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Ask your naval heroes is they have not found that the sailors of the Southern are equal in strength, activity, courage, and hardihood to their Northern brethren? If they would not prefer the sailors of Louisiana to the natives of the frozen and barren regions of Labrador? If the improvement of our South American brethren keeps pace with the anticipation of the gentleman from Kentucky, their emancipation will create for us formidable rivals in agriculture, and powerful competitors for maritime superiority; a rivalry and competition Mr. F. would most cheerfully contribute to o: if it was to be succeeded by the establishment of civil, political, and reliious freedom in that unhappy land. We were, É. required to elevate our views to suturity; to consider that we were legislating for posterity; while it was admitted that at present we could not successfully vie in the markets of this new world with the manufacturers of Europe, the time was approaching when we should undersell the European manufacturers. Mr. F. did not believe this time would arrive during the resent century; he hoped it never would arrive. e should deeply deplore the arrival of that period at wo manufacturing establishments would be more profitable than the pursuits of agriculture. He wished the articles of first necessity to be fabricated here; beyond this his wishes did not extend. As to the present question, it was sufficient for the purposes of his argument to show, that we could not hope to partake largely of the golden profits of §§ American commerce, without a thorough change in the §. pursuits of the inhabitants of the United tates. A change neither desirable nor probable.
Splendid political consequences were anticipated from the expected change. The freedom of the commerce of the Mississippi—the safe navigation of the Gulf of Mexico—the power and effect we should derive, from being the head of a confederation of republics. In case of necessity, the new world of republics was to be arrayed .#. the old world of despotisms. In the event of European wars, we shall have powerful auxiliaries in the assertion of neutral rights. And was it really apprehended we should ever want aid to maintain the free commerce of the Mississippi or the Gulf of Mexico? these might be safely trusted to our gallant tars and the people of the West. Suppose this great change to have taken place. Overleap in imagination the progress of centuries, and see the United States connected with Republican Governments to the Southern extremity of the New World; the first, if you please, in wealth and power; overcoming the disadvantages of situation and climate, by her superior skill and superior industry. What superior advantages will the people enjoy that are not possessed by ourselves? Will they be more free, more happy, more virtuous, and less exposed to the danger of internal commotion and external violence? The power of the Government to destroy other nations would be increased; the power of the Government to promote the welfare of the people, the object for
Spanish American Provinces.
which it exists, would remain the same. Connected with people, active, intelligent, and jealous as ourselves, our rivals in commerce, in agriculture, in science, and in the freedom of their institutions; will these elements of strife be composed to harmony by the tender names of sister Republics 3 Men do not change their nature with their Governments? Brooding avarice, malignant revenge, daring ambition—will find their place under all forms of government, in all ages and in every clime. Mr. F. would not look further into the consequences which might be anticipated from the working of these passions among the affiliated nations. As in the days of ancient Greece, the ground of quarrel would be, who should be the first; and some Eastern Satrap might again be found, to foment the quarrels and distract the councils of the Western World. There was one remedy for these dangers; instead of many, but two Republics should be created of the North and South Americas. Mr. F. was not yet prepared to risk the happiness and the security of the people of the United States, by such a sublime but hazardous extension of their political system. Nations, like individuals, were, under God, the fabricators of their own fortunes. Of this nation this was undeniably true. We want no power which we cannot acquire, since we desire none but for our own protection. We ask no aid, since we will not invade the rights of others; to defend ours, our own strength is amply sufficient. We are free, independent, and happy, so long as the people are true to themselves. United, combined Europe would be arrayed against them in vain. No man need look beyond our own borders for the means of securing and perpetuating all that is valuable in life and liberty. In the assertion of neutral rights it was but too fashionable