Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

sider myself as entitled to any part of the benefit of the honourable gentleman's discourse. It belonged not, however, to that gentleman to decide. If we must have an

tposition of the doctrines of republicanism, we should receive it from the fathers, of the church, and not from the junior apprentices of the law. I shall appeal to my worthy friends from Carolina, (Messrs. Macon and Stanford)"" men with whom I have measured my strength,” by whose side I have fought during the reign of terror; for it was indeed an hour of corruption, of oppression, of pollution. It is not at all to my taste, that sort of republicanism which is supported on this side of the Atlantic by the father of the sedition law, John Adams, and by Peter Porcupine on the other. Republicanism ! of John Adams! and William Cobbett ! Par nobile fratrum, now united as in 1798, whom the cruel walls of Newgate alone keep from flying into each other's embrace-but whom, in sentiment, it is impossible to divide! Gallant crusaders in the holy cause of republicanism! Such " republicanism does indeed mean any thing or nothing."

Our people will not submit to be taxed for this war of conquest and dominion. The government of the United States is not calculated to wage offensive foreign war mit was instituted for the common defence and general welfare; and whosoever will embark it in a war of offence, will put it to a test which it is by no means calculated to endure. Make it out that Great Britain has instigated the Indians on a late occasion, and I am ready for battle ; but not for dominion. I am unwilling, however, under present circumstances, to take Canada, at the risk of the constitution; to embark in a common cause with France and be dragged at the wheels of the car of some Burr or Bonaparte. For a gentleman from Tennessee or Gennessee, or Lake Champlain, there may be some prospect of advantage. Their hemp will bear a great price by the exclusion of foreign supply. In that too the great importers are deeply interested. The upper country on the Hudson and the lakes would be enriched by the supplies for the troops, which they alone could furnish. They would have the exclusive market; to say nothing of the increased preponderance from the acquisition of Canada and that section of the union, which the southern and western states have already felt so severely in the apportionment bill.

Continuation of Mr. Randolph's Speech on the second

resolution, reported by the committee of foreign relations.

MANY dangers present themselves from the black population, in the middle and southern states. I will, however, touch this subject as tenderly as possible--it is with reluctance that I touch it at all but in cases of great emergency, the state physician must not be deterred by a sickly, hysterical humanity, from probing the wound of his patient he must not be withheld by a fastidious and mistaken humanity from representing his true situation to his friends, or even to the sick man himself, where the occasions calls for it. What is the situation of the slave holding states? During the war of the revolution, so fixed were their habits of subordination, that while the whole country was overrun by the enemy, who invited them to desert, no fear was ever entertained of an insurrection of the slaves. During a war of seven years, with our country in possession of the enemy, no such danger was ever apprehended. But should we therefore be unobservant spectators of the progress of society within the last twenty years—of the silent, but powerful change wrought by time and chance, upon its composition and temper? When the fountains of the great deep of abomination were broken up, even the poor slaves have not escaped the general deluge. The French revolution had polluted even them. Nay, there has not been wanting men in this house, wita ness your legislative Legendre, the butcher, who once held a seat here, to preach upon this floor these imprescriptible rights to a crowded audience of blacks in the galleries--teaching them that they are equal to their masters ; in other words, advising them to cut their throats. Similar doctrines were disseminated by pedlars from NewEngland and elsewhere throughout the southern country

and masters have been found so infatuated, as by their

-

lives and conversation, by a general contempt of order, morality and religion, unthinkingly to cherish these seeds of self-destruction to them and their families. What was the consequence? Within the last ten years, repeated alarms of insurrection among the slaves—some of them awful indeed. From the spreading of this infernal doctrine, the whole southern country has been thrown into a state of insecurity. Men dead to the operation of moral causes, have taken away from the poor slave his habits of loyalty and obedience to his master, which lightened his servitude by a double operation ; beguiling his own cares and disarming his masters suspicions and severity; and now, like true empirics, in politics, you are called upon to trust to the mere physical strength of the letter which holds him in bondage. You have deprived him of all moral restraint, you have tempted him to eat of the tree of knowledge, just enough to perfect him in wickedness; you have opened his eyes to his nakedness; you have armed his nature against the hand that has fed, him that has clothed him, that has cherished him in sickness; that hand, which before he became a pupil of your school he had been accustomed to press with respectful affection. You have done all this and then shown him the gibbet and the wheel, as incentives to a sullen, repugnant obedi. ence. God forbid, sir, that the southern states should ever see an enemy on their shores, with these infernal principles of French fraternity in the van. While talking of taking Canada, some of us were shuddering for our own safety at home. I speak from facts, when I say that the night-bell never tolled for fire in Richmond that the mother did not hug the infant more closely to her bosom. I have been a witness of some of the alarms in the capital of Virginia.

