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ROBERT Y. HAYNE.
ROBERT Y. HAYNE, distinguished as an orator, lawyer, and civilian, was a native of the parish of St. Paul, in South Carolina, where he was born on the tenth day of November, 1791. He was descended from a family celebrated for its patriotism, and its sacrifices during the war of the Revolution.* His father was a respectable planter. Unable to afford his children the benefits of a liberal education, his son Robert obtained his classical and English instruction in a grammar school in the city of Charleston. At seventeen he commenced a course of legal study under the guidance of Langdon Cheves, and soon after was admitted to practice. In 1812 previous to entering upon the duties of his profession, he volunteered his services to the United States, was appointed a lieutenant in the militia of South Carolina, and served with gallantry at Fort Moultrie, under the command of Col. William Drayton. While in this situation his powers of oratory first became conspicuous. In an address delivered on the anniversary of the independence of the United States, in 1812, before the officers and soldiers of the fort, he evinced such patriotism of sentiment, purity of style, and depth of pathos; as won the applause of his hearers, and widely extended his reputation.
Relinquishing military service, Mr. Hayne returned to Charleston, and commenced the practice of his profession, in which he was successful and soon became eminent. In the autumn of 1814 he was elected to the State Legislature, and, in his representative capacity, distinguished himself by his determined, energetic and disinterested exertions for the welfare of his constituents. He was a firm supporter of President Madison and the war, and upon all occasions during that exciting period, openly avowed his opinions and advocated the principles he had espoused. He continued in the Legislature until 1818, and during the last year, occupied the position of Speaker. At the end of his term, he was elected Attorney General of the State, the important and responsible duties of which station he discharged until his election to the Senate of the United States, in 1822. Here he remained ten years, near the expiration of which he resigned, to accept the governorship of South Carolina.
Mr. Hayne's career in the Senate, distinguished, fearless, and honorable as it is known to have been, requires but a passing notice here. His entrance to that body, then numbering among its members many of the ablest American statesmen, was considered by them as an accession to the talent and character of the chamber. “I know the estimate they put upon him,” says his friend and associate, “the consideration they had for him, and the future they pictured for him; for they were men to look around, and consider who were to carry on the government after they were gone. But the proceedings of the Senate soon gave the highest evidence of the degree of consideration in which he was held. In the second year of his service, he was appointed to a high duty—such as would belong to age and long service, as well as to talent and elevated character. He was made Chairman of the Select Committee, which brought in the bill for the grants
Colonel Isaac Hayne, the “martyr of South Carolina," was the grand-uncle of Robort Y. Hayne: an account of his sufferings is given by General Lee in his interesting memoirs of the Southern Campaign.
to Lafayette; and as such became the organ of the expositions, as delicate as they were responsible, which reconciled such grants to the words and spirit of our constitution, and adjusted them to the merit and modesty of the receiver: a high function, and which he fulfilled to the satisfaction of the chamber and the country.* Among the first oratorical efforts of Mr. Hayne, that made during the debate on the exciting question of the tariff, in 1824, won him an exalted reputation, especially at home. He opposed the measure, as he considered it injurious to the country. He thought it was the true interest of the States to have no such restrictive policy, and that its adoption would be attended with ruin. Of the other speeches he made while a senator, among which is that on the Bankrupt Bill, of which he was the originator and zealous advocate, the most celebrated are those delivered in the “great debate" on Mr. Foot's resolution. The second and last one, which will be found in the subsequent pages of this work, is considered, by many, equal, as a constitutional argument, to any one delivered in the Senate. “It exhibits," says an able writer, “a profound knowledge of the true principles of our constitution, and of the relative rights and duties of the Federal and State governments. As an effort of intellect, it will rank among the highest in the annals of American eloquence; and as a faithful exposition of the true structure and objects of the American confederacy, it will be regarded as a text-book by the supporters of the sovereignty of the States in every section of the Union.t
Previous to resigning his seat in the Senate, Mr. Hayne was a member of the convention of South Carolina, which assembled for the purpose of taking “into consideration the several acts of the Congress of the United States, imposing duties on foreign imports, for the protection of domestic manufactures, or for other unauthorized objects, to determine on the character thereof, and to devise the means of redress, &c.” The result of the deliberations of the convention was the adoption of the notorious nullification ordinance, which was reported to that body by Mr. Hayne, as chairman of the committee to which the subject had been referred. Of this policy, Mr. Hayne was a strenuous supporter, and, as Governor of the State, he was soon after its adoption called on to carry out its principles. The ordinance of nullification was adopted by the convention on the twenty-fourth of November, 1832. On the tenth of the following month, President Jackson issued a proclamation denouncing it and expressing his determination to compel a due observance of the laws of the United States. This instrument was met by a counter-proclamation from Governor Hayne, in which was exhibited a fixed resolution to resist the General Government, even at the point of the bayonet; and preparations for the defence of the State were every where made. The passage of the Compromise Act, however, in March, 1833, put an end to the symptoms of rebellion; and another convention in South Carolina, of which Governor Hayne was president, soon after repealed the obnoxious measure.
