« ForrigeFortsett »
ed some days since, from the Governor of New York, on this subject, was referred to the same committee. On motion of Mr. CAMBRELENG, the House then went into committee of the whole, Mr. TOM LINSON in the Chair, on the bill “to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to adopt a new Hydrometer, &c.” Mr. CAMBRELENG, of New York explained to the committee the objects of the bill, which, he said, was as simple as its form. As early, he believed, as 1791, the government had, by law, adopted Dycas' Hydrometer for ascertaining the proof of spirits; that, since then, the ingenuity of our own countrymen had furnished us with many hydrometers, which had been found more accurate, and which were managed with more simple apparatus; that the bill merely proposed to leave it at the discretion of the Treasury, with the sanction of the President, to adopt such hydrometer as might be proved, by experiment and comparison, most accurate, and best adapted to the purpose, &c. &c. a The bill was then reported, and ordered to be engros. sed for a third reading. IN SENATE–THunsday, December 16, 1824. Agreeably to notice, Mr. TALBOT asked leave to introduce a bill further to regulate the Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. MILLS suggested to the gentleman from Kentuc. ty, that, since the subject had been referred, generally, to the Committee on the Judiciary, it had better be left to that Committee to consider and report on it. There was, he said, no doubt that the subject had become one of so great importance that it was the duty of the Legislature to act upon it. But he thought it would be more in order to leave it with the Committee on the Judiciary, who, he had no doubt, would turn their whole attention to a subject of such moment. Mr. TALBOT said, that he did not perceive the force of the gentleman’s remarks. This subject was before the Senate at the last session, and the bill he proposed would bring the whele subject before them at once. Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, said, he understood the tisual course, after introducing a bill, whether of vital importance or no, was to refer it to the proper Committee. He presumed his colleague would have no objections to so referring it, provided the subject, in which the State of Kentucky has so deep a stake, should receive the early attention of the Committee. Mr. TALBOT made some remarks in reply, when the uestion was taken, and leave being granted to introduce the bill, he introduced it accordingly, and it received its first reading.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.—s AME DAY.
On motion of Mr. TRACY, the House went into committee of the whole on the bill “authorizing payment for property lost or destroyed by the enemy during the late war;” which was read.
Mr. WRIGHT offered as an amendment a proviso, that the injuries sustained, for which indemnity is to be provided, shall have been caused by the occupation or use of the property by the United States.
Mr. TRACY went at some length into an explanation of the circumstances of the sufferers for whom this bill proposes relief, more especially those on the Niagara runtier (whom he had the honor to represent); the relief proposed to be given to them by the act of 1816; the interruption of that relief by a suspension of the power of the Commissioner of Claims; the proceedings of Congress thereon ; the passage of a second law, in April, 1817, which altered and relaxed in some degree the restrictions before imposed. He quoted and commented on the words of this law, and stated the pro>eedings which were had under its authority. He ad
verted to the introduction of a bill in 1818 to provide funds for paying the amount of the losses reported by a Commissioner appointed for that purpose under the former act, its failure, and the ill success which had since attended, in Congress, individual claims for indemnification, by his constituents, although other claims, of a similar nature, had succeeded. Under these circumstances, the present bill had been prepared, with a view to cover the whole mass of these claims, and bring their Justice fairly before the House Mr. T. went on to observe, that the greatest obstacle which had hitherto operated against this allowance was a doubt, or denial, that the loss of the property concerned was produced expressly by its use or occupation by the United States. The present bill only contemplated to provide for such cases as had been already decided upon favorably by the Commissioner, which cases it proposed to refer to one of the Auditors of the Treasury, limiting the allowance for losses to one-half the amount of personal property destroyed, but allowing the whole of the amount of real property which shall be reported by that officer to have been actually lost, &c. Mr. WRIGHT rose in explanation, and in support of the amendment he had proposed. He adverted to the provisions of the previous acts, and compared them with those of the present bill, of which he complained as being too wide and unguarded. He thought that it was a correct principle, that compensation should be allowed for property destroyed during war, in those cases only in which the destruction of property had actually been caused by its having been used in the service of the United States. The debate was about to proceed farther—when, on motion of Mr. DWIGHT, the committee rose, reported Progress, and had leave to sit again.