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 270

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 270

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 270
minority with unequalled energy and arrogance. Mr.
Calhoun was the leader of the Republican Party in
the Senate. He penetrated every design, and met
every movement of the Whigs. To all the measures
that could not be defeated, conditions were proposed
and sustained with such unanswerable arguments, that
the reaction of public opinion compelled the majority
to pause, to waver, and finally to give way and the
close of that Session, which had been called by the
Whigs to consolidate their power, found them not
only a dispirited, but virtually a defeated Party ; re-
sults which .were due in great measure, to the activity
and firmness, the powerful logic and profound States-
manship of Mr. Calhoun.
In that Session, however, and the two succeeding,
during which the Whigs remained in power, several
unconstitutional and dangerous measures were forced
through. The Bankrupt Law, which was soon repealed.
The distribution of Revenue, arising from sale of pub-
lic lands, which expired under the condition imposed on
it. The recharter of the Bank, which was vetoed by
Mr. Tyler. The Tariff Act of 1842, which was equally
stringent with that of 1828. This Act, which was
passed in open violation of the Compromise Act of 1833
a violation which should forever put an end to all
faith in Legislative Compromises by Congress, was jus-
tified on the ground that a larger revenue was indis-
pensable to the Government. A justification delibe-
rately prepared before-hand by the unconstitutional
distribution of a portion of the Revenue, and the pro-
digal expenditures which so many corrupt interests had
fastened on the Government.
A resort to State action to resist this oppressive act,