Слике страница

to carry it on, perhaps I might give it: but my at a moment too, when its neutrality was the rights and liberties are involved in the grant, object of all others nearest to the heart of the and I will never surrender them whilst I have French Emperor. If you make him monarch life. The gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. of the ocean, you may bid adieu to it for ever. Crowninshield), is for sponging the debt. I | You may take your leave, sir, of navigationcan never consent to it. I will never bring the even of the Mississippi. What is the situation ways and means of fraudulent bankruptcy into of New Orleans, if attacked to-morrow ? Filled your committee of supply. Confiscation and with a discontented and repining people, whose swindling shall never be found among my esti- language, manners, and religion, all incline them mates, to meet the current expenditure of peace to the invader-a dissatisfied people, who deor war. No, sir. I have said with the doors spise the miserable governor you have set over closed, and I say so when they are open, "pay them—whose honest prejudices, and basest the public debt." Get rid of that dead weight passions alike take part against you. I draw upon your Government, that cramp upon all my information from no dubious source--from your measures, and then you may put the world a native American, an enlightened member of at defiance. So long as it hangs upon you, you that odious and imbecile government. You must have revenue, and to have revenue, you have official information that the town and its must have commerce--commerce, peace. And dependencies are utterly defenceless and unshall these nefarious schemes be advised for tenable—a firm belief, that apprised of this, lightening the public burthens ? will you resort Government would do something to put the to these low and pitiful shifts? will you dare place in a state of security, alone has kept the even to mention these dishonest artifices, to American portion of that community quiet. eke out your expenses, when the public treasure You have held that post-you now hold it by is lavished on Turks and infidels; on singing the tenure of the naval predominance of Eng. boys, and dancing girls; to furnish the means land, and yet you are for a British naval war. of bestiality to an African barbarian?

There are now two great commercial nations. Gentlemen say, that Great Britain will count Great Britain is one—we are the other. When upon our divisions. How! What does she you consider the many points of contact beknow of them ? Can they ever expect greater tween our interests, you may be surprised that unanimity than prevailed at the last Presiden- there has been so little collision. Sir, to the tial election No, sir, 'tis the gentleman's own other belligerent nations of Europe your naviconscience that sqeaks. But if she cannot cal- gation is a convenience, I might say, a necesculate upon your divisions, at least she may sary. If you do not carry for them they must reckon upon your pusillanimity. She may well starve, at least for the luxuries of life, which despise the resentment that cannot be excited custom has rendered almost indispensable. to honorable battle on its own ground—the And, if you cannot act with some degree of mere effusion of mercantile cupidity. Gen- spirit towards those who are dependent upon tlemen talk of repealing the British treaty. you, as carriers, do you reckon to brow beat a The gentleman from Pennsylvania should have jealous rival, who, the moment she lets slip the thought of that before he voted to carry it into dogs of war, sweeps you, at a blow, from the effect. And what is all this for? A point ocean? And, cui bono i for whose benefit?which Great Britain will not abandon to Russia, The planter? Nothing like it. The fair, honest, you expect her to yield to you. Russia indis- real American merchant ? No, sir—for reneputably the second power of continental Europe, gadoes; to-day American—to-morrow, Danes. with half a million of hardy troops, with sixty Go to war when you will, the property, now sail of the line, thirty millions of subjects, a ter- covered by the American, will then pass under ritory more extensive even than our own— the Danish, or some other neutral flag. GenRussia, sir, the store-house of the British navy tlemen say, that one English ship is worth —whom it is not more the policy and the in- three of ours: we shall therefore have the adterest, than the sentiment of that Government, vantage in privateering. Did they ever know to soothe and to conciliate ; her sole hope of a nation get rich by privateering? This is stuff a diversion on the continent-her only efficient for the nursery. Remember that your proally. What this formidable power cannot ob- ducts are bulky-as has been stated—that they tain with fleets and armies, you will command require a vast tonnage. Take these carriers out by writ—with pot-hooks and hangers. I am of the market—what is the result? The manufor no such policy. True honor is always the factures of England, which (to use a finishing same. Before you enter into a contest, public touch of the gentleman's rhetoric) have reor private, be sure you have fortitude enough ceived the finishing stroke of art, lie in a small to go through with it. If you mean war, say comparative compass. The neutral trade can so, and prepare for it. Look on the other side carry them. Your produce rots in the ware-behold the respect in which France holds house--you go to Statia or St. Thomas's, and neutral rights on land—observe her conduct in get a striped blanket for a joe, if you can raise regard to the Franconian estates of the King of one-double freight, charges, and commissions. Prussia : I say nothing of the petty powers- Who receives the profit ?—The carrier. Who of the Elector of Baden, or of the Swiss: I pays it !—The consumer. All your produce speak of a first-rate monarchy of Europe, and I that finds its way to England must bear the same accumulated charges, with this difference: ness of cunning people to wrap up and disguise that there the burthen falls on the home price. in well-selected phrases, doctrines too deformed I appeal to the experience of the last war, and detestable to bear exposure in naked words; which has been so often cited. What, then, -by a judicious choice of epithets, to draw the was the price of produce, and of broadcloth ? attention from the lurking principle beneath,

