Slike strani

cessity not only fails you, but the reasons you , is engaged at the distance of several hundred render are converted against you.

miles in foreign conquest. Would you not soon But the Spaniards will excite the Indians. be compelled to raise your siege of the capital Do not the papers before us prove that the of Florida, and, hurrying home to relieve a Indians were peaceable, undisturbing, undis- deserted and unprotected country, pursued by turbed, until you invaded Florida ? Put an end the emancipated and enraged troops of st. to your invasion, and you put an end to Indian Augustine, barassed night and day by parties excitement. Indians on their own soil defend of Seminoles and Creeks, arrive, it you arrive themselves, and this you call crime ; they re- at all, faint and exhausted, to encounter a new taliate as far as they can your wrong, and this and formidable enemy. Proceed with this fatal you call abomination. But the Spanish seduce enterprise, and deplorable indeed will be the the negroes. Is the fact verified? How can fate of our Southern brethren. they have communication with the negroes of It is made matter of serious accusation against Georgia? And if they had, did they ever do the Spaniards, that in defence of their own homes, so until you invaded their territory—until you they intend to employ black troops. I do not had promised fitty acres of land to every know what right we have to dictate to them on Spaniard who would betray his country, and this important point of complexion. We provoke violate his allegiance? It stands an undisputed to combat. We are assailants, and for plunder, fact, that Matthews, the agent of this govern- and yet undertake to prescribe to our devoted ment, did this. Mr. Foster expressly charges it victim the mode of his defence. Black troops on Mr. Monroe, and he does not deny the fact. were employed by Spain in 1739, at the same He admits it. I appeal to the correspondence place and for the same purpose they are now of November, 1811. In the whole progress of employed. England has thousands and tens of this business you make your previous wrong an thousands of black and colored troops in her apology for subsequent wrong. All the evils pay, as I am afraid we shall to our cost discover. that have happened, all that you apprehend, are We employed black troops in the war of our the necessary and natural consequences of your Revolution. The State of Rhode Island raised previous acts:

a black regiment. But though we have neither

the power nor the right to prohibit the employ. “I do the wrong, and first begin the brawl;

ment of such troops by our enemy, I admit, as The secret mischiefs that I set abroach, I lay unto the grievous charge of others."

has been suggested, that the consequences may

be tremendous. That onhappy species of popuBut so far from its being a sound position, lation, which prevails in our southern country, that military necessity irresistibly compels you aroused to reflection by the sight of black solto this measure, I venture to assert that, in a diers, and black officers, may suspect themselves merely military point of view, you cannot do to be fellow-men, and fondly dream they likeany thing so erroneous, probably so fatal as the wise could be soldiers and officers. The bloody occupation of East Florida.

tragedy of St. Domingo, may be acted over again, If you mean to press this undertaking with in this devoted country. If your enemy has half zeal, and with that ardor and promptitude the malignity of motive, or atrocity of design, that can alone give you a chance of success, the which, for the purpose of goading a reluctant whole force of the southern country ought in people to drag on an unprofitable and unnecesMay next to be driving at this object. Will sary war, you daily impute to him, he will aid you not then invite an invasion by Great Bri- the in this nefarious business. tain at the very spot, at the very time she Refrain, then, from this measure, which has desires ? This enterprise will at any rate sug- such a host of evils in its train. If I were a gest to her the design, because it affords the citizen of South Carolina or Georgia, I should opportunity-the enviable opportunity, of caus- doubly deplore and deprecate this attack on St. ing a diversion from your Canada project, and Augustine. I would down on my knees, to endispensing at the same time the most effectual treat the government to forbear. I should prorelief to their allies. I ask, whether this protest against this withdrawing all the efficient ject, drawing as it necessarily must the whole force of the country, to a distant and dangerous of the southern defensive force from the points point, for the purpose of a wicked war of otřence, of defence, does not insure an invasion from when all that force will be wanted for defence your present enemy, and at the very point, and protection at home, and to repel the invawhere, from peculiar circumstances, you are sion which this measure will inevitably suggest most vulnerable ?

