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interdicted to British armed lips, American vessels ; when such is their deportment towards you, under fuch circumstances, what could you expect if they were the uncontrolled lords of the ocean? Had thole privateers at Savannah borne British commif. fions...or had your shipments of cotton, tobacco, alhes, and what not, to London and Liverpool, been confiscated, and the process poured into the English Exchequer.. My life upon it! you would never have listened to any miserable wire-drawn distinctions be. tween " orders and decrees affecting our neutral rights," and “ municipal decrees," confiscating in mass your whole properly, You would have liad instant war! The whole land would have blazed out in war.
And Thall re publicans become the instruments of him who had effaced the title of Attila to the scourge of God! Yet even Attila in the falling fortunes of civilization had, no doubt, his ad. vocaces, his tools, his minions, his parasites in the very countries that he over-ran-sons of that soil whereon his horse had trod i where gross could nevir after grow. If perfectly fresh, Mr. Randolph faid, (instead of being as he was--his memory clouded, his intellect stupified, his strength and spirits exhausted) he could not give utterance to that strong detestation which he felt towards (above all other works of the creation) such characters as Zingis, Tamerlane, Kouli-Khan, or Bonaparte. His instincts involuntarily revolted at their bare idea-Malefactors of the hu. man race, who ground down a man to a mere machine of their impious and bloody ambition., Yet under all the accumulated wrongs and insults and robberies of the last of these chieftains, are we not in point of fact about to become a party to his views, a partner in his wars?
But before this miferable force of 10,000 men was raised to take Canada, he begged them to look at the state of defence at home --to count the cost of the enterprize before it was set on foot, not when it might be too late--when the best blood of the county thould be spilt, and nought but empty coffers left to pay the cost. Are the bounty lands to be given in Canada ? It might lessen his repugnance to that part of the fiftem, to granting these lagris, not to thefe miferable wretches who fell themselves to Navery for a few dollars and a glass of gin, but in fact to the clerks in our offices, fome of whom, with an income of 1500 or 2000 dollars, lived at the rate of 4 or 5000, and yet grew rich---who perhaps at that moment were making out blank aflignments for thefe land rights.
He would befeech the House, before they ran their heads aagainst this post Quebec, to count the coft. His word for it, Virginia planters would not be taxed to support such a war...a war which must aggravate their present diftreffes ; in which they had not thie remotest intereft. Where is the Montgomery, or even the Arnold, or the Burr, who is to march to the Point Levi?
He called upon those profeffing to be republicans to make good the promises held out by their republican predeceffors when they came into power..-promises, which for years afterwards they had honestly, faithfully fulfilled. We had yaunted of paying off the national debt, of retrenching useless establithments; and yet have now become as infatuated with standing armies, leans, taxes, navies and war, as ever were the Ellex Junto. What republicanism is this?
Mr. Randolph apologised for his very defultory manner of :speaking. He regretted that his bodily indisposition had obliged him to talk perhaps fomewhat wildly ; yet he trusted some method would be found in his madness... On the other refolutions he fhould perhaps be obliged to trouble the House again.
MR. WRIGHT. Mr. Speaker-I muft beg the indulgence of the house, while I deliver my opinion on the subject now under confideration, the most important that has been submitted to the Congrels of the United States. I, fir, shall take the liberty of varying the question from the honorable member from Virginia, (Mr. Randolph) who yefterday considered it a question of peace or war. I Thall consider it a question of war or fubmiffiondire alternatives, of wi.ich, however, I trust, no honest Ameri. can can hesitate in choosing, when the question is correctly stated, and distinctly understood." The gentleman from Virginia contends, that it is a dispute about the carrying traide, brought on us by the cupidity of the American merchants, in which the farmer and planter have little interest; that he will not consent to tax his conftituents to carry on a war for it; that the enemy is invulnerable on the mountain wave,” the element of our wrongs, but should they violate the “natale solum,” he would point all the energies of the nation, and avenge the wrong. Was that gentleman Atricken on the nose by a man fo tall that he could not reach his nose I strongly incline to think his manly pride would not permit him to decline the conflict. Sir, the honorable member is incorrect in his premises, and of course in his conclusions. I will endeavor to convince him of this, and shall be gratified could I enlist his talents on the side of a bleeding country. Sir, the vio. lations of the commercial rights of which we complain, do not only embrace the carrying trade, properly so called, but also the carrying of the products of our own foil, the fruits of our own industry; thele, although injurious only to our property, are just causes of war. But, fir, the impressment of our native fcamen, is a stroke at the vitals of liberty itself, and although it does not touch the " natale solum," yet it enslaves the "nativo filios," the native sons of America, and in the ratio, that liberty is pref. erable to property, ought to enlift the patriotic feelings of that honorable member, and make his bosom burn with the holy fire that inspired the patriots of the revolution.
