Mississippi Question.


is no reason to believe that provision in any respect All the observations which go to prove the necesadequate will be made. In this change of the sity of previous negotiation, apply only to offenterms of his former allegation, my colleague, in a sive war. The paramount law of self-preservamode quite variant from his general politeness, has tion, demands that we should resist and repel an backed him with the authority of his name. My invading enemy. It is not necessary to pursue much respected friend from Virginia (Mr. Nicho- this remark any farther. A little attention to the LAS) has this day stated the essential circum- distinction will show that the honorable gentlestances of the affair, with perfect accuracy, and in man has not been able to weaken my argument in conformity to my representation; and in opposi- the least. While he has thus confounded distinct tion to the assertions and insinuations of the subjects together, he has the merit of another inmembers from Pennsylvania and New York, I vention, which he has actively used to help himagain declare that Spain has not refused to redress self and his friends out of a labyrinth of contrathe spoliations committed on our commerce; that, diction—I allude to his application of a distincfor those committed by her own subjects, she is tion between major and minor rights. It is to be now willing to give us the most ample satisfaction; wished that he had been more explicit on this suband that we have every reason to believe, thatject; and had defined, with precision, what he cases of a different description will receive a meant by major rights. Are they rights essential friendly and equitable adjustment. With regard to the existence of a nation; or do they extend to outrages said to have been committed upon the further, and include those cases which relate to persons of our citizens, I stated that no official in- its prosperity ? If to the latter, are not national formation was laid before us; that we could not honor, free commerce, and unviolated territory, act in the case without having the facts, which essential ingredients of national prosperity ? and were to serve as a ground of action, authenticated; have they not all been grossly trampled upon unand that many of our citizens had' justly exposed der former Administrations, without an immediate themselves to punishment, by pursuing an illicit resort to force ? To prove this distinction of any trade. The gentleman has now brought forward importance, applied in either shape, it ought to be a protest, taken before the American Consul at established, that a privation of the right of deHavana. If my memory does not deceive me, posit, for nine months, if until the result of negothis case was a subject of considerable discussion tiation can be known, will destroy our national exlast Summer in the newspapers of Philadelphia istence, or essentially affect our national prosperand New York. Mr. Duplex, the captain of the ity. I admit that a continued privation may vessel, sailed, I believe, from the port of New York, have this effect, and am therefore willing, if it canand was charged with being engaged in unlawful not be restored by negotiation, to re-establish it commerce. Whether this charge is true, whether by the sword. If there are any rights which can, this is the same case, and whether the 'outrages with propriety, be denominated major

, I should alleged were really committed, I cannot undertake suppose that rights of territory, rights of embassy, to decide; but I would advise the gentleman, in- and rights of commerce, will come under this destead of keeping this document any longer in his scription; and they have all been violated, again desk, to send it to the Executive. An inquiry and again, in the proud times, as they are called, will be immediately instituted; and if our citizens of WASHINGTON and Adams. The whole Atlanhave been really injured, Spain will make, and tic, as has been justly observed by my friend from must make redress.

Virginia, (General Mason,) has been blocked up Since I am up, I will answer some of the against us.

To issue from one of our ports or principal arguments brought forward by the gen- rivers, was almost certain capture. It was not a ileman from Pennsylvania. This gentleman has case affecting the Hudson, the Delaware, the certainly exhibited his cause in the strongest and Chesapeake, che Potomac, the Mississippi, or any fairest light of which it is susceptible. In paying one of the great outlets; but it applies to them all, him more than ordinary attention, I render him a and to the ocean, with which they communicated. tribute due to his ability ; but in making this as- Negotiation was then the order of the day. sertion, I do not mean to depreciate the acknowl- The gentleman from Pennsylvania differs from edged talents of the other gentlemen who have me respecting the conduct of the Romans, in gospoken on the same side. The gentleman has ing to war. I shall leave this question to be dehonored me with peculiar notice, and has selected termined by those who have turned their attention my observations as the objects of his most formida- to the historical inquiries; and will only add, that ble attacks. I feel it, therefore, a duty due to civil- to their religious attention to previous negotiation, ity, to return the compliment; and I also esteem has been attributed, in no inconsiderable degree, it a duty due to myself, to repel some observations the greatnesss at which they arrived. Every Rowhich he has endeavored to fasten upon me, and to man who fought, knew that he was fighting for defend those which I really brought forward, and an injured country; and he fought accordingly. which I still think have not been materially im- The gentleman has not attempted to attack, dipaired by anything said in opposition, during the rectly, the forcible examples I produced from Engcourse of this debate.

