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diery, stimulated and urged on by the clergy of a fanatical and inimical religion, and rioting in all the excesses of blood and butchery, at the mere details of which the heart sickens and recoils !
If the great body of Christendom can look on calmly and coolly, whilst all this is perpetrated on a Christian people, in its own immediate vicinity, in its very presence, let us at least evince that one of its remote extremities is susceptible of sensibility to Christian wrongs, and capable of sympathy for Christian sufferings; that in this remote quarter of the world, there are hearts not yet closed against compassion for human woes, that can pour out their indignant feelings at the oppression of a people endeared to us by every ancient recollection, and every modern tie. Sir, the committee has been attempted to be alarmed by the dangers to our commerce in the Mediterranean; and a wretched invoice of figs and opium has been spread before us to repress our sensibilities and to eradicate our humanity. Ah! sir, “what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul,” or what shall it avail a nation to save the whole of a miserable trade, and lose its liberties ?
On the subject of the other independent American States, hitherto it has not been necessary to depart from the rule of our foreign relations, observed in regard to Europe. Whether it will become us to do so or not, will be considered when we take up another resolution, lying on the table. But we may not only adopt this measure; we may go further; we may recognise the government in the Morea, if actually independent, and it will be neither war nor cause of war, any violation of our neutrality. Besides, sir, what is Greece to the allies ? A part of the dominions of any of them ? By no means. Suppose the people in one of the Philippine isles, or any other spot still more insulated and remote, in Asia or Africa, were to resist their former rulers, and set up and establish a new government, are we not to recognise them in dread of the holy allies? If they are going to interfere, from the danger of the contagion of the example, here is the spot, our own favored land, where they must strike. This government, you, Mr. Chairman, and the body over which you preside, are the living and cutting reproach to allied despotism. If we are to offend them, it is not by passing this resolution. We are daily and hourly giving them cause of war. It is here, and in our free institutions, that they will assail us. They will attack us because you
sit beneath that canopy, and we are freely debating and deliberating upon the great interests of freemen, and dispensing the blessings of free government. They will strike, because we pass one of those bills on your table. The passage of the least of them, by our free authority, is more galling to despotic powers, than would be the adoption of this so much dreaded resolution. Pass it, and what do you do? You exercise an indisputable attribute of sovereignty, for which you are responsible to none of them. You do the same when you perform any other legislative function ; no less. If the allies object to this measure, let them forbid us to take a vote in this House ; let them strip us of every attribute of independent government; let them disperse us.
Will gentlemen attempt to maintain that, on the principles of the law of nations, those allies would have cause of war ? If there be any principle which has been settled for ages, any which is founded in the very nature of things, it is that every independent State has the clear right to judge of the fact of the existence of other sovereign powers. I admit that there may be a state of inchoate initiative sovereignty, in which a new government, just struggling into being, cannot be said yet perfectly to exist. But the premature recognition of such new government can give offence justly to no other than its ancient sovereign. The right of recognition comprehends the right to be informed; and the means of information must, of necessity, depend upon the sound discretion of the party seeking it. You may send out a commission of inquiry, and charge it with a provident attention to your own people and your own interests. Such will be the character of the proposed agency. It will not necessarily follow, that any public functionary will be appointed by the President. You merely grant the means by which the executive may act when he thinks proper. What does he tell you in his message? That Greece is contending for her independence; that all sympathize with her; and that no power has declared against her. Pass this resolution, and what is the reply which it conveys to him ?
66 You have sent us grateful intelligence; we feel warmly for Greece, and we grant you money, that, when you shall think it proper, when the interests of this nation shall not be jeoparded, you may depute a commissioner or public agent to Greece.” The whole responsibility is then left where the constitution puts it. A member in his place may make a speech or proposition, the House may even pass a vote, in respect to
our foreign affairs, which the President, with the whole field lying full before him, would not deem it expedient to effectuate.
But, sir, it is not for Greece alone that I desire to see this measure adopted. It will give to her but little support, and that purely of a moral kind. It is principally for America, for the credit and characacter of our common country, for our own unsullied name, that I hope to see it pass. What, Mr. Chairman, appearance on the page of history would a record like this exhibit? “In the month of January, in the year of our Lord and Savior, 1824, while all European Christendom beheld, with cold and unfeeling indifference, the unexampled wrongs and inexpressible misery of Christian Greece, a proposition was made in the Congress of the United States, almost the sole, the last, the greatest depository of human hope and human freedcm, the representatives of a gallant nation, containing a million of freemen ready to fly to arms, while the people of that nation were spontaneously expressing is deep-toned feeling, and the whole continent, by one simultaneous emotion, was rising, and solemnly and anxiously supplicating and invoking high Heaven to spare and succor Greece, and to invigorate her arms, in her glorious cause, while temples and senate houses were alike resounding with one burst of generous and holy sympathy ;-in the year of our Lord and Savior, that Savior of Greece and of us—a proposition was offered in the American Congress to send a messenger to Greece, to inquire into her state and condition, with a kind expression of our good wishes and our sympathies--and it was rejected !" Go home, if you can, go home, if you dare, to your constituents, and tell them that you voted it down meet, if you can, the appalling countenances of those who sent you here, and tell them that you shrank from the declaration of your own sentiments—that you cannot tell how, but that some unknown dread, some indescribable apprehension, some indefinable danger, drove you from your purpose—that the spectres of cimeters, and crowns, and crescents, gleamed before you and alarmed you; and that you suppressed all the noble feelings prompted by religion, by liberty, by national independence, and by humanity. I cannot bring myself to believe that such will be the feeling of a majority of the committee. But, for myself, though every friend of the cause should desert it, and I be left to stand alone with the gentleman from Massachusetts, I will give to his resolution the poor sanction of my unqualified approbation.
