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tionably laboring under great distress; but we vantage from it? Those parts only where there cannot legislate it out of that distress. We is a water power in immediate contact with may, by your legislation, reduce all the country navigation, such as the vicinities of Boston, south and east of Mason and Dixon's line, the Providence, Baltimore and Richmond. Peterswhites as well as the blacks, to the condition of burg is the last of these as you travel south. Helots: you can do no more. We have had You take a bag of cotton up the river to Pittsplaced before us in the course of this discussion burgh, or to Zanesville, to have it manufactured foreign examples and authorities; and among and sent down to New Orleans for a market, other things, we have been told, as an argu- and before your bag of cotton has got to the ment in favor of this measure, of the prosperity place of manufacture, the manufacturer of Provof Great Britain. Have gentlemen taken into idence has received his returns for the goods consideration the peculiar advantages of Great made from his bag of cotton purchased at the Britain ? Have they taken into consideration, same time that you purchased yours. No, sir, genthat not excepting Mexico and that fine country tlemen may as well insist that because the Cheswhich lies between the Orinoco and Caribbean apeake Bay, “mare nostrum” our Mediterransea, England is decidedly superior in point of ean sea, gives us every advantage of navigation, physical advantages, to every country under the we shall exclude from it every thing but steamsun? This is unquestionably true. I will enum- boats and those boats called kar' é soxov, per erate some of those advantages. First, there is emphasin, par excellence, Kentucky boats-a her climate. In England such is the tempera- sort of huge square, clumsy, wooden box. And ture of the air that a man can there do more why not insist upon it? Haven't you the power days' work in the year, and more hours' work to REGULATE COMMERCE?” Would not that too in the day, than in any other climate in the be a "REGULATION OF COMMERCE ?” It would, world; of course I include Scotland and Ire- indeed, and a pretty regulation it is; and so is land in this description. It is in such a climate this bill. And, sir, I marvel that the represen
Ι only that the human animal can bear without tation from the great commercial state of New extirpation the corrupted air, the noisome ex- York should be in favor of this bill. If operahalations, the incessant labor of these accursed | tive-and if inoperative why talk of it?—if opmanufactories. Yes, sir, accursed; for I say iterative, it must, like the embargo of 1807-1809, is an accursed thing, which I will neither taste transfer no small portion of the wealth of the nor touch nor handle. If we were to act here London of America, as New York has been on the English system, we should have the yel- called, to Quebec and Montreal. She will relow fever at Philadelphia and New York, not ceive the most of her imports from abroad, down in August merely, but from June to January, the river. I do not know any bill that could and from January to June. The climate in this be better calculated for Vermont than this bill; country alone, were there no other natural ob- because, through Vermont, from Quebec, Monstacle to it, says aloud, You shall not manufac- treal and other positions on the St. Lawrence, ture! Even our tobacco factories, admitted to we are, if it passes, unquestionably to receive be the most wholesome of any sort of factories, onr supplies of foreign goods. It will no doubt are known to be, where extensive, the very suit the Niagara frontier. nidus (if I may use the expression) of yellow But, sir, I must not suffer myself to be led too fever and other fevers of similar type. In an- far astray from the topic of the peculiar advanother of the advantages of Great Britain, so tages of England as a manufacturing country. important to her prosperity, we are almost on Her vast beds of coal are inexhaustible; there a par with her, if we know how properly to are daily discoveries of quantities of it, greater use it. “Fortunatos nimium sua si bona no- than ages past have yet consumed; to which rint”—for, as regards defence, we are, to all beds of coal her manufacturing establishments intents and purposes, almost as much an island bave been transferred, as any man may see who as England herself. But one of her insular ad- will compare the present population of her vantages we can never acquire. Every part of towns with what it was formerly. It is to these that country is accessible from the sea. There, beds of coal that Birmingham, Manchester, Wolas you recede from the sea you do not get fur- verhampton, Sheffield, Leeds, and other manuther from the sea. I know that a great deal facturing towns owe their growth. If you could will be said of our majestic rivers, about the destroy her coal in one day, you would cut at father of floods and his tributary streams; but once the sinews of her power. Then, there are with the Ohio, frozen up all the winter and dry her metals, and particularly tin, of which she all the summer, with a long, tortuous, difficult has the exclusive monopoly. Tin, I know, is and dangerous navigation thence to the ocean, to be found in Japan, and perhaps elsewhere; the gentlemen of the west may rest assured that but in practice England has now the monopoly they will never derive one particle of advantage of that article. I might go further, and I might from even a total prohibition of foreign manu- say that England possesses an advantage, “quoad factures. You may succeed in reducing us to hoc,” in her institutions; for there men are your own level of misery; but if we were to compelled to pay their debts. But here, men agree to become your slaves, you never can de- are not only not compelled to pay their debts, rive one farthing of advantage from this bill. but they are protected in the refusal to pay What parts of this country can derive any ad- I them, in the scandalous evasion of their legal
