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the end of our revolutionary struggle until to-day, without paying anything on either principal or interest, each man of us would owe less upon that debt now, than each man owed upon it then; and this because our increase of men, through the whole period, has been greater than 6 per cent.; has run faster than the interest upon the debt. Thus, time alone, relieves a debtor nation, so long as its population increases faster than unpaid interest accumulates on its debt.
This fact would be no excuse for delaying payment of what is justly due; but it shows the great importance of time in this connection-the great advantage of a policy by which we shall not have to pay until we number 100,000,000, what, by a different policy, we would have to pay now, when we number but 31,000,000. In a word, it shows that a dollar will be much harder to pay for the war, than will be a dollar for emancipation on the proposed plan. And then the latter will cost no blood, no precious life. It will be a saving of both.
As to the second Article, I think it would be impracticable to return to bondage the class of persons therein contemplated. Some of them, doubtless, in the property sense, belong to loyal owners; and hence, provision is made in this Article for compensating
The third Article relates to the future of the freed people. It does not oblige, but merely authorizes, Congress to aid in colonizing such as may consent. This ought not to be regarded as objectionable, on the one hand, or on the other, in so much as it comes to nothing, unless by the mutual consent of the people to be deported, and the American voters, through their representatives in Congress.
I cannot make it better known than it already is, that I strongly favour colonization. And yet I wish to say there is an objection urged against free coloured persons remaining in the country, which is largely imaginary, if not sometimes malicious.
It is insisted that their presence would injure, and displace white labour and white labourers. If there ever could be a proper time for mere catch arguments, that time surely is not now. In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and in eternity. Is it true, then, that coloured people can displace any more white labour, by being free, than by remaining slaves? If they stay in their old places, they jostle no white labourers; if they leave their old places, they leave them open to white labourers. Logically, there is neither more or less of it. Emancipation, even without deportation, would probably enhance the wages of white labour, and, very surely, would not reduce them. Thus, the customary amount of labour would still
have to be performed; the freed people would surely not do more than their old proportion of it, and very probably, for a time, would do less, leaving an increased part to white labourers, bringing their labour into greater demand, and, consequently, enhancing the wages of it. With deportation, even to a limited extent, enhanced wages to white labour is mathematically certain. Labour is like any other commodity in the market-increase the demand for it, and you increase the price of it. Reduce the supply of black labour, by colonizing the black labourer out of the country, and, by precisely so much, you increase the demand for, and wages of, white labour.
But it is dreaded that the freed people will swarm forth, and cover the whole land? Are they not already in the land? Will liberation make them any more numerous? Equally distributed among the whites of the whole country, and there would be but one coloured to seven whites. Could the one, in any way, greatly disturb the seven? There are many communities now, having more than one free coloured person, to seven whites: and this, without any apparent consciousness of evil from it. The District of Columbia, and the States of Maryland and Delaware, are all in this condition. The District has more than one free coloured to six whites; and yet, in its frequent petitions to Congress, I believe it has never presented the presence of free coloured persons as one of its grievances. But why should emancipation south, send the freed people north? People, of any colour, seldom run, unless there be something to run from. Heretofore coloured people, to some extent, have fled north from bondage; and now, perhaps, from both bondage and destitution. But if gradual emancipation and deportation be adopted, they will have neither to flee from. Their old masters will give them wages at least until new labourers can be procured; and the freed men, in turn, will gladly give their labour for the wages, till new homes can be found for them, in congenial climes, and with people of their own blood and race. This proposition can be trusted on the mutual interests involved. And, in any event, cannot the north decide for itself, whether to receive them?
Again, as the practice proves more than theory, in any case, has there been any irruption of coloured people northward, because of the abolishment of slavery in this District last spring?
What I have said of the proportion of free coloured persons to the whites, in the District, is from the census of 1860, having no reference to persons called contrabands, nor to those made free by the Act of Congress abolishing slavery here.
The plan consisting of these articles is recommended, not but that a restoration of the national authority would be accepted without its adoption.
Nor will the war, nor proceedings under the proclamation of
September 22, 1862, be stayed because of the recommendation of this plan. Its timely adoption, I doubt not, would bring restoration, and thereby stay both.
And, notwithstanding this plan, the recommendation that Congress provide by law for compensating any State which may adopt emancipation, before this plan shall have been acted upon, is hereby earnestly renewed. Such would be only an advance part of the plan, and the same arguments apply to both.
This plan is recommended as a means, not in exclusion of, but additional to, all others for restoring and preserving the national authority throughout the Union. The subject is presented exclusively in its economical aspect. The plan would, I am confident, secure peace more speedily, and maintain it more permanently, than can be done by force alone; while all it would cost, considering amounts and manner of payment, and times of payment, would be easier paid than will be the additional cost of the war, if we rely solely upon force. It is much-very much-that it would cost no blood at all.
