The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina/Chapter 9

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In the meantime Congress was again distraught by the tariff controversy. Verplanck's tariff bill was discussed for some time. At one point of the discussion, on January 23, it was reported that a tariff bill would have passed the House had it not been for a "very insulting and irritating speech" by Richard H. Wilde, of Georgia, which greatly angered the Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio delegates; there was great excitement and apparently no hope then that the bill would pass during that session. It was believed, the President said, that this speech was made at the instigation of the Nullifiers, who wished no adjustment. The President predicted that the whole country, including even the South, would be united against the Nullifiers when it was discovered that their object was "nothing but disunion."[1]

The Verplanck bill, which embodied too rapid a reduction for the manufacturers, was finally superseded by the Clay Compromise bill; this measure was more acceptable to the North and yet conceded enough to pacify the Nullifiers. This provided for a slow reduction of the duties for a period of ten years, when they were to reach in general a 20 per cent level. The Wilkins force bill, before Congress at the same time, of course received more denunciation from the Nullifiers than the Clay bill received praise. Though they often declared that should Congress pass the bill, which might well be entitled "a bill to dissolve the Union," South Carolina would surely secede. Congress did pass it, together with the compromise tariff.[2]

As matters neared a crisis in Congress, the president of the South Carolina convention, ex-Governor James Hamilton, Jr., summoned it to convene again on March 11 at Columbia, to consider the Virginia mediation offered through Benjamin W. Leigh, and such measures as Congress might then have adopted. The call was issued about the middle of February, before the passage of the congressional measures. The Union press then took occasion to point out what they considered the true status of this convention. The Courier remarked:

We have called it an anomalous body because in its present shape and with its present pretensions it is wholly without example in the free and republican states of America. It has been called into existence without any definite purpose or object, is wholly irresponsible, and, elevating itself above the constitution and the laws, aspires to boundless and illimitable power. It is, in fact, in itself a despotism, or the machinery of a despotism, which, in the name of the people, exercises authority inconsistent with the rights and liberties of the people—a despotism rendered doubly peculiar and unjustifiable by the fact that it has reared itself in the midst of free institutions and is upheld by those who profess to cherish liberty more dearly than life. It exhibits, in the emphatic language of Mr. Dallas, the extraordinary spectacle of a standing revolutionary convention untrammelled in a republican country.[3]

As the time approached when the convention would meet, it appeared that the tariff adjustment would be accepted, but that the "bloody" Wilkins bill would give further trouble, and that the test oath would be a means of keeping up bitter party hostility in South Carolina.[4]

The convention met according to the call on March 11,[5] and President James Hamilton, Jr., resigned in favor of Governor Robert Y. Hayne. A select conmiittee of twenty-one was at once appointed to prepare the work of the convention. This committee presented on March 13 a report on the new tariff bill, together with an ordinance rescinding the ordinance of November 24, 1832; the report and ordinance were adopted March 15, virtually as at first reported, by a vote of 153 to 4. Three days later another ordinance was adopted which nullified the force bill and made further provision for the test oath.

As to the new tariff act, the convention declared that the reduction provided for by the bill was neither in its amount, nor in the time when it was to go into effect, such as the South had a right to require; yet such a step had been taken toward the true principles on which the duties on imports ought to be adjusted that the people of South Carolina were willing to repeal their ordinance. Among the provisions of the new bill which recommended it to their acceptance were the establishment of a system of ad valorem duties, the entire abandonment of specific duties and minima, and reductions to an ultimate 20 per cent level. These were ameliorations of the system to the benefits of which they could not be insensible. But great as must be the advantages of these reductions, they were small in comparison with the distinct recognition in the new bill of two great principles which were deemed of inestimable value: namely, that the duties should eventually be brought down to the revenue standard, even if it should be found necessary to reduce the duties on the protected articles below 20 per cent, and that no more money should be raised than was necessary for an economical administration of the government.