ADDRESS TO HIS CONSTITUENTS,
IN REFERENCE TO THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1824-5
(The year 1824 was signalized by a remarkable contest for the Presidency, between the supporters respectively of John Quincy Adams, William H. CRAWFORD, ANDREW Jackson, and John C. Calhoun. Mr. Crawford, then Secretary of the Treasury, was first nominated by a caucus of 66 Democratic members of Congress, and was thence put forward as the regular candidate of the party; but this assumption was resisted by the greater number, both in Congress and among the People ; and Mr. Adams, the Secretary of State, Mr. Calhoun, lately Secretary of War, Mr. Clay, Speaker of the House, and General Jackson, were severally proposed by their friends in different sections. Mr. Calhoun, finding his prospect desperate, finally withdrew, and threw his weight into the scale of General Jackson ; and the cci test gradually assumed a more regular shape, the friends of all the others in most States uniting against Mr. Crawford, who, as the caucus candidate, appeared most prominent in the canvass. In this way, the votes of North Carolina, New Jersey. and some others, were given to General Jackson, by the aid of the Adams men, Mr. Crawford's strength being greater than that of either competitor, singly. Mr. Clay, aside from being the youngest of the remaining candidates, labored under the disadvantage of having a popular competitor in his own section of the Union, which, in a contest so independent of party considerations, was necessarily much against him. In the Electoral College, General Jackson received 99, Mr. Adams 84, Mr. Crawford 41, and Mr. Clay 38 votes-(those of Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, and 7 from New York.) No one having a majority, the Constitution required that the election should now be made by the House of Representatives from among the three highest candidates, Mr. Clay being of course excluded. Being himself a member of Congress, and having many supporters and friends in that body, the course which Mr. Clay might think proper to pursue in this election, became a subject of intense interest and universal speculation. With neither of the rival candidates were his relations those of intimate friendship, while with General Jackson, (who appeared to be the second choice of Kentucky,) they had for years been interrupted by the resentment manifested by the latter at the terms in which Mr. Clay spoke of his conduct in the Seminole War, in the Speech heretofore given. Mr. Crawford was then suffering under a disease which incapacitated him for business, and ultimately terminated his life. Mr. Clay decided that every consideration of public duty required him to give his vote for Mr. Adams, which he did, and Mr. Adams was chosen. The moment his decision became known, a violent outcry of Bargain and Corruption" was raised by the disappointed partisans of General
Jackson, led by one Kremer, a Representative from Pennsylvania. In refutation of this charge, Mr. Clay issued the following Address to the People of the Congressional District composed of the counties of Fayette, Woodford, and Clarke, in Kentucky :)
The relations of your representative and of your neighbor, in which I have so long stood, and in which I have experienced so many strong proofs of your confidence, attachment, and friendship, having just been, the one terminated, and the other suspended, I avail myself of the occasion on taking, I hope a temporary, leave of you,
express my unfeigned gratitude for all your favors, and to assure you that I shall cherish a fond and unceasing recollection of them. The extraordinary circumstances in which, during the late session of Congress, I have been placed, and the unmerited animadversions which I have brought upon myself, for an honest and faithful discharge of my public duty, form an additional motive for this appeal to your candor and justice. If, in the office which I have just left, I have abused
your confidence and betrayed your interests, I cannot deserve your support in that on the duties of which I have now entered. On the contrary, should it appear that I have been assailed without just cause, and that misguided zeal and interested passions have singled me out as a victim, I cannot doubt that I shall continue to find, in the enlightened tribunal of the public, that cheering countenance and impartial judgment, without which a public servant cannot possibly discharge with advantage the trust confided to him.
It is known to you, that my name had been presented, by the respectable States of Ohio, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Missouri, for the office of President, to the consideration of the American public, and that it had attracted some attention in other quarters of the Union. When, early in November last, I took my departure from the district to repair to this city, the issue of the Presidential election before the people was unknown. Events, however, had then so far transpired as to render it highly probable that there would be no election by the people, and that I should be excluded from the House of Representatives. It became, therefore, my duty to consider, and to make up an opinion on, the respective pretensions of the three gentlemen who might be returned, and at that early period I stated to Dr. Drake, one of the professors in the medical school of Transylvania Univers' sity, and to John J. Crittenden, Esq., of Frankfort, my determination to support Mr. Adams in preference to General Jackson.