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wards proved sufficient to protect the American commerce in that quarter.
Engaging in foreign service prohibited. Commodore Porter's engagement in the Mexican service, though warranted by the usages of European nations, who permit their officers, for the sake of perfecting themselves in the military art, to seek employment in foreign armies, was in direct violation of the principles of the American government, its laws, and the decisions of its highest tribunals. At an early period of General Washington's presidency, a pacific, neutral policy was adopted, which has been steadily adhered to through every successive administration. In June, 1791, an act was passed, prohibiting any citizen from enlisting, or entering himself, or hiring, or enlisting any other person in the military or naval service of any foreign prince or state, under a penalty of a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, and imprisonment not exceeding three years.* This statute has been revised and continued with some additions to the present period; and American citizens have suffered its penalties under the sanction of the highest tribunals of the country.t
The commodore's conduct was a manifest violation of the statute, and of much greater moment than the enlistment of hundreds of private individuals. The Mexican government considered his name as a host, and his services in their navy as invaluable. But the popularity of the cause, the high standing of the officer, and the weakness of Spain, against whom his efforts were to be directed, not only shielded him from prosecution, but emboldened him to com mit further acts, compromitting the neutrality of the United States. With little ceremony, and without asking the permission of the American government, he made Thompson's Island a place of rendezvous, for the Mexican fleet; a station most convenient to annoy the Spanish commerce with Porto Rico and Cuba. At New Orleans, he stationed a Mexican vessel of war, off the mouth of the Mississippi, and published a handbill, inviting able bodied seamen, and others, from any country, to join his standard. In this publication, high wages were offered, and a construction put upon the prohibitory statute, at variance with common sense, the opinion of the district attorney, and all American authority. He claimed, and induced some deluded persons to
* Acts of congress, June, 1791, and April, 1818.
United States vs. Isaac Williams. Circuit court, district of Connecticut.
believe, that he might, within the jurisdiction of the United States, enlist into his service any persons, who were not native or naturalized citizens; and that any who had acquired the right of citizenship, might go without the jurisdictional limits of the United States, and there enlist in the Mexican service; and for this purpose the brig Guerrero was stationed off the Balize to receive them. By these representations, he induced twenty persons at New Orleans to join his standard. On their way down the Mississippi, they were arrested by the officers of government, and subjected to the penalties of the law.
Greece-President's message on the subject-Commencement and progress
of the revolution-Applications to other governments for aid-Views and policy of other nations on the subject-Resolutions introduced into congress to send an agent to Greece-Debates on the subject-Liberal donations to the Greeks-Alliance of 1827, of England, France, and Russia, to put an end to the war-The manner in which their interference was treated by the parties--Battle of Navarino-War between Russia and Turkey, favorable to iheGrecian cause–First meeting of the eighteenth congress-Message-Tariff-Report of the committee of manufactures-Debates-Views of different sections and interests of the union on the subject--Passage of a general tariff bill-Measures taken by the British government and merchants, to defeat its operation in regard to woolens-Massachusetts claims-President's message on the subject-Rejected --Bill for the abolishing imprison. ment for debt-Its origin--Proceedings of the legislature and courts of Kentucky, in relation to the collection of debts-The bill passes the senate, and is negatived in the house.
Greece. In presenting to the view of congress the state of Europe, at the opening of the session in 1823, the president took occasion to remark, on the subject of Greece, that “the whole civilized world took a deep interest in their welfare ; that a strong hope was entertained that they would succeed in their contest, and resume their equal station among the nations of the earth. Although no power had declared in their favor, none had taken part against them. Their cause and their name had protected them from dangers which might have overwhelmed any other people. From the facts which have come to our knowledge," he remarks, “there is good reason to believe, that their enemy has lost, for ever, all dominion over them, and that Greece will again become an independent nation. That she may obtain that rank, is the object of our most ardent wishes. The American people have ever felt a peculiar interest in the struggles of any nation for self-government; contests of this nature bring to their recollection the periods of their own revolution, and enlist all their sympathies in their behalf." The president's language, on this occasion, expressed, in appropriate terms, the feelings of the nation.
