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accommodation. This was the very situation in which each wished to place us against its enemy; and of course both would probably have accepted the proposition ; one or the other certainly would; and if the acceptance of one before the other, would have produced a state of hostilities against the other, it would have been of very short cortinuance; because neither of them would find any interest in a war against us ; and each wished us to take a part in the war, not against itself, but against its enemy; and perhaps the accommodation would Rot be the less durable for having been sealed with blood. This measure was not opposed upon its intrinsic merits or demerits, but it required to be backed with other measures of preparation and expense; and hence the real cause of its failure. The practical understanding of the rejection of this measure, both at home and abroad, was submission to the belligerent aggressions : or, in other words, notwithstanding all our previous patriotic speeches and resolutions, we were determined not to resist by force. And what has been the result of this conviction on the part of the belligerents, of submission on our part ? Great Britain immediately disavowed an arrangement made by Mr. Erskine, under the influence of instructions given upder a contrary conviction; a conviction produced by the measures of this body, and a report made by a gentleman, then a member of the House of Representatives, and whom I now see with pleasure on this floor, and a resolution adopted in consequence of that report.This resolution declared our determination to resist the belligerent aggressions, with only two dissentient votes. The measures of this House, without any declaration, were calculated to produce the same conviction. In this state of things, Mr. Erskine received his instructions, and a satisfactory arrangement with Great Britain was the consequence ; but the moment Great Britain found we had receded from our ground and falsified our professions, she disavowed the arrangement, and now perseveres in hostile inflexibility. How did France act, upon being apprised of this improvident and fatal recession ? Her emperor immediately seized and confiscated all your property within his control ; and his minister officially told us, that he would have expected something more from a Jamaica assembly!
It is not to be presumed that Great Britain and France acted in concert upon this unfortunate occasion ; and therefore the analagous conduct of each, must be proof positive of the practical understanding and effect of our deprecated secession. It was a declaration of submission, as far as submission consists in refusing resistance by force. The government seems now sensible of this fatal error, and is determined to retrieve it ; but, he was sorry to observe, with measures as inefficient upon the principle of resistance by force, as were commercial restrictions as a substitution of that principle. And when we look for the causes of this deplorable inefficiency, they resolve themselves, as heretofore, into tenderness for the treasury department, &c.
[Remainder of Mr. Giles' speech in the next number.]
No. 10.] Twelfth CONGRESS.... FIRST Session. (1811-12.
[Debates in Congress---Continued.]
[Mr. Giles' speech---Concluded from No. 9.] Mr. G. said, that whilst upon this most unpleasant part of the subject, he wished to be indulged in a few observations upon the state of our public debt; because this subject, in the hands of a skilful financier, had been the most efficient weapon for beating down all the measures which he believed were best calculated to support the character and promote the interests of this country. Mr. G. said, it had always given him pleasure to see that debt in a rapid state of reduction, and he had at all times given his aid to facilitate that object. We had, however, experienced the effects of a debt, of above eighty millions of dollars, now reduced to perhaps forty millions of dollars ; yet this difference of the amount of debt had never been felt by society. It had produced no sensible effect upon the common intercourse amongst men in their pecuniary affairs. He asked every gentleman to reflect and recollect, whether in his pecuniary arrangements he ever took into his calculations the present compared with the former state of the public debt? For his part, he said, he should never have known of the reduction of the debt, but for the annual treasury report. The reason why a debt of eighty millions of dollars is not felt in the United States, is that the amount is so entirely within their ability. Now, sir, is it not infinitely better to restore the debt to its former amount, or more, when we know from experience how little influence it has on society, and that influence will necessarily be diminished in proportion to our increase in wealth and population, than to surrender the smallest attribute of the national sovereignty?
Mr. G. said, before he concluded he begged permission to observe, that particular individuals supposed they had an interest in imputing to him a wish to involve this datinp in a war with Great Britain, and had accordingly reproached him with the most unworthy epithets. He said, no gentleman present wished for peace, or deprecated a war with Great Britain, more than himself. He said, he hoped he was not blind to his own interests, nor the interests of those inhabiting the same scene of country with himself. It was imperiously their interests, not only to preserve peace with Great Britain, but a free commercial intercourse with her. Grain was the principal product for exportation in that part of the country; Great Britain was almost at all times in want of that article, and was at this moment giving very high prices for it. The country was generally in a very prosperous condition, in consequence of this state of things, and it could not be desirable to change it. But he never could see the incompatibility between the desire of preserving peace, and a preparation to
meet unavoidable war. It appears now to be almost universally agreed, that if this course had been heretofore pursued, it would have insured peace; and if war should now come, it would be in consequence of the fatal rejection of the proposed measures of preparation for war. In fact, there is no sounder maxim, than that a preparation for war was the surest mean of preserving peace. If in this moment, in consulting his own and the nation's interest, in the preservation of peace, he were called on to decide merely in reference to that object, whether we should now raise thirty thousand men (his favorite number) or ten thousand, or no men at all, he would certainly prefer the thirty thousand.
If you had thirty thousand men on the confines of Canada, Great Britain would then believe you were in earnest.
She would know, that after that force was raised, it must be applied to its objects; and she would of course begin to calculate its consequences. If she found that the inconveniences of opposing such a force would not be compensated for by her hostile aggressions, she would probably abandon them. If she thought, that, by the chances of war, an obedient and friendly colony might be converted into an enemy's country, it would afford a great inducement to her to avoid the war. If she found a hostile population approaching Halifax, the inducement would be increased; for that is the point nearest her heart; and she would risk much in its protection. It is important to her, as a protection to her West Indies, &c. Besides, the war would deprive her of her best commercial customer. These and similar considerations might induce her to prefer peace. Without presenting a competent military force, perfectly prepared and placed in a situation for action, none of these inducements for the preservation of peace will be presented to the British cabinet. But if, disregarding these considerations, she should prefer war, no gentleman can seriously conclude that even 30,000 additional troops can be too many for the purposes of war.