obligations; and after being convicted of em- | ties and protection on manufactures. Sir, show bezzling the public money, and the money of me any country, boyond our own, which has others of which they were appointed guardians risen to glory or to greatness, without an estaband trustees, they have the impudence to ob- lished church, or without a powerful aristocracy, trude their unblushing fronts into society, and if not an hereditary nobility. I know no counelbow honest men out of their way. There, try in Europe, except Turkey, without heredithough all men are on a footing of equality on tary nobles. Must we, too, have these Corinthe high way, and in the courts of law, at will thian ornaments of society, because those counand at market, yet the castes in Hindoostan tries of greatness and glory have given it to are not more distinctly separated, one from the them? But, after we shall have destroyed all other, than the different classes of society are our foreign trade; after we shall have, by the in England. It is true that it is practicable for prevention of imports, cut off exports-thus a wealthy merchant or a manufacturer, or his keeping the promise of the constitution to the descendants, after having through two or three ear, and breaking it to the hope--paltering generations, washed out what is considered the with the people in a double sense-after we stain of their original occupation, to emerge by shall have done this, we are told “.
we shall slow degrees into the higher ranks of society; only have to resort to an excise; we have only but this rarely happens. Can you find men of to change the mode of collection of taxes from vast fortune, in this country, content to move the people; both modes of taxation are volunin the lower circles—content as the ox under tary.” Very voluntary! The exciseman comes the daily drudgery of the yoke? It is true, that into my house, searches my premises, respects in England, some of these wealthy people take not even the privacy of female apartments, it into their heads to buy seats in parliament. measures, gauges, and weighs every thing, But when they get there, unless they possess levies a tax upon every thing, and then tells great talents, they are mere nonentities; their me the tax is a voluntary one on my part, and existence is only to be found in the red book that I am, or ought to be, content. Yes, volwhich contains a list of the members of parlia- untary, as Portia said to Shylock, when she ment. Now, sir, I wish to know in the west- played the judge so rarely-Art thou content, ern country, where any man may get beastly Jew? Art thou content i drunk for three pence sterling-in England you These taxes, however, it seems, are voluncannot get a small wine-glass of spirits under tary, “as being altogether upon consumption." twenty-five cents; one such drink of grog as I By a recent speech on this subject, the greater have seen swallowed in this country would there part of which I was so fortunate as to hear, I cost a dollar-in the western country, where learn that there have been only two hundred every man can get as much meat and bread as capital prosecutions in England, within a given he can consume, and yet spend the best part of time, for violations of the revenue laws. Are his days, and nights too, perhaps, on the tavern we ready, if one of us, too poor to own a saddlebenches, or loitering at the cross roads asking horse, should borrow a saddle, and clap it on the news; can you expect the people of such a his plough-horse, to ride to church or court, or country, with countless millions of wild land mill, or market, to be taxed for a surplus sadand wild animals besides, can be cooped up in dle-horse, and surcharged for having failed to manufacturing establishments, and made to work list him as such? Are gentlemen aware of the sixteen hours a day, under the superintendence inquisitorial, dispensing, arbitrary, and almost of a driver, yes, a driver, compared with whom papal power of the commissioners of excise ? a southern overseer is a gentleman and a man I shall not stop to go into a detail of them; but of refinement; for, if they do not work, these I never did expect to hear it said, on this floor, work-people in the manufactories, they cannot and by a gentleman from Kentucky too, that eat; and among all the punishments that can the excise system was a mere scare-crow, a be devised (put death even among the number), bug-bear; that the sound of the words constiI defy you to get as much work out of a man by tuted all the difference between a system of any of them, as when he knows that he must excise and a system of customs; that both work before he can eat.
