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The joint resolution from the Senate authoriz: ordained by the People. I admit their claim. There ari ing the President of the United States to cause indeed, two grounds upon which some of them think the rations to be distributed to suffering fugitives this exercise of power, and yet disclaims the authority or
claim sustainable. One of them produces precedent fi from Indian hostilities in Alabama and Georgia, the precedent itself. You have already, by a resolution in being under debate
the same words with those of the resolution now before Mr. ADAMS asked that the resolution should this committee, extended this same relief to the inhabitants
of Florida. But Florida is one of your Territories, and be read; it was accordingly read, and was as
you are under obligations of protection more comprehen. follows:
sive to its inhabitants than those which bind you to the Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of People of the States. These receive and are entitled to the The United States of America in Congress assembled. That protection of their State Government, and you are bound the President of the United States be authorized to cause ra- to extend that species of protection to the inhabitants of tions to be delivered from the public stores to the unfortunate the Territories, besides the protection which the inhabitani: sufferers, who are unable to provide for themselves, and who of the several States are entitled to, as members of the great have been driven from their homes by Indian depredations, confederation. The precedent, therefore, ofthe resolution of in Alabama and Georgia, until they can be re-established in relief to the inhabitants of Florida, does not cover the case. their possessions, or so long as the President shall consider it We are reminded, however, that some twenty years or more necessary.
ago, the people of Caraccas were visited at once with a tremenMr. ADAMS, after observing that there was no appro- dous earthquake, with famine, and with the still more hea" priation annexed to the resolution, which, if there had been, vy misfortune of a civil war. The convulsions of nature the resolution must. by the Constitution of the United by earthquakes, the ravages of famine, and the raging pas
sions of man in the desolations of civil war, are as destruc States, have been made to assume the form of a bill, pro- tive to human life, and as calamitous to multitudes whor ceeded to address the chairman of the Committee of the they do not absolutely destroy as the tomahawk and th Whole on the State of the Union, in substance, as fol- scalping knife. But whatever may have been the motives i
the justifying authority of Congress, more than twenty yea: lows:
ago, for appropriating any portion of the public moneys i Mr. Chairman: There is no appropriation annexed to the relief of the inhabitants of Caraccas, it could not a this resolution. We are called to vote upon it without tablish the principle that Congress have the constitutiona knowing how deep it will dive into the public purse. We power to appropriate money for the relief of all human suf have no estimate from any Executive Department; no fering, whether by earthquake, famine, civil war, or India?, statement of the numbers of the distressed and unfortunate ferocity. And the gentleman from Alabama himself, whi persons whom we are called upon to relieve, not with our so ardently urges the adoption of this resolution, tells you own moneys, but with the moneys of our constituents. By that he should have voted against that measure of relief to an exception to the ordinary rules of the House, especially the wretched sufferers in Caraccas, Mere commiseration, established to guard the public Treasury against the dan-· though one of the most amiable impulses of our nature, ger of rash and inconsiderate expenditures, we are to drive gives us no power to drain the Treasury of the People for this resolution through all its stages in a single day. And the relief of the suffering object. You must, therefore, it is, I believe, the first example of a system of gratuitous seek another, an additional source of power, for authority donations to our own countrymen, infinitely more formidable to pass this resolution; and where will you, where can you.
consequences as a prece edent, than from any thing ap- finil it but in the war power, and its limitation, not its eli pearing upon its face. I shall, nevertheless, vote for it. largement, in that very declaration of the transcender But answerable to niy constituents, as I am in this as in purposes for which the People of the United States ordain all other cases for voting away their money, I seek for a ed their Constitution-the common defence and generar principle which may justify me, to their judgment and my welfare. Step one hair's breadth out of the circle bounding own, in this lavish disposal of the public funds.