In December, 1834, Governor Hayne retired from office and from public life. Three years after, he was elected president of the Charleston, Louisville and Cincinnati Railroad, which office he held until his death. That event occurred on the twenty-fourth of September, 1839.
The distinguishing features of Mr. Hayne's character and appearance are thus given by Mr. Benton, in the work before quoted :-“Nature had lavished upon him all the gifts which lead to eminence in public, and to happiness in private life. Beginning with the person and manners -he was entirely fortunate in these accessorial advantages. His person was of middle size, slightly above it in height, well proportioned, flexible and graceful. His face was fine-the features manly, well formed, expressive and quite handsome: a countenance ordinarily thoughtful and serious, but readily lighting up, when accosted, with an expression of kindness, intelligence, cheerfulness and inviting amiability. His manners were easy, cordial, unaffected, affable; and his address so winning, that the fascinated stranger was taken captive at the first salutation. These personal qualities were backed by those of the mind—all solid, brilliant, practical and utilitarian: and always employed on useful objects, pursued from high motives, and by fair and open means. His judgment was good, and he exercised it in the serious consideration of whatever business he was engaged upon, with an honest desire to do what was right, and a laudable ambition to achieve an honorable fame. He had a copious and ready elocation, flowing at will in
* Thirty Years' View, By Thomas H. Benton, vol. 2, page 187.
+ National Portrait Gallery.
a strong and steady current, and rich in the material which constitutes argument. His talents were various, and shone in different walks of life, not often united : eminent as a lawyer, distinguished as a senator : a writer as well as a speaker : and good at the council table. All these advantages were enforced by exemplary morals; and improved by habits of study, moderation, temperance, self-control, and addiction to business. There was nothing holiday or empty about him—no lying-in to be delivered of a speech of phrases. Practical was the turn of his mind : industry an attribute of his nature : labor an inherent impulsion, and a habit: and during his ten years of senatorial service, his name was incessantly connected with the business of the Senate. He was ready for all work-speaking, writing, consulting-in the committee-room as well as in the chamber-drawing bills and reports in private as well as shining in the public debate, and ready for the social intercourse of the evening when the labors of the day were over. A desire to do service to the country, and to earn just fame for himself, by working at useful objects, brought all these high qualities into constant, active and brilliant requisition. To do good by fair means was the labor of his senatorial life; and I can truly say that, in ten years of close association with him, I never saw him actuated by a sinister motive, a selfish calculation, or an unbecoming aspiration.” Ardent and steadfast in his own peculiar principles, he never spoke harshly of those who differed from him in opinion : pure, affectionate, and amiable in all the relations of domestic life, he was universally beloved and respected.
SPEECH ON MR. FOOT'S RESOLUTION.
The following speech, in answer to Mr. Web- in relation to a great national question of pubster's first speech on Mr. Foot's resolution,* was lic policy. Such was my course.
