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The South-west Georgian. (Oglethorpe, Ga.) 1851-18??, September 12, 1851, Image 1

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YOUNGBLO(iIf& ALLEN P"r^f||rs. VOL. I. ®ihs It Published every Friday Monung, in the new Town <jf Oglethorpe, JWacon County,Ga., CHARLES B. YOUNGBLOOD, Editor and Publisher. EGBERT \V. ALLEN, TRAVELING AoENT. TERMS—S 2 Per Pear in advance RATES OF ADVERTISING. . Or; Dollar per square (of 12 lines or lew) for the first nsertion, and Fifty Cents for each insertion thereafter. A liberal deduction will be made to those who adver tise by the year. Advertisements not specified as to time, will be pub lished till ordered out and charged accordingly. ]Hr. Cobb’s Letter TO THE MACON COMMITTEE. Concluded. Secesiion without Cause. Your first interrogatory directs my at tention to the question of secession ; anti you have put the issue upon the right of’ a State to secede from the Union with out just cause: As this right is claimed by many as a constitutional right, and by all of those who advocate it in its mod ern acceptation, as consistent with con stitutional obligations, I shall consider it at some length in reference to its constitii’ tional bearings. When asked to concede the right of a State to secede at pleasure from the Un ion, with or without just caue, we are called upon to admit that the framers of the constitution did that which was never done by any other people, possessed of their good sense and intelligence—that is to provide in the very organization of the government for its own dissolution, it seems to me, that such a course would not have been an anomalous pro ceeding—but wholly inconsistent with the wisdom and sound judgment which mar ked the deliberations of those wise and good men, who framed our Federal Gov., eminent. Whilst / freely admit, that such an opinion is entertained by many, for whose judgment I entertain the high est respect, I have no hesitation in declar ing that the convictions of my own judg ment are well settled, that no such prin ciple was contemplated in the adoption of our constitution. If it was the pur pose of the framers of the constitution, to subject the perpetuity of the Union to the will, and indeed, 1 may add, the caprice of each State, it is a most remarkable fact, that a principle of such vast impor tance, involving the very existence of the republic, should have been left an open question, to he decided by inferen ces and metaphysical deduction of the most complicated character. When one rises from a careful study of the con stitution of the United States, he feels im pressed with its wonderful adaption to the wants and interests of thisjgrowing people. Not only does he find wise and judicious provisions and guarantees for the state of the country as it then existed but with prophetic wisdom its framers seem to have penetrated the future, ac commodating the government to the ne cessities and requirements of its present increased population and extended rev sources. 1 am not prepared to admit that the men who exhibited so much care and foresight in refererire to all the vari ous parts of this complicated machine— would have left to vague conjecture the existence of she important and vital pow er now claimed for each State, of dissolv ing at pleasure, the Union which had cost them and their compatriots so much (oil, and labor, and anxiety. If diey had intended to provide for the destruction of that noble structure, which they were then erecting with all the care and wis dom of able statesmen and devoted pa triots, by such simple and obvious means os the withdrawal of any State from the confederacy—they would have manifest* ed their intention by tome plain and pal pable provision of the constitution.— Such a course would have been charac teristic of the honest, practical and en lightened statesmen of the convention.— Their failure to do so carries the strong est conviction to my mind, that no such principle was recognised by tligin. In connection with this view of the “subject, the inquiry forces itself upon our minds, if each State reserved the right to with draw at pleasure from the Union, why was there so much difficulty encouute by the friends of the constitution in obtaining its ratification by the differ ent Slates ? There were few, if any, who were opposed to the formation of the Union, after the constitution had been •übmitted to States for ratification provided they cotrajufriAfl certain a mendments upon it. The policViofadopt ing the constitution,on condition ibra,’ amendments should be acceded to, ‘was urged with great earnestness in the cob-1 ventions, and among the people of seve ral of the States ; but was finally aban doned, on the ground that it would be a conditional ratification, and therefore in admissible. Mr. Madison's Opinions. On this point, 1 must refer to the opin ion expressed by Mr. Madison, who has been called ‘ the father of the constitu tion,’ and to whose exposition of that sa cred instrument, the republican party have been accustomed to look with im plicit confidence. Mr. Madison says : ‘ My opinion is, that a reservation of a right to withdraw if amendments be not decided on under the form of the const i tuiion within a certain time, is a condi tional ratification, that it does not make New York a member of the new Union; and consequently, that she would not be