the true intent and meaning of these words, and you have It is but one, sir, of a class of legislative enactments now no more authority to pass this resolution, than you have, b! upon the pages of our statute book, introduced first, I be- an act of Congress, to saddle the People of the Unitei lieve during the present session of Congress; but with States with the insupportable burden of the whole systen which we are already becoming familiar, and which I of the poor laws of England. greatly fear will, ere long, grow voluminous. I shall take Sir, in the authority given to Congress by the Constit the liberty to denominate them the scalping knife and tion of the United States to declare war, all the powers i tomahawk laws. They are all urged through by the ter- cidental to war are, by necessary implication, conferred ror of those instruments of death, under the most affecting on the Government of the United States. Now, the po and pathetic appeals from the constituents of the sufferers, ers incidental to war, are derived, not from the intern to all the tender and benevolent sympathies of our nature, municipal sources. but from the laws and usages of natior. It is impossible for me to withhold from those appeals a In your relations with the Indian tribes, you never decla responsive and yielding voice. I have voted for all those war, though you do make and break treaties with theu bills devoting million after million from the public chest, whenever either to make or to break treaties with their for the relief and defence of these the suffering fellow-citi- happens to suit the purposes of the President and a majori zens of my constituents. I will vote for this resolution. ty of both Houses of Congress. For, in this matter, you I will vote again and again for drafts from the Treasury have set aside the judiciary department of the Government for the same purpose, should they become necessary, till the as effectually as if there were none such in the Constitu Treasury itself shall be drained; but, for so doing, I must tion. seek for a principle which may be satisfactory, first, to my T here are, then, Mr. Chairman, in the authority of Conown mind, and secondly, to my constituents.
gress and of the Executive two classes of powers, altogeAnd here, sir, the gentlemen who call upon us for these ther different in their nature, and often incompatible with bountiful contributions from the public treasure, are com- each other the war power and the peace power. Th: pelled to resort to that common defence and general welfare peace power is limited by regulations, and restricted by pro declared by the Constitution of the United States to be visions, prescribed within the Constitution itself. The wa among the purposes for which the Constitution itself was power is limited only by the laws and usages of nation
the power is tremendous: it is strictly constitutional, but ter, which may warrant him to arrest me in my argument, at breaks down every barrier so anxiously erected for the because I say that the reason for which I shall vote for the protection of liberty, of property, and of life. This, sir, is resolution now before the committee, levying a heavy conthe power which authorizes you to pass the resolution now tribution upon the property of my constituents, is identibefore you, and, in my opinion, there is no other. .cally the same with the reason for which I voted against
And this, sir, is the reason which I was not permitted the resolution reported by the slavery committee, that Conto give this morning for voting with only eight associates gress has no authority to interfere, in any way, with slaveagainst the first resolution reported by the committee on ry in any of the States of this Union? Sir, I was not al· he abolition petitions ; not one word of discussion had lowed to give my reasons for that. vote, and a majority of vsen permitted on either of those résolutions. When call- my constituents, perhaps proportionably as large as that of od to vote upon the first of them, I asked only five minutes this House, in favor of that resolution, may, and probably of the time of the House to prove that it was utterly un- will, disapprove of my vote against it, unless my reasons founded. It was not the pleasure of the House to grant for so voting should be explained to them. I asked but five me those five minutes. Sir, I must say that, in all the pro- minutes of the House to give those reasons, and was receedings of the House upon that report, from the previous fused. I shall, therefore, take the liberty to give them now, question, moved and inflexibly persisted in by a member as they are strictly applicable to the measure now before of the committee itself which reported the resolutions, (Mr. the committee, and are my only justification for voting in Owens, of Georgia, ) to'the refusal of the Speaker, sustained favor of this resolution.] by the majority of the House, to permit the other gentleman I return, then, to my first position, that there are two from Georgia, (Mr. GLASCOCK,) to record upon the journal classes of powers vested by the Constitution of the United his reasons for asking to be excused from voting on that States in their Congress and Executive Government: the same resolution, the freedom of debate has been stifled powers to be exercised in time of peace, and the powers in this House to a degree far beyond any thing that ever has incidental to war.. That the powers of peace are limited happened since the existence of the Constitution of the by provisions within the body of the Constitution itself; United States; nor is it a consolatory reflection to me how but that the powers of war are limited and regulated only intensely we have been made to feel, in the process of that by the laws and usages of nations. There are, indeed, operation, that the Speaker of this House is a staveholder. powers of peace conferred upon Congress which also come And, sir, ås I was not then permitted to assign my reasons within the scope and jurisdiction of the laws of nations, for voting against that resolution before I gave the vote, I such as the negotiation of treaties of amity and commerce, rejoice that the reason for which I shall vote for the reso- the interchange of public ministers and consuls, and all lution now before the committee is identically the same the personal and social intercourse between the individual with that for which I voted against that. :
inhabitants of the United States and foreign nations, and [Mr. ADAMS at this, and at many other passages of this the Indian tribes, which require the interposition of any peech, was interrupted by calls to order. The chairman law. But the powers of war are all regulated by the laws f the committee, (Mr. A. H. SHEPPER), of North Caroli- of nations, and are subject to no other limitation. It is by la,) in every instance decided that he was not out of order, this power that I am justified in voting the money' of my ut at this passage intimated that he was approaching very constituents for the immediate relief of their fellow-citizens fose upon its borders; upon which Mr. ADAMS said, Then suffering with extreme necessity even for subsistence, by I am to understand, sir, that I am yet within the bounds of the direct consequence of an Indian war. Upon the same order, but that I may transcend them hereafter.
