Proclamation of Gov. Robert Hayne of SC concerning State's Rights

John S. Carter

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And as I said, I have no objection if you want to present some of what Hayne and Webster had to say on this topic. Feel free to post some opposing points, it might lead to interesting discussion.
I enjoyed and gained some rather interesting knowledge of Gov. Hayne. Recently I have taken to reading bios on the Southern fire eaters or the radical leaders of the secession movement. At present I am reading "William Lowndes Yancey, the Coming of the Civil War'' Eric H. Walther. Yancey became friends with John C, Calhoun, yes the Nullifier, and with Robert Rhett ,yes that one. The reason I have began to read these bios is to understand how the South was persuaded to leave the Union. It was slavery ,but there had to be more reason for the common people to follow these leaders when a large majority of people did not own slaves and then there were those who wanted no part of secession movement. This was a political and social movement which took men of very skilled ability and dedication to accomplish this. It was a Southern Rights movement based on the fear of Northern aggression again1852st their life style, that eventually the South would be placed in a inferior position to the North. They formed the Southern Rights Party in 1852 to promote the Southern Rights. This event of 1860 took men with a dedicated purpose over many years and to fail to study them we leave the true story with just the events. All revolutions started with a small group of people dedicated to achive a purpose. May I suggest that there be a place to study these FIRE EATERS or at least a book section on this period
 

Rhea Cole

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This is an interesting, thought provoking thread. The term ‘rights’ in the South Carolina context poses an interesting question. 60% of the population were slaves that essentially had no rights. There was no freedom of the press, right to free speech, the mail was censored & no freedom of assembly. Via the Fugitive Slave act, SC reserved the right to force citizens of all other states to be involuntarily deputized as slave catchers. A SC slave-holder who owned 100 slaves was, for purposes of apportionment the equal of 61 non-slave owners. A core of about 35,000 propertied white men controlled the politics of the state. It was their personal right to hold other human beings as property that over road all other rights that others might claim. Call it hubris, or what you will, but men who were told from the pulpit that god himself had created them to lord over others simply didn’t see why they could not get their way all the time.

Can you imagine the governor of Iowa making the argument laid out in this stream? Of course he did not. After all, for the purposes of apportionment, he was one man. If memory serves, the other was 601 men (+/-). That, in my view, sums up the argument. The legalities are just quibbles.
 

Andersonh1

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Via the Fugitive Slave act, SC reserved the right to force citizens of all other states to be involuntarily deputized as slave catchers.

Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3:


No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.​

Every State that joined the Union at any point prior to the 13th Amendment knew full well this clause was in the Constitution, and that by joining the Union they were agreeing to abide by this law. So the idea that they were "forced" to do anything is disingenuous.
 

unionblue

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Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3:


No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.​

Every State that joined the Union at any point prior to the 13th Amendment knew full well this clause was in the Constitution, and that by joining the Union they were agreeing to abide by this law. So the idea that they were "forced" to do anything is disingenuous.

What is the law but the veiled threat of force in order to ensure compliance?

I also note the article states "No person."

Why is it worded in such a way you suppose, instead of "No slave"?

Then again, if the above article was exclusively concerning the return of slaves, I wonder why the creation of the Fugitive Slave Laws? The States Personal Liberty Laws?

Can be a tad confusing.
 

Andersonh1

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What is the law but the veiled threat of force in order to ensure compliance?

I also note the article states "No person."

Why is it worded in such a way you suppose, instead of "No slave"?

Then again, if the above article was exclusively concerning the return of slaves, I wonder why the creation of the Fugitive Slave Laws? The States Personal Liberty Laws?

Can be a tad confusing.

The entire phrase is "persons held to service or labor", and it's quite clear what that means. We can't read slavery into everything a Southerner from the antebellum era says whether they were actually talking about slavery or not, and at the same time refuse to recognize an actual reference to slavery in the Constitution simply because it does not blatantly use that word.
 
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John S. Carter

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What is the law but the veiled threat of force in order to ensure compliance?

I also note the article states "No person."

Why is it worded in such a way you suppose, instead of "No slave"?

Then again, if the above article was exclusively concerning the return of slaves, I wonder why the creation of the Fugitive Slave Laws? The States Personal Liberty Laws?

Can be a tad confusing.
Property or person which was the slave to be considered ? In some states whites would indenture themselves out in order to bay off their debt .instead of going to debtor's prison. Slavery is not mentioned any were in the Constitution, it was the ape that set in the corner so they were referred to as person or servants .At this time slavery existed in both North and South. There were Northern sea merchants who were dealers in the market ,bring slaves from the Caribbean to slave markets in Savannah and Charleston. It could have eased their moral conscience by referring to them as mentioned. The South demanded this for financial reason, how much was a good slave? The question is why did they demand this same protection in the Compromise of 1850 if they had it. Then by the Congress doing this would it mean that the federal government had a say in slavery? Interesting that one does not hear of a slave from the North escaping to Canada. This would be the worse error that the Southern slave owner made by forcing the North to return run away .The invasions by slave catchers into the North was more propaganda for the abolition movement and hostility to the slave system and to the South IN general.
 
