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Even if the benefits of the policy were limited to certain sections of our country, would it not be satisfactory to behold American industry, wherever situated, active, animated, and thrifty, rather than persevere in a course which renders us subservient to foreign industry? But these benefits are two-fold, direct and collateral, and, in the one shape or the other, they will diffuse themselves throughout the Union. All parts of the Union will participate, more or less, in both. As to the direct benefit, it is probable that the North and the East will enjoy the largest share. But the West and the South will also participate in them. Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Richmond, will divide with the northern capitals the business of manufacturing: The latter city unites more advantages for its successful prosecution than any other place I know ; Zanesville, in Ohio, only excepted. And where the direct benefit does not accrue, that will be enjoyed of supplying the raw material and provisions for the consumption of artisans. Is it not most desirable to put at rest and prevent the annual recurrence of this unpleasant subject, so well fitted by the various interests to which it appeals, to excite irritation and to produce discontent ? Can that be effected by its rejection ? Behold the mass of petitions which lie on our table, earnestly and anxiously entreating the protecting interposition of Congress against the ruinous policy which we are pursuing. Will these petitioners, comprehending all orders of society, entire States and communities, public companies and private individuals, spontaneously assembling, cease in their humble prayers by your lending a deaf ear? Can you expect that these petitioners, and others, in countless numbers, that will, if you delay the passage of this bill, supplicate your mercy, should contemplate their substance gradually withdrawn to foreign countries, their ruin slow, but certain and as inevitable as death itself, without one expiring effort? You think the measure injurious to you; we believe our preservation depends upon its adoption. Our convictions, mutually honest, are equally strong. What is to be done? I invoke that saving spirit of mutual concession under which our blessed constitution was formed, and under which alone it can be happily administered. I appeal to the South-to the high-minded, generous, and patriotic South-with which I have so often co-operated, in attempting to sustain the honor and to vindicate the rights of our country. Should it not offer, upon the altar of the public good, some sacrifice of its peculiar opinions ? Of what does it complain? A possible temporary enhancement in the objects of its consumption. Of what
do we complain? A total incapacity, produced by the foreign policy, to purchase, at any price, necessary foreign objects of consumption. In such an alternative, inconvenient only to it, ruinous to us, can we expect too much from southern magnanimity? The just and confident expectation of the passage of this bill has flooded the country with recent importations of foreign fabrics. If it should not pass, they will complete the work of destruction of our domestic industry. If it should pass, they will prevent any considerable rise in the price of foreign commodities, until our own industry shall be able to supply competent substitutes.
To the friends of the tariff, I would also anxiously appeal. Every arrangement of its provisions does not suit each of you; you desire some further alterations; you would make it perfect. You want what you will never get. Nothing human is perfect. And I have seen, with great surprise, a piece signed by a member of Congress, published in the National Intelligencer, stating that this bill must be rejected, and a judicious tariff brought in as its substitute. A judicious tariff! No member of Congress could have signed that piece; or, if he did, the public ought not to be deceived. If this bill do not pass, unquestionably no other can pass at this session, or probably during this Congress. And who will go home and say that he rejected all the benefits of this bill, because molasses has been subjected to the enormous additional duty of five cents per gallon? I call, therefore, upon the friends of the American policy, to yield somewhat of their own peculiar wishes, and not to reject the practicable in the idle pursuit after the unattainable. Let us imitate the illustrious example of the framers of the constitution, and, always remembering that whatever springs from man partakes of his imperfections, depend upon experience to suggest, in future, the necessary amendments.
We have had great difficulties to encounter.-1. The splendid talents which are arrayed in this House against us. 2. We are opposed by the rich and powerful in the land. 3. The executive government, if any, affords us but a cold and equivocal support. 4. The importing and navigating interest, I verily believe from misconception, are adverse to us. 5. The British factors and the British influence are inimical to our success. 6. Long established habits and prejudices oppose us. 7. The reviewers and literary speculators,
foreign and domestic. And, lastly, the leading presses of the country, including the influence of that which is established in this city, and sustained by the public purse.
From some of these, or other causes, the bill may be postponed, thwarted, defeated. But the cause is the cause of the country, and it must and will prevail. It is founded in the interests and affections of the people. It is as native as the granite deeply imbosomed in our mountains. And, in conclusion, I would pray God, in His infiniis mercy, to avert from our country the evils which are impending over it, and, by enlightening our councils, to conduct us into that path which leads to riches, to greatness, to glory.
ON AFRICAN COLONIZATION.
IN THE HALL OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, JAN. 20, 1827.
BEFORE THE AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY.
I CANNOT withhold the expression of my congratulations to the society on account of the very valuable acquisition which we have obtained in the eloquent gentleman from Boston, (Mr. Knapp,) who has just favored us with an address. He has told us of his original impressions, unfavorable to the object of the society, and of his subsequent conversion. If the same industry, investigation and unbiased judgment, which he and another gentleman, (Mr. Powell, who avowed at the last meeting of the society, a similar change wrought in his mind, were carried, by the public at large, into the consideration of the plan of the society, the conviction of its utility would be universa).
I have risen to submit a resolution, in behalf of which I would bespeak the favor of the society. But before I offer any observations in its support, I must say that, whatever part I shall take in the proceedings of this society, whatever opinions or sentiments I may utter, they are exclusively my own. Whether they are worth anything or not, no one but myself is at all responsible for them. I have consulted with no person out of this society; and I have especially abstained from all communication or consultation with any one to whom I stand in any official relation. My judgment on the object of this society has been long since deliberately formed. The conelusions to which, after much and anxious consideration, my mind has
been brought, have been neither produced nor refuted by the official station, the duties of which have been confided to me.
From the origin of this society, every member of it has, I believe, looked forward to the arrival of a period, when it would be necessary to invoke the public aid in the execution of the great scheme which it was instituted to promote. Considering itself as the mere pioneer in the cause which it had undertaken, it was well aware that it could do no more than remove preliminary difficulties, and point out a sure road to ultimate success; and that the public only could supply that regular, steady, and efficient support, to which the gratuitous means of benevolent individuals would be found incompetent. My surprise has been that the society has been able so long to sustain itself, and to do so much upon the charitable contributions of good, and pious, and enlightened men, whom it has happily found in all parts of our country. But our work has so prospered, and grown
under our hands, that the appeal to the power and resources of the public should be no longer deferred. The resolution which I have risen to propose contemplates this appeal. It is in the following words :
“Resolved, That the board of managers be empowered and directed, at such time or times as may seem to them expedient, to make respectful application to the Congress of the United States, and to the legislatures of the different States, for such pecuniary aid, in furtherance of the object of this society, as they may respectively be pleased to grant.”
In soliciting the countenance and support of the legislatures of the Union and the States, it is incumbent on the society, in making out its case, to show, first-that it offers to their consideration a scheme which is practicable—and second that the execution of the practicable scheme, partial or entire, will be fraught with such beneficial consequences as to merit the support which is solicited. I believe both points to be maintainable. First. It is now little upwards of ten years since a religious, amiable, and benevolent resident* of this
* It has been, since the delivery of the Speech, suggested, that the Rev. Robert Finley, of New Jersey, (who is also unfortunately dead,) contemplated the formation of a society, with the view to the establishment of a colony in Africa, and probably first commenced the project. It is quite likely that he did ; and Mr. Clay recollects seeing Mr. Finley, and consulting with him on the subject, about the period of the formation of the society. But the allusion to Mr. Caldwell was founded on the facts well known to Mr. Clay, of his active agency in the organization of the society, and his unremitted subsequent labors, which were not confined to the District of Columbia, in promoting the cause.