Is Texas v. White ironclad proof of secession's illegality?

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trice

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When the states transitioned from the AoC to the Constitution, it was not a seamless motion. The states that were party to the AoC were absolved from their commitments, and they were asked to ratify the Constitution, or not.
No. No state was ever absolved from their commitments. If you think they were, please present factual proof instead of bald statements with no support.

It was deemed sufficient for 9 states to ratify the Constitution for it to take effect. So when the first 9 ratified, the Constitution became active, and the other 4 states were out of the Union. It was up to these states to decide if they would join or not. If they chose not to, they would just be normal states outside of any union. Thus, the AoC were "dissolved," because it was not necessary for the states to join the new, Constitutional government.
This is again a bald statement with no supporting fact. If you think it did, please provide actual evidence of facts, not opinions.

This link does not support what you are saying in any way at all. Please provide support that actually supports what you claim with facts.

Your account of Hartford Convention delegates is mostly true, except you leave out that two New Hampshire counties and one Vermont county each sent a delegate.
As I said in my post: "Only the legislatures of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut sent authorized delegates. Vermont's legislature unanimously refused to send any. New Hampshire's legislature was not in session and the Governor refused to call them back, so no delegates were sent. Anyone present from New Hampshire or Vermont was not representing those states."

I said the delegates met to discuss their lawful right to secede, not that they did secede. They discussed secession, but decided against it. Just go to the same source you pulled your information from and search the keyword, "secession."
So you are saying some of the delegates, possibly the ones that came without authorization from their own states, wanted to discuss leaving the US, that it was discussed, and that it was rejected by the Hartford Convention. I have heard that claimed as well. What was it they actually said? Did they actually talk about a "right of secession"? Can you share with us their own words?
 

American87

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No. No state was ever absolved from their commitments. If you think they were, please present factual proof instead of bald statements with no support.



This is again a bald statement with no supporting fact. If you think it did, please provide actual evidence of facts, not opinions.



This link does not support what you are saying in any way at all. Please provide support that actually supports what you claim with facts.



As I said in my post: "Only the legislatures of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut sent authorized delegates. Vermont's legislature unanimously refused to send any. New Hampshire's legislature was not in session and the Governor refused to call them back, so no delegates were sent. Anyone present from New Hampshire or Vermont was not representing those states."



So you are saying some of the delegates, possibly the ones that came without authorization from their own states, wanted to discuss leaving the US, that it was discussed, and that it was rejected by the Hartford Convention. I have heard that claimed as well. What was it they actually said? Did they actually talk about a "right of secession"? Can you share with us their own words?
You choose not to discuss the facts. That's your problem. Let's put it this way: how do you explain the Constitution taking effect while 4 states still had the option of joining?

You said "anyone present..." because you knew there were representatives from those states, but you hoped to hide them without anyone finding out. The people of New Hampshire and Vermont sent a total of 3 delegates. That is yet another fact you choose to ignore.

I don't know their own words; I wasn't there. But as far as the historical record goes, the delegates at the Hartford Convention discussed secession, along with other means, as a way of clearning themselves from the federal government.
 

unionblue

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You choose not to discuss the facts. That's your problem. Let's put it this way: how do you explain the Constitution taking effect while 4 states still had the option of joining?

You said "anyone present..." because you knew there were representatives from those states, but you hoped to hide them without anyone finding out. The people of New Hampshire and Vermont sent a total of 3 delegates. That is yet another fact you choose to ignore.

I don't know their own words; I wasn't there. But as far as the historical record goes, the delegates at the Hartford Convention discussed secession, along with other means, as a way of clearning themselves from the federal government.
@American87 ,

WHO discussed secession at the Hartford Convention? Which delegates and what positions of authority did they hold at the Convention? What were the results of their discussion of secession at the Convention?

What did the rest of the United States think about the Convention delegates who entertained and discussed secession? And finally, what were the final results of the Convention? What actions did they take after the Convention was over?

