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Mr. Foot's Resolution.
[Jax. 27, 1830.
opening message to Congress, says: “I regard an appeal I have already shown, that it has been fully recognized to the source of power, in cases of real doubt, and where by the Virginia resolutions of '98, and by Mr. Madison's its exercise is deemed indispensable to the general wel report on these resolutions, that it is not only “ the right fare, as among the most sacred of all our obligations. Up- but the duty of the States” to “judge of infractions of on this country, more than any other, has, in the provi- the constitution,” and “ to interpose for maintaining, dence of God, been cast the especial guardianship of the within their limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties, great principle of adherence to written constitutions. If appertaining to them.” it fail here, all hope in regard to it will be extinguished. Mr. Jefferson, on various occasions, expressed himself That this was intended to be a Government of limited and in language equally strong. In the Kentucky resolutions, specific, and not general powers, must be admitted by of '98, prepared by him, it is declared that the Federal all; and it is our duty to preserve for it the character in- Government “ was not made the exclusive and final judge tended by its framers. The scheme has worked well, of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that It has exceeded the hopes of those who devised it, and would have made its discretion, and not the constitution, become an object of admiration to tlie world. Nothing the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases is clearer, in my view, than that we are chiefly inılebted of compact anong parties, having no common judge, each for the success of the constitution under which we are party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of innow acting, to the watchful and auxiliary operation of the fractions as the mode and measure of redress.” State authorities. This is not the reflection of a day, but In the Kentucky resolutions of '98, it is even more exbelongs to the most deeply rooted convictions of my mind. plicitly declared, " that the several States which formed I cannot, therefore, too strongly or too earnestly, for my the constitution, being sovereign and independent, have own sense of its importance, warn you against all en- the unquestionable right to judge of its infractions, and croachments upon the legitimate sphere of State sove that a nullification by those sovereignties of all unauthoreignty. Sustained by its healthful and invigorating in- rized acts done under color of that instrument is the rightfluence, the Federal system can never fall.”
ful remedy." But the gentleman apprehends that this will “ make But the gentleman says this right will he dangerous. the Union a rope of sand." Sir, I have shown that it is Sir, I insist, that, of all the checks that have been proa power indispensably necessary to the preservation of vided by the constitution, this is by far the safest, and the the constitutional rights of the States, and of the people. least liable to abuse. It is admitted by the gentleman, I now proceed to show that it is perfectly safe, and will that the Supreme Court may declare a law to be unconpractically have no effect, but to keep the Federal Go-stitutional, and check your further progress. Now, the vernment within the limits of the constitution, and pre- Supreme Court consists of only seven judges; four are a vent those unwarrantable assumptions of power, which quorum, three of whom are a majority, and may exercise cannot fail to impair the rights of the States, and finally this mighty power. Now, the judges of this court are destroy the Union itself. This is a Government of checks without any direct responsibility, in matters of opinion, and balances. All free Governments must be so. The and may certainly be governed by any of the motives whole organization and regulation of every department which it is supposed will influence a State in opposing the of the Federal as well as of the State Governments, es- acts of the Federal Government. Sir, it is not my desire tablish, beyond a doubt, that it was the first object of the to excite prejudice against the Supreme Court. I not great fathers of our Federal system to interpose effectual only entertain the highest respect for the individuals who checks to prevent that over-action, which is the besetting compose that tribunal, but I believe they have rendered sin of all Governments, and which has been the great ene important services to the country; and that, confined within my to