to look beyond our own resources; the experience of the late war satisfactorily demonstrated that it was unnecessary. It discovered to us, that aid was not to be sound where it was expected; it demonstrated that it was not required. He rejoiced that that contest was commenced and terminated without an ally, and he most heartily thanked the English Government for refusing the proffered mediation of the Emperor of all the Russias. The obligation of that offer would weigh upon his spirit, had not the load been removed by the nonchalance with which the refusal of the other Power had been received, and the equivocal treatment experienced by our Ministers from the Court of St. Petersburg. ... We want no aid and no ally for asserting any of our rights The experience of the late contest was not less useful to ourselves than to others; it taught them, too, the secret of our power;-trust to its effect; the impression was deep, and the remembrance will be lasting. Mr. F. would not press this inquiry, lest he should be suspected of desiring to produce a wish that Spanish America should remain dependent. All he desired was, by bringing other objects into view, to save the Committee from the seducing enthusiasm of the Speaker. If the question of Spanish American independence depended upon our selfish con
siderations of interest, it never would be achieved. If we were governed by the ordinary policy of nations, we should desire the re-establishment of the Spanish power, since it impeded the progress of our neighbors, and left us undisputed masters of the world of western enterprise. But our policy was as liberal as our institutions. We looked anxiously for the emancipation and improvement of the Spanish Americans, however formidable their competition and dangerous their rivalship. We desired it for their good, and not for our advantage. That the United States had a right to acknowledge any Government, was a political axiom. That it was our duty to recognise the Government of La Plata, remains to be proved. If our interest and our honor require it; if it is demanded by our obligations to that Government, it was a duty. What interest have we in this independence, which should induce us, first amon the nations of the earth, to welcome this stranger Was it commercial 7 The fact that we had not more than twenty vessels in the commerce of La Plata, and that number diminishing, while the English had more than two hundred, was a proof of the extent of our commercial interest in this region of the world. Separated at a distance so remote, where was the political consideration to demand it from us? There was none. We are asked to do what France did for us. Mr. P. said, the United States had already done more, openly, for La Plata than France ever did for the nited States, prior to her determination to go to war with England. The United States were now in advance of all the nations of the earth, except the Government of Brazil, in kindness to Buenos Ayres. France, prior to the capture of Burgoyne, forbade her subjects to supply us with arms and munitions of war; would not suffer our vessels of war to enter her ports, but, according to the provisions of the Treaty of Utrecht, when driven in by stress of weather, and their stay was limited to the duration of the danger. We openly permit the exportation of every necessary for the use of the people of La Plata. Their vessels enjoy every privilege enjoyed by Spanish vessels, or the armed vessels of any other nation, in our harbors. We wish them success: they know it well; we do not conceal, of"affect to conceal, it from Spain. These privileges are denied them by all the Powers of Europe, or if granted, are yielded to them in secret by England. We have proclaimed a strict neutrality; regulated our conduct by the rule of the national law. “In civil wars foreigners are not to inter‘fere in the internal government of an indepen‘dent State. It belongs not to them to judge ‘ between the citizens whom discord has roused to arms, nor between a Prince and his subjects. “Both parties are equally foreigners to them, and ‘equally independent of their authority.” The circumstance to which the Speaker referred, if correctly stated, is the most certain evidence that our conduct has been consistent with our professions. ... We have pleased neither party, while more fortunate England has succeeded in pleasing.both parties. Honorable neutrality is never