The plan is proposed as permanent constitutional law. It cannot become such without the concurrence of, first, two-thirds of Congress, and, afterwards, three-fourths of the States. The requisite threefourths of the States will necessarily include 7 of the slave States. Their concurrence, if obtained, will give assurance of their severally adopting emancipation, at no very distant day, upon the new constitutional terms. This assurance would end the struggle now, and save the Union for ever.
I do not forget the gravity which should characterize a paper addressed to the Congress of the nation, by the Chief Magistrate of the nation. Nor do I forget that some of you are my seniors; nor that many of you have more experience than I, in the conduct of public affairs. Yet I trust that in view of the great responsibility resting upon me, you will perceive no want of respect to yourselves, in any undue earnestness I may seem to display.
Is it doubted, then, that the plan I propose, if adopted, would shorten the war, and thus lessen its expenditure of money and of blood? Is it doubted that it would restore the national authority and national prosperity, and perpetuate both indefinitely? Is it doubted that we here-Congress and Executive-can secure its adoption? Will not the good people respond to a united, and earnest appeal from us? Can we, can they, by any other means, so certainly, or so speedily, assure these vital objects? We can succeed only by concert. It is not can any of us imagine better?" but " can we all do better?" Object whatsoever is possible, still the question recurs can we do better ?" The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, [1861-62. LII.]
We must disenthrall our
so we must think anew, and act anew. selves, and then we shall save our country.
Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We, of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honour or dishonour, to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. Wee—even we here-hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the freehonourable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just a way which, if followed, the world will for ever applaud, and God must for ever bless.
TREATY of Commerce and Navigation, between The United States and Liberia.-Signed at London, October 21, 1862.
[Ratifications exchanged at London, February 10, 1863.]
THE United States of America and the Republic of Liberia, desiring to fix in a permanent and equitable manner the rules to be observed in the intercourse and commerce they desire to establish between their respective countries, have agreed for this purpose to conclude a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation, and have judged that the said end cannot be better obtained than by taking the most perfect equality and reciprocity for the basis of their agreement; and to effect this they have named as their respective Plenipotentiaries, that is to say: the President of the United States of America, Charles Francis Adams, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America at the Court of St. James; and the Republic of Liberia, his Excellency Stephen Allen Benson, President thereof, who after having communicated to each other their respective full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following Articles:
ART. I. There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Republic of Liberia, and also between the citizens of both countries.
II. There shall be reciprocal freedom of commerce between the United States of America and the Republic of Liberia. The citizens
of the United States of America may reside in and trade to any part of the territories of the Republic of Liberia to which any other foreigners are or shall be admitted. They shall enjoy full protection for their persons and properties; they shall be allowed to buy from and to sell to whom they like, without being restrained or prejudiced by any monopoly, contract, or exclusive privilege of sale or purchase whatever; and they shall, moreover, enjoy all other rights and privileges which are or may be granted to any other foreigners, subjects, or citizens of the most favoured nation. The citizens of the Republic of Liberia shall, in return, enjoy similar protection and privileges in the United States of America, and in their territories.
III. No tonnage, import, or other duties or charges shall be levied in the Republic of Liberia on United States' vessels, or on goods imported or exported in United States' vessels, beyond what are or may be levied on national vessels, or on the like goods imported or exported in national vessels; and, in like manner, no tonnage, import, or other duties or charges shall be levied in the United States of America and their territories on the vessels of the Republic of Liberia, or on goods imported or exported in those vessels, beyond what are or may be levied on national vessels, or on the like goods imported or exported in national vessels.
IV. Merchandize or goods coming from the United States of America in any vessels, or imported in United States' vessels from any country, shall not be prohibited by the Republic of Liberia, nor be subject to higher duties than are levied on the same kinds of merchandize or goods coming from any other foreign country or imported in any other foreign vessels. All articles, the produce of the Republic of Liberia, may be exported therefrom by citizens of The United States and United States' vessels, on as favourable terms as by the citizens and vessels of any other foreign country.
In like manner, all merchandize or goods coming from the Republic of Liberia in any vessels, or imported in Liberian vessels from any country, shall not be prohibited by the United States of America, nor be subject to higher duties than are levied on the same kinds of merchandize or goods coming from any other foreign country or imported in any other foreign vessels. All articles, the produce of The United States, or of their territories, may be imported therefrom by Liberian citizens and Liberian vessels on as favourable terms as by the citizens and vessels of any other foreign country.
V. When any vessel of either of the Contracting Parties shall be wrecked, foundered, or otherwise damaged on the coasts, or within the territories of the other, the respective citizens shall receive the greatest possible aid, as well for themselves as for their