The preamble to the ordinance which rescinded the ordinance of nullification had several features more moderate in tone than several of the members of the convention approved. Some there were who opposed stating any reasons at all; some opposed as hypocrisy the statement that "ardently attached to the Union of the states" the people of South Carolina were still more devoted to the "rights of the states, without which the Union itself would cease to be a blessing.... ," because South Carolina was by no means "ardently attached to the Union"; some called the tariff bill a great triumph: while others objected to any show of rejoicing over it because little had been gained, since the real trouble was that the government would continue to be of a despotic nature until limited to those interests common to the whole confederacy, and because until then there would be neither liberty nor security for the South; and while some wanted credit given to Virginia and no mention made of Clay's bill in the reasons given for the state action, others wanted all credit given to the bill and no mention made of the mediation of Virginia. In many of the speeches there was much boasting of the efficacy of nullification;[6] yet the people were warned to keep up their zeal, courage, vigilance, and military preparations; it was urged that the state should be kept in a firm attitude of defense against the people of the North, for there was more need of such defense than against a foreign enemy. In answer to the mediation of Virginia, a report was adopted which reviewed the whole situation and justified South Carolina's adherence to the Virginia resolutions of 1798. Great care was taken not to offend Virginia, and a keen appreciation of the Virginia motives in mediation was expressed.

As to the force bill, the convention declared that the principles which the act sought to establish were calculated to "destroy our constitutional frame of government, to subvert the public liberty, and to bring about the utter ruin and debasement of the southern states of this confederacy." The general purpose of the whole act, though not expressed in the terms of it, was perfectly well known to have been to counteract and render ineffective an ordinance of South Carolina adopted in her sovereign capacity for the protection of her reserved rights. Believing in the constitutionality of these reserved rights of the state, the convention declared the force bill unconstitutional on nine distinct counts.

The feature of the work of the convention which was destined to furnish occasion for discord during the next two years was its declaration: That the allegiance of the citizens of this state, while they continue such, is due to the said state; and that obedience only, and not allegiance, is due by them to any other power or authority, to whom a control over them has been or may be delegated by the state; and the general assembly of the said state is hereby empowered, from time to time, when they may deem it proper, to provide for the administration to the citizens and officers of the state, or such of the said officers as they may think fit, of suitable oaths or affirmations, binding them to the observance of such allegiance, and abjuring all other allegiance, and also to define what shall amount to a violation of their allegiance, and to provide the proper punishment for such violation.

This passed by a vote of 132 to 19. The few Union members of the convention spoke bravely against the test oath, but in vain; the other party was determined to pass this measure of discipline against them, and their protests only called forth severe denunciations of the whole policy of the Union party, which, it was said, had made thorough preparations to defeat the efforts of the state.

The Union party had planned to have a party convention at Columbia at the same time that the state convention met. It was expected by Jackson that in case the state convention should determine on secession, the Union party would declare its determination to support the United States to the last extremity.[7] Thus while the Unionists had previously stood merely against nullification, declaring that if the state should secede they would go with her, they now gave grounds for an expectation that they would oppose the state if secession developed out of nullification. They would have fought with the state had she openly voted for secession in the preceding fall, but they would not support secession now if it was voted by the state convention elected to adopt nullification as a "peaceable" measure. Some of them said, in fact, that the state had not declared for secession officially, and that if it were adopted it would be the result of deception on the part of the nullification leaders.

But because the time appointed for the meeting of the convention fell at a season when the "substantial yeomanry" of the state, of whom the Union men claimed to have the majority, were starting their crops, and because the belief was general that nullification was "in its last agonies" by reason of the tariff adjustment, and because a party convention was not essential to the cause of the Union and therefore would not be well attended, the Union central committee, composed of Joel R. Poinsett, James L. Petigru, Daniel E. Huger, Richard I. Manning, and Robert Cunningham, postponed the Union convention indefinitely, to be called in case of "new acts of tyranny by the dominant party."[8] The fact, however, that this Union convention had been contemplated for the purpose of opposing the Nullifiers in case they should determine in the state convention to push their remedy farther, had much to do with the bitter feeling evinced in the state convention against the Union party.

