No Other Remedy But the Sovereignty of the State


The secessionist movements across the country today are a testament to Calhoun’s belief that the republic of the Founders had its cornerstone in State sovereignty. The great South Carolinian saw the rise of Jackson as a positive, but he must have been terribly concerned about the growing strength of "democracy." The remedy today is the same as Calhoun saw in his day.

Bernhard Thuersam, Executive Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute
Post Office Box 328
Wilmington, NC 28402

No Other Remedy But the Sovereignty of the State:

Honorable Bartlett Yancey:
Pendleton, 16th July, 1828

"It seems to me that the government is rapidly degenerating into a struggle among the parts to squeeze as much out of one another as they possibly can. The South being the least, and I may add less avaricious than the other, is destined to suffer severely in this odious struggle. Where it will end is hard to anticipate. The election of General Jackson which I consider almost certain will, I trust, contribute to a better state of things. An honest and patriotic President has much in his power. Without some effectual remedy, our system must fall into disorder.

The Tariff causes much excitement in our State, which occasionally breaks out into some extravagance. The attachment of the great body of our people to the Union remains however unshaken. They look to constitutional remedies under their severe sufferings. I have no idea that the Legislature will be called. It seems to me, that it would be unwise under any view. The course that you indicate is certainly the safe and natural one, and ought to be relied on ("till it fails" crossed out). Should it prove inadequate, I see no other remedy, but in the sovereignty of the State. That they have adequate power, when all other fails to apply Constitutionally an efficient remedy I do not doubt. The Virginia Report and resolutions in ’98 are conclusive on that point."

With sincere regard, I am etc., etc.,
J.C. Calhoun

(James Sprunt Historical Publications, North Carolina Historical Society, Volume 10, Number 2, 1911, pp. 75-76)