In the House of Representatives. MR. DAWSON'S SPEECH On the second Resolution reported by the Committee on Foreign Relations.
When we are about to take a step-to assume an attitude which must change all our foreign relations, and may produce a change in our political character, it becomes us to summon all our wisdomto collect all our moderation and firmness, and to unite all our energies and exertions. It becomes us to be 'neither rash nor diffident,'or, to use the language of one of the greatest men who ever lived in the tide of times, "immoderate valor swells into a fault, and fear admitted into public councils betrays like treason." Such, sir, is the situation of the United States at this moment. We are about to take such a step-every sentiment therefore which can be offered demands its proportion of public attention, and renders that apology from me unnecessary, which, on any other occasion, common prudence would justify.
After the select committee on our foreign relations had made their report, it seemed to me to be their particular duty to give this House a full exposition of their present and ulterior views and objects, and of those of the administration, as far as they had astertained them, founded on the information which, it is presumed, they possessed. For this I waited with patience, and have listened with attention and with pleasure—it has been given with promptness, with ability and with candor—and with that perspicuity which frees the mind from all doubt, as to the course which, in their judgment, we ought to pursue. And now it rests with us, sir, to determine whether we shall sanction their recommendation—whether we shall adopt those measures necessary and preparatory to a war, in which it is probable our country will be engaged. Sir, in the course of my political life, it has been my duty to meet and decide on some of the most important questions which have been agitated in our public councils, and deep-, ly involving the best interests of our country—these duties I have performed with fidelity and without fear--and I pledge myself never to depart from that line of conductmand, sir, at no period of my life, nor upon any occasion have I met any question with more serious deliberation and more undaunted firmness than I do the present.
For several years past I have been an advocate for the adoption of every measure, the object of which was to place our country in a complete state of defence, and prepare us to meet any state of things. I have thought, and do think, that preparatory and vigorous measures are best calculated to maintain the dignity and secure the peace and happiness of our country-that to be prepared to meet danger is the best way to avert it. These preparations have not been carried to the extent which I have wished-and yet, sir, I am far from think. ing that my country is in that feeble state which some gentlemen seem willing to represent it. I feel myself authorized to state, that We have all the necessaries; all the implements; all the munitions necessary for a three years close war against any force which any power can send to this continent.
All that we want, are men-No, sir, pardon the expression--all which we want is an expression of the will of the nation. Let this House, let the constituted authorities declare that will.--let them declare, “The Republic to be in danger," and thousands and tens of thousands of our fellow citizens will rally round the standard of their country, resolved to avenge her wrongs, or perish in her ruin. Yes, sir, should that awful moment ever arrive, which may heaven avert, should we be forced into a war in the defence of our just rights, I trust and believe that there is not a man in the nation, whose situation will permit, who will not be ready to march at his country's call. No man more devoutly prays for peace than I do--no man deprecates standing armies in the time of peace more than I do-1 consider them the bane of society and the danger of republics---but, sir, as peace, honorable peace, is not always at our commond, they mustbe resorted to in time of war.
Mr. Speaker, we have heard much of expense, of taxation and of economy. Sir, no man abhors that which goes to defeat itself more than I do. The one is wisdom, the other is 'folly.--and although I am an advocate for economy, and a rigid distribution of the public funds, and opposed to taxation, yet, sir, there are times and circumstances, when considerations of that sort, when all minor considerations must be subservient to what we owe the public--- when to be freemen we must cease to be misers--- when the peace, the honor, the independence of my country are threatened, rather than sacrifice, rather than endanger them, I would draw every cent from your public coffers--- every sous from your private purses---and this, I am bold to say, is the undivided sentiment of those I have the honor to represent.
Mr. Speaker, when i fose, it was not my intention to go into the various reasons which will induce me to vote in favor of that resolution, or to recapitulate the wrongs which urge its adoption--they have been fully stated in the report of the committee itself, and to use its own words, the cold recital of wrongs, of injuries and aggressions, known and felt by every member of this union, could have no other effect than to deaden the national sensibility and render the public mind callous to injuries with which it is already too familiar." Nor, sir, do I mean to underrate or to belittle the power and resources of the nation with whom we shall probably be engaged. I know her to be great and powerful, and that we shall find a foe not unworthy our sword. I know that our countrymen will be subjected to great difficulties, hardships and dangers---confiding in the justice of our cause, and in their virtue and valor, I entertain no doubt of the resulta
MR. FINDLEY'S SPEECH. Mr. Findley said, he had frequently observed members, after a question had undergone a very tedious discussion, say that if the yeas and nays had not been called, they would not have spoken on the question, but these having been called they must assign the reasons for their votes. He did not approve of that principle, because if it was to be reduced to practice every member would speak to every such question, and there would be no end to the debate. However, on this question, though he thought it had been sufficiently discussed, yet he deemed it proper to express a few thoughts, not so much to give the reasons for the vote he designed to give, as to ex plain the principles on which he designed to give his vote. He designed to vote for the resolution before the House, but not solely for the same reasons or with the same determined views that some honorable members have expressed. He would not dwell on the tyrannies and robberies of either the more ancient or modern despots or governments of the old world, but confine himself to such as had a direct relation to the question depending before the house.
That the aggressions and bad faith of the British government, and the recommendations of the Executive were the foundation of the