Daniel WebsterDaniel Webster, (1782-1852) US Senator

Daniel Webster Quote

“If the Union was formed by accession of States then the Union may be dissolved by the secession of States.”

Daniel WebsterDaniel Webster
~ Daniel Webster

U.S. Senate, Feb 15, 1833

Ratings and Comments

cal, lewisville, tx

Webster was saying this in pun because he did not believe it. He would say, "The United State is made up of 'people', not states!" He said it this way meaning he believed in strong centralized government.

Buckeye, Wilmington

the federal government was created by the states...not vice versa...and..by inaction states have ceded to the federal govmt.

Waffler, Smith

The federal government, that is the legislature drawn from citizens from the states, created the Union or Federal government. It then went on to create a greater and greater Union by the purchase and settlement of vast tracts of land. The States United created the United States. Make no mistake the United States has certain rights and privileges that have been vested in it by the residents of the states. As for Webster he was from that secessh state of Massachuettes. That issue was discussed and talked about ad nauseum up until the Civel War, its over folks.

jim k, Austin,Tx

Old "Honest Abe" wasn't much in for any States seceeding and thus the war of Northern aggression. Waffler , what on earth is a "secessh state".

CHIEF, Ohatchee

The quote is out dated since he was proven wrong. As a Southerner I wish he'd been right.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, I make no mistake, I will write this very slowly so that you might understand it. The individual is sovereign with unalienable rights and privileges endowed by his/her/their creator (a God for some, as a faculty of birth for others; either way, beyond man's ability to create). Rights and privileges are uniquely inherent in the corporeal being of tangible organic man and, can not be passed to another (individually or in concert - through a power of attorney, into an abstract concept such as government, etc.) Individual sovereigns can unite and organize as many representative levels as they like and, hire as many servants as are required to fulfill the sovereign's lawful bidding. The abstract concept, government, has no rights or privileges, nor can it receive such. De jure government has authorized duties only, anything else is totalitarian tyranny and dictatorship from foreign despots. The foreign despots do not have rights either, only guns and force. The issue of State secession from the identified union was not settled by the war between the States. The only thing settled in that war was the 'North's' military superiority.

E Archer, NYC

Mike said well. Do you think the countries that have joined the United Nations are 'allowed' to leave the club? How about the nations that make up the European Union -- do they have a right to change their mind if it turns out the relationship isn't working? How about an abused spouse -- are they 'permitted' to leave the marriage? The union of States was voluntary and unanimous -- every state has always had the right to terminate their alliance with the rest. Massachusetts was actually considering secession years before the southern states actually seceded. There was no doubt then that a state had a right to secede. Remember, that the people ALWAYS have a right to alter or abolish their government -- that right includes the right for a state especially when the terms of the union have been breached. We have a right to contract and to terminate the contract when the parties no longer honor the terms of the contract. Yes, sometimes the termination of an alliance leads to war -- it is just a sign of the war that was already going on covertly. Right now the federal government in Washginton, DC is making war on the people in the states -- and just because a state decides it has had enough, does not mean that Washington will let go of them easily. Slavery is wrong, that doesn't stop the slave owner from doing everything in his power to keep the slave in chains or to kill him outright. Collectivists will always tell their members that once you are in, you cannot get out. It was the Nazis that said that the individual is dead, all live for the state.

Waffler, Smith

Secessh is a nickname if you will for people who believed in secession from the Union. The two folk who advanced that theory of law mostly lived in Massachusetts and South Carolina, initially. It is granted to the likes of Mike and Archer that we live in a world of convention and law. The concepts embodies even int the Declaration "all men are created equal" that are claimed to be from God, still require that the individual accept the premise. It is a ploy to say that your concept is from God and therefore must be accepted. For milleniums and even presently there are many who do not accept that premise and think that they are for equal than others. I think the concept it a good one and in the long term works best for mankind. Agreed that we are biological forms individual and theoretically capable of living without any contact, connection or need for other biological forms, except maybe for food. But man is more than that. He is a spiritual and social creature. The social party makes him also a political creature. Political meaning a need to form policy with his social groupings, This policy making mandate of social interaction creates and requires conventions, concepts and organization. Archer is correct about the need for the use of force. Look around and you will see force every where. If we remove it and have the world Mike envisions we would have utter, complete and non-ending chaos. Archer has it wrong, DC is the people of the states. We might be better off if we did away with all state boundaries and governments and lived as one, Then do away with national boundaries and lived as one planet. We could become the United Planet of Earth. How about that concept?

Waffler, Smith

That was in 1833 in 1850 during the debate over The Missouri Compromise he said this, "Mr. President I wish to speak today not as a Massachusetts man, nor as a northern man, but as an American. I speak today for the preservation of the Union. There can be no such thing as a peaceable secession."

Ekent, Portland


Kimo, lahaina

An Interesting man. "The devil and daniel webster, is a great book. What do i think? i think im the last of a generation of men that are free. Who know what freedom is. Some one posted "outdated" And this is the main problem, the constitution is a timeless document, one cannot "outdate it" It is eternal, and they have broken the law. I think there are too many people, and our leaders are either jaded, or commiting treason.Or drunk, or both.

Kimo, lahian

Waffer, are you on the obama staff?

Waffler, Smith

I toured Jamestown settelment today. Their 1606 Charter exhorted them to be "of like mind" and to unite for the good of their colony and furture country. The idea that people came to these shores to be "individuals" and not to ban together and unite is a strange brew of concepts. I know not where some of the above get these ideas. As far as the Constitution being "timeless" some miss the fact that it can be amended any time the populace wishes, so that it is timeless but also as modern as today.

John Shuttleworth, NYC

Reviewing these three quotes presented today has given rise to much commentary and debate that our civil war purportedly resolved: that the union of these states is un-dissolvable. That was the result of a war in which the stronger defeated the weaker; or industry defeated the agrarian. (Premising the basis of all wars is economic, racial equality was not the prime, or even secondary, motivational factor of its commission.) If there is a constitutional basis for the claim that the unity of this country is based on centrality of government, then that which has developed is correct and must prevail. If, however, there is no such definitive a priori then the current, continuing, dissension has merit and should be discussed openly. That is more than a decision for the supreme court, it is a referendum for national vote. Then, will the question for union or separation be resolved; or is it one where those who so choose may go their own way ? Wherein lies freedom and democracy ?

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, one of the strange brew of concepts and issues concerning progressive liberals and the Borg mentality in general is the fabrication of falsehoods with an equally non-substantive argument against such fabrication(s). A society of united individuals does not change the laws of nature or of nature's God - all rights remain inherent and unique to each and every, any and all individual person(s). Charters, compacts and/or contracts do not, CAN NOT alter that which is an inalienable facility of birth; NOR, can a multiple of individuals, in any abstract structure or intangible organization (government or otherwise) possess a right. It has been illustrated that individuals united can accomplish that which a person individually can not BUT, that has absolutely nothing to do with personal sovereignty or individual rights.

E Archer, NYC

Rather than be misdirected yet again, can we not simply admit that our voluntary association in congregations, companies, associations, towns incorporated into counties, counties into states, and states form a federal compact are all by AGREEMENT. We make agreements with each other with terms that we agree to in our sovereign capacity, that is to say I am a man of my word. The agreement may include penalties for breaking any of the terms, even the agreement itself could be voided should a member break the agreed upon rules.

With a republican form of government, the people make the rules for the government, not the other way around. Once a hired servant administering according to the agreed upon regulations exceeds his/her mandate, a violation occurs.

In commercial associations, this is considered contract law, and is regulated by the commercial / equitable / colorable law jurisdiction. When a government is chartered, it is established according to common law, and the government 'corporation' and its officers are strictly regulated by the people who chartered it and to whom the government employees are beholden. To prevent the government corporation from abusing its powers (as history has been replete with examples), the US Constitution explicitly spelled out what those duties were and how they were to be 'powered.' It should be noted that the primary purpose of the government corporations, whether city, county, state or national, was the preservation of the lives, liberty, property, and 'pursuit of happiness' of the common people. A system of electing representatives and structure of government was established to balance powers, to prevent an easy take-over of the nation, with many checks and balances.

The 'glue' that holds this republic together is the collective integrity of keeping our word. Our signature, our promises, our consent, our honor -- our word. Which is why the honor and integrity of our government employees and officers must be held to the highest standard, for to put so much trust in persons in seats of power is a risk very great. We are the sovereigns, our association is by agreement according to the terms of those agreements. Should the servant attempt to become the master by changing the rules, the master does not have to surrender. He may have to fight off a mob. But what is the alternative? It is a big responsibility, but there it is.

Ronw13, OR
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  • Reply
    Ronw13, OR    3/20/18

    " It will be the solemn duty of the State Governments to protect their own authority over their own militia, and to interpose between their citizens and arbitrary power. These are among the objects for which the State Governments exist; and their highest obligations bind them to the preservation of their own rights and the Liberties of their own people."
    Daniel Webster, Dec 9th 1814
    "That the general government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism, since the discretion of those who administer the government, and not the constitution, would be the measure of their powers; that the several States which formed that instrument, being Sovereign and Independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infractions; and that a positive defiance of those Sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done or attempted to be done under color of that instrument, is the Rightful Remedy."
    1859 statement Wisconsin Supreme Court.


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