The repeal of the ordinance of nullification virtually settled the question of South Carolina's federal relations. There were some grumblings against the tariff during the rest of the year, but in general the main interest of politics centered in the local quarrel between the two parties over the test oath. This controversy appeared even before the convention met and was soon recognized as hinging upon a difference of interpretation as to where paramount allegiance was due. Before the convention met, the Mercury recommended a provision for an oath of paramount allegiance to the state to be taken by all state officers and, as part of the condition of citizenship, by all persons thereafter to be naturalized. The Nullifiers maintained that such an oath was not at all different from the oaths of office required by several other states. For example, those of Vermont and Massachusetts, because they contained no reservation of paramount allegiance to the United States in so many words, were said to require the positive and direct allegiance of the officer, in the event of conflict with federal laws, to the laws of the state. This the Nullifiers would put in direct terms instead of leaving it to implication.

The Union editors at once attacked this contention with arguments which they thought conclusive. How anyone who had read the emphatic language of the federal Constitution on this very subject could seriously entertain such a proposition, they said, was not easy to imagine. They quoted from the federal instrument: "This Constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding." They argued that the oath and obligation of federal allegiance were necessarily paramount to the oath and obligation of state allegiance; that to make in the state constitution an express reservation of supremacy in favor of the supreme law of the land would be, to say the least, an act of supererogation. In fact, they declared that the obligation of state allegiance included that of federal allegiance, for both the federal and the state constitutions composed the fundamental law within the limits of every state, and the former was in express terms vested with supremacy over the latter in case of a conflict between them.

No one denied the right of a state to require of its citizens an oath of fidelity, and there was not a Union man in South Carolina who woidd not readily swear or affirm, after the form of the Massachusetts oath, "I, A. B., do solemnly swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the commonwealth of South Carolina, and will support the constitution thereof, so help me God." If this state, even after the passage of her ordinance of nullification, had required such an oath from her citizens, the Union editors saw no reason why it should not have been cheerfully taken by all. But the Nullifiers' test oath did not conform to this model. It did not merely require the citizen generally to pledge his fealty to the state; it commanded him, under pain of proscription and disfranchisement, to swear that he would enforce a particular measure or set of measures; that he would obey and execute the nullification edict and the laws passed in pursuance of it, although convinced that they were in direct collision with the federal Constitution, which he was already bound to obey as the supreme law of the land. The object of this device, as openly avowed by its advocates, was to constitute the ordinance of nullification, instead of the federal Constitution, the paramount law of the land. The Union men especially objected to the clause requiring jurors to take the test oath.[9]

The Union men protested also that such an oath of paramount allegiance to the state would set aside, not only the ordinary obligation to obey the laws of the United States, but that part of the state constitution itself known as the "declaration of supremacy" of the federal Constitution and the oath connected with it. An oath of paramount allegiance to the state would be an abnegation of all other allegiance from the moment it was taken. It would be a contradiction to subscribe at the same time to an oath of paramount allegiance to the state and an oath of paramount allegiance to the United States.

It was toward the end of the session of the convention that the oath question came up. The debate became bitter and so personal that on a Saturday evening it was suggested that adjournment be taken over Sunday, "to hear prayers and cool off."[10] On the following Monday, since the Nullifiers were not able to agree among themselves, the convention agreed as a compromise to refer the entire question of oaths to the legislature. This satisfied neither the radical Nullifiers, who wanted the convention to prescribe the oath at once, nor the Union men, who wanted the whole matter dropped now and forever. This grant of power by the convention to the legislature to settle the matter was decried by the Union men as a provision to disfranchise, keep out of office, and "chain to the chariot wheels of a crowd of despots who ruled the madness of the hour" nearly half the citizens of the state. It was held to be "an odious and tyrannical usurpation," for the purpose of securing all the offices of the state to the State Rights party, for the Unionists knew that no Union man could be found who would "soil his conscience and sell his country for the paltry consideration held forth by the emoluments of office" when "offered as the wages of iniquity—as the reward of moral perjury!"

Surely this plan could not be executed, for it would arouse the dormant spirit of the people and open their eyes to the approach of despotism, reasoned the Union men.[11] But since the personnel of the legislature would be the same at its next session as at the last, that body would be likely to take such action as the nullification leaders desired, unless a formidable popular sentiment against the oath could be worked up by the Union party. Accordingly, from March until the legislature met, the last week in November, the papers were filled with arguments pro and con on the advisability of adopting an oath.

