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tion, that our conquest was founded, not on our.
own strength, but on the infidelity of the subjects of a foreign Power; on mental if not practical treason. This policy, if adopted, will expose the people of the &o to a hazard, which they ought not to incur—to rise without a special cause against the lawful sovereign, or to incur the odium of treachery, and as it may be to meet the consequent punishment of an offended monarch. It is cruel and unjust as it relates to them; it is impolitic as it relates to ourselves. *These lures which we offer may be held out by others; and hereafter the doctrines, we now inculcate, may be applied to our own dismemberment and ruin. No, sir, let us redress our multiplied injuries by our own strength; let us shun connexions with all foreign Powers; let us rise in our majesty, and will that the northern provinces shall be free— their freedom will be certain ; our enemy will be punished; the savages will be held in check, and
our Government will be enabled to execute its
laws. * * These prefatory remarks are founded on the belief, that it is the determination of Government to make war against Great Britain; to which measure I give my assent. - This assent is founded on a full and firm conviction of the necessity of a change of measures, and that it is more prudent, and more for the interest of the Government of this nation to advance to war, than to recede to the relations of a neutral nation, as explained at present by the British Government. -Sir, our present situation, of all others, is the most calculated to depress the spirits of our people; to unnerve the Government; to demoralize the citizens, and to introduce that system of fraud and chicane, which advances the unprincipled, and beggars the virtuous; which creates a conflict between the planting and the farming interest, for at present a great portion of the latter thrives, while the former is perishing: which arrays against each other the great interests of agriculture and commerce; which holds out false lures to the manufacturers, and virtually offers seven millions of dollars (the amount of our duties on importations of British commerce) to illicit traders. - - -* There must, there will be a change of measures. We shall either recede from the conflict, or we must vindicate our rights by the sword. We cannot remain as we are. We are a Republic;
Additional Military Force.
ours is a Government of opinion, not of force. The nation demands measures of spirit, of energy; it demands redress of grievances and security for the future—it requires us to turn our energy against the enemy, not against ourselves. A system which in adverse times diverts the angry passions from these who injure us, to our own Government, is unwise and cannot endure. Indeed such a system has never been found practicable in monarchies—its success under the present iron despotism of Europe remains to be determined. In former times, the House of Bourbon, as monarchs, while at peace and enjoying general trade, vainly strove to guard a frontier #: of less than four hundred miles, by an army of twenty thousand men, from the introduction of German laces and silks. They never succeeded. England, where more power is concentrated in less compass than ever happened to any other nation on earth, with all her system of vigor and terror, with all her fleets, her custom-house and excise officers, strives in vain, even now in time of war, to exclude the wines and brandies of
France. Her public men retire, every Autumn,
to the seacoast, where they are indulged in these luxuries, at a price by retail less than her duties. In our Revolution, though traffic with the British was punishable by death, yet the British army was well fed, by men not Tories, while the American army was starving in New Jersey, and so naked and unprovided #. that their route might be traced by the blood which they left behind them. - - * What, sir, happened under our embargo laws, which were, when laid, wise as measures of precaution ? Where were the articles of provision that perished under these laws? Sir, the cases did not occur. Everything calculated for a foreign market was sent abroad. There were not on hand the usual supply of these articles, when the embargo was removed; and what is more extraordinary, without any material alteration in foreign countries, they fell in price in six weeks after the removal of the embargo. , Sir, these restrictions cannot be useful in the present state of society. We might inflict very considerable sufferings on those who injure us, if the laws we make could be strictly executed; but we have to act for human nature as it is ; not as we might wish it, nor as it ought to be. And in the construction of laws and regulations, the wisdom of the legislator is not more established by the intrinsic merits of his acts, than by the facility and certainty of their execution." - --History has proved that commerce and civilization are twin sisters: they go hand-in-hand through the nations of the earth; and he who attempts to preserve the latter, without allowing the former, will discover in the end his ignorance of men and things. Sir, continue your present state of things, and ur revenue will be lost; your country may sufer some for those articles which are of most general use, and consequently, the manufacturers of Britain may be injured, and this may induce them to act on their Government: but this nation will
be inundated with the more valuable goods—and whatever of suffering there may be, will manifest itself in the interior. While these considerations lead me to a decided opinion against our present attitude, and a regard for the Government and nation inspires me with a belief that it is improper to recede, I cannot but express my regret at the prospect of war; a regret which arises, in some degree, from a knowledge of its evils—of the peaceful character of our citizens—of the value of a citizen in this new nation—of the shock which it must occasion to our institutions—and more especially of the present.
