Изображения страниц

Cada Labudo

cient and barbarous practices and maximsling the prefident who is an elective offi-
of a monarchy and to use them in the gov cer, and, according to your own creed, is
ernment and police of our free republic. merely a fervant of the people, which cuf-
Yet this you have attempted to do.--What tom and ufage have affixed to a libel on
a curious fpectacle has the public lately the king of Great Britain, whofe office is
beheld !—The confiftent, the patriotic permanent and hereditary, and who is con-
Ambrofe Spencer, who, "lives and moves ititutionally the fovereign of the people.
and has his being" for the good of the peo-
ple, producing from the cells of monks,
from the mufty and worm-eaten records of
dark ages, a royal ftatute that, centuries
ago, was obfolete, and aiming to use it as
an engine to crush the prefs. Alas, for
your difappointment!" How are the
mighty fallen!"

And is it certain that an attempt to pun-
ifh a fuppofed libel against the adminiftra-
tion of the union, by means of the Bri-
tifh common law, is not a violation of the
conftitution ?-The jurifdiction of the fed-
eral government and of the ftate govern-
ments are diftinct and separate, and can-
not interfere with each other without
breeding horrible confufion. When the
conftitution of this ftate was formed, and
the British common law was incorporated
with the ftate code, the conftituent con-
vention could have had no idea of apply-
ing that common law, as a fhield to the

You ironically tell your reader not to laugh at me and what is the ridiculous inftance of my conduct to which you allude -It is my difclaiming any connection with the Wafp, and yet efpoufing the caufe of its editor. This you would rep. refent as an evidence of the vileft hy poc-prefident of the U. States; because the federrify. The bafe infinuation I defpife and al conflitution and its officers did not then indignantly repel; and confidently claim, in this as in all other inftances, the character of confiftency and integrity of condut. It is true that the Walp had neither patronage nor encouragement from me; and it is alfo true that I have been one among thousands of freemen, who would thield the editor from the arm of violence that has been uplifted to crufh and deftroy him. The manner of conducting his profecution, and the political principle you advanced in the courfe of that bufinefs, affect deeply the intereft, not merely of an individual or of editors in general, but of all the freemen in the United States.

therefore, (the conflitution of the United States being the fupreme law of the land,) any acts or laws of particular ftates, which militate with it, are null and void.

You will confider this and the forego. ing addreffes as an introduction to a much more extenfive correfpondence, fhould circumftances render it neceffary. It was my defign to canvafs the most prominent inftances of your whole political conduct, during feveral of the laft years. The sub. ject is fertile, and would afford much inftruction and fome amufement: for the prefent, however, it is fufpended; and its affumption or final relinquishment will de pend on your future conduct. EZRA SAMPSON.


From a publication in the Recorder signed Federalist.

DURING the last year of the adminif tration of Mr. Adams, certain publications. appeared in the paper called the Aurora, over the head of which there appeared in capital letters, thefe, words,


