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was part of his intellectual character. It was plain, strong, terse, condensed, concise ; sometimes impassioned, stiil always severe. Rejecting ornament, not often seeking far for illustration, his power consisted in the plainness of his propositions, in the closeness of his logic, and in the earnestness and energy of his manner.”—Daniel Webster.
WAR AND PEACE.
War can make us great; but let it never be forgotten that peace only can make us both great and free.
SYSTEM OF OUR GOVERNMENT.
(Speech on State Rights and Union, 1834.) I know of no system, ancient or modern, to be compared with it; and can compare it to nothing but that sublime and beautiful system of which our globe constitutes a part, and to which it bears, in many particulars, so striking a resemblance.
DEFENCE OF NULLIFICATION.
(From a Speech against the Force Bill, after the State of South Carolina had passed the
Ordinance of Nullification, 1833.) A deep constitutional question lies at the bottom of the controversy. The real question at issue is, Has the government a right to impose burdens on the capital and industry of one portion of the country, not with a view to revenue, but to benefit another? and I must be permitted to say that after a long and deep agitation of this controversy, it is with surprise that I perceive so strong a disposition to misrepresent its real character. To correct the impression which those misrepresentations are calculated to make, I will dwell on the point under consideration a few moments longer.
The Federal Government has, by an express provision of the Constitution, the right to lay duties on imports. The state never denied or resisted this right, nor even thought of
so doing. The government has, however, not been contented with exercising this power as she had a right to do, but has gone a step beyond it, by laying imposts, not for revenue, but for protection. This the state considers as an unconstitutional exercise of power, highly injurious and oppressive to her and the other staple states, and has accordingly, met it with the most determined resistance. I do not intend to enter, at this time, into the argument as to the unconstitutionality of the protective system. It is not necessary
It is sufficient that the power is nowhere granted; and that, from the journals of the Convention which formed the Constitution, it would seem that it was refused. In support of the journals, I might cite the statement of Luther Martin, which has already been referred to, to show that the Convention, so far from conferring the power on the Federal Government, left to the state the right to impose duties on imports, with the express view of enabling the several states to protect their own manufactures. Notwithstanding this, Congress has assumed, without any warrant from the Constitution, the right of exercising this most important power, and has so exercised it as to impose a ruinous burden on the labor and capital of the state of South Carolina, by which her resources are exhausted, the enjoyments of her citizens curtailed, the means of education contracted, and all her interests essentially and injuriously affected.
We have been sneeringly told that she is a small state; that her population does not exceed half a million of souls ; and that more than one half are not of the European race. The facts are so. I know she never can be a great state, and that the only distinction to which she can aspire must be based on the moral and intellectual acquirements of her sons. To the development of these much of her attention has been directed; but this restrictive system, which has so unjustly
exacted the proceeds of her labor, to be bestowed on other sections, has so impaired the resources of the state, that, if not speedily arrested, it will dry up the means of education, and with it deprive her of the only source through which she can aspire to distinction.
The people of the state believe that the Union is a union of states, and not of individuals; that it was formed by the states, and that the citizens of the several states were bound to it through the acts of their several states; that each state ratified the Constitution for itself; and that it was only by such ratification of a state that any obligation was imposed upon the citizens; thus believing, it is the opinion of the people of Carolina, that it belongs to the state which has imposed the obligation to declare, in the last resort, the extent of this obligation, so far as her citizens are concerned ; and this upon the plain principles which exist in all analogous cases of compact between sovereign bodies. On tnis principle, the people of the state, acting in their sovereign capacity in convention, precisely as they adopted their own and the federal Constitution, have declared by the ordinance, that the acts of Congress which imposed duties under the authority to lay imposts, are acts, not for revenue, as intended by the Constitution, but for protection, and therefore null and void.
[Mr. Calhoun's biographer, Mr. Jenkins, adds, “Nullification, it has been said, was a little hurricane while it lasted ;' but it cooled the air, and 'left a beneficial effect on the almosphere. Its influence was decidedly healthful.”]
THE WISE CHOICE.
(From a speech in 1816.) This country is now in a situation similar to that which one of the most beautiful writers of antiquity ascribes to Hercules in his youth. He represents the hero as retiring into the wilderness to deliberate on the course of life which he ought to choose. Two goddesses approach him ; one recommending a life of ease and pleasure; the other, of labor and virtue. The hero adopts the counsel of the latter, and his fame and glory are known to the world. May this country, the youthful Hercules, possessing his form and muscles, be animated by similar sentiments, and follow his example!
(Speech in the Senate, 1835.) Their object is to get and hold office; and their leading political maxim
is that, " to the victors belong the spoils of victory!”* Can any one, who will duly reflect on these things, venture to say that all is sound, and that our Government is not undergoing a great and fatal change? Let us not deceive ourselves, the very essence of a free government consists in considering offices as public trusts, bestowed for the good of the country, and not for the benefit of an individual or a party ; and that system of political morals which regards offices in a different light, as public prizes to be won by combatants most skilled in all the arts and corruption of political tactics, and to be used and enjoyed as their proper spoils—strikes a fatal blow at the very vitals of free institutions.
NATHANIEL BEVERLEY TUCKER.
1784-1851. BEVERLEY TUCKER, as he is usually known, was the son St. George Tucker and half-brother to John Randolph of Roanoke. He was born at Williamsburg, Virginia, educated at William and Mary College, and studied law. From 1815 to 1830 he lived in Missouri and practiced his profession with great success. He returned to Virginia, and became in 1834 professor of Law in William and Mary College, filling that position until his death. By his public writings and by correspondence with various prominent men, he took a leading part in the political movements of his times.
*William L. Marcy of New York, in the Senate, 1831.
WORKS. The Partisan Leader, a Tale of the Future, Essays, sin Southern Literary Messenger. ] by William Edward Sydney.
Political Science. George Balcombe, sa novel. 1
Principles of Pleading. Life of John Randolph, [his half-brother.)
Of Judge Tucker's style, his friend, Wm. Gilmore Simms, with whom he long corresponded, says: “I regard him as one of the best prose writers of the United States."
His novel, “ The Partisan Leader," made a great sensation. It was published in 1836; the story was laid in 1849, and described prophetically almost the exact course of events in 1861. It was suppressed for political reasons, but was reprinted in 1861 as a “ Key to the Disunion Conspiracy." The extract is from the beginning of the book and introduces us at once to several interesting characters amid the wild scenery of our mountains.
THE PARTISAN LEADER, (WRITTEN IN 1836.) [The scene is laid in Virginia, near the close of the year 1849. By a long series of encroachments by the federal government on the rights and powers of the states, our federative system is supposed to be destroyed, and a consolidated government, with the forms of a republic and the powers of a monarchy, to be established on its ruins.
As a mere political speculation, it is but too probably correct. We trust that a benign Providence will so order events as that it may not prove also a POLITICAL PROPHECY.-Sou. Lit. Messenger, Jan., 1837.]
Toward the latter end of the month of October, 1849, about the hour of noon, a horseman was seen ascending a