state of the world, where no balance is found, .
either on land or on water; and where, before the rights of a peaceful nation can be fully enjoyed, a just balance must be created for each element. Yet, with all these objections, I am constrained, by a sense of duty, to give my vote for these war unleasureS. . . * , Having thus stated the motives which will induce me to vote for the army, I proceed to remark, that I would be understood as voting an army for the efficient purposes of war, not as a means of negotiation. I pray to God, that he may open the eyes of the British Government to the interests of their renowned nation, and save us, them, and the world, from the evils of the impending conflict; by inducing them to return to us our injured seamen; to, refrain from further impressments, and according to their promise, to revoke their Orders in Council and blockades, unsupported by competent force. . But on our part, negotiation is, and ought to be ended. We cannot offer any new proposition. Our Administration has exhausted their own,
our, and the nation's patience...The season of
action has arrived. We have evinced every-disposition to conciliate-to make reasonable allowances for the unprecedented condition of Europe, and to yield those portions of our neutral rights which are not considered essential to our existence as a nation. Instead of corresponding sentiments of friendship, and perhaps, I may say, of sympathy, we have met with accumulated insults. Our citizens are impressed and compelled to fight, not only the enemies of Great Britain, but their own friends and kindred. In every sea our flag is violated, and our merchants are robbed of their hard-earned wealth, and even the products of our soil. In our own waters, our citizens, in their lawful pursuits, have been inhumanly murdered, and our towns partially invested: to cap the climax, she now, after a fruitless war with France of eighteen years—after her own promise to revoke her Orders in Council, when the French edicts were revoked, resuses to remove her obstructions to commerce, according to her promise; and, against every rule of the law of nations, demands of us, most of whose articles are excluded from European commerce, to dictate to Europe the terms on which British, not American, goods shall be admitted into the Continent. A proposition so monstrous cannot be the subject of a discussion. It bespeaks a determination to rule us, and can
only be answered by an appeal to the God of Battles. Sir, as to the force contemplated by the bill, I have, at times, entertained doubts. It, at first view, appeared to me scarcely equal to the attainment of our objects. Again, I reflected on the spirit of our yeomanry—on their readiness to avenge our country’s wrongs—on the discipline and military skill of that section of the Union to which I belong: I speak only of that section, sir, because I know but little of the state of the militia out of New England; and I thought we might safely rely on a smaller regular army at first, and a large volunteer force. -But, sir, reflecting on the history of our Revolution—on the time, necessary to train troops for the field, on the evils resulting from volunteers
* withdrawing from the service at a critical mo
ment, on the double expense of marching one corps to, whileanother is marching from the Army, on the double loss of the labor of these men from the pursuits of agriculture, and on the sage advice of theimmortal WAshingtoN, so repeatedly given to the Revolutionary Congress: Iain led conclusively to the opinion, that the true interests of the nation require that we should raise the full complement of men in this bill mentioned. . In addition to these, I am in favor of a corps of at least fifty thousand volunteers. It is not prudent to despise any enemy, more especially Great Britain, who rides Queen of the Waters; and, notwithstanding all her employment for troops, may furnish the Canadas with a considerable army. At this moment, sir, her regular force in Canada is not contemptible. She has there about eight thousand disciplined troops, and twelve thousand volunteer militia, who have been occasionally trained for two years. She has every munition of war; her forts are strong—particularly Quebec. On the St. Lawrence, and the reat Western waters, she has vessels of war and orces to be overpowered. She will have all her armies well provided, and her posts well provisioned for a great length of time. The population, (which prudence requires that we should overcome) is at least three hundred and fifty thousand; which will allow of her drawing forth an additional body of thirty thousand militia. Nor are we to stop here. Our regiments will never be filled with an efficient soldiery for field service: we cannot calculate, to fight our battles, on more than two-thirds of the number we enlist. Many of these must be employed on different services: you will have to garrison their forts after taking them ; you will have to command all the rivers
and passes into and out of the country; you will
have convoys for provisions; men to guard your camps, and all the evils to encounter which are incident to an invading force.
