Andrew Jackson's Famous Union Toast2

    On the 13th of April, 1830, there was a remarkable  dinner party in the national metropolis. It was the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, and those who attended the party did so avowedly for the purpose of honoring the memory of the author of the Declaration of Independence. Such was the tenor of the invitation. Andrew Jackson, the President of the United States, was there. So was John C. Calhoun, the Vice President. Three of the cabinet ministers, namely, Van Buren, Eaton, and Branch were there; and members of Congress and citizens not a few.
   It soon became manifest to the more sagacious ones that this dinner party and the day were to be made the occasion for inaugurating the new doctrine of nullification, and to fix the paternity of it on Mr. Jefferson, the great Apostle of Democracy in America. Many gentlemen present, perceiving the drift of the whole performance, withdrew in disgust before  summoned to the table; but the sturdy old President, perfectly informed, remained.
      When the dinner was over and the cloth removed, a call was made for the  regular toasts. These were twenty-four in number, eighteen of which, it is alleged, were written; by Mr. Calhoun. These, in multifarious forms, shadowed forth, now dimly, now clearly, the new doctrine. They were all received and honored in various degrees, when volunteer toasts were announced as in order.
    The President was of course first called upon for a sentiment. His tall form rose majestically, and with that sternness appropriate to the peculiar occasion, he cast that appalling bomb-shell of words into the camp of conspirators, which will forever be a theme for the commendation of the patriot and the historian—"THE FEDERAL UNION: IT MUST BE PRESERVED!" He was followed by the Vice President, who gave as his sentiment—" The Union: next to our Liberty the most dear: may we all remember that it can only be preserved by respecting the rights of the States, and distributing equally the benefit and burden of the Union!" Those who before doubted the intentions of Calhoun and his South Carolina friends, and were at a loss to understand the exact meaning of the dinner party to which they were bidden, were no longer embarrassed by ignorance. In that toast was presented the issue—liberty before Union—supreme State sovereignty —false complaints of inequality of benefits and burdens—our rights as we choose to define them, or disunion.
    From that hour the vigilant old President watched the South Carolina  conspirator, his lieutenant, with the searching eyes of unslumbering suspicion.

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