« ForrigeFortsett »
shall be brought upon you by those to whom seamen and commerce shall be alike unknown; who shall never have heard the
surges of the sea; and into whose minds the idea of a ship shall never have entered, through the eye, till they shall come, from beyond the western hills, to take the protection of your maritime rights, and the guardianship of your commercial interests, into their skilful and experienced hands. Bringing the enemy to the blockade of your ports, they shall leave your coasts to be undefended, or defended by yourselves. Mindful of what may yet remain of your commerce, they shall visit you with another embargo. They shall cut off your intercourse of every description with foreign nations. This not only; they shall cut off your intercourse of every description by water, with your sister states: This not only : they shall cut off your intercourse of every description, by water, between the ports of your own states. They shall seize your accustomed commerce, in every limb, nerve, and fibre, and hold it, as in the jaws of death."
I now put it to you, sir, whether if this practical ad. ministration of the constitution had been laid before them, they would have ratified it-I ask you, if the hand of Hancock himself would not sooner have committed it to the flames?
--If then, sir, they did not believe, and from the terms of the instrument had no reason to be. lieve, that it conferred such powers on the government, si then, I say, the present course of its administration is not consistent with its spirit and meaning.
Let any man examine our history, and he will find that the constitution of the country owes its existence to the commerce of the country. Let him inquire of those who are old enough to remember, and they will tell it to him. The idea of such a compact, as is well known, was first unfolded in a meeting of delegates from different states, holden for the purpose of making some voluntary agreements respecting trade, and establishing a common tariff. I see near me an honourable and venerable gentleman (Mr. Schureman, of New Jersey,) who bore a part in the deliberations of that assembly, and who put his hand to the first recommendation, ever addressed to the people of these states by any body of men, to form a
national constitution. He will vouch for the truth of my remark. He will tell you the motives which actúated him, and his associates, as well as the whole country, at that time. The faith of this nation is pledged to its commerce, formally and solemnly. I call upon you to redeem that pledge ; not by sacrificing, while you profess to regard it; but by unshackling it, and protecting it, and fostering it, according to your ability, and the reasonable expectations of those who have committed it to the care of government. In the commerce of the country, the constitution had its birth. In the extinction of that commerce, it will find its grave. I use not the tone of intimidation or menace, but I forewarn you of consequences. Let it be remembered, that in my place this day, and in the discharge of my public duty, I conjure you to alter your course. I urge to you the language of entreaty. I beseech you, by your best hopes of your country's prosperity ;-by your regard for the preservation of her government, and her union :-by your own ainbition, as honourable men, of leading hereafter in the councils of a great and growing empire !- I conjure you, by every motive which can be addressed to the mind of man, that you abandon your system of restrictions--that you abandon it at once and abandon it for ever.
Continuation of Mr. Webster's Speech, on the bill making
further provision for filling the ranks of the regular
THE humble aid, which it would be in my power to render to measures of governinent, shall be given cheerfully, if government, will pursue measures which I can conscientiously support. Badly as I think of the original grounds of the war, as well as of the manner in which it has been hitherto conducted, if even now, failing in an honest and sincere attempt to procure just and honourable peace, it will return to measures, of defence and protection, such as reason, and common sense and the public opinion all call for, my vote shall not be withholden from the means. Give up your futile projects of invasion.
Extinguish the fires that blaze on your inland frontiers. Establish perfect safety and defence there, by adequate force. Let every man that sleeps on your soil sleep in security. Stop the blood that flows from the veins of unarmed
yeomanry, and women and children. Give to the living time to bury and lament their dead, in the quietness of private sorrow. Having performed this work of beneficence and mercy on your inland border, turn, and look with the eye of justice and compassion on your vast population along the coast. Unclench the iron grasp of your embargo. Take measures for that end, before another sun sets upon you. With all the war of the enemy on your commerce, if you would cease to war on it yourselves, you would still have some commerce. That commerce would give you some revenue.
Apply that revenue to the augmentation of your navy. iu turn, will protect your commerce.
