S. S. Gregory


Probably most well informed persons of the present generation associate the notion, once maintained, that a state might secede or nullify an act of Congress, with the South and its earlier statesmen. And it is time that the resolutions drawn substantially by Jefferson and adopted by the Legislature of Kentucky in 1798, and similar resolutions drafted by Madison and adopted by the General Assembly of Virginia in the same year, together with some similar and more explicit declarations by the Legislature of the former state in 1799, seem to furnish some warrant for this impression. Yet it seems to be well authenticated that the first real efforts to secede were made in New England; while the first formal and definite effort at nullification under solemn judicial sanction was made by the State of Wisconsin in the historic controversy to which I shall, on this occasion, particularly refer.