principle, your consuls in foreign ports are authorized to Mr. Chairman, I claim the privilege of speech accorded provide for the subsistence of seamen in distress, and even to every other member of this House. I will not advert to for their passage to their own country. .. the latitude in which that privilege has been, throughout And it was upon that same principle that I voted against this session, enjoyed in Committee of the Whole by every the resolution reported by the slavery committee, “that member of the House who has chosen to exercise it. I Congress possess no constitutional authority to interfere, will appeal only to what happened no longer ago than the in any way, with the institution of slavery in any of the sitting of yesterday and of this morning, when, at the hour States of this Confederacy, to which resolution most of of one, the Speaker adjourned the House, not in the usual those with whom I usually concur, and even my own colform of ten o'clock to-morrow morning, but to ten o'clock leagues in this House, gave their assent. I do not admit of Wednesday morning, that is, of this day. Is it not with that there is, even among the peace powers of Congress,
to recollection of every one who hears me, that two gen- such authority; but in war there are many ways by lemen, both distinguished members of the House, from the which Congress not only have the authority, but are bound State of Maryland, from the hour of seven to that of ten, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States. or little short of that time, last evening, entertained and in- The existing law prohibiting the importation of slaves into structed the Committee of the Whole House with a con- the United States from foreign countries, is itself an intertroversial disquisition upon the Constitution of the State of ference with the institution of slavery in the States. It Maryland, and upon the very important question whether was so considered by the founders of the Constitution of he voice of the Legislature of that State was or was not the United States, in which it was stipulated that Congress an exponent of the popular will ? Is it not remembered should not interfere, in that way, with the institution, prior hat this disquisition was held in the form of a dialogue so to the year 1808. limated, that the retort courteous, the quip, modest, the During the late war with Great Britain, the military and unter-check quarrelsome, and almost the lie circumstan- naval commanders of that nation issued proclamations inil, passed between those gentlemen, without interruption viting the slaves to repair to their standards, with promises om the chairman, and without call to order, till at last an of freedom and of settlement in some of the British colonial invrable member from Tennessee proposed that the diffe- establishments. This, surely, was an interference with ince between the two members should be settled by arbi- the institution of slavery in the States. By the treaty of ration? And what was the question before the commit peace, Great Britain stipulated to evacuate all the forts and ee, sir, upon which this spirited and eloquent conference places in the United States, without carrying away any vas held? Was it upon an appropriation of seven hun- slaves. If the Government of the United States had no Ired thousand dollars for arming the fortifications of the authority to interfere, in any way, with the institution of United States ? or upon an amendment to that proposal, by slavery in the States, they would not have had the authora reduction of the salaries of all your principal executive ity to require this stipulation. It is well known that this. officers, and of the compensation of members of Congress? engagement was not fulfilled by the British naval and miliSir, it was upon one of these two propositions, so exceed- tary commanders; that, on the contrary, they did carry ingly relevant to each other, that the colloquy between the away all the slaves whom they had induced to join them, Wo gentlemen from Maryland, upon the Constitution, Le- and that the British Government inflexibly refused to rea gislature, and People of that highly respectable State, was store any of them to their masters; that a claim of indemnity: held, for hours, without interruption or call to order. And was consequently instituted in behalf of the owners of the now, sir, am I to be disconcerted and silenced, or admon- slaves, and was successfully maintained. All that series I kv the Chair that-Iam approaching to irrelevant mat- of transactions was an interference by Congress with the
institution of slavery in the States in one wayếin the way the component parts of your own Southern population, be of protection and support. It was by the institution of tween your Anglo-Saxon, Norman French, and Moorisi slavery alone that the restitution of slaves enticed by proc- Spanish inhabitants of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, lamations into the British service could be claimed as pro- and Missouri? between them all and the Indian savage, perty. But for the institution of slavery, the British com- the original possessor of the land from which you are manders could neither have allured them to their standard, scourging him already back to the foot of the Rocky Moun: nor restored them otherwise than as liberated prisoners of tains ? What between them all and the native American war. But for the institution of slavery, there could have negro, of African origin, whom they are holding in cruel been no stipulation that they should not be carried away bondage ? Are these elements of harmony, concord, and as property, nor any claim of indemnity for the violation of patriotism between the component parts of a nation startthat engagement.