Let it no longer be said, that not one ship of force, built by your hands since the war, yet
Turn the current of your efforts into the channel which national sentiment has already worn broad and deep to receive it. A naval force, competent to defend your coast against considerable armaments, to convoy your trade, and
perhaps raise the blockade of your rivers, is not a chimera. It may
be realized. If, then, the war must continue, go to the ocean. If you are seriously contending for maritime rights, go to the theatre where alone those rights can be defended. Thither
every indication of
fortunes points you. There the united wishes and exertions of the nation will go with you. Even our party divisions, acrimonious as they are, cease at the water's edge. They are lost in attachment to national character, on that element, where that character is made respectable. In protecting naval interests by naval means, you will arın yourselves with the whole power of national sentiment, and may command the whole abundance of the national resources. In time you may enable yourselves to redress injuries, in the place where they may be offered, and if need he, to accompany your own flag throughout the world, with the protection of your own cannon.
Extract of a Speech in Congress, by the Hon. AlexANDER
C. Hanson, upon his motion to strike out the first section of the bank bill, Nov. 20, 1814.
SUCH is the perilous situation of this country, visible to every eye, and plain to every understanding, that unless a combined effort is made to rescue us from the dangers which are seen, on all sides; I do fear our cast. is desperate, our ruin irretrievable, and that we are lost irrecoverably. But, sir, while there is yet life, there is still hope. I will not, must not, dare not, abandon the country. If deserted by its true friends now, it will sink so low, that it cannot hereafter, under the guidance of other councils, be re-elevated to that pinnacle of honour, dignity and glory, from which it has been dashed by heartless and corrupt men in their despicable contests, for personal aggrandizement. If the country, two years hence, is to be governed by wiser and abler men, I see no reason to conceal the opinion that the sooner a good and sufficient system of revenue, and a well regulated bank are organized, the better. They may be necessary instruments for those who may succeed the authors of the burdens, which must constitute the basis of a system imparting efficiency and ability to the national finances. If we can save the vessel of state from being wholly wrecked, the easier it will be to repair and rig her out again. But most certain it is, if our affairs are suffered to go on in their present downward course, a few months hence I might point to the naked crumbling columns of your capitol as a type or symbol of the government.
Let then a united effort be made to save the country : But at the same time, be it understood that we are not to withdraw our opposition, to those unconstitutional measures, and that pernicious policy of government, which are adopted with no other view, than that the party in power, may be more firmly seated in power, and the better enabled to persevere in their mischievous career. This we cannot do without abandoning our most sacred duties, without a base derilection of those well tried principles, which have stood every test, and passed through every ordeal, for a long series of years. No, sir, we can. not be expected to add fuel to the flame, by which we ourselves are consumed ; to feed the fever that is raging in our own veins; to become the architect of our own ruin; to assist in forging chains for posterity if not for ourselves.
I confess, sir, I have the less difficulty in voting supplies, and uniting to recover public credit, since the disclosure made to the house by the President, in relation to the discussions at Ghent. Anterior to that communication, the resolution had been formed, as far as I might be supposed to be entitled to political consideration, to join in measures for defence. * Although I believe the war was unjust and wicked in its origin, yet a state of things had arisen out of the revolution in Europe, the threats of devastation by the enemy, and his increased ability to execute his menaces, which rendered it neces. sary to unite in objects of defence, and to strengthen the arm of government for that purpose. Although declared, the war is not now continued from motives or designs, foreign to this people. On the contrary administration has humbled itself to a degree exceeding commisseration, to obtain peace. Without violating the injunction of secrecy, which locks up from the eye of the people, the most interesting part of the dispatches, I will advert merely to such parts, as are public. I say then I have the less difficulty in voting supplies because the administration has changed its ground since the revolution in Europe, and come over to my opinions and views of the fair terms of peace. As the contest now stands, the question of blockade no longer presents difficulties : That of impressment; aye, of IMPRESSMENT, is abandoned by the very authors themselves of the Cabalistic words, “free trade and sailors' rights !” The Napoleon notion of floating colonies is also discarded, since its author himself has been consigned to a state of colonial dependence, being struck from the list of potentates, though he preserves all the forms of royalty in his little kingdom, not so large as the possessions of some of our southern Dons, with their thousands of acres, and battalions of blacks. The question of " free ships, free goods," is al.
* The Speech may very well begin at this place, if it should be lod 'long for recitation.