Unionblue

PS: Has Texas v. White as yet been overturned?
 
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OpnCoronet

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Can you post some sources? This is 85% wrong. You're correct to say that state actions couldn't conflict with certain federal actions. The states delegated certain rights to the federal government, thereby relinquishing, for as long as they deemed it, the power to exercise those rights. For example, the states gave the federal government the power to make treaties. Therefore, it was and is illegal for states to make their own seperate treaties with other countries. But Nullification does not refer to these delegated rights. It refers to the ability to secede and nullify federal actions that are unconstitutional. For example, when the Adams Administration passed laws that ordered journalists to be censored and arrested, the states of Kentucky and Virginia declared these laws unconstitutional, because they were in violation of the 1st Amendment.



All good States Right theory, but, there is little historical evidence to support it. I recommend you read up on the Nullification Criisis as delineated by thhe arguments of Calhoun (through his cats paws in SC) and those of Andrew Jackson and his Atty, General; they should be easy enough to find On-Line.

Historically, the actions of Secession(and Nullification) has always been rejected by the Federal Gov't, whatever the claims of poliitical theorists and those outside the responsibilities of actually governing the Nation, i.e., At Best, the Right of Secession and/or secession had never been a completely settled issue, until the end of the Civil War.



P.S. There are more clearly expressed powersof the Federal gov't besides Treaties.
 

American87

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All good States Right theory, but, there is little historical evidence to support it. I recommend you read up on the Nullification Criisis as delineated by thhe arguments of Calhoun (through his cats paws in SC) and those of Andrew Jackson and his Atty, General; they should be easy enough to find On-Line.

Historically, the actions of Secession(and Nullification) has always been rejected by the Federal Gov't, whatever the claims of poliitical theorists and those outside the responsibilities of actually governing the Nation, i.e., At Best, the Right of Secession and/or secession had never been a completely settled issue, until the end of the Civil War.



P.S. There are more clearly expressed powersof the Federal gov't besides Treaties.
Why don't you ever post sources? The sources that have been posted so far prove your point wrong, so it would be useful if you posted these "easy enough to find" sources so we could all read them.
 

American87

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@American87 ,

WHO discussed secession at the Hartford Convention? Which delegates and what positions of authority did they hold at the Convention? What were the results of their discussion of secession at the Convention?

What did the rest of the United States think about the Convention delegates who entertained and discussed secession? And finally, what were the final results of the Convention? What actions did they take after the Convention was over?

Unionblue

PS: Has Texas v. White as yet been overturned?
What does that have to do with anything? I don't know who specifically said what specifically about secession at the Hartford Convention. To repeat, I wasn't there. But as far as the historical record goes, it was considered but ultimately rejected.

The rest of the country disapproved of New England's considering secession, but it was on patriotic grounds (shirking the war effort) and not legal grounds.
 
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unionblue

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What does that have to do with anything?

A little bit more research and one would find how little a matter secession was during the convention.


I don't know who specifically said what specifically about secession at the Hartford Convention.

Again, additional research would show who was talking about secession and why they were so unimportant during the convention.


To repeat, I wasn't there.

Unimportant.

But as far as the historical record goes, it was considered but ultimately rejected.

Again, WHO considered it? If you know it was considered, then what were the results of the convention when it came to secession? If it was ultimately rejected, then why is the Hartford Convention regarded by you as some sort of milestone in the secession story?

The rest of the country disapproved of New England's considering secession, but it was on patriotic grounds (shirking the war effort) and not legal grounds.
Were there any legal actions attempted by by the delegates after the convention?

And do any of the actions taken during the Hartford Convention have anything to do with Texas v. White?
 

trice

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You choose not to discuss the facts. That's your problem. Let's put it this way: how do you explain the Constitution taking effect while 4 states still had the option of joining?
The clause in the Constitution obviously exists and always has. It has nothing to do with "secession". The Union remains the same. All 13 States are still in it. There never was a state that joined the Union and later left it.