ing upon a crusade of conquest ? And what are the feelBut the war power of Congress over the institution of ings of all this motley compound of your Southern popu slavery in the States is yet far more extensive. Suppose lation towards the compound equally heterogeneous of the the case of a servile war, complicated, as to some extent it Mexican population? Do not you, an Anglo-Saxon, slave. is even now with an Indian war; suppose Congress were holding exterminator of Indians, from the bottom of your called to raise armies, to supply money from the whole soul, hate the Mexican-Spaniard-Indian, emancipator of Union to suppress a servile insurrection : would they have slaves and abolisher of slavery? And do you think that no authority to interfere with the institution of slavery? your hatred is not with equal cordiality returned ? Go to The issue of a servile war may be disastrous. By war the the city of Mexico, ask any of your fellow-citizens who slave may emancipate himself; it may become necessary have been there for the last three or four years, whether they for the master to recognise his emancipation by a treaty of scarcely dare show their faces, as Anglo-Americans, in the peace; can it for an instant be pretended that Congress, in streets. Be assured, sir, that, however heartily you detest such a contingency; would have no authority to interfere the Mexican, his bosom burns with an equally deep-seated with the institution of slavery, in any way, in the States? detestation of you. Why, it would be equivalent to saying that Congress have . And this is the nation with which, at the instigation of no constitutional authority to make peace.
your Executive Government, you are now rushing into I suppose a more portentous case, certainly within the war-into a war of conquest; commenced by aggression on bounds of possibility--- I would to God I could say not with your part, and for the re-establishment of slavery, where in the bounds of probability. You have been, if you are it has been abolished, throughout the Mexican Republic. not now, at the very point of a war with Mexicoma war, For your war will be with Mexico-with a Republic of I am sorry to say, so far as public rumor may be credited, twenty-four States, and a population of eight or nine milstimulated by provocations on our part from the very com- lions of souls. It seems to be considered that this victory mencement of this Administration down to the recent au- over twelve hundred men, with the capture of their comthority given to General Gaines to invade the Mexican ter- mander, the President of the Mexican Republic, has alritory. It is said that one of the earliest acts of this Ad- ready achieved the conquest of the whole Republic. That ministration was a proposal, made at a time when there was it may have achieved the independence of Texas, is not already much ill-humor in Mexico against the United impossible. But Texas is to the Mexican Republic not States, that she should cede to the United States a very more nor so much as the State of Michigan is to yours. large pertion of her territory-large enough to constitute That State of Michigan, the People of which are in vain mine States equal in extent to Kentucky. It must be con- claiming of you the performance of that sacred promise you fessed that a device better calculated to produce jealousy, made them, of admitting her as a State into the Union ; suspicion, ill-will, and hatred, could not have been contriv- that State of Michigan, which has greater grievances and ed. It is further affirmed that this overture, offensive in heavier wrongs to allege against you for a declaration of itself, was made precisely at the time when a swarm of her independence, if she were disposed to declare it, than colonists from these United States were covering the Mexi- the People of Texas have for breaking off their union withi can border with land-jobbing, and with slaves, introduced the Republic of Mexico. Texas is an extreme boundary in defiance of the Mexican laws, by which slavery had portion of the Republic of Mexico; a wilderness inhabited
raging in Texas is a Mexican civil war, and a war for the Mexico from Spain; not sufficiently populous at the orre-establishment of slavery where it was abolished. It is ganization of the Mexican Confederacy to form a State bv not a servise Will, but a war between slavery and emanci- itself; and therefore united with Coahuila, where the greatpation, and every possible effort has been made to drive us est part of the indigenous part of the population reside. Sir, into the war, on the side of slavery.