received on that plan. Compacts must be,reciprocal—this principle would not, in such a case be preserved. The eon stitutlon requires an adoption in toto and forever. H the right was reserved to each State to withdraw, ii would have been an act of superrogation on the part of New York, or any oilier State to declare in advance that she would withdraw or se cede, if the amendments site proposed to the constitution were not adopted. U the right existed, it could be exercised as well without, as with the condition annexed to her ratificaiion of the constitution, and the assertion of it would have been a use less interpolation and a nullity. It was nut so regarded however, at the time, by those who had been active participants in the framing’ of the constitution. Mr. Madison considered the reservation of a right to withdraw front the Union ns ‘a condition that would vitiate the ratifica tion.’ He says father in writing to Mr. Hamilton on this subject: * The idea of reserving a right to withdraw was start ed at Richmond, and considered as a conditional ratification, which was itself abandoned as worse than a rejection.’ North Carolina and Rhode Island. If the opinion of Mr. Madison, which 1 have referred to, be well founded, it puts an end to the controversy. There ran he uo doubt about the fart, that he did not recognize the right of each Stale to secede from the Union at her own plea sure. In addition to the facts which I have just considered, there is a strong illustration of the opinions that prevail ed among the framers of the constitution on this subject, in the action of the Slates of North Carolina amt Rhode island.— These Slates refused to come into the Union for some time after the ratification of (he constitution. They were not op posed to the furination of lh§ Federal Un ion, but like some of the other States, they were unwilling to adopt the consti tution as it then stood. If it had been a recognized and undoubted principle that each State was bound to remain in the Union only go long as it suited to its own convenience, no one doubts that these States, instead of withholding their as sent to (lie constitution, after it had been adopted by the requisite number, would have come at once into the Union, with the intention of immediately withdrawing front it, upon the refusal of the States to adopt such amendments as they desiretl; but regarding the effect of their ratificaJ’ tion ot the constitution in an entirely dif ferent light from cite secessionists of the present day, they adopted quite a differ ent policy. So far as we can gather light and information from the opinions and action of the men who framed and adopt ed the constitution, it all goes to strength en and confirm the conviction I have al ready expressed against the existence of any such right. The Intention of the Framtrt. The political history ol die country from the time of the declaration ol indepen dence to the adoption of the constitution, is confirmatory of the correctness of the opinion I have expressed. In the orig inal articles of confederation, it is more than once declared that the object it as to form a perpetual Union. Those arti cles of confederation were found too weak and inefficient, to carry out the great purposes of the people in the establish ment of a general government, and hence it was, that in its own language, was the present constitution adopted for the purpose of firming ‘ a more perfect Union.’ It would be a reflection, both upon the integrity and the framers of the OGLETHORPE, GEORGIA, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1851. constitution to say, that they abandoned ‘ a perpetual Unitin’ to form a more perfect on j , and in doing so, adopted a conditional Union. Such Huyever, is the construction placed by upon the action of those gtMHMytnd good men, to whose energy, wisdoijgfr.iiiimism, we are indebted for our pnHit noble and glorious Union. HCuse of Louisiana. The our gnvernnlbnl during its whole existfcstfie, looks to the continu ance and perpetuity of the Union. /is temporary and (Viditiorinl existence, is no where impresses either upon domes, tic or foreign policy^it lias for more than half a century psmuiLglhe even te nor of its way, growing in stieflgjli and increasing in usefulness, takinggAlfeper and deeper hold upon the hearts atfd.j.l feciions of the people; the great American principle of free govern ment, and reflecting upon its inspired founders the highest and brightest honor. Whilst 1 do not propose to illustrate these views by a detailed review of the action of the government, I cannot forbear to refer to one portion of our history, which is strongly corroborative of the correct ness ot the position 1 cave- asstooed.