and superinduce. I do address this consideraGentleinen seem to hug themselves in the tion, most sincerely and solemnly, to the honornotion that Charleston is secure, as though that able gentlemen from those States. Take care, were the only point to be preserved; but ex- that while you are pursuing foreign conquest, amine the maps of that country, recollect the your own homes are not devastated. Take care, military and naval operations of colonial times, that while your war eagle is soaring a sublime and inquire into the practicability of an English and romantic flight, and“ beating widely on the fleet entering the harbor of Port Royal, and wing for prey," her own eyry be not plundered, effecting at that point the invasion of the and she compelled to turn her course homeSouthern States. Your whole effective force I ward; "her pinions guided by her young

ones' cries." Will you, for the chance of con- an allegation. Have we not denied the acts of quering East Florida—of annexing the Island Matthewsrefused to ratify them? I will not of Amelia to your territory—of satisfying the say, that by this the government did not violate cupidity of land-speculators, or even of gratify its faith with Matthews-so far as it relates to ing a mistaken sense of interest in a respectable this, instead of imputing exclusive blame to this State, encounter the terrible contingencies, the unfortunate, and, as I understand, confessedly almost certain horrors of negro insurrection, of meritorious officer, I cannot but believe that he Indian hostility, of midnight conflagration, of thought he acted with perfect good faith to the widespread ruin and indiscriminate massacre ? government; strictly in virtue of his private,

Sir, it appears to me, that the prominent if not public instructions—and that he counted argument, that is urged for the adoption of this not only on the support but the applause of measure, viz., the war with England, is the government. Cruelly disappointed in the result, strongest argument against it. What is the he conceived that he had just cause of complaint great object of your policy, your solitary hope -he considered himself the victim of a temporof success, in your war against England ? It is ising, vacillating, insidious policy—and I ask the avowed to be, the conquest of Canada. How honorable gentleman from Georgia, did not is this to be effected ? by frittering your force Matthews die with such sentiments trembling into various divisions; an army of the south, to the very last on his lips? The averment of an army of the north, and an army of the west? his own honor and innocence of the tergiverNo, sir, if like our ally France, we are impelled sation and pusillanimity of his employers. Was by this lust of conquest, and aspire to like suc- he not hurrying on to Washington, literally for cess, we must adopt her mode of ensuring it. his vindication; when, fortunately for those he Select one great point for attainment, and keep- had it in his power to expose, death arrested ing that steadily in view, press upon it with all his course? But, sir, what is the ground of the energy of your means. Why scatter your the government? They distinctly assert that forces, in numerous, frivolous, and unavailing Matthews has transcended his powers; that he plans? Why not make one grand, undivided has acted without the scope of his authority. effort, and conquer Canada ? Why divert into He cannot, say the government, produce our such various channels that force, which ought letter of permission to sanction what he has to be accumulated and contracted into one irre- done. Then, clearly, the consequence is, our sistible torrent ?

faith was not compromitted, for our name and By pursuing both, we shall be disappointed authority were not legally or fairly used. Our in both objects. Your war with Spain will sympathies cannot justly be awakened for those ruin your war with England. Your war with conspirators. We are not interested in this England will ruin your war with Spain. Is it amnesty. Let the Spanish Government deal true that a war with England and at the same with these men, as we should have done with time with Spain, has always been intended ? Arnold, had hé fallen into our power. Let Last year the propositions to seize East Florida, them meet the punishment of traitors; or let and to conquer Canada, were associated. The them, rousing themselves to a new, and by us inducements then held out were an enlargement unpronoted effort, deserve to be successful. and arrondissement of territory at the two ex- Let them take the chance of being rebels or tremities—a fair division of the spoil. We con- patriots ; of swallowing the hemlock, or being sent that you may conquer Canada; permit us crowned with myrtle. to conquer Florida. The declaration that Can- That indeed is a suspicious patriotism, which ada should be conquered and retained was the bargains beforehand for foreign uid: that is exacted pledge of the northern men who voted hardly a valorous patriotism, that submits nothfor the war. You have got their votes. You ing to hazard— that conditions for amnesty have not, you cannot redeem your pledge. How before guilt, and secures the spoil, without is it that the proposition for seizing Florida is fighting the battle. I will not say I have no revived and so strenuously enforced, and so little sympathy for these people. I would save them is said, or done, or wished as to the conquest and if I could; but I will not, on their account, enincorporation of Canada? Where is the prom- danger my country's peace or fame. But anised benefit to the North?