But you are told England will not make war and perpetuate delusion. But a little while ago, - she has her hands full. Holland calculated and any man might be proud to be considered as in the same way, in 1781. How did it turn the head of the republican party. Now, it seems, out? You stand now in the place of Holland, 'tis reproachful to be deemed the chief of a then—without her navy, unaided by the pre- dominant faction. Mark the magic words ! ponderating fleets of France and Spain—to say Head, chief. Republican party, dominant facnothing of the Baltic powers. Do you want tion. But as to these Saxon manufactures. to take up the cudgels where these great mari- What became of their Dresden china? Why, time powers have been forced to drop them ? the Prussian bayonets have broken all the pots, to meet Great Britain on the ocean, and drive and you are content with Worcestershire or her off its face? If yo are so far gone as this, Staffordshire ware. There are some other fine every capital measure of your policy has hitherto manufactures on the continent, but no supply, been wrong. You should have nurtured the except, perhaps, of linens, the article we can old, and devised new systems of taxation-have best dispense with. A few individuals, sir, may cherished your navy. Begin this business when have a coat of Louviers cloth, or a service of you may, land-taxes, stamp-acts, window-taxes, Sevres china—but there is too little, and that hearth-money, excise, in all its modifications little too dear, to furnish the nation. You must of vexation and oppression, must precede, or depend on the fur trade in earnest, and wear follow after. But, sir, as French is the fashion buffalo hides and bear-skins. of the day, I may be asked for my projet. I Can any man, who understands Europe, precan readily tell gentlemen what I will not do. I tend to say that a particular foreign policy is will not propitiate any foreign nation with now right, because it would have been expemoney. will not launch into a naval war dient twenty, or even ten years ago, without with Great Britain, although I am ready to abandoning all regard for common sense? Sir, meet her at the Cow-pens, or Bunker's Hill. it is the statesman's province to be guided by And for this plain reason. We are a great land circumstances, to anticipate, to foresee them animal, and our business is on shore. I will to give them a course and a direction—to mould send her no money, sir, on any pretext what-them to his purpose. It is the business of a soever, much less on pretence of buying Labra- counting-house clerk to peer into the day-book dor, or Botany Bay, when my real object was and ledger, to see no further than the spectacles to secure limits, which she formally acknowl- on his nose, to feel not beyond the pen behind edged at the peace of 1783. I go further—I his ear—to chatter in coffee-houses, and be the would (if any thing) bave laid an embargo. oracle of clubs. From 1783 to 1793, and even This would have got our own property home, later (I don't stickle for dates), France had a and our adversary's into our power. If there formidable marine--so had Holland-so had is any wisdom left among us, the first step Spain. The two first possessed thriving manutowards hostility will always be an embargo. factures and a flourishing commerce. Great In six months all your mercantile megrims Britain, tremblingly alive to her manufacturing would vanish. As to us, although it would interests and carrying-trade, would have felt to cut deep, we can stand it. Without such a the heart any measure calculated to favor her precaution, go to war when you will, you go to rivals in these pursuits—she would have yielded the wall. As to debts, steike the balance to- then to her fears and her jealousy alone. What morrow, and England is, I believe, in our debt. is the case now? She lays an export duty on

I I hope, sir, to be excused for proceeding in her manufactures, and there ends the question. this desultory course. I flatter myself I shall If Georgia shall (from whatever cause) so comnot have occasion again to trouble you-I know pletely monopolize the culture of cotton as to not that I shall be able-certainly not willing, be able to lay an export duty of three per cent. unless provoked in self-defence. I ask your at- upon it, besides taxing its cultivators, in every tention to the character of the inhabitants of other shape that human or infernal ingenuity that southern country, on whom gentlemen rely can devise, is Pennsylvania likely to rival her, for the support of their measure. Who and or take away the trade? what are they? A simple agricultural people, But sir, it seems that we, who are opposed to accustomed to travel in peace to market, with this resolution, are men of no nerves—who the produce of their labor. Who takes it from trembled in the days of the British treatyus? Another people devoted to manufactures cowards (I presume) in the reign of terror! Is