I hope you realize that governments adopt new constitutions all the time without dissolving. It is routine, particularly in American politics. "Secession" has no place in it.

You said "anyone present..." because you knew there were representatives from those states, but you hoped to hide them without anyone finding out. The people of New Hampshire and Vermont sent a total of 3 delegates. That is yet another fact you choose to ignore.
For the third time: "Only the legislatures of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut sent authorized delegates. Vermont's legislature unanimously refused to send any. New Hampshire's legislature was not in session and the Governor refused to call them back, so no delegates were sent. Anyone present from New Hampshire or Vermont was not representing those states."

I am simply telling you the facts. You keep trying to imply something else.


I don't know their own words; I wasn't there. But as far as the historical record goes, the delegates at the Hartford Convention discussed secession, along with other means, as a way of clearning themselves from the federal government.
So you cannot show what they said, but you claim the "historical record" shows that they "discussed secession". The Hartford Convention met in secret session (as I have already mentioned) and deliberately did not record their discussions. What "historical record" are you talking about?
 
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OpnCoronet

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What does that have to do with anything? I don't know who specifically said what specifically about secession at the Hartford Convention. To repeat, I wasn't there. But as far as the historical record goes, it was considered but ultimately rejected.
The rest of the country disapproved of New England's considering secession, but it was on patriotic grounds (shirking the war effort) and not legal grounds.



Even if what you assume(obviousy, you do not know) about the Hartford Convention was true, it would prove nothing so important, as the good sense of the delegates, that any talk of secession, never saw the light of day; Oh if only SC et. al., had shown the same good sense!
 

American87

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Were there any legal actions attempted by by the delegates after the convention?

And do any of the actions taken during the Hartford Convention have anything to do with Texas v. White?
What exactly is your point? You keep ignoring my words and repeating yourself. What is it you're trying to say?

And yes, the actions taken at the Hartford Convention show that secession was considered by the New England states. If secession was always illegal, as some here claim, then it would not have been considered at the Hartford Convention. Instead, they would have discussed a revolution.
 

American87

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The clause in the Constitution obviously exists and always has. It has nothing to do with "secession". The Union remains the same. All 13 States are still in it. There never was a state that joined the Union and later left it.

I hope you realize that governments adopt new constitutions all the time without dissolving. It is routine, particularly in American politics. "Secession" has no place in it.



For the third time: "Only the legislatures of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut sent authorized delegates. Vermont's legislature unanimously refused to send any. New Hampshire's legislature was not in session and the Governor refused to call them back, so no delegates were sent. Anyone present from New Hampshire or Vermont was not representing those states."

I am simply telling you the facts. You keep trying to imply something else.




So you cannot show what they said, but you claim the "historical record" shows that they "discussed secession". The Hartford Convention met in secret session (as I have already mentioned) and deliberately did not record their discussions. What "historical record" are you talking about?
Again, everything you say flies in the face of basic U.S. Constitutional history. You''re denying that the states had to ratify the Constitution. They did. This means the Union was optional. There is no point continuing on this topic if you can't admit this basic information.

The delegates from New Hampshire and Vermont were representing the people of their states, not the governors and legislatures. So you are correct in that regard, and it strengthenes my point, because the people are sovereign and their opinions carry more weight than the governors or legislatures.

----
I couldn't find any sources on secession discussions during the Hartford Convention, other than that it was widely discussed in the press, so therefore it may have been considered as a popular issue that needed addressing.

However, here is some information on the New England plans for secession during 1804. This was apparently over the 3/5s compromise, which New England felt gave the South too much power. It comes from Samuel Elliot Morrison's The Life and Letters of Harrison Gray Otis: Federalist; 1765-1848. He references primary sources, and the link to his work is (https://archive.org/stream/lifelettersofhar01moricopy2/lifelettersofhar01moricopy2_djvu.txt)

"the extremist leaders of the Federal party, boldly spanning the succes-
sive stages of state rights, were secretly planning for New
England the final resort of oppressed sectional minorities
— secession from the Union. The conspiracy originated
with the extreme New England Federalists in Congress,
of whom Timothy Pickering, Uriah Tracy, and Roger
Griswold were the leaders."