grateful or pleasing to either of the belligerents: pretended neutrality and secret assistance is grateful to that Power to whom aid is given. England may have been artful enough to persuade Spain that her four hundred thousand pounds was intended for this purpose, while her secret supplies of arms have satisfied the United Provinces that England desired only to promote their success. Our duty cannot require us to do what is useless-what is calculated to confirm a charge made against us, of fomenting the disturbances in Spanish America; a charge to which probable evidence is already afforded by the expeditions of Miranda, of Carrera, of Mina; all of whom sailed from these States to their places of respective destination. It is the duty and the interest of England to stand forth as the protector or first friend of the new Government. She enjoys the fruits of their separation from the parent country; she fomented the quarrel. Then let her take the risk, as she will take the honor and the profits of the recognition of the new Power. Mr. F. was at a loss to conjecture why it had not already been done by England, unless she feared the undefined and undefinable obligations of the Holy League, or was content to reap the present profits, reserving to herself the power to secure the future, either by recognising the new people on favorable conditions, or by restoring them b her mediation to their former master, on conditions equally favorable to her commercial interest. At what risk, it may be asked, will this recognition be made 7 At the hazard of a war with Spain. The gentleman from Kentucky says it is not justifiable cause of war. Does he mean in the eye of reason, or in the opinion of nations? In the opinion of nations it certainly is justifiable cause of war; and it is not to be doubted, that, were situations reversed, such a recognition of the independence of one of these States of the Union—Louisiana, for example—by Spain, would be instantly followed by war. The Speaker seemed, indeed, to doubt the soundness of this position, as he pressed principally the want of ability in Spain to make war, not the deficiency of just motive for declaring it. That war would follow with England, should Spain venture upon a contest with us, Mr. F. did not believe. §. would have the most powerful motives for neutrality. The glorious opportunity of ruining our commerce would be afforded, and would be seized with avidity. . The increased expense of shi ments in American vessels would throw the whole of our trade into British bottoms, and our flag would be driven from the ocean, except where it floated over our public or private armed ships. Mr. F. would encounter this danger of a war with Spain, with all its consequences, for an adequate motive; but he would not, by hurrying to do an act useless at best, and which might hereafter be performed without hazarding anything. . At all events, he was unwilling to encounter it, until La Pláta had shown, by indisputable testimony, that she was independent, and had the power and the will to maintain it. Was there a free Government in La Plata, for
whose existence we ought to encounter any hazard 7 Was there a Government independent of Spain, and which could not be compelled by the ower or seduced by the cajolements of Spain, to its former vassalage? The character of the Government might be read in the history of its formation; in the changes which preceded it; and in acts since it was established. The disturbances in the Peninsula induced the Viceroy of Buenos Ayres (Cissneros) to call a Junta in May, 1810, composed of the officers of the Royal Government. In April, 1811, a new Government was formed by the inhabitants of the city of Buenos Ayres, having been called together for that purpose by the municipality of the city. This Government—which, like the other, was but a name for a new organization of the Regal power—was composed of three members and two secretaries. According to the El Estatuto, one member, exercising the Executive power, was to vacate his seat at the expiration of six months, and his place was to be supplied by election. The deputies of the municipalities of the provinces were to form the electoral college. The first assembly for the election of one of the members of the Executive authority met on the 5th day of April, 1812, and nominated Puerrydon for one member of the Government. o: proposed to form a constitution, but were dissolved by the existing authority— Puerrydon deriving no power from this nomination. The second assembly met on the 6th of October, 1813, and elected Medrano; but, pursuing the track of their predecessors, they met a similar fate. The municipality, people of the city, and troops, o: their measures, and the assembly was dissolved by military force. A meeting of the inhabitants of Buenos Ayres, Cabildo Abierto, was convened on the 8th day of October, 1812, and the administration was vested in Pena, Passo, and Johnte. Thus perished the first constitution, after existing twelve months, and being violated in all its provisions. In January, 1813, a new assembly met; the Constituyente, composed of deputies, nominated by the electoral colleges of the towns and cities of Rio de La Plata; the chief acts of the new assembly was the change of the title of the Government from Gobierno Superior, to Supremo Poder Executivo, and the decree of Freedom to the Children of Slaves. The same decree compelled a sale of every third male slave to be enrolled in the army, the price being a debt due to the owners by the State. In December, 1813, the government of those persons was annulled by the assembly, and Pozados was chosen Supreme Director, to give strength by concentrating the Executive powers. . . In January, 1815, Pozados having resigned, Alviar was appointed Supreme Director. In April, 1815, there was a new revolution. A meeting of the inhabitants of Buenos Ayres was convened, and the authority of Alviar and the Assembly disowned. The municipality was yested with the supreme command. The municipality formed a junto called É'êise. cion, by whom a new constitution was published. Rondeau was named Director, but, being in mil