other claim upon our honor is, our troops were But, sir, it seems a point of honor demands attacked at Moosa—Moosa, where is it? within that we should continue our efforts to reduce two miles of the fortress of St. Augustine. And the fortress of St. Augustine, because the Span- if you had the camp of an enemy at Georgeiards refuse an amnesty to those worthy indi- town, threatening the capitol, the existence of viduals who were willing to betray their coun- your government-a foreign force, combined try into our hands. Not only our sympathies with domestic traitors, to overwhelm you, to are addressed, and even our deliberate approba- throw you neck and heels into the Potomac, as tion challenged for traitors and conspirators, one of your choice spirits once proposed-would dignified with the name of patriots, but we are you not attack? This is, of all others, the most invoked for their sakes solely, to plunge into a miserable subterfuge. Good God! where are new war. And to this we are invoked in the we? In what age do we live? In what counhallowed name of the national faith. It is al- try, when it is made a crime to extirpate the most degradation to be obliged to examine such I invaders of our native soil ? In what age, in what country, when it is made a virtue for a the treason, and restored that city to its freenation, itself at war for neutral rights, to in- dom and independence. In what age did this vade an unoffending, helpless, friendly, neutral happen? In comparatively a benighted period, country?

the thirteenth century. Will you, Americans But it is asked, Is not this measure defensible you who have styled yourselves the most enon the ground of precedents, and the practices lightened people, of a most enlightened age, be of nations? O yes, undoubtedly. For this, as put to shame, by such an event happening, in for every other enormity, you can find an ex- such an era-in such a country? ample, but not a justification. I am apprehen- But still, you have a thousand instances to sive, sir, that in pursuing this unprofitable re- encourage you. You have not the merit of ference to precedents and authorities, less skilful novelty in your wickedness. Deeds as reprethan the learned gentlemen who have preceded hensible, as nefarious as yours, and on the same me, I cannot avoid giving to my remarks an air grounds and pretences, crowd and deform the of pedantry. I call this an unprofitable, and page of history. The annals of despotism help perhaps deceptive pursuit; because a recent ex- you out. Louis the XIV th was in the heart of perience shows, how pervertible are the clearest the Netherlands, before it was known he had a texts of the soundest authors. For when I dis- pretence to any part of those rich provinces, covered the honorable chairman making quota- under a pretended right of bis wife. Frederick tions from Vattel, in support of the present of Prussia, in 1741, gave the intimation of his proposition, which authorizes us to take posses- claim against Silesia, at the head of 60,000 men. sion of that, to which we have no right, I could ShalỊ I mention the two divisions of Poland, not help recollecting, that attending as a spec- the recent instances of French usurpation in tator in your gallery, during the debate on Mr. Holland, in Switzerland, in Portugal, in Italy, Ross's resolution, I heard the same honorable and Spain? No; these instances are too idengentleman adduce passages from the same au- tical for illustration. It is unnecessary to erthor, to prove that we ought not to take, what bibit those instances, of which your proceedof perfect right did belong to us.

