Page:Nullification Controversy in South Carolina.djvu/22

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The Origin of the Conflict

to have refused to eat Irish potatoes because they were from the North, and General Waddy Thompson was reported as having declared that he would live on snowbirds and make the judicial circuit on foot rather than eat Kentucky pork or ride a Kentucky horse. But in spite of all the talk about the injustice and oppression of the tariff, few questioned its constitutionality. And as for disunion as a measure of resistance, many of the people who later supported it were now horrified at the expression of Dr. Thomas Cooper, president of South CaroHna College, that it was time to "calculate the value" of the federal Union.

During 1827 there appeared in the Charleston Mercury a series of articles, later published in pamphlet form, written by Robert J. Turnbull under the name of "Brutus." The writer endeavored to show that Congress and the Supreme Court had made the Constitution "A DEAD LETTER" which might "mean ANYTHING or … NOTHING."[1] The broad-constructionists were severely arraigned, and McDuffie was particularly shown the error of his ways on this point. Sufficient opposition was aroused by the time the

  1. The Crisis: Thirty-three Essays on the Usurpations of the Federal Government. By Brutus, Charleston, 1827. Eleven essays were added to the series as originally published in the Charleston Mercury.