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its continuance. The burdens of ble persons, to whom it looks. Sir, the war were then consolidated on they are dropping fast into the society; a considerable source of grave; your bounty will come too wealth, the expenditure of the fo- late to produce that effect upon reign troops, was dried up; the ar- them, which, at an earlier stage, dor of the contest was gone, and might have enabled them to bid ruin came home to almost every defiance to the various foes of life. door. Tradition can tell us of in. The most it can do, will be to stances, where the farmer's oxen soothe their decline. At all events, were unyoked by the tax-gatherer it will not increase their number; from the plough. Such was the and considering who they are, I state of things which drove a por- would rather call it a solace and a tion of the citizens of my own comfort, than a premium for old state to madness—such was the age. condition of the homes to which “ I am sorry, sir, that we cannot those, who had borne the hardships go farther at this time; that in maand perils of the war, too often re- king provisions for the surviving turned. Let us not, then, ima- veteran, we cannot also make progine, sir, that the army, in the midst vision for the widow and children of its peculiar privations, was in the of those, who are deceased. But, least degree, spared from its por- sir, we must be contented to do tion of general calamity.
what good we can, and not refuse " It is said, that the relief which to do any good, because we canthis bill provides for the surviving not do all good. The case of the officers of the revolution, is a pre- survivors, is a case by itself; it has mium on old age. Sir, that ex- been investigated ;-their number pression sounds harshly to my ear. is nearly ascertained ;-and the apThe term premium, when thus propriation proposed, is calculated used, reminds me of those mea. to afford a certain relief to those sures in political economy which who share it. are resorted to, in order to stimu- " There is one consideration, Mr. late production. We say, that Chairman, which, as often as I heavy duties on foreign fabrics, are have revolved this subject in my a premium on domestic manufac- mind, has seemed to call upon us, tures that injudicious alms-giving for very shame, to do something is a premium on pauperism. The for these men. It is this, that liprovisions of this bill are not to beral provision has been, and conhave the effect, of multiplying the tinues to be, made by the English numbers of the aged and venera- government, for those, who, in that country, are called American loy- fiftieth year of our independence. alists—in this country, refugees How much we shall read, how and tories. Sir, I have myself much we shall hear, how much, seen the contrast to which I al- perhaps, we shall say this year, lude. Gentlemen all know, that about the glorious exploits of our the provision for the American loy- fathers, and the debt of gratitude alists still forms an item in the an- we owe them. I do not wish this nual budget in Great Britain ; that to be all talk. I want to do somea portion of the bounty is dispensed thing. I want a substantial tribute in this country; while, even in his to be paid them. Praise, sir, is amendment, my worthy colleague sweet music both to old and young ; has thought it necessary to make but I honestly confess, that my residence in the United States, a mind relucts and revolts, by anticondition of receiving this late and cipation, at the thought of the poor provision. I do not object to compliments, with which we are this : practically, I presume it will going to fill the ears of these poor deprive no one of what he would veterans, while we leave their otherwise receive; but I would pockets empty, and their backs willingly have emulated the bounty, cold. If we cast out this bill, I which knows how to pursue its do hope that some member of the rightful objects to the end of the house, possessing an influence to carth.
which I cannot aspire, will intro--Sir, if this act of grateful jus- duce another, to make it penal to tice is ever to be performed, now say a word on the fourth of July, is the time for its performance. about the debt of gratitude, which The present year completes the half we owe to the heroes of the revocentury since the declaration of in- lution. Let the day and the topic, dependence; and most devoutly do pass in decent silence. I hate all I hope, that when the silver trumpet gag-laws; but there is one thing I of our political jubilee sounds, it am willing to gag—the vaporing may be with a note of comfort and tongue of a bankrupt, who has joy, to the withered heart of the grown rich, and talks sentiment, war-worn veteran of the revolution. about the obligation he feels to his Our tardy provision, will indeed needy creditor, whom he paid off come too late to help him through at 28. 6d. in the pound. the hard journey of life; but it will “Mr. Chairman-We have heard not come too late to alleviate the much, of late, of the Washington sorrows of age, and smooth the policy. In the recent discussions pillow of decline. Sir, it is the on a great national question, this policy was declared, on all sides, 'perform every thing, which has to be the only safe rule for the ad- been requested by the late memoministration of our foreign affairs. rials to congress, then shall my Whithersoever it led us, we were belief become vain, and the hope all willing to go; wheresoever it which has been excited, void of left us, we all professed to stop foundation. And if, as has been on no side of the house, was suggested, for the purpose of influthere a question, whether we should encing their passions,' (for, sir, it adhere to it, or depart from it: the did not enter into the mind of only question was, whether it did, or Washington, to conceive that the did not, authorise, without limita- Newburgh letters were to prove tion, the measure proposed. I should prophetic,) the officers of the be glad, indeed, to know, what part army are to be the only sufferers of the Washington policy stands by this revolution; if, in retiring more deeply impressed on every from the field, they are to grow old record, that remains to us from the in poverty, wretchedness and confather of his country, than the duty tempt; if they are to wade through of providing for these, his surviving the vile mire of dependency, and brethren in arms. Where, sir, in owe the