"This wild and visionary scheme was cautiously broached
by its authors to the Essex Junto in Massachusetts, and
to the Federalist leaders in Connecticut and New Y'ork.
Ames, Cabot, Parsons, and Higginson all replied that
secession, although desirable, was impossible — there was
no public sentiment to support it. The people were alto-
gether too contented and prosperous"


"As all students of United States history know, secession, even in 180-t, was
no new and unheard-of remedy for oppressed sectional minorities. It was seri-
ously urged by Rufus King in 1794, by Connecticut leaders in 1796, if Jefferson
were elected; by John Taylor of Caroline in 1798. It was constantly threatened
in the West, from 1784 to 1803, if the federal government should not prevent
the closure of the Mississippi ; frequently threatened in the South, between 1795
and 1799, in the event of a war with France. So far both parties, and all sec-
tions had been equal ofiFenders, and were likewise in the period 1804-18C0, as
Mr. H. V. Ames's admirable collection of State Documents on Federal Relations
testifies. Most political thinkers of the first half-centurj- of constitutional gov-
ernment had very little faith in the duration of the Union, and the statement,
that such-and-such a measure would "inevitably produce a dissolution of the
Union," was a familiar figure of speech in politics. The conspiracy of 1804 was,
so far as is known, the first actual attempt to carry secession into effect; but it
may well be that others fully as serious previously existed, but have never seen
the light"


---

In short, there is circumstantial but no direct evidence that secession was discussed during the Hartford Convention. There is also sourced information that New Englanders considered secession in 1804, and that secession was considered by other states as well.
 
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American87

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Even if what you assume(obviousy, you do not know) about the Hartford Convention was true, it would prove nothing so important, as the good sense of the delegates, that any talk of secession, never saw the light of day; Oh if only SC et. al., had shown the same good sense!
You're either a New Englander or you're dripping in fear of New England. Either way, you haven't posted sources. I think this is fun, so keep running around and I'll keep learning more proof that secession was legal.
 

unionblue

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What exactly is your point?

The lack of facts, which is the point and that I have yet to see. Evidence, sources, historical documents, verifiable accounts, none of which I have ever seen in your posts on the Hartford Convention.

You keep ignoring my words and repeating yourself. What is it you're trying to say?

I'm trying to say, which is obvious to any other member reading my posts, is that you have made a lot of unsourced comments about the convention. You made assumptions and baseless conclusions in every convention post. What I am saying is that you have yet to prove anything you have said, except you don't know what was said or who said it.

And yes, the actions taken at the Hartford Convention show that secession was considered by the New England states.

WHICH New England states? Which delegates at the convention brought up secession from the United States at that time? You make these claims, but never provide any supporting evidence to support these personal opinions.

If secession was always illegal, as some here claim, then it would not have been considered at the Hartford Convention.

Again, did the convention, the entirety of it, consider secession? Was it brought to the floor of the convention for open debate? If so, who proposed it? And why, do you suppose, secession was NOT adopted by the entire convention?

Instead, they would have discussed a revolution.

Did they discuss revolution? Or did they adopt and propose something entirely different? Again, you're making a lost of assumptions without providing any evidence for them.
Last, but not the first time I have asked you, has Texas v. White ever been overturned?

Unionblue
 

unionblue

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You're either a New Englander or you're dripping in fear of New England. Either way, you haven't posted sources. I think this is fun, so keep running around and I'll keep learning more proof that secession was legal.
Then you should provide that proof vice the same old baseless assumptions you have been making over the Hartford Convention.
 
