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place was actually invested by the public ships of Great Britain. 1 consider, this blockade, then, said Mr. H. as a measure of force: as putting us into a belligerant attitude, in relation to Spain, and as giving us belligerant rights, as far as we may think proper to exercise them. And now, sir, I will go a step farther, and contend that we have just cause of war against Spain ; and, though this may be a war measure, yet there is nothing to restrain us from taking it but our own interests or convenience.— The facts, as disclosed by the documents on our table, are, that the Island of Cuba is occupied by pirates; that, from their secure asylums on shore, they issue forth, and attack the defenceless merchantman, murdering the crew, and converting the property to their own use ; that these depredations are committed by men known to the Spanish authorities in Cuba, and suffered with impunity to live in their cities, and openly to sell their plunder. "I will advert, for a moment, said Mr. HAYNE, to a few facts, to show the ertent of this practice and the protection afforded to the pirates by the officers of Spain. The documents on our table show, that, from July to october, a period of less than four months, there were no less than twenty three vessels captured, and plundered by the pirates—manned, by not less, certainly, than two hundred seamen, of whom scarcely one escaped to tell the tale. When the gallant Captain Graham, of the British sloop of war Icarus, rescued from the hands of the pirates, the Henry, of Hartford, he found twelve merchant vessels in their possession, the crews of which were no where to be found. When the pirates were asked what had become of them, we are told that “they shrugged up their shoulders, and were silent.” These merchant vessels, says Captain Graham must have been navigated by at least one hundred and twenty menand it is obvious they had all been murdered. Mr. Hayne would not attempt to describe the horrors which must have attended the scenes transacted by those fell murderers on the bloody decks of our defenceless merchant
vessels. Among the garments, pierced through with holes and stained with blood, were some which had belonged to innocent and defenceless females. Language was inadequate to depict the condition of those who were exposed to the mercy of these fiends in human shape, whose usual practice it was, first to torture, and then to slay their victims, in the solitude of night, when there was no ear to hear their cries, no heart to pity, and no arm to save them. “It is painful, (says Mr. Randall,) to “reflect on the numbers who may have fallen victims “to the same fate, but whose tragical stories are buried “in the ocean with their mangled bodies.” Now, sir, said Mr. HAYNE, it is proved that not only the inhabitants of Cuba, but the authorities wink at these actsnay, they share the plunder, and the Captain General himself, when a case was brought before him of plundered property deposited in Regla, inquired just so far as to ascertain the truth of the charge, and then declared “that, as he feared all Regla would be found to be implicated in the robbery, in the present disturbed and critical condition of the island, he dared not push the investigation further,” or, in more plain terms, “I will not, because I dare not, grant you redress.” But it may be said, that the Captain General of Cuba is not the Sovereign of Spain, and that our ledress is to be sought for from the King. Well, sir, we have appealed unto Cesar. We have represented these matters to him in language as strong as is at all consistent with the rules of diplomacy, and a becoming self respect. We have made these representations over and over again, and to this very hour he has never even condescended to give us an answer of any sort. By referring to the correspondence of Mr. Nelson, our Minister to Spain, it will appear that, on the 10th of January, of the last year, he made a strong and formal remonstrance the Spanish Government on this subject, setting forth,
of Piracy. [FEB. 1, 1825.