exift. The confitution exprefsly fays,
Exceffive bail fhall not be required, nor
exceffive fines imposed:" and does not
this inhibition exclude the operation of the
British common law, which leaves it in
the power of the court to require bail and
to impose fines, according to its own pleaf.
ure? The conftitution alfo provides that
the accufed" fhall have compulfory pro-
cefs for obtaining witneffes in his favour."
Is it in the power of the court before
which you have profecuted, to grant fuch
"compulfory procefs," beyond the limits
of this flate ?-Certainly it is not. The
convention of the state of New-York, when
Curious indeed is the method you take
it adopted the federal conflitution, annex-
ed to the adoptive at the following decla-
to wipe off the ftain of inconfiftency (rea-
ration," that the freedom of the prefs
der, do not laugh") from yourself. You
ought not to be violated, or reftrained."
oppofed the Sedition law on the principle And fuch was the public jealoufy refpe&-
that it was unconftitutional; whereas the
British common law, you think, happily mendment has been added to the confti-
ing this very important point that an a-
accords with our republican conflitution.
tution, ordaining that "Congrefs fhall
It is, however, well known that the Sedi-
tion law was denounced as not merely un-
make no law abridging the freedom of
conflitutional, but as oppreflive and tyran-
fpeech, or of the prefs.' But if the offi-
nical. Now if that law were tyrannical,
cers of particular ftates are invefted with
the common law is furely much more fo:
the power of carrying the terrors of the
if the former would have chaflifed peo-
British common law into the diftrict of
the federal government, and of punifhinging
ple with whips, the latter will chaflife
what they deem to be libels with fine and
them with fearpions. Under the Sedi-imprifonment at pleafure, this conftitu-
tion law, the accufed might juftity by
proving the allegations charged: the com-
mon law allows not this privilege, but
punishes truth itfelf as a libel. The Se-
dition law gave to the punishment of fine
and imprisonment certain limits, which it
was not in the power of the courts to ex-
ceed; the common law leaves the accused
to be punished at the difcretion of the
court, which has power to make him a
prifoner, feven years or even during life,
for publishing what he knows and can
prove to be truth. The latter metes out
the fame meature of punishment for libel-adopted and received by the people:

tional fhield to the freedom of fpeech and
of the prefs is rendered utterly ineffectual
and futile.

yourfelf, whether a ftate profecution, in
Ponder thefe points, and feriously afk
common law, for a fuppofed libel against
the executive of the United States, be not
contrary to the Spirit and intention of the
federal conftitution. To fupport that con-
flitution you are folemnly bound by your
oath of office. It is expressly declared,
in the inftrument itfelf, to be the fupreme
law of the land; and as fuch, it has been


In thefe publications, there were pofitive affertions, accompanied by a statement in figures, accufing, and explaining the pretended frauds which had been committed upon the public, by the perfons who then administered the government, and conducted the treasury. And they were fo contrived, that every man who did not know that the whole was a fabrication, believed that the public had been defrauded out of more than 500 ooo dolls. The fabrication was fo contrived, as to fix this fufpicion upon Mr. Adams, Mr. Pickering, and Mr. Wolcott. The mode in which the fabricators acted, was as follows. One of the clerks of Mr. Wolcott's office was debauched from his duty. He introduced into the treafury office, (or conveyed the treasury books to fome other place) five or fix of the Pennfylvanian democrats, to whom thefe books were expofed. They took down all the charges for money which appeared on the books against Pickering, &c. amount

to about 7c0,000 dolls. more or lefs. They paid no regard to credits, nor to the knowledge which every one of them had, that much of the money was affigned to Mr. P. for the purpose of paying a debt which the U. States owed in Holland, tho' they knew that it would be perfectly im to allow any credit upon the books proper to Mr. P. until the payments, and other purpofes for which the money was advanced, were fully exemplified. All this has fince been done. Mr. P. ftands acquitted; nay, more, it appears that he negociated the pay ments in Holland with so much ability and fidelity, that he faved in the pice or rate of exchange more than 14000 dolls, which

fum he voluntarily gave an account of and

furrendered to the public. The friends of Mr. P. were aftonifhed that he should have borne in filence fuch defamatory publications. The reason was this. The money was appropriated to effect certain duties; as for inftance, the purchafe of bills of exchange. If Mr. P. had defended himself against the defamation, and ftated that the money was appropriated for purchafing bills of exchange, he could at once have filenced the ftory about public plunder; but he would at the fame time have expofed the fecrets of government. The dealers in exchange would have difcovered that the public wanted a large fum in bills upon Amfterdam. The exchange upon fuch would have rifen, and inftead of gaining 14000 dolls. as has been done, he might have acted as Gallatin has done in a fimilar negociation, fo that the public might have been very greatly injured.

Balance Closet.