— When the people of the United States determined upon the purchase o'’tlie Lott, istana territory, and effected that desira ble object at the cost of a considerable a mount of money, and by the exercise of a questionable constitutional power, it will not be said, that they did so for (lie benefit ot those who then inhabited the country, nor indeed for those who might subsequently remove there. They were prompted to the acquisition of tit tt vast ami valuable territory by considerations of public policy, affecting their interests and welfare as citizens of (lie various Stales of tlte Union. The rotnmercial and military vantages to the United Stales, from the possession of that coun try, were so great and important, that its acquisition was considered alqiost an act of self protection. Will it now be said that the people of Louisiana possess the right to deprive the remaining States of the Union, of all the interests and ad vantages which they have bought and paid lor, out of their own treasury, by withdraw ing, or seceding, from the Un ion at will? Louisiana is as free, sovereign and in dependent as any other Slate of the Un ion, and if this right exists in any one Stale, it exists in all, without reference to the mode by which the territory was ac quired, out of which the Stale is formed, /apprehend that the people of tlte-Uid led Slates did not for a moment entertain the idea, that in admitting Louisiana in. to the Union, they had thus perilled all the advantages ot that important acquisi tion, hy placing it in the power ot a single Slate to deprive the Union of commercial anti military advantages ami resources, of inestimable value, purchased by the joint treasure of all the Slates, and now held by them as beyond the reach of any price or consideration that could be of fered in exchange (or them. These re marks apply with equal force to (dl the territorial acquisitions made by thevUni ted States, where States have been of may hereafter lie formed and admitted into the Union, and the same principle might he forcibly illustrated hy reference to tlte ar lion of the Government on subjects of a kindred character, but it cannot be nec essary, and 1 will not extend this view to any greater length. The effect of Secession, When tlte right of a Slate to secede from the Ijnion, at will, is conceded, we have but the existence of the Govern ment at the disposal of each State in tlte Union. The withdrawal of one, is a dis solution of the compact w hich holds the Slates together; it is no longer the Un ion that the Constitution formed, and the remaining States are absolved from all moral obligation to abide longer hy their compact. 1 say moral obligation, be cause the argument of the secessionists denies the existence ot any binding legal obligation. By admitting the doctrine ol the secessionists, we are brought to die conclusion, that cor Federal Govern ment, the pride and boast of every Amer ican patriot, the wonder and admiration of the civilized world, is nothing more llt Alt n Voluntary association, teH|>orary in its character, weak and imbecile in the exercise of its pow ers, iurapuhle of self, preservation, claiming front its citizens al legiance and demanding annual tribute from their treasure —and yet, destitute ot the power of protecting their rights or preserving their liberties. If this be OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD IS OURS. tlte true theory ofour goverment, what is the constitution of the United Slates that we should estimate it so highly? Where is its binding force, that we should hold to provisions with such unyielding tenacity ? individuals! annul violate theircompaets, or set aside at pleasure their mutal obli gations, without the assent of the other parties. Nations cannot recklessly disre gard their treaty stipulations, without in curring the consequences -of violated faith. But our constitution, tlie revered monument of revolutionary patriotism and wisdom, which we have been taught to regard with reveremial feeling is doom ed to fall below the standard of national treaties, and individual contracts, it has formed a Union founded upon mutual sacrifices and concession—made hy the several component parts for the greater benefits to be derive!) hy each, from the cnmhi.jfad^o.operation of all—anil now we are tohl-tliat there is no obligation to observe thauiuJJnion, beyond tlte pleas ure of the parti-s'io ii—and that the con stitution can be by the acts of any Stale in the confederacy. Ido not so on<iersia‘id ; ttur government I feel that I owe my allegiance to a gov. eminent, possessed <>f more vitality anil strength than that which is drawn from a voluntary obedience to its laws. 1 hold that uo government is entitled to-niy ulle uiaure that does not possess the pm.vug to enforce and execute them. /am fully aware of the fact that the ef fort is now being made to render the de nial of the right of a Slate to dissolve the Union, odious in the public estimation presenting to the public mind, in connec tion with it, a Itightlid picture of an ar med soldiery and a military despotism. 1 have no fears of judgment that our en lightened countrymen will pass on this controversy —and surely I Cou'd not com plain of any consequence that should re sult from any avowal of doctrines which / have imbibed from teachings of Mr. Madison, Gen. Jackson, Judge Craw ford, ana their republican associates. It does not tidlow, however, as a necessary consequence of tlte principles which I have laid down, tint military coercion is to he used against a Stale that may at tempt the exercise of this revolutionary right. Stale Coercon. Whilst I deny tlte right of a State to secede, and thus dissolve the Union, I would not attempt hy die strong arm of military power to bring her citizens back to their allegiance, unless compelled to do so in defence of tlte rights ami inter ests of the remaining States of the Union. We should not recognize her separate independence, nor could we allow our own interests to be periled by sanctioning any alliance she might be disposed to make with any fore ign government.