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to use the ocean, which is the common and acknowledged highway of nations, for the purposes of transporting, in their own vessels, the products of their own soils and the acquisitions of their own industry to a market in the ports of friendly nations, and to bring home, in return, such articles as their necessities or convenience may require, always regarding the rights of belligerents as defined by the established laws of nations.

Great Britain, in defiance of this incontestable right, captures every American vessel bound to or returning from a port where her commerce is not favored; enslaves our seamen, and, in spite of our remonstrances, perseveres in these aggressions. To wrongs so daring in character and so disgraceful in their execution, it is impossible that the people of the United States should remain indifferent. We must now tamely and quietly submit, or we must resist by those means which God has placed within our reach.

Your committee would not cast a shade over the American name by the expression of a doubt which branch of this alternative will be embraced. The occasion is now presented when the national character, misunderstood and traduced for a time by foreign and domestic enemies, should be vindicated. If we have not rushed to the field of battle like the nations who

are led by the mad ambition of a single chief in the avarice of a corrupted court, it has not proceeded from the fear of war, but from our love of justice and humanity.

That proud spirit of liberty and independence which sustained our fathers in the successful assertion of rights against foreign aggression is not yet sunk. The patriotic fire of the Revolution still lives in the American breast with a holy and unextinguishable flame, and will conduct this nation to those high destinies which are not less the reward of dignified moderation than of exalted valor. But we have borne with injury until forbearance has ceased to be a virtue.

The sovereignty and independence of these states, purchased and sanctified by the blood of our fathers, from whom we received them, not for ourselves only, but as the inheritance of our posterity, are deliberately and systematically violated. And the period has arrived when, in the opinion of your committee, it is the sacred duty of Congress to call forth the patriotism and resources of the country. By the aid of these, and with the blessing of God, we confidently trust we shall be able to procure that redress which has been sought for by justice, by remonstrance, and forbearance in vain.



EVERY American, when he hears the music of the Star Spangled Banner, stands at "attention." It is the National Anthem. In poetry and music it is what the flag is in form and color. It represents what our beloved country stands for.

When the words were written, in September, 1814, the British had entered Washington and the young American Republic was fighting for its life.

With Washington captured, the English army and fleet planned to take Baltimore and Fort McHenry, which guarded it.

Francis Scott Key of Baltimore was a prisoner on a British man of war when the attack on the fort began. All day he watched the battle rage and knew the fort had not been taken. But when darkness came he could not tell its fate and the anxious hours passed very slowly. At last the dawn broke, and in the first pale light he saw that the stars and stripes still waved above the fort, and the British had given up the attack. In his desire to find some expression of his joy he wrote on the back of an old letter the words of the Star Spangled Banner.


Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's

last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the

perilous fight O’er the ramparts we watched were so gal

lantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare and bombs bursting

in air Gave proof through the night that our flag was

still there; Oh, say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet

wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the



Oh, say, does the Star Spangled Banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the


On the shore, dimly seen through the mist of the

deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence

reposes, What is that which the breeze o'er the towering

steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half dis

closes? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first

beam, In full glory reflected now shines in the stream;

'Tis the Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the


And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, 'Mid the havoc of war and the battle's con

fusion, A home and a country they'd leave us no more? Their blood has washed out their foul foot

steps' pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From terror of flight or the gloom of the grave; And the Star Spangled Banner in triumph doth

wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the


Oh, thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved home and the war's deso

lation; Blest with victory and peace, may the Heaven

rescued land Praise the Power that made and preserved us a

nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto, “In God is our trust!” And the Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall

wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.


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