[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

trict comprised in the proclamation, under the purview of such law; and, therefore, all persons capable of defending the country within the district, are subject to such law by virtue of the proclamation, and may be tried, during us coniinuance, by virtue thereof."

Louallier, a naturalized Fenchman, and member of the Senate of Louisiana, presuming upon the dignity ol his station, wrote and published a seditious paper, which was calculated not only to embolden the treasonable poriion of the population of Louisiana, but informed the enemy ol the divisions and dissatisfaction actually existing in regard to the measures adopted by the commanding general. For writing and publishing this paper, he was arrested, by the order of General Jackson. Dominic A. Hall then issued a writ of habeas corpus for the release of Louallier, and thereby became his accomplice. Hall was also arrested. Louallier was tried and acquitted by a court-martial; and Hall, after a few days' confinement, was sent beyond the limits of the city, and released. If there was necessity for proclaiming martial law at all, the same necessity required that it should be preserved. Hence the necessity for the immediate arrest of Louallier. Nor could he be released under a writ of liabeas corpus; for that would have been a virtual repeal of the proclamation, before the necessity ended which required its existence. Moreover, I do not believe that it would be consistent with the public safety to admit the doctrine, that a man writing and publishing a mutinous and seditious paper, in the midst of a military camp, can be taken from the military by the civil authority, by writ of habeas corpus, and discharged. If that doctrine be once established, the spy or the traitor may at any time find exemption from the punishment due to his crimes, under the soiled ermine of some foreign stipendiary, exercising judicial functions under the authority ol the United Stales.

Sir, I have said that New Orleans was placed under garrison, and subjected to all the laws which govern a military camp, by virtue of the proclamation of martial law. I now ask, did Gen. Jackson commit any act, after the proclamation, which every commander has not a right lo do, at any time, within the limits of his encampment? Upon this

?oint, I read an argument, the olher day, in the anuary number of the Democratic Review, which was so conclusive, and the impressions of which are now so vivid upon my recollection, that it would be impossible for me lo make an argument ttpou this branch of the subject, without plagiarizing the one to which I have adverted. I therefore ask leave to read to the House this argument, and to substitute it for the remarks I intended lo make.

"Many Frenchmen born, for the purpose of securing exemption from military duty, procured certificates from the French consul, declaring them to be subjects of the King of France. These certificates were given in the midst of the General's camp, and tended lo weaken his means of defence, by taking effective soldiers from his ranks, and producing dissatisfaction and a spirit of mutiny among those who remained. Might not the General, in strict conformity of law, have placed both the consul and his proteges in confinement? He adopted the milder expedient of ordering them out of his camp.

"Then came the publication of Louallier, harshly censuring this order as an act of tyranny, and openly advising disobedience. This publication, be it remembered, was made in the midst of the camp. Its direct and manifest object was lo bring the military authority intoconiempi.

"The arrest of the author was, in our view of the General's lawful authority over his camp, not only a matter of right, but of indispensable duty. Instead of violating the Constitution and laws of his country, he but performed the solemn obligation of executing them, by preserving the just authority of its military commander over its armies and their encampments.

"Yet it was lor this act that Judge Hall (himself, at the moment, the subject of martial law, and abiding in the midst of the camp) issued his writ of habeas corpus. This was making himself the accomplice of Louallier, in stirring up discontent and mutiny in the camp. The same principles which required the arrest of the one, demanded, with a louder voice, the restraint of the other. The Judge was kept under guard a few days, and "then sent out of the camp, and set at liberty.

"The power of the General, under martial law, seems to be altogether preventive, except in cases wheie the law itself provides for punishment. In this case, it seems to us that the preventive power can only be exercised by keeping the mischiefmaker in confinement, or sending him beyond the liinils of the camp. In effect, this was the result in the case of Louallier, and nothing beyond it was attempted in the case of Judge Hall.

"These facts and reasons lead ns to the conclusion, lhat, in ordering French aliens and the French consul beyond the limits of his camp; in arresting and confining Louallier for an open attempt, within his camp, to produce discontent and disobedience; and in confining and sending out of his camp Judge Hall, for attempting to sustain Louallier—Gtneral Jackson trampled on no constitution, and violated no law; but, on the contrary, faithfully executed the powers vested in him by the Constitution and laws, as a military commander, for the preservation of order in his camp, the safety of his army, and the defence of his country."

Sir, if the views taken be correct, the blame, if any, which attaches to General Jackson, was for proclaiming martial law, and not for acts committed by him subsequent to lhat proclamation. When upon lhat branch of the subject, I demonstrated beyond doubt that an overruling Stale necessity, resulting from the conduct of the spies and traitors known to be in the country, required the existence of martial law to save the city from the enemy; and upon that necessity I rest the justification of General Jackson, and demand, as an act of justice, that the fine imposed upon him by Judge Hall be refunded by the passage of the bill now under consideration.

Sir, it may be asked, could this city have been saved by any other means? This interrogatory requires that I should examine, for a few moments, the means of defence, as compared with the means of attack. I have already said that we were called upon to defend a restless and divided people. Our army numbered about 3,000 men, undisciplined; many of them had never before faced an enemy, and withal badly armed. What were the means of attack? An army of 14,000 strong, well ordered, provided with all the appliances of war, and from a country whose troops had been disciplined by a war of twenty years' duration, and commanded by the most experienced generals of the age.

The gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. CusnIng] eloqueutly said, the other day, lhat, if we would look at the history of England during the period of the French revolution, and mark the course of that great power in Asia, in Africa, and in Europe, we would find it one undeviating course of unchecked victory and glory; or, if we tDcn to the ocean, we are met by the victories of St. Vincent, of Ttafalgar, of Copenhagen, and the Nile; and, wherever a British ship met an opposing vessel, it added a new halo of glory to the conquering cross of St. George.

Sir, what was the condition of that gigantic nation at that time? She could concentrate ner whole power upon us; she feared no invasion from France; the power of Napoleon had been wrenched from its basis; his star of glory had set; its sickly and ominous glare had been extinguished upon the plains of Belgium. Nor did shefear an insurrection in Ireland; the altars reared to liberty by that gallant people had been cloven down, and the fires which burnt upon those altars had been extinguished by the blood of Emmett. Thus we were contending with a nation which had torn the diadem from the brow of the hero of Austerlitz, and shook asunder the confederation of the Rhine. Sir, we met them upon the plains of New Orleans, and the Anglo Irish blood—the Andrew-Jackson blood —snatched the American eagle from the fangs of the British lion, and enabled her to unfurl her wings in proud triumph over American arms and American soil. Could this have been done without the proclamation of martial law? No, sir; never. Three thousand Americans could never have resisted successfully a British army of fourteen thousand men, with all the points of attack designated by the spies and traitors known to be in New Orleans. Assuming ihis to be the fact, I ask, was it just, was it patriotic, to impose a fine upon its defender, its preserver? The whole American people will answer no; and, in their name, I demand that the fine be refunded—not as a pecuniary remuneration; no, sir, as such, we would not receive it;

but as a vindication—a legislative vindication br an American Congress of the reputation of Gen Jackson from the aspersions with which British in fluence then, and Federalism, its twin sister rm seeks to assail it.'

