Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 27.djvu/318

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a 10 Southern Historical Society Papers.

contemporaneous reports of the debates in Congress, in the Enquirer, the Examiner, and the Dispatch of that period.

The files of these papers are not accessible to me, but I get a glimmer of the reason from a statement to me by Judge Keith, of the Supreme Court.

He told me that when he was on picket duty he read by the light of a camp fire a long and venomous attack of Senator Wigfall on John Marshall and the centralizing tendencies of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Now, when you touch one Fauquier man, the blood of every other Fauquier man, whether on picket or on the Supreme bench, grows red-hot, and I have no doubt that, when the young cavalryman read this attack on his countryman and kinsman, his eyes got red and he blowed and puffed, and just wished he had him at sabre's length. That's the way they used to do in Fauquier. As everybody knows, they've all joined the Young Men's Christian Association since then. (This is a joke, for I don't want some fellow from about Warrenton writing to know if I meant anything disrespectful to Fauquier, sah ! I don't, and I love every one of them, God bless 'em!)

Judge Keith's reminiscence gives me the clue to the reason. From the time of the resolutions of 1798-' 99, the States' Rights party had been firm in their opposition to a "common arbiter." Mr. Jeffer- son, in his resolution, and Mr. Madison, in his report, had laid down the law, that in case of an infringement of States' rights by the common agent the Federal Government each State must be the judge of the wrong done her and of the mode and measure of redress.

The Kentucky resolutions of 1798 were drawn by Mr. Jefferson. They declared "that the several States, composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited sub- mission to their general government, but that by compact under the style and title*of the Constitution of the United States, and by amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes, delegated to that government certain definite pow- ers, reserving to each State for itself the residuary mass of right to their own self-government, and that whensoever the General Govern- ment assumes undelegated power, its acts are unauthorized, void, and of no force: that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral part; that the government created by this com- pact was not made the exclusive judge of the power delegated to itself, since that would have made discretion, and not the Constitu-