Milledgeville, Nov. 25, 1831
To the Senate and House of Representatives
I submit to the General Assembly, for its consideration, copies of two communications received yesterday, purporting to be signed by Henry Baldwin, Esq. one of the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, and to be citations to the State of Georgia, to appear in the Supreme Court on the second Monday in January next, to shew (sic) cause before that tribunal, why two several judgments should not be set aside, which have lately been rendered in the Superior Court for the county of Gwinnett, against Samuel A. Worcester and Elizur Butler, for a violation of an existing law of the State, committed within its jurisdictional limits. Also, a copy of a notice, purporting to be signed by Wm. Wirt and John Sergeant, as counsel for S. A. Worcester and Elizur Butler, informing me of an intended application to the Supreme Court, for a hearing of writs of error filed by those persons.
The obvious objects of the proceedings to which this notice and these citations relate, is to call in question, an attempt to overthrow, that essential jurisdiction of the State, in criminal cases, which has been vested by our Constitution, in the Superior Courts of the several counties of this State.
My respect for the Supreme Court of the United States, as a fundamental department of the Federal Government, induces me to indulge the earnest hope, that no mandate will ever proceed from that court, attempting or intending to control one of the sovereign States of the Union, in the free exercise of its constitutional, criminal, or civil jurisdiction. 'The powers not delegated by the Constitution to the United States, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively.' Such a control over our criminal jurisdiction as these proceedings indicate, it is believed has never been delegated to the United States, and consequently cannot be acquiesced in or submitted to.
Any attempt to infringe the evident right of the State to govern the entire population within its territorial limits, and to punish all offenses committed against it laws, within those limits (due regard being had to the cases expressly excepted by the Constitution of the United States), would be usurpation of a power never granted by the States; and such an attempt, whenever made, will challenge the most determined resistance, and, if persevered in, will evidently eventuate in the annihilation of our beloved country.
In exercising the authority of that department of the Government which devolves on me, I will disregard all unconstitutional requisitions, of whatever or origin they may be, and, to the best of my ability; will protect and defend the rights of the State, and use the means afforded me, to maintain its laws and constitution.
(Signed) WILSON LUMPKIN.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
To the State of Georgia- Greeting
You are hereby cited and admonished to be and appear at a Supreme Court of the United States, to be holden at Washington, on the Second Monday in January next, pursuant to a Writ of Error, filed in the Clerk's office of the Superior Court for the county of Gwinnett, in the State of Georgia, wherein Elizur Butler is plaintiff in Error, and the State of Georgia is Defendant in Error, to shew (sic) cause, if any there be, why judgment rendered against the said Writ of Error mentioned, should not be corrected, and why speedy justice should not be done to the parties in that behalf.
Witness the Hon. Henry Baldwin, one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, this 27th day of October, in the year of our Lord 1831.
(Signed) HENRY BALDWIN.
[The other citations, on the part of Samuel A. Worcester, is exactly similar to the above, except in the insertion of the name of Worcester, instead of Butler.]
Samuel A. Worcester, Plaintiff in Error,
The State of Georgia, Defendant in Error.
Elizur Butler, Plaintiff in Error,
The State of Georgia, Defendant in Error,
In the Supreme Court of the United States.
Sir: You are requested to take notice, that on the part of the Plaintiffs in these cases, application will be made to the Supreme Court of the United States, for a hearing at the next session, immediately at the expiration of sixty days from the delivery to your Excellency, of this notice.
Philadelphia, Nov. 10, 1831
(Signed) WM. WIRT,
a Counsel of S. A. Worcester and Elizur Butler.
To His Excellency, the Governor of the State of Georgia.