A CITIZEN who has had the misfortune to fall under the displeasure of such an Attorney-General as was mentioned in the supposed case in our last, has but little reason to hope for favor or mercy. He may think himself fortunate if he obtains justice. When a public officer, possessing the power and influence of an Attorney-General, has the presump. tion to draw up a bill of indictment in his own of fice, before court-time-when he so far overleaps the duties of his office, and intrudes upon the rights of his fellow-men, as to put into the hands of a sheriff a list of the persons to be summoned as grand-jurors-and when these grand-jurors so far lose sight of dignity and independence, as to become the dupes and humble tools of the AttorneyGeneral-then, indeed, must the citizen tremble for his liberty. The time may soon arrive, when he will be compelled to mourn its loss. For, if party. spirit is once permitted to creep into our courts, and usurp the seat of justice, not even the name of liberty will remain.

To those who are acquainted with the political character of the Attorney-General of this state, it will not appear surprizing that he should be driven about by prejudice and passion. He is well known to be similar to a leaden bullet-heavy and harmless, except when put in motion by the fire and brimstone of his passions.

Mr. Spencer had taken considerable time to mature his plan for arresting and silencing the junior editor of this paper; and yet he had proceeded with so much cunning and secrecy, that no suspicions were entertained of his intentions. Indeed, it might have been supposed, that he would be the last man in the world, to lay a restraint upon the press. It is true that he had been once or twice mentioned in no very respectful manner in the pub. lication entitled "The Wasp ;" but he always af fected to treat such things with so much disdain,

that it could hardly have been expected that he would retaliate upon the printer in the manner he has. Besides, the junior-editor had sufficient reason to believe that Mr. Spencer was, in a considerable degree, a lover of slander; that he could swallow calumny with a pretty good relish-nay, that he could even feast on detraction. Of these reasons the reader shall be informed :-At the time that Thomas Paine's second or third letter (it is not recollected which) first arrived in Hudson, Mr. Spencer was in the Post Office, with two or three of his democratic companions (it would be a burlesque to call them his friends.) The junior editor of the Balance was also there. Mr. Spencer took up the National Intelligencer, and, turning to his followers observed, "Here is another letter from Mr. Paine -come, gentlemen, walk down to Holt's and hear it read-it will be an excellent treat before dinner." Mr. Spencer need not deny this fact. It was laid up at the time, as a precious memorandum; and it is now brought forward to shew that neither a hatred of slander, nor a regard for the public good, actuated him in his attack on the press. It is ridiculous for Mr. Spencer to lay any claim to decency, as long as the above fact stands recorded against him. What! can the man abhor licentiousness, who declares that the villainous and abominable letters of Tom Paine are an excellent treat for gentlemen before dinner? No, no-the thing is impossible. No. body will believe it. Mr. Spencer's professions of regard for the honor and dignity of the nation, have become stale and unavailing. The mask of patriotism which he, for obvious reasons, has put on, only serves to set off, in darker colours, that hideous figure of tyranny and ambition which t scarcely half conceals.


[ocr errors]

In the fluctuations of the English language, sev. eral words have entirely changed their original significations; among which are the words knave and villain. The word knave formerly signified neither more nor less than a servant. In a very ancient translation of that part of the Bible called the new testament, one of Paul's epistles begins thus,

Paul a knace of Jesus Christ." The word knave now means a man, who is either dishonest in money. dealings or else makes use of imposing arts and deceptive intrigues to accomplish his purposes. For instance, political hypocricy, or sham-patriotism, is really and properly a species of knavery, as well as swindling and cheating in money transactions.

The word villain was not originally indicative of any species of roguery. It was, some few centuries ago, an appellation or common name for whole classes of people. Tenants, tradesmen, com. mon citizens, and indeed the people generally who were not exalted by office or rank, were called vil lains in public writings, and even in the national acts. This word also has suffered a degradation; and there is now always associated with it the idea of some species of moral turpitude.

As it is very difficult to recover a good character that has been once lost, it is improbable that those two words, especially as they have so long associated with bad company, will ever regain the character originally attached to them.

