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health, which renders it necessary to devote the greater part to grazing. In the winter it is covered with cattle and sheep, — not less perhaps than a million of both, — under the guardianship of shepherds and herdsmen. As the summer advances, the Campagna becomes too unhealthy to be inhabited, and the cattle are driven to the Sabine hills, and even to the mountains of the Abruzzi. When the harvest season arrives, the heat becomes almost intolerable; and multitudes of the laborers, who come down from the mountains to gather the harvest, perish from the fatal effects of the malaria. As soon as the grain is gathered, the Campagna becomes a desert until the summer heats are over. Neither men nor cattle are to be seen. The buffalo, who seem to be proof against the heavy pestilential vapors which the burning sun brings out from the humid earth, are almost the only inhabitants of the deserted plain from June to October.
With this imperfect agriculture, a complete monopoly is given to the rural proprietors by the corn-laws of the Papal States. When the price of flour on the Mediterranean is under $9, and on the Adriatic $8.25 per barrel, the introduction is prohibited. It is the same with wheat. When it is under about $1.40 the bushel on the Mediterranean, or $1.20 on the Adriatic, it is not allowed to be introduced. The operation of this system is to give the entire market to the Roman agriculturist, and, by excluding the cheaper breadstuffs of the Levant and the Austrian provinces on the eastern shore of the Adriatic, to compel the Roman people in some districts, and in times of scarcity, to eat dear bread.
Notwithstanding the depressed condition of the Papal States, there is no country capable of a more rich or varied production; and if the measures of reform now in progress shall be carried out, and the social as well as the political condition of the people be elevated by the abrogation of bad laws, I know no state of the same magnitude which may hope for a higher prosperity.
I have thus, Mr. President, presented some statistical details in respect to the condition of the Papal States, not with the expectation qjf influencing the vote of any Senator on this floor, but for the purpose of assigning the grounds on which I place my own. I am in favor of establishing diplomatic intercourse with Rome, first, with a view to friendly relations, — the object for which most missions are created; and second, with a view to commerce. I repeat, I do not regard the mission as political, unless that term be understood in its broadest sense; and in this view all missions are political. I consider it our sacred duty to keep aloof from the internal agitations of European states, and from the movements of their sovereigns and people. We must sympathize with every thing that is favorable to freedom; but we can do no more. Our rule of action is non-intervention in the political concerns of the eastern hemisphere, and by a rigid adherence to it we may with the more confidence insist on an application of the same principle by European states to the political concerns of the independent communities on this continent. I look, then, first to friendly relations with central Italy.
But I look chiefly to commerce. Depressed as the industry of Rome is, 1 think something may be done to extend our commercial relations and intercourse with her, and perhaps also with Tuscany, lying on her borders. Great Britain has an immense trade with the Mediterranean. She sends every year fifteen millions of dollars in value of her own products into Italy alone, and probably several millions more of foreign products, which she imports for reexportation. A portion of this lucrative trade legitimately should be ours; and I think we may obtain it, if we send a discreet and intelligent man to Italy.
I voted for a minister plenipotentiary, as proposed by the Senator from Missouri,1 supposing it would be followed, if his amendment had prevailed, by a proposition to abolish the post of charge d'affaires at Naples. The post of charge (Vaffaires at Turin I would not have touched, Sardinia is distant, and has distinct commercial interests. But we might have sent a minister with full powers to central and southern Italy, to reside a part of the time at Rome, and part of the time at Naples, — an arrangement not unprecedented in diplomatic intercourse with states bordering on each other. I thought, in opening diplomatic intercourse with Rome, it should be done in the mode most acceptable. A minister is accredited to the sovereign of the country to which he is sent, —a charge d'affaires to the secretary of foreign affairs, or the chief executive department. A minister would be on a footing with the diplomatic representatives of the states of Europe, at the Papal Court, — a charge will be inferior in grade and in influence. Rome and Naples are but one hundred and sixty miles apart. Four years ago, a railroad was in a course of construction from Naples to the Roman frontier. It was nearly finished to Capua. Gregory XVI., the predecessor of the present Pope, refused to charter railroad companies. He did not encourage foreign intercourse, social or commercial. Pius IX. is of a totally different temper. He is desirous of promoting in every way facilities for communication, foreign and domestic. He has chartered a company to construct a railway to Civita Vecchia; and another, as I understand, to meet the Neapolitan railroad at Terracina. In two years Rome and Naples will probably be but five hours apart. The arrangement suggested would, therefore, have been convenient as well as proper. But, as the proposition failed, I shall vote for a minister resident.
1 Mr. Benton.
Before I conclude, I wish to say a few words on the religious question. I have already said, I do not regard this, in any sense, as a religious mission; nor can I conceive that it can be properly so considered. Gentlemen have gone so far as to suppose that it will be repugnant to the Protestant feeling of the country. I cannot believe there is any just ground for such an apprehension. We send a diplomatic representative to the Emperor of China, who claims to be the sole vicegerent of the Supreme Being on earth. We have a minister at Constantinople, and three consuls, salaried officers, exercising diplomatic functions, in Africa,— two in the Barbary States, and one in the empire of Morocco; and the people of all these countries are either Turks, Moors, Arabs, Berbers, or Jews,— all utterly denying the authenticity of the Christian faith. And yet, when we propose to send a diplomatic representative to a temporal sovereign in Europe, it is objected that the Protestant feeling of the country may be wounded, because he is also the head of a most respectable and important branch of the Christian church. Sir, I cannot comprehend this feeling, and I am therefore disposed to doubt its existence. At all events I shall vote for the appropriation, and trust to my Protestant friends for a just appreciation of my motives.
Mr. Dix addressed the Senate as follows: —
Mr. President: The transactions out of which the claims provided for by the bill under consideration arose, were explained yesterday in the brief but very pertinent and lucid remarks of the honorable Senator from Michigan,1 as chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs, before which the testimony substantiating the case was taken. I hold in my hand the printed document containing this testimony, and before I sit down I will read some portions of it to the Seriate, though I may perhaps but present what is familiar to all.
I do not know that any explanation further than that which has already been given by the honorable Senator from Michigan is necessary to vindicate the propriety of passing the bill. The pecuniary obligations, for the discharge of which it provides, were contracted in goad faith, for the purpose of subduing the country and of expelling from it the military forces of Mexico. In the execution of these objects, the young and accomplished officer at the head of our troops, Colonel Fremont, exhibited a combination of energy, promptitude, sagacity, and prudence, which indicates the highest capacity for civil and military command; and, in connection with what he has done for the cause of science, it has given him a reputation at home and abroad of which men much older and more experienced than himself might well be proud. That the country will do justice
1 Mr. Cass.