the history of all the emancipated Spanish American coloIt is, indeed, a circumstance eminently fortunate for us nies has been, ever since their separation from Spain, a that this monster, Santa Ana, has been defeated and tak- history of convulsionary wars; of revolutions, accomplishen, though I cannot participate in that exquisite joy with ed by single, and often very insignificant battles; of chief which we have been told that every one having Anglo- tains, whose title to power has been the murder of their Saxon blood in his veins must have been delighted on immédiate predecessors. They have all partaken of the hearing that this ruffian has been shot, in cold blood, when character of the first conquest of Mexico by Cortez, and of a prisoner of war, by the Anglo-Saxon leader of the victo- Peru by Pizarro; and this, sir, makes me shudder at the rious Texian army. Sir, I hope there is no member of this thought of connecting our destinies indissolubly with theirs House, of other than Anglo-Saxon origin, who will deem ft may be that a new revolution in Mexico will follow up it uncourteous that I, being myself in part Anglo-Saxon, on this captivity or death of their President and command must, of course, hold that for the best blood that ever cir- ing general; we have rumors, indeed, that such a revoluculated in human veins. Oh! yes, sir! far be it from me to tion had happened even before his defeat; but I cannot yet see depreciate the glories of the Anglo-Saxon race; although my way clear to the conclusion that either the indepenthere have been times when they bowed their necks dence of Texas, or the capture and military executivit oi and submitted to the law of conquest, beneath the ascen- Santa Ana, will save you from war with Mexico. Santa dency of the Norman race. But, sir, it has struck Ana was but one of a breed of which Spanish America for me as no inconsiderable evidence of the spirit which is the last twenty-five years has been a teeming mother---90%. spurring us into this war of aggression, of conquest, and of diers of fortune, who, by the sword or the musket ball, have slave-making, that all the fires of ancient, hereditary na- risen to supreme power, and by the sword or the muskei tional hatred are to be kindled, to familiarize us with the ball have fallen from it. That breed is not extinct; the ferocious spirit of rejoicing at the massacre of prisoners in very last intelligence from Peru tells of one who has fallen cold blood. Sir, is there not yet hatred enough between there as Yturbide, and Mina, and Guerrero, and Santa the races which compose your Southern population and Ana have fallen in Mexico. The same soil which prothe population of Mexico, their next neighbor, but you duced them is yet fertile to produce others. They repromust go back eight hundred or a thousand years, and to duce themselves, with nothing but a change of the name another hemisphere, for the fountains of bitterness between and of the man. Your war, sir, is to be a war of races--the you and them? What is the temper of feeling between Anglo-Saxon American pitted against the Moorish-Spanish:
Mexican American ; a war between the Northern and by the irrisistible, overwhelming torrent of public opinion, Southern halves of North America; from Passamaquoddy Great Britain has recently, at a cost of one hundred milto Panama. Are you prepared for such a war?
lions of dollars, which her People have joyfully paid, abol. And again I ask, what will be your cause in such a war? ished slavery throughout all her colonies in the West Ins Aggression, conquest, and the re-establishment of slavery dies. After setting such an example, she will not-it is imwhere it has been abolished. In that war, sir, the banners possible that she should-stand by and witness a war for of freedom will be the banners of Mexico; and your ban- the re-establishment of slavery where it had been for years ners, I blush to speak the word, will be the banners of abolished, and situated thus in the immediate neighborhood slavery..