meant the same thing: “Write them together; But, sir, if we follow the example of England yours is as fair a name; sound them; it doth in one respect, as we are invited to do, we must become the mouth as well;" here, sir, I must also follow it in another. If we adopt her beg leave to differ; I do not think it does : policy, we must adopt her institutions also. Weigh them; it is as heavy;" that I grantHer policy is the result of her institutions, and " 'conjure with them;"-excise
“ will start a our institutions must be the result of our policy, spirit as soon as” customs. This I verily beassimilated to hers. We cannot adopt such an lieve, sir, and I wish, with all my heart, if this exterior system as that of England, without bill is to pass, if new and unnecessary burdens adopting also her interior policy. We have are to be wantonly imposed upon the people, , heard of her wealth, her greatness, her glory; that we were to return home with the blessed but her eulogist is silent about the poverty, news of a tax or excise, not less by way of wretchedness, and misery of the lowest orders. “minimum,” than fifty cents per gallon upon Show me the country, say gentlemen, which whiskey. And here, if I did not consider an has risen to glory without this system of boun- exciseman to bear, according to the language
of the old law books, "caput lupinum," and that And what are we now about to do? For it was almost as meritorious to shoot such a what was the constitution formed ? To drive hell-hound of tyranny, as to shoot a wolf or a the people of any part of this Union from the mad-dog; and if I did not know that any thing plough to the distaff? Sir, the Constitution of like an excise in this country is in effect utterly the United States never would have been form. impracticable,-I myself, feeling, seeing, blush- ed, and if formed, would have been scouted, ing for my country, would gladly vote to lay "una voce,” by the people, if viewed as a means an excise on this abominable liquor, the lavish for effecting purposes like this. The constituconsumption of which renders this the most tion was formed for external purposes, to raise drunken nation under the sun; and yet we armies and navies, and to lay uniform duties on have refused to take the duties from wines, imports, to raise a revenue to defray the exfrom cheap French wines particularly, that penditure for such objects. What are you going might lure the dog from his vomit, and lay the to do now? To turn the constitution wrong foundation of a reformation of the public man- side out; to abandon foreign commerce and exners. Sir, an excise system can never be main- | terior relations—I am sorry to use this Frenchtained in this country. I had as lief be a tithe ified word—the foreign affairs, which it was proctor in Ireland, and met on a dark night in established to regulate, and convert it into a a narrow road by a dozen white-boys, or peep- municipal agent, to carry a system of espionage of-day boys, or hearts of oak, or hearts of steel, and excise into every log-house in the United as an excise man in the Alleghany mountains, States. We went to war with Great Britain met, in a lonely road, or by-place, by a back- for free trade and sailors' rights; we made a woodsman, with a rifle in his hand. With re-treaty of peace, in which I never could, with gard to Ireland, the British chancellor of the the aid of my glasses, see a word about either exchequer has been obliged to reduce the excise the one or the other of these objects of conin Ireland on distilled spirits, to comparatively tention: we are now determined never to be nothing to what it was formerly, in conse- engaged in another for such purposes; for we quence of the impossibility of collecting it in are ourselves putting an end to them. And, that country. Ireland is, not to speak with by the way of comfort in this state of things, statistical accuracy, about the size of Pennsyl- we have been told, by the doctor as well as the vania, containing something like twenty-five apothecary, that much cannot be immediately thousand square miles of territory, with a pop- expected from this new scheme; that years