Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “This shows that serious men who were in the framing of the Constitution and the ratification discussions and debates, who were also elected to the first couple congresses there, who remained and retained important statuses in the early federal government all agreed that a disunion [secession] was possible. Not one of them raised a legal opposition to it. Not one of them threw up the Constitution and went: No, this is a blob. You can’t ever leave. Not one of them sang an early rendition of Hotel California: You can check in any time you like but you can never leave.” Check out today’s Clip of The Day AND exclusive transcript brought to you by The Founders Pass…
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Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Some of you have suggested in the last couple weeks here that one of the ways out of this quagmire may be secession. I know the “S” word is not supposed to be mentioned in polite company. It’s not supposed to be mentioned amongst serious people because [mocking] “Nobody seriously thinks.” Well, you should start seriously thinking. It’s not a cure-all. It doesn’t cure our societal woes. It may help to cure some of the excesses of our out-of-scale governmental institutions, and I think it will, but that is at least, in my mind anyway, should be cautious about what you think it will do. It does go a long way towards doing that.
What I mean by that is if one congressional district where a member of Congress represents almost 800,000 people — some districts almost 900,000, and it will get to a million by 2020 it’s predicted. Basically a member of Congress cannot be a representative in any thoughtful or meaningful way. What do they do? They sell their services to the highest bidder, that’s what they do. Why do you think they spend $4 trillion a year? To get the representation back to where it ought to be, between 30,000 and 50,000 — James Madison suggested 40,000; George Mason suggested 30,000 — getting the representation back into scale would require smaller federal polities, smaller federal entities.
What is the great fear of this? Why are people so horrified and mortified of this? When they think [mocking] “It can’t happen. Lincoln outlawed secession on the planet.” Yeah, sure he did. Number two, [mocking] “That Constitution, it’s an irrevocable deal. You can’t get out of it. Lincoln proved that.” No, he didn’t. I am working on a project that will be available to you in the next week or so. It is a mini biography of John Taylor of Caroline County, who was, as Kevin Gutzman calls him, the brains of the operation. He was the philosopher king of the Virginia gentry, if you will. Five of the first six presidents were Virginians, right? Taylor was eminent amongst these men. He was, I think, the most profound republican thinker of his day. Taylor was involved in all of the formative affairs of the early part of the union.
Here’s one that few historians even know happened. The reason they don’t know is because there were sparse records kept. They didn’t have printing presses and internet media the way that we do today in the early days of Congress. Number two, the only written record of what I’m about to share with you was a letter, or some call it a pamphlet, a small publication that was sent by Taylor to little Jimmy Madison in 1794. This is after Taylor had spent some time serving as Virginia’s senator. I believe he was called up because William Grayson died in office, the great Colonel Grayson.
There are four men that are mentioned in this that were in the Philadelphia Convention that framed the Constitution. All four of them realized the gravity of what it is they’re discussing in 1794 in Congress. Three of them decide that the solution is disunion. The fourth says I don’t think you should do that, but he doesn’t say that they can’t do it. Do I have your attention and your interest now?
So Taylor stumbles upon this controversy that has arisen over the plan to assume the debts of the states. The plan has already gone into effect and now Hamilton is working on his report on manufacturers and he has all sorts of other things planned. This is what causes some in the New England delegations to propose a — the title of the pamphlet is “Disunion Sentiment in Congress in 1794.” How could Lincoln then make something illegal that was legal to the men that framed and ratified the Constitution? Albert Taylor Bledsoe didn’t even know this letter existed because Jimmy Madison took it with him to his grave. He told Dolley: You can publish it upon my death but be very discreet about it. Madison knew what was contained in that letter would provide some with the legality or the inspiration to say: Hey, that’s one way to deal with these problems, disunion or secession.
If you read this pamphlet, it is impossible to conclude anything other than — there are four members of the convention that framed the Constitution that are mentioned in this when I publish this in a week or so. It’s very short. It’s only four pages long, the whole pamphlet. There are four men that are mentioned in this that were in the Philadelphia Convention that framed the Constitution. All four of them realized the gravity of what it is they’re discussing in 1794 in Congress. Three of them decide that the solution is disunion. The fourth says I don’t think you should do that, but he doesn’t say that they can’t do it. Do I have your attention and your interest now? This is a previously unknown, to most people, little piece of history here. It was published one time that I can find and that was in 1905 in a very obscure publication today, “The Historical Society of Randolph Macon,” I want to say. I’m just going to tease you with just a snippet of this. You’ll have to wait till it comes out to get the rest.
Besides the western people would be better pleases, & more essentially benefited—the general belief now existing, that the lands are held up, tho’ devoted by law to this object, to give great land jobbers an opportunity to sell, and to enable them by legislative intrigues and corruption, to push their speculations beyond the Ohio, would be gratified—and the frauds in the imposition of taxes, dictated by local interests, would be rendered unnecessary. But K. [Rufus King] would not agree to any thing of this kind—he said that there were other essential subjects of difference between the extremities of the union, besides the debt. That they never had and never would think alike. That M. [James Madison] whose conduct he had narrowly watched, particularly on the committee of ways & means, had some deep & mischievous design—that tho’ he should be of opinion to disband the army after this year yet he would allow no money for carrying on the indian war, but leave it to support itself—that he would not consent to open the land office—and that in short he saw no remedy but a dissolution of the union.
Mike: Taylor wrote that and sent it to Madison. Madison realized the gravitas of the document, squirreled it away in his papers, and there it sat until Dolley Madison handed it to some relative of Edmund Randolph, who kept it under lock and key and forgot about it. It wasn’t discovered until around 1900. Then you had to go through this manuscript. I’ve seen the manuscript with Taylor’s handwriting. I can’t read it. I sat there for a day and a half trying to get the first paragraph and I still couldn’t read it. It took the author of this pamphlet two and a half years of forensic work in 1903 and 1904 to publish this in 1905. That’s how long it took him and his team at the university to decipher what was in the handwritten copy and then turn it into text. As I say, it’s only been published one time.
This shows that serious men who were in the framing of the Constitution and the ratification discussions and debates, who were also elected to the first couple congresses there, who remained and retained important statuses in the early federal government all agreed that a disunion was possible. Not one of them raised a legal opposition to it. Not one of them threw up the Constitution and went: No, this is a blob. You can’t ever leave. Not one of them sang an early rendition of Hotel California: You can check in any time you like but you can never leave. That’s probably why Madison did not ever publish, or told Taylor not to publish that. Madison wanted to see his handiwork carry on. Listen to my Fame of Our Fathers on 3-CD set for reasons why Madison may have wanted that.
End Mike Church Show Transcript