— In our desire to inflict no injustice upon a wandering sister, we should not forget the duty which tlte government owes to those who remain firm and true to their allegiance, and who claims upon its'protection and support should not he highly regarded. The laws of self pro ; tenimi would require at the hands of the government, that due regard should be had for the protection of tlte rights and interests of the oilier States, and to that demand it would be bound to respond. If one o( the Stales should in a mad hour attempt to secede from the Union, and the kind and indulgent policv which 1 have indicated should lie resorted to, I have no doubt that in a very short time such a Slate would feel it to be both her duty and interests to reirarl her wandering steps, and return to tlte embrace of the sisterhood. This opinion is founded tip on the high estimate which I place on the value of the Union to each ami all of her Slates that compose it. It would require the experience of only a short absence, to teach the wanderer the benefits and ad vantages front which she had voluntarily exiled herself. Such are the general views which I en- ‘ tertnin on this subject, and I have freely expressed them. I have discussed it as a mere abstract question, arid in that light / regard it. Whatever differences of <>• pinions may exist among the true friends of the Union on the abstract quettion of the right of secession, I apprehend that when it afSTmtes a practical shape, there would he hot slight shades of difference as to the policy and effects of our action. There are many who hold to the doctrine of the right ot a Stale to secede from the Uni tn, with whom / du not differ prac tically. They grant tlte abstract right of secession, but claim fur the remaining I States the right to protect themselves from any injurious conseqences that might flow from the exercise of that ab stract right hy the seceding State. It is only necessary to show that, in the end, the practiced oderation of their principles would lead to the same result that / woidd reach by the enforcement of the doctrines which I have avowed. Our difference is theoretical, not practical, and therefore constitutes tin impediment in the way of ’our rortlial co-operation. We all hold that just and wise laws should be inforced and executed, whilst we are prepared to oppose acts of injustice and oppression by all the means in our power, and to the rupture of everyjtie that binds us to any government. No gov. ernntent, however wisely and ‘.innestly ad ministered, can be maintained in tlte ab sence of binding obligations on its citizens to obey its laws, and power to inforce their executions on recusant parties.— Hence, 1 cannot consent to the doctrine that our government is destitute ot these powers essential to its vitality and exist ence. The claim which / have urged in behalf of die Federal Government can not be abandoned without endangering the Iraine-work of our admirable system-- nor is there any serious danger to be ap prehended from its improper exercise.— Its true strength, based upon the ex stance ot tiiese powers, is to be found in tJ.c justice and w isdom of its legislation ; these are the true and only sale avewLsts to the hearts and affections of the wherein are found tlte of support to a tree goyetnmeiu. Ido not entertain tljte idea, for a moment, that our government can lie maintained by the strong arm of military power, when it’ ceases to bestow the blessings upon the: people for which it was formed. Whe-i ever it becomes the instrument of wrong! and oppression to any portion of the< people, hy unjust laws and degrading legislation ,it will cease to be the Union formed by our revolutionary fathers, and possessing no further claims upon our al legiance and support, should that period ever unfortunately arrive, we will not fail to prove ourselves true to the principles of liberty anil equal rights as our honored and venerated fathers; nor will we stop to look to the provisions of a violated con stitution for the mode or measure for the redress of onr grievances. Secession for just cause. 1 have so far considered the question in reference to the doctrine of the coustitiis tional right of a Slate to secede without a just cause, at her own w ill and plea - sure, and / think I have shown that it is unsupported either by principle or author ity. On the oilier hand, I admit the) right of a Slate to secede for just causes,] to he determined by herself Being a] party to the compact, which tlte constitu tion forms, she has the right, which all other parties to a compact possess, to de-. lermlne fur herself when, where and how] the provisions of that compact have been ] violated, /i is equally clear that the oilier parties to the compact possess a corresponding right to judge for them selves and there being no common arbi ter decide between them, each must de j pend for the justification of their course upon the justice of their cause, the cor [redness of their judgement ami their power and ability to maintain their de cision. The right of a State to secede in case of oppression, or a “gross and palpable v iolstion,” of her constitutional rights, as jerived from the reserved sovereignty of the Stales, I am prepared to recognize. Ii such case, each State, in the language f the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions l‘ 1798-’99, is to be the judge, not only F the “iofactions,” but “the inode and ensure of redress.” It is the just rigid of e people to change their form of gov., nmeiit when, in their opinion, it has be •nts lyranical, in a mode not provided r in the constitution, and is therefore volotiunary in its character, and (le nds for its maintenance upon the stout hearts and strong arms of a free peo ple. A citizen not a Traitor. In connection with this branch of the question nrises, which, in tlte opinion of some, is of considerable importance, /t is, whether or not the citizens of a State resinning her sovereign powers would he able to the charge of treason in confirm ing to the requirements of their State go vernment. 