Sir, the gentleman from Virginia [Mt.Borrsl tells us lhat the fine imposed by Judge Halt Udoo General Jackson has been refunded. By whom sir? The ladies of New Orleans. Suppose this were true, and that General Jackson had actually pocketed the money subscribed by the patriotic la dies of that city: would that justify this Government in retaining in its treasury money which had been improperly wrenched from the hands of a public servant? No, sir, if the facts, as already stated, were true, and it were improper to refund the money to General Jackson, it should have been handed over lo the ladies of New Orleans whose patriotic zeal outstripped the Government in'the desire of protecting a public officer in the discharge of his military duty. I say this fine of SI,000 got into the public treasury wrongfully; and having done so, as a mere question of honesty, it should not nemain there.

But, sir, what are the facts of this easel When Judge Hall imposed this fine upon General Jack, son, it was immediately paid by him. The ladies of New Orleans, feeling deeply the injustice of Hall's conduct, by subscription of 81 each, raised the amount of the fine imposed, and tendered it to General Jackson; who immediately saw the impossibility of reluming the money to those by whom it had been subscribed, and for this reason expressed a wish to those who had the money thai it should be distributed among the families of At brave men who lost their lives in the defence of these very ladies. What other disposition, respectful to these ladies and just to himself] could General Jackson have suggested? To hare refused it indignantly, would have been unjust to the motives of those by whom it was tendered; and yet, to receive it as a pecuniary indemnity was impossible, so long as he continued to be Andrew Jackson. Sir, the opponents of this measure must be hard pressed for argument to plead these facts in bar of even a pecuniary claim upon the treasury. t

Will it be contended that we have not the constitutional power to refund this money? By those, at least, who voted to the widow of General Harrison an appropriation of $25,000, such an objection cannot be urged. 1 did not vote for that appropriation; it was a gratuity, and 1 believe this Government has no right, under the Constitution, to bestow gratuities from the public treasury. Bat here is a different case. You have in your treasury the money of a private individual, unjustly obtained; and there can be no want of power to restore it to the proper owner. Suppose#you refuse to do justice, by failing to refund this" fine to Gcnetal Jackson, what will the people say?

Sir, they know that yon have already passed a bill for the relief of the heirs of Hull, wbosurrendered an army under circumstances which eicited the strongest suspicions that he was guilty of treason. The people also know that the Senate passed a bill at the late session, (and many of the members of ihis House were anxious lor the passage of the same bill,) to pay the Massachusetts militia, not for fighting the battles of the country, but for njtsm to march over the Canada line with the view of attacking the enemy.

Now, sir, after all this, if you refuse to refand the fine unjustly imposed upon General Jackson, who preserved his army, prevented a city from being sacked, and was himself ihe victor ol many battles, the people will denounce this Congress as the most unjust and factious body of men ever assembled under the Federal Constitution.

Sir, the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. AdAms] insidiously introduced is the debate upon this question, the name of Arnold, the traitor-fcr hs own amusement, I suppose, but to the evident mortification of the House. He said lhat Arnold asked an American in Europe, what the peopleof the United States would do with him if in their possession? The American repl ied, that they wool bury the leg wounded in defence of his country, with the "honors of war," and hang the rest of hs body for his treason. ,

Sir, the application of this anecdote lo Genera. Jackson, and the connexion of his name with the name of a traitor, is extremely unjust. That a* linguished patriot holds no communion either Wil. the "oven" traitor, or wiihAiw who ml) MiiiM

27th Cong.----sd Sess.

Improvement of the Mississippi riverMr. Reynolds.

H. of Reps.

the act; he is reviled by the one, as he would he feared and shunned by the other. And I tell the gentleman from Massachusetts, that the point of this anecdote, if it has any, is applicable to himself and his friends, who have already shown their friendship for Hull and the Massachusetts militia, and their increasing and deadly hostility to Andrew Jackson. Judging from these facts, and the indications already given by the voles of this House, if Arnold were now before this Congress, his body would be pensioned for military services to Federalism in the attempted betrayal of his country, and the leg mutilated in the service of that country would be hang for its treason. I am now done with the question of the fine.

Sir, the remaining moments of my hour 1 must devote to the notice of a remark which fell from the gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. Botts,] who tells us that he has been enabled to discover but one green spot in the life of General Jackson, and that was his submission to the decision of Judge Hall in the imposition of this fine. Sir, but one green spot in the life of Andrew Jackson! I go back to his boyhood: when lie was a British prisoner during the revolutionary war, he was insolently ordeicd by a British officer "to black his boots." Did Andrew Jackson obey this order with the servile acquiescence common to his years and situation? No, sir; he positively refused to obey, claimed the treatment due to a prisoner of war, and, although an only brother was sacrificed and fell by his side from the cruelty of his oppressor, Andrew Jackson could not be driven from his position, or forced to submit to the arrogance of his tyrant. Was this no green spot in the life of Andrew Jackson? I come down to the history of the last war. What was the condition of your country then! The cities upon your coast had been sacked; your country overrun; and a hostile flag waved in proud triumph from the walls of this Capitol. Go to the West: the tide of victory had spread over the upper valley of the Mississippi; 5'our "stripes and stars" trailed in the dust; your national glory lost; the massacre of the river Raisin and the defeat of Dudley hung heavily upon every mind; Kentucky mourned the loss of her bravest sons, whose bones, denied the right of sepulture, were then bleached and whitening upon the battlefield of disaster. At this, the darkest period of our national history, Andrew Jackson was appointed to the command of the American army. The effect was like magic: hope revived; patriotism rekindled; confidence was restored. Our stars and stripes again floated in the breeze; the current of disaster was checked; the wave of victory rolled back; and battle after battle won in quick succession, until the war was ended in the blaze of glory at New Orleans, to which I have already adverted.