lish history, but has endeavored, indirectly, to imThe case put by the honorable gentleman, of an pair their weight, by indicating cases wherein Great invading enemy, shows that he has artfully con- Britain had immediate recourse to violence. The founded two things together, which are radically instances which he has adduced, prove only that distinct-I mean an offensive and defensive war. I injustice and robbery have sometimes the sanc


Mississippi Question.


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tion of Governments. The case of the French Dunkirk, and the subsequent disasters which bevessels in 1756, which were carrying on innocent fel the British arms. The gentleman indeed commerce under the faith of treaties, and under went out of his way, to tell us that a man of high the protection of the law of nations, and which talents was sent to Great Britain to negotiate; were seized without any declaration of war, was that a treaty was formed; that it was opposed an act of highway robbery, that would have con- with great virulence, but finally adopted; and the demned a private individual to infamy or a gibbet, gentleman continued to go out of his way, and and that will fix a blot on the character of Lord to inform us, that the negotiator was elected GovChatham, which no time can wash away. The ernor of New York, where he presided for a long, French, in their negotiations for peace, 'made a time with great honor and advantage, and left compensation for those vessels for a long time a behind him an example worthy of imitation! I sine qua non, and the refusal of Great Britain cer- shall not, sir, speak of the negotiator, or of his tainly protracted the war. The fortune of arms negotiations, in the terms I would do if he were finally compelled France to give way; but this present to defend himself; but since I am comhas not altered the character of the iransaction. pelled in vindication of the State I represent, to The voice of impartial posterity will classit among say something, I may surely be permitied to obthe depredations of brigands and pirates. serve, that the British Treaty was neither hon

The gentleman has endeavored to extenuate orable nor advantageous to this country; that the the enormities of Great Britain, by a representa- negotiator was ignorant of the growth of cotton tion of the conduct of the French Minister in this in the United States, which is one of our most country, and the general sensibility excited in valuable exports; that the list of contraband arfavor of the French Revolution. With the con-ticles was most improperly extended; that it was duct of any foreign Minister here, Great Britain put in the power of Great Britain to say when had nothing to do, unless that conduct was hos- provisions should be deemed contraband; that tile to her interests, and sanctioned by our Gov. the great and important principle to neutral comernment. The sensibility in favor of France, merce, free ships and free goods, was abandoned; at the commencement of the Revolution, was not and, generally, that reciprocity was in a great peculiar to this country-it existed in every en- measure overlooked. Notwithstanding it was lightened part of the world, and flourished luxu- deemed good policy to ratify this pernicious inriantly in England. It is true that the events of strument, it was not done without expunging one the Revolution were sanguinary and disgraceful; of its most degrading provisions. The councils but its principles, being in favor of the establish of the country hesitated for a long time. Although ment of a free government, were calculated to gain time has purged the visual ray of the gentleman, respect and approbation. With regard to the (Mr. Ross,) and discovered to him great beauties, French Minister, (Genet.) his conduct was doubt- in the treaty, yet at that period, I recollect, for hé less disagreeable to the President, and his recall was was then first bursting into general notice, it was solicited. Our Minister in France (Mr. G. MORRIS) supposed that he was unfriendly to it; and that was equally disagreeable to the constituted au- expediency alone exacted his assent. We know thorities of that country, and his recall was also that General WASHINGTON was prevailed upon solicited. The former was charged with associa- by the circumstances of the times, to sign it, and ting with democrats and disorganisers; the other that he elected it only as a lesser evil than war. with royalists and aristocrats. The one was said The negotiator was indeed elected Governor of to aim at the overthrow of our Administration; the New York, but it was before the contents of the other was charged with opposing the priociples of treaty were promulged-if they had been known, the Revolution. The one was blamed for visiting his chance of success would have been forlorn; at the balls of democratic societies; the other for the subsequent election he was withdrawn! The loitering in the regal chambers of the Tuilleries. odium attached to his conduct as a negotiator, had The one was inculpated as the minister and agent been softened down by time, and it was in the of anarchy and confusion ; the other as the patron year 1798, during the memorable Reign of Terror, and advocate of monarchy and privileged orders. when the minds of men were worked up to a A composition was made, and it was agreed state of frenzy, and reason was ejected from her that both should be withdrawn. But what effect throne. My excellent friend Chancellor Livingcould this possibly have on the temper, or policy, ston, as much superior to him as Hyperion to a or interest of the British Court? The Minister at Satyr, was the candidate on the Republican side. Paris was perhaps as beneficial to their cause, as On the brink of our election the gossiping report the Minister at Philadelphia was injurious; and of the famous triple ambassadors, who held concertainly_they gained nothing by the nominal ferences, not with the regular authorities of the recall