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trice

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Again, everything you say flies in the face of basic U.S. Constitutional history. You''re denying that the states had to ratify the Constitution. They did. This means the Union was optional. There is no point continuing on this topic if you can't admit this basic information.

The delegates from New Hampshire and Vermont were representing the people of their states, not the governors and legislatures. So you are correct in that regard, and it strengthenes my point, because the people are sovereign and their opinions carry more weight than the governors or legislatures.

----
I couldn't find any sources on secession discussions during the Hartford Convention, other than that it was widely discussed in the press, so therefore it may have been considered as a popular issue that needed addressing.

However, here is some information on the New England plans for secession during 1804. This was apparently over the 3/5s compromise, which New England felt gave the South too much power. It comes from Samuel Elliot Morrison's The Life and Letters of Harrison Gray Otis: Federalist; 1765-1848. He references primary sources, and the link to his work is (https://archive.org/stream/lifelettersofhar01moricopy2/lifelettersofhar01moricopy2_djvu.txt)

"the extremist leaders of the Federal party, boldly spanning the succes-
sive stages of state rights, were secretly planning for New
England the final resort of oppressed sectional minorities
— secession from the Union. The conspiracy originated
with the extreme New England Federalists in Congress,
of whom Timothy Pickering, Uriah Tracy, and Roger
Griswold were the leaders."

"This wild and visionary scheme was cautiously broached
by its authors to the Essex Junto in Massachusetts, and
to the Federalist leaders in Connecticut and New Y'ork.
Ames, Cabot, Parsons, and Higginson all replied that
secession, although desirable, was impossible — there was
no public sentiment to support it. The people were alto-
gether too contented and prosperous"


"As all students of United States history know, secession, even in 180-t, was
no new and unheard-of remedy for oppressed sectional minorities. It was seri-
ously urged by Rufus King in 1794, by Connecticut leaders in 1796, if Jefferson
were elected; by John Taylor of Caroline in 1798. It was constantly threatened
in the West, from 1784 to 1803, if the federal government should not prevent
the closure of the Mississippi ; frequently threatened in the South, between 1795
and 1799, in the event of a war with France. So far both parties, and all sec-
tions had been equal ofiFenders, and were likewise in the period 1804-18C0, as
Mr. H. V. Ames's admirable collection of State Documents on Federal Relations
testifies. Most political thinkers of the first half-centurj- of constitutional gov-
ernment had very little faith in the duration of the Union, and the statement,
that such-and-such a measure would "inevitably produce a dissolution of the
Union," was a familiar figure of speech in politics. The conspiracy of 1804 was,
so far as is known, the first actual attempt to carry secession into effect; but it
may well be that others fully as serious previously existed, but have never seen
the light"


---

In short, there is circumstantial but no direct evidence that secession was discussed during the Hartford Convention. There is also sourced information that New Englanders considered secession in 1804, and that secession was considered by other states as well.
Not so fast. Let's take a better look at what Samuel Elliot Morison actually wrote. :smile:

What follows is the actual text from Samuel Elliot Morrison's The Life and Letters of Harrison Gray Otis, Federalist, 1765-1848: 1765-1848. The parts in blue text are the parts missing from your quotation above.