Though the oath question was still in agitation, the editors of the state welcomed the comparative calm of the next few months. For the past four years, and especially during the last two, the papers had been filled with little else than the all-absorbing political issue. Day after day, and week after week, the reader found the columns of the papers filled with long reports of speeches, debates, and arguments on political questions. Although in these months some great contributions to the literature of political science were made, it is not to be wondered at that the readers of these papers became somewhat wearied with so much heavy material, and craved something in a lighter vein. At any rate, the editors felt called upon to apologize for having given so much space to political matter, and they assured their readers that in the futiure they would devote their columns more to the general news of the day—market prices, miscellaneous productions of history, biography, poetry, tales, anecdotes, and agricultiural essays in an effort to stay the process of exhaustion of the soil which was going on. One editor added that miurders and accidents would have their due proportion of attention.[12]

For a few months following the passage of the compromise tariff there continued some discussion as to the merits of the bill. Some of the nullification papers claimed a great victory for nullification,[13] and nearly all of them were eager to prove that the new tariff was really a victory for the South. They reviewed recent tariff history for the purpose of proving that such a concession as the new bill embodied was much greater than could have been expected shortly before, when Congress had ridiculed a proposal by Hayne that no duty on any article should exceed 100 per cent. Now they had a law demanding the gradual reduction of the duty on every article to 20 per cent; ad valorem duties were to become general, and the abominable minimum system was to be abandoned; a number of articles received almost exclusively in return for the productions of the South were in a few months to be admitted duty-free. These same papers pointed out that the bill, though objectionable in some of its provisions, was decidedly more advantageous to the South than any that had been offered for years, and that its passage before the act of 1832 had gone into operation proved beyond doubt that it was brought about by some unusual cause. That cause, they declared, was nullification.[14] The tariff and administration press of the North, and the Union and administration or "collar" press of the South, however, attacked the bill in vigorous terms; some of the Union men even protested that it was worse than the bill of 1832, and announced that they would proceed to get a better one some day in their own way.[15]

Jackson took a view of the entire affair radically different from that of the South Carolina Nullifiers. On March 21, 1833, he wrote as follows:

Nullification, supported by the corrupting influence of the Bank, with the union of Calhoun and Clay, which collected around them the corrupt and wicked of all parties, engaged all my attention to counteract their combinations, and defeat their wicked projects. I met nullification at its threshold. My proclamation was well timed; it opened the eyes of the people to the wicked designs of the Nullifiers, whose actings (?) had been carried on in silence, whilst its ostensible object, which deluded the people, was a peaceable and constitutional modification of the tariff. The tariff was made the ostensible object, when a separation of the union by the Potomac, and a southern confederacy, was the true one. The proclamation drew the attention of the people to the subject, and from Maine to Louisiana, the united voice of the people repudiated the absurd and wicked doctrine of nullification and secession, and the advices of today inform us that South Carolina has repealed her ordinance and all the laws based upon it. Thus dies nullification and the doctrine of secession, never more to be heard of, only in holding up to scorn and indignation its projectors and abettors, and handing them down to posterity as traitors to the best of governments.[16]

The Wilkins bill received far more attention than did the tariff law. The nullification leaders pointed out that the question had assumed a different form; that the issue now was between a consolidated government, exercising the powers claimed under the bloody bill, trampling down the authorities and rights of the states, and a confederacy of sovereignties. They predicted that the new issue would unite the South, and that the South united would triumph or be forced to submit to an irresponsible despotism.[17] John C. Calhoun believed that a consolidated government had indeed been established by law under the force act and that unless there should be a complete reaction which would repeal that act and completely reform the government, the South must expect and prepare to sink under corruption and despotism. His hope of avoiding this catastrophe was placed in the agency of state rights to be used by the southern states as South Carolina had employed them against the tariff.[18] To the State Rights party it seemed that the force act was destined to be the dividing line between the Republicans and the Federalists, as were the Alien and Sedition laws in former days. The present federalism, they believed, had assumed a bolder tone than that of an earlier time, for it had come out in open advocacy of a government without limitation of powers and even dared to place the purse and the sword of the nation in the hands of a single individual, to be used at his discretion.[19]