freedom over all the world. There is an obvious and their appropriate sphere, (the decision of questions “of law wide distinction between the power of acting, and of pre- and equity") they will constitute a fountain from which venting action--a distinction running through the whole will forever Aow the streams of pure and undefiled jusof our system. No one can question that, in all really tice, diffusing blessings throughout the land. I object, doubtful cases, it would be extremely desirable to leave only, to the assumption of political power, by the Suthings as they are. And how happy would it be for man-preme Court--a power which bclongs not to them, and kind, and how greatly would it contribute to the peace which they cannot safely exercise. But, surely, a power and tranquillity of this country, and to that mutual har- which the gentleman is willing to confide to three juciges of mony on which the preservation of the Union must de- the Supreme Court, may safely be entrusted to a sovereign pend, that the Federal Government (confining its opera- State. Sir, there are so many powerful motives to restrain tions to subjects clearly federal) should only be felt in the a State from taking such high ground as to interpose her blessings which it dispenses. Look, sir, at our system of sovereign power to protect her citizens from unconstituchecks. The House of Representatives checks the Sen- tional laws, that the danger is not that this power will be ate, the Senate checks the House, the Executive checks wantonly exercised, but that she will fail to exert it, even both, the Judicary checks the whole; and it is in the true on proper occasions. spirit of this system, that the States should check the Fe
A State will be restrained by a sincere love of the deral Government, at least so far as to preserve the con, Union. The people of the United States cherish a devostitution from “gross, palpable, and deliberate violations," tion to the Union, so pure, so ardent, that nothing short and to compel an appeal to the amending power, in cases of intolerable oppression can ever tempt them to do any of real doubt and difficulty. That the States possess thing that may possibly endanger it. Sir, there exists, this right seems to be acknowledged by Alexander Ham- moreover, a deep and settled conviction of the benefits ilton himself. In the 51st number of the Federalist he which result from a close connexion of all the States for says, “ that, in a single republic, all the powers surrender- purposes of mutual protection and defence. This will ed by the people are submitted to the administration of a co-operate with the feelings of patriotism to induce a single government, and usurpations are guarded against State to avoid any measures calculated to endanger that by a division of the government into separate departments. connexion. A State will always feel the necessity of In the compound republic of America, the power surren- consulting public opinion, both at home and abroad, bedered by the people is first divided between two distinct fore she resorts to any measures of such a character. She governments, and then the portion allotted to each, sub- will know that, if she acts rashly, she will be abandoned divided into separate departments; hence a double secu- even by her own citizens, and will utterly fail in the obrity arises to the rights of the people. The different go-ject she has in view. If, as is asserted in the Declaration vernments will control each other, at the same time cach of Independence, all experience has proved that mankind will be controlled by itself.”
are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable,
Jax. 27, 1830. ]
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
than to resort to measures for redress, why should this parties, in their sovereign capacity, can be called for by case be an exception, where so many additional motives occasions, only, deeply and essentially affecting the vital must always be found for forbearance? Look at our own principles of their political systems." experience on this subject. Virginia and Kentucky, so “ The resolution has, accordingly, guarded against any far back as '98, avowed the principles for which I have misapprehension of its object, by expressly requiring, for been contending-principles which have never since been such an interposition, the case of a deliberate, palpable, abandoned; and no instance has yet occurred in which it and dangerous breach of the constitution, by the exercise has been found necessary, practically, to exert the power of powers not granted by it.' It must be a case, not of a asserted in those resolutions.
light and transient nature, but of a nature dangerous to the If the alien and sedition laws had not been yielded to great purposes for which the constitution was established. the force of public opinion, there can be no doubt that It must be a case, moreover, not obscure or doubtful in the State of Virginia would have interposed to protect its construction, but plain and palpable. Lastly, it must her citizens from its operation. And, if the apprehen- be a case, not resulting from a partial consideration, or sion of such an interposition by a State should have the hasty determination, but a case stamped with a final coneffect of restraining the Federal Government from acting, sideration and deliberate adherence. It is not necessary, except in cases clearly within the limits of their authority, because the resolution does not require that the question surely no one can doubt the beneficial operation of such should be discussed how far the exercise of any particua & restraining influence. Mr. Jefferson assures us that the lar power, ungranted by the constitution, would justify embargo was actually yielded up, rather than force New the interposition of the parties to it; as cases might easily be England into open opposition to it. And it was right to stated which none would contend ought to fall within that gield it, sir, to the honest convictions of its unconstitu- description, and cases, on the other hand, might, with tionality entertained by so large a portion of our fellow- equal ease, be stated, so flagrant and so fatal, as to unite citizens. If the knowledge that the Slates possess the every opinion in placing them within the description." constitutional right to interpose, in the event of " gross,
** But the resolution has done more than guard against deliberate, and palpable violations of the constitution,” misconstruction, by expressly referring to cases of a deshould operate to prevent a perseverance in such viola- liberate, palpable, and dangerous nature. It specifies the tions, surely the effect would be greatly to be desired. object of the interposition which it contemplates, to be, But there is one point of view in which this matter pre-solely, that of arresting the progress of the evil of usurpasents itself to my mind with irresistible force. The Su- tion, and of maintaining the authorities, rights, and liberties, preme Court, it is admitted, may nullify an act of Con- appertaining to the States, as parties to the constitution.” gress, by declaring it to be inconstitutional. Can Con No one can read this without perceiving that Mr. Madigress, after such a nullification, proceed to enforce the son goes the whole length in support of the principles for law, even if they should differ in opinion from the Court? which I have been contending. What, then, would be the effect of such a decision. And The gentleman has called upon us to carry out our what would be the remedy in such a case? Congress scheme practically. Now, sir, if I am correct in my view would be arrested in the exercise of the disputed power, of this matter, then it follows, of course, that the right of and the only remedy would be an appeal to the creating a State being established, the Federal Government is power, three-fourths of the States, for an amendment of bound to acquiesce in a solemn decision of a State, acting the constitution. And by whom must such an appeal be in its sovereign capacity, at least so far as to make an apmade? It must be made by the party proposing to exer- peal to the people for an amendment to the constitution. cise the disputed power. Now I will ask whether a so- This solemn decision of a State (made either through its vereign State inay not be safely entrusted with the exer- Legislature, or a convention, as may be supposed to be cise of a power, operating merely as a check, which is the proper organ of its sovereign will—a point I do not admitted to belong to the Supreme Court, and which propose now to discuss) binds the Federal Government, may be exercised every day, by any three of its members? under the highest constitutional obligation, not to résort Sir, no ideas that can be formed of arbitrary power on to any means of coercion against the citizens of the disthe one hand, and abject dependence on the other, can senting State. How, then, can any collision ensue bebe carried further than to suppose that three individuals, tween the Federal and State Governments, unless, indeed, mere men, “subject to like passions with ourselves," the former should determine to enforce the law by unconmay be safely entrusted with the power to nullify an act stitutional means? What could the Federal Government of Congress, because they conceive it to be unconstitu-do, in such a case? Resort, says the gentleman, to the tional; but that a sovereign and independent State, even courts of justice. Now, can any man believe that, in the the great State of New York, is bound, implicitly, to sub- face of a solemn decision of a State, that an act of Conmit to its operation, even where it violates, in the gross gress is “a gross, palpable, and deliberate violation of the est manner, her own rights, or the liberties of her citizens. constitution, and the interposition of its sovereign auBut we do not contend that a common case would justify thority to protect its citizens from the usurpation, that juthe interposition.
ries could be found ready merely to register the decrees of · This is “the extreme medicine of the State,” and can- the Congress, wholly regardless of the unconstitutional chanot become our daily bread.
racter of their acts? Will the gentleman contend that juMr. Madison, in his report, says: “It does not follow, ries are to be coerced to find verdicts at the point of the however, that, because the States, as sovereign parties to bayonet? And if not, how are the United States to entheir constitutional compact, must ultimately decide whe- force an act solemnly pronounced to be unconstitutional? ther it has been violated; that such a decision ought to be But, if the attempt should be made to carry such a law interposed either in a hasty manner, or on doubtful and into effect, by force, in what would the case differ from inferior occasions. Even in the case of ordinary conven- an attempt to carry into effect an act nullified by the tions, between different nations, where, by the strict rule courts, or to do any other unlawful and unwarrantable of interpretation, a breach of a part may be deemed a act? Suppose Congress should pass an agrarian law, or a breach of the whole; every part being deemed a condi emancipating our slaves, or should commit any other tion of every other part, and of the whole, it is always gross violation of our constitutional rights, will any genlaid down, that the breach must be both wilful and mate- tleman contend that the decision of every branch of the rial, to justify an application of the rule. But in the case Federal Government, in favor of such laws, could preof an intimate and constitutional Union, like that of the vent the States from declaring them null and void, and United States, it is evident that the interposition of the protecting their citizens from their operation?
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
[Jan. 27, 1830.
Sir, if Congress should ever attempt to enforce any beams the “ little stars hide their diminished heads." such laws, they would put themselves so clearly in the Our's, sir, is the banner of the constitution: the twentywrong, that no one could doubt the right of the State to four stars are there, in all their undiminished lustre: on it exert its protecting power.
is inscribed, Liberty--the Constitution Union. We offer Sir, the gentleman has alluded to that portion of the up our fervent prayers to the Father of all Mercies that militia of South Carolina with which I have the honor to be it may continue to wave, for ages yet to come, overa free, connected, and asked how they would act in the event of a happy, and a united people. the nullification of the tariff law by the State of South Car Mr. WEBSTER now took the floor, in conclusion, and olina? The tone of the gentleman, on this subject, did not said: A few words, Mr. President, on this constitutional arseem to me as respectful as I could have desired. I hope, gument, which the honorable gentleman has labored to resir, no imputation was intencied.
construct. (Mr. WEBSTER. “Not at all; just the reverse."] His argument consists of two propositions, and an infer
Well, sir, the gentleman asks what their leaders would ence. His propositions arebe able to read to them out of Coke upon Littleton, or 1. That the constitution is a compact between the States. any other law book, to justify their enterprise? Sir, let 2. That a compact between two, with authority reservme assure the gentleman tiiat, whenever any attempt ed to one to interpret its terms, would be a surrender to shall be made from any quarter, to enforce unconstitu- that one, of all power whatever. tional laws, clearly violating our essential rights, our 3. Therefore, (such is his inference) the General Goleaders (whoever they may be) will not be found reading vernment does not possess the authority to construe its own black letter from the musty pages of old law books. They powers. will look to the constitution, and when called upon, byl Now, sir, who does not see, without the aid of exposithe sovereign authority of the State, to preserve and pro- tion or detection, the utter confusion of ideas, involved in tect the rights secured to them by the charter of their this, so elaborate and systematic argument? liberties, they will succeed in defending them, or “perish The constitution, it is said, is a compact between States; in the last ditch."
the States, then, and the States only, are parties to the Sir, I will put the case home to the gentleman. is compact. How comes the General Government itself a there any violation of the constitutional rights of the party? Upon the honorable gentleman's hypothesis, the States, and the liberties of the citizen, (sanctioned by Con-General Government is the result of the compact, tbe gress and the Supreme Court) which he would believe it creature of the compact, not one of the parties to it. let to be the right and duty of a State to resist? Does he the argument, as the gentleman has now stated it, makes contend for the doctrine of "passive obedience and non- the Government itself one of its own creators. It makes resistance is Would he justify an open resistance to an it a party to that compact to which it owes its own existence. act of Congress sanctioned by the courts, which should For the purpose of erecting the constitution on the basis abolish the trial by jury, or destroy the freedom of reli- of a compact, the gentleman considers the States as par. gion, or the freedom of the press? Yes, sir, he would ad- ties to that compact; but as soon as his compact is made, vocate resistance in such cases; and so woulli, and so then hechooses to consider the General Government, which would all of us. But such resistance would, according is the offspring of that compact, not its offspring, but one to his doctrine, be revolution; it would be rebellion. Ac- of its parties; and so, being a party, has not the power of cording to my opinion, it would be just, legal, and consti- judging on the terms of compact. Pray, sir, in what tutional resistance. The whole difference between us, school is such reasoning as this taught? then, consists in this. The gentleman would make force If the whole of the gentleman's main proposition were the only arbiter in all cases of collision between the States conceded to him, that is to say—if I admit for the sake of and the Federal Government. I would resort to a peace the argument, that the constitution is a compact between ful remedy, the interposition of the State to “arrest the States, the inferences which he draws from that proposiprogress of the evil," until such time as “a convention tion are warranted by no just reason. Because, if the con(assembled at the call of Congress, or two thirds of the stitution be a compact between States, still, that constituStates) shall decide to which they mean to give an au- tion, or that compact, has established a Goverument, with thority claimed by two of their organs.” Sir, I say with certain powers; and whether it be one of those powers, Mr. Jefferson, (whose words I have here borrowed) that that it shall construe and interpret for itself the terms of “it is the peculiar wisdom and felicity of our constitu- the compact, in doubtful cases, can only be decided by tion to have provided this peaceable appeal, where that of looking to the compact, and inquiring what provisions it other nations” (and I may add that of the gentleman) “is contains on this point. Without any inconsistency with at once to force."
natural reason, the Government, even thus created, might The gentleman has made an eloquent appeal to our be trusted with this power of construction. The extent hearts in favor of union. Sir, I cordially respond to that of its powers, therefore, must still be sought for in the inappcal. I will yield to no gentleman here in sincere at- strument itself. achment to the Union; but it is a union founded on the If the old confederation had contained a clause, declar. constitution, and not such a union as that gentleman would ing that resolutions of the Congress should be the supreme žive us, that is dear to my heart. If this is to become one law of the land, any State law or constitution to the congreat “consolidated Governinent," swallowing up the trary notwithstanding, and that a committee of Congress, rights of the States, and the liberties of the citizen, “rid. or any other body created by it, should possess judicial ing over the plundered ploughmen and beggared yeoman- powers, extending to all cases arising under resolutions of ry,” the Union will not be worth preserving: Sir, it is Congress, then the power of ultimate decision would have because South Carolina loves the l'nion, and would pre- been vested in Congress, under the confederation, alserve it forever, that she is opposing now, while there is though that confederation was a compact between States; hope, those usurpations of the Federal Government and for this plain reason, that it would have been compewhich, once established, will, sooner or later, tear this tent to the States, who alone were parties to the compact, Union into fragments. The gentleman is for marching to agree who should decide in cases of dispute arising on under a banner, studded all over with stars, and bearing the the construction of the compact. inscription Liberty and Union. I had thought, sir, the For the same reason, sir, if I were now to concede to gentleman would have borne a standard, displaying in its the gentleman his principal propositions, viz. that the conample folds a brilliant sun, extending its golden rays from stitution is a compact between States, the question would the centre to the extremities, in the brightness ot' whose still be, what provision is made, in this compact, to settle
Jas. 28, 1830.]
(SENAT points of disputed construction, or contested power, that before 1789. He describes fully that old state of things shall come into controversy! And this question would still then existing. The confederation was, in strictness, a be answered, and conclusively answered, by the constitu- compact; the States, as States, were parties to it.
We tion itself. While the gentleman is contending against had no other General Government. But that was found construction, he himself is setting up the most loose and insufficient, and inadequate to the public exigencies. The dangerous construction. The constitution declares that people were not satisfied with it, and undertook to estathe laws of Congress shall be the supreme law of the land. blish a better. They undertook to form a General GoNo construction is necessary here. "It declares, also, with vernment, which should stand on a new basis--not a conequal plainness and precision, that the judicial power of federacy, not a league, not a compact between States, but the United States shall extend to every case arising under a constitution; a popular Government, founded in popular the laws of Congress. This needs no construction. Here election, directly responsible to the people themselves, is a law, then, which is declared to be supreme; and here and divided into branches, with prescribed limits of pow. is a power established, which is to interpret that law. er, and prescribed duties. They ordained such a GovernNow, sir, how has the gentleman met this? Suppose the ment; they gave it the name of a constitution, and therein constitution to be a compact, yet here are its terms, and they established a distribution of powers between this, how does the gentleman get rid of them? He cannot ar. their General Government, and their several State Go. gue the seal off the bond, nor the words out of the instru-vernments. When they shall become dissatisfied with this
Here they are--what answer does he give to them distribution, they can alter it. Their own power over None in the world, sir, except that the effect of this would their own instrument remains. But, until they shall' alter be to place the states in a condition of inferiority; and be it, it must stand as their will, and is equally binding on the cause it results, from the very nature of things, there be- General Government and on the States. ing no superior, that the parties must be their own judges! The gentleman, sir, finds analogy, where I see none. Thus closely and cogently does the honorable gentleman He likens it to the case of a treaty, in which, there being reason on the words of the constitution. The gentleman no common superior, each party must interpret for itself, says, if there be such a power of final decision in the Ge- under its own obligation of good faith. But this is not a neral Government, he asks for the grant of that power. treaty, but a constitution of Gorernment, with powers to Well, sir, I show him the grant--I turn him to the very execute itself, and fulfil its duties. words I show him that the laws of Congress are made I aclmit, sir, that this Government is a Government of supreme; and that the judicial power extends, by express checks and balances; that is, the House of Representatives words, to the interpretation of these laws. Instead of an- is a check on the Senate, and the Senate is a check on the swering this, he retreats into the general reflection, that it House, and the President is a check on both. But I canmust result, from the nature of things, that the States, being not comprehend him, or, if I do, I totally differ from him, parties, must judge for themselves.
when he applies the notion of checks and balances to the I have admitted, that, if the constitution were to be con- interference of different Governments. He argues that, sidered as the creature of the State Governments, it might if we transgress, each State, as a State, has a right to be modified, interpreted, or construed, according to their check us. Does he admit the converse of the proposition, pleasure. But, even in that case, it would be necessary that we have a right to check the States? The gentlethat they should agree. One, alone, could not interpret man's doctrines would give us a strange jumble of authori. it conchisively; one, alone, could not construe it; one, alone, ties and powers, instead of Governments of separate and could not modify it. Yet the gentleman's doctrine is, that defined powers. It is the part of wisdom, I think, to avoid Carolina, alone, may construe and interpret that compact this; and to keep the General Government and the State which equally binds all, and gives equal rights to all. Governments, each in its proper sphere, avoiding, as care
So then, sir, even supposing the constitution to be a com- fully as possible, every kind of interference. pact between the States, the gentleman's doctrine, never Finally, sir, the honorable gentleman says, that the theless, is not maintainable; because, first, the General States will only interfere, by their power, to preserve the Government is not a party to that compact, but a Govern- constitution. They will not destroy it, they will not imment established by it, and vested by it with the powers of pair it-they will only save, they will only preserve, they trying and deciding doubtful questions; and, secondly, be will only strengthen it! Ah, sir, this is but the old story. cause, if the constitution be regarded as a compact, not All regulated Governments, all free Governments, have one State only, but all the States, are parties to that com- been broken up by similar disinterested and well disposed pact, and one can have no right to fix upon it her own pe-interference! It is the common pretence. But I take culiar construction.