While the legislature of Massachusetts was contemplating this initial step in sectionalism the extremist leaders of the Federal party boldly spanning the successive stages of state rights were secretly planning for New England the final resort of oppressed sectional minorities secession from the Union The conspiracy originated with the extreme New England Federalists in Congress of whom Timothy Pickering Uriah Tracy and Roger Griswold were the leaders. These and the same might be said of the Essex Junto of Gouverneur Morris of the leading Connecticut Federalists were men of one idea and one object to suppress democracy Their political theories were founded on the fallacy that the masses in America had the same passions as the Paris mob. Democracy to them meant atheism destruction of property and mob rule. "The principles of democracy are everywhere what they have been in France", wrote Fisher Ames in 1803. "The fire of revolution ... when once kindled would burrow deep into the soil search out and consume the roots and leave, after one crop, a caput mortuum, black and barren, for ages. Our country is too big for union, too sordid for patriotism, too democratic for liberty." Looking on current events from this standpoint, radical Federalists saw in Jefferson's attacks on the judiciary, his removals in the civil service, the adoption of the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution and the annexation of Louisiana a prelude to universal chaos. "My life is not worth much", wrote Pickering, "but if it must be offered up let it be in the hope of obtaining a more stable government under which my children at least may enjoy freedom with security."
The South, they observed, and to a certain extent the Middle States, were already violated by democracy; New England was yet chaste -- but every day Pickering and men of like mind saw new barriers to her virtue prostrated. "And must we with folded hands wait the result ... The principles of our Resolution point to the remedy -- a separation." In their minds arose the picture of "a new confederacy exempt from the corrupt and corrupting influence and oppression of the aristocratic Democrats of the South", a confederacy with New England as its nucleus, the British provinces as free willing adherents, and New York, to be brought in by the influence of Aaron Burr as a western barrier against Virginia -- the source of corruption. Much as her leaders wished the South to secede in 1861, in order to exclude the poison of abolition Pickering and his friends wished New England to secede in 1804, in order to exclude the poison of democracy each assuming that a frontier line could stop a world force.
This wild and visionary scheme was cautiously broached by its authors to the Essex Junto in Massachusetts, and to the Federalist leaders in Connecticut and New York. Ames, Cabot, Parsons, and Higginson all replied that secession, although desirable, was impossible -- there was no public sentiment to support it. The people were altogether too contented and prosperous; only "the wise and good" could perceive danger to society and property in the annexation of Louisiana. "We should be put in the background", wrote Higginson, "were we to make that question the subject of free conversation." In Connecticut the leaders of Church and State regarded the scheme more favorably and in New York the plot found a leader in the person of The Catiline of America Aaron Burr His candidacy for the governorship of New York was supported by Griswold and Pickering with the understanding that if he won he should lead the new secession movement Burr's defeat at the polls ended all chance of even setting the plot in motion Hamilton had already expressed his disapproval of the conspiracy and done his best to effect Burr's defeat The latter's demand for an explanation Hamilton's defiance and the fatal duel followed in swift succession On July 11 1804 Alexander Hamilton paid the penalty on the duelling grounds of Weehawken for having stood between Aaron Burr and the presidency of a Northern Confederacy
With this dramatic ending, the disunion conspiracy of 1804, the first serious plot against the integrity of the Union, dissolved. (Footnote 9 goes here) It never had the remotest chance of success and the fact that Pickering, Tracy, and Griswold could seriously desire it and seriously believe it practicable and above all intrigue with Aaron Burr to carry it out shows how thoroughly devoid they were of political morality, how completely out of touch with public opinion, how absolutely incompetent to govern the United States.

The last part of your quote is actually footnote 9, from the first sentence in the paragraph above.

As all students of United States history know, secession, even in 1804, was no new and unheard of remedy for oppressed sectional minorities. It was seriously urged by Rufus King in 1794, by Connecticut leaders in 1796, if Jefferson were elected, by John Taylor of Caroline in 1798. It was constantly threatened in the West, from 1784 to 1803; if the federal government should not prevent the closure of the Mississippi; frequently threatened in the South, between 1795 and 1799, in the event of a war with France. So far both parties, and all sections had been equal offenders, and were likewise in the period 1804-1860, as Mr HV Ames's admirable collection of State Documents on Federal Relations testifies. Most political thinkers of the first half century of constitutional government had very little faith in the duration of the Union, and the statement that such and such a measure would "inevitably produce a dissolution of the Union" was a familiar figure of speech in politics. The conspiracy of 1804 was, so far as is known, the first actual attempt to carry secession into effect; but it may well be that others fully as serious previously existed, but have never seen the light.
What struck me in going through this is simple: nothing you quoted from Samuel Elliot Morison's work has anything at all to do with the Hartford Convention. It is all about events that happened 10 years or more before the Hartford Convention. Why is that?
 
