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for the cause of the reduction of the prices of our cotton and tobacco in the political and commercial history of Europe. The price of cot. ton depends on the demand for the manufactures of that article ; the English-made cottons depended on the continental markets, from which the British manufactures are excluded. The price of tobacco never was materially varied by the consumption in England, but depended on the foreign demand from Great Britain, which, by their exclusion from the continent, is almost entirely arrested. Sir, if we examine with candor the cause of the reduction of the prices of these articles, we shall find, that the retaliatory system of the two great belligerents produced it: the “ British proclamation blockading system," of 1806, induced the continental blockade of 1807, and ultimately the interdiction of all articles the growth, produce or manufacture of Great Britain, to the continent.
America, ever faithful to herself, determined to preserve a state of neutrality, and not commit her destinies with either of the great belligerents, who were deciding the rise and fall of empireş by the sword, and recording their destinies in blood. Our policy was peace, and in this we persevered with a degree of equanimity unexampled in the anpals of the world ; nor, sir, was the non-intercourse act, now so violently complained of by Great Britain, marked with the slightest shade of partiality. By that act, at the same time, and as it were “ uno flatu,” we offered to both nations the same terms, and agreed not to import any articles the growth, produce or manufacture of the other, her colonies or dependencies, on either revoking their edicts violating our neutral commerce, unless they should within three months thereafter revoke their edicts. The emperor of the French did revoke his decrees, but the British did not revoke their orders in council within three months; but congress, in their peaceful policy, by a law, invited her, and authorized her to do it at any time; so that in fact she may be considered as fixing the restrictions, of which she complains, on herself, as she has it in her power to remove them at her will and pleasure.
Sir, the monstrous pretensions insisted on by her minister, near the United States, were not less exceptionable in their manner, than in their matter. However, the American minister, in a style and manner that did honor to his head and his heart, detected and exposed their fallacies, placed the United States on that high ground her just claims entitled her to hold, and gave a celebrity to that state paper, that it will be quoted with pride by the American statesman, as the mirror of British insolence.
Mr. Speaker-I regret that the gentleman from Virginia should ascribe to the gentlemen of the west, a disposition for war, with a view to raise the price of their hemp, or to the gentlemen of the north, with a view to raise the price of their beef and four. These, sir, are selfish motives, and such as I cannot for a moment believe will be taken into consideration in deciding this important question ; they will, with every other section of the union, unite in deciding it
on its merits; they will count the wrongs we have sustained ; they will reflect, that the honor, the interest, and the very independence of the United States, is directly attacked; they will, as guardians of the nation's rights, agreeably to the advice of the administration,
put the United States into an armor and an attitude demanded by the crisis, and correspondent with the national spirit and expectations ;” they will prepare to chastise the wrongs of the British cabinet, which the president tells us have the character as well as the effect of war on our lawful commercial rights, which no independent nation can relinquish.” They will decide with the president, the executive organ of the nation's will, “ that these wrongs are no longer to be endured.” They will decide with the committee of foreign relations, “ that forbearance longer to repel these wrongs, has ceased to be a virtue"--and I hope they will decide with me, that submission is a crime: and, sir, if they will examine a document on that table, I mean the returns of the twelfth congress, and compare them with the eleventh, they will find nearly one half of the elerenth congress removed. This, sir, may correctly be considered as the sentence of the nation against the doctrine of submission': it is certainly an expression of the nation's will, in a language not to be misunderstood, and too serious in its application not to be respected.We have also, sir, the expression of Maryland, through her senate, who unanimously approved the spirited resolutions, introduced by the late governor, who did not suffer his exposed situation, so alarm, ing in the opinion of the gentleman from Virginia, to deter him from doing his duty. We have also, sir, the resolutious of the legislature of Pennsylvania, an honest test of their non-submission principles. Mr. Speaker, I cannot forbear the remark, that while the gentleman from Virginia ascribes to the west and to the north, interested motives, he confesses that the situation of the blacks in the state he represents, impressed as they are with the new French principles of liberty, and their desire for the fraternal hug, are seriously to be feared ; that these new principles have been taught them by the pedJars from the east, who, while they sell their trinkets, inculcate these doctrines : he suffers his fears, for the state he represents, in the event of a war, on account of the blacks, to interest him ; and had he not told us, that if the ' natale solum' was touched, or that if there was a British agency in the late attack on governor Harrison, he would go to war, I should have been ready to conclude, that as the state of the blacks would be a permanent objection, no cause could occur that would induce him to go to war.
Mr. Speaker--the gentleman from Virginia says, he expects to be charged with being under British influence ; however, he disregarded it. I assure him, I shall not be one of his accusers ; I believe him governed by himself, and influenced by pure American motives ; and that if he saw the subject as I do, his bosom would burn with the same sacred fire to avenge our wrongs: and was I to hear him charged in his absence with being under British influence, I should
repel it, notwithstanding he has told us in a prideful manner, that he
vix ea nostra voco.
Act well your part-there all the honor lies. Sir, the charge of foreign influence, and the recrimination of one political party, by the other, are unpleasant things. I should rejoice to see the curtain of oblivion drawn over them, and all uniting under the nobler distinction of American. I, sir, feel it due to the federalists of Maryland, to declare, that when the outrage was committed on the Chesapeake, they expressed an equal zeal to avenge the wrong and to volunteer their services under the standard of their common country. Nor, sir, can I, from the pleasing aspect this House presented when acting on the first resolution, feel a doubt that they will on all proper occasions, zealously co-operate in protecting the solid interest of this country, to which their destinies are committed.