ings are but polygraphic copies. I will hasten The earliest precedent on record was the one to the great precedent, which has been alluded so pleasantly, not irrelevantly, alluded to by the to on both sides, as affording pertinent matter honorable gentleman from Vermont, who is for illustration; the seizure of the Danish fleet. without question, of any one among us, the best I have a right to refer to it triumphantly, as read in the most ancient and authentic of all an “argumentum ad hominem." All the dishistories, the Holy Bible. Who, at any rate, interested part of mankind condemned this does the most frequently and the most aptly measure. In this country, all parties, federal quote the scriptures that were written for our and republican, assailed it. Let me prove a instruction. He referred to the leading case of measure to be within the scope of the policy of Ahab and Naboth. Sir, I will not dwell upon that—let me prove a conformity, or even a it long enough to inquire who is the Jezebel that strong analogy of conduct, and the proof conhas inspired our councils. I will not ask in the cludes; the argument is victorious, against any language of Mr. Barlow, whether this is not the individual or party in this country, the author mode devised, “ the least onerous to the French of such a measure—more especially against treasury” to do us a nominal favor, and a real those who were instinctively offended with injury. But I believe and I hope-I say I hope, Copenhagen Jackson-more especially against while it is lawful to say so, that the answer of the present administration—the asserters of the insulted and oppressed Spaniards will be neutral rights—the asserters of exclusive territhat of Naboth to Ahab, “The Lord forbid me torial rights, even in cases of doubtful or comthat I should give the inheritance of my fathers inon jurisdiction. So sensible was the honorunto thee."

able gentleman from Tennessee, on my right, of But do gentlemen prefer classical to biblical this, that in the early stages of this discussion, authority; the example of a republic, or rather he directed his most vigorous efforts to dislodge an aristocracy to a theocracy ? Lacedemon af- this train of ideas from the mind of the Senate. fords it. The fortress of Cadmea was won by The gentleman showed his usual correctness a Lacedemonian general, by the same means of and acuteness, in discovering the stress of the treasonable correspondence, which our general argument, and selecting the turning point. But has used. The Ephori condemned their general what was his mode of refutation? How did as we have done, but retained their conquest. he attempt to efface the impression that was Do you want an instance from history to con- instantly made on our minds, when the simidemn you, to make you blush for your conduct? larity of our conduct to that of the English, in Take it from Florence--a real republic. With seizing the Danish fleet, was referred to by the a territory so small as to render the desire of honorable gentleman from Vermont? Why, its extension natural and pardonable, such was forsooth, by joining in the denunciation against the magnanimity of its republican character, its that measure-by magnifying its injustice-by inviolable adherence to principle, and its abhor- exaggerating, if possible, its enormity-by darkrence of the "selfish object of territorial aggran- ening its atrocity. Sir, this may be allowable dizement,” that when the city of Arezzo was in rhetoric, but it is at best but an able evasion

"yed into its hands, it disdained to profit by 1 of the very point, which a not over strict logic



say he was bound to meet. The gentle binding the whole world under one politic and man expressed his surprise that any American moral dominion." could charge his country with an intention to I implore you, sir, that we still adhere to this perform an act so nefarious as that of the sei- system-that wise and philanthropic system, zure of the Danish fleet by the English. Sir, I that is founded on justice, that favors the innoam not obliged to contend, though with the cent, that protects the weak, that suspects and utmost fairness and propriety I might, that our opposes the strong and the unprincipled; that discontemplated act transcends that in enormity, dains conspiracy in usurpation and fellowship in its outrage on the law of nations, in its pros- in guilt, though the spoil of defenceless and tration of the principles of right and justice. afflicted neighbors be the bribe, and the splendid

One point of difference we surely cannot for- example of exalted potentates, the justification, get, viz., that the Danish fleet was first demand By abandoning this system, what has Europe ed, and demanded from those who had a right to become? A scene of ruins. And still, amid cede it. In this case you have made no demand, these very ruins, we meet at every turn, the and even if you had, it is of those who have no flames of war bursting out anew into wider right to convey. The mere local authorities of conflagration. Let us adhere to the ancient Florida have no right to dismember the Span- system of the law of nations. Let us snatch ish empire. Another point of difference is, that this sacred palladium from its burning temple, the French were at hand. They occupied a and re-consecrate it in this our new and virtupart of Denmark, the Duchy of Holstein. Their ous empire. ulterior success, which was not only probable, I perceive, sir, that time will not permit me but inevitable, would have given them posses- to examine this question, in the various other sion of the Danish fleet. In addition to this, relations which have suggested themselves to the English ministry urged, (with what propri- my mind. I have so strong an opinion that ety of course I cannot tell,) the secret articles this, as a military enterprise, will, having regard of the treaty of Tilsit, in justification of this to our present and probable means, after all,