Was there no green, spot in the life of Andrew Jackson resulting from all ihis? Do the battles of Emuckfau, Taladega, Enolochopco, and the Horseshoe, form no green spots in the life of Andrew Jackson? Sir, it will require no storied urn to commemorate the deeds of that illustrious man. They are recorded upon every page of his country's history. Nor will it require monumental columns to mark the spot in which his ashes shall be deposited. The laurel will continue to bloom upon his grave, bedewed by the tears of a grateful nation, when, the deeds and the graves of those who revile him will be forgotten and buried beneath the rubbish of oblivion.

Mr. Payne was here interrupted by the expiration of his hour.



In t/ie House of Representatives, February 2, 18-13— On the appropriation to improve the upper and lower rapids m the Mississippi river. Mr. Chairman: This improvement is not sectional. It is not Western or Eastern; but it is national. It is a great work in which the whole nation is interested. The great loss of properly which occurs on the Mississippi every year is a destruction, to that amount, of the national wealth. The whole nation may be considered a partnership firm, organized to promote the prosperity and happiness of the whole concern; and a loss of properly, no matlor in whose hands the loss may happen, and no matter in what section of the Union it may take place—in Maine or Iowa—yet it is still a loss to the whole partnership—to the whole nation. Although the Mississippi may flow through the

Western valley, and be removed from Maine many thousand miles, yet that State is deeply interested in the prosperity of the commerce of the Mississippi. This is the case with every Stale in the Union. And all are deeply interested in this great national improvement. Do we not see presented to Congress great numbers of peiilions from the Atlantio States, praying the improvement of the navigation on the Mississippi? Those petitions aresigned by intelligent citizens of the Eastern and Middle Slates, who are celebrated for their acute leelings of friendship to their pockets; and, therefore, feel a lively interest in this subject.

But, Mr. Chairman, we have the old objection raised by Southern gentlemen, that these improvements are not warranted by the Constitution. It is alleged, thai to improve ihe Mississippi, is a violation of the Constitution of the United Slates. When will these exploded objections cease?

These objections Io this improvement remind me of the sentimenis of the hunorable Mr. Robison, a member of Congress from Virginia, expressed, under ihe solemn and awful approach of death. The story is: "that Mr. Robison, in Washington city, late at night, rose in his bed, expecting to die in a short time, and told his room-mate not to permit him Io be buried by Congress, as it was unconstitutional to bury a member of Congress at the public expense."

This is carrying the doctrine beyond ultraism. I apprehend it is too late at this day to aojttst and seltle the construction of the Constitution on this subject. All ihe Presidenls, since the formation of our Government, have signed bills of the character of that which is now before the committee; and, of necessity, every Congress must have passed them. Many of the same individuals who were in the convention that framed the Consiitution, were also in the Congresses that passed these bills. And who could be more competent to give to ihe Constitution a proper construction than the very same men who made it? These individuals, justly famed for their virtue and wisdom, and who may be emphatically called "the fai hers of the Republic," enacted laws of the same character as the bill now under discussion. To enable the National Government lo "r-gulate commerce" was one of ihe main reasons which induced the people to form the Constituiion of the United Stales. And to establish light-houses, improve haibors on the ocean, make surveys of the coast, &c, &c, has always been considered within the constitutional power of Congress.

The Mississippi may be considered the high sea for the commerce of the West; and although the river water is fresh, and has not the regular tides of the ocean in it, yet the Constitution must have the same application to it that it has to the Atlantic, as lo commerce. Therefore improvementswiihin ihis river must fall within the same class of cases as the establishment of lighthouses, coast surveys, haibors, fee, &c , on the Atlantic.

Mr. Chairman, we hear constitutional objections raised, on a most every occasion, against bills that come before Congress. These objections generally proceed from the South; and are so common, that they bring to my recollection an anecdote which happened in Kentucky An old farmer went out back of his field, into ihe limber, with his gun, to shoot squirrels. The old man remained out some considerable time, and continued loading and shooting incessantly all the time. His son thought strange of it, and went out to see why it was his father kept up such continual shooting. On inquiry, the old man showed his son the squirrel he was shooting at still on the tree, and in ihe same nlace. The boy saw no squirrel on the tree; but, looking at his father, he saw a mole in the old man's eyebrow, which his father—with his anxiety in looking up in the tree—had construed to be a squirrel, and had been shooting at it all day. Thus it is with these gentlemen. They have moles in their eyebrows, which they magnily, not into squirrels, but into breaches of the Constitution, at which they are eternally shooting.

I am, myself, in favor of a limited construction of the Constitution; extending it to embrace nothing by implication. Bui, on the other hand, I am not disposed to cripple and cramp it, or to pervert it from its original design. There can exist no doubt in my mind but the improvement of the Mississippi river is such a national work as is clearly embraced within the constitutional action of Congress.

Mr. Chairman, it seems to me to be necessary, beyond all controversy, to improve the navigation

of the Mississippi, and thereby save the lives and properly that are destroyed on it every year.

It will be seen, by the census returns for 1840, that there are between six and seven millions of people who inhabit the Missis-ippi valley; and Ibey produce annually, by agriculture alone, more than five hundred millions of dol'ars. This great amount of population, and great agricultural production each year, will satisfy every one of the business and importance of the Western country.

Thi.; section, in population, is greater than onethird of the whole Confederacy; and I presume the same may be said of its productions and wealth. And I would not be astonished that more than hall ol the wealth which is exported out of the whole Union, proceeds from the valley of the Mississippi.

These statements will appear satisfactory, when the extern of country and fertility of soil are considered. The climate is various from one extreme to the other; so that almost all productions can be cultivated in the West with great profit. I may moreover add, that -the whole valley of the Mississippi is inhabited by an intelligent and energetic race of men. The inhabitants are not crowded together in large ciues, or in dense settlements, to be enervated and corrupted by such a condition; but they possess youthful vigor and industry, in proportion to the age of their country: and with such a character, and in such a country, ihe productive wealth of the West must be considerable.

What would all this enterprising and laborious population do in the West, were it not for Ihe Mississippi? Of what avail would be all the surplus productions, if no cheap conveyance could be had to market? Were it not for the navigation of the Mississippi and its tributaries, the surplus products of ihe valley would rot on the hands of the farmers; and thereby the enterprise and spirit which now enliven and animate the population would absolutely cease to exist.

The navigation of the Mississippi and its tributaries being so vastly important io the people, is it not reasonable that ihey would use it lo the utmost extent of their abilities? The daring and enlerprising spirit of the people indicates lhat they know well their interest, and will in the same proportion pursue it.

Almost Ihe whole surplus productions of the West are, al some time before they reach their destination, floated on the Mississippi; and the wealth which is received in return is conveyed back by the same channel. I presume lhal all the wealth which is exported and imported on this river would amount, annually, to more than two hundred and fifty millions of dollars.

