صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

"All policy is very suspicious, (says an eminent statesman) that sacrifices the interest of any part of a community, to the ideal good of the whole; and those Governments only, are tolerable, where, by the necessary construction of the political machine, the interests of all the parties are obliged to be protected by it." Here is a district of country, extending from the Patapsco to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Alleghany to the Atlantic; a district, which, taking in all that part of Maryland, lying South of the Patapsco, and East of Elk river, raises five sixths of all the exports of this country, that are of home growth. I have in my hand, the official statements which will prove it, but which I will not weary the House by reading. In all this country! Yes, Sir, and I bless God for it; for with all the fantastical and preposterous theoric about the rights of man, (the theories, not the rights themselves, I speak of) the nothing but power that can restrain power. I bless God, that in this insulted, opp and outraged region, we are, as to our counsels in regard to this measure, bu man; that there exists on this subject, but one feeling, and one interest. W scribed, and put to the ban; and, if we do not feel, and feeling, do not act, bastards to those fathers who achieved the Revolution: then shall we deserve to de bricks without straw.

There is no case on record, in which a proposition like this, suddenly changing the whole frame of a country's polity, tearing asunder every ligature of the body politic, was ever carried by a lean majority of two or three votes, unless it be the usurpation of the Septennial act, which passed the British Parliament, by, I think, a majority of one vote, the same that laid the tax on Cotton Bagging. I do not stop here, Sir, to argue about the constitutionality of this Bill. I consider the Constitution a dead letter I consider it to consist, at this time, of the power of the General Government, and the power of the States-that is the Constitution. You may entrench yourself in parchment to the teeth, says Lord CHATHAM, the sword will find its way to the vitals of the Constitution. I have no faith in parchment, Sir; I have no faith in the Abracadabra of the Constitution; I have no faith in it. I have faith in the power of that Commonwealth, of which I am an unworthy son; in the power of those Carolinas, and of that Georgia, in her ancient and utmost extent to the Mississippi, which went with us through the valley of the shadow of death, in the war of our independence. I have said, that I shall not stop to discuss the constitutionality of this question, for that reason, and for a better; that there never was a Constitution under the sun, in which, by an unwise exercise of the powers of the Government, the people may not be driven to the extremity of resistance by force For it is not, perhaps, so much by the assumption of unlawful powers, as by the unwise or unwarantable use of those which are most legal, that Governments oppose their true end and object; for there is such a thing as tyranny as well as usurpation. If, nnder a power to regulate trade, you prevent exportation: if, with the most approved spring lancets, you draw the last drop of blood from our veins; if, secundem artem, you draw the last shilling from our pockets, what are the checks of the Constitution, to us? A fig for the Constitution? When the scorpion's sting is probing us to the quick, shall we stop to chop logic? Shall we get some learned and cunning clerk to say, whether the power to do this, is to be found in the Constitution, and then, if he, from whatever motive, shall maintain the affirmative, like the animal whose fleece forms so material a portion of this bill, “ quietly lie down and be shorn!" JOHN RANDOLPH.

[Extract from Speech, delivered in the House of Representatives, on the Tariff Bill, April 15th, 1824

Turnbull, Robert James




The "Plantation States,"





For their Rights of Sovereignty,




THE numbers of "The Crisis" appeared a few weeks since in the columns of the "Charleston Mercury," and having attracted more attention than was anticipated, they are now re-published, together with eleven additional numbers, the publication of which, was prevented from a cause not now necessary to be noticed. The new numbers are No. 22 and No. 24, to No. 33, both inclusive. The two numbers signed " Philo-Brutus," which appeared at the same time, are not herewith published. They were not written by BRUTUS.

The Author was fully aware when he commenced these Essays, that they would meet with the marked displeasure of certain native gentlemen of Charleston, and he has not been mistaken. These gentlemen have freely bestowed upon them the harshest epithets; but as their influence does not actually extend beyond their own little coteries, their opinions are disregarded. From all other quarters of the State, they have met with a reception flattering to the Author. Brutus may possibly be wrong in his opinions. If he be so, let him be corrected by fair argument; but let him not be abused for vindicating the rights of his native Southern country to which he is attached by no ordinary ties; and in which his dust is likely to be mingled with that of father, mother, children and friends.

He regrets that an idea has gone forth, that he has received assistance in these numbers; and fearing that the odium (which some have attached to them) might fall on some unoffending and innocent person, he feels it to be his duty, distinctly to state, that whatever of patriotism or of treason, of merit or of blame, moral or literary, the present publication may be supposed to contain, it belongs to one person alone. The pieces are all written by Brutus. Between him and any other person there is no participation of authorship, and particularly as regards the fifteenth number. The design, the research, the arrangement and the argument, all belong to an individual who has no pursuit but Agriculture; and who, if he has a knowledge of his own heart, has had, from the beginning to the end, no other view than the good of his country.

Charleston, 22nd October, 1827.


Magna est veritas, et prevalebit.

NO. 1.

IT is amongst the invaluable privileges of the citizen, as secured

to him by the Constitution, that he has the right, at all times, to address his fellow-citizens, on the subject of their rights, their interests, or their safety. It is a right which has been freely exercised once the foundation of the government; and it is no trifling eulogy on the Constitution itself, and on the attachment of our citizens to those principles of civil liberty for which our patriots toiled in the Cabinet and bled in the field, that in almost every period of our history as an independent nation, no attempt has been made by Congress, or any disposition manifested by the people, to interrupt or abridge the freedom of the press. The sedition law of the elder ADAMS, it is true, was a memorable exception; and to this might be added some hasty proceedings on the part of the people, as in the case of the Baltimore mob in 1812. But these examples were of such short duration, and their occurrence so odious generally to the public feeling, that they rather serve to strengthen than to impair my position that freedom of the press, is the universally recognized right of our people, and that in the uninterrupted practical enjoyment of this species of civil liberty, the United States stand pre-eminently distinguished above all the nations of the earth.

Undoubted, however, as is the right, and as unlimited generally as has been its exercise in our happy land, yet who can look back upon our history, and not deeply lament that it has often been productive of much public evil. Under the dominion of the press, private character has been wantonly assailed; the purest patriots have been denounced as traitors; and noisy and worthless demagogues have been elevated to power. But these were evils inseparable from this great palladium of our liberties; and amidst the devastation that has been made by the licentiousness of the American press, it is a consolation to reflect, that there were circumstances in some periods of our history, which may never again occur, and which, whilst they did exist, were calculated to give the bitterest character to political discussions.

Happily, however, these times have now passed away, never again to return. We now hear of no odious distinctions between one set of our citizens and another. The second war with Britain had the happy effect of uniting many, who before were divided, and at the last treaty of peace, all good men were as astounded, as they were

« السابقةمتابعة »