Some of the President's closest political sympathizers believed that he had been too hasty in his message asking for the force bill; that his message and the bill should not have appeared until the close of the session and it was certain that South Carolina had put her ordinance into execution. As it was, the administration was embarrassed by having its leading measure supported by its bitterest enemies—ultra-federalists and ultra-tariffites—who would be pleased to see the North and the South arrayed against each other. If South Carolina yielded to the Virginia intercession, there was no need for the enforcing act, and if she should not yield, it could have come forward under most favorable circumstances.[20]

After the convention had ended the nullification episode as far as the tariff was concerned, the Nullifiers still continued their military organization. On March 26 general orders were issued from the headquarters of the commander-in-chief at Charleston,[21] declaring that in view of the force bill, though the convention had repealed the ordinance of nullification and the acts of the legislature passed in pursuance thereof, it had expressly excepted the act "further to alter and amend the militia laws of the state," under which the nearly 20,000 volunteers had been organized and their services accepted. The volunteers would, therefore, retain their existing organization at least until the next session of the legislature. The old militia organization was also to continue as before.

It was believed by some of the State Rights men that although the action of the convention which declared the allegiance of every Carolinian due to the state and obedience merely as the due of the constitutional laws of the general government would probably not give rise to any disturbance, yet Jackson was "such a hot headed old fool and scoundrel" that there was no telling what he might do. "At all events," said one of the leaders, "we continue our military preparations and shall keep them up until the force bill is repealed and probably always. It has come to this in our opinion, that we of the South are to have no more freedom than we can maintain at the point of the sword and we are determined to be always prepared for that issue whenever it is necessary to make it."[22] No means was neglected which might be used to keep up the interest of the State Rights men in their military organization. For this purpose, and to offset the influence of a dinner given by the Union men for the officers of the federal government sent to Charleston to be ready for action, the Nullifiers gave a "Grand Volunteer Ball" on March 27. The decorations were very elaborate; the palmetto flag was everywhere to be seen; transparencies told in terse mottoes the virtues of nullification; the names of the party heroes were in prominence; but nowhere did the Stars and Stripes appear, because it was identified with the bill of blood.[23]

Five days later, on April 1, another military celebration was held in Charleston. This was of a different character and became the model for a type of festivity which was encouraged the state over in an effort to keep the volunteers organized. The governor reviewed the local troops and presented them with a standard of the "nation of South Carolina," as the opponents derisively called it. The troops were told again of the wonders they had wrought, and were urged to maintain their organization, that they might be ready for future deeds as great. Thereafter the governor reviewed and presented with a standard "in behalf of the state" every volunteer regiment which would of its own accord turn out to receive the honor. In some districts the plan to keep up interest worked well, and much enthusiasm was displayed, but in others the troops lost spirit and disbanded in spite of efforts to keep them together.[24] The Nullifiers also exploited other occasions which afforded opportunity for a display of party spirit. Robert J. Turnbull, known as "Brutus," one of the most active leaders of the party, died in the summer. The nullification papers took occasion in praising his work to boast of their doctrines; immediately a fund was started for a monument, and later in the year the cornerstone was laid with much ceremony, John C. Calhoun and Robert Y. Hayne both spoke earnestly for the cause.[25] The Fourth of July furnished the Nullifiers another opportunity to parade every uniform. Their toasts were steeped in the nullification doctrines, and many were very ungenerous toward their enemies, Jackson and the Union party.[26] In their efforts to keep the Nullifiers organized and zealous, Robert Y. Hayne, George McDuffie, William Harper, and other leaders had used such expressions as these: "We must regard ourselves as at the beginning, not the end, of a contest. In less than another year we may be called to arms. Such is the present aspect of things that we cannot safely intermit our military preparations"; "The battle is but begun"; "If, then, I am disposed to accept this compromise, it is with a distinct annunciation to our people that their zeal, their courage, their vigilance must not be abated; nor must they, for a single instant, intermit their military preparations!"[27] The Union editors pointed out that such statements meant either that the leading Nullifiers were to keep up the excitement and "the fudge and flummery" of military display for petty party reasons and to keep themselves prominent, or that they contemplated secession at a later date. The entire program of the Nullification party seemed to the Union men to be one displaying the most insolent tyranny—"outrageous, bare-faced, premeditated and insupportable tyranny" of a "gang of desperadoes." It was a "relapse into down right barbarism."[28]