Sir, I sincerely regret that the gentleman from Virginia should treat with so much freedom that class of society, which in case of a war must make the standing army. It was illy calculated to aid the recruiting service, to call them "the scourings of sea-ports, to be collected by the scavengers of the army," "engines of despotism," ever dangerous to liberty. This could have no good effect. That there is a mixed society in the seaports I admit-adventurers from all nations ; but the great mass of the people is truly respectable, and I trust the honesty of their principles is not to be measured by any standard of wealth. The usual bounty and pay with the 160 acres of land, and the love of their country will induce our respectable young men to enlist-they will never suffer those rights, their inheritance purchased by the blood of their fathers of the revolution,to be lost by a degeneracy of their sons. I wish gentlemen, when they speak of the soldiery, would recollect how they came into that house, and by whose bloocí the independence of the United States was purchased. Sir, if they will examine their own history they will find that the tax in blood was paid by the poor in the ratio of 64 to 4--the number of privates when compared with the officers ; and indeed they will find that many of the best officers were poor. Sir, we know many of the privates of that army who are now among the most respectable of our citizens.
Sir, have we forgot the disinterested patriotism of a Paulding, a Williams, and a Vanwert, who conducted Andre to the gibbet? They were poor, but honest-gold could not corrupt them.
Mr. Speaker, the same patriotism that inspired their fathers yet inspires their sons.-We have with national pride seen a Summers, a Wadsworth, and an Israel, to liberate their brothers in arms from Turkish slavery, perform a prodigy of valor unexampled in the pages of history : It has been honorably recorded in the archives of Congress and their monuments in the navy-yard will ever be dear to American seamen, and an evidence of the magnanimity of the naval officers, who, at their own expense, erected them, and who, in a war for their impressed brother tars, I have no doubt, would distinguish themselves whenever an occasion presented itself.
But, Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Virginia, could he be reconciled to a war and a regular army, would have, as he tells us, insuperable difficulties on account of a commander in chief: he says, we have no Washington, and that our present chieftain is an "acquitted felon.” Sir, our Washington was little known at the commencement of the revolution ; nor after he was known could his distin. guished character secure him against intrigues to remove him from the command of the army ; however, they fortunately failed. I am truly sorry, sir, that the delicacy of the situation of the gentleman from Virginia, and the more delicate situation of general Wilkinson, now under trial by a court-martial, had not restrained invectives. In such a case the press is muzzled, nor ought such freedom of speech to be indulged in this House.
I hope I shall be excused for presenting the resolutions of that Congress who were distinguished in history as “a constellation of worthies,” testing the early, the active, and distinguished services of general Wilkinson, a native of Maryland, with whom I have been long acquainted :
“ Nov. 6, 1777, in Congress, Resolved, that Col. James Wilkinson, adjutant-general of the northern army, in consideration of his services in that department, and being recommended by Gen. Gates, as a gallant officer and a promising military genius, and having brought the dispatches to Congress giving an account of the surrender of lieutenant-general Burgoyne and his army on the 17th of Oc tober last, be continued in his present employment, with a brevet of brigadier-general of the army of the United States."
“Nov. 6, 1778, Congress proceeded to the election of a Secretary to the board of war and ordnance, the ballots being taken, James Wilkinson, Esq. was elected.” Again, on the sixth of March, 1778, we find this record of his patriotism and magnanimity," a letter of the 3d from James Wilkinson, was read, setting forth, that he is informed, the mark of distinction conferred on him, has occasioned a dissatisfaction in the army,' that to obviate any embarrassment that may result from the disposition by the consequent resignation of officers of merit, he begs leave to relinquish his brevet of brigadier,
wishing to hold no commission, unless he can wear it to the honor and advantage of his country, and that his conduct, however repugDant to fashionable ambition, he finds consistent with those principles for which he early drew his sword in the present contest.'--Resolved, that his resignation be accepted.”
Here is a record of his having distinguished himself in his early youth in the opinion of Congress, who presented him with a sword, which he wore with distinction to the end of the war.
Mr. Speaker, we find him afterwards in the confidence of the great Washington, when president of the United States, whose penetration and knowledge of him taught him
to appreciate his worth, whose confidence he retained to his death. We find him in the confidence of every admineation, the favorite of his country, until he nipped Burr's treason in the bud, and had sent on a number of choice spirits, connected with him in the works of treason, to be dealt with according to their crimes ; an offence of too deep a dye ever to be forgiven by them and their powerful friends. Hence, altho' he received the approbation of his government and plaudits of a grateful country, he drew upon himself a train of persecutors and slanderers, of whose history you are all informed, of whom I have no hesitation in saying, that if they were prosecuted for their forgeries and perjuries with half the zeal that he has been persecuted, I really believe would not be called "acquitted felons.” Sir, was the gentleman from Vire ginia correctly informed on the subject, such are my impressions of his magnanimity and justice, that he would be enrolled with the friends of the general, and that he would consign his persecutors and accusers to the obloquy they so justly merit.
But, sir, from a militia of nearly eight hundred thousand, we can never be at a loss to create a regular army of thirty or forty thousand; nor, sir, can our liberties ever be endangered by that army while we have an armed militia of seven hundred thousand, composed at least of as good materials-Nor, sir, can we be at a loss for a commander of that army, even should general Wilkinson be slandered out of the confidence of the nation- We certainly have patriots and soldiers of talents and enterprize, who would have the confidence of the nation, and who would lead her army to honor and glory, and crown their arms with success.
[Debates to be continued.]