Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> An Oration on the Life, Character, and Services of John Caldwell Calhoun, Delivered on the 21st November 1850, in Charleston, S.C., at the Request of the City Council >> Page 259

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Page 259

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 259
been revised that year, and shortly before. 1 hey had
been revised with special reference to the payment of
the Public Debt, which was then virtually accomplish-
ed. The odious scheme of permanently distributing
the surplus revenue had not been carried, though there
was every prospect that it would be ultifuately ; but
while the amount of revenue, and average of duties
were very slightly reduced, by a large increase of the
free list comprising articles most useful to the manu-
facturers—their particular interest was, in fact, much
advanced, and the Tariff rendered more unequal and
more oppressive than by the Act of 1828. Yet it was
announced, authoritatively, that this was a final and
permanent adjustment of the protective system, and
that the South could never expect any amelioration
of it.
Mr. Calhoun was still Vice-President of the United
States, but Gen. Layne having been recalled from the
Senate and placed in the Executive Chair at this crisis,
Mr. Calhoun was chosen in December to fill his place.
Resigning his office, he took his seat in .the Senate.
Gen. Jackson had, immediately after the passage of the
Ordinance, issued his famous proclamation, denouncing
the proceedings of South Carolina as treasonable, nul-
lification as unconstitutional and revolutionary, and
even denying, for the first time, I believe, in the his-
tory of the country, the right of a State to secede.
In fact, his doctrines went the full length of negativ-
ing all State Rights, and consolidating despotic power
in the hands of the Federal Government. And this
was followed by a message to Congress, demanding to
be clothed with almost unlimited power to carry his
views into effect by force of arms. The crisis was peril-