Page images

Government, has authority to call such a Convention, unless it be demanded by two-thirds of the States. This suggestion, then, is another instance of the reckless inattention to the provisions of the Constitution with which this crisis has been madly hurried on; or of the attempt to persuade the people that a constitutional remedy had been sought and refused. If the Legislature of South Carolina "anxiously desire" a General Convention to consider their complaints, why have they not made application for it in the way the Constitution points out? The assertion that they "earnestly seek it" is completely negatived by the omission.

This, then, is the position in which we stand. A small majority of the citizens of one State in the Union have elected delegates to a State Convention; that Convention has ordained that all the revenue laws of the United States must be repealed, or that they are no longer a member of the Union. The Governor of that State has recommended to the Legislature the raising of an army to carry the secession into effect, and that he may be empowered to give clearances to vessels in the name of the State. No act of violent opposition to the laws has yet been committed, but such a state of things is hourly apprehended; and it is the intent of this instrument to proclaim, not only that the duty imposed on me by the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” shall be performed to the extent of the powers already vested in me by law, or of such others as the wisdom of Congress shall devise and entrust to me for that purpose, but to warn the citizens of South Carolina who have been deluded into an opposition to the laws, of the danger they will incur by obedience to the illegal and disorganizing ordinance of the Convention; to exhort those who have refused to support it to persevere in their determination to uphold the Constitution and laws of their country; and to point out to all the perilous situation into which the good people of that State have been led, and that the course they are urged to pursue is one of ruin and disgrace to the very State whose rights they affect to support. ...

No. 87. Act for Enforcing the Tariff

March 2, 1833

In his annual message of Dec. 4, 1832, Jackson suggested that “the policy of protection must be ultimately limited to those articles of domestid manufacture which are indispensable to our safety in time of war"; and the annual report of the Secretary of the Treasury recommended a reduction of duties to a revenue basis. December 27 Verplanck of New York reported from the House Committee of Ways and Means a bill to reduce the tariff. January 16, 1833, Jackson sent to Congress his message on nullification, reviewing the progress of events in South Carolina and asking for additional legislation to enforce the revenue laws. On the 21st a bill to enforce the collection of the revenue was reported in the Senate by Wilkins of Pennsylvania, from the Committee on the Judiciary. The tariff bill, sharply antagonized by protectionist members, was meantime making its way through the House. February 12 Clay introduced in the Senate a compromise tariff bill. On the 20th the Senate passed the “force bill" by a vote of 32 to 1, and on the following day took up Clay's bill. On the 25th the House recommitted its tariff bill, by a vote of 95 to 54, with instructions to report the compromise tariff in its place; on the 26th the latter passed the House, the vote being 119 to 85. . The same day the Senate laid Clay's bill on the table, and March 1 passed the House bill, by a vote of 29 to 16. The "force bill” passed the House March 1, by a vote of 149 to 47. In the meantime, many State legislatures had passed resolutions against nullification. The South Carolina ordinance was to go into effect Feb. I, but action was deferred pending congressional settlement of the tariff. The passage of the compromise tariff was regarded as a signal victory by the nullifiers. The convention was summoned to meet March 11; on the 18th it dissolved, after repealing the ordinance of nullification and adopting an ordinance nullifying the “force bill.”

REFERENCES. — Text in U.S. Stat. at Large, IV., 632–635. For the proceedings, see the House and Senate Journals, 22d Cong., 2d Sess.; for the discussions, see the Cong. Debates, or Benton's Abridgment, XII. Niles's Register, XLIII., contains abstracts of debates and numerous documents. The message of Jan. 16 is in the Journals. The speeches of Webster and Calhoun on the “force bill” are in the Cong. Debates, and also Calhoun's Works (ed. 1853), II., 197-309, and Webster's Works (ed. 1857), III., 448–


An Act further to provide for the collection of duties on imports.

Be it enacted ..., That whenever, by reason of unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages of persons, it shall become impracticable, in the judgment of the President, to execute the revenue laws, and collect the duties on imports in the ordinary way, in any collection district, it shall and may be lawful for the President to direct that the custom-house

for such district be established and kept in any secure place within some port or harbour of such district, either upon land or on board any vessel; and, in that case, it shall be the duty of the collector to reside at such place, and there to detain all vessels and cargoes arriving within the said district until the duties imposed on said cargoes, by law, be paid in cash, deducting interest according to existing laws; and in such cases it shall be unlawful to take the vessel or cargo from the custody of the proper officer of the customs, unless by process from some Court of the United States; and in case of any attempt otherwise to take such vessel or cargo by any force, or combination, or assemblage of persons too great to be overcome by the officers of the customs, it shall and may