. The tone of Great Britain to this country country to which they were sent, but with the was lowered, not by incidents of this kind, but by valets and understrappers of Talleyrand, reached the events of Europe; by the total frustration of this country. The wonderful discoveries they the projects of the crowned heads, leagued together made were magnified by the political necromancy to destroy the sovereignty of the people; and Jay's which at that time deluded the public mind; and treaty, bad and disgraceful as it was, would never it was industriously reported at our polls, that have been agreed to, or rather no 'treaty would treasonable correspondence had been detected; have been made, with this country, had it not that the leading characters of the opposition were been for the defeat of the Duke of York, before engaged in an attempt to yield up this country


Mississippi Question.



to the domination of France; that their own letters then with your empty declamation-with your were sent over to the United States, and that Mr. hyperbolicalrantabout national honor and national Livingston was amongst the most conspicuous of rights! You then drank the cup of humiliation these traitors! Judge of the effects which these to its very dregs. You then suffered real wounds hell-born calumnies were likely to have on a peo- upon the honor of the country; and you bore it ple jealous of their country's honor! Mr. Jay pre- patiently. When you were smitten on one cheek vailed in his election; but when the intelligence you turned the other—and now, when a subordiand patriotism of the State were permitted to nate officer, distant from his country three thouhave a free and fair operation, his incompetency sand miles, and probably acting from his own imbecame notorious; he was found unqualified to pulse, interdicts a right to be enjoyed without our hold the reins of State ; the men of observation territories, you come forward and give us lectures of his own party knew it, and lamented it; and upon national honor, and vaunt about taking up he fell like Lucifer, never to rise again. He de- arms ! clined another election, because he had sagacity I now turn to my honorable colleague, and canto perceive the working of the waters; he wisely not refrain from congratulating my country for retired from the contest, and avoided the fate giving birth to so sublime an intellect. Scorning which candidates of greater temerity in some of the restraint of common rules, he has started from the neighboring States justly experienced. them with brave disorder, and giving the wing to

In order to show that the Spanish aggressions a lofty fancy, has ascended into the regions of were different from the present, and that our Gov- conjecture, far beyond the ken of human observaernment pursued a different course, the gentleman tion. He tells us all the world is under the dohas told us, that the treaty had not been executed. minion or the fear of Bonaparte; that the States and that the Government had directed a body of of Russia, Austria, Prussia, and Great Britain are troops to fall down the Mississippi. I know ihat the only ones which have not entirely lost an inLieutenant Pope went down to the Natchez, with dependent character; but that even they have rea detachment, certainly not large enough to take tired from the contest worsted and faini-hearted; possession of that place, and to guard our Com- that the First Consul is conducted to the gratifimissioner, Mr. Elliot, in running the boundary cation of an insatiable ambition by a more than line; but he certainly never went out of our ter- common capacity; that Louisiana will enable him ritory, nor was he ever directed to strike at New to establish that ascendency in the Western, which Orleans. The obligations of the treaty demanded he has already acquired in the Eastern hemisphere; and enforced its execution as strongly as they re- and that unless the United States imitate the conquired the observance of all its provisions after it duct ascribed by the gentleman from Pennsylvahad been carried into operation. The breach of nia to WASHINGTON, and place themselves between faith is the same—the injury the same—the dis- the nations of the earth and the destroyer, as he is honor the same. Two years and upwards, by the said to have placed himself between the people gentleman's own admission, we were deprived of and the pestilence, the balance of the great comthe right of deposit, in contravention of the treaty; munities of mankind will be deranged, and the and what did our Government then do ? Did the world will be enthralled in the vortex of an allhonorable gentleman carry fire and sword into the devouring, all-destroying despotism. territories of Spain ? Did they then cry havoc, Sublime, sir, as these speculations may appear and let loose the dogs of war? No, no; they sent to the eyes of some, and high-sounding as they Lieutenant Pope, and a lieutenant's command, may strike the ears of many, they do not affect down the Mississippi, with their swords sheathed, me' with any force. In the first place, I do not and their bayonets upfixed; all was then modest perceive how they bear upon the question before stillness and humility; the blast of war was not us; it merely refers to the seizure of New Orleans, blown in our ears, nor did they stiffen the sinews, not to the maintenance of the balance of power. and summon up the blood.