Our efforts will not be limited to this enterprise. We have a frontier of savages, for seventeen hundred miles, to bridle and hold in awe; and a seacoast of as many more, to protect and defend. On which coast there are many cities of great value, and consequently presenting great objects of plunder. - Nor will your able and wily enemy
forget the mouth of the Mississippi—the possession of Florida, or that durable evil, which all understand, and no one ought to depict.* Yet we havo not found a limit for your efforts: the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia must fall. The Bahamas must no longer annoy us. As long as they and Halifax furnish the fleets of England with water, naval stores, docks, wharves, &c., so long, in war, this nation will be grievously annoyed. * , This is a just, though faint picture of the efforts you are to make, and these efforts are to be continued for a length of time. The idea which some advance of a momentary conflict, in my opinion is unfounded. One nation may induce to war—although that is not our case—it takes two to return to peace." Still, I believe the energies and means of the nation are adequate to its exigencies. I believe we ought not to despond; on the contrary, I have no doubt we shall retire from the war with increased strength and vigor. At the same time, I do not consider that this conflict is to be likened to a party of pleasure, or that t great and permanent objects of the war are to be gained and held exclusively by volunteers... } Sir, the spirit of the nation is roused. It demands of us firm and strong measures. The public mind, inflamed by indignities offered, is turned to war. To make it; is not only our policy, but our duty. To make it successfully, usefully to the nation, usefully to the Government, requires only vigor and energy. The war, to remain popular, must be brilliant—and liberal expenditures and an overwhelming force in the outset, will, in the end, be the true economy of blood and treasure. Within our reach, are the ample means of re dress. The northern provinces of so us great and valuable objects. Once sec to this Republic, and the St. Lawrence and the Lakes become the Baltic, and more than the Bal. tie to America; north of them a population of four millions may easily be supported; and this great outlet of the northern world, should be at our command, for our convenience and future security. To me, sir, it appears that the Author of Nature has marked our limits in the south, by the Gulf of Mexico; and on the north, by the regions of eternal frost. I cannot close these observations, without remarking on what fell from an honorable member from Georgia, (Mr. TRoup.) when the report of the Committee on Foreign Relations, which embraced the present subject in its abstract form, was before this House. The gentleman remarked, “That ten thousand British troops could march from Canada to Boston.” Sir, I do not doubt the sincerity or patriotism of that gentleman, but his remark evinced a want of knowledge, in relation to the country of which he spoke. If the gentleman will turn to the pages of the Revolutionary war, he will find that Great Britain, with armies of forty thousand men, never pitched a tent in New England, except in the then wilds of Vermont. He will find, that the pride of England
*The slaves of the Southern States.
was humbled at Breed's Hill, by men called from their farms, by the tolling of the village bells : He will find that an army of nearly the number which he mentioned, was crippled by the immortal Starke, and surrendered to Gates at Saratoga, who had but few troops, except the eastern yeomanry. By examining the pages of history he will find, that no hostile force ever passed the smooth flowing waters of the Connecticut; nor, sir, do I hesitate to say, that the army which conquered at Austerlitz could not march through New England. This, sir, is not gasconade—for, should the trial ever arrive, I pledge myself to my nation and my countrymen, to unite with the hardy and patriotic sons of the North, in repelling every hostile foe. Mr. Widge Ry observed, that the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Sheffey) had said, this country is not competent to go to war with Great Britain. This, said Mr. W., is nothing new. When we were about to enter upon our Revolutionary war, we were told that Great Britain ruled the world, and that, if we attempted to go to war with her We should be beaten, and considered and treate s to our King. Indeed, this was so confidently said,
hat he was at first inclined to believe it. It was same time before he could persuade himself that two millions of undisciplined Americans could cope with the British nation, then in her full tidyof prosperity. But, said, he, we did not stop then to inquire whether any of our neighbors wapsed great coats or blankets. Though we en in our infancy, we entered into the st with a determination to succeed; and it ell known that we captured two of her armies; and if we could do this in our infancy, when we had to contend with enemies in our own country, and in our own houses, are we now, said he, to be told, when all are unanimous, that we are not able to contend with the British ; but that we must, like cowardly poltroons, surrender ourselves and leave our descendants in the hands of tyrants o He trusted not. We are now, said he, three times the number we were then. We then met the British with effect, and surely we can do so now. But, we are told, a war will be very expensive. Granted. What is money? What is all our property, compared with our honor and our liberty? It is not commerce only for which we are about to fight, but for our freedom also: nor had we ever so favorable a time as the present for making a stand. Nations, said he, consider their own interest; and if Great Britain considers her’s, she has more to do at home than she can manage; but, if she will persist in keeping in force her Orders in Council, we must defend our rights. But, we are told, the citizens of this country will not enter into the war. He could not, however, believe that the free-born sons of America would lie down, under a calculating a varice, and see their commerce and liberties destroyed. If this were to be the case, he did not wish to live, any longer. If a Government is not worth supporting with our lives, it is not worth having. But, we are going to enter into a Quixotic war for honor, says the gentleman from Virginia. He
was sorry, at this time of day, to hear the honor
injury; it was the loss of a right to send our com-
tions, and not the export of articles of soreign
growth, and insisted upon the correctness of his
tion as different arrangements are introduced into the Army, will you introduce discordance and confusion. An army should be but one body, and ought to be moved but by one soul. It appeared to him that this objection was a very material one to the bill, and, if he believed such a motion, would prevail, he would now move to recommit the bill, in order that these troops might be put upon the same plan with those already in existence. He had another objection to the bill, in its present form. In the clause giving land to the soldiers there is no provision which prohibits them from disposing of it, which there certainly ought to be. But he had no hope of getting any amendment to the bill after he had seen the manner in which other attempts at amendment had been made, Comparisons had been made, Mr. M. said, between the times of 1798 and the present. There was
no likeness except in this: It was then usual for ."
Congress to pass one bill, in order to make it necessary to pass another. What was the situation of things at that time? It had been emphatically called the “Reign of Terror.” Was not the Rogue's March played at the door of one of the most distinguished members of the then Congress, and other acts of extravagance done, and was not the Sedition Act passed to prevent us from complaining? Mr. M. said, he should have been glad to have voted for the bill, but for the objections which he had stated to it. He believed every gentleman was satisfied that something must be done; but he did not like to pass one bill to make another necessary. 2 The party which opposed the raising of the Army in 1798, did not believe it was intended to. operate against France, because they could see no object on which it could be employed.— They saw the black cockade mounted, and they heard every one denounced who did not mount it. But there is nothing like this now. If we say we will not defend our right to carry our produce to a market, it is not worth our while to make it. If you give up an acknowledged right, § acknowledge some superior power. Why id we lay the embargo, and pass our restrictive laws, but to avoid the situation into which we have now got? He approved of one of those measures, but not of the rest. If Great Britain would only do what France has done, there would be an end of the dispute. Is there a man in the House that wishes another attempt at negotiation, or one that wishes to go to war if it could possibly be avoided ? We are now, said Mr. M., approaching that state of things which we ought to have come to years ago. If we cannot fight by paper restrictions, we must meet force by force. If we cannot do this, it is time we put ourselves under the protection of some other Power. Every attempt which has been made to keep off the approaching crisis has proved ineffectual. As soon as the Hornet, which carried out the President's Message, and the report of the Committee of Foreign Relations, returns, if no redress is offered, we
Much had been said about the strength of this Government. Some think it is not strong enough; but if there be any strong Government in the world it must be this 'Government, and what gives it this strength is the attachment of the people to it; and it is as strong under an unpopular as a popular Administration, because the people know there is a time approaching when they can change the Administration, if they do not like it. - With respect to our getting an army, it will depend very much upon the persons appointed for
officers; if they be men in whom the people have
confidence, we shall get an army; but if not, we shall get no army. There was something in the history of our affairs, with Great Britain which had not been mentioned, which goes to show the strong claim which this Government has upon Great Britain. He meant the conduct of Sir William Scott, in declining to give judgment in the case of the Fox, when he heard the Berlin and Milan decrees were repealed. So strongly was he persuaded that the Orders in Council would be re
pealed in consequence, that he stopped all pro
ceedings in the case of the vessel under consideration until he received instructions from the Ministry. Something had been said on the subject of our export trade. There was only one way, in the present state of things, to come at a knowledge of that... We can never tell where the articles exported are consumed. Two-thirds of the tobacco shipped from this country are shipped to England, so one-seventh is only consumed in that country. The usual way is to ship to Cowes and a market. No reliance can be placed upon the custom-house books, except as to the total amount of exports and imports. But the real question is not, as has been stated, the amount of the loss we sustain. If our trade be confined, however, to Great Britain and her possessions, our produce will not pay for its freight; as it is well known that a great part of what was heretofore sent thither was consumed on the Continent, which could not now be the case. If we are to have war, said Mr. M., it is not sought by us. If it were, there would have been no delay. The Hornet would not have been sent to England as a last step, or he might call it a step beyond the last. If ever a Government showed a disposition to remain at peace, this Government had shown that disposition for the last seven or eight years. Some gentlemen appear to believe that we are not yet approaching the crisis of war; but he did