in detail, the depredations committed on our commerce by pirates, who found refuge in Cuba, and other Spanish Islands in the West Indies, detailing the nature of their proceedings, and the protection afforded to them by the subjects and officers of Spain. No notice was taken of this remonstrance. It was renewed on the 23d of January, and on the 3d of February, but the Spanish Government remained as cold and silent as the grave. On the 7th of September, Mr. Nelson, for the last time, brought the subject to the view of the Spanish Government. Language is incapable of making a stronger appeal. He states our grievances; tells the King “that the patience of the American Government had been tried to the fullest extent of sufferance, and that the time is at hand when we must resort to measures of a more efficient character.” This representation has also been treated with the most sovereign contempt. By this conduct, the King of Spain has refused us redress; he has adopted the acts of his officers, and made himself responsible for the injuries of which we complain. The Romans, from whom we have borrowed so many of our principles, civil and political, had a custom, on this subject, worthy of much commendation. By their Fecial law, the Pater Patratus, or Chief of the Heralds, was sent to demand satisfaction for injuries, and if, in thirty-three days no answer was returned, the Gods were called to be witnesses of the wrong, and war was forthwith declared. Now, I do contend, that the conduct I have detailed gives us justifiable cause of war. But we are gravely told, that all this arises from the weakness of Spain, and that this cannot furnish just cause of war. What! shall the subjects of Spain be suffered to depredate on our property, and murder our people, and shall we be told that we must submit to this because Spain is weak Sir, Spain either can prevent these outrages, and wants the inclination to do so, or she is unable to prevent them. either case, our right to protect ourselves is complete. But, said Mr. H. though I contend that there is just cause of war against Spain-war, in any shape, which may suit our convenience to wage; yet, I admit that there is still another weighty consideration, viz: Is it indispensably necessary A nation which has just cause of war, is not bound to go to war. That is always a question of prudence for the nation itself. Now, sir, though I am convinced of the right of this Government to go to war, I am of opinion that the object which we have in view, to wit the suppression of piracy, may be attained at less expense; and, therefore, that it is our duty to ourselves to postpone a measure which should never be resorted to, but under the last necessity. A blockade of Cuba must destroy, not only our own trade with that island, but it must destroy the trade of all neutral nations, and these would be evils of great magnitude. Should the honor of our country, and the protection of the property and lives of our fellow citizens require this sacrifice, why, then, sir, let it be made. God forbid that we should consent to weigh profit against honor, or that the glory of our flag, or the lives of our citizens, should be thrown into the same scale with pounds, shillings, and pence. But this trade is too important to be lightly jeopardized. It appears, from documents submitted to this House at the last ses. sion, that the amount of our annual import from Cuba is near eight millions of dollars: that our exports amount to near six millions: making, together, a trade of thirteen
millions of dollars, employing upwards of one hundred
and seventeen thousand tons of American shipping, and between four and five thousand seamen. This trade, too, consists in the exchange of articles which we can best spare, chiefly our bread stuffs and lumber, for those which are most essential to the comfort of our people. The interruption of it would be most severely felt by the poor, who would be deprived of the little luxuries which spread cheerfulness around their
Feb. 1, 1825.]
Suppression of Piracy.
fire-sides. The trade of Great Britain and France, of Holland, Sweden, and Russia, with these islands, is equally important, and entitled to great consideration. Now, said Mr. HAYNE, my opinion is, that piracy may be suppressed without resorting to a blockade, so injurious in its consequences to the commerce of the world. I agree that piracy must be suppressed. I acknowledge that the conduct of Spain gives her no claim for forbearance on our part. I have no scruple to a war measure, and of calling it so in plain terms, if it be necessary. But I do not believe that necessity now exists, and at all events, I am disposed to make a fair experiment on the subject. I am, said Mr. H. a lover of peace. I believe it to be the interest of the United States to remain at peace with all the world. A few years will pay all our debts, and double our resources and our strength. I would therefore avoid war, on our own account, as long as it can possibly be avoided with honor. Now, I think it can be proved, from known facts, as well as the documents before us, that piracy in the West Indies can be suppressed by the vigorous, energetic, and unceasing efforts of a competent naval force, having authority to land and to pursue the pirates into the settled as well as the unsettled parts of the country. It will be recollected, said Mr. H. that, at the last session of Congress, the report of Com. Porter was submitted to us, in which he stated, in substance, that piracy had been suppressed—“their boats burned and destroyed, and the pirates killed or driven ashore.” The Secretary of the Navy was so fully convinced that piracy was suppressed, that he stated it was only necessary in future “to watch them.” The facts supported this opinion: piracy was suppressed, though the pirates had not been rooted out. This state of things continued *p to the beginning of last summer, when it appears, from the documents before us, that Commodore Porter, being fully convinced that piracy was suppressed, returned home, and the fleet was detached on various duties, leaving