prove abortive and unfortunate, that I had But after all, it was an indefensible act, de- almost felt myself emboldened to submit my serving all the epithets of reprobation which reasons for that opinion. St. Augustine, withthe honorable gentleman has bestowed upon it. out a naval superiority, cannot be subdued; It was as fatal in its effects, as censurable in let General Pinckney, brave and intelligent as I its principle. It gave the hearts of the Danish know him to be, do his best. My reasons nation to France, it made an ally of the conti- would be drawn from a detailed consideration nental system; it startled Sweden, it irritated of General Oglethorpe's operations, in 1739. I Russia, it turned the tide of public opinion have consulted various accounts of that siege. against ministers in England, it alarmed and I have a plan of his attack, taken by an engineer alienated America; and for all this, Britain employed in the service, now before me. Oglegained sixteen hulks, some tons of hemp, and thorpe's best chance of success depended on his naval stores—and the distrust of the world. naval superiority. But he was defeated. Can

Of all the ill-consequences resulting to Great we then hope for success, when the sea is open Britain from this act, the most deeply fatal to to Spanish and British squadrons; and when, her was the opinion, justly entertained in Eng- so far as relates to our naval preparations, we land and in America, the only remaining coun- have committed the same mistake here as in tries where public opinion retains through the our Canadian campaign—a mistake, or rather press and the freedom of institutions, any opera- negligence, that has been the principal, if not tion; that she, who pretended to execrate the the sole cause of our repeated disasters? But outrages of Bonaparte, who professed a rever-this subject, in all its military bearings, has ence for the law of nations, and declared her- been, and can be so much better illustrated by self the advocate of the principles of justice, the honorable gentleman from Maryland, that I virtue and religion, should, overcome by the forbear to enlarge upon it. I leave also to that lure of gain, or intimidated by an unreal neces, gentleman and others, the important topic of sity, have fallen from her high pretensions, the disastrous consequences of this measure, to have forfeited her moral character, have stained the miserable remains of our foreign commerce. her hitherto comparatively spotless reputation. The conjectures and predictions that Spain will

In miserable contradiction to herself, she not, because she cannot, from the depression of overthrew, at one blow, that system of univer- her fortunes, the inadequacy of her means, and sal public law, whose maxims and precedents the imbecility of her national character, resent have been long acknowledged—and by no na- this lawless aggression, I believe rather illustration more than herself—to be of the same force tive of the meanness of our motives, than of and obligation, as the municipal constitutions the true nature of her disposition and resources. of particular States: "A system,” as it is ob- | The merchants, those who have the best means served by Lord Erskine, in his celebrated protest of knowing, distinctly understand that your upon this subject, "which has gradually ripened hostile occupation of East Florida will be the with the advancement of learning and the ex- signal of the immediate confiscation of Amertension of commerce, and which ought to be held ican property. In relation to the interests of sacred and inviolable by all governments, as my own State, the consequences of this measure

will be indeed deplorable. The little remnant you please,) that our councils are influenced by of trade we have left is that to the Havana, which an undue partiality for France. I am not taking will be inevitably cut off. And it is a singular upon myself to say that this would be a fair fact, well known to my honorable colleague, deduction; but the adoption of this measure that real property, plantations of a very con- would give an apparent sanction to this accusasiderable value, in the Island of Caba, belong tion, which we ought to avoid when we can so to native citizens of the State of Rhode Island. easily avoid it, not only without detriment, but They are owned principally by the fast friends with safety and advantage. Let us not only be of the present administration, by gentlemen chaste but unsuspected. What will be the inwho have already loaned to the government more evitable consequence of a war with Spain ? a than some whole patriotic States, and whose pri- non-intercourse with the Peninsula. The great vate armed ships have captured from the enemy object of France will be effected. This in addi-; more than half a million sterling. These, to be tion to our concurrence in the continental syssure, are not considerations of great moment. tem, and our war with England, is all that the Since gentlemen ohoose to sacrifice their friends, ruler of France in the insolence of his power, it is oflicious in me to interfere, perhaps; but the extravagance of his desires, the arrogance they are my constituents, and I deem it my of his contempt, or the deadliness of his hatred, duty to suggest their danger and their interests. sanguine, haughty, insatiable, exorbitant, and

