Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/343

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Brilliant Eulogy on General W. H. Payne.

government, the people must decay and the government must either go to pieces or assume another and different form.

"Now, sir, I say that the working of our present executive system is such as to produce a party of that description in the country, and give it the power of ruling' our affairs. Place the predominant power in the government in such hands, and I say one of two things must certainly happen; the union will go to pieces in the collision which such a state of things would occasion, or else the government would eventuate in a despotism."

The danger signal was that the bond or union for the tax-consuming party was geographical. The dominion of the North would move on with the invariable sequence of the processes of nature. The natural result would be a government of the South by the North and for the North; a government under which the South would have no rights which the North would be bound to respect.


Richard Henry Lee, in October, 1787, wrote to Edmund Randolph, "The representatives of the seven Northern States, as they have a majority, can by law create a most oppressive monopoly upon the five Southern States, whose circumstances and productions are essentially different; although not a single man of these voters is representative of, or amenable to, the people of the Southern States. Can such a set of men be, with the least semblance of truth, called representatives of those they make laws for?" George Mason said: "A majority of interests will oppress the minority" and refused to vote for the constitution in Federal or State convention.

The distinguished gentleman, late secretary of war, more lately still a successful candidate for the highest Federal office, in a speech at Kansas City some years ago, described the attitude of protectionists toward Philippine products as "the quintessence of selfishness." Class legislation may, in general, be so defined. But it is so, most abhorrently, when it operates to rally section against section, by making burden to one bounty to the other. Better way could not be devised for breeding a ruling class to which honest conditions must be intolerable. The same distinguished gentleman, in an address, delivered last July, at the court-