The country of Greece, comprehending numerous islands in the Archipelago, and a considerable portion of territory in the southeastern section of Europe, and now containing a population of a million and a half of inhabitants, was once
the seat of the arts, of learning, and of every thing dear to civilized life. For nearly fifteen centuries, this country had been subjected to the Turkish yoke. Oppressed by exactions, limited only by the will of their masters, the inhabitants had no incitements to industry, and had sunk into a degraded state. Their condition excited little interest in Europe or America. The present race of inhabitants, as well as the condition of the country, was considered as forming a contrast, in almost every particular, with ancient Greece.
Origin of the revolution. The American principle, so denominated because it was first successfully maintained in the United States, that mankind have a right to govern themselves, and enjoy the fruits of their own industry, had been gradually gaining ground in Europe, in opposition to the claims of despotism. It had found its way into Greece, and prepared that oppressed people to embrace the first opportunity of asserting their rights.
In the year 1820, Ali Pacha, a powerful prince of the Ottoman empire, revolted against his sovereign ; and as a means of furthering his own views, encouraged a revolutionary spirit which he perceived was making a faint appearance in Greece. At the same time, Ypsilanti, a native Grecian, and hospodar of Wallachia, having been deposed, in consequence of his being suspected of an attachment to Russia, made his appearance among his countrymen, and placed himself at their head, in opposition to the authority of the sultan. The prospect of a war with Russia, the rebellion of Ali Pacha, and the defection of Theodore, the successor of Ypsilanti in the government of Wallachia, formed a combination of circumstances favorable to the views of the Grecian patriots. With a population little exceeding that of the state of New York, with far less means, and united only by a sense of common danger, this poor, depressed people engaged in a contest for existence with a military despotism, commanding twenty millions of subjects. Their cause, in its incipient stages, appeared hopeless. In the first year, Ypsilanti, disheartened, and disgusted with what he supposed to be the treachery or cowardice of a corps under his immediate command, abandoned them. This, however, had not so great an effect as inight have been apprehended. The nation rose en masse. The spirit of their ancestors seemed to pervade the present inhabitants. A war of the most brutal and exterminating character ensued. The Turks, on the principle of ancient and savage warfare, made
no prisoners, but either murdered, or sold for slaves, men, women, and children, of every character and description, that fell into their hands. The Greeks retaliated to the full extent of their means.
Its progress. The revolution continued its progress; and in subsequent years began to systematize itself, and as sume a regular form. A congress of representatives was held at Corinth, in 1822, which framed a government upon the republican principle, and assumed the direction of their affairs. Agents were sent into different parts of Europe to represent their cause, and solicit public and private aid. These applications were attended with considerable success. Military adventurers to a small extent resorted to their standard. But the exterminating and savage character of the war prevented them from receiving much aid from this source.
Contributions however from private sources were liberally bestowed. The friends of humanity throughout the civilized world took a deep interest in their welfare. They felt as though, if ever a cause would justify the interference of other powers, between a nation and a portion of its oppressed subjects, it was the cause of Greece. But no such interference could be obtained. The emperor of Russia, who at this period, under the character of the head of the holy alliance, directed the affairs of continental Europe, saw with pleasure the Ottoman empire wasting its resources in a domestic contest. An enemy to republican governments in any shape, Greece could expect nothing from him. His whole policy on this subject is expressed in a state paper, in a short sentence peculiarly his own; "that the visionary notion of the right of the people to govern them. selves, had thrown a torch into the midst of the Ottoman empire." The various congresses of the allied sovereigns whose ostensible object was the preservation of the peace of Europe, maintained a studied silence, when a single de. claration would have probably made Greece an independent nation, and restored peace to that distracted portion of Europe. The Grecian deputies sent to the congress of Verona were dismissed without a hearing. The people of Great Britain, France, and other European nations, espoused their cause with ardor, and made liberal donations for their relief. The governments observed a strict neutrality.
American policy towards Greece. In the year 1823, Mr. Luriottis, the agent of Greece at London, though the agency of the American minister there, addressed a letter to Mr. Adams, the secretary of state, soliciting the recogni.