[ocr errors]


We had prepared an article of some length, to refute the slanders against Major Ten Broeck, which were published in the last Bee; but being informed that Mr. Helt has agreed to publish the following certificates and receipt, accompanied with a suitable retraction and apology, we forbear to make use of the advantages which are in our hands for destroying the reputation of the Bee. By merely republishing half a column from the Bee of last week, we could fix a stain on Holt's editorial character, that neither years of repentance nor whole columns of apology could wipe away. But we forbear. We disdain to take advantage of a fallen enemy. Our only object has been to defend an honest and injured man. This object we have steadily pursued, until our antagonists are compelled to acknowledge that our statements have been perfectly correct, and that theirs have been erroneous. We, therefore, treat with silent contempt the abuse which the Bee has bestowed on curselves. We have discharged our duty to the public, and to Major Ten Broeck; and when Holt has honestly done the same, his conscience will be relieved from an oppressive load.

The subjoined copies will shew, that Major Ten Broeck is not a public delinquent; but that he paid every cent that was due from him to the treasury, immediately after he had ascertained the amount :



"WE the fubfcribers, do certify, that

we have feen, in the hands of John C. "Ten Broeck, the bond given by him, "Daniel Penfield and Cotton Gelfton, "to the United States, for the faithful



performance of the duties of Collector "of the internal revenue, by the faid John C. Ten Broeck; and that the following receipt and certificate, the for"mer figned by Edward Livingston, and "the latter by Daniel Penfield, are true copies of the originals, endorsed on the "faid bond. Dated at Hudson, 15th "April, 1803. (Signed)



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


"EDW. LIVINGSTON. Attorney U. S." "January 28th, 1803, the fum paid by me, above specified, was duly feitled "between me the fubfcriber, and Cotton "Gelfton one of the fureties within men"tioned, and the within named John C. "Ten Broeck. I do, therefore, release and difcharge the within bond, and hereby cancel the fame.







HE currant-bufh, though a fhrub that grows almoft fpontaneously, requires nevertheless fome dreffing; in regard to which the following directions may be of fervice.

In contemplating the multiplied bleffings with which our country has been, and continues to be favoured, we are led to confider, that great are the obligations we are under to the bountiful Difpenfer of all good, and loud the call to gratitude and thank fulnefs of heart;-a difpofition incumbent on every rational being, as an acknowledgment for the goodnels of GOD;-a difpofition on which may be founded the reafonable hope of his continued favour; as hifand our own obfervation furnith amtory

Plant them round the quarters in your garden, that they may have the benefit of the dung and culture annually beftowed thereon, which will confequently make the berries large and the juice rich. The red currant is preferable to the white, as yielding richer juice, and in much greater quantity.

ple proof, that in every age of the world thofe individuals, or that people have been the favourites of heaven, and the peculiar heirs of its bleflings, who have not followed cunningly devifed fables, but fubftantial truth; whofe concern it has been to glorify the Divine Being, by walking before him in truth, choofing the good, and turning from evil and while we view this as the Take the most luxuriant flips or shoots of a year's growth, fet them in the ground medium through which we may with conabout eight inches deep, and not less than fidence look for the continued bleffings of twenty-four diftant from each other; thefe heaven, we are forrowfully affected in ob. never fail of taking root, and generally ferving the abundant evils that are, (and it begin to bear in two years. For the refl, is to be teared fome of them increasingly) let them, from ime, be treated as efpali-prevalent in our country; all having a direct tendency, more or lefs, to impair the morals of the peop'e, and lead from the paths of piety and virtue: and although we do not apprehend it our prefent business to enumerate many of thofe that are as the bane of fociety, and very injurious in their nature and effects to fuch as give way thereto, and alfo extremely debafing to man; yet, there are fome of them fo ferioufly impreflive on our minds as to claim a place in

ers (but not against a wall) obferving to keep the roots, efpecially in the fpring of the year, free from fuckers and grafs.

this addrefs.

