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Report of the Committee to whom was referred the Preamble and Resolutions, submitted by the honorable member from Chesterfield, on the subject of the Tariff, proposed at the last session of Congress. (The Editor cannot find this in the Pamphlet Laws, Reports and Resolutions of the appropriate year : nor in the Manuscript Journals and Minutes of the Legislature for that year. Nor can he refer to the State Gazette of Daniel Faust, then State Printer, inasmuch as all the copies of that Gazette have been consumed by fire. The Editor has taken this document, which carries veracity and accuracy on the face of it, from the 19th Vol. of Niles's Register, p. 345.)
LEGISLATURE OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
DECEMBER 8th, 1820.
The following Report of THE CoMMITTEE AppointED on THE REsolutions REFERRED To, was, on WEDNESDAY, REpoRTED To The House of REPRESENTAtives, AND Adopted BY THE House.
The Committee to whom was referred the Preamble and Resolutions, submitted by the honorable member from Chesterfield, (Pleasant May, Esq.) on the subject of the Tariff proposed at the last Session of Congress—
That although your Committee do, in common, they believe, with a great majority of their fellow-citizens, and particularly those in the Southern and Eastern States, entirely concur with the honourable member, so far as the general principles of political economy involved in the resolutions, are concerned : although they most earnestly deprecate the restrictive system, attempted to be forced upon the nation, as premature and pernicious—as a wretched expedient to repair the losses incurred in some commercial districts, by improvident and misdirected speculation ; or as a still more unwarrantable project to make the most important interests of the country subservient to the most inconsiderable, and to compel those parts of the Union which are still prosperous and flourishing, to contribute even by their utter ruin, to fill the coffers of a few monopolists in the others. Yet, when they reflect that the necessity at that time universally felt, of regulating the commerce of the country by more enlarged and uniform principles, was the first motive that induced the calling of a Convention in '87. When they consider, that among the powers expressly given up by the States, and vested in Congress by the Consti
tution, is this very one of enacting all laws relating to commerce. Above Logislative - REpoRT.
all, when they advert to the consequences likely to result from the prac- 1820. tice, unfortunately become too common, of arraying upon questions of J-2 national policy, the States as distinct and independent sovereignties, in opposition to, or (what is much the same thing,) with a view to exercise a controul over the General Government. Your Committee feel it to be their indispensable duty to protest against a measure, of which they conceive the tendency to be so mischievous, and to recommend to the House, that upon this, as upon every other occasion, on which the general welfare of the public is in question, they adhere to those wise, liberal and magnanimous principles, by which this State has been hitherto so proudly dis
Report of the Special Committee on the decisions of the Federal Judiciary, and the Acts of Congress contravening the letter and spirit of the Constitution of the Union. (Pamphlet Laws, Reports and Resolutions of 1825, p. 88.)
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
DECEMBER 15, 1825.
The Special Committee, to whom was referred so much of the Governor's Message as relates to “the decisions of the federal judiciary and the acts of Congress, contravening the letter and spirit of the Constitution of the Union,” respectfully report, that they have reflected on the subject with due care, and feel no difficulty in forming upon it and expressing a distinct opinion. But before they state it, they beg leave to make a few prefatory remarks on the respective powers and disabilities of the United States and the individual States. The United States of America differ in their forms of government from all other governments in the civilized world. When the thirteen primitive States declared themselves independent, and entered into articles of confederation and perpetual union with each other for their mutual safety and defence, it was agreed that each State should retain its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right, which was not by the confederation expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled. The better to secure this sovereignty, freedom, independence, power, jurisdiction and rights, each State, in its own good time, formed a constitution for itself. Each State was an independent sovereignty, except what was surrendered for the purposes of war and defence, the public good, and general welfare. Over the commerce with foreign nations, Congress had little or no controńl. In this situation, it was found in the course of a few years' experience, that our foreign commerce could be better protected, and our national credit better secured, by surrendering more power, as regarded these subjects, into the hands of Congress; and this gave rise to the convention which formed the Federal Constitution, which delegated to Congress the complete controul over those questions so intimately connected with the general welfare and public good. But when enlarging the powers of the General Government, the States expressly stipulated, that The enumeration in the constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. And that The powers not delegated to the United States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Among those rights retained in this constitution to the people, is the unalienable right of remonstrating against any encroachments upon that
constitution by the Congress of the United States, or any other officer Root belonging to or acting under the General Government. Resoloss. This right is not only retained and unalienable, but it is the birth right of every freeman. It belongs to him either in his individual or aggre- S-TYTgate, his private or political capacity. To restrain it, when respectfully exercised, would be to establish that odious doctrine of non-resistance and perfect obedience. - o The Committee, therefore, respectfully recommend to this House the adoption of the following Resolutions:— - 1. Resolved, That Congress does not possess the power, under the constitution, to adopt a general system of internal improvement as a national In easure. 2. Resolred, That a right to impose and collect taxes, does not authorize Congress to lay a tax for any other purposes than such as are necessarily embraced in the specific grants of power, and those necessarily implied therein. 3. Resolred, That Congress ought not to exercise a power granted for particular objects, to effect other objects, the right to effect which has never been conceded. 4. Resolved, That it is an unconstitutional exercise of power, on the part of Congress, to tax the citizens of one State to make roads and canals for the citizens of another State. 5. Resolved, That it is an unconstitutional exercise of power, on the part of Congress, to lay duties to protect domestic manufactures.
Resolved, That the House do agree to the Report. Ordered, That it be sent to the Senate for concurrence.
By order of the House.
By order of the Senate.
Memorial &c.; being the Report of a special Committee of the Senate of S. Carolina, on the resolutions submitted by Mr. Ramsay on the subject of States rights-Dec. 12 and 19, 1827; (Pamphlet laws, reports and resolutions of Dec. Session, 1827, page 69.) See also, the documents of the first Session of the 20th Congress of the United States ; document of the House of Representatires, No. 65, Jan. 14, 182S, having been read on that day as a Memorial to the House of Representatives of Congress, from the Legislature of South Carolina. (Printed from this last mentioned document.)
IN THE SENATE,
DECEMBER 12, 1827.
The Committee, to whom was referred certain resolutions, directing an enquiry into the nature and origin of the Federal Government; and whether certain measures of Congress are, or are not, a violation of the letter and spirit of the Federal compact, Report, that they have maturely weighed and considered the subject entrusted to them, and are of opinion,
1. First, that the Constitution of the United States is not a compact between the people of the United States at large, with each other, but is the result of a compact originally formed between the people of thirteen separate and independent sovereignties, to produce and constitute a new form of government; as will abundantly appear by a reference to the journals of the old Congress, and of the General Convention which framed the Constitution.
The first Congress in America was that formed by the colonies in 1774 and 1775. It possessed, as is well known, no authority but what arose from common consent. The declaration of independence having absolved the colonies from all allegiance to the crown of Great Britain, it became necessary that the powers of Congress should be accurately defined—and hence arose the CoNFEDERATION of 1781. This confederacy not producing the blessings which had been anticipated, and the war of the revolution having entailed upon the States a large public debt, and the States at the same time becoming careless or indifferent in furnishing their quotas of this burthen, and many of them indeed unable so to do, from the distresses incident to the want of a common head to regulate commerce, the necessity of new modelling the existing government became evident to all. The old Congress, taking advantage of this state of the public sentiment, wisely recommended that a convocation of the States should be held for the purpose of framing a constitution better suited to the exigences of the Union. This constitution, when finished, was to be submitted in the shape of a proposal, for the adoption or rejection of the different States. Deputies