Jackson, William
Autograph Letter Signed, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, January 12, 1833 to David Potts Jr., United States Congress, Washington, D.C.

quarto, 3 pages of a bi-folium, formerly folded, in very good legible condition, two holes due to careless opening, postal markings on integral address leaf, else very good.

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Touches on the Tariff resolution and its effects to South Carolina and the pecuniary effects of Nullification:

"Respected Friend,

The Tariff Resolution proposed by Petrekin was before the Senate today and elicited considerable discussion. It seems to be the general opinion here that the present session of Congress is not a proper time to act upon the subject. And it is one of those cases which peculiarly requires caution and circumspection before any decisive measures are adopted that will go to change the policy of the country. Tho' the present tariff is not the best that is possible it would be a less evil to maintain it with all its imperfections than to adopt a changeable policy. But if the state of feeling and sentiment throughout the United States are such that the Tariff cannot be held steady as it now is: it is undoubtedly our interest to place it as soon as circumstances will admit upon a basis that is not likely to be shaken. The people would then accommodate their business to suit the new state of things and altho' many interests would be injured for a season, a few years would place the business of the community in settled and regular channels- and then we should prosper I think as well as if the Tariff was continued without diminution. Perhaps upon this subject we differ in judgment as I have never believed that the Tariff has been the principal cause of our present prosperity. Or that the low price and improved quality of manufactures have been produced by the duties that have been imposed on them. I believe that with the protection afforded by the tariff of 1816 our manufactures would have grown with our growth and that the people at large would have been as well provided with the necessaries and comfort of life as they have been under the operation of the high duties imposed by later acts. I cannot therefore but regret that those acts have been passed and that so large a portion of the Union should have been induced thereby to consider the Union of the States as a loss to them in a pecuniary point of view.  The ill effects of this feeling coupled as it is by an opinion entertained by the people of the South that the Northern States are desirous of being profited at their expense - cannot now be estimated. It may lead to the most deplorable consequences if the people of the North show themselves obstinately bent upon resisting all approaches to a compromise. - I am not now alarmed at the position South Carolina has assumed with the principles of nullification I feel disposed to make no compromise. But I am averse to assuming a tone and position that will exasperate the rest of the Southern States and drive them into a coalition arrayed in opposition to their Brethren of the North. Hence I conclude that a tone of conciliation and a disposition to compromise ought now to be the order of the day, but that any attempt to legislate on the subject of the Tariff should be postponed to the next Congress. - Matters will not suffer much by remaining as they are another year, and perhaps by that time the mad scheme of Nullification will be [abandone]d - if indeed the design has ever been seriously [enter]tained of carrying it into full effect of which [I] have some doubts. These sentiments prevail to some extent here but I am apprehensive that the majority will be in favour of some flaming and uncompromising resolutions, that if they have any effect will do mischief -    ..."