion. Without descending lo particulars, it may be safely asserted, tint the power to make war against a State is at variance with the whole spirit and intent of the Constitution. Suppose ' such a wai should lesult in the conquest of a State, how are we to govern it ilterwards ? ! Shall we hold it as a p r ovince, and govern it Iby despotic power ? in the nature of things we could not, by physical force, control the will of the people, and compel them, to elect senators and representatives to Congress, and to perform all other duties depending upon their own volition, an 1 req- ;rrd from me Iree citizens of a Iree Stale ?.s a constituent mem ber of the Confederacy. But, if we possessed this power, would it be wi-e io exercise it under existing circumstan ■ Ces 1 Tile object would doubtless be to pre serve the Union. War would not only pre | sent the most effectual means of des'roying it; but would banish all hope of its peaceable re cmstiuciion. Besides, in the fraternal conflict a amount of blend and treasure would be : expended, rendering fuluie reconciliation be tween ttie States impossible. In the mean tim-, who can foretell what would be* the > sufferings and privatious of itie people during its existence ? . The fact is, that onr Union rests upon public I opinion, and can never be cemented by the i blood ol its citizens shed in civil war. If-dt I cannot live in the affections of the people it must one da}' perish. Congress possess many means of preserving it by conciliation ; but the swo r d was not 'acvd in their hand to preserve it by force. But may It 3 permitted solemnly to invoke my countrym- pause and deliberate, before they determine to destroy this, thegrandest tem -1 [>!e which has ev r been dedicated to human freedom since the world began 1 It has been iiuscLiateii by the bluod ot our falh.-e.,, by ih. I glories of the pas!, and by the hopes of the fu ture. The Union has already ni3de us the most prosperous and ere long, will, if preserved render us the most poterlul nation on the face of theear-lh. In every foreign region ot the globe tin. title ot American citizen is held in the highest respect, and when pronounced in a .oreign land it causes the hearts of our country men to swell with honest pride. Surely when we reach the b: ink of the yawning abyss, we shall recoil with honor tiom the last fatal plunge. 'By such a dread catastrophe, the hopes of the friends of freedom t.ir >ugho-t the world wou.d be destroyed, and a long night ot leaden despotism would enshroud the nations. Our example for more than eighty years would not only be lost ; but it would be quoted as a conclusive praol that man is unfit lor self-gov ernment. . It is not every wrong—nav, it is not pvery grievous wrong—which can justify a resort to such a fearful alternative. This ought to be the last desperate remedy of a despairing peo ple, alter every other constitutional means of conciliation had been exhausted. We should reflect that under this free government is an incessant ebb and flow in public opinion.— I he slavery quesiion, iike everything human, will have its day. I firmly believe that it iias already reached ami passed £lhe culmur.atmg point. Bui if, in the midst of the existing ex citement, the Union shall perish, the evil mav then become irreparable. Congress cannot con tribute much to avert it by proposing and rec amending to the legislatures ol the several S'ates tiie remedy for existing evils, which the Constitution itselfhas provided for its own pres ervation. This has been tried at different crit ical periods ot our history, and always with eminent ruec- s.. It is to be found in tiie sth ar ticle providing fur its own ampndmerit T~r>d*r this article amendments have been proposed by iwo-ihir.k of both houses ofCongte;, and have been "ratified by the legislatures of three-fourti 8 C)( ti)t? Sc*VtfTtll Suiirsj** cxr>.J Haifa enne~S}ii#nf ly become parlsof the Constitution. Tu this pro cess the country is indebted fur th? clause pro hibiting Congress from passing any law respec ting an establishment of religion, or abtidging the freedom of spech or of the press, or the right ol petition. To this we are, also indebted for the Bill of Rights, which secures the people a gainst any abuse ot power by the Federal Gov ernment. Such were the apprehensions justly entertained by the iiiendsof State-rights at that period as to have rendered it extremely doubt iul whether the Constitution couiJ have long survived without these amende en's. Again, ihe Constitution was amended bv fh same process ahei the election nf President Jef terson by tie House of Representatives, in Feb ruary, 1803. This amendment {was rendered necessary to prevent a recurrence cf the dan gers which had seiiously threatened the exis tence ol the Government dining the pendency ot that election. The article for its own amend ment was intended to secure the amicable ad justment of conflicting constitutional questions like the present, which might arise between the governments of the States and that of United States. Th is appears from contemporaneous history. In this connection, I shall merely call a tention to a few sentences in .Mr. .Madison's justly-celebrated repotl, in 179 ft, the legis'a ture of Virginia. In this he ably and conclu sively defended the resolutions of the preceding legislature against th-- stnefurea ol tereral other VOL. 4. NO. IS.