itary command with the army, Colonel Alvarez, a ringleader in the revolt, was made his substitute. Alvarez convoked a Congress, but before it assembled he was dispossessed by another commotion of the power he held in the absence of Rondeau., Belcora was then appointed Supreme Director, but was soon after removed, and the administration placed in the hands of a committee. The Congress of Tucuman met in 1816, chose Puerrydon Supreme Director, and declared the independence of the Provinces of La Plata on the 3d of July; proposed to publish a manifesto, which was published in 1817, and to form a constitution that has not yet been matured. In this hasty sketch of the events which led to the establishment of the Government as it now existed, it must have occurred to the members of the Committee that there was no agency of the people in its organization, except the commotions in the city of Buenos Ayres; they seem to have been the idle spectators of the movements of the constituted authorities and the military. For aught that appeared, the ancient institutions below the head of the Government, remained as formerly. Mr. F. would not detail the accusations, trials, executions, and banishments, which were the consequences of these changes. That the people were not deeply interested in the successive changes, and did not appear to have derived essential benefits from them, was sufficiently obvious, and all he desired to establish. The conduct of Puerrydon to Carrera, since this declaration of independence, may serve further to illustrate the character of this new power. Carrera was a Chilian, the author of the revolution there ; in the decline of his fortune, he came to the United States, and after procuring resources for renewed efforts, returned to La Plata to execute his designs; he carried with him the hopes and good wishes of all the friends of freedom in the United States. Unfortunately, he expected assistance from La Plata, and sailed with confidence into her ports. An expedition having been prepared in La Plata, against Chili, instead of receiving aid from Carrera, in the deliverance of his country from slavery and oppression, the ostensible motive for this expedition, he was seized, imprisoned, and finally bonished; the only satisfaction he received is to be found in that part of Puerrydon's exposé that has been read by the Speaker, in which he deplores the rudeness which he has been compelled to show, so contrary to the politeness and urbanity of his own nature, and that of his Government. The motives for this course may be collected from the recent accounts from Chili. A letter of the 7th 9f October says, “More than eighty persons of ‘the first distinction have been seized and thrown ‘ into dungeons by the military, on the ground of ‘attachment to General Carrera, and the treas‘ures of Chili were exhausted by contributions ‘to Buenos Ayres, and the people of Chili are ‘ experiencing the benefits of that kind of deliv‘erance from the Royal Spaniards, by O'Hig‘gins and the army of Buenos Ayres, that France ‘has experienced under the Bourbons, supported
‘by the armies of Wellington and Alexander.” The power of Spain had not been exerted against this new Government—not a Spanish soldier or bayonet had been sent from Old Spain since the restoration of Ferdinand. Was the new Government possessed of the physical and moral strength to resist her efforts when they should be made 3 Gentlemen should not deceive themselves. Spain, inert and powerless as she was, was a formidable power to Spanish America, by the nature of the Government, and the superstition of its inhabitants. She had ample resources for the purchase of assistance, should she be driven to this resort. The time had not arrived when the Spanish Monarch asked himself the important question-What part of my dominions will I surrender for the preservation of the rest? When he is willing to make great sacrifices he can procure ample assistance. Those who sold him ships for money will sell him men for territory. His European territories may tempt Russia-his possessions in the West Indies, England–to assist him in the subjugation of his rebellious subjects. He may sell La Plata for Portugal, and the parties to the holy league may