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American87

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Not so fast. Let's take a better look at what Samuel Elliot Morison actually wrote. :smile:

What follows is the actual text from Samuel Elliot Morrison's The Life and Letters of Harrison Gray Otis, Federalist, 1765-1848: 1765-1848. The parts in blue text are the parts missing from your quotation above.

While the legislature of Massachusetts was contemplating this initial step in sectionalism the extremist leaders of the Federal party boldly spanning the successive stages of state rights were secretly planning for New England the final resort of oppressed sectional minorities secession from the Union The conspiracy originated with the extreme New England Federalists in Congress of whom Timothy Pickering Uriah Tracy and Roger Griswold were the leaders. These and the same might be said of the Essex Junto of Gouverneur Morris of the leading Connecticut Federalists were men of one idea and one object to suppress democracy Their political theories were founded on the fallacy that the masses in America had the same passions as the Paris mob. Democracy to them meant atheism destruction of property and mob rule. "The principles of democracy are everywhere what they have been in France", wrote Fisher Ames in 1803. "The fire of revolution ... when once kindled would burrow deep into the soil search out and consume the roots and leave, after one crop, a caput mortuum, black and barren, for ages. Our country is too big for union, too sordid for patriotism, too democratic for liberty." Looking on current events from this standpoint, radical Federalists saw in Jefferson's attacks on the judiciary, his removals in the civil service, the adoption of the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution and the annexation of Louisiana a prelude to universal chaos. "My life is not worth much", wrote Pickering, "but if it must be offered up let it be in the hope of obtaining a more stable government under which my children at least may enjoy freedom with security."
The South, they observed, and to a certain extent the Middle States, were already violated by democracy; New England was yet chaste -- but every day Pickering and men of like mind saw new barriers to her virtue prostrated. "And must we with folded hands wait the result ... The principles of our Resolution point to the remedy -- a separation." In their minds arose the picture of "a new confederacy exempt from the corrupt and corrupting influence and oppression of the aristocratic Democrats of the South", a confederacy with New England as its nucleus, the British provinces as free willing adherents, and New York, to be brought in by the influence of Aaron Burr as a western barrier against Virginia -- the source of corruption. Much as her leaders wished the South to secede in 1861, in order to exclude the poison of abolition Pickering and his friends wished New England to secede in 1804, in order to exclude the poison of democracy each assuming that a frontier line could stop a world force.
This wild and visionary scheme was cautiously broached by its authors to the Essex Junto in Massachusetts, and to the Federalist leaders in Connecticut and New York. Ames, Cabot, Parsons, and Higginson all replied that secession, although desirable, was impossible -- there was no public sentiment to support it. The people were altogether too contented and prosperous; only "the wise and good" could perceive danger to society and property in the annexation of Louisiana. "We should be put in the background", wrote Higginson, "were we to make that question the subject of free conversation." In Connecticut the leaders of Church and State regarded the scheme more favorably and in New York the plot found a leader in the person of The Catiline of America Aaron Burr His candidacy for the governorship of New York was supported by Griswold and Pickering with the understanding that if he won he should lead the new secession movement Burr's defeat at the polls ended all chance of even setting the plot in motion Hamilton had already expressed his disapproval of the conspiracy and done his best to effect Burr's defeat The latter's demand for an explanation Hamilton's defiance and the fatal duel followed in swift succession On July 11 1804 Alexander Hamilton paid the penalty on the duelling grounds of Weehawken for having stood between Aaron Burr and the presidency of a Northern Confederacy
With this dramatic ending, the disunion conspiracy of 1804, the first serious plot against the integrity of the Union, dissolved. (Footnote 9 goes here) It never had the remotest chance of success and the fact that Pickering, Tracy, and Griswold could seriously desire it and seriously believe it practicable and above all intrigue with Aaron Burr to carry it out shows how thoroughly devoid they were of political morality, how completely out of touch with public opinion, how absolutely incompetent to govern the United States.