of her islands. She will tell you, that if you must have Sir, in considering these United States and the United Texas as a member of your Confederacy, it must be with Mexican States as mere masses of power coming to colli- out the taint or the trammels of slavery; and if you will sion against each other, I cannot doubt that Mexico will wage a war to handcuff and fetter your fellow-man, she be the greatest sufferer by the shock. The conquest of all will wage the war against you to break his chains. Sir; Mexico would seem to be no improbable result of the con- what a figure, in the eyes of mankind, would you make flict, especially if the war should extend no farther than in deadly conflict with Great Britain: she fighting the bata to the two mighty combatants. But will it be so confined ? tles of emancipation, and you the battles of slavery, she Mexico is clearly the weakest of the two Powers; but she the benefactress, and you the oppressor, of human kind! In is not the least prepared for action. She has the more l'e- such a war, the enthusiasm of emancipation, too, would cent experience of war. She has the greatest number of unite vast numbers of her People in aid of the national riveteran warriors; and although her highest chief has just valry, and all her natural jealousy against our aggrandizesuffered a fatal and ignominious defeat, yet that has hap- ment. No war was ever so popular in England as that pened often before to leaders of armies too confident of suc- war would be against slavery, the slave-trade, and the Ani cess and contemptuous of their enemy. Even now, Mexi- glo-Saxon descendant from her own loins. co is better prepared for a war of invasion upon you, than As tu tlie annexation of Texas to your Confederation, you are for a war of invasion upon her. There may be for what do you want it? Are you not large and unwieldy found a successor to Santa Ana, inflamed with the desire, enough already? Do not two millions of square miles not only of avenging his disaster, but what he and his na- cover surface enough for the insatiate rapacity of your land tion will consider your perfidious hostility. The national jobbers? I hope there are none of them within the sound of spirit may go with him. He may not only turn the tables my voice. Have you not Indians enough to expel from the upon the Texian conquerors, but drive them for refuge land oftheir fathers' sepulchres, and to exterminate? What; within your borders, and pursue them into the heart of in a prudential and military point of view, would be the adó your own territories. Are you in a condition to resist him? dition of Texas to your domain? It would be weakness, Is the success of your whole army, and all your veteran and not power. Is your southern and southwestern fron. generals, and all your militia-calls, and all your mutinous tier not sufficiently extensive? not sufficiently feeble ? not volunteers against a miserable band of five or six hundred sufficiently defenceless? Why are you adding regiment invisible Seminole Indians, in your late campaign, an ear- after regiment of dragoons to your standing army? Why nest of the energy and vigor with which you are ready to are you struggling, by direction and by indirection, to raise carry on that far otherwise formidable and complicated per saltum that army from less than six to more than twenty war ?--complicated, did I say? And how complicated ? thousand men? Your commanding General, now returna Your Seminole war is already spreading to the Creeks, and, ing from his excursion to Florida, openly recommends the in their march of desolation, they sweep along with them increase of your Army to that number. Sir, the extension your negro slaves, and put arms into their hands to make of your sea-coast frontier from the Sabine to the Rio Bravo common cause with them against you; and how far will it would add to your weakness tenfold; for it is now only spread, sir, should a Mexican invader, with the torch of weakness with reference to Mexico. It would then be liberty in his hand, and the standard of freedom floating over weakness with reference to Great Britain, to France, even his head, proclaiming emancipation to the slave and re- perhaps to Russia, to every naval European Power, whicis venge to the native Indian, as he goes, invade your soil ? might make a quarrel with us for the sake of setting a What will be the condition of your States of Louisiana, colony; but, above all, to Great Britain, She, by her naval of Mississippi, of Alabama, of Arkansas, of Missouri, and power, and by her American colonies, holds the keys of the of Georgia? Where will be your negroes? Where will gulf of Mexico. What would be the condition of your fronbe that combined and concentrated mass of Indian tribes, tier from the mouth of the Mississippi to that of the Rio del whom, by an inconceivable policy, you have expelled from Norte, in the event of a war with Great Britain? Sir, the their widely distant habitations, to embody them within a reasons of Mr. Monroe for accepting the Sabine as the small compass on the very borders of Mexico, as if on pur- boundary were three. First, he had no confidence in the pose to give that country a nation of natural allies in their strength of our claim as far the Rio Bravo; secondly, he hostilities against you ? Sir, you have a Mexican, an In- thought it would make our union so heavy that it would dian, and a negro war upon your hands, and you are plung- break into fragments by its own weight; thirdly, he thought ing yourself into it blindfold; you are talking about ac- it would protrude a long line of sea coast, which, in our first knowledging the independence of the Republic of Texas, war with Great Britain, she might take into her own posand you are thirsting to annex Texas, ay, and Coahuila, session, and which we should be able neither to defend nor and Tamaulipas, and Santa Fe, from the source to the to recover. At that time there was no question of slavery mouth of the Rio Bravo, to your already over-tistended or of abolition involved in the controversy. The country dominions. Five hundred thousand square miles of the belonged to Spain; it was a wilderness, and slavery was the territory of Mexico would not even now quench your established law of the land. There was then no project burning thirst for aggrandizement.