How have we shown our sympathy with the patriots of Spain, or with her American provinces ? By seizing on one of them, her claim to which we had formerly respected, as soon as the parent country was embroiled at home. Was it thus we yielded thein assistance against the arch-fiend, who is grasping at the sceptre of the civilized world. The object of France is as much Spanish America as old Spain herself. Much as I hate a standing army I could almost find it in my heart to vote

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

one, could it be sent to the assistance of the Spanish patriots.

Shall I proceed to notice the unjust and illiberal imputation of British attachments, against certain characters in this country, sometimes insinuated in this house, but openly avowed out of it? Against whom were these charges brought? Against men, who in the war of the revolution were in the council of the nation, or fighting the battles of your country. And by whom were they made? By run-aways chiefly from the British dominions, since the breaking out of the French troubles. It is insufferable. It cannot be borne. It must and ought, with severity, to be put down in this house and out of it to meet the lie direct. We have no fellow feeling for the suffering and oppressed Spaniards! Yet even them we do not reprobate. Strange! that we should have no objection to any other people or government, civilized or savage, in the whole world. The great autocrat of all the Russias receives the homage of our high consideration. The dey of Algiers and his divan of pirates are very civil good sort of people, with whom we find no difficulty in maintaining the relations of peace and amity Turks, Jews and Infidels," Melimelli, or the Little Turtle ; barbarians and sayages of every clime and colour, are welcome to our arms. With chiefs of banditti, negro or mulatto, we can treat and can trade. Name, however, but England, and all our antipathies are up in arms against her. Against whom? Against those whose blood runs in our own veins ; in common with whom we can claim Shakespeare and Newton, and Chatham for our countrymen : whose form of government is the freest on earth, our own only excepted; from whom every valuable principle of our own institutions has been borrowed

representation-jury trial-voting the supplies-writs of habeas corpus-our whole civil and criminal jurisprudence against our fellow protestants identified in blood, in language, in religion with ourselves. In what school did the worthies of our land, the Washingtons, Henries, Hancocks, Franklins, Rutledges of America, learn those principles f civil liberty which were so nobly asserted by their wisdom and valor. And American resistance to British usurpation had not been more warmly che

[ocr errors]

rished by these great men and their compatriots ; not more by Washington, Hancock and Henry, than by Chatham and his illustrious associates in the British parliament. It ought to be remembered, too, that the heart of the English people was with us. It was a selfish and corrupt ministry, and their servile tools, to whom we were not more opposed than they were. I trust that none such may ever exist among us for tools will never be wanted to subserve the purposes, however ruinous or wicked, of kings and ministers of state.

I acknowledge the influence of a Shakespeare and a Milton upon my imagination, of a Locke upon my understanding, of a Sidney upon my political principles, of a Chatham upon qualities, which, would to God! I possessed in common with that illustrious man! of a, Tillotson, a Sherlock, and a Proteus, upon my religion. This is a British influence which I can never shake off. I allow much to the just and honest prejudices growing out of the revolution. But by whom were they suppressed when they ran counter to the interests of his country? By Washington. By whom, would'you listen to them, are they must keenly felt? By felons escaped from the jails of Paris, Newgate and Kilmainham, since the breaking out of the French revolution-who, in this abused and insulted country, have set up for political teachers, and whose disciples give no other proof of their progress in republicanism, except a blind devotion of the most ruthless military despotism that the world ever saw. These are the patriots, who scruple not to brand with the epithet of tory the men (looking towards the seat of Col. Steuart) by whose blood your liberties have been cemented. These are they who hold in such keen remembrance the outrages of the British armies, from which many of them were deserters. Ask these self styled patriots where they were during the American war (for. they are for the most old enough to have borne arms) and you strike them dumb--their lips are closed in eterinal silence. If it were allowable to entertain partialities; every consideration of blood, language, religion and interest would incline us toward's England : and yet, shall they be alone extended to France and her ruler, whom we are bound to believe a chastening God suffers as the

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »