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in opposition to everything which I thought tended to strengthen the arm of executive power. I think it is growing more and more formidable every day. And I think that by yielding to it in this, as in other instances, we give it a strength which it will be difficult hereafter to resist. I think that it is nothing less than the fear of executive power which induces us to acquiesce in the acquisition of territory; fear, fear, and nothing else. In the little part which I have acted in public life, it has been my purpose to maintain the people of the United States, what the Constitution designed to make them, one people, one in interest, one in character, and one in political feeling. If we depart from that, we break it all up. What sympathy can there be between the people of Mexico and California and the inhabitants of the Valley of the Mississippi and the Eastern States in the choice of a President? Do they know the same man? Do they concur in any general constitutional principles? Not at all. Arbitrary governments may have territories and distant possessions, because arbitrary government may rule them by different laws and different systems. Russia may rule in the Ukraine and the provinces of the Caucasus and Kamtschatka by different codes, ordinances, or ukases. We can do no such thing. They must be of us, part of us, or else strangers. I think I see that in progress which will disfigure and deform the Constitution. While these territories remain territories, they will be a trouble and an annoyance; they will draw after them vast expenses; they will probably require as many troops as we have maintained during the last twenty years to defend them against the Indian tribes. We must maintain an army at that immense distance. When they shall become States, they will be still more likely to give us trouble. I think I see a course adopted which is likely to turn the Constitution of the land into a deformed monster, into a curse rather than a blessing; in fact, a frame of an unequal government, not founded on popular representation, not founded on equality, but on the grossest inequality; and I think that this process will go on, or that there is danger that it will go on, until this Union shall fall to pieces. I resist it, to-day and always! Whoever falters or whoever flies, I continue the contest! I know, sir, that all the portents are discouraging. Would to God I could auspicate good influences! Would to God that those who think with me, and myself, could hope for stronger support! Would that we could stand where we desire to stand! I see the signs are sinister. But with few, or alone, my position is fixed. If there were time, I would gladly awaken the country. I believe the country might be awakened, although it may be too late. For myself, supported or unsupported, by the blessing of God, I shall do my duty. I see well enough all the adverse indications. But I am sustained by a deep and a conscientious sense of duty; and while supported by that feeling, and while such great interests are at stake, I defy auguries, and ask no omen but my country's cause!
THE DARTMOUTH COLLEGE CASE
ARGUMENT BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT AT WASHINGTON, MARCH ro, 1818
HE general question is, whether the acts of the LegisT lature of New Hampshire of the 27th of June, and of the 18th and 26th of December, 1816, are valid and binding on the plaintiffs, without their acceptance or assent. The charter of 1769 created and established a corporation, to consist of twelve persons, and no more; to be called the “Trustees of Dartmouth College.” The preamble to the charter recites, that it is granted on the application and request of the Rev. Eleazer Wheelock: That Dr. Wheelock, about the year 1754, established a charity school, at his own expense, and on his own estate and plantation: That for several years, through the assistance of well-disposed persons in America, granted at his solicitation, he had clothed, maintained, and educated a number of native Indians, and employed them afterward as missionaries and schoolmasters among the savage tribes: That, his design promising to be useful, he had constituted the Rev. Mr. Whitaker to be his attorney, with power to solicit contributions, in England, for the further extension and carrying on of his undertaking; and that he had requested the Earl of Dartmouth, Baron Smith, Mr. Thornton, and other gentlemen, to receive such sums as might be contributed, in England, toward supporting his school, and to be trustees thereof, for his charity; which these persons had agreed to do: That thereupon Dr. Wheelock had executed to them a deed of trust, in pursuance of such agreement between him and them, and, for divers good reasons, had referred it to these persons to determine the place in which the school should be finally established: And, to enable them to form a proper decision on this subject, had laid before them the several offers which had been made to him by the several governments in America, in order to induce him to settle and establish his school within the limits of such governments for their own emolument, and the increase of learning in their respective places, as well as for the furtherance of his general original design. And inasmuch as a number of the proprietors of lands in New Hampshire, animated by the example of the Governor himself and others, and in consideration that, without any impediment to its original design, the school might be enlarged and improved, to promote learning among the English, and to supply ministers to the people of that Province, had promised large tracts of land provided the school should be established in that Province, the persons before mentioned, having weighed the reasons in favor of the several places proposed, had given the preference to this Province, and these offers: That Dr. Wheelock therefore represented the necessity of a legal incorporation, and proposed that certain gentlemen in America, whom he had already named and appointed in his will to be trustees of his charity after his decease, should compose the corporation. Upon this recital, and in consideration of the laudable original design of Dr. Wheelock, and willing that the best means of education be established in New Hampshire, for the benefit of the Province, the king granted the charter, by the advice of his Provincial Council. The substance of the facts thus recited is, that Dr. Wheelock had founded a charity, on funds owned and
procured by himself; that he was at that time the sole dispenser and sole administrator, as well as the legal owner, of these funds; that he had made his will, devising this property in trust, to continue the existence and uses of the school, and appointed trustees; that, in this state of things, he had been invited to fix his school permanently in New Hampshire, and to extend the design of it to the education of the youth of that Province; that before he removed his school, or accepted this invitation, which his friends in England had advised him to accept, he applied for a charter, to be granted, not to whomsoever the king or government of the Province should please, but to such persons as he named and appointed, namely, the persons whom he had already appointed to be the future trustees of his charity by his will. The charter, or letters-patent, then proceed to create such a corporation, and to appoint twelve persons to constitute it, by the name of the “Trustees of Dartmouth College”; to have perpetual existence as such corporation, and with power to hold and dispose of lands and goods, for the use of the college, with all the ordinary powers of corporations. They are in their discretion to apply the funds and property of the college to the support of the president, tutors, ministers, and other officers of the college, and such missionaries and schoolmasters as they may see fit to employ among the Indians. There are to be twelve trustees forever, and no more; and they are to have the right of filling vacancies occurring in their own body. The Rev. Mr. Wheelock is declared to be the founder of the college, and is, by the charter, appointed first president, with power to appoint a successor by his last will. All proper powers of government, superintendence, and visitation are vested in