Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Message to the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, Nov. 26, 1844 >> Page 95

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 95

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 95
should be gradually reduced during that period, and
that after the expiration of it no higher Tariff should
again be levied than was necessary to defray the ex-
penses of an economical administration of the Gov-
ernment ; and that the rate of duties should in no
event, but the emergency of war, exceed twenty per
cent. ad valorern. Our State faithfully adhered to
the compact, and patiently bore the heavy burden
which had been imposed upon her. In 1842 the
period arrived for the Federal Government to fulfil its
stipulations, and reduce the Tariff to twenty per cent.
ad valorem, or lower, if so much was not requisite for
the support of an economical administration. But
instead of reducing them, the rate of duties was in-
creased—actually increased to a point higher than the
Tariff which South Carolina had declared null and
void within her limits in 1832 ; which declaration led
to the Compromise Act. History furnishes no instance
of a grosser, or more insulting breach of faith, while per-
haps no law has ever been enacted by the regular
government of a civilized country, so subversive of the
rights and destructive to the interests of any respecta-
ble portion. of its people, as the Tariff Act of 1842,
considered in all its bearings, is to the rights and in-
terests of the Planting States of this Confederacy. It
might naturally have been supposed, and probably it
was expected, that this State, in conformity with the
principles she had so long professed, and on which she
had heretofore acted, would immediately nullify this
Act ; but she did not. Closely united at the time
with the great Democratic party of the Union on the
general principles of government, and on certain ques-
tions of federal policy of the utmost moment seeing