The gentledelivered by Mr. Hayne, in the Senate of the man from Missouri, (Mr. Benton,) it is true, had
charged upon the Eastern States an early and United States, on the twenty-first of January, continued hostility towards the west, and re1830.
ferred to a number of historical facts and docu
ments in support of that charge. Now, sir, how Mr. PRESIDENT: When I took occasion, two have these different arguments been met? The days ago, to throw out some ideas with respect honorable gentleman from Massachusetts, after to the policy of the government, in relation to deliberating a whole night upon his course, the public lands, nothing certainly could have comes into this chamber to vindicate New Engbeen further from my thoughts, than that I land; and instead of making up his issue with should have been compelled again to throw the gentleman from Missouri, on the charges myself upon the indulgence of the Senate. which he had preferred, chooses to consider me Little did I expect to be called upon to meet such as the author of those charges, and losing sight an argument as was yesterday urged by the entirely of that gentleman, selects me as his gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. Webster.) adversary, and pours out all the vials of his Šir, I questioned no man's opinions ; I impeach- mighty wrath upon my devoted head. Nor is ed 'no man's motives; I charged no party, or i he willing to stop there. He goes on to assail State, or section of country, with hostility to the institutions and policy of the south, and any other, but ventured, as I thought in a be- calls in question the principles and conduct of coming spirit, to put forth my own sentiments the State which I have the honor to represent.
When I find a gentleman of mature age and exThe following is the resolution of Mr. Foot:-" Resolved, perience-of acknowledged talents, and proThat the Committee on Public Lands be instructed to in found sagacity, pursuing a course like this, dequire and report the quantity of the public lands remaining clining the contest offered from the west, and unsold within each State and Territory, and whether it be making war upon the unoffending south, I must expedient to limit, for a certain period, the sales of the pubo believe, I am bound to believe, he has some lic lands to such lands only as have heretofore been offered for sale, and are now subject to entry at the minimum price.object in view which he has not ventured to And, also, whether the otfice of Surveyor General, and some
disclose. Mr. President, why is this? Has the of the Land Offices, may not be abolished without detriment gentleman discovered in former controversies to the public interest; or whether it be expedient to adopt with the gentleman from Missouri, that he is measures to hasten the sales, and extend moro rapidly the over-matched by that senator ? And does he surveys of the public lands."
hope for an easy victory over a more feeble + See Mr. Webster's answer to this speech at page 870 adversary? Has the gentleman's distempered
fancy been disturbed by gloomy forebodings of
"new alliances to be formed” at which he | Massachusetts has reared so glorious a monghinted? Has the ghost of the murdered Coali- ment to his name. Sir, I doubt not the senation come back, like the ghost of Banquo, to tor will feel some compassion for our ignorance, “ sear the eye-balls of the gentleman," and will / when I tell him, that so little are we acquaintit not“ down at his bidding ?” Are dark visions ed with the modern great men of New England, of broken hopes, and honors lost for ever, still that until he informed us yesterday that we floating before his heated imagination? Sir, if possessed a Solon and a Lycurgus, in the person it be his object to thrust me between the gen- of Nathan Dane, he was only known to the tleman from Missouri and himself, in order to south as a member of a celebrated assembly, rescue the east from the contest it has provoked called and known by the name of the
Hartford with the west, he shall not be gratified. Sir, I Convention.” In the proceedings of that assemwill not be dragged into the defence of my bly, which I hold in my hand, (at page 19,) friend from Missouri. The south shall not be will be found, in a few lines, the history of forced into a conflict not its own. The gentle- Nathan Dane; and a little farther on, there is man from Missouri is able to fight his own bat- conclusive evidence of that ardent devotion to tles. The gallant west needs no aid from the the interests of the new States, which it seems south to repel any attack which may be made has given him a just claim to the title of “Faon them from any quarter. Let the gentleman ther of the West.”. By the 2d resolution of the from Massachusetts controvert the facts and “Hartford Convention,” it is declared, “that arguments of the gentleman from Missouri, if it is expedient to attempt to make provision for he can-and if he win the victory, let him wear restraining Congress in the exercise of an unthe honors; I shall not deprive him of his limited power to make new States, and admitlaurels.
