Skip to Content
North Carolina Newspapers

Tarboro' press. volume (Tarborough, (Edgecombe Co., N.C.)) 1835-1851, February 17, 1844, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation of this newspaper page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

1 75 H Id Tarborough, Edgecombe County, J V. Saturday February 17, IS 14. IU XX .To. 7. TAMll(II)fEl)9 The Tarboroiiffh Press, Br Geokge Howard. Jr. Is published weekly at 7V-o Aars per year, - f paid in advance or. Two Dol'ars and Fiflij Cents at the expiration of the subscription year .Subscribers are at liberty to discontinue at any time. on giving notice thereof and paying arrears. . : . .. . j: . ...:n i. . inserted at O.-k lhf,ir the first insertion, and 231 A'lveriiseiiiKMi urn t (:ee tiiu t tijuaiv win ue ' cents frr every continuance. Loader fid vertise- ! ;ments at that rate per square. Court Orders and j .Judicial Advertisements percent, higher. Ad- vertiseine.nts must be marked the number of inser- lions required, or they will be continued until otherwise directed, and charged accoidiugly. letters addressed lo the rMitor must be post paid, or they may not be attended to. MR. CALHOUN'S LET PER. Fort Hi, Dec 21, 1S43. Gentlemen: I herewith enclose you, as the oran of th se who have nominated me for the Presidency in this State, sub ject to a convention fairly constituted, an Address to my political fiirnds and suppor ters, assigning my reason for not permit ling mv name to go before the proposed Convention to beheld in Baltimore in May rrxt. I transmit it lo you, because I deem it respectful and proper to make it known to those to whom it is addressed, through you, and in order to afford you an opportunity to lake such tneasuies in re lation to it, as vou may de-m nrooer. if indeed, you' should di em any necessary All I have to request is. that its publica tion should not be unnecessarily delayed. Willi great respect I am, &c. &c. (Signed,) J. C. CALHOUN. Hon. Jacob Bond I'On and other members of the Committee. The Address nf Mr. Calhoun to his political friends and supporters. I hive left it to you, mv friends and supporters, through whose favorable esti mate of my qualification, my name h s bepn presented to the people of the Uni'ed States for the office of Chief Magistrate to conduct the canvass on such principles, and in such manner, as you might think best. But, in so doing, I did not waive my right to determine, in my individual responsibility, what course my duty might co r.p-l me to pursue ultima'ely, nor have I been an inattentive observer of the canvass and the cour.-e you have taken. It affords mepleasuieto be enabled to eay, that on all leading questions, growing out ot the canvass. I heartily concurred with you, in the grounds you took, and es pecially in those relating to the mode in which the Delegates to Ihe proposed Con venMon to he held in Baltimore, should be appointed, and how thev should vote You have, in my opinion, conclusively shown. that they should be appointed bv District and vole per capita; but your reasons, as conclusive as they ar have proved in vain. Already New York and someolhr Stales have appointed Delegates en masse, by State Conventions, and one State (Vir ginia) his resolved that the votes of her Delgttes should he given by the majority, and be counted per cap ita Their course would necessarily overrule thai which you have so ably supported, should you go in to Convention, and, would leave you no al tet native, but to yield yours and adopt theirs, however much you may be opposed to it on principle, or to meet them on the most unequal terms, with divided against united and concentrated forces. .'1 he question then is, what course, un der such circumstances, should be adopted? And that question, you will be compelled speedily to. decide. The near approach of the time for meeting of the proposed Con vention will not admit of much longer de lay. But as your course may depend in some degree on that which I have decided ' States, after a long and doubtful struggle, : flnence of the larger Slates preponderates. IP take, I dt em it due to ihe relation sub-j which threatened the loss of the Constitu- would nominate, and that the House, vo listing hetwen us. to make mine known to lion iiself. The object of giving to the. ting by States, where their equality is pre- sisting you without fuMher delay. 1,' then, after the n)l careful and delib er ite purvey of the whole ground, have de cided, that I cannot permit my name to go before ihe proposed Convention, constitu tod as it must now he, consis'ently with my principles, which have ever guided my public conduct. My objections are insu perable As it must be constituted, il is repugnant to all the principles, on which, in my .opinion, guch a Convention should be formed. What those principles are, I shall now proceed britfly lo state. I hold, then; with you, that the Conven tion should be so constituted, as to ut'er fully au'd clearly the voice of the people and not that of political managers, or office holders and office seekers; and for that purpose, I hold it indispensable, that the delegates should be appointed directly by the people, or lo use the