a few small schooners, which could not remain long at sea, to watch the shores of Cuba. I beg, sir, that I may not be misunderstood; I do not mean to Sast any censure on any officer of the Government, much less to pluck a single leaf from the wreath which encircles the brow of the gallant Porter. Sir, the country owes him a debt of gratitude for the addition he has made to our naval wealth, which I shall never forget. But I am constrained to state my conviction, that an er. roneous opinion of the complete suppression of piracy; an opinion not confined to Commodore Porter, but perYading all classes of the community, by occasioning the liversion of the force, led to “the revival” of the practice. When the United States’ schooner Jackall arriv*d in Norfolk, early in the summer, she reported, that “for three months no act of piracy had been heard of;” and so confident were our .. that we should hear no more of piracy, that when Lieut. Skinner's account reached the United States, an article was published in a paper in this city, in the nature of censure on that officer, for creating a false alarm; stating “that there was not the least doubt that the accounts of piracies were exaggerated.” It has been shown, sir, that all the cases disclosed in the reports of Messrs. Randall and Mountain, took place after the withdrawal of the force from Cuba. in Mr. Randall's letter of the 1st July, he tells us “that there were pirates lying off Matanzas, but there was no vessel of war of the United States there.” On the 5th July, he writes, “that the absence of our cruizers had emboldened these men to renew their piracies.” On the 14th July he writes, “that the Grampus had arrived off the Havana, on the 7th, from the coast of Mexico, bound to JWew York.” On the 12th the John Alains arrived, to sail this day, (14th,) or to-morrow, from the Bay of Mexico, bound to Philadelphia. In •oort, Mr. President, these occasional stoppages, in the roorse of other voyages, “like angel visits, short, and Vol. I.-26
far between,” afforded the only protection which our commerce received, if we are to rely on the documents on our table. The pirates, said Mr. Randall, boasted “that they had nothing to fear.” I beg leave, said Mr. H. to read one or two passages from the letters of Mr. | Randall and Mr. Mountain, which seems to set this matter in a very strong sight. Mr. Randall, in his letter of the 6th of Sept. says– “It is also, in my opinion, necessary, that the force employed should be always present, with an undivided view and attention to this business. Their occasional absence on other duties, materially impairs their efficacy. Their operations against the pirates should be consecutive and unremitting. It has been found that occasional visits to suspected places, by different vessels, and at long intervals, produce no serious impression on the pirates. “I cannot but lament, however, the causes, (suffi. cient, no doubt,) which have induced the withdrawing of so large a portion of the force. Recent events here have proved, that, if this was induced by the supposition that piracy was effectually put down, or that the force left was adequate to restrain it, the opinion was erroneous, and its consequences deplorable.” And again, in his letter of the 31st October, Mr. Randall says, “It is here a matter of common observation and complaint, that the anti-piratical squadron has effected nothing against the pirates, commensurate with its numbers and force, during the last six months. This has not been owing to the want of zeal, of enterprise, or courage, on the part of our officers and seamen actually engaged in this pursuit, but to their diversion to other objects, incompatible with the efficient performance of this highly important service. Since the spring, the vessels have been dispersed on various services remote from this island, which they have merely made a touching point “in transitu,” without remaining long enough to make any permanent impression on the system. For a considerable time, the most erposed part of this coast, at the most dangerous season, was not visited by a single vessel of war, and, for a still longer time, by none but the smallest and most inefficient. “The temporary cessation of piracies some time before, caused by the presence of a large force on the coast, seems to have induced a delusive and fatal opinion that the evil was extinguished, and to have led to the diversion of too large a portion of the force, to objects of infinitely less pecuniary, and of scarcely any national importance.” Mr. Mountain, the American consul, holds the same language: “It is too true, says he, that our commerce has not been protected on this side of Cuba, since early last spring. Our men of war have occasionally been here, and off here, on their way to and from the ports of Mexico,” &c. Now, sir, said Mr. H. is it not fair to conclude that, if piracy ceased to exist while the force was kept constantly on the coast, and if it broke out as soon as their presence was withdrawn, that an investment of the island of Cuba by a still larger force, kept constantly employed in that service, with a vessel anchored in the harbor of Havana, and another at Matanzas, will suppress the practice entirely The sloops of war will be much more efficient than the worthless schooners now employed on that service, not only on account of being able to remain longer at sea, but because they can carry a number of barges, for service near the shore. Let, then, said Mr. H. the experiment be fairly tried, and if it fail, it will be time enough to blockade or seize the city of Havana. The right to follow the pirates on shore, Mr. II, also considered as a material means for the accomplishment of the object. He could not concur with the gentleman from New York, (Mr. VAN Burton,) that we had a right to pursue and take a felon, even in the Halls of West
minster. Where a Government exists, you must appy. to the Magistrate, and nations were not in the habit of
surrendering even a criminal—they were proud of being
Mr. W. B. was the question, and the only question before United States.
