Ohio Governor’s Response to South Carolina Nullification Threat
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“I herewith transmit a copy of the Preamble and Resolutions of the General Assembly of Ohio, in reply to the Resolutions from the Legislature of South Carolina, respecting the Constitutional powers of the General Government.” ALLEN TRIMBLE.
Printed Letter Signed, for Trimble by S.C. Andrews, private secretary to the Governor of Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio, February 12, 1828. Signed in type by Edward King, as Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, and Samuel Wheeler, as Speaker of the Ohio Senate. 2 pp., 8 x 9¾ in.
With interior printing of the “Report of the Select Committee…on the Resolutions from the Legislature of the State of South Carolina. The Select Committee, to whom were referred the Resolutions of the Legislature of the State of South Carolina, respecting the Constitutional powers of the General Government of the United States, have had the same under consideration, and recommend the adoption of the following Preamble and Resolutions: Whereas, there have been communicated, by the Governor, copes of certain Resolutions of the Legislature of the State of South Carolina, transmitted by the Executive of that State, to be laid before the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, That to the general propositions contained in the first Resolution, abstracted from definite questions of Constitutional right or power, this General Assembly perceive no grounds of exception. Resolved, That this General Assembly do not concur in the opinion of the Legislature of South Carolina, as expressed in the second, third and fourth Resolutions; and to the doctrines therein contained, this General Assembly express their most solemn dissent. Resolved, That the Governor of this State be requested to transmit copies of the foregoing Preamble and Resolutions, to the Governor of South Carolina, and to the Governors of the several States, with a request that the same be laid before the Legislature of their respective States; and, also, to our Senators and Representatives in Congress, to be by them laid before Congress, for their consideration…”
In response to the Tariff of 1828, John C. Calhoun maintained that a state “interposition” could block enforcement of a federal law. The South Carolina legislature agreed by passing the Ordinance of Nullification in 1832, threatening to secede if the federal government forced collection of the 1828 tariff duties. President Andrew Jackson asserted the supremacy of the federal government. The U.S. Congress passed a compromise tariff bill reducing the duties but also passed the Force Bill, which authorized federal enforcement of the law. The South Carolina legislature rescinded its ordinance, but the conflict highlighted the danger of nullification.
Allen Trimble (1783-1870) was a Federalist politician from Ohio. He served as the 8th and 10th Governor of Ohio.