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 261

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 261

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 261
path of every Confederacy of Free States. that shall
arise upon the earth.
It is not probable that State Interposition will ever
again be resorted to while this Union continues. More
decisive measures will be preferred. But if the Fed-
eral Government was created by a Constitutional com-
pact between Sovereign States, binding between those
only that ratified it in Conventions : if only certain
enumerated or defined powers were entrusted to it in
its various departments, and all powers not granted to
it, explicitly reserved to the States entering into the
compact : and if that compact appointed no special
tribunal to decide when the Government thus created
transcended the powers granted to it, and trenched on
those reserved by the States, it follows irresistibly that.
the States themselves must decide such questions: for
if the Federal Government, by any or all of its Depart-
ments, assumes as an exclusive right this transcendant
power, then is that Government sovereign over those
by whom it was created the Conventions of the peo-
ple of the States ; the limits to its powers, supposed
to have been fixed in the most sacred and binding
form, were only suggestions addressed to its discretion,
and the whole mass of rights supposed to have been
reversed absolutely to the States, have no existence
save from its grace and will. If, however, the States
have by virtue of their Sovereignty and if it be
historically true that at the time of the compact, each
State was separately sovereign and remains so still
then if each State having the right to judge, in Con-
vention, of infraction of the Constitution, it follows,
with equal certainty, that each State must determine
for itself the mode and measure of resistance to be
17