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES–Dec. 17, 1824. Mr. TrACY moved to take up the bill authorizing payment for property lost or destroyed by the enemy during the late war; which was carried—Ayes 91, noes 42. The House accordingly went into committee of the . on that bill, Mr. CAMPBELL, of Ohio, in the chair Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, said, that he considered the question presented by this bill to be of nearly as great importance as any that would occur during the present session of Congress; as proposing to revive the famous act of March, 1816, which had been the cause of greater drain from the Treasury of the United States than had ever been made, upon the same principle, from the Treasury of any civilized government on earth ; for no government ever had a standing law of the nature of that. The bill now before the House, in effect proposed a renewel of the most impartant section (the 9th) of that law. At this moment, Mr. W. said he felt himself entirely unprepared to go into such an examination of this question as it might require. He, therefore, hoped the House would indulge him, and others similarly situated, with further time for consideration of the subject. His object was not unnecessarily to delay the consideration of the subject; but he thought it important to have before the House, and in possession of every member, the correspondence which took place between Admiral Cochha NE and the Secretary of State relative to the burning of property on the Niagara frontier. There was another document, also, which he wished the House to be in possession of a document originally brought here to carry these claims through the House, but which, since the year 1818, he had never been able to lay his hands upon. When these claims first appeared before the House, the claimants never pretended to rest them upon the ground that the buildings were occupied by
the military authority at the time of their destruction.
They then maintained that all these burnings took place on the ground of retaliation by the enemy and believing that ground sufficient to sustain their claims, they produced all the proof of it that they could. But as the House had refused to allow the claims on that ground, they have now changed their position, and placed their claims on a different one. Mr. W. wished, for his part, to examine fully the pretext upon which a re-enactment of the pernicious law of 1816 was claimed; and with these views he wished the committee to rise, in order to have the papers printed. Mr. CAMBRELENG, of New York, said, he hoped that no delay would be interposed in bringing this subject before the House—but that they should be called to act upon it immediately; being persuaded that they were as fully prepared to do so now, as they would be at any future time. He expressed his astonishment that, of all the members of the House, the Chairman of the Commitee of Claims should profess any want of information on this subject—since, from his official situation, as well as the able and conspicuous share he had had in former discussions on this matter, he should have supposed him to be better informed of every circumstance relating to it, than any other person. If permitted to proceed, Mr. C. said that he should contend that, on the ground first taken by the claimants, viz. that the injury their property had sustained was inflicted by the enemy as a measure of retaliation, their claim was just, inasmuch as it was in retaliation of injuries first inflicted on the enemy by the express order of this government, through the late Secretary of War, in the burning of the village of Newark. On this ground, the claim was perfectly sustainable; as, also, it would be on the other ground assumed, viz. that the injuries were sustained in consequence of the occupation or use of the propert by the United States. If either ground were established, these claims ought to be allowed. Mr. WILLIAMS renewed his motion that the committee rise: but once more suspended it, at the particular request of Mr. TRACY, who made some explanation in reply to what Mr. W. had said, as to the disappearance of the document he had referred to. No public paper on the subject had been withdrawn, but, on the contrary, all the papers connected with the general subject, had been printed with the report of the committee. The committee then rose, reported Progress, and had leave to sit again; and on motion of Mr. williams, the papers referred to whilst in committee of the whole, were ordered to be printed.
IN SENATE–Monday, Dec. 20.
A letter was received from the Secretary of War, transmitting a report, made in obedience to a resolution of the Senate at the last session, of the names of the pen; sioners at present on the list, the several amounts paid to each, together with the state to which each belongs i. also, a list of applicants for pension rejected; a list of the names of the widows and children of the several pensioners, with the amount paid to them, &c. Mr. Noß LE made a motion that the report and accompanying documents be printed. Mr. LowRie said that, in the year 1820, a report similar to the present was made, and ordered to be printed, the expense of which was very considerable, and a more useless expense he had never seen. He suggesteduo the chairman of the Committee of Pensions whether it would not be better to refer it to that committee. . Mr. Noble, said, that the object of the resolution adopted at the last session, was to have merely a list of the names of the pensioners furnished to the Senate; but the object of the present motion was to have the volume, no matter how large, laid on the table of each member, that it might serve as a looking-glass in which to view our follies, but that a list of the names merely
After some further conversation between Messrs. LOW RIE, NOBLE, and CHANDLER, the motion to print the documents was lost, and the letter of the Se. cretary of War alone was ordered to be printed. Subsequently,
On motion of Mr. MACON, the document was referred to the Committee on Pensions, with instructions to inquire into the expediency of printing it.