uaranty their respective cessions to each other. §. we find in La Plata the unanimity, energy, and virtue, to resist such arrangements, where Province is arrayed against Province, under Puerrydon and Artegas, viewing each other with a hostility more deadly than the proverbially mutual hatred of Spaniard and Portuguese ?_A still more fatal course may be pursued. The King of Spain may choose to try persuasion, giving to England the promise of free commerce with the Spanish Main; may he not easily procure another mediation, the condition of which shall be the conditional return of La Plata to her dependent state 7 England knew well how to make such a mediation effectual. Let it not be said her honor forbids it, or her interest. Her interest is promoted by the commercial monopoly-such an arrangement will give. Her honor always bows obedient to the dictates of her commercial interest; if she should feel some qualms of conscience, the island of Cuba will calm her scruples. But has she ever promised more than to secure the commercial independence of Spanish America? What a contemptible figure should we make in the eyes of all mankind– how degraded in our opinions—if we should recognise La Plata, and the Government should ††, after voluntarily return to the Spanish yoke. That the Committee might not be deceived by the supposed, attachment felt by the new Government for the United States-by the profession of an anxious desire to follow our example, and imitate our virtue, Mr. F. would mention a few facts, at once illustrating the ardor of their attachment to the United States, and the justice and honor of the Government in its dealings with individuals. The American brig Savage, of Baltimore, sailed to Buenos Ayres with a cargo of military stores; they there sold them to Government, to be delivered in Chili. The voyage was performed; four months elapsed,
under various pretences, before the cargo was received, and after this delay the payment was made, not according to contract, but at the discretion of the Government. The owner was thus plundered of his property, and injured by this delay of his plunderers. The ship Enter. prise, of Philadelphia, Captain Coffin, was employed, by contract, to o three hundred exiles from Juan Fernandez to Valparaiso, from whence they had been formerly banished by the royal party. He was to have received $7,200. He performed his contract—restored the exiles to their country and their homes. After a detention of two months, he was paid $2,500—St. Martin, the Washington of America, as he is called, alleging that this was enough. In the armies of La Plata, English and French officers are employed without scruple; Americans seldom, if ever. Our countrymen do not suit their manners, opinions, or Government. Juett, formerly of the Army of the United States, and Kennedy, formerly of the marine corps, sought in Valparaiso, in 1817, commissions in the army of St. Martin. He suspected them of attachment to the Carreras, and threw them into a dungeon, and whence they were not released until the captain of a vessel, who procured their
liberation, entered into an engagement to take
them immediately from a soil they were deemed unworthy to tread. To judge of the character of the nation, from the cruelty and harshness, or injustice, of an individual, was not reasonable; but when that individual was the theme of universal admiration in his own country, it could not be considered as improper to make him the standard by which to estimate the opinions and character of his countrymen. Every arrival from this land of promise brings us the history of the oppressions of the existing Government, and the fearful forebodings of our countrymen, that the people, for whom our anxious wishes are hourly expressed, will derive no benefits from the change of their governors; that the Spanish power will be restored in all its rigor; or that the new authorities will ever be exercised with the same contempt of the principles of justice and of freedom, that distinguished the ancient tyranny. It might be urged, that this was newspaper information, derived from persons of doubtful authority. This objection was of the same force, in its application, to all the information possessed of that country. It was of such materials its history was composed. A powerful, an irresistible argument, to induce the Committee to refrain from the commission of an act of doubtful propriety, might be drawn from this source;
but Mr. F. would not trespass longer upon their
patience, exhausted as it must be, by attending to the long and animated address of the Speaker, and his own desultory reply,
When Mr. F. concluded his speech, the Committee rose, reported progress, and obtained leave to sit again, on the intimation of Mr. Lowndes, that he proposed to deliver his views of the subject.
And the House adjourned.
Thursday, March 26.