will ulation of six millions of inhabitants, nearly as pass away before its beneficial effects will be great a number as the whole of the white pop- fully realized. And to whom is this told? To ulation of the United States; with a standing the consumptive patient it is said, Here is the army of twenty thousand men; with another remedy; persevere in it for a few years, and it standing army, composed of all those classes in will infallibly cure your disorder; and this incivil life, who, through the instrumentality of fallible remedy is prescribed for pulmonary that army, keep the wretched people in sub-consumption, which is an opprobrium of phyjection: under all these circumstances, even in sicians, and has reached a stage, that, in a few Ireland, the excise cannot be collected. I ven- months, not to say days, must inevitably terture to say that no army that the earth has minate the existence of the patient. This is to ever seen; not such a one as that of Bonaparte, be done, too, on the plea that the people who which marched to the invasion of Russia, would call for this measure are already ruined. I will be capable of collecting an excise in this coun- do any thing, sir, in reason, to relieve these try; not such a one (if you will allow me to persons; but I can never agree, because they give some delightful poetry in exchange for very are ruined, and we are half ruined only, that wretched prose) as Milton has described- we shall be entirely ruined, for the contingent
possibility of their relief. We have no belief “Such forces met not, nor so wide a camp,
in this new theory; new, for it came in with When Agrican, with all his northern powers the French revolution, and that is of modern Besieged Albracca, as romances tell,
date-of the transfusion of blood from a healthy The city of Calliphrone, from whence to win The fairest of her sex, Angelica,
animal to a sick one; and if there is to be such His daughter, sought by many prowest knights,
a transfusion for the benefit of these ruined Both Paynim and the peers of Charlemagne;" persons now, we refer the gentlemen to bulls
and goats for supplies of blood, for we should not such a force, nor even the troops with be the veriest asses to permit them to draw which he compares them, which were no less our own. than “the legend fiends of hell ” could collect We are told, however, that we have nothing an excise here. If any officer of our govern- to do but to postpone the payment of the public ment were to take the field a still-hunting, as debt for a few years, and wait for an accumuthey call it in Ireland, among our southern or lation of wealth, for a new run of luck, western forests and mountains, I should like to see the throwing off of the hounds. I have still
“Rusticus expectat dum defluat amnis, at ille
Labitur, et labetur in omne volubilis ævum." so much of the sportsman about me, that I should like to see the breaking cover, and, This postponement of the public debt is no above all, I should like to be in at the death. novelty. All debts are, now-a-days, as old Lilly hath it, in the future in rus, "about to throats. On this, we of the south are as re3e" paid. We have gone on postponing pay- solved as were our fathers about the tea, which ing the national debt, and our own debts, until they refused to drink; for this is the same old individual credit is at an end; until property, question of the stamp act in a new shape, viz: low as it is reduced in price by our fantastic whether they, who have no common feeling legislation; can no longer be bought but for with us, shall impose on us, not merely a burready money: Here is one, and there the densome but a ruinous tax, and that by way of other. I am describing a state of society which experiment and sport. And I say again, if we I know to exist in a part of the country, and are to submit to such usurpations, give me which I hear, with concern, does exist in a George Grenville, give me Lord North for a greater degree, in a much larger portion of the master. It is in this point of view that I most country, than I pretend to be personally ac- deprecate the bill. If, from the language I have quainted with.