the plainest of all reasons, because it operated, in the
He contended that it was not, and that for capture of several vessels by the pirates, and that an Feb. 1, 1825.]
application was made to a British frigate to convoy your ships. It appears very extraordinary to me, sir, that, when the course to be followed was so clearly pointed out in July, it should have been left undone. Why not apply force then * Everything tends to shew that there wanted nothing but vessels, authorized by law, to be placed there? If, then, sir, we have efficient means within ourselves, why resort to a scheme of this sort, that may implicate us in difficulties with foreign nations? The gentleman from South Carolina says, very properly, that, on the necessity of the case, depends the propriety of this extraordinary measure. I see no necessity: I see that we have sufficient means within ourselves, and I am unwil. ling to go into a measure of this kind, which is doubtful in its consequences, when we can suppress piracy without it. I have no hesitation in saying that, if you place a sufficient force on the coast of Cuba, and assist merchant vessels in arming, that alone will be sufficient.— But I go further : surround the island, and keep it constantly surrounded. I would purchase the Robert Fulton steam vessel, and put on board of her a number of barges, with a nine pounder in the bow of each, and let these go along till they get to the east end of the island; let these armed barges search every inlet and creek, and destroy all such boats as they suspect are used for piratical enterprizes. After getting to the east end of the island, let them return again and so continue. This will probably cost 100,000 dollars. Let larger vessels cruise round the island, and keep in the pirates; and by these measures, I have no doubt, piracy will be suppressed and kept under. It appears, sir, said Mr. S., that we are not to give power to our merchantmen to arm, for fear they should abuse it. Is there an instance of their having abused such power? No, sir; there is not one. But it likewise appears that they are already authorized to arm; that some have done it, and no complaint has been yet made. All the vessels trading to the East Indies are armed, and no complaint is made. This, then, is an idle fear. I have always understood that, in the fresh pursuit of an enemy, you have a right to land. It has been done by England, and by ourselves, and Spain has not complained of it. It is a national right, which we can make use of at any time, without law. The passing the law is the only objection I have to it. The Chairman of the Committee has said that your character demands that you should be prompt and efficacious in your measures, and therefore recommends a blockade. But, will that be efficacious? No, sir; it will be throwing a stone that will hit nobody. The pirates, when chased, do not run into open ports, but they go into the unsettled parts of the country. Blockade the inlets, then, for it is there where you will find them.— This blockading of ports, therefore, is an inefficient measure, which may do some harm, but is not calculated to do any good. Mr. BARBOUR observed that, if there was a majority of the Senate who approved the principle of the section, under any modification, he hoped they would vote against striking it out; because, if they afterwards failed to put it into the shape they preferred, it would still be in their power to expunge the section, when the bill should be reported to the Senate by the committee of the whole. Mr. MACON said there was something in this business which he could not understand. Insurance from New York to New Orleans, the Senate was informed, was but one to one and a half per cent. How insurance could be so low, whilst so many piracies were committed, was more than he could comprehend. During the wars between France and England, when a great many captures were made, insurance was not so low as "ve per cent. Mr. M. then said, he thought that no necessity could justify a breach of the public law. We had endeavored,
and successfully, to preserve that law, and he knew but one instance of its violation—that one he always thought very doubtful. We had constantly maintained, to the broadest extent, neutral rights with every nation with whom we had come in contact. This blockade, to say the least of it, was of doubtful character, and he therefore did not like it. It had struck him as a curious question, what would be the condition of a French or English vessel, if taken breaking this blockade; would she be a prize, or what He was not willing to consent to any act which would jeopardise the character of the country. National character was like individual character—it ought never to be doubted—it ought ever to be so pure as to command respect. It was to his mind as clear as the light of day, that the President had the power of suppressing piracy. Mr. Randall had proved, that, as long as vessels of war were there, no piracies had occurred, and h- was afraid that carrying money had produced all these evils. As long as the vessels of war were there, the pirates were invisi. ble; but, as soon as they were gone, they came out. This following the pirates on shore, was a