“HOW IS THE SOUTH TO REDRESS ITSELF?? BY CIVIL WAR?”: FIRST EDITIONS OF LANGDON CHEVES’ OCCASIONAL REVIEWS I-III, ISSUED PRIOR TO HIS STATE’S 1832 ORDINANCE OF NULLIFICATION THAT SPARKED ANDREW JACKSON’S PROCLAMATION ASSERTING FEDERAL RULE
[CHEVES, Langdon]. Occasional Reviews. No. I. WITH: Occasional Reviews. No. II. WITH: Occasional Reviews. No. III. Charleston (South Carolina): J.S. Burges, 1832. Three volumes. Slim octavo, original printed self-wrappers, stitched as issued, uncut and partially unopened. $1200.
First edition of Southern statesman Cheves’ three major anti-nullification works—Occasional Reviews, Nos I-III—exceptional evidence of the deep divide in South Carolina’s anger over federal authority, each issued prior to the state’s Ordinance of Nullification that triggered Andrew Jackson’s legendary Proclamation enforcing a united republic, scarce in original uncut wrappers.
South Carolina statesman Langdon Cheves, who served as Speaker of the House of the 13th Congress and in 1819 as president of the Second Bank of the United States (BUS), returned to his native state in 1829 to seek “a private life out of the limelight, in part because his strong opposition to nullification proved unpopular with many state leaders” (ANB). As evidenced by these scarce three first editions of Cheves’ Occasional Reviews, issued prior to his state’s call for nullification in its November 1832 Ordinance, he strongly opposes “nullification mainly on the ground of expediency. His proposal was to take measures to secure the union of the Southern States, and to do nothing without their co-operation; for resistance by a single State would be abortive. The question, he said, was a great Southern question” (Houston, Critical Study, 139-140). Here Cheves asks why South Carolina should stand alone among the Southern States in demanding nullification. He cites Jefferson and counsels restraint, warning: “The South is in danger— In danger from its own factions as well as from the common oppressor? Why so unnecessarily adopt a measure which from its very nature necessarily loosens the foundations of your Government?” (I:18; III:25). Ultimately Andrew Jackson forcefully countered South Carolina’s November 1832 Ordinance of Nullification with his legendary December Proclamation asserting federal authority. In 1850, in Cheves’ famed address to the Nashville Convention, he continued to advocate “united resistance against the North but opposed separate state action as unwise and impractical” (ANB). Cheves died in 1857, before the outbreak of Civil War. Turnbull II:261. Sabin 56630. With small publication dates inked above title pages.
Text fresh with only light scattered fozing. A scarce and highly desirable pre-Civil War series in near-fine condition.