This treatment is the more necellary, as the goodnefs of the wine in a great degree depends on their having the full benefit of the fun and air, to maturate and give the berries a proper balfamic quality, by exhaling a due proportion of their acid watry particles.

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

ous truth involving many important confid erations, that are deeply interefting to man. kind, and very nearly connected with their prefent welfare, and future happiness. Under thefe impreffions, and feeling much folicitude for the real good of our fellowcitizens, we are engaged thus to addrefs


The common, but very pernicious practice of Horferacing, we confider to be an evil that embraces many other vices, and is certainly a great nuance in a well-ordered civil fociety, it having a natural tendency, by corrupting the mind, gradually to open the way to many other vicious habits. We may also fubjoin the cruel diverfion of Cockfighting, with other amufements of a fimilar nature, that are repugnant to every humane and tender feeling. What pleafure can refult to a rational mind from torturing and afflicting thofe poor animals which were intended for the ule and comfort of man ?


APHORISM.-Who hides hatred to ac

complith revenge is great, like the prince

of hell.-LAVATER.


The following CIRCULAR LETTER from the Hon. John Stanley, Member of Congress from the State of North Carolina, to his Constituents, exhibits a candid, just, and concise statement of the proceedings of our National Legislature during the last session. A review of the transactions of this body should be frequently had, for their acts of folly and weakness have been so multifarioas, and have proceeded in such rapid succession, that those which are passed are obliterated in the consideration of those constantly arising. Mr. Stan. ley has presented this subject in a manner which will deservedly command the attention of every one, solicitous for the concerns of the country. [Gazette U. States]

CITY OF WASHINGTON, March 1, 1803.


AT the clofe of a feffion of congrefs, I cannot feel that I have difcharged my du ty until I have informed thofe whole interefls I reprefent, of fuch proceedings as may concern them to know. This duty I now meet with pleafure. In difcharging it, I fhall avow the opinions I have enter tained, with the fame candor and freedom, with which I have given them here: perfuaded that next to an honeft exertion of the mind to decide right, an independent communication of fentiment is the mot acceptable offering from a reprefentative to his conftituents.

The attention of congrefs was early called to a "violation on the part of Spain, of the treaty between the United States and the king of Spain." To understand this bufinefs, you will recollect, that Spain holding the territory on the Welt of the Mexico, and on the eaft of the MiffiffipMilliflippi, extending to the Gulph of pi fouth of the fouthern boundary of the United States, in the 31 deg. of N. latitude, is confequently proprietor of both fides the mouth of the river. The great difficulty, and in fact the impoffibility at fome feafons of afcending the river Mifliflippi in fea velfels to a height convenient to receive the produce of our Weftern States, had convinced the United States of the neceffity of obtaining from Spain the right to depofit it was conveniently acceffible by our fhips; our produce on their territory, from whence and alfo of fecuring to them, the free ufe of this highway to market. Thefe objects were obtained by the treaty concluded with Spain the 27th day of October, 1795. by the 22d article of which it flipulated, That his Catholic Majefty will permit the citi zens of the United States for the space of three years to depofit their merchandize and effects in the port of New-Orleans, and to export, them from thence without


[ocr errors]

report will, in the opinion of the Prefi-
dent, divulge to the Houfe particular
tranfactions not proper at this time to be