Again: Of all characters, I think, that of a conNor will it form any solid excuse for the then quering nation least becomes the American peoAdministration, as it respects France, to say with ple. What, sir, shall America go forth like anthe honorable gentleman, that no essential right other Don Quixotte to relieve distressed nations, was invaded by that nation. Are not the rights and to rescue from the fangs of tyranny the pow. of commerce and the rights of embassy, essential erful States of Britain, Spain, Austria, Italy, the rights ? and were they not vitally attacked and Netherlands ? Shall she, like another Phæton, wounded? And if there was a strong party at madly ascend the chariot of empire and spread that time opposed to war with France, there is a desolation and horror over the world ? Shall she vast majority of the American people opposed to attempt to restrain the career of a nation which a rupture with Spain now. The Administration, my honorable colleague represents to have been indeed, evinced at last some disposition to retaliate irresistible, and which he declares has appalled the the injuries which were heaped upon us; but they British lion and the imperial eagle of the house acted as if willing to wound and yet afraid to of Austria ? Shall she wantonly court destrucstrike.” In the midst of their feeble attacks, war- tion, and violate all the maxims of policy which like preparations, and vaunting rhodomontade, ought to govern an infant and free Republic ? Let " the rock on which the storm might beat,” gave us, sir, never carry our arms into the territories of way; a new triple embassy was sent, and the con- other nations, unless we are compelled to take sequences are known to all who hear me. Away I them up in self-defence. A pacific character is

Mississippi Question.

