The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Andrew Jackson didn't say it

Under the heading of correction of ignorance (sc, your humble blogger's), I see that Wikipedia claims that Jackson did not, in response to the SCOTUS decision in Worcester v Georgia, say
John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!

What he actually said, it says, was
the decision of the supreme court has fell still born, and they find that they cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate.

It explains
because of a legal loophole, he had no grounds for becoming involved unless the Georgia courts formally defied the Supreme Court. That did not happen, since Georgia simply ignored the ruling.

Which hardly seems satisfactory. But I'm more interested in standing up the words alleged to have been used.

There is a collection A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents which covers Presidents from Washington to McKinley (and TR to the end of the 57th Congress). But - no surprise - the mot is not there.

The Wikipedia piece quotes a dead-tree tome by a guy called Prucha. Online, it's a dead end.


William Seward did say
But there is a higher law than the Constitution
though - or so it seems.

[It's on p14 of this copy of the full speech (PDF).]

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