paying any other duty than a fair price for
the hire of the ftores, and his majefty pro-
mifes either to continue this permiffion if he
finds during that time that it is not prejudi-
cial to the interefts of Spain, or if he should
not agree to continue it there, he will affign
to them on another part of the banks of the
Miffiffippi, an equivalent establishment."
It was now fuggefted that our fhips had
been excluded from New Orleans, and the
right of depofit prohibited. No informa-
tion on this fubject being given in the mef-
fage of the Prefident, the Houfe of Repre-
fentatives on the 17th December, 1802, by
refolution requested the Prefident "to caufe
to be laid before the Houfe fuch informa.
tion in the poffeffion of the department of
ftate, as relates to a violation on the part of
Spain, of the 22d article of the treaty of
friendship, navigation and limits between
the United States and the king of Spain."
From the communication of the Prefident
in confequence of this refolution, it was
ascertained that the Intendant of New Or-
leans, the officer intrufted with the com-
mercial concerns of the province, had by
proclamation on the October, 1802,
interdicted the American right of depofit at
New Orleans, without affigning any other
"equivalent eftablishment." It was alfo
known that the Governor General of Lou-
ifiana at New-Orleans did not condemn,
but explicitly vindicated the measure. This
act, directly violating a folemn treaty, pro-
ducing an immediate immenfe lofs to a
great portion of our citizens, and viewed
by many as the commencement of meaf.
ures intended to deprive us of a place of
depofit, and to obftruct the free navigationing
of the river rights effential to the prof.
perity of the Western states; affected too
deeply the honor and intereft of the United
States, not to merit the earliest and most se-
rious confideration. The claim of this
fubje&t to attention was rendered peculiar-
ly trong as connected with the ceffion of
Louifiana by Spain to France, placed with-
in the notice of Congress by the Prefi-
dent's mention of it in his meilage" as
making a change in the afpe&t of our for-
eign relations, & entitled to juft weight in
deliberations of the legislature connected
with that fubje&t." To enable Congrefs
to act with understanding on this fubject,
and to judge what meafures, if any, were
neceffary to be taken, Mr. Grifwold, on
the 5th January, moved the following ref-
olution :


Refolved, That the Prefident of the United States be requested to direct the proper officer to lay before this Houfe, copies of fuch official documents, as, have been received by this government, announcing the ceffion of Louisiana to France, together with a report explaining the ftipulations, circumstances and conditions under which that province is to be delivered up-unlefs fuch documents and

This refolution was oppofed-That the province of Louisiana had been ceded by province of Louifiana had been ceded by Spain to France-that this ceffion, if carri ed into effect, would change the afpect of our foreign relations, and therefore entitled to weight in legiflative deliberations, were facts too deeply interefting to the United States to have escaped notice, even though they had not been preffed into the view of the legislature and recommended to their attention by the high authority and folemn fanction of the Prefident. An oppofition therefore to a call for information-a call refpectful in its terms, fubmitting the extent of the communication to the judgment of the Prefident, was not to have been expected. The majority of the House difcovered ftrong jealoufy of this refolution, and after various unfuccefsful attempts to have it confidered, it was at length taken up and rejected. In difcuffing this refolution much extraneous matter was introduced; -the only arguments which I could dif cover against the adoption of the refolution were that fuch an inquiry, implying a fuf picion of unfriendly or improper conduct on the part of Spain towards us might irritate that nation; and that negociations were about commencing between our gov. ernment and Spain and France. The doctrine advanced on this occafion, that although the tranfactions of a foreign nation fhall be folemnly mentioned by the prefident in an official communication as chang

the afpect of our foreign relations and entitled to weight in our deliberations; and although measures highly injurious to our rights and intereft, and probably a con. fequence of this tranfaction, have been adopted, yet that a fear to irritate fhall oblige us to forbear from enquiry; to fhut our ears to any information on the fubject, left we discover a fufpicion of unfriendly defigns, that in fact (for it amounts to this we fhall never prepare to ret an hoftile defign, until it is known to us by its execution," as a doctrine not only novel, but too palpably dangerous to be admitted as the real objection to this refolution-As to the objection on the ground that negociation was about commencing, let it be conceded that the direction of negociation belongs folely to the Executive, does it refult or can it be ferioufly contended that under our government the determination of the Executive to negociate, takes from the legiflature their conftitutional power of confidering what measures are neceffary for the public welfare? Such a doctrine can confift only with a fupremacy in the Executive-a doctrine at variance with the fundamental principles of our government. If the ceffion of Louifiana was a fubject not proper for the confideration of Con- i