used, any gentleman shall believe I am not as In all beneficial changes in the natural world— much attached to this Union as any one on this and the sentiment is illustrated by one of the floor, he will labor under a great mistake. But most beautiful effusions of nagination and ge- there is no magic in this word union. I value nius that I ever read—in all those changes, it as the means of preserving the liberty and which are the work of an all-wise, all-seeing, happiness of the people. Marriage itself is a and superintending Providence, as in the insen- good thing, but the marriages of Mezentius were sible gradation by which the infant bud expands not so esteemed. The marriage of Sinbad, the into manhood, and from manhood to senility; Sailor, with the corpse of his deceased wife, was or, if you will, to caducity itself—you find na- a union; and just such a union will this be, if, ture never working but by gradual and imper- by a bare majority in both Houses, this bill shall ceptible changes; you cannot see the object become a law. And, I ask, sir, whether it will move, but take your eye from it for a while, redound to the honor of this House, if this bill and, like the index of that clock, you can see should pass, that the people should owe their that it has moved. The old proverb says, God escape to the act of any others rather than to works good, and always by degrees. The devil, us ? Shall we, when even the British parliaon the other hand, is bent on mischief, and al- ment are taking off taxes by wholesale-when ways in a hurry. He cannot stay: his object all the assessed taxes are diminished fifty per is mischief, which can best be effected suddenly, cent.—when the tax on salt is reduced seven and he must be gone to work elsewhere. But eighths, with a pledge that the remainder shall we have the comfort, under the pressure of this come off, and the whole would have been remeasure, that at least no force is exercised upon pealed, but that it was kept as a salvo for the us; we are not obliged to buy goods of foreign wounded pride of Mr. Chancellor of the Exmanufacture. It is true, sir, that gentlemen chequer, who, when asked—Why keep on this have not said you shall not send your tobacco odious tax, which brings but a paltry hundred or cotton abroad; but they have said the same and fifty thousand per annum answered by thing in other words; by preventing the impor- subterfuge and evasion, as I have heard done in tation of the returns which we used to receive, this House, and drew back upon his resources, and without which the sale or exchange of our his majority-how will it answer for the people produce is impracticable, they say to us, You to have to look up for their escape from oppresshall sell only to us, and we will give you what sion, not to their immediate representatives, but we please; you shall buy only of us, but at what to the representatives of the States, or, possibly, price we please to ask. Br" no force is used ! to the executive? And, permít me here to say, You are at full liberty not to buy or to sell. and I say it freely, because it is true, that I join Sir, when an English judge once told a certain as heartily as any man, in reprehending "the curate of Brentford, that the court of chancery cold, ambiguous support of the executive govwas open equally to the rich and the poor, ernment to this bill." I do not use my own Horne Tooke replied, “So, my lord, is the Lon words; I deprecate as much as any member of don tavern." You show a blanket or a warm this House can do, that the executive of this rug to a wretch that is shivering with cold, and country should lend to this bill, or to any other tell him, You shall get one no where else, but bill, a cold and ambiguous support, or support you are at liberty not to buy mine.
of any sort, until it comes before him in the No Jew, who ever tampered with the neces- shape of a law, unless it be a measure which he, sities of a profligate young heir, lending him in his constitutional capacity, may have invited money at a usury of cent. per cent., ever acted Congress to pass. I may be permitted to say, more paternally than the advocates of this bill, and I will say, that, in case this bill should be to those upon whom it is to operate. I advise unhappily presented to him for his signature you, young man, for your good, says the usurer. and as an allusion has been made to him in deI do these things very reluctantly, says Moses— bate, I presume I may repeat it—I hope he will these courses will lead you to ruin. But, no recollect how much the country that gave him force--no, sir, no force, short of Russian despot- birth has done for him, and the little, not to ism, shall induce me to purchase, or, knowing say, worse than nothing, that, during his adit, to use any article from the region of country ministration, he has done for her. I hope, sir, which attempts to cram this bill down our he will scout the bill, as contrary to the genius
of our government, to the whole spirit and let for manufactures—men with rifles on their ter of our confederation-I say of our confeder- shoulders, and long knives in their belts, seekation-Blessed be God, it is a confederation, ing in the forests to lay in their next winter's and that it contains within itself the redeeming supply of bear-meat. But it is not there alone power which has more than once been exer- the cry is heard. It is at Baltimore-decayed, cised—and that it contains within itself the deserted Baltimore, whose exports have more seeds of preservation, if not of this Union, at than one half decreased, while those of Boston least of the individual commonwealths of which have four times increased—it is decayed and it is composed.