Mr. HAYNE, from the committee to whom was referred the subject of making provision for Gen. Lafayette, reported the following bill:
“A BILL making provision for Gen. I afayette.
“Be it enacted, &c. That the sum of Two Hundred Thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, granted to Major General Lafayette, in compensation for his important services and expenditures during the American Revolution, and that, for this purpose, a stock to that amount be issued in his favor, dated the 4th of July, 1824, bearing an annual interest of six per cent. payable quarter yearly, and redeemable on the 31st December, 1834.
“Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That one complete and entire Township of Land be, and the same is hereby, granted to the said Major General Lafayette, and that the President of the United States be authorized to cause the said Township to be located on any of the Public Lands which remain unsold, and that patents be issued to General Lafayette for the same.”
The bill was twice read, by general consent, and Mr. HAYNE gave notice that he should move its third reading to-morrow.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.—s AME DAY.
Mr. A. STEVENSON, of Virginia, rose to ask the attention of the House to a subject which was interesting to Virginia, and merited an early consideration. It re. lated to the unsatisfied claims of that state for advances of money made by her for the use of the General Government, during the late war. The subject, Mr. S. said, had been presented to Congress by the President, in a very strong message, at the last session; but, owing to circumstances unnecessay to mention, had not been acted on. He wished it taken up, and finally disposed of. It was proper, however, that he should state to the House that Virginia would press the payment only of that part of the claim which related to interest actually paid by her on moneys borrowed for the use of the General Government, and disbursed in its service. He stated this fact, to prevent any misunderstanding as to the character of the claim, and the principles which it involved. Of its merits, Mr. S. said, he would not now speak. At a proper time, he would endeavor to shew to the House that the claim asserted by Virginia was founded in justice and authority, and ought to be paid. This, however, he would say, that, whatever the conduct of other States in the Union might have been during the late war, there was not one who had been more steadfast and disinterested in her services than Virginia, or more loyal in the devotion of her resources to the general defence. She now only asked that her claims should be speedily adjusted upon fair and just principles. This was due as well to this Government as to Virginia, and with that view he begged leave to submit the following resolution:
“Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs be instructed to inquire into the propriety of providing by law for the reimbursement of the amount of interest paid by the State of Virginia upon loans of money negotiated oy her for the use of the General Government, during the late war between Great Britain and the United States.”
Mr. HAMILTON, Chairman of the Committee on Mi
could be of no use whatever to the Senate.
litary Affairs, suggested that, as this was a Purely legal Dec. 20, 1824.]
Virginia Claims—Occupation of the Mouth of the Oregon. [H. of R.
question, its proper direction was rather to the Committee on the Judiciary, than to that on Military Affairs. Mr. STEVENSON observed that he felt no great solicitude as to what direction the resolution should take : but he thought his friend from South Carolina was mistaken in supposing that the resolution embraced a question of a purely legal character. It was a question which arose entirely out of military transactions. In sending it to the Military Committee, he had been guided by the suggestion of some of the oldest members of this House, whose opinions he had consulted, and also by the reference of a similar question in the other House of Congress. Mr. HAMILTON adhered to his amendment, being persuaded that the resolution could in no case pertain to the Military Committee. If it did not properly belong to the Committee on the Judiciary, it ought to go to the Committee on Claims. Mr. P. P. BARBOUR thought that, from the nature of the functions of the Committee on the Judiciary, (which had cognizance of courts and of laws,) this subject could not belong to them. The principle of the gentleman from South Carolina would send every question in which law was concerned to that committee. This was a question concerning disbursements for military service, and, as such, properly pertained, he should suppose, to the Committee on Military Affairs. The question was then taken on Mr. HAMILTON'S amendment, and lost; when Mr. SHARPE, of New York, moved to amend the resolution, so as to refer the subject to the Committee of Claims; which was carried,—ayes 94, noes 63. Thus amended, the resolution was agreed to. Mr. MALLARY, of Vermont, then offered the following resolution : Resolved, That the Committee on Naval Affairs be instructed to inquire into the expediency of making an appropriation for collecting materials, and preparing for the building of a steam vessel of war for the defence of Lake Champlain. Mr. MALLARY observed, that it was well known to the House, that the Government had, some time since, erected fortifications, on an extensive