much more difficult matter than gentleman had represented it to be. How were the pirates to be known when they got on shore They oil. change their clothes, or anything else. The true way was to catch them on the water, by sending a sufficient force to Cuba, and to hang all that were caught; and when they found that catching and hanging were the same thing, there would soon be an end to piracy Mr. M. then asked, why would gentlemen wish to go farther than was necessary What could be better than possessing the power of doing all they wanted It seemed to him to be a race which should go farthest in his particular way. What more was necessary than to order the vessels to be taken and the men to be hanged? On the subject of arming merchantmen, Mr. M. did not think the comparison of the assassin a just one; in individual rencounters the consequences fell on themselves alone; but here, the consequences would be much more serious, if the power were abused. He did not suppose that merchantmen, generally, would seek to abuse it, but they were not better than any other class of m-n, nor did he believe them worse. As to the effect these measures would produce or Spain, they were not worth thinking of. He considered Spain out of the question. What was Spain * No human being could tell—there were people there, and a sort of Government—but the French were there to keep their own people down. With respect to the people of Cuba, Mr. M. said, he knew little or nothing. He always had understood that the trade to that Island was a most profitable one to the United States. It appwared quite impossible to him that such a state of society could subsist as was described in Cuba; he should hope to find there as many pure as would have saved Sodown and Gomorrah. Mr. M. said, if he were to liken this blockade to any thing, it would be to the attack on Copenhagen, by the British. Britain was afraid of the naval power of her rival and enemy, and said as Rome did, Carthage must be put down! it was ludicrous to talk of arming a whole nation against 4 or 500 bandits, after the late contest with the British. He saw no necessity for arming the merchantmen. If the navy could not protect the merchantmen, particularly in the American seas, we ought to have neither navy or merchantinen. He recollected Preble had put an end to the Tripolitan war, and Decatur soon ended the Algerine war.— Both of these people were pirates by trade, by education, and, he had almost said, by religion. Our vessels went there at once; and cannot our vessels catch these Cuba bandits, without our attempting to make an interpolation in the law of nations? ... It was, he thought; a most difficult thing to alter public law. During the
S. & H. of R.] Suppression of Piracy.—Greek Indian Negotiation. [Feb. 1, 1825.
American war, all the powers of Europe assembled to do it—great Britain withstood it, and the public law is now as Great Britain then said it should be. it appeared to him, from Mr. Randall's report, that no. thing but ships were wanting. He had no opinion of stuffing an administration. If they obtained what they wanted, they ought to be held responsible for the suc. cess of the means employed. They did not want either armed merchant vessels, or a blockade. Of the latter, the President speaks with great delicacy and from the former, the Secretary of the Navy thinks mischief may arise. Therefore, he thought it would be wise to give the administration what they wanted, but not more; and that he was willing to do now. He did not wish to make any profession of his wish to see the robbers exterminatod, for we were to be judged, not by our words, but by our deeds. . There was not a civilized man in the world but would wish it; and be could not call that inhabitant of Cuba a civilized man, that encouraged piracy. They waged war against the whole human race; a war of the most disastrous kind. They could be governed by no rule towards them but that of extermination: and as they could be repressed most efficiently without either blockading them, or arming the merchantmen, he was opposed to both measures; Mr. HAYNE said, that as the Chairman of the Committee, (Mr. Bannoun,) had expressed a wish that those gentlemen who would, under any circumstance, support A blockade, would not now, vote, for striking out the clause, because, if they should fail to put it in the shape they preferred, it would still, be in their power to expung: the section, when the bill should be reported to the Senate, he was disposed to comply with the wishes of the chairman in that respect, and would, therefore, vote against striking out the clause at this time. ... He should do this, however, with the express understanding, that when the bill should be reported to the Senate, he would move to strike it out, unless it should receive the modifications for which he had contended—that is to say, unless the authority to resort to a blockade should be made to depend on the failure of all the other means provided by the act, and then it should be resorted to as a measure of reprisal, and in concert with other powers, or after proper communications with them. The gentleman from North Carolina had asked, why will we go further on this subject than is necessary for the object? ... Mr. H. would answer him in one word.