John Quincy Adams on the Hartford Convention

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Joshua Horn

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I just stumbled across some interesting commentary by John Quincy Adams on the Hartford Convention. It's in Documents relating to New England Federalism, available here: http://books.google.com/books?id=BR5-P7Ti47oC. Here is one interesting paragraph:

"This representative convention of several State legislatures was in itself an incident organization of a new confederacy. The leaders of the party, by whom it had been devised, had been struggling seven years to organize such an assembly. And it was undoubtedly the measure indispensable for effecting the dissolution of the Union. The Hartford Convention was to the Northern confederacy precisely what the Congress of 1774 was to the Declaration of Independence. The Convention itself could not be held but by an agreement between two more more States, which is an express violation of the Constitution, - a violation which would have been still more flagrant, had a second convention been elected according to one of the closing recommendations of that assembly." p. 245

There is a long section on the Hartford Convention from page 283-330.

John Quincy Adams, by the way, during the debates over the annexation of Texas, said that if the annexation went through the Northern states could, and should, secede.
 

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I just stumbled across some interesting commentary by John Quincy Adams on the Hartford Convention. It's in Documents relating to New England Federalism, available here: http://books.google.com/books?id=BR5-P7Ti47oC. Here is one interesting paragraph:

"This representative convention of several State legislatures was in itself an incident organization of a new confederacy. The leaders of the party, by whom it had been devised, had been struggling seven years to organize such an assembly. And it was undoubtedly the measure indispensable for effecting the dissolution of the Union. The Hartford Convention was to the Northern confederacy precisely what the Congress of 1774 was to the Declaration of Independence. The Convention itself could not be held but by an agreement between two more more States, which is an express violation of the Constitution, - a violation which would have been still more flagrant, had a second convention been elected according to one of the closing recommendations of that assembly." p. 245

There is a long section on the Hartford Convention from page 283-330.

John Quincy Adams, by the way, during the debates over the annexation of Texas, said that if the annexation went through the Northern states could, and should, secede.
Put succinctly, whenever New England’s political or economic interests were threatened, there was the inherent right to secession, when they were interests of the South they didn’t.

While I am able for service I intend to stand by the cause while a banner floats to tell where freedom’s sons still supports her cause.”

Major Walter Clark of the North Carolina Junior Reserve Brigade in a letter to his mother
 

wilber6150

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You mean interests of the slave owners not the South don't you? And we don't know what he would have thought of the slave states push for secession do we? But, we know what Lee and many other Southerners thought of it..
 
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You mean interests of the slave owners not the South don't you? And we don't know what he would have thought of the slave states push for secession do we? But, we know what Lee and many other Southerners thought of it..
I would say so since most of the slaves were in the South by 1860 and like wealthy and politically well connected in New England and elsewhere it was what they thought that really mattered, then as well as now.

“While I am able for service I intend to stand by the cause while a banner floats to tell where freedom’s sons still supports her cause.”

Major Walter Clark of the North Carolina Junior Reserve Brigade in a letter to his mother


 
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OpnCoronet

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Too bad the leaders of the Ante-Bellum south's leaders for secession did not read John Q. Adams. The Historical point is New England drew back from secession, even the south did not.
 

wilber6150

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I would say so since most of the slaves were in the South by 1860 and like wealthy and politically well connected in New England and elsewhere it was what they thought that really mattered, then as well as now.

“While I am able for service I intend to stand by the cause while a banner floats to tell where freedom’s sons still supports her cause.”

Major Walter Clark of the North Carolina Junior Reserve Brigade in a letter to his mother
So the interest of the non-slaveholder was moot in terms and decesions that affected the South?
 

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So the interest of the non-slaveholder was moot in terms and decesions that affected the South?
I would hardly think so, certainly not any less so than the non-elites in New England and elsewhere who duly go along with the decision makers of their regions.

“While I am able for service I intend to stand by the cause while a banner floats to tell where freedom’s sons still supports her cause.”

Major Walter Clark of the North Carolina Junior Reserve Brigade in a letter to his mother
 
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wilber6150

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I'm at a loss for political or legal examples that helped the political elites of New England that didn't benefit the common working man of the North, while I can think of many that only benefitted the slave owner in the South..The economic and political debates in Congress that made the political elite in New England richer also trickled down into working class..In my opinion, I think the common man in the North had more ties to Congress then the common man in the South who was disconnected, so to speak, if he had no slaves..
 
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Heres a text of his speech on this topic.. I browsed it quickly, I could be wrong but his complaints seemed to be that some of the Southern states were trying to get Texas into the Union without following the correct procedures in Congress and were trying to bypass their oversight...

http://archive.org/details/speechofjohnquin00adam
Thanks Wilber. I'll sit down and read it tonight when I have time to concentrate.
 

OpnCoronet

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It seems Adams would certainly have agreed that the meeting together of states to form the csa, was "... an express violation of the Constitution." because such a convention of states could not be held "...but by an agreement between two or more states ,..."


P.S. I do not claim that the Adams quote is accurate, merely that if it is, it condemns the formation (and logically the meeting within states to secede) of the csa as edxpressly Unconstitutional(Illegal).
 