1 refer to this particularly only in consideration of tlte importance at tached to it by others. From wlmt I have said, it will clearly appear that I hold I that they would not be. In my opinion, u o man commits treason who acts in obe- | TERMS: $2 in Advance. dience to the law sand authorities of a re gularly organized government, such as we recognise our State government to he. The people to settle the question. But there is a question, gentlemen, in volving in your interrogatories, which ri> ses in magnitude far above any which 1 have yet considered. It involves the im portant inquiry, whether in the event of a State seceding front the Union, and the Executive of the United Slates making a requisition fur troops to coerce her back, I, if elected governor of Georgia, would obey that requisition. This question may become a practical one—l sincerely (rust and hope it never will. Under the existing laws of the United States, tlte President has no power to order out the militia to coerce a seceding Slate. Neith er the act ol 1795 nor the act 1807 would apply in such an emergency. Those acts apply to cases where individuals, acting w ithoiit the authority of any state govern ment, resist, by force, the laws of the U niletl States—to riots and insurrections— to such cases as we were apprehensive a few months since might be manifested in opposition to the Fugitive Slave Law in portions of the Northern Slates. That this is the true construction to be placed upon ilte arts, will be apparent from the conduct of Gen. Jacltson in a former per iod of our history, when the .Staleof South Carolina threatened to secede from jibe Union. He tlten found it necessa ry op invoke the aid of additional legisla tion by Congress. His appeal to the then Congress resulted in the passage of the law familiarly known as “the Force Bill,” but that act being tempotury in its objects and character, has lost all vi taliiv, and long since ceased to be of force, having expired by its own limita tion. In the contingency involved in your question, it would he necessary that the President it his views of right and policy led him to coercion, should ask Congress additional legislation, and it ;would be for them to determine whether or not they would grant it. If a State should secede, and the President should recommend to Congress such legislation and Congress should grant it, then your question Would become practical, and 1 ant prepared to answer it fully, freqly. and frankly, h would be the most fear ful issue that ever the people of this country have been called on to decide since the days of the revolution—so mo nieutuous, so vital the interest of people of Georgia, that 1 should tell bound to to ascertain the will of the people before I acted. I should endeavor to be the i Executive of the will of the people of Georgia. To ascertain that will, /should convene (lie Legi.-lature of (lie Slate, and recommed to them to cajl a convention of the people, and it would be for that I convention, representing the people upon that naked issue, to determine whether Georgia would go out of tlte Union, and rally herself and peril her destines with the seceding State, or whether she would remant in the Union and abide the for tunes of her other sisters. And as Geor-1 gia spoke, so would 1 endeavor, if her Executive, to give power jnd effect to Iter voice. C onclusion. But if a collision of arms between the States composing our glorious confeder acy should ever come, it requires no pro phet to predict these result. .The Union would fall beneath the weight ot revolu tion and blood, and fall to rise no more. It was formed in the hearts of the Ameri can people—it can only be preserved in their hearts. When any very large lion of its inhabitants look upon it as op pressing and degrading tltem —when they cease to reverse it as the legacy of Washington, and the inheritance of the /blood of the revolution, its vitality will [be gone, nnd empty parchments, though laided hy military force, can never hold it Itogelher. Hence, we see the abolition- Fists of the North denouncing it as'a {covenant with hell,’ and hence we hear the disunionlsts of the South inflaming the hearts of the people against it, an nouncing that they hare been degraded and oppressed by it, and preparing event ually to overthrow it. They are wise men, they understand the working of the liimian heart, and they well know that when the heart feels that wrong, indigni ty and insult have been heaped ttprna man, unless he be indeed a craven spit t, a blow will follow. Prepare the hearts of ! the people to hate the Union of their ( fathers, nnd the battle is won—they are ready to fight against it. Hence, be lieving ns l do, that the late compromia NO 22