language of Gen. Jackson, should be 'fresh from ihe peo ple," I also hold, that the only possible made to fffect this, is for ihe people to choose the Delegates by Districts, and that they should vote per capita. Every oth er mode of appointing would be controlled by political machinery, and place the ap- pointmenls in the hands of the few, who work it. I object, then, to the proposed Conven tion, because it will not be constitute'! in conformity vith ihis fundamental article of the Republican creed. The delegites to it will be appointed from some o( ihe State, no1 xn" people in Us nets, but as has ben Stated, bv StateConventions en m isse. composed of D legates appointed in all ca SP, so far a, l ;m jnf,1Pm(,fi uv nmiI1, (11 District Conventions, and in some cases, if not misinformed, these again composed of delegates appointed bv still smaller divi sions, or a few interested individuals In stead then of being direct lv, or fiesh from ihe people, the Delegates to ihe Bdtimore Convention will be the Delegates of Dt le gates; and of course removed, in all cass, at least three, if not four degrees from the people. At each successive remove, ihe voice of the people will become less full and distinct, until at last, it will he so faint and imperfect, as not to be audible To drop metaphor, I hold it impossible to form a scheme more perfectly calculated lo anni hilale the control of ihe people over the ii :i i l i . . . rreMcieniiai eieci ion, anu vesi : m tnose. who make politics a trade, and who live or expect lo live on the Government. In this connection, I objct not less strongly to th mode in which Virginia has lesolved her Delegates shall vote With all due respect. I must say, I can im agine nothing in conflict with the principles of our fedetal system of gov ernment, or lo use a broader expression. the principles on which all confederated communities have ever been united. I hazard nothing in saying, that there is not an instance in our political history, from he meeting of th first revolutionary Con-gre-s to the present day, of the Delega es of any State voting by majority and co ant ing per Cifpifa; nor do I believe an in stance of the kind can he found in the his. tory of any confederated community. I here is indeed something monstrous in ' the idea of giv ing the majority the rght of impressing the vole of the minority into its service, and counting them as its own The plain rule thai which has ever pre vailed and which conforms to the dictates of common sense, is, that where a State votes as a Slate, bv a majority of its Dele gates, the voles count one, be they few or many, or the Slate large or small. Ot the contrary, where the votes of all the Dele gates are counted, ihcv vote individually and independently, each for himself count ing one. And it is to be noted, that wher ever this latter mode of voting exists among confederated States, it is in all ca ses founded on compact, to which the con sent of each State is required. In the ab sence of compact the invariable mode of vo ting in such States is, in all cases, by the majority, their vote counting one The course which Virginia has resolved to take, is in viola' ion of ihi- pi tin and fundamental rule, and if it should become a settled prac tice, would be destructive of the founda tion on which ihe whole structure of ihe State Right doctrine is reared I hold, in ihe next place, to be an indis pensable principle, that the Convention should he so constituted, as io give to each State, in the nomination of a candidate, the same relative weight, which' ihe Constitu tion secures to ii in the election of ihe Pre sident, making due allowance for its rela tive party strength. By the election, I mean the whole the eventual choice when it goes into Ihe House of Representatives, as well as ihe primary vote in the electoral collpge. The one is as much a part of the election as the other. The two make 'he1 whole. The adoption of the one, in the Convention, which framed ihe Constitu tion, depended on the adoption of the oth er. Neither could possibly be adopted alone The two were the result of com- Ipromise between the larger and smaller smaller States an equality with the larger, in ihe eventual choice by ihe House, was to counterpoise the preponderance of the larger in ihe electoral college. Without this, the smaller would have voted against the whole provision, and its tejection would have been the consequence. Even as it stands, Delaware voted against it In con firmation of what l. state, I refer to Mr. Madison's report on the proceedings of the Convention. Having stated what I mean by the elec tion, it will require but a few words to ex plain my reasons for the principles I have laid down. They are few and simple, and res' on the ground, that Ihe nomination is in reality the election, if concurred in, as fir as the party is concerned. It is so in tended to be. The leading reason assign ed for making it, is to prevent a division of the party, and thereby pievent the election from going into the House, where ihe smaller States would have ihe advantage intended to be secured to them by the Con stili-ition, by being placed on an equality with ihe larger. Such