ting them into
the Union.” So much for NaThe gentleman from Massachusetts, in reply than Dane, of Beverly, Massachusetts. to my remarks on the injurious operations of In commenting upon my views in relation to our land system on the prosperity of the west, the public lands, the gentleman insists, that it pronounced an extravagant eulogium on the being one of the conditions of the grants, that paternal care which the government had ex- these lands should be applied to "the common tended towards the west, to which he attribut- benefit of all the States, they must always reed all that was great and excellent in the pres- main a fund for revenue ;" and adds, "they ent condition of the new States. The language must be treated as so much treasure.” Sir, the of the gentleman on this topic, fell upon my gentleman could hardly find language strong ears like the almost forgotten tones of the tory enough to convey his disapprobation of the leaders of the British Parliament, at the com- policy which I had ventured to recommend to mencement of the American Revolution. They, the favorable consideration of the country. And too, discovered, that the colonies had grown what, sir, was that policy, and what is the difgreat under the fostering care of the Mother ference between that gentleman and myself, on Country; and I must confess, while listening to this subject? I threw out the idea, that the the gentleman, I thought the appropriate reply public lands ought not to be reserved for ever, to his argument, was to be found in the remark as “ a great fund of revenue;" that they ought of a celebrated orator, made on that occasion : not to be treated as a great treasure ;" but, “They have grown great in spite of your pro- that the course of our policy should rather be tection."
directed towards the creation of new States, The gentleman, in commenting on the policy and building up great and flourishing communiof the government, in relation to the new ties. States, has introduced to our notice a certain Now, sir, will it believed, by those who now Nathan Dane, of Massachuetts, to whom he at- hear me—and who listened to the gentleman's tributes the celebrated ordinance of '87, by denunciation of my doctrines, yesterday—that which he tells us, “slavery was for ever exclud- a book then lay open before him—nay, that he ed from the new States north of the Ohio.” held it in his hand, and read from it certain pasAfter eulogizing the wisdom of this provision, sages of his own speech, delivered to the House in terms of the most extravagant praise, he of Representatives in 1825, in which speech breaks forth in admiration of the greatness of he himself contended for the very doctrines I Nathan Dane—and great indeed he must be, if had advocated, and almost in the same terms. it be true as stated by the senator from Massa- Here is the speech of the Hon. Daniel Webster, chusetts, that “he was greater than Solon and contained in the first volume of Gales and SeaLycurgus, Minos, Numa Pompilius, and all the ton's Register of Debates, (p. 251,) delivered in legislators and philosophers of the world,” an- the House of Representatives on the 18th of cient and modern. Sir, to such high authority January, 1825, in a debate on the Cumberland it is certainly my duty, in a becoming spirit of Road—the very debate from which the senator humility, to submit. And yet, the gentleman read yesterday. I shall read from the celebrawill pardon me, when I say, that it is a little ted speech two passages, from which it will apunfortunate for the fame of this great legisla- pear that both as to the past, and the future tor, that the gentleman from Missouri should policy of the government in relation to the pubhave proved, that he was not the author of the lic lands, the gentleman from Massachusetts ordinance of '87, on which the senator from maintained, in 1825, substantially the same
opinions which I have advanced; but which he insists that, as they are declared to be " for the now so strongly reprobates. I said, sir, that common benefit of all the States,” they can the system of credit sales by which the west only be treated as so much treasure, I think he had been kept constantly in debt to the United has applied a rnle of construction too narrow States, and by which their wealth was drained for the case. If in the deeds of cession it has off to be expended elsewhere, had operated in- been declared that the grants were intended juriously on their prosperity. On this point the for “the common benefit of all the States," it gentleman from Massachusetts, in January, 1825, is clear, from other provisions, that they were expressed himself thus: “There could be no not intended merely as so much property; for it doubt if gentlemen looked at the money receiv- is expressly declared, that the object of the grants ed into the Treasury from the sale of the public is the erection of new States; and the United lands to the west, and then looked to the whole States, in accepting this trust, bind themselves amount expended by government, (even includ- to facilitate the foundation of these States to ing the whole amount of what was laid out for be admitted into the Union with all the rights the army,) the latter must be allowed to be and privileges of the original States. This, sir, very inconsiderable, and there must be a con was the great end to which all parties looked, stant drain of money from the west to pay for and it is by the fulfilment of this high trust, the public lands. It might indeed be said that that “the common benefit of all the States" is this was no more than the refluence of capital to be best promoted. Sir, let me tell the genwhich had previously gone over the mountains. tleman, that in the part of the country in which Be it so. Still its practical effect was to pro- I live, we do not measure political benefits by duce inconvenience, if not distress, by absorbing the money standard. We consider as more valthe money of the people."
