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formed to sever the Union ? Let it not be supposed that I impute to all of those who have taken an active part in these unwise and unprofitable discussions a want of patri. otism or of public virtue. The honorable feeling of state pride and local attachments, find a place in the bosoms of the most enlightened and pure.
But while such men are conscious of their own integrity and honesty of purpose, they ought never to forget that the citizens of other states are their political brethren; and that, however mistaken they may be in their views, the great body of them are equally honest and upright with themselves. Mutual suspicions and reproaches may in time create mutual hostility, and artful and designing men will always be found, who are ready to soment these fatal divisions, and to inflame the natural jealousies of different sections of the country. The history of the world is full of such examples, and especially the history of republics.
What have you to gain by division and dissention ? Delude not yourselves with the belief that a breach once made may be afterwards repaired. If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation, will then be tried in fields of battle, and be determined by the sword. Neither should you deceive yourselves with the hope, that the first line of separation would be the permanent one, and that no-, thing but harmony and concord would be found in the new associations, formed upon the dissolution of this Union. Local interests would still be found there, and unchastened ambition. And if the recollection of common dangers, in which the people of these United States stood side by side against the common foe; the memory of victories won by their united valor; the prosperity and happiness they have enjoyed under the present constitution; the proud naine they bear as citizens of this great republic; if these recollections and proofs of common interest are not strong enough to bind us together as one people, what tie will hold this Union dissevered? The first line of separation would not last for a single generation; new fragments would be torn off: new leaders would Spring up; and this great and glorious republic would soon
be broken into a multitude of petty states ; armed for mutual aggressions ; loaded with taxes to pay armies and leaders; seeking aid against each other from foreign powers; insulted and trampled upon by the nations of Europe, until harassed with conflicts, and humbled and debased in spirit, they would be ready to submit to the absolute dominion of any military adventurer, and to surrender their liberty for the sake of repose. It is impossible to look on the consequences that would inevitably follow the destruction of this government, and not feel indignant when we hear cold calculations about the value of the Union, and have so constantly before us a line of conduct so well calculated to weaken its ties.
There is too much at stake to allow pride or passion to influence your decision. Never for a moment believe that the great body of the citizens of any state or states can deliberately intend to do wrong. They may, under the influence of temporary excitement or misguided opinions, commit mistakes; they may be misled for a time by the suggestions of self-interest; but in a community so enlightened and patriotic as the people of the United States, argument will soon make them sensible of their errors; and when convinced, they will be ready to repair them. If they have no higher or better motives to govern them, they will at least perceive that their own interest requires them to be just to others as they hope to receive justice at their hands.
But in order to maintain the Union unimpaired, it is absolutely necessary that the laws passed by the constituted authorities should be faithfully executed in every part of the country, and that every good citizen should, at all times, stand ready to put down, with the combined force of the nation, every attempt at unlawful resistance, under whatever pretext it may be made, or whatever shape it may assume. Unconstitutional or oppressive laws may no doubt be passed by Congress, either from erroneous views or the want of due consideration ; if they are within reach of judicial authority, the remedy is easy and peaceful; and if, from the character of the law, it is an abuse of power not within the control of the judiciary, then free discussion and calm appeals to reason and to the justice of the people, will not fail to redress the wrong. But until the law shall be declared void by the courts, or re pealed by Congress, no individual or combination of indi viduals, can be justified in forcibly resisting its execution It is impossible that any government can continue to exist upon any other principles. It would cease to be a government, and be unworthy of the name, if it had not the power to enforce the execution of its own laws within its own sphere of action.
It is true that cases may be imagined disclosing such a settled purpose of usurpation and oppression, on the par of the government, as would justify an appeal to arms. These, however, are extreme cases, which we have no reason to apprehend in a government where the power is in the hands of a patriotic people; and no citizen who loves his country, would in any case whatever resort to forcible resistance, unless he clearly saw that the time had come when a freeman should prefer death to submission; for if such a struggle is once begun, and the citizens of one section of the country, arrayed in arms against those of another, in doubtful conflict, let the battle result as it may, there will be an end of the Union, and wühit an end of the hopes of freedom. The victory of the injured would not secure to them the blessings of liberty ; it would avenge their wrongs, but they would themselves share in the common ruin.