- our sole source of supply. I have seen some this true? Hunt up the journals ; let our stuff in the newspapers about manufactures in actions tell. We pursue our unshaken course. Saxony, and about a man who is no longer the We care not for the nations of Europe, but chief of a dominant faction. The greatest man make foreign relations bend to our political whom I ever knew—the immortal author of principles, and subserve our country's interest. the letters of Curtius-has remarked the prone. We have no wish to see another Actium, or

[ocr errors]

Pharsalia, or the lieutenants of a modern Alex- | the Union, and recommend to their consideraander, playing at piquet, or all-fours, for the tion such measures as he shall judge expedient empire of the world. 'Tis poor comfort to us, and necessary.” Has he done it? I know, sir, to be told that France has too decided a taste for that we may say, and do say, that we are indeluxurious things to meddle with us; that Egypt pendent (would it were true); as free to give a is her object, or the coast of Barbary, and at direction to the executive as to receive it from the worst we shall be the last devoured. We him. But do what you will, foreign relationsare enamored with neither nation-we would every measure short of war, and even the play their own game upon them, use them for course of hostilities, depend upon him. He our interest and convenience. But with all my stands at the helm, and must guide the vessel abhorrence of the British government, I should of State. You give him money to buy Florida, not hesitate between Westminster-Hall and a and he purchases Louisiana—You may furnish Middlesex-jury, on the one hand, and the wood means—the application of those means rests of Vincennes, and a file of Grenadiers, on the with him. Let not the master and mate go other. That jury-trial which walked with below when the ship is in distress, and throw Horne Tooke, and Hardy, through the flames the responsibility upon the cook and the cabinof ministerial persecation, is, I confess, more boy. I said so when yonr doors were shut: I to my taste, than the trial of the Duke d' scorn to say less now that they are open. GenEnghien.

tlemen may say what they please. They may Mr. Chairman, I am sensible of having de- put an insignificant individual to the ban of the tained the committee longer than I ought-Republic ; I shall not alter my course. I blush certainly much longer than I intended. I am with indignation at the misrepresentations equally sensible of their politeness, and not less which have gone forth in the public prints of 80, sir, of your patient attention. It is your our proceedings, public and private. “Are the own indulgence, sir, badly requited indeed, to people of the United States, the real sovereigns which you owe this persecution. I might offer of the country, unworthy of knowing what, another apology for these undigested, desultory there is too much reason to believe, has been remarks; my never having seen the treasury communicated the privileged spies of foreign documents. "Until I came into the House this governments? I think our citizens just as well morning, I have been stretched on a sick bed. entitled to know what has passed, as the MarBut when I behold the affairs of this nation, quis Yrujo, who has bearded your President to instead of being where I hoped, and the people his face, insulted your government within its believed they were, in the hands of responsible own peculiar jurisdiction, and outraged all men, committed to Tom, Dick, and Harry—to decency. Do you mistake this diplomatic pupthe refuse of the retail trade of politics--I do pet for an automaton? He has orders for all feel, I cannot help feeling, the most deep and he does. Take his instructions from his pocket serious concern. If the executive government to-morrow, they are signed "Charles Maurice would step forward and say, "such is our plan Talleyrand." Let the nation know what they --such is our opinion, and such are our reasons have to depend upon. Be true to them, and in support of it,” I would meet it fairly, would (trust me) they will prove true to themselves openly oppose, or pledge myself to support it. and to you. The people are honest ; now at But without compass or polar star, I will not home at their ploughs, not dreaming of what launch into an ocean of unexplored measures, you are about. But the spirit of inquiry, that which stand condemned by all the information has too long slept, will be, must be, awakened. to which I have access. The constitution of Let them begin to think; not to say such things the United States declares it to be the province are proper because they have been done—but and duty of the President "to give to Qongress, what has been done and wherefore ?-and all from time to time, information of the state of will be right.


Mr. Randolph delivered this speech on the, upon myself, much less upon the House, when I Tariff Bill, in the House of Representatives of say, that if I had consulted my own feelings the United States, on the fifteenth of April, the House exhausted as it is, and as I am, with

and inclinations, I should not have troubled 1824.*

any further remarks upon this subject. I come

to the discharge of this task, not merely with I am, Mr. Speaker, practising no deception reluctance, but with disgust; jaded, worn down,

abraded I may say, as I am by long attendance • See Mr. Clay's speech on the same subject, in the subse- upon this body, and continued stretch of the uent pages of this volume: also, “ Benton's Thirty Years' attention upon this subject. I come to it, howView," Vol. 1, page 32.

