Keep Lee at Washington & Lee University

huskerblitz

Major
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Location
Nebraska
There was no attempt at unilateral secession as a result of the Hartford Convention.
Nope, but it was definitely was discussed and pushed by a few firebrands. That is the normal course of things...people take the first step by discussing. Eventually someone takes the next step. Little by little, inch by inch governments move.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
There was no attempt at unilateral secession as a result of the Hartford Convention.
Nope, but it was definitely was discussed and pushed by a few firebrands. That is the normal course of things...people take the first step by discussing. Eventually someone takes the next step. Little by little, inch by inch governments move.
The minority who considered secession were never given any important assignments, never got the topic on the agenda, and never, ever, went any further than expressing their frustrations at not being taken seriously.

No steps were ever taken, inch by inch or other wise.

There is no comparison to the Hartford Convention and the slaveholding South's unilateral secession of 1861.
 

huskerblitz

Major
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Location
Nebraska
There was no attempt at unilateral secession as a result of the Hartford Convention.

The minority who considered secession were never given any important assignments, never got the topic on the agenda, and never, ever, went any further than expressing their frustrations at not being taken seriously.

No steps were ever taken, inch by inch or other wise.

There is no comparison to the Hartford Convention and the slaveholding South's unilateral secession of 1861.
It doesn't matter, the topic was broached, it was discussed. That's how things begin. Another group takes it even further, which happened later on, then some decided to push it further. It progresses. You, sir, are wrong.
 

unionblue

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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
It doesn't matter, the topic was broached, it was discussed. That's how things begin. Another group takes it even further, which happened later on, then some decided to push it further. It progresses. You, sir, are wrong.

No, sir, I am not wrong.

Read the book, Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power, by Garry Wills.

You don't send representatives to Congress to seek additional amendments to the US Constitution after attending a supposed "secession" convention.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
No, sir, I am not wrong.

Read the book, Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power, by Garry Wills.

You don't send representatives to Congress to seek additional amendments to the US Constitution after attending a supposed "secession" convention.

Secession was discussed as a future option if the other options didn't work out.

It was also resolved by the Convention, that in the event of the continuance of the present evils, without a prospect of relief, it will, in the opinion of the Convention, be expedient for the Legislatures of the several States to send delegates to another Convention, to meet in June next. Provision was also made for calling another meeting of the Convention, if it should be desirable, before new delegates Shall be chosen.​
In that report, drawn up with great ability, they discuss the subject of the dissolution of the Union, to which public attention had been earnestly turned, and the formation of a new Confederacy, as the means Of escaping the evils under which the commercial States were suffering. Such a dissolution, they say, should “ be the work of peaceable times and deliberate consent ; some new form of Confederacy should be substituted among those States which shall intend to maintain a Federal relation to each other. - "The Sectional Controversy" by William Chauncey Fowler, p 65-66

https://www.britannica.com/event/Hartford-Convention

Hartford Convention, (December 15, 1814–January 5, 1815), in U.S. history, a secret meeting in Hartford, Connecticut, of Federalist delegates from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont who were dissatisfied with Pres. James Madison’s mercantile policies and the progress of the War of 1812 (“Mr. Madison’s War”), as well as long resentful over the balance of political power that gave the South, particularly Virginia, effective control of the national government.​
The more extreme delegates raised the possibility of secession, but others sought only to dictate amendments to the Constitution that would protect their interests. Ultimately, the convention adopted a strong states’ rights position and expressed its grievances in a series of resolutions against military conscription and commercial regulations (along with some stringent criticisms of Madison’s administration) that were agreed to on January 4, 1815.​

Abraham Lincoln had some interesting comments on the Hartford Convention, and he certainly believed that "malcontents" at the Hartford convention "wanted to secede from slave territory". Here is the relevant portion of his letter:

To John J. Crittenden​
December 22, 1859​
Springfield, Illinois​
Hon. J. J. Crittenden,​
U. S. Senate​
My Dear Sir: I should not care to be a candidate of a party having as its only platform "The Constitution, The Union and the enforcement of the laws." "The Constitution," as we understand it, has been the shibboleth of every party or malcontent from the Hartford Convention that wanted to secede from slave territory and the "Blue Light" burners who were in British sympathy in 1812, to John C. Calhoun and South Carolina Nullification.​
The Union, we intend to keep, and loyal states will not let disloyal ones break it. Its constitution and laws made in pursuance thereof must and shall remain, "the supreme law of the land."​
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
Secession was discussed as a future option if the other options didn't work out.