Taking all these views into consideration, I lusiiaie not to say that there is more wealthy commercial business transacted on the Mississippi than on any other liver in America. It must be remembered that this river is more than three thousand miles in length; and every mile of it is navigated, more or less. It is true, not much business is as yet transacted towards its sources; but, when it flows into the Southern climate, a commerce of great wealth and importance is carried on, through this channel, to the ocean. Many intelligent gentlemen consider that double as much business is done on ihis river as on any other in the Union; and, in fact, some say three limes as much is done on it as on any other river in America.

I presume the river lhat comes nearest to the Mississippi in wealthy commerce, is the Hudson, in the Stale of New York. In making this comparison, I consider the Hudson as ending at the city of New York, and the Mississippi al New Orleans. The length of the Hudson cannot be compared wiih the other; and, although much wealth may pour into the Hudson from the New York canal, and from the State, yet it cannot, in my opinion, be compared with the vast country bordering the Mississippi, and the corresponding wealth that is shipped on lhat river.

Mr. Chairman, I pretend nol thai all this wealth which is shipped on the Mississippi crosses the two rapids (which are called the Dcs Moines and Rock River rapids) mentioned in the amendment before the committee; yet, nevertheless, the commerce of a great and a growing country is shipped over these obstructions. All the Iowa Territory is dependent on the Mississippi for almost all its commerce, lis surplusproduceexported,andmerchandise imported, are shipped on this river, and *

[ocr errors][merged small]

must pass one or both of these rapids. The western portion of Wisconsin Territory is in the same situation; and so is the northwest section of Illinois. The country above these obstructions, and adjacent to the river, is growing fast, and is carrying on considerable business en the river at present. The lead from this region that is shipped over these rapids amounts, during the year, to millions and millions of pounds. The furs irom the sources of the Mississippi and St. Peter's, that descend the river, are also considerable. The farmers, whose industry has so rapidly improved the country, export great quantities of their surplus crops over these obstructions; and the lumber, from the prairiesbetween the Mississippi and Lake Superior, constitutes an article of considerable commerce, which is also compelled to pass these rapids to find a market.

The most careless observer of the Western country must be forced to believe that the commerce on the Mississippi is ai present of vast importance to the whole Union, and is increasing with the same unparalleled rapidity as the country is improving.

Mr. Chairman, the great loss of property and destruction of boats on the Mississippi have become so well known all over the Union, and so much has been written and spoken on the occasion, that it would be idle and useless for me to attempt to portray these horrid scenes. Every traveller on the Mississippi is compelled to become a witness to the fact. The hulls and wrecks of boats are so common in some parts of the river, that a person would suppose that some horrible fatality had destroyed all that approached the ill-fated spot. A location of this character on the Mississippi, a few miles above the mouth of the Ohio, has become celebrated throughout the West, and is known as the "Boat Grave-Yard." This is the grave-yard where the finest steamboats that ever sailed on the Western watets, with their valuable cargoes, were wrecked and lost; and in this vicinity the steamboat Eliza was sunk, and with her,also, perished fifty or sixty persons. Capt. Littleton, the commander and owner of the Eliza, not only lost his vessel, but in the confusion, at night, his wile and children also perished with the boat. Besides the valuable lives lost on this river, more than three millions and a half of properly, within two or three years, have been destroyed and lost, not only to the immediate owners, but lost, also, to the nation. These losses and destruction of property have not been done in a corner, or in the dark. They all occurred in the most public thoroughfare in the Union, and are known more or less to every man in the nation.

Mr. Chairman, these facts being known to Congress, will it not compel this body to improve the river to prevent similar losses'! Is it not a duty the nation owe the people of the West to improve this great national highway! It is economy in the highest degree to make this improvement. If it wer« not for the purposes of economy, 1 would not urge this subject on the consideration of Congress. It is to expend a small sum, to save a very great one to the people. Is it not economy for man to provide himself suppoit, rather than to die1? Who would die rather than to spend a few cents each day to sustain life? And I might ask, with the same reason, who would not spend a few cents on the improvement of the Mississippi, rather than to

fiermit millions of dollars and valuable lives to be ostl Who can compare money to life ■ All these improvements are easily made. A small sum annually expended will remove the snags from the Mississippi, and render a safe navigation over the rapids of Des Moines and Rock river, which are mentioned in the amendment now before the committee.

The low state of the treasury cannot be urged against this improvement, as it is a measure of economy, and will directly advance the public interest. Because a man is poor, should he cease to eati The improvement of the Mississippi is almost as essential to commerce as eating is to an animal. There is no improvement in all this extended confederacy so essential to commerce as the improvement of this river. This work, carried out to a reasonable extent, will save more lives and more wealth than any other improvement in America. Admitting the treasury to be almost empty, the country is wealthy, and full of resources. No famine, pestilence, or war, has visited the people; all aie vigorous and industrious. It is no excuse that the treasury is not overflowing, that this improvement should not be made. Can we stop the commerce on the river, or prevent the loss of

lives and property on it, until the treasury is full! There can exist no solid reason against the improvement; and I hope the appropriation will be made.

The honorable delegate from Iowa Territory [Mr. A. C. Dodge] has agreed that the sum of fifty thousand dollars, which had been reported in a bill to construct roads in said Territory, should be applied to the improvement of these rapids, and has proposed the amendment accordingly. This arrangement of the delegate is honorable to the patriotism and enlightened views of that gentleman, as no improvement can equal in importance and utility that on the Mississippi.



In the House of Representatives, February 4, 1843—

On his motion to reduce the pay of the navy

twenty per cent.

Mr. MERIWETHER said that it was from no hi slility to the service that he desired to reduce the pay of the navy. It had been increased in 1835 to meet the increase of labor elsewhere, &c ; and a decline having taken place there, he thought a corresponding decline should take place in the price of labor in the navy.

At the last session of Congress, this House called on the Secretary of the Navy for a statement of the pay allowed each officer previous to the act of 1835. From the answer to that resolution, Mr. M. derived the facts which he should state to the House. He was desirous of getting the exact amount received by each grade of officers, to show the precise increase by the act of 1835. Aided by that report, the Biennial Register of 1822, and the report of the Secretary of the Navy for 1822, furnishing the estimates for the "full pay and full rations" of each grade of officers, he was enabled to present the entire facts accurately.

Previous to that time, the classification of officers was different from what it has been since; but, as faras like services have been rendered under each classification, the comparative pay is presented under each.