scale, with a view to the defence of Lake Champlain; but that, owing to a dispute or error , with respect to the boundary line, which separates that part of the United States from Canada, those works had been abandoned. The lake was, in consequence, now left destitute of any defence whatever, as the navy, which, for a time, floated on its waters, was now dismantled, and fast going to decay. It the general principle of defence on which the country was acting, in relation to our Atlantic seaboard, was a just and wise principle, it surely applied with additional strength to a case where the country of the enemy was not on the other side of the Atlantic, but in immediate adjacency to our territory. The resolution was adopted. Mr. FLOYD, of Virginia, moved that the House go into committee of the whole on the state of the Union, with a view to take up the bill “for the occupation of the mouth of the Columbia (or Oregon) River;” which was agreed to, and the House went into committee accordingly, Mr. A. ST EVENSON in the chair. The bill was read by sections, and the several blanks were fikied. Mr. FLOYD, of Virginia, said, so much, Mr. Chair. man, has been said and written on this subject, that I will be as concise as possible, as I do not wish to consume the time of the committee. This subject has been so long before the House, that I presume the mind of every gentleman must be satisfied as to the propriety of the measure; I will, therefore, only present a few new ideas and additional facts which are in my possession, and my inferences from those facts, and content myself,
with that defence of the measure, to leave the bill to its fate. I know, that it is an opinion much urged, and generally adopted, that we should keep our population as much condensed as possible ; that there would be danger in erecting a territory at so great a distance, as protection would be difficult, if not impossible, and that there would be danger of separation; that, in all military operations, the frontier to be protected should be as small as the nature of the case would permit, and that well fortified. In replying to all these objections, I would not wish to be understood, as urging my own opinions. I will candidly state to the House, that, to me, it seems very doubtful, whether military posts and fortified places are at all necessary in a country situated as ours is. Notwithstanding these are my opinions, I am willing to grant anything in reason which the administration of the country may think necessary to its defence. We often receive opinions from others, and from books, taking the subject up as presented by writers, rather than using them as the means of becoming acquainted with the matter, and, by our own mature reflection, apply them to the existing state of things. This, I believe to be the case, as it regards our notions of military defences. It is indeed true, that, in the early ages, Europe was held by some powerful nations, who fortified their cities. At that day, the nation was almost altogether in the city, the country being tilled by the poor sent out for the purpose, or by slaves; and, when it was overrun by the northern barbarians, they were obliged to defend themselves in these fortresses as they could; it was not war, but conquest and extermination. The fierce contest was soen over; the country was parcelled out among the barons who followed their daring chief, or king, the great baron of the invading force. Thus placed amid a new and beautiful country, fertile and abounding in wealth, these fierce and haughty barbarians soon engaged in acts of strife and mutual aggression. It became a matter of importance to each, to secure himself against the sudden attack of his neighbor, which, oy means of beacon fires, kindled on the tops of mountains, a blast from the trumpet, or other signals of co-operation, irruptions were frequently made on each other's dominions, without an hour's notice; hence, strong castles or fortresses became necessary, or rather indispensable. Warring with each other, and sometimes with the king, filled up the space of many years. The executive, however, gradually increasing its power, violating the rights of the people, and constantly encroaching on the power of the barons, established itself more firmly ; yet, the castles were not finally destroyed on the continent, until about the reign of Henry IV. As the barons were subdued, and their fortresses demolished, standing armies, by degrees, were introduced, and each king maintaining an army, greater perhaps than the actual state of things required, compelled his neighbor to resort to the like means for security and defence: thus the circle of the kingdom was fortified instead of the barony, and the nations of Europe came to fortify themselves against each other, just as the petty barons had done; the frontier was enlarged, but the system not changed; hence, the multitude of fortresses that cover Europe. Here, however, we have nothing of this sort to fear; our country is of such vast extent, that we are protected by it from the broils of petty powers, tormenting by their intrigues, and secure from the unwarrantable ambition of the great states, by being removed from them. We have no enemy, nor can have any, but such as comes from Europe—Europe, the disturber of the world ! Should we at any time, unfortunately, find ourselves involved in war with any power in Europe, we shall always have time enough to prepare for the event; and,
