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 262

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Page 262

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 262
applied to such infraction, or the right itself is a
nullity. Two modes only of resistance are to be found.
The one, to withdraw altogether from the violated
compact ; the other to nullify the unconstitutional act
and compel the Federal Government to repeal it, or
obtain a new grant of power from another Convention
of the States. The Federal Government, or two-thirds
of the States, may call a Convention for that purpose.
A single State cannot. It must, therefore, surrender,
not only its reserved rights, but its entire Sovereignty,
or, resist if need be, singly and independently, as
South Carolina did.
In recommending Nullification to the State of
South Carolina in preference to Secession, which, at
that time, it was almost universally agreed that a State
had a clear right to resort to, Mr. Calhoun was mainly
influenced by that deep, long cherished, and I night
almost say superstitious attachment to the Union,
which marked every act of his career from its com-
mencement to its very close. For if there is one fea-
ture most prominent in Nullification as a remedial
measure, it is that it is conservative of the Union
of that Constitutional Union, which is the only Union
a patriot can desire to preserve. It was also recom-
mended by the authority of the leaders and founders
of the great Republican Party, Mr. Jefferson and Mr.
Madison, who had proposed this identical measure to
Virginia and Kentucky in the memorable crisis of 1798.
The Force Bill was passed, but was immediately
nullified by South Carolina, and remains a ,dead letter
in our State. In the mean time, however, both the
Administration and Opposition in Congress, had be-
come alarmed, and introduced bills for reducing the