Previous to 1835, the pay of the "commanding officer of the navy" was 8100 per month, and sixteen rations per day, valued at 25 cents each ration; which amounted, "full pay and full rations," to $2,660 per annum. The same officer as senior captain in service receives now $4,500; while "on leave," he receives $3,500 per annum.

Before 1835, a "captain commanding a squadron" received the same pay as the commanding officer ol the navy, and the same rations; amounting, in all, to $2,660; that same officer, exercising the same command, receives now $4,000.

Before 1835, a captain commanding a vessel of 32 guns and upwards, received 8100 per month and eight rations per day—being a total of $1,930 per annum; a captain commanding a vessel of 20 and under 32 guns, received $75 per month and six rations per day—amounting to $1,441 50 per annum. Since 1835, these same captains, when performing these same duties, receive $3,500; and when at home, by their firesides, "waiting orders," receive $2,500 per annum.

Before 1835, a "master commanding" received $60 per month and five rations per day—amounting to $1,176 per annum. Since that time, the stme officer, in sea service, receives $2500 per annum; at other duty, $2,100 per annum; and "waiting orders," $1,800 per annum.

Btfore 1835, a "lieutenant commanding" received $50 per month and four rations per day; which amounted to $965 per annum. Since that time, the same officer receives, for similar services, $1,800 per annum.

Before 1835, a lieutenant on other duly received $40 per month and three rations per day—amounting to $701 per annum. Since that time, for the same services, that same officer has received $1,500 per annum; and when "waiting ordeis," $1,200 per annum.

Before 1835, a midshipman received $19 per month and one ration per day—making $319 25 per annum. Since that time, a passed midshipman on duty received 8750 per annum; if "waiting orders," $600; a midshipman received, in sea service, $100; on other duty, $350; and "waiting orders," $300 per annum.

i Surgeons, before 1835, received $50 per month and two rations per day—amounting to 8787 50;

they now receive from $1,000 to $2,700 Mr »n num. ^ *"'

Before 1835, a "schoolmaster" received 425 » month and two rations per day; now under thr name of a professor, he receives $1,200 per annum

Before 1835, a carpenter, boatswain, and gunner received $20 per month and two rations per daymaking $427 50 each per annum; they now re ceive, if employed on a ship-of fbe-line, 8750 on a frigaie 8600, on other duty $500, and "wauW orders" $360 per annum. A similar increase his been made in the pay of all other officers. The pay of seamen has not been enlarged, and ii u proposed to leave it as it is. In several instances, an officer idle, "waiting orders," receives more pay now than one ot similar grade received during the late war, when he exposed his life in battle m defence of his country. At the navy-yards the pay of officers was greater than at sea. Before 1635 a captain commandant received for pay, rations candles, and servants'hire, 83,013 per annum,besides fuel; the same officer, for the same services receives now 83,500 per annum.

A master commandant received 81,408 per annum, with fuel; the same officer now receives 32,100 per annum. A lieutenant received 8377, with fuel; the same officer receives now 11,500.

At naval stations, before the act of 1835, a captain received 82,660 per annum; he now receives 83,500 per annum. A lieutenant received 1761 per annum, and he now receives 31,500 per annum. Before and since the act of 1835, quarters were furnished the officers at navy yards and stations. Before that lime, the pay and emoluments wore estimated for in dollars and cents, and appropriated for as pay; and the foregoing statements are taken from the actual "estimates1' of the Navy Depaitment, and, as such, show the whole pay and emoluments received by each officer.

The effect of this increase of pay has been realized prejudicially in more ways than one. In the year lb24, there were afloat, in the navy, 4M guns; in 1843, 946 guns. The cost of the item ol pay alone for each gun, then, was 32,360; now, the cost is 83,500.

The naval service has become, to a great extent, one of ease and of idleness. The high pay has rendered its offices mostly sinecures; hence the great effort to increase the number of officers. Every argument has been used, every entreaty resorted to, to augment that corps. We have seen the effect of this, that in one year (1841) there were added 13 captains, 41 commanders, 42 lieutenants, and 163 midshipmen, without any possibly conceivable cause for the increase; and when, at the same time, these appointments were made, there wereSO captains "waiting orders," and 6 "on leare,1' 26 commanders "wailing orders," and 3 "onleave;" 103 lieutenants "on leave, and waiting orders," and 16 midshipmen "on leave and waitingorders." The pay of officers "waiting orders" amounted, during the year 1841, to $261,000, and now the amount required for the pay of that same idle corps, increased by a useless and unnecessary inctease of the navy, is $395,000! It is a fact worthy of notice, thai, under the old pay in 1824, there were 28 captains, 4 of whom were "waiting orders;" of 30 commanders, only 7 were "waiting orders." Under the new pay, in 1843, there are 68 captains, of whom 38 are "waiting orders;" 97 commanders,of whom 57 are "wailing orders and on leave."

The item of pay, in 1841, amounted to 88;335;000, and we are asked to appropriate for ths next twelve months $3,333,139. To give employment to as many officers as possible, it is proposed to extend greatly our naval force; increasing the number of our vessels in commission largely, and upon every station, notwithstanding our commerce is reduced, and we are at peace with all the world, and have actually purchased our peace from the only narka from which we apprehended difficulty.

It was staled somewhere, in some of the rtpofl-S that the appropriation necessary lo defray the expenses of courts-martial in the navy would be, this year, $50,000. Thiswas a very large amount, when contrasted with the seivice. 'The disorderly conduct of the navy was notorious—no one could defend it. The country was losing confidence in i: daily, and becoming more unwilling to bear the burdens of taxation to foster or sustain it. A few years since, its expenditures did not exceed four millions and a half: they are now up to near eight millions of dollars. Its expense is greater now than during the late war with England. Nonrilhstanding the unequivocal declarations of Conjresi