being the intended object and enect. I now submit to every candid mind, whe ther the Convention ought not to be so con-, stituted, as to compensate in the nomina tion for the important advantage in the election, which the smaller States surren der by going into a Convention. Would it not be unfair a palpible- want of good faith and subversive of the comp-omise of the Constitution to withhold it? Or, if de manded, would it be short of an insult to refuse it? Can it be thought that the m ill er Siates are so debased and absorbed in the ptrty politics, of the day, as to permit themselves to be thus indirectly stripped of a right, which their high minded and patri otic ancestors held so dear, as even to pre fer the loss of '.he Constitution itself, rather than surrender it. I object, then, to the proposed Conven tion, in this connection, because it makes no compensation to the smaller States fo the surrender of this unquestionable an im portant constitutional right. .Instead of 'hat, its advocates peremptorily and indig nantly refuse any, and treal with scorn ev; ery attempt to secure it Some have even gone so lar, as to deny, that the eventual choice of the House constitutes any portion ot the election, and to manifest open hos ulity against the provision of the Constiiu tion, which contains it. If there was no other objection, the one under consideration would be insuperable with me. I differ utterly from the. adv cacs of the proposed Convention, in ref erence to this provision. I regard it as o ie of the first importance, not because I desire the election to go into the House, but be to be an indispensable means, in ihe hands of the smaller States, of preserving their just and constitutional weight in the Presidential election, and thtough that, in the Executive 'Depirt merit and the Government itself, which I believe to be essential to the preservation of our sublime federal system. I regard the ad justment of the relative weight of the Sta'es in the Government to be the fundamental compromise of Ihe Constitution, and that on which our whole political system de pends. Its adjustment constituted the great difficulty in forming the Constitution. The principle on which it was finally effec ted was, that, while due concession should be made lo population, a piovision should b" also made, in some form, to preserve the original equality of the States in every department of the Government. The principle was easily carried out in constitu ting the legislative department, by preser ving ihe equality of the Stales in one branch, (the Senate) and conceding to pop ulation its full preponderance in the other But the great ;nd difficult task of reducing il to practice was. in the Executive Depart ment, at the head of which there is but a single officer. So great was it, that it oc cupied the attention of the Convention, from time lo time, during the whole session, and was very near causing a failure at last It would have been an easy task to consti tute that department, either on the princi ple of the equality of the states in the gov- ernment, or that of population. To com bine the two, in the election of a single offi cer, was quite a different affair; but howev er difficult, it had to be performed, at the hazard of losing the Constitution. It was finally accomplished, by giving to the larger States nearly ihe same prepon derance in the electoral college, as ihey have in the House, and lo the smaller, in the event of a choice by ! the House, ihe same equalty ihey possess in the Senate; thus following closely the analogy . of the Legislative Department. To make it as close as possible, it was at first proposed 'to give the eventual choice lo the Senate, in stead of the House, but it was altered and the present provision adopted for rea sons which did not affect the principle. It was believed by the frame rs, the prac tical operation of the provision would be, . that the electoral college, in which the in served, would elect who should he the Pre- sident. To give it that operation in prac tice, the provision, as it orignally stood in the Constitution, was that each elector should vote for two individuals, without discriminating which should be President, and if no one had a majority of the whole votes, then out of the five highest, ihe House voting by Slates, should elect one, and the person not elected, .having the highest number of vote, should be the Vice President. It has been since altered, so thai ihe electors should designate which should be President.