But the constitution cannot be maintained, nor the Union preserved, in opposition to public feeling, by the mere exertion of the coercive powers confided to the general government. The foundations must be laid in the affections of the people; in the security it gives to life, liberty, character, and property, in every quarter of the country ; and in the fraternal attachments which the citizens of the several states bear to one another, as members of one political family, mutually contributing to promote the happiness of each other. Hence the citizens of every state should studiously avoid every thing calculated to wound the sensibility or offend the just pride of tho people of other states ; and they should frown upon any proceedings within their own borders likely to disturb the tranquillity of their political brethren in other portions of
the Union. In a country so extensive as the United States, and with pursuits so varied, the internal regulations of the several states must frequently differ from one another in important particulars; and this difference is unavoidably increased by the varying principles upon which the American colonies were originally planted; principles which had taken deep root in their social relations before the revolution, and therefore, of necessity, influencing their policy since they became free and independeni states. But each state has the unquestionable right to regulate its own internal concerns according to its own pleasure; and while it does not interfere with the rights of the people of other states, or the rights of the Union, every state must be the sole judge of that measure proper to secure the safety of its citizens and promote their happiness; and all efforts on the part of the people of other states to cast odium upon their institutions, and all measures calculated to disturb their rights of property, or to put in jeopardy their peace and internal tranquillity, are in direct opposition to the spirit in which the Union was formed, and must endanger its safety. Motives of philanthropy may be assigned for this unwarrantable interference; and weak men may persuade themselves for a moment that they are laboring in the cause of humanity, and asserting the rights of the human race; but every one, upon sober reflection, will see that nothing but mischief can come from these improper assaults upon the feelings and rights of others. Rest assured, that the men found busy in this work of discord are not worthy of your confidence, and deserve your strongest reprobation.
In the legislation of Congress, also, and in every measure of the general government, justice to every portion of the United States should be faithfully observed. No free government can stand without virtue in the people, and a lofty spirit of patriotism; and if the sordid feelings of mere selfishness shall usurp the place which ought to be filled by public spirit, the legislation of Congress will soon be converted into a scramble for personal and sectional advantages. Under our free institutions the citizens in every quarter of our country are capable of attain ing a high degree of prosperity and happiness, withou
seeking to profit themselves at the expense of othere; and every such attempt must in the end fail to succeed, for the people in every part of the United States are too enlightened not to understand their own rights and interests, and to detect and defeat every effort to gain undue advantages over them; and when such designs are discovered it naturally provokes resentments which cannot be always allayed. Justice, full and ample justice, to every portion of the United States, should be the ruling principle of every freeman, and should guide the deliberations of every public body, whether it be state or national.
It is well known that there have always been those among us who wish to enlarge the powers of the general government; and experience would seem to indicate that there is a tendency on the part of this government to overstep the boundaries marked out for it by the constitution. Its legitimate authority is abundantly sufficient for all the purposes for which it is created ; and its powers being expressly enumerated, there can be no justification for claiming any thing beyond them. Every attempt to exercise power beyond these limits should be promptly and firmly opposed. For one evil example will lead to other measures still more mischievous; and if the principle of constructive powers, or supposed advantages, or temporary circumstances, shall ever be permitted to justify the assumption of a power not given by the constitution, the general government will before long absorb all the powers of legislation, and you will have in effect, but one consolidated government. From the extent of our country, its diversified interests, different pursuits, and different habits, it is too obvious for argument that a single consolidated government would be wholly inadequate to watch over and protect its interests; and every friend of our free institutions should be always prepared to maintain unimpaired and in full vigor the rights and sovereignty of the states, and to confine the action of the general government strictly to the sphere of its appropri ate duties.
There is, perhaps, no one of the powers conferred on the federal government so liable to abuse as the taxing power. The most productive and convenient sources o