for carving out nine slave States, to hold eighteen seats in But will your foreign war for this be with Mexico alone? the other wing of this capitol, in the triangle between the No, sir. As the weaker party, Mexico, when the contest mouths and the sources of the Mississippi and Bravo rivers. shall have once begun, will look abroad, as well as among But what was our claim? Why it was that La Salle, havyour negroes and your Indians, for assistance. Neither ing discovered the mouth of the Mississippi, and France Great Britain nor France will suffer you to make such a having made a settlement at New Orleans, France had a conquest from Mexico; no, nor even to annex the inde- right to one-half the sea coast from the mouth of the Mispendent State of Texas to your Confederation, without sissippi to the next Spanish settlement, which was Vera their interposition. You will have an Anglo-Saxon inter- Cruz. The mouth of the Rio Bravo was about half way twined with a Mexican war to wage. Great Britain may from the Balize to Vera Cruz; and so as grantees, from have no serious objection to the independence of Texas, France of Louisiana, we claimed to the Rio del Norte, and may be willing enough to take her under her protec- though the Spanish settlement of Santa Fe was at the head tion, as a barrier both against Mexico and against you. of that river. * France, from whom we had received LouisiBut, as aggrandizement to you, she will not readily suffer ana, utterly disclaimed ever having even raised such a preic; and, above all, she will not suffer you to acquire it by tension. Still we made the best of the claim that we could, conquest and the re-establishment of slavery. Urged on and finally yielded it for the Floridas, and for the line of
the 420 degree of latitude from the source of the Arkansas curbed the spirit of conquest in Great Britain, and Franc river to the South sea. Such was our claim; and you may may have enough to do to govern her kingdom of Algiers judge how much confidence Mr. Monroe could have in its But Spain is again convulsed with a civil war for the suc validity. The great object and desire of the country then cession to her crown; she has irretrievably lost all her colo was to obtain the Floridas. It was Gen. Jackson's desire; nies on both continents of America. It is impossible that sh and in that conference with me to which I have heretofore should hold much longer a shadow of dominion over th alluded, and which it is said he does not recollect, he said to islands of Cuba and Porto Rico; nor can those islands, ii me that so long as the Florida rivers were not in our posses- their present condition, form independent nations, capabl sion, there could be no safety for our whole Southern country of protecting themselves. They must for ages remain a
But, sir, suppose you should annex Texas to these Unit- the mercy of Great Britain or of these United States, or o ed States; another year would not pass before you would both ; Great Britain is even now about to interfere in thi have to engage in a war for the conquest of the Island of war for the Spanish succession. If by the utter inbecilit Cuba. What is now the condition of that island? Still of the Mexican confederacy this revolt of Texas shoul under the nominal protection of Spain. And what is the con- lead immediately to its separation from that Republic, and dition of Spain herself? Consuming her own vitals in a civil its annexation to the United States, I believe it impossible war for the succession to the crown. Do you expect, that that Great Britain should look on while this operation in whatever may be the issue of that war, she can retain even the performing with indifference. She will see that it mus nominal possession of Cuba? After having lost all her con- shake her own whole colonial power on this continent, ir tinental colonies in North and South America, Cuba will the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Caribbean Seas, like ar stand in need of more efficient protection; and above all, earthquake; she will see, too, that it endangers her own the protection of a naval power. Suppose that naval power abolition of slavery in her own colonies. A war for the should be Great Britain. There is Cuba at your very door; restoration of slavery where it has been abolished, if; ? and if you spread yourself along a naked coast, from the cessful in Texas, must extend over all Mexico; and the Sabine to the Rio Bravo, what will be your relative position example will thrcaten her with imminent danger of a waj towards Great Britain, with not only Jamaica, but Cuba, of colors in her own islands. She will take possession 0. and Porto Rico in her hands, and abolition for the motto to Cuba and of Porto Rico, by cession froin Spain or by the her union cross of St. George and Saint Andrew ? Mr. batteries from her wooden walls; and if you ask her by what Chairman, do you think I am treading on fantastic grounds? authority she has done it, she will ask you, in return, by Let me tell you a piece of history, not far remote. Sir, what authority you have extended your sea coast from the many years have not passed away since an internal revo- Sabine to the Rio Bravo. She will ask you a question lution in Spain subjected that country and her king for a more perplexing, namely by what authority you, with short time to the momentary government of the Cortes. freedom, independence, and democracy upon your