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John S. Carter

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May I suggest a book? Eric H. Walther's "William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the Civil War". I would think that this name is familiar to some. Yancey was a fire-eater/radical secessionist from Alabama. The reason for my suggesting this is that in order to understand why the people of the South succeeded one must look not at merely the events but to the leaders of that movement that accomplished this,. These men were political and social leaders in there states . They were men dedicated to secession. They feared the domination of the North. The 1830s with passage of the
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I found to understand why the South succeeded you must understand those who were the leaders of the movement to accomplish this. They were lead out of the Union not so much by just the events , but by men who persuaded the people to their view of those events. They organized conventions in each state .They formed committee of correspondence as in the pre Revolutionary ,in fact they took notes from that time. They formed political organizations based on States Rights .Their propaganda organization were of newspapers, and pamphlets. More than any other is they were believers of their CAUSE they had to convince the people of the same. The book which I am reading is Eric H. Walther.'' William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the Civil War".
 
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BuckeyeWarrior

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In the letter that Madison wrote to Haynes he states this:

"1st. It was formed not by the Governments of the component States, as the Federal Government for which it was substituted was formed; nor was it formed by a majority of the people of the United States, as a single community, in the manner of a consolidated Government.

It was formed by the States, that is by the people of each State, acting in their highest sovereign capacity, and formed consequently by the same authority, which formed the State Constitutions were formed; with this characteristic and essential difference, that the Constitution of the United States being a compact among the States, that is, the people thereof the parties to the compact, making them even one people for specified objects, cannot be revoked or changed at the will of any State within its limits; as the Constitution of a State may be changed at the will of the State, that is the people who compose the State and are the parties to its Constitution. The idea of a compact between the Governors and the Governed was exploded with the Royal doctrine, that Government was held by some tenure independent of the people."

Here he clearly states that the people formed the constitution. They acted in their states but the people were the parties to the compact, not the state.

This view of the constitution and it's creation was already laid out nine years earlier by the Supreme Court in Cohens V Virginia which stated;

“The people made the Constitution, and the people can unmake it. It is the creature of their will, and lives only by their will. But this supreme and irresistible power to make or to unmake resides only in the whole body of the people, not in any subdivision of them. The attempt of any of the parts to exercise it is usurpation and ought to be repelled by those to whom the people have delegated their power of repelling it.”

Chief Justice Marshall

It seems to me that all those in antebellum times that argued for the state compact theory had to ignore, twist, or misstate, clear language from the constitution, the framers of the constitution, and the supreme court.

I will give Hayne props for having guts (or maybe it was stupidity) to tell James Madison he doesn't agree with his interpretation of the constitution...that Madison wrote! I can't recall another situation where the creator of something was told point blank he was wrong about what he created.
 

unionblue

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The entire phrase is "persons held to service or labor", and it's quite clear what that means. We can't read slavery into everything a Southerner from the antebellum era says whether they were actually talking about slavery or not, and at the same time refuse to recognize an actual reference to slavery in the Constitution simply because it does not blatantly use that word.

You mean like the lack of the word secession, even though it's not there?
 
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Andersonh1

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You mean like the lack of the word secession, even though it's not there?

Perhaps like the Supreme Court's power to declare things "unconstitutional", a power not found in the text of the Constitution?

It may be objected, then – in the first place, that the right of the States to interpose rests on mere inference, without any express provision in the Constitution; and that it is not to be supposed – if the Constitution contemplated the exercise of powers of such high importance – that it would have been left to inference alone. In answer, the committee would ask, whether the power of the Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional is not among the very highest and most important that can be exercised by any department of the Government – and if any express provision can be found to justify its exercise? Like the power in question, it also rests on mere inference – but an inference so clear, that no express provision could render it more certain. The simple fact, that the Judges must decide according to law, and that the Constitution is paramount to the acts of Congress, imposes a necessity on the court to declare the latter void whenever, in its opinion, they come in conflict, in any particular case, with the former. So, also, in the question under consideration. The right of the States – even supposing it to rest on inference, stands on clearer and stronger grounds than that of the Court. In the distribution of powers between the General and State Governments, the Constitution professes to enumerate those assigned to the former, in whatever department they may be vested; while the powers of the latter are reserved in general terms, without attempt at enumeration. It may, therefore, constitute a presumption against the former – that the Court has no right to declare a law unconstitutional, because the power is not enumerated among those belonging to the Judiciary – while the omission to enumerate the power of the States to interpose in order to protect their rights – being strictly in accord with the principles on which its framers formed the Constitution, raises not the slightest presumption against its existence. Like all other reserved rights, it is to be inferred from the simple fact that it is not delegated – as is clearly the case in this instance. - John C. Calhoun, South Carolina Exposition and Protest
Calhoun is speaking here of interposition, but the argument applies equally to secession.
 

unionblue

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He makes a good point regarding the Supreme Court assuming a power that is not spelled out in the Constitution, something I've noted before. You have not refuted it simply by calling it a fantasy.