— I believe, said he, that the employment of the naval means of the country will be sufficient for the suppression of piracy, if properly directed; but, as many of my friends think otherwise, and the officers of the government, who will be responsible for the execution of our measures, do not concur in that opinion, I am bound to suppose that I may be mistaken; and, as there will be a long interval between the adjournment of the present and the commencement of the next session of Congress, I am willing to put additional means at the disposal of the Executive, to be resorted to in the event of the failure of all others, for God forbid, sir, that the life of a single citizen should be sacrified by any remissness on our part, in providing all the means that may become necessary. The question was then taken on striking out the third scction, and decided in the affirmative, by yeas and nays, as follows: YEAS.–Messrs. Barton, Bell, Benton, Bouligny, Branch, Brown, Chandler, Clayton, Cobb, D’Wolf, 1)ickerson, Edwards, Elliott, Findlay, Gaillard, Holmes, of Maine, King, of Alab. King, of N. Y. Knight, Lanman, Lloyd, of Md. Lowrie, McIlvaine, McLean, Macon, Palmer, Parrott, Ruggles, Seymour, Smith, Talbot, Taylor, Tazewell, Thomas, Van Buren, Van Dyke, Wil*liams.-37. NAYS.–Messrs. Barbour, Faton, Hayne, Holmes, of Miss. Jackson, Johnson, of Ken. Johnston, of Lou. Kelly, 1.loyd, of Mass. Mills.-10.
Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, then offered the following, as a substitute for the section just stricken out: Sec. 3. .ind be it further enacted, That no armed vessel of the United States, authorized and employed for the suppression of piracy, shall be engaged or employed in the transportation of specie, or any other article of freight, unless specially designated therefor by the President of the United States. Before the question was taken on this amendment, Mr. VAN BUREN moved to recommit the bill to the committee on Foreign Relations, with the following instructions : “Resolved, That the bill “For the suppression of Pi. racy in the West Indies,” be recommitted to the Committee on Foreign Relations, with instructions to report amendments thereto, giving power to the President, on its being satisfactorily proved to him that any of the pirates mentioned in the said act, find refuge in any of the cities or ports of the said Island of Cuba, or other Islands mentioned in the said bill, and that the local governments of the said Islands, on being requested so to do, neglect or refuse to aid in the apprehension, prosecution, and conviction of such pirates, to give authority to the crews of the armed vessels of the United States, under such instructions as may be given them, to land on the said islands, in search of pirates, and there to subdue, vanquish, and capture them, and bring them to the United States for trial and adjudication, as the said instructions of the President of the United States may prescribe: and further, to authorize reprisals on the commerce and property of the inhabitants of the said islands.” on motion of Mr. BARBOUR, the proposed amend. ment and instructions were ordered to be printed; and The Senate adjourned.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES-sAME DAY.
CREEK INDIAN NEGOTIATION.
The resolution offered yesterday by Mr. FORSYTH, calling for the report of the Commissioners appointed to treat with the Creek Indians for a cession of their lands, was taken up.
Mr. FORSYTH said, as he wished to attract the attention of the House and of the public to a subject of very great interest to the state of Georgia, he would state what had been communicated to him respecting it.
The law of the last session, making an appropriation for the extinguishment of the Creek title to lands in Georgia, was founded on a document sent by the President to Congress: a letter from the Commissioners, who had been holding a talk with the Cherokees, which stated, on the authority of the Creek ladian agent, and some of the Creek Chiefs, that that was a favorable time for a treaty with the tribe. After the act passed, when he could not tell, orders were given to the agent to collect them at the Broken Arrow. While this act was under the consideration of a committee, the Indian agent was in Washington, and certain Cherokee chiefs, whose treatment by the Executive, and pretensions, would be recollected. They came to protest against all appropriations to purchase lands from them, and to declare they would dispose of no more, either by sale or exchange. Not satisfied with their own success, they were disposed to extend the benefits of their negotiation to the neighboring tribes. Mr. F. understood that one of the chiefs had sent all their correspondence with the Secretary of War, &c. to the Big Warrior, advising that the Creeks should follow their example. However that might be, certain it was, that some of the Creek chief's had a meeting at Tuckabotchee, in Alabama, near toe town of Montgomery, and determined to follow the pattern of the Cherokees. Not satisfied with this, as the meeting called by the agent was to take place in
November, another meeting was held by the Creeks, at