lips, are That revolution was followed by another, by which, under waging a war of extermination to forge new manacles and the auspices of a French army with the Duke d'Angouleme fetters, instead of those which are falling from the hands at their head, Ferdinand the Seventh was restored to à and feet of man. She will carry emancipation and abolidespotic throne ; Cuba had followed the fortunes of the tion with her in every fold of her flag; while your stars, as Cortes when they were crowned with victory, and when they increase in numbers, will be overcast with the murky the counter revolution came, the inhabitants of the island, vapors of oppression, and the only portion of your banners uncertain what was to be their destination, were for some visible to the eye will be the blood-stained stripes of the time in great perplexity what to do for themselves. Two task master. considerable parties arose in the island, one of which was Mr. Chairman, are you ready for all these war's ? A for placing it under the protection of Great Britain, and Mexican war ? a war with Great Britain, if not with another was for annexing it to the confederation of these France ? a general Indian war? a servile war? and, as an United States. By one of these parties I have reason to inevitable consequence of them all, a civil war? For it believe that overtures were made to the Government of inust ultimately terminate in a war of colors as well as of Great Britain. By the other I know that overtures were races. And do you imagine that while with your eyes made to the Government of the United States. And I fur- open you are wilfully kindling, and then closing your eyes ther know that secret, though irresponsible assurances and blindly rushing into them; do you imagine that wliile, were communicated to the then President of the United in the very nature of things, your own Southern and States, as coming from the French Government, that they Southwestern States must be the Flanders of these com. were secretly-informed that the British Government had plicated wars, the battle field upon which the last great condetermined to take possession of Cuba. Whether similar fict must be fought between slavery and emancipation ; do overtures were made to France herself, I do not undertake you imagine that your Congress will have no constitutional to say; but that Mr. George Canning, then the British authority to interfere with the institution of slavery in any Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, was under no incon- way in the States of this confederacy? Sir, they must and. siderable alarm, lest under the pupilage of the Duke d’An- will interfere with it-perhaps to sustain it by war ; pergouleme, Ferdinand the Seventh might commit to the com- haps to abolish it by treaties of peace; and they will not mander of a French naval squadron the custody of the Moro only possess the constitutional power so to interfere, but Castle, is a circumstance also well known to me. It hap- they will be bound in duty to do it by the express provisions pened that just about that time a French squadron of con- of the Constitution itself. From the instant that your siderable force was fitted out and received sailing orders for slaveholding States become the theatre of war, civil, serthe West Indies, without formal communication of the fact vile, or foreign, from that instant the war powers of Conto the British Government; and that as soon as it was cress extend to interference with the institution of slavery made known to him, he gave orders to the British Ambassa- in every way by which, it can be interfered with, from a dor at Paris to demand, in the most peremptory tone, what claim of indemnity for slaves taken or destroyed, to the ceswas the destination of that squadron, and a special and po- sion of the State burdened with slavery to a foreign power. sitive disclaimer that it was intended even to visit the Ha- Sir, it is by virtue of this same war power, as now vana; and this was made the occasion of mutual explana- brought into exercise by this Indian war in Florida, Alations, by which Great Britain, France, and the United bama, and Georgia, that I vote for the resolution before States, not by the formal solemnity of a treaty, but by the the committee. By virtue of this, I have already voted in implied engagement of mutual assurances of intention, gave the course of this session to increase your standing army pledges of honor to each other, that neither of them should by a second regiment of dragoons, to authorize your Presia. in the then condition of the island take it, or the Moro dent to accept the services of ten thousand volunteers, and Castle, as its citadel, from the possession of Spain. This to appropriate millions of the public money to suppres: engagement was on all sides faithfully performed; but, these Indian hostilitics-all for the common defence, all for without it, who doubts that from that day to this either of the general welfare. And if, on this occasion, I have the three Powers might have, taken the island and held it been compelled to avail myself of the opportunity to assign in undisputed possession ?
my reasons for voting against the first resolution reported At this time circumstances have changed--popular rev: by the slavery committee, it is because it was the pleasure olutions both in France and Great Britain have perhaps of the majority of the House this morning to refuse me