H. of R.] Occupation of the Mouth of the Oregon. [Dec. 20, 1824.
as we should have to meet in battle, I believe it would be of little consequence to the American people, how, or where. Our large cities, concentrating much wealth, and attracting the attention of an enemy, ought to be secured by strong and judicious fortifications; for the rest, the arms of the citizens should be their fortresses, as none can doubt, that, in all time to come, should an enterprising enemy come to our shore, and wish to land, he can do so, in despite of all the fortifications raised, or to be raised. Again, might it not be an objection to this vast system of fortifying our frontier, the favorite plan of some, that the for:ress might fall into the hands of an enemy, and offer him a safe place to obtain water, and secure their ships, and repair all damage to the ar. my and navy 2 This occurrence would be a most serious thing to us. He would then have to be beaten out by a much superior force, which would require an expense correspondingly large, nor could these vast fortresses be safely entrusted to a few men; the force ought to be at least sufficient to man the works, which, at one point in Virginia, I have understood, would require from seven to ten thousand men, this too, at a place, where, during the late war, we had not a man . I repeat it, that, in my opinion, the rifle, and a knowledge of its use, is the best defence for our country, with the exception of the Sommercial cities, which should be secured by strong forts, Sparta thought so, in days long past; and Napo. leon has proved, in the late wars of Europe, how easy it is to march by those fortresses, and conquer his enemy, which had cost so much time, labor, and expense, besides the loss of so many lives, in the fine armies commanded by Saxe, Marlborough, and others. I am, nevertheless, willing to act prudently upon the plan approved to the country, and continue their plans: yet, admiting the course to be currect, the number of military posts, and the points at which they should be erected, becomes another question. For my own part, in casting my eyes over the country, I cannot perceive that more than twenty-three or four, or, at most, twentyfive, fortified places are necessary; they are these which I hold in my hand, and disposed as follows: Maine, Portsmouth, Boston, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Delaware, Baltimore, Norfolk, perhaps Old Point Comfort, North Carolina, Charleston, Savannah, St. Augustine, Pensacola, Mobile, the Mississippi river, Plattsburg, Niagara, Detroit, some arsenals and deposites. The fortresses on the sea board might be taken care of by a portion of the infantry and the artillery; the residue inight be distributed on the northern and western frontier. There is, as I understand, a regiment at Sackett's Harbor, at this time, a force, in my opinion, too great for the post: part of that regiment could well be spared, or even a part of those now at the Council Bluffs, and posted at the mouth of Columbia or Oregon river, which would obviate any objection which might arise on that point. If, however, this should be objected to, which I cannot perceive, from the fact that the army, small as some say it is, nevertheless is deficient by several hundred of its proper number, could be filled by enlistments for that service, or authority might be given to increase the army by law to two hundred common soldiers more, which, organized as our army is, could be done with perfect convenience, by adding a few men more to each company, and not cest more than, perhaps, two thou
It is, at all times, a disagreeable task for me to recur to the scenes which took place in the western Country thirty or forty years ago : none have so deeply suffered by those wars, agitated and produced by British agents and British traders: that country must be secure—these troubles shall cease—the trade ought to be our own.