It was also resolved by the Convention, that in the event of the continuance of the present evils, without a prospect of relief, it will, in the opinion of the Convention, be expedient for the Legislatures of the several States to send delegates to another Convention, to meet in June next. Provision was also made for calling another meeting of the Convention, if it should be desirable, before new delegates Shall be chosen.​
In that report, drawn up with great ability, they discuss the subject of the dissolution of the Union, to which public attention had been earnestly turned, and the formation of a new Confederacy, as the means Of escaping the evils under which the commercial States were suffering. Such a dissolution, they say, should “ be the work of peaceable times and deliberate consent ; some new form of Confederacy should be substituted among those States which shall intend to maintain a Federal relation to each other. - "The Sectional Controversy" by William Chauncey Fowler, p 65-66
I bolded the words that show the fundamental difference between this and the 1860-61 secessions. Even if the Union was to be dissolved, it would be through a process and with consent of the others. That is the way it would have to done, as Madison wrote in the 1830's, to be a rightful secession.

So even if they had decided to proceed with a secession, it was not to be a unilateral secession, which Madison considered "a violation without cause, of a faith solemnly pledged."

But as UB stated, no attempt at secession was made as a result of the Hartford Convention.
 

Andersonh1

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Location
South Carolina
I bolded the words that show the fundamental difference between this and the 1860-61 secessions. Even if the Union was to be dissolved, it would be through a process and with consent of the others. That is the way it would have to done, as Madison wrote in the 1830's, to be a rightful secession.

So even if they had decided to proceed with a secession, it was not to be a unilateral secession, which Madison considered "a violation without cause, of a faith solemnly pledged."

But as UB stated, no attempt at secession was made as a result of the Hartford Convention.

Yes, because the problems were resolved before it got to that point. But they did raise the idea as a future option. Secession was floated on more than one occasion by more than one group in the early years of the United States, almost always in New England interestingly. The Essex Junto is probably the earliest example.

https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/united-states-and-canada/us-history/essex-junto

In any case, my point is that while no other group actually seceded as the South did in 1860 and 1861, other groups did consider the idea, including a group at the Hartford Convention, so it was not a concept unique to the South.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
Yes, because the problems were resolved before it got to that point. But they did raise the idea as a future option. Secession was floated on more than one occasion by more than one group in the early years of the United States, almost always in New England interestingly. The Essex Junto is probably the earliest example.

https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/united-states-and-canada/us-history/essex-junto

In any case, my point is that while no other group actually seceded as the South did in 1860 and 1861, other groups did consider the idea, including a group at the Hartford Convention, so it was not a concept unique to the South.
Other groups may have considered it, but they suffered backlash because of it, and were called traitors. The Essex Junto is a prime example of a group that was considered extreme even by other federalists. And they became more of propaganda tool to bash federalists rather than an actual influential group.

Unilateral secession was never considered to be just a routine option that any state could take on their own. Those people that brought up secession in the earlier decades were considered extremists and they were widely denounced.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
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Location
South Carolina
Other groups may have considered it, but they suffered backlash because of it, and were called traitors. The Essex Junto is a prime example of a group that was considered extreme even by other federalists. And they became more of propaganda tool to bash federalists rather than an actual influential group.

Unilateral secession was never considered to be just a routine option that any state could take on their own. Those people that brought up secession in the earlier decades were considered extremists and they were widely denounced.

I would not make the argument that any group in US history that considered secession looked at it as a "routine option." It was the option of last resort. But otherwise, yes I would agree, those who considered secession did suffer a backlash for it. It did not discourage groups that followed from considering the option or threatening it, until ultimately the South went through with it. And arguably suffered the biggest backlash of all.
 
That's what know, methinks, as a classic demonstration of the proverbial "straw man argument," i.e., nobody has argued that such an attempt was made at or as the result of the Hartford Convention?!
(My bold)
The states themselves did not contemplate secession. A small group of Federalists led by Connecticut governor Roger Griswold, formed a group as a result of an announcement by the newly elected president, Thomas Jefferson, that there would be no more federal judges appointed during his administration. Griswold and fellow members Timothy Pickering, George Cabot, and Uriah Tracy, fearful that the rule of law would disappear and the country would "degenerate into anarchy" threatened a "general dissolution of the Union." The legislatures of the states these individuals hailed from did not call for or threaten secession.

Following the Louisiana Purchase the group once again threatened secession but again did not have the backing of their state legislatures.In 1805 when Aaron Burr was forced out of office as Jefferson's vice-president, he sought Federalist support in his run for governor of New York. Griswold, acting as spokesman for the group, approached Burr with offer of Federalist support if he would "agree and pledge himself if he became governor [that] New York may be united with the Northern states in the project of separation."
Burr gave a terse answer that "the Northern states must be governed by Virginia, or govern Virginia."

