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THE PUBLIC DOCUMENTS,
INTERESTING QUESTIONS AGITATED DURING THE
ON THE FIRST MONDAY OF NOVEMBER,
PUBLISHED IN CONCORD, N. H.
By I. & W. R. HILL,
THE patronage afforded to the publishers of the former volume together with the increased intorest and emphasis which are placed by all political parties on PUBLIC OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS, have induced the subscribers to offer proposals for renewing, with the present session of Congress, the publication of the Congres. SIONAL REPORTER. The plan of the proposed volume will be Similar to that of the last, with the difference only that the public documents and the debates in Congress will be given in separate numbers, so that each when bound will form part of a volume by itself. As in the former, so in this volume, the most rigid impartiality will be observed in giving the entire documents and spetches, whatever party they may favor, on all questions in which the policy and measures of the government, in regard to foreign nations, or to affairs of great domestic concernment, may be involved. At this momentous crisis, it is presumed a publication on this principle and with these objects, will not fail to'merit and receive a munificent and ample patronage from an enlightened public.
The conditions of publication are that each number, containing sixteen large octavo pages, will be furnished at the moderato price of five cents, (the postage to be dedueted) payable when the volume is eompleted ;-that a deduction of 12 1-2 per cent. will be made to those who procure and become responsible for more than ten subscribers ;-that any person, wishing it, may, when finished, be furnished with one volume neatly bound and lettered for the additional sum of thirty cents.
I. W. R. HILL.
'PART I....PUBLIC DOCUMENTS.
No. 1.] TWELFTH CONGRESS.... SECOND SESSION. (1812–13.
WASHINGTON City, Nov. 4. The President of the United States this day communicated, by Mr. Coles his private Secretary, the following Message to Congress : Fellow Citizens of the Senate,
and House of Representatives,
ON our present meeting it is my first duty to invite your attention to the providential favors which our country has experienced in the unusual degree of health! dispensed to its inhabitants, and in the rich abundance with which the earth has rewarded the labors bestowed on it. In the successful cultivation of other branches of industry, and in the progress of general improvement favorable to the national prosperity, there is just occafion also for our mutual congratulations and thankfulness.
With these blessings are necessarily mingled the pressures and viciffitudes incident to the state of war, into which the United States have been forced by the perseverance of a foreign power, in its system of injustice and aggression.
Previous to its declaration, it was deemed proper, as a meafure of precaution and forecast, that a considerable force should be placed in the Michigan territory, with a general view to its security, and in the event of war, to such operations in the uppermost Canada as would intercept the hostile influence of Great Britain over the favages, obtain the command of the lake on which that part of Canada borders, and maintain co-operating relations with such forces as might be most conveniently employed against other parts. Brigadier General Hull was charged with this provisional service, having under his command a body of troops composed of regulars and volunteers from the State of Ohio. Having reached his deftination after his knowledge of the war, and poffefling discretionary authority to act offensively, he pailed into the neighboring territory of the enemy with a prospect of easy and victorious progress. The expedition nevertheless terminated unfortunately, not only in a retreat to the town and fort of Detroit, but in the surrender of both, and of the gallant corps commanded by that officer. The caufa es of this painful reverse will be investigated by a military tribun. al.
A distinguishing feature in the operations which preceded and
followed this adverse event, is the ufe made by our enemy of the mercil (s favages under their influence. Whilst the benev. olent policy of the United States, invariably recommended peace, and promoted civilization, among that wretched portion of the human race; and was making exertions to diffuade them from taking either side in the war, the enemy has not scrupleil to call to bis aid their ruthlefs ferocity, armed with the horrors of those inftruments okcarnage and torture, which are known to spare neither age nor lex. In this outrage against the laws of honorable war, and against the feelings facred to humanity, the British commanders cannot refort to a plea of retaliation, for it is committed in the face of our example. They cannot mitigate it by calling it a felf defence against men in arms; for it embraces the most shocking butcheries of defencelets families. Nor can it be pretended that they are not answerable for the atrocities perpetrated ; since the savages are employed with a knowledge, and even with menaces, that their fury could not be controlled. Such is the spectacle which the deputed authori. ties of a nation boasting its religion and morality, have not been restrained from presenting to an enlightened age.