Mr. Poindexter, from the Committee on Private Land Claims, reported a bill for the relief of John Johnson, Henry Perry, Richard Cravat, and Beley Cheney, the legal representatives of John McGrew, and the legal representatives of John Turnbull; which were twice read, and committed. Mr. P., from the same committee, also reported a bill for the relief of James Mackay, of Missouri; which was twice read, and committed. The bill from the Senate for the relief of John Small, was ordered to be read a third time, and was "...of read a third time, and passed. On motion of Mr. TERRill, the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures were instructed to inquire into the expediency of granting the consent of Congress to an act passed by the Legislalature of the State of Georgia, allowing fees to the health officer and harbor-master for the port of Darien. On motion of Mr. J. S. Smith, the Committee on the Public Lands were instructed to inquire into the expediency of authorizing some other person than the President of the United States to sign patents for soldiers’ bounty lands. On motion of Mr. Floyd, the Secretary of the Navy was instructed to lay before this House the proceedings of the court martial held for the trial of Franklin Wharton, lieutenant colonel of marines. The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter from the Secretary of War, transmitting, according to the direction of the House, certain statements in relation to the expenses of general courts martial since the first of August, 1812; which was ordered to lie on the table. A message from the Senate informed the House that the Senate have passed bills of the following titles, to wit: An act for the relief of Cata Bunnell; An act concerning the bounty, or allowance, to fishing vessels, in certain cases; and, An act for the relief of Samuel Ward; in which bills they ask the concurrence of this House. The first of the said bills from the Senate was read twice, and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. The second of the said bills was read twice, and referred to the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures. The last of the said bills was read twice, and referred to the Committee on Pensions and Revolutionary Claims.
The following Message was received from the PREsident of the United STATEs: To the House of Representatives of the United States:
I transmit to the House of Representatives, in compliance with their resolution, of March the 20th, such information not heretofore communicated, as is in the possession of the Executive, relating to the occupation of Amelia Island. If any doubt had before existed of the improper conduct of the persons who authorized, and of those who were engaged in the invasion, and previous occupancy of that island; of the unfriendly
spirit towards the United States, with which it was commenced and prosecuted, and of its injurious effect on their highest interests, particularly by its tendency to compromit them with foreign Powers in all the unwarrantable acts of the adventurers, it is presumed that these documents would remove it. It appears, by the letter of M. Pazos, agent of Commodore Aury, that the o: of seizing the Floridas was formed and executed at a time when it was understood that Spain had resolved to cede them to the United States, and to prevent such cession from taking effect. The whole proceeding, in every stage and in all its circumstances, was unlawful. The commission to General McGregor was granted, at Philadelphia, in direct violation of a positive law, and all the measures pursued under it, by him, in collecting his force, and directing its movements, were equally unlawful. With the conduct of these persons, I have always been unwilling to connect any of the Colonial Governments; because I never could believe that they had given their sanction either to the project in its origin, or to the measures which were pursued in the execution of it. These documents confirm the opinion which I have invariably entertained and expressed in their favor. JAMES MONROE. Washington, March 26, 1818.
Extract of a letter to a gentleman in the listrict of Columbia, dated Baltimore, 30th July, 1817, with an enclosure, being— Copy of a letter from Sir Gregor McGregor, to a gentleman in Baltimore, dated Fernandina, 17th of July, 1817. The same to the same, dated at Nassau, New Providence, 25th of December, 1817, with an enclosure, being Extract of a Proclamation. Extract of a letter to the Secretary of State, dated 24th December, 1817, with an enclosure, being directions for sailing into Tampa Bay. Extract of a letter from the same to the same, dated 13th January, 1818, with enclosures, being directions for sailing into Tortola: Translation of a letter of Marque, and of Naturalization, granted by Sir Gregor McGregor. Extract of a letter to the same, dated 19th of January, 1818. Major J. Bankhead and Commodore J. D. Henley, to the President, dated Fernandina, 20th of January, 1818. Don Vincente Pazos to the Secretary of State, dated 8th February, 1818. Don Luis de Aury to the President of the United States, dated Fernandina, 23d of December, 1817. Memorial of Don Vincente Pazos to the President of the United States, dated Washington, 7th February, 1818; accompanied with several documents. The Secretary of State to Don Vincente Pazos, dated 5th March, 1818.
The Message was read, and ordered to lie on the table.
SPANISH AMERICAN PROVINCES. The order of the day on the unfinished business having been announced— Mr. Poindexter moved to postpone the further consideration of the bill, in order to afford time