Following the rebuff of Burr, the group went underground not to resurface until the Hartford Convention in 1814. "Contrary to the impression conveyed in some texts, they scrupulously eschewed any further talk of secession, turning their attention instead to the insufficiencies of the Madison administration's support of their war efforts."

Source used, Burr, Hamilton, and Jefferson: A Study in Character, Roger G. Kennedy, pp. 140-142
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
It doesn't matter, the topic was broached, it was discussed. That's how things begin. Another group takes it even further, which happened later on, then some decided to push it further. It progresses. You, sir, are wrong.


That's what know, methinks, as a classic demonstration of the proverbial "straw man argument," i.e., nobody has argued that such an attempt was made at or as the result of the Hartford Convention?!

You've seen the above, I take it.
 

jesse_james

Cadet
Joined
Jun 5, 2021
The official letter from President Dudley was full of qualifications and read like an excuse for failing to get the name changed. It would be best if Dudley were to leave the school.

Meanwhile, in my town they have taken down the U.S. Grant statue for "institutional racism," but kept the Lenin statue. Your President Dudley sounds like a veritable rebel. He may be a keeper.
 
Yes, because the problems were resolved before it got to that point. But they did raise the idea as a future option. Secession was floated on more than one occasion by more than one group in the early years of the United States, almost always in New England interestingly. The Essex Junto is probably the earliest example.

https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/united-states-and-canada/us-history/essex-junto

In any case, my point is that while no other group actually seceded as the South did in 1860 and 1861, other groups did consider the idea, including a group at the Hartford Convention, so it was not a concept unique to the South.
"But no convention member, nor for that matter many reflecting Federalists, ever seriously contemplated disunion as an alternative in 1814. They retreated from separation because, at bottom, they were profoundly attached to union. This is not, however, to say that their opposition to secession was, in their minds, inconsistent with state interposition. Nor did it seem so to the large and approving Federalist public. The influential Newburyport town meeting, for instance, when resolving to accept the Convention Report, proposed that if by spring conditions had not improved, Federalists should 'consider our State Legislature as the sole, rightful & bounded judge of the course which our safety may require, without regard to the persons still assuming to be the National Government' and that the officials at Boston should 'declare that our resources shall be appropriated to our defence, that the laws of the United States shall be temporarily suspended in their operation in our territory, and that hostilities shall cease towards Great Britain on the part of the free, sovereign & independent States of New England.'3

"Nothing better illustrates the moderate nature of the report than the disillusionment of the 'warm bloods,' as [secretary of the Hartford Convention] Theodore Dwight called them, who had hoped for something stronger."
Banner Jr., James, To the Hartford Convention: The Federalists and the Origins of Party Politics in Massachusetts 1789-1815, pp. 344-345
 
Secession was discussed as a future option if the other options didn't work out.

It was also resolved by the Convention, that in the event of the continuance of the present evils, without a prospect of relief, it will, in the opinion of the Convention, be expedient for the Legislatures of the several States to send delegates to another Convention, to meet in June next. Provision was also made for calling another meeting of the Convention, if it should be desirable, before new delegates Shall be chosen.​
In that report, drawn up with great ability, they discuss the subject of the dissolution of the Union, to which public attention had been earnestly turned, and the formation of a new Confederacy, as the means Of escaping the evils under which the commercial States were suffering. Such a dissolution, they say, should “ be the work of peaceable times and deliberate consent ; some new form of Confederacy should be substituted among those States which shall intend to maintain a Federal relation to each other. - "The Sectional Controversy" by William Chauncey Fowler, p 65-66

https://www.britannica.com/event/Hartford-Convention

Hartford Convention, (December 15, 1814–January 5, 1815), in U.S. history, a secret meeting in Hartford, Connecticut, of Federalist delegates from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont who were dissatisfied with Pres. James Madison’s mercantile policies and the progress of the War of 1812 (“Mr. Madison’s War”), as well as long resentful over the balance of political power that gave the South, particularly Virginia, effective control of the national government.​
The more extreme delegates raised the possibility of secession, but others sought only to dictate amendments to the Constitution that would protect their interests. Ultimately, the convention adopted a strong states’ rights position and expressed its grievances in a series of resolutions against military conscription and commercial regulations (along with some stringent criticisms of Madison’s administration) that were agreed to on January 4, 1815.​

Abraham Lincoln had some interesting comments on the Hartford Convention, and he certainly believed that "malcontents" at the Hartford convention "wanted to secede from slave territory". Here is the relevant portion of his letter:

To John J. Crittenden​
December 22, 1859​
Springfield, Illinois​
Hon. J. J. Crittenden,​
U. S. Senate​
My Dear Sir: I should not care to be a candidate of a party having as its only platform "The Constitution, The Union and the enforcement of the laws." "The Constitution," as we understand it, has been the shibboleth of every party or malcontent from the Hartford Convention that wanted to secede from slave territory and the "Blue Light" burners who were in British sympathy in 1812, to John C. Calhoun and South Carolina Nullification.​
The Union, we intend to keep, and loyal states will not let disloyal ones break it. Its constitution and laws made in pursuance thereof must and shall remain, "the supreme law of the land."​

Theodore Dwight, the Secretary of the Hartford Convention, released the minutes of the convention in his 1833 book, History of the Hartford Convention: with a review of the policy of the United States Government which led to the War of 1812. The appendix of his book includes a lengthy commentary on South Carolina's 1832 Nullification crisis as well as comments in regards to an earlier speech Robert Hayne of South Carolina had given before the U.S. Senate denouncing the Hartford Convention.

Dwight ends his commentary with "But what says the 'Ordinance' of the South Carolina Convention? That document declares the laws of Congress therein referred to, and which are commonly called the tariff laws, null and void, and not binding upon the people of that state—it declares all promises, contracts, and obligations, for the securing of the duties imposed by those laws, and all judicial proceedings in affirmance of such promises, contracts, and obligations, also null and void— that it shall not be lawful for the constituted authorities of South Carolina, or of the United States, to enforce the payment of such duties within that state, but it shall be the duty of the legislature to adopt measures for preventing the collection of the duties, and to arrest the operation of the acts of Congress within that state, and all the authorities and all the people are enjoined to obey and give effect to the Ordinance. It then proceeds to declare, that the validity of the Ordinance shall not be drawn in question in any court in the state, that no appeal shall be allowed from the state court to the Supreme Court of the United States, that no copy of the record of the state court shall be allowed to be taken for the purposes of an appeal; and if any attempt to appeal should be made, the state court should proceed to execute their own judgments without regard to such appeal, and the person attempting to take it should be punishable for a contempt of court. The Ordinance advances still further, and declares, that all officers, civil and military, shall take an oath to obey the Ordinance, and for omitting to do so, their offices shall be vacated, and filled anew, as in the case of death or resignation; and no juror shall be impannelled, in any cause in which the Ordinance shall be drawn into question, without having first taken an oath to obey and enforce the Ordinance. And, finally, it is declared, that the state will not submit to the application of force, on the part of the United States, to reduce them to obedience: but if Congress should undertake to employ military or naval force against them, to shut up their ports, destroy their commerce, or resort to any other means of enforcing the laws which the Ordinance orders to be null and void, other than through the civil tribunals of the country, such a course will render the longer continuance of South Carolina in the Union inconsistent, and that they will thenceforth hold themselves absolved from all further connection with the other states, and will proceed to organize a separate independent government.

"This is the case of South Carolina, placed in contrast with that of the New England States. The document which contains these provisions, was prepared under the eye, if not by the hand of the same Mr. Hayne, who pronounced the conduct of the authors of the Hartford Convention 'utterly indefensible.' This declaration referred to the time when, and the circumstances under which, the Hartford Convention assembled. That time, and those circumstances, have been repeatedly alluded to and described in the course of this work. They were alarming and portentous, fraught with danger and distress to the country, and foreboding ruin to the Union and Constitution.

"Far different were the times and the circumstances when the South Carolina Convention passed their ordinance. Their time was a time of peace and prosperity. The country was pressed by no enemy from without, and by no tumult or insurrection within. Agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, were flourishing beyond all former example, and the country was advancing in numbers, wealth, and power, in a degree surprising to ourselves, and astonishing to all other nations. If there is any peculiar merit on the part of South Carolina, in choosing this halcyon period, for making such arrogant claims, and for throwing the Union into a state of discord, fermentation, and animosity, when all things else were at peace, it would not be amiss if those grounds were more explicitly stated. At present, they will be disallowed by every virtuous, intelligent, and patriotic mind. The Hartford Convention recommended no measure which had the slightest tendency to prostrate the national constitution, or to destroy the Union. Every sentiment expressed in the South Carolina ordinance was hostile to the constitution, and every measure proposed or adopted, was calculated to dissolve the Union. The propositions of the Hartford Convention, were to obtain the consent and approbation of the general government to their principal measures; the South Carolina ordinance denied the authority of that government to controul them in the case about which they complained, and defied their power to execute their laws. The Hartford Convention recommended an application to Congress for permission to raise troops for the defence of their coasts; the South Carolina ordinance provided for the raising of a body of men to oppose by force of arms the execution of the laws of Congress, and to raise the standard of rebellion against the government of the nation.