The Western Country, perhaps, fared as well as cir. cumstances would permit our Government, at the peace of 1783, was in a situation which disposed it to agree to almost any terms of peace which should recog. nize the independence of onr country; I do not mention it in terms of reproach, on the other hand, they were wise and prudent. But the British were on better ground to negotiate ; they provided for their trade; they knew well the value of the fur trade of the West, and the 1mmense influence it gave her over the Indian, which, according to her avowed principles, she could use in war. That trade was demanded, and it was wholly surrender. ed to them. England has shown, in all her treaties, that she knew well the value of this trade, and, from the moment she got possession of Canada until the present time, she has cherished it; and, in her late treaty with us, she has displayed her sagacity and great knowledge of the subject, and the value of the trade of the Oregon. She has driven our citizens from that country: we can no longer trade there; and, by an arrangement with the East India Company, and South Sea Company, their traders are permitted to ship their goods from London and Liverpool direct to the mouth of that river. Our traders, on the other hand, have two shipments to make, paying a duty of from 25 to 373 per cent. so that, when they come into competition with the Briton, he is only selling at cost that which the Englishman is disposing of at a profit equal to the duty paid by us: the occupation contemplated by this bill, with the aid of a Custom House, at no distant day would go far to remedy this evil. It has been hinted by some, that the inhabitants of Oregon, in time, might become strong, and be disposed to separate from us. What, let me ask, could be the inducement to such a measure ? With a vast power to A. south and to the north pressing upon them, with no reciprocal interest, they would find themselves drawn more closely to the Union, supplying by their industry these powers, and finding an immense country to the East inhabited by their friends and relations, obeying the same laws, and taking from them many of the rich produc. tions of the East, without an increase of expense. Be. sides, what has their local legislation to do with national affairs 2 What do we know of the legislation of
Maine or New Hampshire, or of Georgia? Do not our judges expound the laws of Congress as well in those states as in Maryland or Virginia? Would not a judge in Oregon do his duty as well as a judge in Missouri o Does it matter where, or in what place, the laws are made What is the appearance of things when Congress adjourns, the President retired to his farm, and his Secretaries gone to their homes 2 All local or state affairs the people of Oregon could transact for themselves, as well as the states on this shore ; their obedience to the laws of the Union would be the same ; the interest of the people on that side of the Rocky Mountains would be identified with the interest of the people of the whole Atlantic coast, in a stronger degree, in my opinion, than Vermont and Louisiana, and will continue as long.
Notwithstanding this, suppose there should be a separate government, and they become an independent people, is there any thing very shocking in this? Is it not in unison with our own principles to separate freely and peaceably, when the force of circumstances makes it manifestly necessary? And would it not be better to have our children there, than the Spaniard, Englishman, or the rough Russian? Surely, if we do not occupy it, some foreigner will, as so large, beautiful, and fertile a
diminish also the public expenditure.
country, abounding in productions better in the rich Dec. 20, 1824.]
markets of India and China than silver and gold, cannot be left untenanted. Moreover, the law of nations, which we respect, would go far to justify them in taking possession of it. Would we, in that case, wage war to recover it? if so, that war would cost much more than the occupation proposed by this bill. Would you abandon it? Then say so, and let the enterprize of your citizens choose the course. Many now go to Mexico and to Canada, where they get land for the asking: the inducement to Oregon would not be confined to that poor prospect of a piece of land. Mr. Chairman, this river must be occupied; so noble a stream, watering with its branches a tract of country from the 42d to the 53d degree of north latitude, and from the Pacific Ocean a thousand miles in the interior, with a climate, though north of this city several degrees of latitude, yet as mild as this, cannot remain unoccupied. This country, too, if there is a spot on the face of the globe destined to feel less of the calamity of war than another, it is this place : this, I should think, would be another strong inducement for its settlement. All the wars which have agitated the world, have been in, or had their rise in Europe—all the wars we have had, and perhaps will have for ages, can only be from Europe. All the defences we have planned, and are planning, is to secure ourselves against the wars of Europe—from all this, Oregon will be comparatively freed. If there is a man, whose religion, or whose judgment or feelings disapproves of war, then let him settle in Oregon, where himself, and his descendants for ages to come, will be unmolested by the din of arms. Russia, from the situation of her capital, her commanding interests, and the mass of her population, will remain an European power—she cannot disturb ns at so distant a point. The coast of Asia is too distant, too wild and unimproved, to become the seat of Royalty; and should war arise with that power, Europe and the Atlantic must teel its effects. Should England be the enemy, the result would be the same—that territory is too distant by sea to enable them to fit out any thing like a heavy force: wherefore, the danger of molestation would be small. From the coast of China, we know there is no danger. The experience of many centuries of exemption from war, has taught her the wisdom of peace. She will not, cannot war with us. From Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Chili, there will be little danger; as the products of the two countries are totally different, we cannot compete in the market; and they have no timber to become a naval power: from that quarter we are safe. If, however, the Republic should be plunged in war, it must be on the Atlantic shore, where it can defend itself; that coast would ask no protection. The whole shore of the ocean is almost a perpendicular rock, only approached through the mouths of the rivers, easily secured, and easily defended, which leaves all at ease withn, tranquiility and peace. There is, Mr. Chairman, another point of view in och this subject presents itself, still more important to *s, and one which ought to engage the most serious attention of the Republic. This river is the largest which empties itself into the Pacific Ocean on the whole coast of America, or on the coast of Asia, as far, at least, as China. It has soil and *mber, to any extent, fine harbors, and much health. from this point, the whole Pacific ocean can be comwanded; and is the only point on the globes where a naof power can reach the East India possessions of our *rmal enemy, Great Britain, It is well known to every *imber of the House, that through all her struggles *Napoleon, and amidst all the gigantic schemes and **laustless resources of that great man, her trade to India remained untouched and secure. It is well known that he had planned a descent upon her East India pos.