grefs, why was it mentioned in the meffage? And if this confideration was rendered improper by the intention to negociate, why was that intention never communicated? The belief that there were yet other objections to this refolution not advanced by its opponents forces itfelf on the mind, and is ftrengthened by the cir cumftance, that in the refolution of 17th December the tranfactions at New-Orleans were, without fear to irritate, openly and properly called " a violation of our treaty on the part of Spain." Surely too, the Prefident would not have hazarded the public fafety by preffing on our notice in a public communication, a tranfaction deeply interefting to our rights and interefts; but which was covered with a veil not to be raised but with danger or indelicacy. The prefident knew it to be his duty to acquire information on the fubje&t-to prefume that he has not done fo, would be to reproach him with reprehenfible indifference to, and neglect of our interefts. Yet, improbable as the fuggeftion might otherwife be, the circumftances go far towards compelling a belief, that the Prefident had neither fought or obtained any official information on the fubject, or that his enquiries had not been treated with that refpect, which is due to the American. nation and that a rejection of the refolution was reforted to as the only mode of fhielding him from the mortifying difclofure. Mr. Grifwold alfo moved the follewing refolutions:


Refolved, That the people of the United States are entitled to the free navi. gation of the river Mifliflippi.


Refolved, That the navigation of the river Miffiffippi has been obftructed by the regulations recently carried into effect at New-Orleans.

[blocks in formation]

| compliment or fervility fhould not be heard, is only due to the exertion of thofe qualities in measures known and approved : Whereas, in the prefent case, so far from measures being known, and found to mer

governed; willing, at the fame time to af-
cribe this breach of compact to the unau-
thorised misconduct of certain individuals,
rather than to a want of good faith on the
part of his Catholic Majefty; and relying
with perfect confidence, on the vigilance
and wifdem of the Executive, they will
wait the iffue of fuch meafures as that de-
partment of the government fhall have pur-
fued for afferting the rights, and vindica-lect
ting the injuries of the United States; hold-
ing it to be their duty, at the fame time,
to express their unalterable determination
to maintain the boundaries and the rights
of navigation and commerce through the
river Miiffippi, as established by exifting

To these refolutions it was objected, that the foft language of " fenfibility" was inad equate to the expreffion, by the reprefentatives of a free people, of the national fenfe of a great national wrong. That the refolution difcovered a timid difpofition in calling that a "difpofition to violate" our treaty, which was proved to us to be an actual and avowed, not a contemplated or fufpected, infraction of the treaty. That it contained a declaration of " perfect confidence in the wifdom and vigilance" of the Executive, and a determination to wait the iffue of meafures purfued by that department, at a time that we had no knowledge whether any measures had been taken, and that it pledged the United States to wait the refult of negociation (the only measure the Executive can purfue without the authority of congrefs) when the intereft and fafety of the United States may render fuch delay dangerous, and demand meafures, if not of action, at leaft of preparation.

Nothing urged in anfwer to thefe objections had the effect of obviating them in my mind. A feparate queflion was taken on the different members of this refolution. Although many thought them liable to the objections I have ftated, and would have preferred the adoption of thofe moved by Mr. Grifwold, yet they united in the vote. in favour of fuch principles as accorded with their own. The declaration of a fenfe of the wrong; the difpofition to adhere to that humane and wife policy which fhould always characterize a free people, and by which the United States had always profeffed to be governed; and the determination to maintain the rights of boundary and the free navigation of the river Miffiffippi, were unanimoufly agreed to. It was inoved to ftrike out the declaration of perfect confidence in the wifdom. and vigilance of the Executive, and the determination to wait the iffue of fuch meafures as that department hall have purfued. On this queftion I voted in the affirmative; becaule the folemn vote of perfect confidence on an occafion where no fuch expreffion was neceffary, and on a fubject where the language of

