The Speech of the Hon. J. Randolph: Representative for the State of Virginia, in the General Congress of America, on a Motion for the Non-importation of British Merchandize, Pending the Present Disputes Between Great Britain and America ; with an Introduction, by the Author of "War in Disguise." (Google eBook)

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Reprinted for J. Butterworth and J. Hatchard, 1806 - Embargo, 1807-1809 - 31 pages
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Page 8 - As, in 1798, 1 was opposed to this species of warfare, because I believed it would raze the constitution to the very foundation ; so, in 1806, am I opposed to it, and on the same grounds. No sooner do you put the constitution to this use — to a test which it is by no means calculated to endure, than its incompetency to such purposes becomes manifest and apparent to all. I fear, if you go into a foreign war for a circuitous unfair carrying trade, you will come out without your constitution.
Page 11 - British relations was, what was the opinion of the cabinet? What measures will they recommend to Congress? — well knowing that whatever measures we might take they must execute them, and therefore that we should have their opinion on the subject — My answer was (and from a cabinet minister too), "There is no longer any cabinet.
Page 5 - I will never consent to go to war for that which I cannot protect. I deem it no sacrifice of dignity to say to the Leviathan of the deep: we are unable to contend with you in your own element, but if you come within our actual limits we will shed our last drop of blood in their defence. In such an event, I would feel, not reason, and obey an impulse which never has— which never can deceive me. France is at war with England. Suppose her power on the Continent of Europe no greater than it is on the...
Page 5 - But we are asked, are we willing to bend the neck to England; to submit to her outrages? No, sir; I answer that it will be time enough for us to...
Page 26 - Do you want to take up the cudgels where these" great maritime powers have been forced to drop them ? to meet Great Britain on the ocean, and drive her off its face ? If you are so far gone as this, every capital measure of your policy has hitherto been wrong. You should have nurtured the old, and devised new systems of taxation — have cherished your navy.
Page 6 - English ships of the line would not decline a meeting with the combined fleets of those nations. I forewarn the gentleman from Massachusetts, and his constituents of Salem, that all their golden hopes are vain. I forewarn them of the exposure of their trade beyond the Cape of Good Hope (or now doubling it) to capture and confiscation — of their unprotected seaport towns, exposed to contribution or bombardment. Are we to be legislated into...
Page 10 - Your executive will lord it over you, and you must make the best terms with the conqueror that you can. But the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Gregg...
Page 3 - North was her prime minister, and a Sandwich the first lord of her admiralty, when she was governed by a counting-house administration, privateers of this country trespassed on her commerce. So, too, did the cruisers of Dunkirk. At that day Suffrein held the mastery of the Indian seas. But what is the case now ? Do gentlemen remember the capture of Cornwallis on land, because De Grasse maintained the dominion of the ocean ? To my mind no position is more clear, than if we go to war with Great Britain.
Page 11 - Subsequent circumstances, sir, have given me a personal knowledge of the fact. It needs no commentary. But the gentleman has told you that we ought to go to war, if for nothing else, for the fur trade. Now, sir, the people on whose support he seems to calculate, follow, let me tell him, a better business ; and let me add, that whilst men are happy at home reaping their own fields, the fruits of their labor and industry, there is little danger of their being induced to go sixteen or seventeen hundred...
Page 10 - I have before protested, and I again protest, against secret, irresponsible, overruling influence. The first question I asked when I saw the gentleman's resolution was, "Is this a measure of the cabinet?" Not of an open declared cabinet ; but of an invisible, inscrutable, unconstitutional cabinet, without responsibility, unknown to the Constitution. I speak of back-stairs' influence — of men who bring messages to this House, which, although they do not appear on the journals, govern its decisions....

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