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

at the last session, against the increase of the navy, and in favor of its reduction, the Secretary passes all unheeded, and moves on in his bold career of lolly and extravagance, without abiding for a moment any will but his own. Nothing more can be hoped for, so lopg as the navy has such a host of backers, urging its increase and extravagance— from motives of personal interest too often. The axe should be laid at once to the root of the evil: cut down the pay, and it will not then be sought after so much as a convenient resort for idlers, who seek the offices for the pay, expecting and intending that but little service snail be rendered in return, because but very little is needed. The salaries are far beyond any compensation paid to any other Officer of Government, either State or Federal, for corresponding services. A lieutenant receives higher pay than a vety large majority of the judges of the highest judicatories known to the States; a commander farsurpassesthem, and equals the salaries of a majority of the Governors ot the States. Remove the temptation which high pay and no labor present, anil you will obviate the evil. Put down the salaries to where they were before the act of 1835, and you will have no greater effort after its offices than you had before. So long as the salaries are higher than similar talents can command in civil life, so long will "applicants flock to the navy for admission, and the constant tendency will be to increase its expenses. The policy of our Government is to keep a very small army and navy during time of peace, to insure light taxes, and to induce the preponderance of the civil over the military authorities. In time of peace, we shall meet with no difficulty in sustaining an efficient navy, as we always have done. In time of war, patriotism will call forth our people to the service. Those who would not heed this call are not wanted; for those who fight for pay will, under all circumstances, fight for those who will pay the best. The navy cannot complain of this proposed reduction; for its pay was increased in view of the increasing value of labor and property throughout the whole country. No other pay was increased; and why should not this be reduced?—not the whole amount actually increased, but only a small portion of the increase1! It is due to the country; and no one should object. We are now supporting the Government on borrowed money. The revenues will not be sufficient to support it hereafter; and reduction has to take place sooner or later, and upon some one or all of the departments. Upon which ought it to fall more properly than on that which has been defended agaiust the prejudices resulting from the high prices which have recently fallen upon every department of labor and property]

By the adoption of the amendment proposed, there will be a permanent annual saving of about 4400,000 in the single item of pay. And, from the embarrassed condition of the treasury, so large a sum of money might, with the greatest propriety, be saved; more especially since, by the late British treaty concluded at this place, an annual increase is to be made to the navy expenditures of some S6u0,000, as it is stated, to keep a useless squadron on the coast of Africa. The estimates for pay for the present year greatly exceed those of the last year. We appropriated for the last year's service for pay, &c, $2,335,000. The sum asked for the same service this year is $2,953,139. Besides, there there is the sum of 8380,000 asked for clothing—a new appropriation, never asked for before. The clothing for seamen being paid for by themselves, so much of the item of pay as was necessary had hitherto been expended in clothing for them, which was received by them in lieu of money. Now, a separate fund is asked, which is to be used as pay, and will increase that item so much, making a sumtotal of 83,333,139; which is an excess of 8998,139 over and above that appropriated for the like purpose last session.

It seems not to be necessary absolutely to make this increased appropriation. The Secretary of the Navy says that his plan of keeping the ships sailing over the ocean (where possibly no vessel can or will see them, and where the people with whom we trade can never learn anything of our greatness, on account of the absence of our ships from their ports, being kept constantly sailing from station to station) will "require larger squadrons than we have heretofore employed." He then stales that his estimates are prepared for squadrons upon this large and expensive plan. "This," he says, "it is my duty to do, submitting to Con

gress to determine whether, under the circumstances, so large a force can properly be put in commission or not. If the condition of the treasury will warrant it, (of which they are the judges,) I have no hesitation in recommending the largest force estimated for." It is well known that the condition of the treasury will not warrant this force. We must fall back upon the force of last year, as the ultimatum that can be sustained. Our appropriations for pay last year were 81,000,000 less than those now asked for. This can be cut off without prejudice to the service; and with the reduction proposed in the salaries, SI ,400,000 can be saved from waste, and applied to sustain a depleted treasury. Increase is now unreasonable and impracticable.

A portion of the home squadron, authorized in September, 1841, has not yet gone to sea, for the want of seamen. While our commerce is failing, and our sailors are idle, they will not enter the service. The flag-ship of that squadron is yet in port without her complement of men. Why, then, only increase officers and build ships, when you cannot get men to man theml

Note.—The following is the law fixing the pay of the navy. Gordon's Digest, page 670:

The pay of captains, commanding ships of 32 guns and upwards, shall be $100 per month, and eight rations per day; of captains, commanding ships of 20 and under 32guns, $75 per month, and six rations per day; of a master-commandant, $60 per month and five rations per day; and of lieutenants, who may command the smaller vessels, $50 per month and four rations per day.

Whenever any officer as aforesaid shall be employed in the command of a squadron on separate service, the allowance of rations to such commanding officer shall be doubled during the continuance of such command, and no longer, except in the case of the commanding officer of the navy, whose allowance while in service shall alwaj's be at the rate of sixteen rations per day.

The pay and subsistence of the respective commission and warrant officers shall be as follows:

A lieutenant less than a master-commandant, or lieutenant commanding a small vessel, $40 per month, and three rations per day; a chaplain, $40 per month and two rations per day; a sailing-master, $40 per month and two rations per day; a surgeon, $50 per month and two rations per day, &c. By the act of 26th August, 1842, the pay of other officers is increased, to wit:

Boatswains, gunners, carpenters, and sailmakers, now receive per annum - $800

On other duty - 700

On leave or waiting orders for the first

10 years 500

And after - - - - 600

Pay since 1835.

Senior captain, in service - - 84,500

waiting orders - - 3,500

Captain of a squadron ... 4,000

on other duty - - - 3,500

waiting orders ... 2,500

Commander, in sea service - - 2,500

on other duty - - 2,100

waiting orders. - - 1,800

Lieutenants commanding - - 1,800

on other duty - - 1,500

waiting orders - - 1,200

Surgeons, from 81,000 per annum to - 2,700

Assistant surgeons, wafting orders - 650

and from that sum to 81,200 per annum. Pursers, on ship of the line - - 3,500

on a frigate ... 3,000

on other duty, from $1,500 to - 2,500

Chaplains, in sea service - - 1,200

on leave - - - HOO

Midshipmen, waiting orders - - 300

on sea service - - 400

Passed midshipmen, on sea service - .» 750 waiting orders - 600

Masters, of a ship at sea - - 1,100

on other duty - - - 1,000

waiting orders - - 750

Boatswains, gunners, carpenters, and sailmakers, from 8700 to S800 per annum; waiting orders 8500. Chief naval constructor - - 3,000

6 naval constructors, each - - 2,300

Naval storekeepers, from $1,400 to - 1,700

The following are the estimates for pay of "commission, warrant, petty officers, and sea

[merged small][table][merged small][merged small]

{Report of the Secretary o] the Navy, page 629.) The foregoing is the amount paid by the people to support the idlers in the navy for one year. The following are the payments made for the support of officers idle, and "waiting orders" from 1829 to 1841, inclusive:

1829 .... 8197,684

1830 - 156,025

1831 - - - - 231,378

1832 .... 204,290

1833 ... - 205,233

1834 ... - 202,914

1835 ... - 219,036

1836 -.-- 212,362

1837 --- - 115,631

1838 .... 250,930

1839 - 297,737 • 1840 ... - 265,043

1841 - - - - 253,856

The chief of the Medical Bureau, in his annual report, presents the following facts, as illustrative of the manner in which some of the appropriations made for the naval service are disposed of; and what fidelity characterizes the expenditures! Speaking of the expenditure of the appropriation for medicines, he says:

"Six hundred and eixty-nve dollars and fifty-seven cen'e were, unRuthoriiedly, paid out ol the appropriation for medi (■men, surgical instrument*, Ac.,' for 31 blue cloth frock-coats, with navy buttons, and a silver atar on them; .31 pair* of l>lue casaimere pantaloons, and 31 blue caseimere vests, with navy buttons;—and all this toggery for 'Jack'—for pensioners who never had wern anything longer than a sailor's jacket, or, at moat, in storms, a monkey or pea* ^~ jacket, the cost of which ie tight dollars, instead of fourteen ^|

[ocr errors]

dollars charged for the frock coaia. made in officer'* undress fashion- This will serve to show the unwarrantable intrusions on the appropriation for medicines, referred to in the it-m. But it inajr uore strongly be set forth by this fact: 01 seven thousand one hundred and twenty-one dollars and sixty-four cents, paid by the navy agent at Philadelphia, from the 1st of October, 1941, tn the 25th of October, 15H2, out of the appropriation for 'medicines, &c.'only one thousand and forty dollars and nineteen, cents were lor medicines, surgical insirutueots, and sugira] purposes. The remaining six thousand one hundred and eighty-one dollars ami forty-five etuis were for items o) expenditure, wholly foreign to tks intent of the appropriation, and, of course, were what have been appropriately called intrusions on the fund, not known to be practised, nor thought of by Congress, when they mode the appropriations in question.

"How could thirty thousand dollars, appropriated for the whole naval service, for the whole year 1842, be deemed sufficient, when a maladministration of the fund on one station ewept of!" at once, in a few days more than twelve months, 96,IS1 45, not lawfully chargeable to the medical fund? Could the balance, #23,818 55, be for a moment thought competent to supply all the shrps, sick quarters, hospitals, Ax.., in the United States for a whole year? That this mal-adtmriistrauon maybe understood, the navy-agent's return to the Ilureau of Medicine and Surgery is annexed, in fo/o, as an appendix. It will not be understood, however, that tlicslightest blame is imputed, in ■ In • irregular transactions,ioth.it gentleman, ofTicialty.or in any other way. The irregularity is chargeable, and it is oow unhesitatinu ly charged, on the governor of the naval asylum, who approved the bills, and thm ordered their payment out of an appropriation which no sophistry could make chargeable with such burdens. In addition to these irregular outlays, the sum of $3,9 4) is reported on the purser's pay-rolls as paid annually, for wages nr pay alone (exclusive ol officers' pay,) in that institution; t! .• of which is the wages of a person rated and paid as hospnal steward, who never performed five minutes' duty as such in the hospital, bill was employed solely as purser's clerk, and to buy provisions, for which he was regularly paid, as any agent not connected with ihe institution might have done. Of this whole amount of $3,500 for wages -the subsistence of those so paid being a further charge, and paid out of the appropriation for medicine—only $936 were flowed in the estimates of the Secretary of the Navy; and, subsequently, $30tf per annum were allowed for a carrier's mate—making £1,239 allowed; the balance (92,361) being entirely unauthorized, or, at least, very doubtfully authorized.

"It may illustrate this remark to state, that the records of this bureau show that an eminent surgical instrument-maker,of Philadelphia, sold certain instruments of his manufacture, of the first* rate workmanship and approved pattern, for the sum of $609 81, to certain druggists largely supplying the medical outfits of vessels in a neighboring seaport. The commission alluded to in ihe text, conducted by Benjamin Romans, now of the Navy Department shows that these identical instruments were furnished by the druggists alluded to, to certain vessels, and that they charged Government for them the sum of #1,294 54; thus exhibiting a profit of 9554 73—in other words, an exorbitant charge of about 83 per cent.! This, too, on articles of well-known established price. These prices were approved in the Deual way, and actually paid.

"The same commission brought to lights from actual vouchers, the charge by the same druggists of 9287 82, in four years, for the recipients of medicines and freights, al* though they state, on oath, that the "drayage, freight, Ac., was always paid hy them." Epsom salts was invariably charged, in wholesale Quantities, at ten cents per pound, when it can anywhere be purchased of the wholesale dealers at five cents, and even much less. Half an ounce ofveratna was charged at eighteen dollars.' An ounce of gold is worth sixteen dollars(a doubloon, or ounce.) Thus wasa small white powder charged at thirty-six dollars an ounce—four dollars more than twice the value of an ounce of gold. One ounce of strychnine, a similar powder, was charged at thirty-four dollars—Ifaaiis, two dollars more than twice the value ol an ounce of sold. Two dozen botiles Bedford spring water wete charged eight dollars, viz , thirty-three cents per buttle. Two tcabs of vaccine virus were charged at nine dollars. Oiled silk, worth (of ihe best quality) 91 37J par yard, was charged eighty dollars for twenty yards—that is, four dollars per yard. Seventr-two bottles eompouad sirup sarsaparilla were charged at 9108, viz., 91 50 a bottle. The retail price is everywhere seventy five cents a bottle, and it has been purchased by this bureau, in Philadelphia, at 97 50 per dozen, or 949 per 72 bottles.

"In the examination of vouchers by the same commission, still more extortionate charges appeared on some articles. In short, the whole of the charges now printed in the documents of Congress are of the same extortionate character.

"The illustrations given are ample to prove the truth of the remarks in the text, on the veracity of fbrnishers. Of 942 504 34 i-a! I by a navy agent at the seaport alluded to, out of the appropriation for 'medicines, 4c,' these furnishers received 922,676 10."



OF VIRGINIA, la Senate, January 30, 1643—On ihe Oiegon bill.

Mr. ARCHER commenced by remarking, that he had been in some degree anticipated by the gentleman from South Carolina, [Mr. Mcduffie,] who had so well discussed this measure, the other day, in ihe line of observalion he intended to pursue. His opinions not conforming, in some other respects, however, [& ihe views which had been expressed by other gentlemen, he was desirous of an opportunity to state them at this lime.

The debate had deviaied a good deal from, but had now reverted to, the appropriale lopics—the consistency of the clause of Ihe bill pledging allodial grants of land to emigrants, with the tenor of our convention wilh England on Ihe subject of the territory; and the general policy of accelerating the settlement of it by our people. To bo'hlhese points he would say a few words.