He only makes a 'point' in the defense of slavery and that is not a fantasy.

He 'infers' something in that defense woven in jargon and political speech-making in order to obscure his main point.

We used to call such tactics at staff meetings in the Army "smoke and mirrors" when trying to misdirect and mislead the CO from the real problems effecting the unit in question.

Calhoun appears to have mastered this technique in his time long before I became accustomed to it in the 20th century.

Unionblue
 

Andersonh1

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Not smoke and mirrors. Calhoun is entirely correct to note that the powers of the Federal Government are spelled out in the Constitution, and that apart from a few powers and limitations of the States noted in the body of that document, the vast majority of reserved rights, as guaranteed in the 10th amendment, are not spelled out.

For the Federal Government to have a power, it must be listed in the Constitution. That is not true for the people or the States. That's just a fact, if we take the Constitution as written, which we certainly should.
 
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unionblue

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@Andersonh1 ,

Yet when we view that same Constitution and see all of the things a State is forbidden to do, how does anyone, to include Calhoun, justify unilateral secession? Either we take the document whole, as written, or do we just 'infer' what we want whenever we want?

Unionblue
 

Andersonh1

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@Andersonh1 ,

Yet when we view that same Constitution and see all of the things a State is forbidden to do, how does anyone, to include Calhoun, justify unilateral secession? Either we take the document whole, as written, or do we just 'infer' what we want whenever we want?

Unionblue

Do you look at the Constitution and see any restrictions on the Federal government? Because that, and not the States, is the primary focus of the Constitution. It sets up, defines, empowers and limits the Federal government. State limitations are there to resolve conflicts in authority between Federal and State that would otherwise exist when it comes to the functioning of the Union.

Are the powers and restrictions on States in the Constitution an exhaustive list, yes or no? The answer is clearly no. How then do you determine what other powers a State or the people have that are not defined?
 
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John S. Carter

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Do you look at the Constitution and see any restrictions on the Federal government? Because that, and not the States, is the primary focus of the Constitution. It sets up, defines, empowers and limits the Federal government. State limitations are there to resolve conflicts in authority between Federal and State that would otherwise exist when it comes to the functioning of the Union.

Are the powers and restrictions on States in the Constitution an exhaustive list, yes or no? The answer is clearly no. How then do you determine what other powers a State or the people have that are not defined?
That would be the responsibility of the courts? Then that would be rather is one of a conservative or liberal interpretation of those rights. The Constitution spells out the responsibility of the Federal government as it does with the different branches, then it states clearly that those powers not invested/ mentioned in in the above powers are returned to the states. There is as Shakespeare would say is the ''RUB'', There the differences between North and South .The South took a conservative approach to those powers to the states while the North took a liberal one towards the powers of the Federal government .
 

Andersonh1

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According to the language of the 10th Amendment, powers do not have to be returned to the States or the people, because they never left. The Constitution "delegates" powers to "the United States", prohibits the States from exercising some powers, and everything else not covered in those two categories remains with the States or the people.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.​
As the Federalist Papers note, the powers of the Federal government are "few and defined" while the reserved powers of the States or the people are "numerous and indefinite".
 

unionblue

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@Andersonh1 ,

Yet when we view that same Constitution and see all of the things a State is forbidden to do, how does anyone, to include Calhoun, justify unilateral secession? Either we take the document whole, as written, or do we just 'infer' what we want whenever we want?

Unionblue
Do you look at the Constitution and see any restrictions on the Federal government? Because that, and not the States, is the primary focus of the Constitution. It sets up, defines, empowers and limits the Federal government. State limitations are there to resolve conflicts in authority between Federal and State that would otherwise exist when it comes to the functioning of the Union.

Are the powers and restrictions on States in the Constitution an exhaustive list, yes or no? The answer is clearly no. How then do you determine what other powers a State or the people have that are not defined?

I do see an entire section of the Constitution on what the States cannot do.

Section 10, Articles 1, 2, & 3. All of them contain the words, "No State shall, without the consent of Congress" do any of the things that come under the heading of unilateral secession/rebellion.
 

Andersonh1

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@Andersonh1 ,

Yet when we view that same Constitution and see all of the things a State is forbidden to do, how does anyone, to include Calhoun, justify unilateral secession? Either we take the document whole, as written, or do we just 'infer' what we want whenever we want?

Unionblue


I do see an entire section of the Constitution on what the States cannot do.

Section 10, Articles 1, 2, & 3. All of them contain the words, "No State shall, without the consent of Congress" do any of the things that come under the heading of unilateral secession/rebellion.

The Constitution is silent on secession, unilateral or otherwise.
 
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