Sir, the carrying trade, by which I mean the carrying articles the growth, produce or manufacture of a foreign clime, (except
articles contraband of war) is as much the right of the American people, as the carrying the products of their own foil, and is not only secured by the law of nations, but by the positive provisions of the British treaty. To us, air, it is an all-important right. We import from the West Indies, annually, property to the a. mount of forty millions of dollars, for which we pay in the prod. ucts of our own foil ; of this, ten millions only are consumed in the United States, and the surplus of thirty millions, are exported to foreign countries, on which the American merchant pays three per cent. obtains the profits on the freight of thirty millions of dollars, and furnishes a market for American productions to the same amount. The honorable gentleman from Virginia faid, that that little spot in Maryland, Baltimore, which was well fortifi. ed and secure from an attack, had an unbounded influence, that "the lords of Baltimore” governed the representatives of Maryland in their votes on this subject. No, fir, every district of Ma. ryland folemnly proti sts against submission to any foreign power, and I have no doubt will approve the votes of their members on this floor, " to prepare for war," or for war itself, rather than fub. iniffion. Baltimore, by the industry and commercial enterprise of her citizens, has grown out of the fea, into a great commercial city, has diffused the benefits of commerce into every fection of the state by making a great demand for the products of our foil and industry, and a consequent increase of price, whereby every foot of land in Maryland is made more valuable, and whereby the interest of every part of the state is identified with theirs ; for this she is justly entitled to our respect. But, sir, she has no occasion to infuse her patriotic fire, (lo pre-eminent in the case of the Chesapeake) into the representatives of Maryland. They know the wishes of their constituents, and will most certainly obey them.
Mr. Speaker I hope if the gentleman from Virginia will not defend the carrying of foreign articles, he will defend the carrying the products of our own soil, a right most disgracefully violated.' When our own citizens have been carrying provisions, the produce of their own soil in their own ships to feed the armies of England, and her allies, on the continent of Europe, they have been captured on their homeward bound passage, on their own coast, and condemned in a British Court of Admiralty. If this does not inspire him, yet I am not without hopes that when he reflects on the impressment of our native American seamen carrying the products of our own industry to market, thousands of whom at this moment are languishing under the ignominious scourge on board the infernal floating castles of Great Britain, he will feel like an American, devoted to avenge their wrongs. He has said that if Great Britain had an agency in exciting the Indians to the massacre of the troops under gov. Harrison, he would avenge it. Sir, can he feel less bound to avenge the slavery and death of American impressed seamen, committed directly by
Britons themselves, than the death of citizens by the savages through a British agency? I should like to hear him exercise his logical talent in the discrimination of these cases, which however profound would I presume be ineffectual to that purpose. Sir, the impressment of American seamen is of ancient date, the outrage was remonstrated against by our Washington, and by every'administration since, and every diplomatic energy, in every administration, exerted, to put a stop to this infamous practice in vain.