All admitted, of course, that we were not loadopt the claose referred to, if it operaled any impairment of Ihe obligation of the convention. A great and, it seemed to him, slrange discrepancy of opinion had been exhibited on this point. The language of the convention seemed in no degree "equivocal." The import was simply a siipulaiion for mutual and free ingress into ihe lerrnory, and a common undisturbed use, unlil the parties should determine further on the subject. Could there be a question of the exclusion, under such a condilion, of Ihe sight to exert and convey a full properly in ihe oil] If the condition did not operate such exclusion, what was iis effect? Had it any?

But suppose the import doubtful—susceptible of two interpretations. In what source were we to explore for the right one? to what'evidence resort? There could be none other than ihe nature of ihe controversy adjusted, and ihe character of ihe discussions which attended ihe adjustment. Now, the proposition which he (Mr. A.) maintained was this: lhat in ihe entire progress of the negotiations on ihis subject of Oregon—fiom the beginning to Ihe end—there had been no point brought into issue, no question touched in discussion, save the single one of the title in the territory. Here had been parties engaged in protracted negotiations as to what were the grounds of tide and whose the right to the territory. They find themselves unable lo agree. What is done? Resolving nothing on the subject of title, they make a convention for a common temporary use, dissoluble at pleasuie, by notice. What is the plain inference from this? Is it not, lhat decision on the liile being suspended, the fruits of full title—all other of iis privileges than temporary use; above everything, the unrestricted authority to dispose in full property—must be suspended also? If such an arrangement had not ihis efiect, where is the mailer lo be found lo give it any operation? What has it been made for? What

Eurpose is it to subserve? Is it any more than a lank?'

II was in the face of ihis indisputable fact, lhat the negotiations had had relation to no other point or subject than the title to the territory, that the honorable Senator from New Hampshire [Mr. Woodbury] had maintained lhat the conventions in which the negotiations resulted were to be regarded as no more lhan conventions of commerce, leaving unimpaired and unaffected the right to carry our claim ol title into the fullest effect, by disposal ofthesoilin absolute property, or pledges lo make this disposal of it. A treaty of commerce! Not only had there been no meniion of commerce, or regulation on the subject of it, in the negotiations; but, in truth, there had been nothing to which the name of commerce could be applied. The sole business pursued by our people or Englishmen, at the time, had been Ihe pursuit and trapping of animals for futs! At the last adoption or renewal of the Convention, we had very little interest of this kind; ihe prosecution of this business by our people "having nearly ceased on ihe western side of ihe Rocky Mountains. There had been no occasion, therefore, lor arrangement on our part to regulate this subjeci; nor a convention at all, unless for the preservation of our title, liable to be put in hazard by our mm user, and the overspreading of Iheierritory by English use and occupation.

Exclusive title to the lerrilory, or any pari, hnd noi been asserted for England by her negotiators. Their object had been only to rebut and repel our claim of this character. They admitted our right as largely as their own, and only went into the in

vestigation of the grounds of exclusive title forth purpose of showing thai their title Oh these nound* was as defensible as ours. They maintained ih the title ol all the world to colonize was equalio ours and to theirs. This was all shown bv 'he paper delivered by Messrs. Huskisson and Ad dingion to our commissioner in 1827, asIbesnm mary of the pretensions of their Government How was it conceivable thai, in these circumstances ihev had consented lo a con vention.ihe just consinicuonof which lefl us at full liberty lo pursue our exclusive title, and give the fullest effect lo if!

In the last discussions, in 1827, it had become a subjeci of consideration whether we should consent to any renewal of the convenlion. Gentlemen would see this in the correspondence ol Mr. Galla! in, at thai day, wilh ihe Slate Department. Bm why make Ihis a question, if the convenlion were to be no reslraini on us—if, after admitting it we might go on, as before, to execute oar claim of exclusive title, as we saw occasion? Mr. Gallaiin gave the answer to this inquiry. The renewal was of use to preserve our title, there being ho other interest at that time to preserve. Thaiwasihe sble interest to be consulted. The sole object was lo preserve it. Well! if ihe contention secured the preservation of our claim, how could the protection of the counter claim be excluded from its influence? Was it to be effective for us—null for our adversary? Was that the principle of construction we were to contend for? And where was the limit of our right (o make grams in full properly, or engage for them? Why might not Ihese come lo cover the whole lerrilory? And where was Ihe room for the operation of the convention then?—what the part England was lohate in it?—the benefit she was to realize or preserve!

And what were the modes in which the objection, that a breach of the compact would be involved in the adoption of this clause of the bill, was mei! First, by ihe allegation that Great Britain had preceded us in this same form of breach of compact. That position, however, had been found untenable —having encountered refutation from the document furnished under the call of the gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. Morehead.] What was ibe next ground? That Great Britain had come lo enjoy almost the entire usufrucl and advantages of the territory—nearly as much as she would under an exclusive idle. Bui by what means? Not by constraint or intimidation exerted on our people—thai was not pretended; but as the consequence of a dexterous management of the Indians, andthepractice of overbidding for furs, and underselling in merchandise! Well! superior adroitness in lie use of a subject of stipulation, no more than ihe same adroitness displayed in obtaining it, consti. tuted an effect of contravention, which sei al work the rule, that breach on one side remitted obligation on the other! His friend from Kentucky [Mr. Morehead] could hardly, he thought, feel himself strong on ihis ground. There was none left lo countervail the allegation of breach of compact prominent in the clause of the bill assuring Ibe grants of title to the emigrants whom it invsied to the territory.

Passing by this consideration, however, (which, prevailing as it was, has formed bis chief inducement lo trespass on the Senate:) suppose wt could be justified inihe conclusion, that the controverted clause of the bill involved no breach of compact,—it was to be remembered that there was anoiher party besides ourselves lo exercise the office of interpretation. The aspeel in which thai parry might regard it was not devoid (as the action of Ihe advocates of the clause to be intelligible must conceive) of interest to us. Suppose the construction of the clause by Great Britain, differing from ours, should infer a deviation from the compact. There were gentlemen in this body, indeed, who could not be found to admit that a question had more than one side in our controversies wilh other nations. This did not make it less true, intK event that there might prove to be two sides. WW if there did here? Great Britain had commercial relations wilh us far too valuable lo be sacrificed for any value she could attach to Oregon in a naked, simple estimate of values and advantages. Thai she should put the one in ihe scales with the other, in this view, was not conceivable, in her largesighted commercial policy.

But another consideration there was, which, mired with this, no English ministry of any party hsi! the power, more than Ihe inclination, lodisregard and this was the point of national honor. Hop11'?

« PreviousContinue »