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 98

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Page 98

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 98
to liberty and the Constitution, continues to be made
subordinate to this, and to be estimated solely by its
influence on the Presidential election ; and while that
election continues to be made directly by the masses,
it is almost vain to expect that the people of any State
can be united among themselves, or the States of any
section combine, unless under extraordinary impulses,
to resist effectually the usurpations of the Federal
Under these circumstances, it devolves on South
Carolina to decide what course she will pursue in
reference to the Tariff. The period has arrived when
she can no longer postpone her final decision. It is
due from her. It is expected of her. And if she
fails to announce it, her silence w ill nevertheless be
conclusive. Whatever may be the technical validity,
or legal force, of the opinions on this important ques-
tion which your predecessors have placed upon your
records, it appears clear to me that our State is bound by
her past history, and the principles she professes ; and
owes it to the country and herself, to adopt such mea-
sures as will at an early period bring all her moral, con-
stitutional, and, if necessary, physical resources, in direct
array against a policy, which has never been checked but
by her interposition, and which impoverishes our coun-
try, revolutionizes our Government, and overthrows our
liberties. The expediency, the manner, and the pre-
cise time of doing this, are for your grave deliberation.
The last session of Congress was also signalized by
the rejection of a treaty for the annexation of Texas
to the United States. The cause assigned for this
rejection was, that Mexico not having yet acknow-
ledged the independence of Texas, it would be a viola-