order of the King of England to his naval commanders to capture our fhips in the year 1793. At the opening of the feffion of Congrefs the Prefident (Washington) communicated the fubject to congrefs, accompanying his communication with a copy of his inftructions given by him to our Minil. ter at the British Court for demanding redrefs. The language of Washington on this occafion was :-" There is a rank due to the United States among nations which will be withheld, if not abfolutely loft by the reputation of weakness. If we defire to avoid infult, we must be prepared to repel it. If we defire to preserve peace, one of the most powerful inflruments of our rifing profperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war." Had a fear to irritate those who had done us wrong, enfeebled the mind of that great man, he would have withheld until called


approbation, we were left to conjecture whether any had been taken. Indeed the rejection of the call for information regard. ing Louifiana, afcribing only to the neg

of the executive to procure any; the want of official information what measures had been adopted, and the appointment of a minifter extraordinary to negociate on this fubject not until after thefe proceedings in the Houfe, warrant the opinion that at the time of this vote of confidence, the executive had not even taken those meas ures which his own judgment fuggefted to be neceffary. In fupport of this blind-fold vote of confidence it was argued, that it was the theory of our conftitution to afcribe" wifdom and vigilance" to the Ex-for ecutive in the exercife of powers confided to that department. Permit me here to remark, that it is the theory of the British government to attribute fuch " perfect wifdom and vigilance" to their King that it has become a maxim of their conflitution "that the King can do no wrong." If the theory of our conftitution be as advanced on this occafion, it differs but in found from the deformity of the British; and under ours, as under that the theory and practice will frequently be at variance. I prize our conftitution, as the rock of our safety. The obligation of an oath adds not to my difpofition to fupport it; but neither my attachment or duty can induce me to afcribe" perfect wisdom and vigilance" to a branch of the government in particular, where the evidence rather militates againft, than fupports the claim.

The motion to reject this part was loft. Upon the queftion to agree to the whole refolution, thofe whofe objections had not been obviated: who thought the vote of perfect cofidence improper; having recorded their votes in favour of fuch parts of the refolution as were neceffary or proper; and believing that the refolutions fubmitted by Mr. Grifwold, were preferable, and that no injury could arife, it thofe under confideration were rejected, voted against them. I concurred in this vote. To fhew that thofe who differed from the majority in the preference of the refolutions adopted, to thofe moved by Mr. Grifwold, were not, as malice or ignorance may fuggeft, neceffarily advocates for immediate meafures of hoftility; and that on an occafion. fimilar to the prefent, un ler an adminiftration meriting and poffeffing the perfect confidence of the people, a line of conduct was purlued correfponding to that which it was the object of Mr. Grifwold's refolutions to obtain, I beg leave to recall to your recollection the proceedings of Congrefs in confequence of the unjuftifiable

the information of the injury done us. But with the firmness which marked his character and which elevated the American character under his administration, he communicated uncalled for the informa tion: Not afraid to truft the national coun. cil with a conftitutional participation in devifing measures for the prefervation of our rights, he communicated allo the inftructions he had given for demanding redrefs. Just as was the claim of the Pref. dent to approbation, the legislature forbore from adulation. But with the independence of freemen and a promptnefs becom. ing the guardians of the rights of their fel low-citizens, they truffed not the fafety and honor of their county to foft expreffions of "fenfibility"--they afted. They authorifed the Prefident to embody and call out 80,000 militia, if circumflances fhould render it neceffary-they fufpended, for a time by embargo, all commercial intercourfethey adopted and acted upon the opinion of their wife and vigilant Prefident, "That to avoid infult we must be prepared to repel it."

On the January, the President nominated to the Senate James Monroe as Minifter Extraordinanry to the Courts of the King of Spain and First Conful of France, to act in conjunction with our Minifter at thefe Courts, to negociate, it is prefumed, refpecting the fhutting the port of NewOrleans, and the ceffion of Louifiana.This gentleman was formerly our Minifter to France and was recalled by Washington] for misconduct.


PARAGRAPH- -After the manner of the Aurora. Some have fuppofed that all the learned paragraphs in the Aurora were not written by myfelt. This is true and there is a very good reafon for it-they were written by-another perfon. [Gaz U. S.]


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »