"Nullification in Vermont," Louisville (KY) Journal, December 11, 1850, p. 2.
Louisville (KY) Journal
Nullification in Vermont
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
NULLIFICATION IN VERMONT.-- The act of Congress passed at its last session and known as the fugitive slave law, by its sixth section authorizes the judge or commissioner before whom the fugitive when arrested is brought to determine the case in a summary manner, and also provides that "the certificates in this and the first section mentioned shall be conclusive of the right of the person or persons in whose favor granted to remove such fugitive to the State or Territory from which he escaped, and shall prevent all molestation of such person or persons, by any process issued by any court, judge, magistrate, or any other person whomsoever."
The Legislature of Vermont, at its late session, passed an act giving those "inhabitants" of that State arrested as fugitive slaves the benefit of the habeas corpus, and of every possible legal defense. The act gives the circuit judges, as well as the judges of the Supreme court of that State the power of issuing this writ, and makes it the duty of the State's attorneys, in the several counties, to apply to either class of judges, in case the arrest of any inhabitant as a fugitive slave occurs, when the judge applied to shall issue the writ, returnable to his court, when in session, or to any judge of either court during vacation. If under this writ, issued during the vacation by any judge, the person arrested as a fugitive be not discharged, he is entitled to an appeal to the next term of the county court. The court to which an appeal is made, or to which the writ was originally made returnable, is directed, upon the application of either part interested, to allow a trial by jury of all the facts at issue between the parties.
The act of the Vermont Legislature is in direct conflict with the late law of Congress, and is intended evidently as a nullification of that law. If declared valid by the courts of that State and carried into effect, it will subject every judge and every officer that enforces it to the penalties provided by the act of Congress. Vermont should hereafter be classed with South Carolina, and be known and stigmatized as one of the nullification States of the Union. NULLIFIERS! How do the citizens of Vermont, the "law abiding" New-Englanders, like the title?