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all the restraints of political responsibility, and we should have the best Cosvestrox
security which human wisdom has yet devised against oppressive legislation.
But the fact is precisely the reverse of this. The majority in Congress, in imposing protecting duties, which are utterly destructive of the interests of South Carolina, not only impose no burthens, but actually confer enriching bounties upon their constituents, proportioned to the burthens they impose upon us. Under these circumstances, the principle of representative responsibility is perverted into a principle of absolute despotism. It is this very tie, binding the majority of Congress to execute the will of their constituents, which makes them our inexorable oppressors. They dare not open their hearts to the sentiments of human justice, or to the feelings of human sympathy. They are tyrants by the very necessity of their position, however elevated may be their principles, in their individual capacities.
The grave question, then, which we have had to determine, as the Sovereign Power of the State, upon the awful responsibility under which we have acted, is, whether we will voluntarily surrender the glorious inheritance, purchased and consecrated by the toils, the sufferings and the blood of an illustrious ancestry, or transmit that inheritance to our posterity, untarnished and undiminished. We could not hesitate in deciding this question. We have, therefore, deliberately and unalterably, resolved, that we will no longer submit to a system of oppression, which reduces us to the degrading condition of tributary vassals; and which
would reduce our posterity, in a few generations, to a state of poverty
and wretchedness, that would stand in melancholy contrast with the beau-
believe the Federal Government has no shadow of right or authority, to
act against a sovereign State of the Confederacy, in any form, much less
Oppression and Tyranny, veiled under that consecrated title—if it ever existed amongst us—has now vanished forever. CoNstitutionAL LIBERty is the only idol of our political devotion; and, to preserve that, we will not hesitate a single moment to surrender the Union itself, if the sacrifice be necessary. If it had pleased God to cover our eyes with ignorance—if he had not bestowed upon us the understanding to comprehend the enormity of the oppression under which we labor—we might submit to it without absolute degradation and infamy. But the gifts of Providence cannot be neglected, or abused, with impunity. A people, who deliberately submit to oppression, with a full knowledge that they are oppressed, are fit only to be slaves; and all history proves that such a people will soon find a master. It is the pre-existing spirit of slavery, in the people, that has made tyrants in all ages of the world. No tyrant ever made a slave—no community, however small, having the spirit of freemen, ever yet had a master. The most illustrious of those states which have given to the world examples of human freedom, have occupied territories not larger than some of the districts of South Carolina; while the largest masses of population that were ever united under a common Government, have been the abject, spiritless and degraded slaves of despotic rulers. We sincerely hope, therefore, that no portion of the states of this Confederacy will permit themselves to be deluded into any measures of rashness, by the vain imagination that South Carolina will vindicate her rights and liberties, with a less inflexible and unfaltering resolution, with a population of some half a million, than she would do with a population of twenty millions.
It does not belong to freemen to count the costs, and calculate the hazards of vindicating their rights, and defending their liberties; and even if we should stand alone in the worst possible emergency of this great controversy, without the co-operation or encouragement of a single State of the confederacy, we will march forward with an unfaultering step, until we have accomplished the object of this great enterprise.
Having now presented, for the consideration of the Federal Government and our confederate states, the fixed and final determination of this State, in relation to the protecting system, it remains for us to submit a plan of taxation, in which we would be willing to acquiesce, in a spirit of liberal concession, provided we are met in due time, and in a becoming spirit, by the states interested in the protection of manufactures."
We believe, that upon every just and equitable principle of taxation, the whole list of protected articles should be imported free of all duty, and that the revenue derived from import duties, should be raised exclusively from the unprotected articles; or that whenever a duty is imposed upon protected articles imported, an excise duty of the same rate, should be imposed upon all similar articles manufactured in the United States. This would be as near an approach to perfect equality as could possibly be made, in a system of indirect taxation. No substantial reason can be given for subjecting manufactures, obtained from abroad, in exchange for the productions of South Carolina, to the smallest duty, even for revenue, which would not show that similar manufactures made in the United States, should be subject to the very same rate of duty. The former, not less than the latter, are, to every rational intent, the productions of domestic industry, and the mode of acquiring the one, is as lawful and more conducive to the public prosperity, than that of acquiring the other.
But we are willing to make a large offering to preserve the Union; Convention
and with a distinct declaration that it is a concession on our part, we
representatives seek to increase the duties on these articles, is conclusive
proof that those duties are bounties, and not burthens, to their constitu-
VOL. I.-45. -
a protecting tariff shall be no longer enforced within the limits of South Carolina. We stand upon the principles of everlasting justice, and no . human power shall drive us from our position.
We have not the slightest apprehension that the General Government will attempt to force this system upon us by military power. We have warned our brethren of the consequences of such an attempt. But if, notwithstanding, such a course of madness should be pursued, we here solemnly declare, that this system of oppression shall never prevail in South Carolina, until none but slaves are left to submit to it. We would infinitely prefer that the territory of the State should be the cemetery of freemen, than the habitation of slaves. Actuated by these principles, and animated by these sentiments, we will cling to the pillars of the temple our liberties, and if it must fall, we will perish amidst the ruins.
RESPECTING THE PROCLAMATION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Adopted, DECEMBER 17, 1832.
Whereas, The President of the United States has issued his proclamation, denouncing the proceedings of this State, calling upon the citizens to renounce their primary allegiance, and threatening them with military coercion, unwarranted by the Constitution, and utterly inconsis
- tent with the existence of a free State; be it therefore,
Resolved, That his Excellency the Governor be requested, forthwith, to issue his proclamation, warning the good people of this State against the attempt of the President of the United States to seduce them from their allegiance, exhorting them to disregard his vain menaces, and to be prepared to sustain the dignity, and protect the liberty of the State, against the arbitrary measures proposed by the President.
Resolved, That the House do agree to the preamble and resolution. Ordered, that it be sent to the Senate for their concurrence.
By order of the House.
In the Senate, December 17, 1832.
Resolved, That Senate do concur. Ordered to be returned to the House of Representatives. By order of Senate. f JACOB WARLEY, C. S.