Occupation of the Mouth of the Oregon.
| lions of property.
**ons; but as he himself declared in his conversations *h Mr. O’Mearn, at St. Helena, a book all have secn, Vol. 1.-No. 11.
the truth of which, none doubt, that he was never able to accomplish it: because, on consultation with his ablest naval commanders, and on various calculations, he found that the fleet would be deficient, as he observed, in one month's supply of water. If, then, we secure the possession of Oregon, and avail ourselves of the fine harbors and ship timber which we know how to use, which fact, the English, at least, ought not to doubt, we take the strongest and surest security of Britain, for her future good behaviour. *She will be very cautious how she evinces that wantonness and injustice, and utter disregard of the rights of this Republic, which led to the last war with her, when she knows that, in thirty or forty days, we can, at any time, strike a blow cm her East India possessions, which, of all others, she would feel the most sensibly and sorely. This would be a better guarantee for our future peace, than her faith in the observance of treaties, or her impressions of justice. We should, too, obtain the entire control of that ocean, where we have, even now, annually, eight or ten milMexico, Peru, Chili, and Colombia cannot, and Britain, in those seas, must forever remain too weak to cope with us. We will be in good ports at home; they have all the dangers of a voyage round a cape proverbial for its storms, and two oceans, making a distance of perhaps thirty thousand miles. If, in any future war, a ship should be taken from the enemy in that sea, instead of burning it, or suffering it to rot, as was done by the intrepid Porter, we would have a near and safe port to enter, where all prizes could be secured, and, by a court of admiralty, the property changed, which could be sold to the merchants of any, or all of the powers below, or even to the Russian. This, then, gives us the command of that ocean, from the Bay of Bengal, to Cape Horn, and to Behring's Straits, Kamtschatka and Ochotsk. From this bill will result all these important considerations. We procure and protect the für trade, worth to England, three millions of dollars a year. We engross the whale trade, a most valuable branch of commarce, so plenty on that coast, that Portlock, an English navigator, states, that in 1787, when in latitude 57° he saw the ocean covered with whales as far as the eye could see. We control the South Sea trade, as it is called—the trade in Seals, and in the islands of the Pacific. We must govern the Canton trade. All this rich commerce could be governed, if not engrossed, by capitalists at Oregon, making it the Tyre of America, to supply the whole coast below, and thus obtain the silver and gold of those rich countries on that coast, more valuable to us than the mines themselves; for the nation which works in iron, and labors in commerce, has always, and will forever, govern those who work in gold. Here is a way, then, to supply the market of Canton with all it wants, without a dollar in specie from the Republic. What flour, and cotton, and tobacco, is taken from the United States, by ships in that trade, on what they call indirect voyages, are first disposed of in Europe or the Mediterranean, for silver, opium, &c. and these are shipped to China, where the opium is better than silver. The ginseng of the Oregon, the fur of that river and that sea, with sandal wood, and other valuable productions of the islands, will purchase all we want, not only to supply our own wants, but to dispose of in Europe, and return the proceeds to our own country. Much can be taken to Oregon, and from thence. shipped to the governments below, or furnished to the merchants of Mexico, Guatimala, and others, as they may find it convenient to apply for them, by so short a voyage—from ten to twentytwo days. The trade to Canton has never been properly regarded by us; when viewed in a proper light, it is of great value to the United States, and ought to be cherishtii, or, as sometimes happens, the best thing that can be done, is, to do nothing; and this is emphatically one of these