miserable remnant of that all the memorials of that great man, life to charity, which has hitherto will you find any injunction of neu- been spent in honor, then I shall tral policy, any admonition against have realised a tale, which will ementangling alliances, expressed in bitter every moment of my future language more strong, than that life. But I am under no such apin which he enforces the claim prehensions ; a country rescued by which is now before you ? "If, their arms from impending ruin, (said he,) besides the simple pay- will never leave unpaid the debt of ment of wages, a farther com- gratitude. pensation is not due to the suffer- “Now, talk to me, sir, of the po-ings, and sacrifices of the officers, licy of Washington. What! are then have I been mistaken indeed. we going to follow it by halves ? If the whole army have not merit- Are we going to laud and adopt ed, whatever a grateful people can it, when it is cautious and reserbestow, then have I been beguiled ved ; to repudiate and trample on by prejudice, and built opinion on it, where it is generous and great ? the basis of error. If this country Sir, it is with his policy, as it is should not, in the event,' (in the with his character. Its excellence event, Mr. Chairman, and when at and grandeur consist in the harlength it should possess the means,) monious mixture of its opposite
qualities. What was it that raised provision, and the manner in which the man to that elevation, on which it should be made ; was carried by no other mortal ever stood ? It a vote of 90 to 85. This disposiwas the lion-hearted valor, which tion of the bill, of course prevented qualified his Fabian prudence; the its passage at that time. The bill god-like generosity, which went was subsequently reported with the hand in hand with his pristine tem- necessary information, but too near perance and frugality. Disjoin this the close of the session, to permit matchless compound of virtues ;- any attempt to bring it under contake from either of his strongly sideration. It consequently remarked characteristics, the oppo- mained with the unfinished busisite quality which balanced and ness on the table. chastened it; and you bring him A bill for the relief of one Frandown to the common level of hu- cis Larche, which had passed the manity; and make of him no more senate, produced some excitement than a common great man. It is in the house among the members so with his policy. Sift out from all from the southern states ; on achis lessons, the prudent and dissua- count of the principle upon which sive ; listen to his voice then, and the committee of claims recomthen only, when he warns you mended its rejection. against following the impulses of The claim was for the value of enthusiasm! and shut your eyes, a slave belonging to the petitioner, and shut your ears, and shut your impressed by order of General Jackhearts, when he bids you be gene- son, and killed by a cannon shot, rous and liberal, and you make a while working on the lines. a policy, sir, of which I have no The committee reported against ambition to be a disciple.”
the claim, on the ground, that the Notwithstanding these powerful emergency justified the impressarguments the opposition, mani- ment of every moral agent, capable fested on the part of those states, of contributing to the defence of whose quotas to the continental the place ; that men were wanted, army were small and seldom filled, and in that capacity, the master was strong enough to prevent the and the slave were put in requisipassage of the bill; and a motion tion; the parent and his child, and to recommit the bill, for the purpose his hired servants, as they were in of ascertaining the number of the other parts of the country, where revolutionary officers, who ought to the population had fought and died be provided for by law; and the in the public defence, without havamount necessary to make such ing their lives valued, or compen
sated for in money. For these the government, unpopular. The reasons, the committee recom- community was generally disapmended the rejection of the claim. pointed as to the results of the ses.
When this report came before sion. When congress first assemthe house, Mr. Owen, of Alabama, bled, but little was known of the moved to recommit the bill, with materials of which it was composed, instructions to report the evidence, and great curiosity was manifested and to reverse the principle in the to ascertain the sentiments of those, first report.
who were not committed, either to On the discussion of this motion support or oppose the administramuch excitement was manifested ; tion. Many of the members were but the mover having modified his new in political life ; and of those, resolution, so as to ask only a re- who had been long before the pubport of the evidence on the claim, lic, there were many, who professed the motion was agreed to. Those a willingness to judge the adminiswho spoke against the report, con- tration according to its measures. tended, that the slave had not been Others were predetermined on opimpressed as a moral agent, but position, and, from the first assemas property ; and, as the property bling of congress, devoted themhad been destroyed, the govern- selves to thwarting the measures, ment was bound by the constitu- which its friends urged upon the tion, to make compensation for its consideration of congress. The loss.
. vice president and his friends were The subject was not again most prominent in this class of brought before the house, during politicians; and from the station the session.
held by that gentleman, as president The first session of this congress of the senate, he was enabled to closed on the 22d day of May, 1826. give consistency and character to It was a long session ; but was not the course adopted by the opposidistinguished by any important tion. By the rules of the senate, measures, excepting the sanction he was empowered to appoint all given to the Panama Mission. the committees, and in the exercise Nearly all the propositions which of that power, he was careful to apwere called for by the public voice, point a majority of those, who were were defeated, either from want of known to be unfriendly to the time for their consideration ; or by administration, upon most of the an influence, which seemed to ex- important committees. To so ert itself for the sole purpose of great an extent was this hostility rendering those, who administered manifested, that the majority of the