uable than gold, liberty, principle, and justice. I contended that the public lands ought not But, sir, if we are bound to act on the narrow to be treated merely as a fund for revenue”_ principles contended for by the gentleman, I am that they ought not be hoarded “as a great wholly at a loss to conceive how he can recontreasures
On this point the senator expressed cile bis principles with his own practice. The himself thus: “government, he believed, had lands are, it seems to be treated “as so much received eighteen or twenty millions of dollars treasure," and must be applied to the “comfrom the public lands, and it was with the great- mon benefit of all the States." Now, if this be est satisfaction he adverted to the change which so, whence does he derive the right to approhad been introduced in the mode of paying for priate them for partial and local objects? How them; yet he could never think the national can the gentleman consent to vote away imdomain was to be regarded as any great source mense bodies of these lands, for canals in Indiof revenue. The great object of the govern- ana and Illinois, to the Louisville and Portland ment in respect of these lands, was not so much canal, to Kenyon College in Ohio, to schools for the money derived from their sale, as it was the the Deaf and Dumb, and other objects of a simigetting them settled. What he meant to say lar description? If grants of this character can was, he did not think they ought to hug that fairly be considered as made “for the common domain as a great treasure, which was to en- benefit of all the States,” it can only be, because rich the exchequer."
all the States are interested in the welfare of Now, Mr. President, it will be seen that the each—a principle which, carried to the full exvery doctrines wbich the gentleman so indig- tent, destroys all distinction between local and nantly abandons, were urged by him in 1825; national objects, and is certainly broad enough and if I had actually borrowed my sentiments to embrace the principles for which I have venfrom those which he then avowed, I could not tured to contend. Sir, the true difference behave followed more closely in his footsteps. tween us I take to be this: the gentleman Sir, it is only since the gentleman quoted this wishes to treat the public lands as a great treabook, yesterday, that my attention has been sure, just as so much money in the treasury, to turned to the sentiments he expressed in 1825, be applied to all objects, constitutional and unand, if I had remembered them, I might possi- constitutional, to which the public money is bly have been deterred from uttering senti- constantly applied. I consider it as a sacred ments here, which it might well be supposed I trust, which we ought to fulfil, on the princihad borrowed from that gentleman.
ples for which I have contended. In 1825 the gentleman told the world, that The senator from Massachusetts has thought the public lands “ ought not to be treated as a proper to present in strong contrast the friendly treasure." He now tells us, that "they must feelings of the east towards the west, with sentibe treated as so much treasure." What the ments of an opposite character displayed by the deliberate opinion of the gentleman on this sub- soath in relation to appropriations for internal ject may be, belongs not to me to determine; improvements. Now, sir, let it be recollected but I do not think he can, with the shadow of that the south have made no professions; I justice or propriety, impugn my sentiments, have certainly made none in their behalf of rewhile his own recorded opinions are identical gard for the west. It has been reserved for the with my own. When the gentleman refers to gentleman from Massachusetts, while he vaunts the conditions of the grants ander which the over his own personal devotion to western inUnited States have acquired these lands, and terests, to claim for the entire section of coun