An excellent book.
Had New Englanders proclaimed that the proposed Articles of Confederation or later Constitution could be superseded by a “higher law” of their choosing, no State would have ratified the document.
Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com The Great American Political Divide
Traitors to the Compact of Their Fathers
“It was against [William] Seward and his followers that the South directed its “higher law” attack in the later fifties. On October 19, 1858, Jefferson Davis delivered a stirring address in New York City upon this subject, and in the course of his daring denunciation of the advocates of this theory, he declared:
“You have among you politicians of a philosophical turn, who preach a higher morality; a system of which they are the discoverers . . . They say, it is true the Constitution dictates this, and the Bible inculcates that; but there is a higher law than those, and they call upon you to obey that higher law of which they are the inspired givers.
Men who are traitors to the compact of their fathers — men who have perjured the oaths they have themselves taken . . . these are the moral law-givers who proclaim a higher law than the Bible, the Constitution, and the laws of the land . . . These higher law preachers should be tarred and feathered, and whipped by those they have thus instigated . . . The man who . . . preaches treason to the Constitution and the dictates of all human society, is a fit object for a Lynch law that would be higher than any he could urge.”
(The South as a Conscious Minority, Jesse T. Carpenter, New York University, 1930, pp. 159-160)