leave of the subject. So much, sir, for the argument, even if the premises of
[Here the debate closed for this day.) the gentleman were granted, or could be proved. But, sir, the gentleman has failed to maintain his leading propo
THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 1830. sition. He has not shown, it cannot be shown, that the The Senate resumed the consideration of the resolution movconstitution is a compact between State Governments. ed by Mr. FOOT—Mr. BENTON being entitled to the floor. The constitution itself, in its very front, refutes that pro
POLITICAL HISTORY--MR. BAYARD. position: it declares that it is ordained and established by the people of the United States. So far from saying that Mr. CLAYTON said that he desired the permission of it is established by the Governınents of the several States, the Senator from Missouri (Mr. BENTON) to call the attenit does not even say that it is established by the people of tion of two of the honorable members of this body, Mr. the several States; but it pronounces that it is established Smith, of Maryland, and Mr. Livingston, of Louisiana, by the people of the United States in the aggregate. The to a passage in a book which had been cited in this debate gentleman says, it must mean no more than that the people by the Senator from South Carolina, (Mr. HAYNE] as auof the several States, taken collectively, constitute the thority on another subject. He did not rise for the purpeople of the United States; be it so, but it is in this, their pose of discussing the resolution itself. In the wide range collective capacity; it is as all the people of the United of the debate here, the Northeastern and Southern sections States that they establish the constitution. So they de- of the country had been arrayed against each other. He clare; and words cannot be plainer than the words used. listened to the discussion without any intention of partici
When the gentleman says the constitution is a compact pating in it, while the State which he had the honor, in between the States, he uses language exactly applicable to part, to represent, had escaped unscathed by the controthe old confederation. He speaks as if he were in Congress versy. Though favorable to the resolution, as a mere pro
The General Debate, &c.-Political History--Mr. Bayard. [Jan. 29, to FEB. 1, 1830. position to inquire, he felt but little interest in such con- could he have anticipated it. Mr. B. then proceeded in tentions between the North and South; and his only his speech commenced on the 20th of January, but, bedesire in relation to that subject was, that the warmth of fore he concluded, he was induced to give way for a mothe discussion might have no tendency to alienate one por- tion for adjournment. tion of our country from the other. But his attention had been called, by a number of members of the Senate, to a
FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 1830. passage in the same book; another part of which had been referred to by the Senator from South Carolina. subscription on the part of the Senate to a proposed com
The Senate, after discussing a resolution authorizing a That passage charged an illustrious statesman, who for
pilation of Public Documents by Gales and Seaton, admerly occupied the seat of a Senator here, and whose me.
journed over to Monday. mory and fame were dear to himself and to the people he represented, with atrocious corruption, of which he was
MONDAY, FER. 1, 1830. convinced that great and good man could never have been
POLITICAL HISTORY--MR. BAYARD. guilty; and as the witnesses referred to in the book itself were present, and ready to give testimony to set the charge Mr. BENTON was entitled to the floor, but at rest, he hoped he should be pardoned for referring to Mr. HAYNE rose and said, before the Senator from Mis the objectionable passage in their presence.
souri proceeded further in the debate, be considered it his He then read, from the fourth volume of Jefferson's duty to notice an occurrence which had taken place here, Memuirs, page 515, (the same volume which had been when this subject was last under consideration. An brought into the Senate by General Hayne) the following honorable Senator from Delaware, (Mr. CLAYTON) rose passage:
in his place, and, taking up a volume of Jefferson's “ FEBRUARY THE 12TH, 1801.—Edward Livingston tells Memoirs, which I had introduced into this chamber, read me that Bayard applied to-day, or last night, to General a passage implicating the late Mr. Bayard in an attempt Samuel Smith, and represented to him the expediency of to bring over General Samuel Smith, of Maryland, to his coming over to the States who vote for Burr; that there the support of Colonel Burr, in the celebrated political was nothing in the way of appointment which he might contest of 1801. The gentleman then appealed to the Senot command, and particularly mentioned the Secretary- nators from Maryland and Louisiana, (Mr. Smith and Mr. ship of the Navy. Smith asked him if he was authorized Livingston] to say whether they had any recollection of to make the offer. He said he was authorized. Smith the occurrence to which Mr. Jefferson alludes, and those told this to Livingston, and to W. C. Nicholas, who con- gentlemen having replied in the negative, the Senator from firms it to me," &c.
