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diminish our capacity to consume, by impoverishing us ; thus causing a conflict between our interests and those of the manufacturing portion of the Union. How is this conflict to be avoided, and the interests of all parties reconciled ? This is the great problem. I see but one way; and that is, for our manufactures to command the foreign market,—when our cottons would be shipped in the shape of yarns and goods, instead of the raw state. This we would greatly prefer. But how is this to be accomplished, except by a sound, stable, and uniform currency, and low duties, as I explained when I addressed the Senate first upon the question ? Such are my views, formed after much reflection. If I am in error, I am honestly so. Truth, and truth only, is my object, accompanied by an anxious desire to see the interests of this great country harmonized on just, fair, and liberal principles. It is impossible they can be on any other other.
I agree with the Senator, that currency is liable to be disturbed by many, and various, and powerful causes ; some more, and others less permanent. I do not think that it has yet recovered from the effects of the long and exhausting wars, which terminated in the overthrow of the late Emperor of France. At its termination, the currency of Christendom was in an unsound and unnatural state, particularly in this country and Great Britain ; in both of which, paper had superseded gold an silver. We were the first to resume specie payments, which gave the precious metals a direction to this country. Great Britain resumed some years after, when it took an opposite direction ; and hence the heavy exports of specie in 1821, 1822, and 1823. The tariff of 1824 checked this, for a time, and that of 1828 gave the currency a direction hitherward again ; which was followed by the operation of other and powerful causes, down to the late suspension as I have shown in my remarks when I first spoke on the subject. But I feel assured that the expansion which followed the tariff of 1828, is truly to be at
tributed to it,—not only because there was no other cause at the time to which it could be referred, but because it was, of itself, adequate to produce the effect, and because its duration and modification, in every particular, were such as might be expected from it.
I agree with the Senator as to the great importance of uniformity of prices; but am firmly of the opinion, that nothing short of the restoration of the currency contemplated by the constitution, and a surrender of the protective system, can insure the uniformity which he so justly appreciates.
Passing over the other remarks of the Senator, which I am willing to leave as they now stand between him and myself, I shall conclude by making a few observations on the objection he makes to the position, that low duties are favorable to the exportation of articles manufactured at home. He thinks that the increase of the exports of such articles, after the reduction of the duties in 1833, is not to be attributed to the reduction, but to the excessive previous importations from Europe, which compelled our manufacturers to get rid of their stock, by seeking a foreign market. Without admitting or denying the fact of such excess of importation of the foreign articles, at this time, a decisive answer to the objection may be found in the explanations afforded by the tables themselves. In the first place, the increase of the exports, as will appear by reference to the tables, was steadily progressive—each succeeding year being higher than the preceding, just as the duties went off ; and the last year for which we have these returns (1838), the highest of all.
In the next place : the falling off under the tariffs of 1824 and 1828, followed almost as steadily the same law, throughout the long period of eight years; making, for the two periods taken together, fourteen years; which clearly shows that the cause is not to be found in any accidental
state of the market. But there is a third and conclusive reason ;—that the great staples of the country followed the same law through both periods,—and to which the cause assigned by the Senator cannot apply. To this, if further proof be necessary, may be added the general argument already stated, that any limitation on the imports, whether by prohibition or high duties, must act as a limitation on the exports; and the fact is equally applicable to the staples and the home manufactures.
Let me now say, Mr. President, in conclusion, that I believe we have reached the point of time when the interest of every section of our wide-spread country—North, East, South, and West—may be reconciled, and the industry of the whole be placed on the firmest and most durable basis. What we want is calm and deliberate discussion, with a spirit to seek the truth, and to do equal justice to all.
I shall come to the question in this spirit myself; and if the discussion shall take a different character, the blame shall not lie at my door.
On his Resolution in respect to the Brig Enterprise,
delivered in the Senate, March 13th, 1840.
[In Senate, March 13th, 1810. The following resolutions submitted by Mr. Calhoun on the 4th inst., were taken up for consideration :
Resolved, That a ship or vessel on the high seas, in time of peace, engaged in a lawful voyage, is, according to the laws of nations, under the exclusive jurisdiction of the State to which her fag belongs; as much so as if constituting a part of its own domain.
Resolved, That if such ship or vessel should be forced by stress of weather, or other unavoidable cause, into the port of a friendly power, she would, under the same laws, lose none of the rights appertaining
to her on the high seas; but, on the contrary, she and her cargo and persons on board, with their property, and all the rights belonging to their personal relations, as established by the laws of the State to which they belong, would be placed under the protection which the laws of nations extend to the unfortunate under such circumstances.
Resolved, That the brig Enterprise, which was forced unavoidably by stress of weather into Port Hamilton, Bermuda Island, while on a lawful voyage on the high seas from one port of the Union to another, comes within the principles embraced in the foregoing resolutions ; and that the seizure and detention of the negroes on board by the local authority of the island, was an act in violation of the laws of nations, and highly unjust to our own citizens to whom they belong.
The resolutions having been read,]
MR. CALHOUN said : The case referred to in these resolutions, is one of the three which has been for so long a period a subject of negotiation between our Government and that of Great Britain, without, however, receiving the attention which, in my opinion, is due to the importance of the principle involved. The other two were those of the Comet and Encomium. In order to have a clear understanding of the bearing of these resolutions, and the principles they embrace, it will be necessary to give a brief narrative of each of these cases.
The Comet is the first in order of time. She sailed from this district in the latter part of the year 1830, destined for New Orleans, having among other things, a number of negroes on board. Her papers were regular, and the voyage in all respects lawful. She was stranded on one of the false keys of the Bahama Islands, opposite to the coast of Florida, and almost in sight of our own shores. The persons on board, including the negroes, were taken by the wreckers, against the remonstrances of the captain and owners, into Nassau, New Providence, where the negroes were forcibly seized and detained by the local authorities.
The case of the Encomium is in almost every particular similar. It occurred in 1834. She sailed from Charleston, des
tined, also, to New Orleans, with negroes on board, on a voyage, in like manner lawful,—was stranded in the same place, taken in the same way, into the same port, where the negroes were also forcibly seized and detained by the local authorities. It so happens that I am personally acquainted with the owners of the negroes in this case. They were citizens of North Carolina, of high respectability, one of them recently President of the State Senate ; and their negroes were shipped for New Orleans, with the view of emigration and permanent settlement in one of the Southwestern States.
The other is the case of the Enterprise, referred to in the resolutions. She sailed, in 1835, from this district, destined for Charleston, South Carolina, and, like the others, on a lawful voyage, with regular papers. She was forced, unavoidably by stress of weather, into Port Hamilton, Bermuda Island, where the negroes on board were, in like manner, forcibly seized and detained by the local authorities.
The owners of the negroes, after applying in vain to the local authorities for their surrender, made application to the Government for redress of injury : 'and the result, after ten years' negotiation, is, that the British Government has agreed to compensate the owners of the Comet and Encomium, on the ground that these cases occurred before the act for the abolition of slavery in her colonies had gone into operation, and refused compensation in the case of the Enterprise because it occurred afterwards.
Such are the material facts, drawn from the correspondence itself, and admitted in the course of the negotiation. What I propose, in the first place, is to show that the principle, on which compensation was allowed in the cases of the Comet and Encomium, embraces also that of the Enterprise ; that no discrimination whatever can be made between them ; and that in attempting to make a discrimination, the British Minister has assumed the very point in controversy, or, to express it in more familiar language, has begged the