ever, at the suggestion, and in pursuance of the wishes of those whose wishes are to me, in all | consequence of the enormous depreciation of matters touching my public duty, paramount law; the evidences of the public debt of this country I speak with those reservations of course, which the debt proper of the United States, (to every moral agent must be supposed to make to which must be added an item of not less than himself.

twenty millions of dollars for the State debts It was not more to my surprise, than to my assumed by the United States), being bought disappointment, that on my return to the House, up and almost engrossed by the people of what after a necessary absence of a few days, on in- were then called the Northern States—a dispensable business, I found it engaged in dis- measure which nobody dreamt any thing about, cussing the general principle of the bill, when of which nobody had the slightest suspicionits details were under consideration. If I had I mean the assumption of the State debts by the expected such a turn in the debate, I would, at federal government—these debts being bought any private sacrifice, however great, have re- up for a mere song, a capital of eighty millions mained a spectator and auditor of that discus- of dollars, or, in other words, a credit to that sion. With the exception of the speech, already amount, bearing an interest of six per cent. per published, of my worthy colleague on my right, annum (with the exception of nineteen millions, Mr. P. P. Barbour, I have been nearly deprived the interest of that debt which bore an interest of the benefit of the discussion which has taken of three per cent.)-a capital of eighty millions place. Many weeks have been occupied with of dollars was poured in a single day into the this bill (I hope the House will pardon me for coffers of the North; and to that cause we saying so) before I took the slightest part in the may mainly ascribe the difference so disastrous deliberations of the details; and I now sincerely to the South, between that country and the regret that I had not firmness enough to adhere other portion of this Union, to which I have to the resolution which I had laid down to my- alluded. When we, roused by the sufferings of self, in the early stage of the debate, not to take our brethren of Boston, entered into the conany part in the discussion of the details of the mea- test with the mother country, and when we sure. But, as I trust, what I now have to say upon came out of it—when this constitution was this subject, although more and better things have adopted, we were comparatively rich; they been said by others, may not be the same that they were positively poor. What is now our relahave said, or may not be said in the same manner; tive situation? They are flourishing and rich; I here borrow the language of a man who has we are tributary to them, not only through the been heretofore conspicuous in the councils of medium of the public debt of which I may have the country; of one who was unrivalled for spoken, but also through the medium of the readiness and dexterity in debate; who was pension list, nearly the whole amount of which long without an equal on the floor of this body; is disbursed in the Eastern States—and to this who contributed as much to the revolution of creation of a day is to be ascribed the difference 1801, as any man in this nation, and derived as of our relative situation (I hope my worthy little benefit from it; as, to use the words of colleague will not consider any thing that I say that celebrated man, what I have to say is not as conflicting with his general principles, to that which has been said by others, and will not which I heartily subscribe). Yes, sir, and the be said in their manner, the House will, I trust, price paid for the creation of all that portion of have patience with me during the time that my this capital, which consisted of the assumed strength will allow me to occupy their atten- debts of the States, was the immense boon of tion. And I beg them to understand, that the fixing the seat of government where it now is. notes which I hold in my hand are not thọ And I advert to this bargain, because I wish to notes on which I mean to speak, but of what show to every member of this House, and, if it others have spoken, and from which I will make were possible, to every individual of this nation, the smallest selection in my power.

the most tremendous and calamitous results of Here permit me to say, that I am obliged and political bargaining. with great reluctance, to differ from my worthy Sir, when are we to have enough of this colleague, who has taken so conspicuous a part tariff question? In 1816 it was supposed to be in this debate, about one fact, which I will call settled. Only three years thereafter, another to his recollection, for. I am sure it was in his proposition for increasing it was sent from this memory, though sleeping. He has undertaken House to the Senate, baited with a tax of four to state the causes by which the difference in cents per pound on brown sugar. It was fortuthe relative condition of various parts of the nately rejected in that body. In what manner Union has been produced; but my worthy col- this bill is baited, it does not become me to league has omitted to state the “primum say; but I have too distinct a recollection of mobile” of the commerce and manufactures to the vote in committee of the whole, on the duty which a portion of the country that I need not upon molasses, and afterwards of the vote in the name, owes its present prosperity and wealth. House on the same question; of the votes of That “primum mobile” was southern capital. I more than one of the States on that question, speak not now of transactions

quorum pars not to mark it well. I do not say that the minima fui,” but of things which, nevertheless, change of the vote on that question was effected I have a contemporaneous recollection. I say, by any man's voting against his own motion; without the fear of contradiction, then, that in but I do not hesitate to say that it was effected