be lawful for the President of the United States, or such person or persons as he shall have empowered for that purpose, to employ such part of the land or naval forces, or militia of the United States, as may be deemed necessary for the purpose of preventing the removal of such vessel or cargo, and protecting the officers of the customs in retaining the custody thereof.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the jurisdiction of the circuit courts of the United States shall extend to all cases, in law or equity, arising under the revenue laws of the United States, for which other provisions are not already made by law; and if any person shall receive any injury to his person or property for or on account of any act by him done, under any law of the United States, for the protection of the revenue or the collection of duties on imports, he shall be entitled to maintain suit for damage therefor in the circuit court of the United States in the district wherein the party doing the injury may reside, or shall be found. And all property taken or detained by any

officer or

under authority of any revenue law of the United States, shall be irrepleviable, and shall be deemed to be in the custody of the law, and subject only to the orders and decrees of the courts of the United States having jurisdiction thereof. And if any person shall dispossess or rescue, or attempt to dispossess or rescue, any property so taken or detained as aforesaid, or shall aid or assist therein, such person shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall be liable to such punishment as is provided by the twenty-second section of the act . . . [of April 30, 1790]'

1U. S. Stat. at Large, I., 112, 117. – ED.

other person

for the wilful obstruction or resistance of officers in the service of process.

(Sections į and 4 provide for the transfer to United States circuit courts, and trial there, of cases in State courts under the revenue laws.]

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That whenever the President of the United States shall be officially informed, by the authorities of any state, or by a judge of any circuit or district court of the United States, in the state, that, within the limits of such state, any law or laws of the United States, or the execution thereof, or of any process from the courts of the United States, is obstructed by the employment of military force, or by any other unlawful means, too great to be overcome by the ordinary course of judicial proceeding, or by the powers vested in the marshal by existing laws, it shall be lawful for him, the President of the United States, forthwith to issue his proclamation, declaring such fact or information, and requiring all such military and other force forthwith to disperse; and if at any time after issuing such proclamation, any such opposition or obstruction shall be made, in the manner or by the means aforesaid, the President shall be, and hereby is, authorized, promptly to employ such means to suppress the same, and to cause the said laws or process to be duly executed, as are authorized and provided in the cases therein mentioned by . . . (certain military acts of February 28, 1795, and March

3, 1807.1]



Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That either of the justices of the Supreme Court, or a judge of any district court of the United States, in addition to the authority already conferred by law, shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases of a prisoner or prisoners, in jail or confinement, where he or they shall be committed or confined on, or by any authority or law, for any act done, or omitted to be done, in pursuance of a law of the United States, or any order, process, or decree, of any judge or court thereof, any thing in any act of Congress to the contrary notwithstanding. .

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the several provisions contained in the first and fifth sections of this act, shall be in force until the end of the next session of Congress, and no longer.

TU. S. Stat. at Large, I., 424, 425, and II., 443. - ED.

Removal of the Deposits

September, 1833 By the bank charter act the immediate control of the public deposits was vested in the Secretary of the Treasury, with the further provision that, in case of their removal from the bank, the reasons therefor should be laid before Congress. The removal of the deposits seems to have been discussed in administration circles soon after Jackson's second election; reports, however, did not become current until July, 1833. In May the Secretary of the Treasury, McLane, having declined to order the removal, was transferred to the Department of State, and Duane appointed in his place. September 18 Jackson read to the Cabinet an elaborate paper, drafted by Taney, the Attorney-General, setting forth at length his reasons for deciding upon the removal of the deposits after Oct. 1. Although Duane was opposed to the bank, he “refused to give the order and refused to resign”; Sept. 23 he was dismissed, and Taney became Secretary of the Treasury: In the meantime Amos Kendall, a member of the “Kitchen Cabinet,” had been sent to visit a number of eastern cities and arrange with State banks to receive the public deposits. The first orders for removal were issued by Taney Sept. 26, and designated the Girard Bank of Philadelphia as a place of deposit. In October the Maine Bank of Portland and the Franklin Bank of Cincinnati were similarly designated.

REFERENCES. — Text of the paper read to the Cabinet in Niles's Register, XLV., 73–77; it is also in the Cong. Globe, 1833–35, I., pp. 59–62; of the correspondence relative to the removal of the deposits, in Senate Doc. 2, 23d Cong., ist Sess., pp. 32–36. The removal of the deposits was the principal subject of debate in the session of Congress which met Dec. 2, 1833. Numerous documents are collected in Niles's Register, XLV., XLVI.

No. 88. Jackson's Paper read to the


September 18, 1833 Having carefully and anxiously considered all the facts and arguments, which have been submitted to him, relative to a removal of the public deposites from the bank of the United States, the president deems it his duty, to communicate in this manner to his cabinet the final conclusions of his own mind, and the reasons on which they are founded, in order to put them in durable form, and to prevent misconceptions.

« PreviousContinue »