Delaware then stated, that he now considered the vindicaMr. CLAYTON then called upon the Senators from tion of Mr. Bayard to be complete, and went on to make Maryland and Louisiana, referred to in this passage, to some remarks, which I did not distinctly hear, but which disprove the statement here made.
have been supposed, contrary, I must presume, to that Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, rose and said, that he had gentleman's intention, to cast imputation on the reputa. read the paragraph before he came here to-day, and was, tion, and even on the veracity of Mr. Jefferson. i find therefore, aware of its import. He had not the most dis- too, sir, that an impression has gone abroad, that I had mytant recollection that Mr. Bayard had ever made such a self referred to, and relied on, the very passage in which proposition to bim. Mr. Bayard [said he] and myself, Mr. Bayard is supposed to be implicated. It is my prethough politically opposed, were intimate personal friends, sent object [said Mr. B.] to correct these errors; and to and he was an honorable man. Of all men Mr. Bayard prevent any possible misconstruction either as to my own would have been the last to make such a proposition to course, or that of the gentleman from Delaware.
I reany man; and I am confident that he had too much respect ferred to the Memoirs of Mr. Jefferson for the purpose of for me to have made it, under any circumstances. I ne- availing myself of his political principles, and declared ver received from any man, any such proposition.
opinions, in relation to the tariff, and Internal Improve Mr. LIVINGSTON, of Louisiana, said, that, as to the ments, and the great question of State rights, then in conprecise question which had been put to him by the Sena- troversy between the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. tor from Delaware, he must say, that, having taxed his re- WEBSTER) and myself. I relied on the authority of Mr. collection as far as it could go, on so remote a transaction, Jefferson but for a single fact, incidentally introduced inhe had no remembrance of it.
to the debate, which was, that Mr. Adams had informed Mr. CLAYTON said his purpose had been achieved. him of certain designs on the part of the New England He thought it his duty to vindicate the honor and fame of Federalists, for a dissolution of the Union, during the emhis predecessors against unjustifiable imputations, no mat- bargo. That such a communication was actually made to ter to what party they may have belonged. The charac. Mr. Jefferson, bas been publicly acknowledged by Mr. ter of the illustrious Bayard would, he trusted, stand for- Adams himself. For the memory of Mr. Bayard, i have ever untarnished by the charge of corruption. He should always entertained too much respect to have permitted have thought himself recreant in duty to the people of me to mention his name otherwise than with becoming rethe State he, in part, represented, to the memory of one spect. I had early learned to respect that gentleman, who once filled the same place which he now occupied, if from his high character and public services; and I was he had not seized the first opportunity in his power, after taught to revere his memory by my friend from Delaware, the public appearance of this volume on the floor of the [Mr. McLane] who sat so long by my side in this chamber, Senate, to disprove the charges to which he had this day and who is now doing honor to himself and his country in called their attention. He thought there were other one of our highest diplomatic trusts abroad. But, 'sir, charges in that volume against other distinguished men of without proposing to enter into the examination of the this country, equally unfounded. (Subsequently, upon question, I will merely remark, that I think the memoransome remarks from Mr. Benton, he said, he wished it to dum made by Mr. Jefferson, 12th February, 1801, is susbe distinctly understood, that it was no part of his purpose ceptible of an easy explanation, without the impeachment to tarnish the fame of Mr. Jefferson. His object was not of any of the parties. For my own part, I can have no accusative, but entirely exculpatory.]
doubt, when Mr. Jefferson made the entry in his note book, Mr. BENTON entered his protest against this mode of on the very day on which the transaction took place, that introducing extraneous questions here, and regretted that he actually received the impression which he states from he had given way to Mr. Clayton, for a purpose to the conversation of one at least of the gentlemen named; which, he said, he would not have been instrumental, and yet, sir, what can be more natural than to suppose