But there are resulting from this measure, inexorable as he is, ever demanded froin us, political consequences connected with your for- and more than he could ever expect to obtain eign relations, with your present war with even from our trembling acquiescence. England—with the present peculiar circum It will seem to England that this coincidence stances of the world, which are worthy of the in conduct must arise from coincidence in views. gravest consideration. Do you wish to make She wonld deem us a party in the great design the present contest with England popular be- of her vindictive foe, and our impolitic and unyond any instance in their history—to unite fortunate war would be by her associated in against you the undivided opinions—the en- principle and duration with that war, which she thusiastic feelings—the animated efforts of the now wages for her own security, and the liberaEnglish people to make this a war indefinitetion of mankind. Sir, I must conclude. The in continuance, vindictive in its mode of opera- subject is not exhausted, but I am. I will not tion, and victorious to England in the end? attempt to recapitulate, or arrange in a more Do you mean to render suspected, and of course correct and compact form, the desultory remarks unavailing, all your pacificatory propositions? I have thrown out. But I must demand it of Then do this dastardly act against á helpless every individual member of the Senate, again people—wage your war with Spain. If ever and again to ask himself what right have we to there was a subject which united the opinions the territory of East Florida ? Is it any other of the British nation, it was the late Spanish than the right created by desire—the right sugrevolution. If there ever was an object in gested by ambition—the right of taking advanwhich the hopes, interests, and efforts of the tage of the troubles of our neighbors, of plunEnglish nation concentred, it is Spanish eman- dering weakness, of imposing on misfortune, of cipation. This act of yours will entirely alien- oppressing the oppressed? What right would ate from us our friends in the British Parliament. Spain have to occupy St. Mary's or Cumberland We shall be so notoriously in the wrong, that Island ? the same we have to occupy Augustine no one in that assembly will dare defend us. and Amelia. But a few months ago, we could refer to the I have directed my attention solely to East majority that effected the repeal of the Orders Florida. The other member of the question in in Council, as equally the advocates of their regard to the Mobile is easily disposed of. If own best national interests, and of our most im- the territory be ours under the treaties and portant national rights. We unwisely continue laws of the United States, there is no need of our war with England after the acquisition of this law to authorize the President to take posthe great avowed object of that war. The peo- session-he ought to do by the obligation of ple of England now understand that we fight general duty-he wants no particular law to on the single ground of maritime rights. And enable him to assert the claims of the United they are taught to believe that this cruel con- States. He must take care that the laws and test is intended, not so much for our own pro-treaties are executed. He encounters no hazardtection, as for their destruction. On this ous responsibility ; he is empowered so to do, ground of maritime rights are placed the pride, not by a constructive, but by a plain, direct, the hopes, the fears of this sometimes misgov- and absolute authority. erned, but always magnanimous nation.

Sir, let us presume for a moment that we shall Add then a Spanish war to your English war, be completely successful as to the attainment of and you will not have a friend left in England. these countries; that they cost us no money, no Do gentlemen affect to deem this of no conse-blood, no actual privation, no present suffering. quence? Then they have forgotten history, or Will not this policy of indefinitely increasing read it but to little advantage. Sir, this Span- our territory be productive of the most baneful ish war will corroborate into certainty the sus- future consequences? Is it not accelerating that picion, (the unjust, the unworthy suspicion if fatal event which the genuine friends of freedom

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