SENATE. of all others most important for us to establish The well-disciplined and well-marshalled myrmiand maintain. With a seacoast of two thousand dons, will follow their illustrious chief to victory miles, indented with harbors, and lined with cities, or death. All will be united in support of the Adwith an extended commerce, and with a popula- ministration; the disagreeable collisions that we tion of six millions only, how are we to set up for now experience will be done away; and if we the avengers of nations? Can gravity itself re- only admit their wooden horse within our walls, strain from laughter at the figure which my hon- they will retire from the siege, and leave us in orable colleague would wish us to make on the quiet possession of the Government! We thank theatre of the world ? He would put a fool's cap the gentlemen for their kind proffers. We assure on our head and dress us up in the parti-colored them that we will vindicate the honor of our robes of a harlequin, for the nations of the earth country, but we will take our own time, and do to laugh at; and after all the puissant knights of it in our own way. We cannot consent to receive the times have been worsted in the tournament, the dictation of ihe minority; and highly as we by the Orlando Furioso of France, we must then, respect the wisdom of their sages, and the prowforsooth, come forward and console them for their ess of their warriors, we must dispense with them, defeat by an exhibition of our collies. I look, sir, if we cannot obtain them without the surrender upon all the dangers we have heard about the of independence. French possessions of Louisiana, as visionary and It is far from my disposition, sir, to insult over idle. Twenty years must roll over our heads be- fallen men. Adversity is wiih me ever sacred, fore France can establish in that country a popu- and I consider a great man struggling in the lation of two hundred thousand souls. What in storms of fate, as a sight upon which the gods the mean time will become of your Southern and may look down with admiration. The two honWestern States ? Are they not advancing to orable gentlemen are soon to leave this House, greatness with a giant's stride? The western and to retire into private life. One of them, my waters will then contain on their borders millions honorable colleague, has told us so more than of free and hardy republicans, able to crush every once, or I should never have mentioned it. I sindaring invader of their rights. A formidable cerely wish them, in their retirement, all the hapnavy will spring from the bosom of the Atlantic piness they can wish themselves. 1 hope that States, ready to meet the maritime force of any they will enjoy otium cum dignitate ; but let me, pation. With such means, what will we have to sir, ask them, is it proper in them, at the time of fear from the arts or the arms of any Power, how their departure, to prescribe a course of action for ever formidable? I cannot, sir, bút admire the those who are to follow them ? Is it generous ? difference between the honorable gentleman from Is it candid? Is it magnanimous in them to strew Pennsylvania and my honorable colleague, and thorns and briers in the paths of their successors ? how much the latter outstrips the former in the To plant spring-guns and man-traps in their magnitude of his conceptions. The one advo- walks? To scuttle the ship they are about quitcates the resolutions to chastise an infraction of ting, and to leave behind a dreadful legacy of treaty; the other to maintain the balance of power. death and destruction? I appeal to their own The one proposes to seize New Orleans; the other, feelings, and to the feelings of every man who New Orleans, the Floridas, and Louisiana. The hears me, for an answer. one wishes to obtain and fortify the right of de- Mr. Ross thought he had given a very precise posit; the other, to acquire an immense territory. definition of major and minor rights; he considerThe one is for vindicating the injuries of our wested the deprivation of the ordinary means of a ern brethren; the other, rising on his muse of fire, country's subsistence, to be the deprivation of a is for avenging the wrongs of all mankind! How- major right; it was an essential right, and the ever the honorable gentlemen may differ in other definition was in point. This right has been cut respects, they agree in professions of the warmest off, and it was as much an aggression as if the support of the Executive, if the Executive will whole means of subsistence of the Union, instead follow their advice and pursue their plan. The of the Western country, was involved. If

, then, honorable mover, carried away by the ardor of it was of this character, was it unreasonable; was his feelings, has promised us, that he will play the it unjust; would it not rather be both just and orator-he will go among the people and stir up reasonable, to employ force to seize upon and remen's blood." Then he will talk, good gods how possess ourselves of a right of which we were unhe will talk !”—and after the minds of men are justly deprived ? Ought we not to seize and to excited to a proper pitch by his eloquence, he will hold, until our security was established against then play the soldier-hé will march with his danger of all further encroachment. The gentleCincinnatus, he will relinquish the sweets of do- misunderstood him on what related to the British mestic life; and like another Curtius, leap into Treaty. He did say that, when Genet was recallthe gulf to save his country! My honorable coled, the British recalled their November orders, league will not, indeed, proceed so far; but he and the President then agreed to treat. He had has kindly promised us the aid of his oratory and the been misconceived, also, in what regarded the benefit of his counsels, although he cannot afford troops ; for Government did certainly direct a us the strengh of his arm. And they pledge not large body of troops to fall down the Mississippi ; only their own services, but the co-operation of not Lieut. Pope's detachment, for he was long beall their political friends in the glorious crusade! fore on the Ohio; but troups were ordered from


Mississippi Question.

February, 1803.

Tennessee to move downward; and had not the expedient, authorize the Executives of the several treaty been in consequence executed, and the line States to accept, as part of the detachment aforesaid, run, they would have executed it with the sword. any corps of volunteers, who shall continue in service

Mr. Morris said that it appeared to be discov- for such time not exceeding months, and perform ered that he had contemplated engaging the Uni- such services as shall be prescribed by law. ied States in the restoration of the balance of Resolved, That dollars be appropriated for pay. power in Europe. Wonderful discovery! He ing and subsisting such part of the troops aforesaid, had barely read an extract from the law of na- whose actual service may be wanted, and for defraying tions, which states, that the invasion of the rights the President may deem necessary for the security of

such other expenses as, during the recess of Congress, of one nation, has a tendency to destroy the bal- the territory of the United States. ance of power; his desire extended no farther than

Resolved, That dollars be appropriated for the undertaking of a bold measure, which may erecting, at such place or places on the Western waters save us from the danger of interoal war. He had

as the President may judge most proper, one or more been charged with a want of politeness; he con- arsenals. ceived that he had shown both benevolence and

