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proof of this assertion. No State has made greater sacrifices to vindicate the common rights of the Union, and preserve its integrity. No state is more willing to make those sacrifices now, whether of blood or treasure. But, sir, it does not belong to this lofty spirit of patriotism, to submit to unjust and unconstitutional oppression, nor is South Carolina to be taunted with the charge of treason and rebellion, because she has the intelligence to understand her rights, and the spirit to maintain them. God has not planted in the breast of man, a higher and a holier principle, than that by which he is prompted to resist oppression. Absolute submission and passive obedience, to every extreme of tyranny, are the characteristics of slaves only.
The oppression of the people of South Carolina has been carried to an extremity, which the most slavish population on earth would not endure without a struggle. Is it to be expect. ed, then, that freemen will patiently bow down and kiss the rod of the oppressor ? Freemen, did I say? Why, sir, any one who has the form and bears the name of man-nay, a beast that wants discourse of reason,” a dog, a sheep, a reptilethe vilest reptile that crawls upon the earth, without the gift of reason to comprehend the injustice of its injuries, would bite, or bruise, or sting the hand, by which they were in-flicted.
Is it, then, for a sovereign State to fold her arms and stand still in submissive apathy, when the loud clamors of the people, whom Providence has committed to her charge, are ascending to heaven for justice! Hug not this delusion to your breast, I pray'you.
I have now, Mr. Chairman, gone through the various topics I intended to discuss, and I will say, in conclusion, that in all I have uttered, there has not been mingled one feeling of per. sonal unkindness to any human being, either in this House or out of it. I have used strong language, to be sure, but it has been uttered “ more in sorrow than in anger.” I have felt it to be a solemn duty, which I owed to my constituents and to this nation, to expose the unjust and oppressive operation of the tariff system, and to make one more solemn appeal to the justice of their oppressors.
Let me, then, beseech the advocates of that system, in the name of our common ancestors, whose blood was mingled together as a common offering, at the shrine of our commonliberty-let me beseech them, by all the endearing recol. lections of our common history, and by every consideration that gives value to the liberty and union of these States, to re. trace their steps as speedily as possible, and relieve a highminded and patriotic people from an unconstitutional and oppressive burden, which they cannot longer bear.
CXXXVI. -DEFENCE OF THE TARIFF
Extract from the Speech of Mr. Davis, of Massachusetts, delivered in
the House of Representatives, May 4, 1830.
Mr. Chairman, IF I have rightly understood the gentle.. man from South Carolina, the aims of the “ Free Trade System” (as by a great misnomer it is called) are high, and its scope broad. He does not complain that the South are not left at liberty to raise as much cotton, rice, and tobacco, as they please ; nor does he complain that they are not at liberty to send it where they please, and sell it to whom, and when they please. No, sir, the laws of the country leave them as free and untrammelled as the air on all these points ; but this is not enough ; and they complain of wrong and injury, nay, threaten us with resentment, because they have not the entire market of the United States to sell the goods in, which are received in pay for these commodities. They complain of the competition of American industry, because it supplies a portion of our wants with manufactured articles, and takes up a part of the demand. They would have the whole to themselves. The planters would apply to their own bene. fit the entire resources of the country, by compelling us to buy the goods they would furnish to us, instead of working for ourselves. They give a preference to English labor, and would have us work with axes and spades from English shops. They aim to build up the cotton, tobacco, and rice interest, at the expense of the rest of the nation, to make nine millions of people bow down to three millions, to con strain us to give up the market to them and ruin ourselves, that they may try an idle experiment to see if they cannot
obtain a larger price for cotton. God has given them a monopoly of these articles so far at least as respects us, but with this they are not content, and insist on a monopoly of the market throughout the United States ; and because we resist this grasping disposition, we have been called by the gentle. man from South Carolina, despots, avaricious, grinding mo. nopolists, as merciless and unrelenting as the cannibal, who turns a deaf ear to the cries of infancy for mercy. Yes, sir, the gentleman has loaded us with these hard, unkind epithets, and has reiterated them in many forms in the course of his remarks.