Mr. Speaker, I ask honorable gentlemen if we are not bound by the most solemn ties to protect our seamen by all the lawful means we possess? I have ever considered, that, protection and allegiance were reciprocal obligations, the counter parts of each other; that the protection of the citizen in his liberty, was secured to him by the constitution, every member of the government, bound by oath, to support that constitution securing to him that right. I ask should an impressed American seamen (who had been for seven years under the lash, and whom we had during that time neglected,) be indicted for high treason, when found with our enemies in arms against us, should he plead specially that fact, would it avail him ; and if it would not, how can we neglect to protect him in his liberty, secnred by the social compact, which we are bound by oath to execute? Mr. Speaker, it is well known that my sympathies have always been enlisted for this hardy and valuable class of our fellow-citizens, who though poor, yet as “honest tars” proverbially, in a peculiar manner, are entitled to our protection. -Sir, we all recollect the capture of the Philadelphia frigate by the Turks-and we can never forget, how the news, of so many of our fellow citizens being subjected to Turkish bondage, in a moment, electerised the sympathies of the American people ; that a squadron was without delay dispatched to the Mediterranean, and a large sum of money voted for their ran. som : But, sir, we have so long submitted to the British impressments of our seamen, that it has become an old story, and we seem to have set down easy under it, instead of making them pay for it, with interest. But, sir, the murder of Pierce in our own waters, the killing of our citizens in the Chesapeake, the hanging of Wilson in cold blood taken out of that ship by violence, and the very recent case of the American citizen impressed into the Little Belt, and compelled to fight against his own countrymen, who was killed in that action, are fresh in our recollection, and if these outrages, which cry aloud for vengeance, do not animate
I fear the sacred fire, that inspired your fathers in the revolution, is nearly extinguished, and the liberty of their degenerate sons, in jeopardy--Mr. Speaker, the gentlemaa from Virginia has declared that if he could believe that the late massacre of the troops, in the attack upon governor Harrison by the Indians under the Prophet, was the effect of a British agency, he would unite with us heart and hand, and personally assist to avenge the bloody deed. I feel a confidence that if the gencleman will attend to the circumstances of this case, and take a retrospective view of the conduct of the British government, he will feel no doubt of the fact. I will take the liberty of pointing the gentleman's attention to some of the prominent features of that goveroment, which will go far in establishing that fact.-When Dunmore, governor of Virginia, in 1775, found it necessary to quit the seat of government, and go on board the feet for safety from the revolutionary vengeance of the Patriots of Virginiaat a period, too, when the Americans were suing for justice by their humble petitions, to the king and parliament, and when that Chatham the gentleman from Virginia has so highly extolled, was the advocate of our violated rights, Dunmore issued a proclamation inviting the negroes to his standard, to cut the throats of their masters, and promised them a pardon. This fact I know, from having presented that proclamation to a court, at Northampton, in Virginia, to induce them to commute the punishment of death, (passed on some of the victims of his perfidy, to working in the mines; which they did. I will next remind the gentleman of the speech of lord Dorchester, to the Indians, after the peace, in which he advises the tomahawk and scalping knife, whereby numbers of the inhabitants on the frontiers, of all ages, sexes and conditions, were sacrificed. This was the cause of the Indian war that shortly after took place. This fact was tested by the newspapers of the day, which had universal credit.
These cases go to prove that the principles that ought to govern civilized nations have at all times been totally disregarded by the of. ficers and agents of that government. After these cases we shall feel little hesitation in believing there was a British agency in the case of the niassacre by the Prophet's troops on governor Harrison's detachment, when the circumstances relied on are duly considered. At the late great council with governor Harrison, the chiefs of many tribes were convened, all of whom, except Tecumsee, the Prophet's brother, in their speeches avowed their friendly dispositions, and devotion to peace with the United States-Tecumsee, who with a num. ber of his tribe, came from Fort Malden, in Canada, declared his hostile intentions against the United States, left the council with that avowed intention, and returned again to Fort Malden. Shortly after which, the Shawanese assembled a large body in arms in the Indiana Territory, under the Prophet, and committed the assault on the troops of governor Harrison, though they have paid for their temerity. This, I trust, connected as it is with the immorality and extraordinary pretensions of that government at this crisis, will satisfy, not only the gentleman from Virginia, but this House, of a British agency in the case.
But to divert our attention from the wrongs of which we complain, the gentleman from Virginia tells us that our own restrictive system has undone us; that our cotton is reduced to seven cents, and our tobacco to nothing. Sir, there are now no restrictions to the exportation of these articles; and if that had been the cause, on its removal the effect would have ceased with it. No, sir, we are to look