The misfortune at Detroit was not, however, without a con. foling effect. It was followed by signal proofs, that the national spirit rises according to the pressure on it. The loss of an im. portant post, and of the brave men surrendered with it, inspired every where new arilor and determination. In the States and dil. tricts least remote, it was no fooner known than every citizen was ready to fly with his arms, at once to protect his brethren a. gainst the blood-thirsty favages let loose by the enemy on an extensive frontier; and to convert a partial calamity into a fource of invigorated efforts.
This patriotic zeal, which it was necessary rather to limit than excite, has embodied an ample force from the ftates of Kentucky and Ohio, and from parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia. It is placed, with the addition of a few regulars under the command of Brigadier General Harrison, who possesses the en. tire confidence of his fellow foldiers, among whom are citizens, fome of them volunteers in the ranks, not less distinguished by their political stations than by their personal merits. The greater portion of this force is proceeding on its destination towards the Michigan territory, having succeeded in relieving an important frontier post, and in several incidental operations against hoftile tribes of savages, rendered indispensable by the subferviency in. to which they had been seduced by the enemy ; a seduction the more cruel, as it could not fail to impose a necessity of preCautionary severities against those who yielded to it.
At a recent date, an attack was made on a post of the enemy near Niagara by a detachment of the regular and other forces, - under the command of Major General Van Rensselaer of the mi
litia of the State of New York. The attack, it appears, was ordered in compliance with the ardor of the troops, who executed it with distinguished gallantry, and were for a time victorious, but not receiving the expected support, they were compelled to yield to reinforcements of British regulars and favages. Our loss has been considerable and is deeply to be lamented. That of the enemy, less ascertained, will be the more felt, as it in. cludes among the killed the commanding general, who was also the governor of the province ; and was sustained by veteran troops, from unexperienced soldiers, who must daily improve in the duties of the field.
Our expectation of gaining the command of the lakes, by the invasion of Canada fron Detroit, having been disappointed, measures were inftantly taken to provide, on them, a naval force superior to that of the enemy. From the talents and activity of the officer charged with this object, every thing that can be done may be expected-Should the present feafon not admit of complete success, the progreis made will ensure for the next a naval ascendency, where it is essential to our permanent peace with, and control over the lavages.
Among the incidents to the measures of the war, I am con. strained to advert to the refusal of the Governors of Maflachu. fetts and Connecticut, to furnish the required detachments of inilitia towards the defence of the maritime frontier.
The refufal was founded on a novel and unfortunate exposi. tion of the provisions of the constitution relating to the militia. -The correspondencies which will be before you, contain the requisite information on the subject. It is obvious, that if the authority of the United States to call into service and command the militia for the public defence, can be thus frustrated, even in a state of declared war, and of course under apprehension of invasion preceding war, they are not one nation for the puro pofe most of all requiring it; and that the public safety may have no other resource, than in those large and permanent military establishments which are forbidden by the principles of our free government, and against the neceflity of which the militia were meant to be a constitutional bulwark.
On the coalls, and on the ocean, the war has been as fucceffful as circumstances inseparable from its early stages could promife. Our public ships and private cruizers, by their activi. ty, and where there was occasion, by their intrepidity, have made the enemy sensible of the difference between a reci. procity of captures, and the long confinement of them to their side. -Our trade, with little exception, has fafely reached our ports--having been much favored in ii by the course pursued by a squadron of our frigates, under the command of Commodore Rodgers. And in the instance, in which skill and bravery were more particularly tried with those of the enemy, the American flag had an auspicious triumph. The frigate Constiturion, commanded by Capt. Hull, after a close and Thort engagement, completely disabled and captured a British frigate : gain.