Sir, South Carolina has not gone one step further than Mr. Jefferson himself was disposed to go in relation to the present subject of our present complaints; not a step further than the statesmen from New England were disposed to go under similar circumstances; no further than the senator from Massachusetts himself once considered as within “the limits of a constitutional opposition.” The doctrine that it is the right of a state to judge of the violations of the constitution on the part of the Federal government and to protect her citizens from the operations of unconstitutional laws was held by the enlightened citizens of Boston who assembled in Faneuil Hall on the 25th of January, 1809.
They state in that celebrated memorial that “they looked only to the state legislature, who were competent to devise relief against the unconstitutional acts of the general government. That your power (say they) is adequate to that object is evident from the organization of the Confederacy.”
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A distinguished senator from one of the New England states [Mr. Hillhouse], in a speech delivered here on a bill for enforcing the embargo, declared:
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