History Timeline 1830s

Photo above: Independence Rock on the Oregon Trail. First mentioned by Parker in 1835, and carries an inscription on the rock with the names of early trappers and explorers. Photo William H. Jackson, circa 1870. Right: Painting by Percy Moran, 1912, reflects the intensity of the battle of the Alamo. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

Alamo

U.S. Timeline - The 1830s

Conquering the West



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  • Timeline

  • 1833 - Detail

    March 1, 1833 - The United States Congress passed a compromise tariff act in response to South Carolina's objections. The state of South Carolina subsequently withdrew the Nullification Ordinance upon its approval.

    March 2, 1833 - The Force Bill is signed by President Andrew Jackson, which would authorize him to use troops to enforce Federal law in South Carolina, if necessary.

    South Carolina and Secession


    Despite President Jackson's actions, both rhetoric and military, in December 1832 to respond to South Carolina's Nullification Act of the month before, South Carolina continued to defy the federal government. Many thought a military confrontation would be the solution to the crises; others considered a reduction in the tariff as a better solution.


    The Federal Response Continues


    Jackson, himself, would not back down, issuing his Force Bill message to Congress on January 16, 1833. The bill would double down on his attempts to enforce the existing tariff laws of the federal government and keep civil order in South Carolina. At the same time, Congress pursued a new tariff bill. It would reduce tariffs back to 1816 levels, but keep a protectionist stance. Governor Haynes, in South Carolina, saw that as progress, postponing the implementation of nullification by the February 1 date.

    The bills began to move through Congress, twinned to protect the acts of the federal government and appease South Carolina. The Compromise Tariff Bill passed the House, 119-85, the Senate 29-16. The Force Act passed the House, 149-48, the Senate 32-1 with numerous abstentions.

    The South Carolina legislature would accept the Compromise Tariff and nullify the Nullification Act on March 11, 1833. It would nullify the Force Act symbolically. By the end of this crises, its seeds were firmly sown for the discontent that would lead to war at Fort Sumter (image below) in 1861. President Jackson wrote that fact, in eloquent foreshadow on May 1, 1833. "the tariff was only a pretext, and disunion and southern confederacy the real object. The next pretext will be the negro, or slavery question."



    The Force Act 1833, Text


    An Act further to provide for the collection of duties on imports.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That whenever, by reason of unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages of persons, it shall become impracticable, in the judgment of the President, to execute the revenue laws, and collect the duties on imports in the ordinary way, in any collection district, it shall and may be lawful for the President to direct that the custom-house for such district be established and kept in any secure place within some port or harbour of such district, either upon land or on board any vessel; and, in that case, it shall be the duty of the collector to reside at such place, and there to detain all vessels and cargoes arriving within the said district until the duties imposed on said cargoes, by law, be paid in cash, deducting interest according to existing laws; and in such cases it shall be unlawful to take the vessel or cargo from the custody of the proper officer of the customs, unless by process from some court of the United States; and in case of any attempt otherwise to take such vessel or cargo by any force, or combination, or assemblage of persons too great to be overcome by the officers of the customs, it shall and may be lawful for the President of the United States, or such person or persons as he shall have empowered for that purpose, to employ such part of the land or naval forces, or militia of the United States, as may be deemed necessary for the purpose of preventing the removal of such vessel or cargo, and protecting the officers of the customs in retaining the custody thereof.

    SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the jurisdiction of the circuit courts of the United States shall extend to all cases, in law or equity, arising under the revenue laws of the United States, for which other provisions are not already made by law; and if any person shall receive any injury to his person or property for or on account of any act by him done, under any law of the United States, for the protection of the revenue or the collection of duties on imports, he shall be entitled to maintain suit for damage therefor in the circuit court of the United States in the district wherein the party doing the injury may reside, or shall be found. And all property taken or detained by any officer or other person under authority of any revenue law of the United States, shall be irrepleviable, and shall be deemed to be in the custody of the law, and subject only to the orders and decrees of the courts of the United States having jurisdiction thereof. And if any person shall dispossess or rescue, or attempt to dispossess or rescue, any property so taken or detained as aforesaid, or shall aid or assist therein, such person shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall be liable to such punishment as is provided by the twenty-second section of the act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States, approved the thirtieth day of April, Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and ninety, for the wilful obstruction or resistance of officers in the service of process.

    SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That in any case where suit or prosecution shall be commenced in a court of any state, against any officer of the United States, or other person, for or on account of any act done under the revenue laws of the United States, or under colour thereof, or for or on account of any right, authority, or title, set up or claimed by such officer, or ther person under any such law of the United States, it shall be lawful for the defendant in such suit or prosecution, at any time before trial, upon a petition to the circuit court of the United States, in and for the district in which the defendant shall have been served with process, setting forth the nature of said suit or prosecution, and verifying the said petition by affidavit, together with a certificate signed by an attorney or counsellor at law of some court of record of the state in which such suit shall have been commenced, or of the United States, setting forth that, as counsel for the petitioner, he has examined the proceedings against him, and has carefully inquired into all the matters set forth in the petition, affidavit and certificate, shall be presented to the said circuit court, if in session, and if not, to the clerk thereof, at his office, and shall be filed in said office, and the cause shall thereupon be entered on the docket of said court, if the suit were commenced in the court below by summons, to issue a writ of certiorari to the state court, requiring said court to send to the said circuit court the record and proceedings in said cause; or it it were commenced by capias, he shall issue of writ of habeas corpus cum causa, a duplicate of which said write shall be delivered to the clerk of the state court, or left at his office by the marshal of the district, or his deputy, or some person duly authorized thereto; and, thereupon it shall be the duty of the said state court to stay all further proceedings in such cause, and the said suit or prosecution, upon delivery of such process, or leaving the same as aforesaid, shall be deemed and taken to be moved to the said circuit court, and any further proceedings, trial or judgment therin in the state court, shall be wholly null and void. And if the defendent in any such suit be in actual custody on mesne process therein, it shall be the duty of the marshal, by virtue of the writ of habeas corpus cum causa, to take the body fo the defendent into his custody, to be dealt with in the said cause according to the rules of law and the order of the circuit court, or af any judge thereof, in vacation. And all attachments made and all bail and other security given upon such suit, or prosecution had proceeded to final judgment and execution in the state court. And if, upon the removal of any such suit, or prosecution, it shall be made to appear to the said circuit court that no copy of the record and proceedings therein, in the state court, can be obtained, it shall be lawful said circuit court to allow and require the plaintiff to proceed de novo, and to file a declaration of his cause of action, and the parties may thereupon proceed as in actions originally brought in said circuit court; and on failure of so proceeding, judgment on non pros. may be rendered against the plaintiff with costs for the defendent.

    SEC. 4. And be if further enacted, That in any case which any party is, or may be by law, entitled to copies of the record and proceedings in any suit or prosecution in any state court, to be used in any court of the United States, if the clerk of said state court shall, upon demand, and the payment or tender of the legal fees, refuse or neglect to deliver to such party certified copies of such record and proceedings, the court of the United States in which such record and proceedings may be needed, on proof, by affidavit, that the clerk of such state court has refused or neglected to deliver copies thereof, on demand as aforesaid, may direct and allow such record to be supplied by affadavit, or otherwise, as the circumstances of the case may require and allow; and, thereupon, such proceeding, trial, and judgment, may be had in the said court of the United States, and all such processes awarded, as if certified copies of such records and proceedings had been regularly before the said court.

    SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That whenever the President of the United States shall be officially informed, by the authorities of any state, or by a judge of any circuit or district court of the United States, in the state, that, within the limits of such state, any law or laws of the United States, or the execution thereof, or of any process from the courts of the United States, is obstructed by the employment of military force, or by any other unlawful means, too great to be overcome by the ordinary course of judicial proceeding, or by the powers vested in the marshal by existing laws, it shall be lawful for him, the President of the United States, forthwith to issue his proclamation, declaring such fact or information, and requiring all such military and other force forthwith to disperse; and if at any time after issuing such proclamation, any such opposition or obstruction shall be made, in the manner or by the means aforesaid, the President shall be, and hereby is, authorized, promptly to employ such means to suppress the same, and to cause the said laws or process to be duly executed, as are authorized and provided in the casese therein mentioned by the act of the twenty-eight of February, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, entitled "An act to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, repel invasions, and to repeal the act now in force for that purpose;" and also, by the act of the third of March, one thousand eight hundred and seven, entitled "An act authorizing the employment of the land and naval forces of the United States in cases of insurrection."

    SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That in any state where the jails are not allowed to be used for the imprisonment of persons arrested or committed under the laws of the United States, or where houses are not allowed to be so used, it shall and may be lawful for any marshal, under the direction of the judge of the United States for the proper district, to use other convenient places, within the limits of said state, and to make such other provision as he may deem expedient and necessary for that purpose.

    SEC. 7. Ant be if further enacted, That either of the justices of the Supreme Court, or a judge of any district court of the United States, in addition to the authority conferred by law, shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases of a prisoner or prisoners, in jail or confinement, where he or they shall be committed or confined on, or by any authority or law, for any act done, or omitted to be done, in pursuance of a law of the United States, or any order, process, or decree, of any judge or court thereof, any thing in any act of Congress to the contrary notwithstanding. And if any person or persons to whom such writ of habeas corpus may be directed, shall refuse to obey the same, or shall neglet or refuse to make return, or shall make a false return thereto, in addition to the rememdies already given by law, he or they shall be deemed and taken to be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, on conviction before any court of competent jurisdiction, be punished by fine, not exceeding one thousand dollars, and by imprisonment, not exceeding six months, or by either, according to the nature and aggravation of the case.

    SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the several provisions contained in the first and fifth sections of this act, shall be in force until the end of the next session of Congress, and no longer.

    APPROVED, March 2, 1833.

    The Compromise Tariff Act 1833, Text


    An act to modify the act of the 14th of July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, and all other acts imposing duties on imports.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, that from and after the thirty-first day of December, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-three, in all cases where duties are imposed on foreign imports, by the act of the fourteenth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, entitled "An act to alter and amend the several acts imposing duties on imports," or by an other act, shall exceed twenty per centum on the value thereof, one tenth part of such excess shall be deducted; from and after the thirty-first day of DCecember, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-five, another tenth part thereof shall be deducted; from and after the thirty-first day of December, on thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine, another tenth part thereof shall be deducted; and from and after the thirty-first day of December, one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, one half of the reside (residue) of such excess shall be deducted; and from and after the thirtieth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and forty-two, the other half thereof shall be deducted.

    SEC. 2. And be if further enacted, That so much of the second section of the act of the fourteenth of July aforesaid, as fixes the rate of duty on all milled and fulled cloth, known by the names of plains, kerseys, or kendal cottons, of which wool is the only material, the value whereof does not exceed thirty-five cents a square yard, at five per centum ad valorem, shall be, and the same is hereby, repealed. And the said articles shall be subject to the same duty of fifty per centum, as if provided by the said second section for other manufacturers of wool; which duty shall be liable to the same deductions as are prescribed by the first section of this act.

    SEC. 3. And be if further enacted, That, until the thirtieth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and forty-two, the duties imposed by existing laws, as modified by this act, shall remain and continue to be collected. And from and after the day last aforesaid, all duties upon imports shall be collected in ready money; and all credits now allowed by law, in the payment of duties, shall be, and hereby are abolished; and such duties shall be laid for the purpose of raising such revenue as may be necessary to an economical administration of the government; and from and after the day last aforesaid, the duties required to be paid by law on goods, wares, and merchandise, shall be assessed upon the value thereof at the port where the same shall be entered, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.

    SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That, in addition to the articles now exempt by the act of the fourteenth of July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, and the existing laws, from the payment of duties, the following articles imported from and after the thirty-first day of December, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-three, and until the thirtieth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and forty-two, shall also (be) admitted to entry, free from duty, to wit: bleached and unbleached linens, table-linen, linen napkins, and linen cambries, and worsted stuff goods, shawls, and other manufacturers of silk shall be the component material of chief value, coming from this side of the Cape of Good Hope, except sewing silk.

    SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That from and after the said thirtieth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and forty-two, the following articles shall be admitted to entry, free from duty, to wit: indigo, quick-silver, sulphur, crude salpetre, grindstones, refined borax, emory, opium, tin in plates and sheets, gum Arabic, gum Senegal, lac dye, madder, madder root, nuts and berries used in dyeing, saffron, turmeric, woad or pastel, aloes, ambergris, Burgundy pitch, cochineal, chamomile flowers, coriander seed, catsup, chalk, cocculus indicus, horn plates for lanterns, ox horns, other horns and tips, india-rubber, manufactured ivory, juniper berries, musk, nuts of all kinds, oil of juniper, unmanufactured rattans and reeds, tortoise shell, tin foil, shellac, vegetables used principally in dyeing and composing dyes, weld, and all articles employed chiefly for dyeing, except allum, copperas, bichromate of potash, prussiate of potash, chromate of potash, and nitrate of lead, aqua fortis, and tartaric acid.

    SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That so much of the act of the forteenth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, or of any other act, as is inconsistent with this act, shall be, and the same is hereby, repealed: Provided, That nothing hereine contained shall be so construed as to prevent the passage, prior or subsequent to the said thirtieth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and forty-two, of any act or acts, from time to time, that may be necessary to detect, prevent, or punish evasions of the duties on imports imposed by law, nor to prevent the passage of any act, prior to the thirtieth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and forty-two, in the contingency either of excess or deficiency of revenue, altering the rates of duties on articles which, by the aforesaid act of forteenth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, are subject to a less rate of duty, and so as to adjust the revenue to either of the said contingencies.

    APPROVED, March 2, 1833.

    Photo above: Scene in two parts of the secession movements in South Carolina, 1832 with President Jackson standing strong for the Union and 1864 General McClellan shown as weak toward the south. Lithograph 1864 by Louis Prang and Company. Photo below: Lithograph of Fort Sumter. Images courtesy Library of Congress. Info Source: Wikipedia Commons; Yale Law School, The Avalon Project, Document of Law, History, and Diplomacy; Teachinghistory.org; Library of Congress. A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875. Statutes at Large, 22nd Congress, 2nd Session.


    Fort Sumter, South Carolina





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