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curity which is found for individual liberty in the separate energies of
violated by the General Government. The inviolable preservation of our
political institutions, is entrusted to the General Assembly of Virginia, in common with the Legislatures of the several States; and the sacred duty devolves upon them, of preserving these institutions unimpaired. Yet an anxious care for the harmony of the States, and an earnest solicitude for the tranquility of the Union, have determined your committee to recommend to the General Assembly, to make another solemn appeal to those with whom we unhappily differ; and that the feelings of Virginia may be again distinctly announced, they recommend the adoption of the following resolutions.
1. Reso/red, as the opinion of this Commuttee, That the Constitution of the United States, being a Federative Compact between sovereign States, in construing which no common arbiter is known, each State has the right to construe the Compact for itself.
2. Resolved, That in giving such construction, in the opinion of this committee, each State should be guided, as Virginia has ever been, by a sense of forbearance and respect for the opinion of the other States, and by community of attachment to the Union, so far as the same may be consistent with self-preservation, and a determined purpose to preserve the purity of our Republican Institutions.
3. Resolved, That this General Assembly of Virginia, actuated by the
Rogos". desire of guarding the Constitution from all violation, anxious to preserve J-2 and perpetuate the Union, and to execute with sidelity the trust reposed
in it by the people, as one of the high contracting parties, feels itself bound to declare, and it hereby most solemnly declares, its deliberate conviction, that the Acts of Congress, usually denominated the Tariff Laws, passed avowedly for the protection of Domestic Manufactures, are not authorised by the plain construction, true intent and meaning of the Constitution.
4. Resolved, also, That the said Acts are partial in their operation, impolitic and oppressive to a large portion of the people of the Union, and ought to be repealed.
5. Resolved, That the Governor of this Commonwealth be requested to communicate the foregoing preamble and resolutions to the Executive of the several States of the United States, with the request that the same be laid before their respective Legislatures.
6. Resolved, That the Governor be further requested, to transmit copies of the same report and resolutions to the Senators and Representatives of Virginia in the Congress of the United States, with a request to the Representatives, and instruction to the Senators, that the same be laid by them before their respective Houses.
Agreed to by the House of Delegates.
Agreed to by the Senate.
February 24th, 1829.
RESOLUTIONS ON THE CONSTITUTION OF THE U. STATES
(See Pamphlet Laws, Reports and Resolutions of 1830 p. 59.)
In the Senate, December 16, 1830.
Resolved, That the Legislature of the State of South Carolina doth unequivocally express a firm resolution to maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, against every aggression, either foreign or domestic, and that they will support the government of the United States in all the measures warranted by the former. Resolred, That this Legislature most solemnly declares a warm attachment to the Union of these States, to maintain which it pledges all its powers; and that for this end, it is their duty to watch over and oppose every infraction of those principles which constitute the only basis of that Union, because a faithful observance of them can alone secure its existence, and the public happiness. Resolved, That this Legislature doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the Federal Government, as resulting from the compact to which the States are parties, as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting that compact; and in case of a deliberate and palpable and dangerous exercise of other powers not granted by the said compact, the States, who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authori ties, rights and liberties, appertaining to them. Resolved, That the several States comprising the United States, are not united upon the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government; but by compact, under the style and title of the Constitution of the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a government for special purposes; delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthorized, void, and of no force. That to this compact each State acceded as a State, and as an integral party. That the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers: but that, as in all other cases of compact between parties, having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress. Resolved, That this Legislature doth also express its deep regret that a spirit has, in sundry instances, been manifested by the Fico Govern
ment, to enlarge its powers, by forced constructions of the constitutional charter which defines them, and that indications have appeared of a design to expand certain general phrases (which having been copied from the very limited grant of powers in the former articles of confederation, were the less liable to be misconstrued) so as to destroy the meaning and effect of the particular enumeration which necessarily explains and limits the general phrases, and to pervert certain specified grants of power from their true and obvious meaning, to purposes never contemplated by the authors of the Constitution or the States when they adopted it; and so to consolidate the States, by degrees, into one sovereignty; the obvious tendency and inevitable result of which, would be to transform the present republican system of the United States into an absolute government without any limitation of power.
Iteso/red, That the several acts of the Congress of the United States, now of force, imposing duties upon imports, for the protection of domestic manufactures, have been and are, deliberate and highly dangerous and oppressive violations of the constitutional compact, and that whenever any State, which is suffering under this oppression, shall lose all reasonable hope of redress from the wisdom and justice of the Federal Government, it will be its right and duty to interpose, in its sovereign capacity, for the purpose of arresting the progress of the evil occasioned by the said unconstitutional acts.
Resolved, That the Senate do agree to the resolutions. Ordered, That they be sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
By order of the Senate,
In the House of Representatives, December 17, 1830.
Resolved, That the House do concur in the resolutions. Ordered, That they be returned.
By order of the House,
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON FEDERAL RELATIONS,
CONCERNING A LETTER FROM GENERAL JACKSON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
s 14th DECEMBER, 1831.
(See Pamphlet Laws, Reports and Resolutions of 1831, p. 57.)
House of Representatives, December 14, 1831.
The Committee on Federal Relations, to whom was referred that portion of the Gorernor's Message relating to a letter from the President of the United States, of the date of June 14th 1831, in answer to a letter from the “ Union and States Rights Party” of Charleston, dated 5th June 1831, inviting him to visit that city and unite with them in celebrating the anni. versary of American Independence—beg leave to
That in the examination of the matter referred to them, they have endeavored as far as possible to subdue all feelings which might disturb their investigation, or throw suspicion upon their conclusions. Suppressing all emotions of State pride, and the natural indignation which a menace of violence and punishment excites, they have been disposed to regard the President's letter as involving important questions of constitutional law, and the bearing which such principles, and such an avowal of them, has upon the permanence and freedom of this confederacy.
A preliminary question, without the decision of which it would be inconsistent with the dignity and self respect of the Legislature to proceed, is, in what capacity or character has General Jackson denounced the existence of a plan of disorganization in South Carolina. With his
rivate opinions and sympathies the Legislature would not concern itself. Whatever exclusively appertains to the individual, must be left to individual censure or approbation—but whatever the afficer determines on, and sends forth to the world, as his determination, becomes at once a matter of consequence—and justifies, or, as in the present instance, demands the animadversion of this State. That General Jackson spoke, and intended to be understood, as speaking in his official character as President of the United States, is apparent from his language. His “high and sacred duties” can be none other but official duties, to the official performance of which he emphatically pledges himself. It was doubtless understood and intended that this solemn declaration should be laid before the public, and be received as a warning of the course the
VOL. I.-39. *