[ocr errors]

by one man's electioneering against his own region, we are, as to our counsels in regard to motion. I am very glad, Mr. Speaker, that old this measure, but as one man; that there exists Massachusetts Bay and the province of Maine on the subject but one feeling and one interest. and Sagadahock, by whom we stood in the days We are proscribed and put to the bar; and if of the Revolution, now stand by the South, and we do not feel, and, feeling, do not act, we are will not aid in fixing on us this system of taxa- bastards to those fathers who achieved the revotion, compared with which the taxation of Mr. lution: then shall we deserve to make our bricks Grenville and Lord North was as nothing. I without straw. There is no case on record, in speak with knowledge of what I say, when I which a proposition like this, suddenly changing declare, that this bill is an attempt to reduce the whole frame of a country's polity, tearing the country south of Mason and Dixon's line, asunder every ligature of the body politic, was and east of the Alleghany mountains, to a state ever carried by a lean majority of two or three of worse than colonial bondage; a state to votes, unless it be the usurpation of the septenwhich the domination of Great Britain was, in nial act, which passed the British parliament by, my judgment, far preferable; and I trust I shall I think, a majority of one vote, the same that always have the fearless integrity to utter any laid the tax on cotton bagging. I do not stop political sentiment which the head sanctions here, sir, to argue about the constitutionality of and the heart ratifies; for the British Parliament this bill; I consider the constitution a dead letnever would have dared to lay such duties on ter. I consider it to consist, at this time, of our imports, or their exports to us, either “at the power of the General Government and the home" or here, as is now proposed to be laid upon power of the States: that is the constitution. the imports from abroad. At that time we had You may entrench yourself in parchment to the the command of the market of the vast do- teeth, says lord Chatham, the sword will find minions then subject, and we should have had its way to the vitals of the constitution. I have those which have since been subjected to the no faith in parchment, sir; I have no faith in British empire; we enjoyed a free trade emi- the "abracadabra” of the constitution; I have nently superior to any thing that we can enjoy, faith in the power of that commonwealth of if this bill sball go into eration. It is a sac- which I am an unworthy son; in the power of rifice of the interests of a part of this nation to those Carolinas, and of that Georgia, in her anthe ideal benefit of the rest. It marks us out cient and utmost extent, to the Mississippi, as the victims of a worse than Egyptian bond- which went with us through the valley of the age. It is a barter of so much of our rights, of shadow of death in the war of our independence. so much of the fruits of our labor, for political I have said that I shall not stop to discuss the power to be transferred to other hands. It constitutionality of this question, for that reaought to be met, and I trust it will be met, in son and for a better; that there never was a the southern country, as was the stamp act, and constitution under the sun in which, by an unby all those measures, which I will not detain wise exercise of the powers of the government, the House by recapitulating, which succeeded the people may not be driven to the extremity the stamp act, and produced the final breach of resistance by force. “For it is not, perhaps, with the mother country, which it took about so much by the assumption of unlawful powers ten years to bring about, as I trust, in my con- as by the unwise or unwarrantable use of those science, it will not take as long to bring about which are most legal, that governments oppose similar results from this measure, should it be- their true end and object; for there is such a come a law.

thing as tyranny as well as usurpation.” If, All policy is very suspicious, says an eminent under a power to regulate trade, you prevent statesman, that sacrifices the interest of any exportation; if with the most approved spring part of a community to the ideal good of the lancets, you draw the last drop of blood from whole; and those governments only are toler- our veins; if, "secundum artem,” you draw the able, where, by the necessary construction of last shilling from our pockets, what are the the political machine, the interests of all the checks of the constitution to us? A fig for the parts are obliged to be protected by it. Here constitution ! When the scorpion's sting is is a district of country extending from the Pa- probing us to the quick, shall we stop to chop tapsco to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Alleghany logic? Shall we get some learned and cunning to the Atlantic; a district which, taking in all clerk to say whether the power to do this is to that part of Maryland lying south of the Pa- be found in the constitution, and then if he, from tapsco and east of Elk river, raises five sixths of whatever motive, shall maintain the affirmative, all the exports of this country that are of home like the animal whose fleece forms so material growth. I have in my hand the official state- a portion of this bill, quietly lie down and be ments which prove it, but which I will not shorn? weary the House by reading—in all this country Sir, events now passing elsewhere which plant -yes, sir, and I bless God for it; for with all a thorn in my pillow and a dagger in my heart, the fantastical and preposterous theories about admonish me of the difficulty of governing with the rights of man (the theories, not the rights sobriety any people who are over head and ears themselves, I speak of), there is nothing but in debt. That state of things begets a temper power that can restrain power. I bless God, which sets at nought every thing like reason that, in this insulted, oppressed, and outraged and common sense. This country is unques

« ПретходнаНастави »