After the question was taken, politeness. Mr. Ross.—Gentlemen question what I assert olutions on a ground that he thought proper now

Mr. Hillhouse said he was opposed to the resas to the disposition of Spain to do our citizens to mention ; the calling out the militia of the justice. I did before say, and I do now say, that Eastern States, would be a very serious injury to no man ever did, nor do I think that any man ever them; he wished, as they were always well offiwill obtain justice for the injuries done by Spain. cered and disciplined, that they should not be call

Mr. Clinton.-As to the gentleman's opinions, ed out-they were too distant. He hoped that, he may possess internal evidence, to him more in reporting the bill, some amendment would be convincing than even a knowledge of facts to the made, so as to limit the portion of militia to be contrary : what he had first asserted, was, that called out ; he did not care whether the line was Spain had shown a disposition to do justice, nay, the Potomac or the North river. that so she had promised. The gentleman wishes to impress an opinion on the Senate, that Spain cut was very liberal, so were all the gentlemen,

Mr. Wright. The gentleman from Connectihas refused to do us justice. Now, whatever in; of profession and zeal for the Western people. ternal evidence the gentleman may rely on, and we now see how far it extends—it extends exhowever positive he may have been, or now be, I

actly to professions, and no more; for the gentlesay that Spain has not refused.

man tells you he does not care whether the PotoThe question being at length called for, on the mac or the North river is to be the boundary, motion of Mr. BRECKENRIDGE, for striking out the which means, in other words, do not call upon us first section of the resolutions proposed by Mr. people of Connecticut for anything but our proRoss, the yeas and nays were required, and stood, fessions, you shall have them in abundance, and 15 to 11, as follows:

our prayers too; but as to our militia, they are so Yeas—Messrs. Anderson, Baldwin, Bradley, Breck- well officered and disciplined, that it would be enridge, Clinton, Cocke, Ellery, T. Foster, Jackson, cruel to call upon them to march south of the Logan, S. T. Mason, Nicholas, Stone, Suniter, and North river, or, at farthest, the Potomac. Wright.

The resolutions were referred to Messrs. BRECKNars—Messrs. Dayton, Hillhouse, Howard, J. Ma- Enridge, Jackson, and Sumter, to bring in a bill son, Morris, Olcott, Plumer, Ross, Tracy, Wells, and or bills accordingly. White.

The Senate then adjourned. On the question for striking out the remaining parts of the resolutions, the question was also taken, and carried by the same votes on each side.

SATURDAY, February 26. The question being then called for on the adop

The bill, entitled "An act regulating the grants tion of the amendments proposed by Mr. Breck- of land, and providing for the disposal of the ENRIDGE, the yeas and nays were called for, and lands of the United States south of ihe State of the votes were as follows:

Tennessee," was read the second time, and referYeas—Messrs. Anderson, Baldwin, Bradley, Breck-red to Messrs. Jackson, CLINTON, and STONE, to enridge, Clinton, Cocke, Dayton, Ellery, T. Foster, consider and report thereon. Hillhouse, Howard, Jackson, Logan, s. T. Mason, J. The bill, entitled "An act to make Beaufort, Mason, Morris, Nicholas, Olcott, Plumer, Ross, Stone, the City of Washington, and Passamaquoddy, Sumter, Tracy, Wells, and Wright.

ports of entry and delivery; to make Easton, NanNays-None.

jemoy, and Tiverton, ports of delivery; to change So it was unanimously

ihe name of the district of Nanjemoy to that of Resolved, That the President of the United States St. Mary's; to authorize the establishment of a be, and he is hereby, authorized, whenever he shall new collection district on Lake Ontario, and the judge it expedient, to require of the Executives of the appointment of a surveyor at Nanjemoy," was several States to take effectual measures to arm, and read the second time, and referred to Messrs. equip, according to law, and hold in readiness to march, Wright, T. Foster, and S. T. Mason, to conat a moment's warning, eighty thousand effective mili- sider and report thereon. tia, officers included.

The bill, entitled "An act for erecting a lightResolved, That the President may, if he judges it | house at the entrance of Penobscot bay, or any

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