deserted Baltimore that comes here and asks us But, sir, not satisfied with an appeal to the for the protection of those interests which have example of Great Britain, whom we have been grown up during the late war-privateering content hitherto very sedulously to censure and among the number, I presume. Philadelphia, to imitate—as I once heard a certain person say too, in a state of atrophy, asks for the measure that it was absolutely necessary for persons of Philadelphia, who never can, pass what bill you a peculiar character to be extremely vehement please, have a foreign trade to any great amount, of censure of the very vice of which they are or become a great manufacturing town, for themselves guilty-the example of Russia has which she wants all the elements of climate, been introduced, the very last, I should suppose, coal, and capital—this city, now overbuilt, that would be brought into this House on this swollen to the utmost extent of the integument, or any other question. A gentleman from and utterly destitute of force or weight in the South Carolina (Mr. Poinsett), whose intelli- Union, wants this bill for the protection of the gence and information I very much respect, but domestic industry of her free blacks, I presume. the feebleness of whose voice does not permit New York, too, is now willing to build up Monhim to be heard as distinctly as could be wished, treal and Quebec at her expense—to convert remarked the other day, and having it on my the Hudson into a theatre for rival disputants notes, I will, with his leave, repeat it—"Russia about steamboats in the courts below stairs, and is cursed with a paper money, which, in point for them, and such as them, with a coasting of depreciation and its consequent embarrass- license to ply upon. The true remedy, and the ment to her, can boast of no advantage, I be- only one, for the iron manufacturer of Pennlieve, even over that of Kentucky—so cursed, sylvania, who has nothing but iron to sell—and that it is impossible, until her circulation is re- that, they tell us, is worth nothing—would be stored to a healthful state, she can ever take to lay on the table of this House a declaration her station as a commercial or manufacturing of war in blank, and then go into a committee nation, to any extent.". Nay, more, Russia, of the whole, to see what nation in the world it with the exception of few of her provinces, would be most convenient to go to war withconsists, like the interior of America, of a vast for, fill the blank with the name of what power inland continent, desolated and deformed by you please, it must be a sovereign State, and prairies, or steppes, as they are there called, inhab- though it have not a seaman or a vessel in the ited by a sparse population ; and, as an appeal has world, its commissions are as good and valid in been made to experience, I ask any gentleman an admiralty court, as those of the lord high to show me an instance of any country under admiral of Great Britain. In this way you will the sun that has, under these circumstances, put our furnaces in blast, and your paper-mills taken a stand as a manufacturing or great com- into full operation; and many, very many, who, mercial nation. These great rivers and inland during the last war, transported flour on horseseas cut a mighty figure on the map; but, when back for the supply of your army, at the cost of you come to consider of capacities for foreign a hundred dollars per barrel, and who have commerce, how unlike the insular situation of since transported provisions in steamboats up Great Britain, or the peninsular situation of al- and down the Missouri river-very many such most the whole continent of Europe, surrounded individuals would thus be taken out of the very or penetrated as it is by inland seas and gulfs ! jaws of bankruptcy and lifted up to opulence, May I be pardoned for adverting to the fact-I at the expense of that people, at whose expense, know that comparisons are extremely odious— also, you are now about to enable these iron that, when we look to Salem and Boston, to manufacturers to fill their pockets. New Engparts of the country where skill, and capital, land does not want this bill. Connecticut, inand industry, notoriously exist, we find opposi- deed, molasses having been thrown overboard tion to this bill; and that, when we look to to lighten the ship, votes for this bill. A word countries which could sooner build one hundred in the ear of the land of steady habits_I voted pyramids, such as that of Cheops, than manu- against that tax, on the principle, which has alfacture one cambric needle, or a paper of White-ways directed my public life, not to compromise chapel pins, or a watch spring, we hear a clamor my opinions-not to do evil that good may about this system for the protection of manu- come of it—let me tell the land of steady habfactures. The merchants and manufacturers of its, that, after this bill shall be fairly off the Massachusetts, New Hampshire, the province shore; after we shall have cleared decks and of Maine, and Sagadahock repel this bill, whilst made ready for action again; after she shall men in hunting shirts, with deer-skin leggins have imposed on me the onerous burden of this and moccasons on their feet, want protection | bill, she shall have the benefit of my vote to put