Union speakers defended the force bill and belittled the compromise tariff.[29] The party papers noticed every apparent lagging of spirit among the ranks of the opposition.[30] Calhoun's first speech on the force bill was picked to pieces by an editor who, after only a partial examination, pointed out twelve errors as to history and matters of fact.[31] The debates of Calhoun and Webster, in the Senate in February of 1833, on the nature of the government were printed; Webster was held to have given the correct view, while that of Calhoun was ridicided as being full of "strange fallacies," "meretricious charms of error," "delusions of sophistry," and in many places almost "childishly fallacious and contradictory."[32] The anomalous position of the late state convention was much ridiculed and the question was ironically asked whether the state was still "on her sovereignty."[33] The protean character of nullification was shown, and the misuse by the State Rights party of the phrase "sovereignty is indivisible" was pointed out.[34]

When the Edgefield Carolinian a Columbia paper, and the Mercury all claimed that the advance in cotton, noticed in August, was attributable to nullification, the Patriot replied that such a statement might be expected from "an ignorant up-country editor,"[35] unacquainted with the matters of trade, but was inexcusable in the Mercury. "Nullification," it was remarked, "must indeed have performed wonders, if it has given increased activity to the cotton mills of Europe and interfered with certain physical laws of our globe so as to have checked the growth of cotton." The Nullifiers were asked what they would have said had the high price of cotton in 1825 been attributed to the passage of the tariff law of 1824. One statement was just as absurd as the other, to the Union men.[36]

When it came time for the Charleston city elections in September, the Union men refused to nominate a ticket, because, they said, they wished no longer to continue the excitement and antagonism. Just before the election, however, an independent ticket appeared, which made a fair showing, but was not able to defeat any part of the State Rights ticket. The State Rights men accused the Union men of thus trying, under a disguise, to get into control. The Union party, as such, denied the charge, and said that what few Union men voted the Independent ticket, which was promoted by seceders from the Nullification party, did so as individuals and without party concert.[37]

During this year there came a congressional election, delayed from the year before. In the last Congress the Union men had had three of the nine members of the House of Representatives. As a result of the election in September of 1833 they had only one, James Blair. In a few districts, however, the Union party made a better showmg than ever before. In Charleston the party decided not to run a candidate, knowing that it would be defeated and thinking that the people had been long enough harassed by political strife. In December the Nullifiers of Charleston easily elected a man to take the place in the state legislature left vacant by the election of Henry L. Pinckney to Congress.[38]