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OpnCoronet

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It seems Adams would certainly have agreed that the meeting together of states to form the csa, was "... an express violation of the Constitution." because such a convention of states could not be held "...but by an agreement between two or more states ,..."


P.S. I do not claim that the Adams quote is accurate, merely that if it is, it condemns the formation (and logically the meeting within states to secede) of the csa as edxpressly Unconstitutional(Illegal).
 

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I'm at a loss for political or legal examples that helped the political elites of New England that didn't benefit the common working man of the North, while I can think of many that only benefitted the slave owner in the South..The economic and political debates in Congress that made the political elite in New England richer also trickled down into working class..In my opinion, I think the common man in the North had more ties to Congress then the common man in the South who was disconnected, so to speak, if he had no slaves..
So you think the drudge laborers in New England sweat shops had more in common with their fat cat mills owners than did the non-slave farmers of the South with the planter class? Hinton R. Helper thought pretty much the same thing as you about non-slave holding Southern whites attitudes, however he found to his dismay, there was far less class animosity in the South than he had thought.

“While I am able for service I intend to stand by the cause while a banner floats to tell where freedom’s sons still supports her cause.”

Major Walter Clark of the North Carolina Junior Reserve Brigade in a letter to his mother
 

Joshua Horn

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Can you provide this statement?
Here it is. It is from A Solemn Appeal to the People of the Free States which Adams (among others) signed. My comment in the original post was slightly misleading, as it was from a paper rather than an actual speech.


"We hesitate not to say that annexation of Texas, effected by any act or proceeding of the Federal Government, or any of its departments, would be identical with dissolution. It would be a violation of our national compact, its objects, designs, and the great elementary principles with entered into its formation, of a character so deep and fundamental, and would be an attempt to authorize an institution and a power of a nature so unjust in themselves, so injurious to the interests and abhorrent to the feelings of the people of the Free States, as, in our opinion, not only inevitably to result in a dissolution of the Union, but fully to justify it; and we not only assert that the people of the Free States 'ought not to submit to it,' but we say, with confidence, they would not submit to it."
 
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Joshua Horn

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You mean interests of the slave owners not the South don't you? And we don't know what he would have thought of the slave states push for secession do we? But, we know what Lee and many other Southerners thought of it..
The interest of non-slaveholding southerners was in most parts of the south virtually the same as that of the slaveholders.
 

wilber6150

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So you think the drudge laborers in New England sweat shops had more in common with their fat cat mills owners than did the non-slave farmers of the South with the planter class? Hinton R. Helper thought pretty much the same thing as you about non-slave holding Southern whites attitudes, however he found to his dismay, there was far less class animosity in the South than he had thought.

“While I am able for service I intend to stand by the cause while a banner floats to tell where freedom’s sons still supports her cause.”

Major Walter Clark of the North Carolina Junior Reserve Brigade in a letter to his mother
We aren't talking about class animosity, thats a whole different topic isn't it..What I was saying was that it was far more likley for working class Northeners to derive some benefit from things produced in Washington that benefitted the rich in the North, then would the poor non-slave owner get benefits from bills that helped the rich slave owner..If the rich Northener increases his wealth, hes more likely to expand his industries which would give the working class more employment oppotrunites and room for advancment..If the rich slave owner receives benefits, this trickle down income has farther to go before it actually reaches the non-slave owning working class..
 

wilber6150

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The interest of non-slaveholding southerners was in most parts of the south virtually the same as that of the slaveholders.
Most of the intense political fighting from the late 1840's up that was related to the South was in some way tied to slavery, and the expansion of it.. What would be interest of the poor non-slave owner in the South to expansion of slavery or other slavery related bills?
 
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Most of the intense political fighting from the late 1840's up that was related to the South was in some way tied to slavery, and the expansion of it.. What would be interest of the poor non-slave owner in the South to expansion of slavery or other slavery related bills?
There are various reasons /theories as to why the entire south supported slavery, not just the slaveholders, but it is that simple. They did. The voting citizens of the south voted for slavery, even though most of them were not slaveholders. It was not something that was forced on them by the slave owners. They chose to vote that way.
 

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We aren't talking about class animosity, thats a whole different topic isn't it..What I was saying was that it was far more likley for working class Northeners to derive some benefit from things produced in Washington that benefitted the rich in the North, then would the poor non-slave owner get benefits from bills that helped the rich slave owner..If the rich Northener increases his wealth, hes more likely to expand his industries which would give the working class more employment oppotrunites and room for advancment..If the rich slave owner receives benefits, this trickle down income has farther to go before it actually reaches the non-slave owning working class..

Will you cite credible information that “trickle down economics” benefited Northern mill workers more than it did for non- slave owning Southerners or that upward economic mobility was easier for Northern cotton mill workers than for the cotton growing Southern yeomanry?

“While I am able for service I intend to stand by the cause while a banner floats to tell where freedom’s sons still supports her cause.”

Major Walter Clark of the North Carolina Junior Reserve Brigade in a letter to his mother
 
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