The last part of your quote is actually footnote 9, from the first sentence in the paragraph above.

As all students of United States history know, secession, even in 1804, was no new and unheard of remedy for oppressed sectional minorities. It was seriously urged by Rufus King in 1794, by Connecticut leaders in 1796, if Jefferson were elected, by John Taylor of Caroline in 1798. It was constantly threatened in the West, from 1784 to 1803; if the federal government should not prevent the closure of the Mississippi; frequently threatened in the South, between 1795 and 1799, in the event of a war with France. So far both parties, and all sections had been equal offenders, and were likewise in the period 1804-1860, as Mr HV Ames's admirable collection of State Documents on Federal Relations testifies. Most political thinkers of the first half century of constitutional government had very little faith in the duration of the Union, and the statement that such and such a measure would "inevitably produce a dissolution of the Union" was a familiar figure of speech in politics. The conspiracy of 1804 was, so far as is known, the first actual attempt to carry secession into effect; but it may well be that others fully as serious previously existed, but have never seen the light.
What struck me in going through this is simple: nothing you quoted from Samuel Elliot Morison's work has anything at all to do with the Hartford Convention. It is all about events that happened 10 years or more before the Hartford Convention. Why is that?
Yes, those blue quotes further my point, but I thought they were superfluous, so I stuck with the leanest meanest quotes I could find. But thank you for posting evidence that New England considered secession in 1804. And thank you for addressing the fact that Morrison drew on primary sources in his footnote to point out that secession was considered by both Federalists and Republicans, and that all sections—North, South, and West—considered it as well. This just proves my ultimate point that secession was generally accepted before the Civil War.

And I pointed out that I don't have primary sources directly from the Hartford Convention that show secession was discussed. All there is is circumstantial evidence, so it may have been discussed, or it may not have. The degree of probability is a matter of opinion, if one were to even venture an opinion on that. The circumstantial evidence is a.) the fact that secession was generally accepted as a possible recourse in those days, and b.) the fact that the New England press was discussing secession at the time. But since the delegated kept no records, we do not know if they specifially addressed the issue of secession.
 

trice

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Yes, those blue quotes further my point, but I thought they were superfluous, so I stuck with the leanest meanest quotes I could find. But thank you for posting evidence that New England considered secession in 1804. And thank you for addressing the fact that Morrison drew on primary sources in his footnote to point out that secession was considered by both Federalists and Republicans, and that all sections—North, South, and West—considered it as well. This just proves my ultimate point that secession was generally accepted before the Civil War.

And I pointed out that I don't have primary sources directly from the Hartford Convention that show secession was discussed. All there is is circumstantial evidence, so it may have been discussed, or it may not have. The degree of probability is a matter of opinion, if one were to even venture an opinion on that. The circumstantial evidence is a.) the fact that secession was generally accepted as a possible recourse in those days, and b.) the fact that the New England press was discussing secession at the time. But since the delegated kept no records, we do not know if they specifially addressed the issue of secession.
As Samuel Elliot Morrison makes evident in the work you are quoting from, this "secession" you are talking about was the talk of a few extremists who did not have the support of the people of New England. He also makes clear that when Timothy Pickering (one of the Essex Junto extremists) tried to turn the Hartford Convention towards "secession", he failed.

One thing you should probably try to realize is that when the word "secession" is used back in those days it does not mean the theoretical, unilateral legal "right of secession" claimed by "the South" in 1860-61. No one started using it that way, AFAIK, until Calhoun started speaking of it around 1831.

Now, please explain what all this talk about the Hartford Convention has to do with the topic of the thread: "Is Texas v. White ironclad proof of secession's illegality?"
 
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