"If Mr. Hayne thought the conduct of the authors of the Hartford Convention 'utterly indefensible,' what must he think of the authors of the South Carolina Ordinance? About the facts in the two cases there is no room for dispute. The conclusions which those facts will fairly warrant, will be drawn by the community."


Above copied from an original 1833 edition of Dwight's book that I own.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
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Location
South Carolina
People change their minds over time and based on experience, or attempt to justify their actions compared to others. Even Jefferson Davis said the following near the end of "The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government" volume 2:

In asserting the right of secession, it has not been my wish to incite to its exercise: I recognize the fact that the war showed it to be impracticable, but this did not prove it to be wrong; and, now that it may not be again attempted, and that the Union may promote the general welfare, it is needful that the truth, the whole truth, should be known, so that crimination and recrimination may for ever cease, and then, on the basis of fraternity and faithful regard for the rights of the States, there may be written on the arch of the Union, _Esto perpetua_.​
 
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jcaesar

Private
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Abraham Lincoln had some interesting comments on the Hartford Convention, and he certainly believed that "malcontents" at the Hartford convention "wanted to secede from slave territory". Here is the relevant portion of his letter:

To John J. Crittenden​
December 22, 1859​
Springfield, Illinois​
Hon. J. J. Crittenden,​
U. S. Senate​
My Dear Sir: I should not care to be a candidate of a party having as its only platform "The Constitution, The Union and the enforcement of the laws." "The Constitution," as we understand it, has been the shibboleth of every party or malcontent from the Hartford Convention that wanted to secede from slave territory and the "Blue Light" burners who were in British sympathy in 1812, to John C. Calhoun and South Carolina Nullification.​
The Union, we intend to keep, and loyal states will not let disloyal ones break it. Its constitution and laws made in pursuance thereof must and shall remain, "the supreme law of the land."​

In that era the Hartford Convention was thought about in both the South and North in that era as having been a proto-secessionist gathering.

"Anarchy would have been established & not a government, by Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison & the other patriots of the Revolution. In 1808 when the New England States resisted Mr Jeffersons Imbargo law & the Hartford Convention assembled secession was termed treason by Virginia statesmen. What can it be now?"

-R. E. Lee January 1861
 
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edfranksphd

Private
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
That's what know, methinks, as a classic demonstration of the proverbial "straw man argument," i.e., nobody has argued that such an attempt was made at or as the result of the Hartford Convention?!
So sorry about my atrocious typo above in the first dependent clause!? What I meant to say, as most of you discerned, was, "That is what's known, methinks, as ... ." And, just in case, I apologize in advance for any typos that I may have included in this apology for my typo above. : /
 

edfranksphd

Private
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
(My bold)
The states themselves did not contemplate secession. A small group of Federalists led by Connecticut governor Roger Griswold, formed a group as a result of an announcement by the newly elected president, Thomas Jefferson, that there would be no more federal judges appointed during his administration. Griswold and fellow members Timothy Pickering, George Cabot, and Uriah Tracy, fearful that the rule of law would disappear and the country would "degenerate into anarchy" threatened a "general dissolution of the Union." The legislatures of the states these individuals hailed from did not call for or threaten secession.

Following the Louisiana Purchase the group once again threatened secession but again did not have the backing of their state legislatures.In 1805 when Aaron Burr was forced out of office as Jefferson's vice-president, he sought Federalist support in his run for governor of New York. Griswold, acting as spokesman for the group, approached Burr with offer of Federalist support if he would "agree and pledge himself if he became governor [that] New York may be united with the Northern states in the project of separation."
Burr gave a terse answer that "the Northern states must be governed by Virginia, or govern Virginia."

Following the rebuff of Burr, the group went underground not to resurface until the Hartford Convention in 1814. "Contrary to the impression conveyed in some texts, they scrupulously eschewed any further talk of secession, turning their attention instead to the insufficiencies of the Madison administration's support of their war efforts."

Source used, Burr, Hamilton, and Jefferson: A Study in Character, Roger G. Kennedy, pp. 140-142
I'm not sure that I disagree with anything you've cited here or any claims you've made, but I'm also not sure why you responded with this material to my claim above?
 

edfranksphd

Private
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
You've seen the above, I take it.
Sorry for my terrible typo. I meant to say, as I gather you gleaned, "That is what is known, methinks, as a classic demonstration of the proverbial... ." Regarding your reply, may I suggest that you are perhaps a bit too easily persuaded of the merits of your assertions.
 
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