  1. Poinsett Papers: Jackson to Poinsett, January 24, 1833; Van Buren Papers: Jackson to Van Buren, January 25.
  2. Mercury, January 28, February 27, March 5, 1833; Journal, March 9; Patriot, January 28, February 20; Mountaineer, February 16, March 2, 9; Courier, March 5.
  3. Courier, February 19, 1833.
  4. Mercury, March 9, 1833.
  5. Perry Collection, Vol. IX; Journal of the South Carolina Convention, March, 1833, with reports of the committees, resolutions proposed, and digest of the debates and speeches by various members.
  6. "With but our one-gun-battery of nullification we have driven the enemy from his moorings, compelled him to slip his cable and put to sea"—a prodigious work "for this little state," said Robert J. Turnbull, of Charleston.
  7. Poinsett Papers: Jackson to Poinsett, March 6, 1833.
  8. Poinsett Papers: Chapman Levy to Poinsett, February 25, 1833. Patriot, March 11, 1833.
  9. Courier, March 6, 1833; Patriot, March 9, 11.
  10. Benjamin F. Perry, Reminiscences and Speeches.
  11. Gazette, March 19, 1833.
  12. Mountaineer, April 6, 1833; Messenger, May 15.
  13. Messenger, March 20, 1833. An excellent example is quoted by Niles' Register, March 23, 1833, from the Columbia Telescope of March 12: "This little state....has foiled the swaggering giant of the Union. 30,000 Carolinians have not only awed the Wild West into respect, compelled Pennsylvania stolidity into something like sense. New York corruption into something like decency, Yankee rapacity into a sort of image of honesty, but all this has been loftily and steadily done in the face of 17,000—what shall we call them? What epithet is of a shame wide, lasting, and deep enough for the betrayers of the liberties of their own country....?" The closing remark was directed at the Union men.
  14. Messenger, March 20, 27, June 26, 1833. Hammond Papers: Hammond to M. C. M. Hammond, March 27.
  15. Journal, July 20, 1833; Messenger, April 17, May 8.
  16. Jackson Papers: Jackson to ?, March 21, 1833.
  17. Messenger, March 20, 1833.
  18. Calhoun Correspondence: Calhoun to Christopher Van Deventer, March 24, 1833; Calhoun to Thomas Holland and Committee, July 2.
  19. Messenger, April 3, 10, May 1, 1833.
  20. Van Buren Papers: Cambreleng to Van Buren, February 5, 1833; T. H. Benton to Van Buren, February 16; Van Buren to Jackson, February 20.
  21. Hammond Papers: General orders, signed by J. B. Earle, adjutant- and inspector-general. This copy was sent to J. H. Hammond and is dated March 26, 1833.
  22. Hammond Papers: Hammond to M. C. M. Hammond, March 27, 1833.
  23. Mercury, March 27, 1833; Niles' Register, April 13, 20.
  24. Niles' Register, April 20, 27, September 7, October 26, 1833; Mercury, May 4. Hammond Papers: Hayne to Hammond, April 4, and letters of April, May, and June of 1833. As an indication of the way in which some of the men of the interior had ceased active work in behalf of the State Rights cause, a letter by Hammond to I. W. Hayne, dated December 17, 1833, is eloquent. He said, in part: "I have purchased two fiddles....and divide my leisure time between fiddling and reading Grecian History." A year previously he had no leisure time, nor time even for his plantation; he was devoting it all to the military organization of the party.
  25. Mercury, June 15, November 19, 25, 1833.
  26. Mercury, July 6, 1833; Messenger, July 10, 24; Niles' Register, August 31. The following are examples of the more ungenerous toasts: "Nullification: a shield against which the poisoned darts of aspiring demagogues and the puny efforts of disappointed ambition have struck in vain. It has preserved the Union from dissolution, the Constitution from infraction, and our government from consolidation." "Andrew Jackson: a political lunatic, exempt from responsibility for his acts, and dependent for their propriety or folly entirely upon the sanity of his keepers." "Drayton, Blair, Mitchell, and all other southern advocates of the tariff and bloody bill: may they ever lie hard, have bad dreams, and die of lingering diseases and leave few friends to weep for them when dead." One editor, in looking over the toasts given by the "plain farmers and working men" of the state, was astonished at the knowledge of the character of our institutions and of the political history of the times displayed by those whose opportunities of education were known to have been extremely limited. Though couched in some instances in homely language, they nevertheless showed that all had been awakened during the recent struggle to an investigation of the affairs of the nation and of the principles on which the government was founded. The editor averred that if no other good had grown out of the contest, this general diffusion of intelligence, which he believed had placed South Carolina people as a mass ahead of any others in the United States for political knowledge, should be set down as great gain (Messenger, July 10).
  27. Mountaineer, April 20, August 24, 1833; Journal, March 23, June 8; Gazette, April 1.
  28. Writings of Hugh S. Legaré: letter by Legaré to I. E. Holmes, April 8, 1833, P. 207.
  29. Journal, March 16, 1833; Patriot, July 5, 29.
  30. Messenger, June 5, 1833; Mountaineer, August 10.
  31. Courier, May 28, 1833.
  32. Patriot, April 4, 1833; Courier, April 5.
  33. Courier, April 19, July 19, 1833; Mountaineer, April 20.
  34. Courier, November 23, June 15, 1833. Indivisible sovereignty, the Union men argued, applied only to the prince and not to the people. South Carolina, they said, had actually divided hers (the delegation of it had been divided, was probably what was meant), yielding a portion of it to the "great community of the Union."
  35. These editors were by no means all ignorant. The editorial columns of some of the up-country papers were far more able than those of some of the Charleston papers.
  36. Patriot, August 31, 1833; Niles' Register, September 7.
  37. Mercury, August 23, 30, September 4, 1833; Courier, September 4.
  38. Mercury, May 10, September 5, 13, December 6, 12, 1833; Mountaineer, August 31, September 7; Messenger, September 4, 18.