These are daily becoming more unanimous. Even if the peop1e of those states were not benefited by the American System, as I believe, they are to an immense extent, they would not permit the interests of a large class of their fellow citizens to be utterly prostrated and destroyed What do their representatives tell us of the desolation that would overspread them if the system should be abandoned? It is no exaggerated picture. If the unnecessary expenditures of the Government and the bounties on manufactures, amounting to millions, were withdrawn, the suffering would be as severe as can be conceived in a country where there is not a want of the physical necessaries of life. Will men voluntarily reduce themselves to such a situation? No? The majority will give up their policy when they must, and not before
I should perhaps be more disposed to delay and wait upon events, if I thought, as many seem to do, that disunion and civil war were likely to be the consquences of any course of action that is likely to be pursued—nay, if I did not believe, as I most fully do, that there is more danger in the delay than in the strongest measures that will probably be adopted. I speak as a lover of peace and of the Union; and I know that I speak the sentiments of those who concur with me as to the course to be pursued. Are these professions sincere? Are we false friends to the Union? Have we covert designs which we dare not avow? Are the distinguished men who are foremost in exciting us to action, whose honors are connected with the General Government, or who have refused its honors, implicated in such designs? The>e are questions which they perhaps ought not to answer for themselves; but I would recommend to you, to watch closely those who offer you them councils in the present distracted stale of affairs; detect their motives of interest or ambition if they are actuated by such: understand thoroughly and weigh deliberately the measures they recommend to you—and then follow firmly the course of honor and of liberty, and of safely and of union.
The measure at present under consideration is, the calling of a Convention of the people of this state. There are advantages in this measure, whatever course such a body mav pursue. A wider selection of the talent, information and experience of the state may be made than for the legislative body. It will satisfy the scruples of those who belive that only legislative powers relative to the internal concerns of the state have been committed by the Constitution to the Legislature; that to determine any thing which respects our relations with the General Government, does not come within this class of powers, though clearly appertaining to the sovereign authority of the state, which will be represented in Convention. It does not follow, that the Convention will act promptly—it can hardly be supposed that it will act rashly. It will not, in all probability, meet until the adjournment of the ensuing session of Congress. If the hopes which are held out to us shall appear to have brightened, it may have power to adjourn to a more distant day. In the mean time, it may communicate with the General Government, or with our sister states of the south and certainly will not take any decisive step till it shall become inevitable.
Those who oppose a Convention, do so because it will be nugatory unless it shall result in a nullification (as it is called,) and this they think equivate tto a secession from the Union, and fear civil war will follow. I will not effect to disguise my own opinion