&whichVicePresidenl, the selection of the House was limited to the three highest, that if this; provision of the Cons'itution had been left to operate by itself, without the intervention of caucuses, or parly conventions between the. peep'e and the election, that the practical opera tion would hare been such as 1 have slated, and such as was clearly intended by the fra oners' of the Constitution. ; ,; The object intended is important.' The1 preservation of the relative weight of the States,ias established by the ' Constitution in all ihe Departments, is necessary-to the Jsdccess and duration of our system of Gov ernment: but it may be doubted, whether the provision adopted to effect it in the Ex ecutive Department, is not too refined lor th-strong and I may add, corrupt p issions, which the Presidential election will ev r excite Certain it is, that it th practice of nominating candidates for the Presidency, by Co iven'ions constituted as ihev propo sed, shill become the stablished usage, it sv i i 1 utterly defeat the intention of the fia mers of the Constitution, and would be fol lowed b, n radical and dangerous chang--. not only in the , Executive D 'pariment. but in the Government it-elf Pile danger was eaily foreseen, and 'o avoid it, some of the wisest and most ex p"rien ed statesman of former days s strongly objected to Congressional caucus s s lo nominate candidates fjr the Presi dency, that the) never could he induced to attend them; among them it will be suffi cient to name Mr. Macon and Mr. Lown des Others, believing that ihis provis ion of the Constitution was too refined for practice, were solicitous to amend it, hut without impairing ihe influence of the smaller States in the election. Among these I rank myself. Wiih that obj- ct. re solution were introduced, in lsi2S. in the Senate by Col. Benton, and in the House by Mr. McDuffie, provi ding lor districting..- the St.des, ami lot iderriog the election back to the people in cas: there should be no choice, to elect one from the two highest candidates ; The principle which governed in the amend- in ml prop sed, was to give a for compen sation to ihe smaller Si ,tes for ihe surren der of" their, advantage in J tie eventual choice by the House and at the same tim to make Ihe mode of electing the Preiden' more strictly in conformity with the pi'm ciples of our popular institutions and to be less liable to corruption, than. the- existing provision. They received ihe geneial support of the patty, but w r objected to by a few, as not. being a full quiva!ent to the smaller States The principle em braced is identical with that on which von proposed io constitute ihe Baltimore-Con veniion, but which has been so dictatorial ly objected to by some, who then, look so prominent a pait in its favor. If you have not succeeded, there is al least some conso lation in reflecting that if nthets have since changed, you- now stand where you then did, in the purer and belter days of ihe par ty I was in favor of it then, as I am now, not because I consider the resolutions as perfect, theoretically, as the 'XHting provi sions of the Constitution, but because I b- lieve it ' would in practice more certainly j lying contiguous and not far from the cen accomplish what the framer of the Consti-j ne ( f ihe Union, lo control the nomina lutinn intended. But while the provision ! tion, and through that the election, by con stands as it does. I would regard myself as ; cen rating their united votes in the Con little short of a traitor to that sacred indention. Give them the power of doing strument, should I give my assent, direct-' so. and it would not long lie dormant. Iv or indirectly, lo any practice which What may be done by combination, where would have ihe effect of divt sting the small- the temptation is so great, will be sure ere er States of the due weight which it secures ( long to be done To combine and conquer, to th-m in the Presidential election, whe- j is not less true as a maxim, where power is ihr designed or not And here let me concerned, than lo "Divide and conquer." add, that as objectionable as I think a ''on-) Nothing is belter established, than that the gressional caucus for nominating a Presi 'desi e for power can bring together and dent, it is in my opinion far less so, than a j unite ihe mot discordant materials. Convention constituted as is proposed. J Rut Ihp tendency lo centralization will The former had indeed many things to re- J not stop there. The appointments of dele commend it. lis members consisting of' gate? en-masse by Slate Conventions, Senators atul Representatives, were ihe im-1 would tend, al the same time and . even mediate organs of the State Legislatures, or! with greater force, to centralize this control Ihe people; were responsible to them, re-; in the hands of the few who make politicsa spectively, and were for ihe most part of . trade. The farther ihe Convention is re high character, standing aod talents They j moved from the people, the more certainly voted per capita, and what is very import- ihe control over it will be placed in the anl, they represented fairly the nlaive , hands of the inteicsled few, and when re strength of the prty in iheir respeciive j moved three or four degrees, as has been States In all these important particulars, (shown il will be, where the appointment it was all that could be desired for a nomi-!is by Stale Conventions, ihe power of the nating body, and formed a striking contrast lo the ' proposed Convention; and yet, it could not he borne by the people in the then purer days ol the Republic. I, act ing with Gen. Jackson and most of the lea - tiers of the parly al the time, contributed to put it down, because we believed it to be liable to be acted on and influenced by the patronage of the Government an ob jection far more applicable to a Convention cons ittHed as the one proposed, than to a Congressional caucus . Far however was it fiom my intention in aiding lo put that down, to substitute in its place what I re gard as an hundred'time- more objectiona ble in every point of view Indeed, if thee must he an intermediate body be tween the people and the election, un known to ihe Con-tiuition, it may be wi i questioned whether a better than the old plan of a Congressional caucus can be devi sed. In taking the ground I have, in favor of maintaining Ihe right secured to ihe small er Siaies by the compromise of the Consti tution, I am actuated by no partisan feeling or de.