Sir, I declare in the sincerity of my heart, that I feel deep pain and anguish, when I hear such language on this floor, because its tendency is to excite deep feelings of resentment in the injured party, and to promote sectional hostility. It pains me no less to be obliged to notice it; but, sir, if I could pass by such languege in silence—if I could sit here without repelling it, I should be unworthy of representing the People who sent me here, and unworthy of the State to which I be. long. If gentlemen will provoke us by attack, for one I shall not refuse to meet it; if they will assail us with calumnious epithets and comparisons, let them not flinch when the mir. ror is held to themselves. In what I say, however, I have no personal allusion, for I number many southern gentlemen on this floor among my most esteemed acquaintances. Nine millions of despots and monopolists, more cruel than any tyrant that ever disgraced a throne, because less merciless than cannibals! Who is it that bandies such language ? Who is it that calls the honest tiller of his own land, and the laborious manufacturer, relentless despots, guilty monopo. lists? He who holds dominion over his thousands of acres and his thousands of slaves. He, who, not content with a part, arrogates to himself the whole resources of the coun. try, and stuns us with the cry of oppression, because we will not consent to be ruined by an overpowering monopoly, un. der the delusive guise of free trade. It is, as the gentle.
was pleased to say of the manufacturer, the “lordly” planter. It is he that maintains, as I learn from high autho. rity," that slavery is favorable to liberty, because labor de. grades the human mind, and so assimilates men to a state of
* Speeches of Messrs. Hayne and Rowan in the Senate.
bondage, that none but those who bask in the sunshine of luxury and ease can appreciate liberty.
The “lordly" English merchant and factor, the trumpeters' of free trade, with their insolent parade of wealth, and their feet, as the gentleman from New York* says, upon the necks of their own people, come here to join in the cry of Aristocracy, Monopoly, and Despotism! They come here, to lift their voices, with the gentleman from New York, against the honest laborer, and to tell him, in scorn, that his principles are in his pocket, and his conscience in his purse. Sir, if you would excite loathing and disgust in the minds of the men who went from the plough, the anvil, and the bench, to meet oppression at the very threshold, and who achieved the independence of the nation; tell them they know not how to appreciate liberty, because labor degrades their understand. ings. If you would teach their posterity to hate and despise you, compare them with your slaves; tell them their condition approximates to bondage; rouse their indignation with ca. lumnious taunts and unjust reproaches, and you
will plish your purpose : for they are men, and have the feelings of
I will not follow examples often set here, by calling them generous, chivalrous, and magnanimous; for they want no soft words from me—they know their rights and how to maintain them, and this is the highest commendation language can bestow. This
people have been kind and generous to me, and I will not, cannot, requite it with ingratitude. I lament that any thing should have occurred to call for these remarks, but I should fail of the duty I owe to my constituents, as well as to my State, to sit here in silence, and hear them calum. niated—to hear them called monopolists, because they insist on the right of this Government to protect its citizens—to hear them stigmatized as tyrants, because they refuse to return to colonial bondage. The gentleman from South Carolina labors under great misapprehension, and when he comes to be better informed, will abandon the unjust sentiments he has uttered on this and another point, which I will also notice.
He has said that a few manufacturers send members here, and that the great body of the people are mere instruments in their hands. Can the gentleman be serious ? Does he
* Mr. Cambreleng.
believe the people of New-England, whom he thus stigmati. zes, are reckless of their political rights and privileges ? Sir, I have never seen a people, who could more justly treat with seorn this contumely—they are as free and independent as the air that sweeps over their native hills. Show me a capitalist who attempts to influence an election by the power of wealth, and I will show you a proud-spirited people, that will brand him as a wretch, and hiss him from the community. We are unlike some other portions of the country-we have no captains of tens, twenties, or fifties, who lead men to the polls, and direct them how to vote ; the people scorn such degrad. ing influence, and pay no such price to be in the employ of any one. He has said the people are ignorant, acting under delusion, because they read little, and only on one side of the question. Does he not know we have been forced into our present attitude against our prejudices and prepossessions? Does he not know that many of the most approved productions against the tariff have been written, and published, and read among us ? He nods assent. Does he not know that we are the most reading people in the United States, and that all questions are canvassed and examined with the greatest freedom? If he believes we do not read both sides, and do not understand what belongs to this policy, he is greatly in
It has always been a topic of earnest and careful consideration, and is supported from a settled conviction that the country would fall into decay, if it should be subjected to such a policy as the gentleman aims at.
The gentleman has told us that there is one small factory in his district, and he verily believes, if there were anotier, it would turn him out of his seat. Sir, when he spoke of the influence of capital in the North, I fear, to use a homely adage, he measured the corn of others in his own bushel. If two factories will revolutionize his district, I will not do his people the injustice to say it is the influence of capital, but leave the world to decide whether it will be that, or a practi. cal argument, dispelling prejudice, and converting men from error, by the power of truth.