The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina


Nullification Controversy

in South Carolina


Chauncey Samuel Boucher, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of American History
in Washington University


Copyright 1916 By
The University of Chicago

All Rights Reserved

Published June 1916

Composed and Printed By
The University of Chicago Press
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.




To relate the story of the nullification controversy in South Carolina as it is found in the writings of the men who were participants in it, is the object of this monograph. For six years the conflict was bitterly waged and missed being civil war by a narrow margin. So much attention has been given to speculations on the theory of nullification from the standpoint of political science, that the history of the party contest has been neglected; and even from the theoretical viewpoint a detailed study of the views of the contemporaneous supporters and opponents of the doctrine has been neglected. The effort has been made in this treatise to delineate the various shades of party beliefs at all stages of the controversy.

In the search for materials the writer fortunately gained access to files of several of the leading newspapers of the Union and the State Rights parties, representing both the interior and the coastal sections; several valuable pamphlet collections; and the unpublished correspondence and papers of prominent leaders of the opposing factions, and of two men most prominently connected with the administration. For the courtesy and kind assistance rendered by the custodians and owners of these valuable materials, the author desires to express his appreciation. He is especially indebted to Professor Claude H. Van Tyne and Professor Ulrich B. Phillips, both of the University of Michigan, for encouragement and counsel most generously given, and to Professor William E. Dodd, of the University of Chicago, who volunteered to read sections of the proof.

In order to facilitate reading, the original pimctuation and capitalization of many quotations have been changed somewhat to make them con- form more to present usage.

C. S. Boucher

St. Louis, Mo. March 1, 1916

chapter page
I. The Origin of the Conflict (1824–29) 1
II. Nullification Advocated and Denounced (1830) 46
III. The First Test of Strength (1830–31) 88
IV. A Year OF Campaigning (1831) 119
V. The Nullifiers Capture the Legislature (1832) 164
VI. Nullification Adopted (1832) 208
VII. Jackson and Nullification (1832–33) 228
VIII. Nullification Suspended (1833) 262
IX. The Compromise Tariff and the Force Bill (1833)  286
X. The Test Oath (1833–35) 316
Bibliography 367

I. South Carolina Districts and Parishes in 1830  facing iii
II. Senate Vote on State Convention, 1830 108
III. House Vote on State Convention, 1830 109
IV. Jackson and Anti-Jackson Caucuses, 1831 161
V. Popular Vote on State Convention, 1832 203
VI. Legislature of 1832, for and against Convention 204
VII. House Vote on Governor's Counter-Proclamation,
and Union Vote in Convention, 1832 
VIII. House Vote on the Test Oath, 1832 245
IX. House Vote on the Test Oath, 1833 320
X. Popular Vote for Legislature, 1834 354
XI. Legislature of 1834 355

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925.

The author died in 1955, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 60 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.