-ire to conciliate ll eir good op nion If the case was reversed, and the right ol the larger, instead ol the small r, weie. in vaded, I . would with equal readiness an'' firmness, stand up in their defence. I am the partisan of neither oi.e, nor ihe other, but simply a supporter of 'the' Constitution, and what I believe to be just and fair. I regard the Cons' itution, .as the only arko safely for all, and 1 bclive that in defend- ;ng it. I defend the inlet est and safety of each and all the greater, as well as the smaller the States invading the right of the others, as well as the Stales whose rights are invaded. I have laid down the principle, on which I rest the objection in .question, with .the limitation, that the relative weight of the Sta'es should be maintained, making due allowance tor their relative parly strength. The propriety of the limitation is so appa r ni, th t bui a few words, i i illustration, will be requited. The Convention is a pirty Con v ent ion, and professedly intend ed to lake the sense of ihe parly, which cannot be done fairly, if States, having but li'tle party strength, are put on an equality wnh th se wJvch have much II that were lone, the result 'might be, that a small por tion ol the nattv Irom Slates the least und, politically, and which could give but liitle support in Congnss, might select the candidate, and make ihe President, against a great majoiity of the soundest, and on which ihe Prr sident and his admin istration would have to rely for support. All this is clearly too unfair and improper to be denied. I here may be a great diffi culty in annlving a remedy in a Conven tion, but I do not feel myself called upon lo say how it can be done or by what stan datd the relative paity strength of ihe re- Siicitive States she old be determined; per haps the best would be their relative stiengih in Congress al the time. .Maying d iwn the principle, 1 added the limitation for ihe sake of accuracy, and lo show how imperfectly the parly must be represented, v hen il is overlooked. 1 see no provision, m the proposed Convention lo meet it. . But. in order to realise how the Conven 'ion will operate, it will be necessary to v.ew the combined t fleets of the objections which I have made Thus viewed, it. will he found, that a Convention so constituted, ends irresistibly to centralization cen tralization of ihe control over ihe Presiden tial election, in the hands of a few of the central, large Ma4es, al first, and finally in political managers, office holders and office, seeker; or to express it differently in that: portion of the community, who live, or ex pect to live on the, Government in contra distinction to Ihe great mass, who expect lo live on their own means, or thtii hjii cst indus ry; and who maintain the Gov ernment, and politically speaking, emphati cally the people. That such would be the case, may be in ferred f:pm the fact, that it would afford the means to some six or seven States : peopk will cease, and the seekers of Exec ulive favor willbecome supreme.. At that stage, an active, trained and combined corps will be formed in the party, whose , wli e time and attention will be directed to politics. It will be thir sole business. Into their hands the appointments of dele gates in all the stag's will fall, and they will lake special caie that none but them selves or their humble and obedient depen dants shall be appointed. The central and State Conventions will be filled by the most expe ienced and cunning, and after nominating the President, ihey will take gootl care to divide the pattonage and offi ces both of the tieneral and Slate Govern ments, among themselves and their depen dants. But why say will? Is it not fl ready the case? Have there not been ma ny ins'ances of Ste Conventions being fit led '-by office holders and office-seekers, vt ho, after making ihe nomination, have divided ihe offices in ti e State, among themselves and their partisans, and joined in recommending io the candidate, whom thev have just nominated to appoint them to the offices to which they have been res pectively allotted. the case in the infancy of. the systeni. it, must end, if such conventions .should become the es tablished usage, in the President nomina-. ting hi suet esg-ir. . When it comes to that it will -no' be long before the snord will take the place of the Constitution.. . ; . :Such,ar(e ntv objections to ,i,h.e ,rnode - jc . Which the propoieJCuuveniion La to b

North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.

Digital North Carolina