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Sir Stamford Raffles has been meritoriously, occupied in the task of exploring the interior of Sumatra, never before penetrated by Europeans, with the purpose of extending British influence over that large and valuable island. In three journies he entered the country in as many different directions; proceeding inland from Manua, in the South, he reached the provinces occupied by a people called the Passummahs;–from Bencoolen he crossed the island to Palembang, and in the north he penetrated to
Menancabon, the celebrated eapital of the Malay empire. The result has been the discovery of a magnificent country, highly cultivated, abounding in the precious metals, and thickly inhabited by a fine race of men, whose friendship appears to have been effectually conciliated. Sir Stamford Raffles was successful in forming treaties with many of the native princes, in virtue of which a new, and apparently rich field has been opened to British enterprise and British commerce.
CHAPTER THE government of the United States has been occupied during this year with several objects of deep interest, some of them connected with its foreign relations, others with its domestic polity. Soon after the return of the commissioner sent from the United States in the year 1818, to examine and report upon the situation of the new republics of South America, application was made by General don Leno de Clementi to be recognised as minister plenipotentiary from the republic of Venezuela: an official refusal to this demand was returned by authority of the president, on the ground, that the name of Clementi had been “ avowedly affixed to a paper drawn up within the United States, purporting to be a commission to a foreign officer for undertaking and executing an expedition in violation of the laws of the United States,” and also to another paper avowing that act and otherwise insulting to the government. Mr. Deforest who demanded to be recognised as consul general from Buenos
No RTH AMERICA.
Refusal of the United States to admit Consuls from the Republics of South America.-Negotiations with Spain respecting the Cession of Ilorida-Decision of Congress on the Seminole War.—Negro Conspiracy in Georgia.--Discussions on Slavery in Missouri.— Number of Slaves in the United States.—Commercial embarrassments-Address of the President on returning to Washington.— European Emigrants.—Qfficial Letter respecting them.
Ayres, also met with a repulse, because the United States could not receive him in that capacity without an acknowledgment of the independence of the government of which Puerreydon was the supreme director. Subsequently, the President laid before Congress a report by the secretary of state concerning persons desiring to be accredited as consuls on behalf of the independent governments of South America, in which it was admitted, that consuls were received by the government of the United States from acknowledged sovereign powers with whom they had no treaty —it was added however, on the authority of Vattel, that the appointment could not be carried fully into effect without recognising , the authority of the sovereign from whom it proceeded. In these facts, the determination of the United States to stand neutral in the great contest between Spain and her colonies till success shall decide it, may clearly be dis
cerned. The negotiations with Spain respecting respecting the cession of the Floridas met with numerous obstacles; Ferdinand VII was induced to refuse the ratification of the treaty already signed by his plenipotentiary, which it had been stipulated that he should give at latest in the month of August; but he at the same time declared his intention of sending to the United States a confidential mimister to explain the causes of this delay. The light in which the conduct of the king of Spain was regarded in the cabinet of Washington, and the measures proposed in consequence, will best appear from the message of the president to congress, printed as well as the treaty itself amongst our State Papers. The conduct of the war with the Seminole Indians by general Jackson, formed the subject of a long and able report from a select committee to the senate in congress [See State Papers] on which basis warm debates were carried on during a period of three weeks. In conclusion the whole question involving very momentous constitutional points, was decided favorably to the general whose military zeal had been declared by the committee to have overstepped the boundaries of law, of justice, and of humanity. The strength and perseverance of the minorities strikingly displayed itself however in each successive stage of the business. The question was taken on the resolution reported by the committee on military affairs, disapproving the proceedings in the trial and execution of Arbuthnot
and Ambrister, and decided in the negative. The amendment moved by Mr. Cobb to the resolution reported by the Committee of military affairs, having been modified, was . then rejected. The Committee rose and reported its decision. A motion was made to postpone indefinitely the further consideration of the whole subject; when, After some discussion, the previous question was required, and being taken, was decided in the affirmative; which precluded any other than a direct question on the proposition before the House. On the question, then, to concur in disagreeing to so much of the report as relates to the case of Arbuthnot, the vote was, byI. and nays– or concurrence in disagreeing to it, 108—Against it, 62. On the question to concur in disagreeing to so much of the report as relates to Ambrister— For concurrence in disagreement, 107—Against it, 63. A motion was then made by Mr. Cobb, that the House do come to the following resolution— Resolved, that the late seizure of the Spanish posts at Pensacola and St. Carlos de Barancas, in West Florida, by the army of the United States, was contrary to the constitution of the United States. A motion was made to postpone indefinitely the further consideration of the proposition, and decided in the negative—
For the postponement, 83; Against it, 87. The main question was then taken on Mr. Cobb's motion, and decided in the negative— , , For agreeing to it, 70; Against it, 100. The planters of Georgia had long been disquieted by those apprehensions of domestic treachery which the justice of Providence appears to have inseparably connected with the existence of domestic slavery; and in the month of May their vigilance led to the detection of a formidable conspiracy. It appeared that , a plan had been framed by the negroes of Augusta and the neighbouring plantations to set fire to the city and destroy the inhabitants; after which they designed to take possession of the shipping of Savannah and to it. the town, and ultimately to transport themselves to Florida or St. Domingo. After a patient investigation of the whole plot, several of the leaders were found guilty and put to death; one of the number is stated to have been actively engaged in the insurrection and massacre in St. Domingo during the year 1793. o political question has come homemore forcibly, orin agreater variety of forms, to the bosom of every citizen of America than that of the continuance of negro slavery in their free and mighty empire. By the inhabitants of the northern, or eastern states, this practice has long been regarded as the bane and opprobrium of their country; the importation of fresh slaves has already become illegal in nearly
the whole of them, and in many, slavery itself has ceased to exist, By the planters of the South and West, on the contrary, the privilege of cultivating the soil by the labor of slaves is still defended with all the pertinacity of avarice, and justified on the detestable plea of necessity. In Congress, the opponents of slavery had gained several victories; and unable to procure its universal and immediate abolition, they had at least succeeded to a considerable extent in settling limits to its duration; and they had hoped to put an effectual check to its establishment in the newlysettled states of the West. During the session of 1818, the state of Missouri was rejected as a member of the Union solely because its inhabitants opposed the insertion of a clause to preclude the further progress and continuance of slavery. On the other hand, the inhabitants of Missouri denied the right of the legislature to exercise any other control over the articles of a stateconstitution, than what should be necessary to preserve its republican character. A meeting on the subject was held in the month of May 1819, at the remote town of St. Louis, where it was voted, amongst other resolutions, that a second attempt on the part of Congress to oppose their o on such grounds, would be an attempt to expel the territory of Missouri from the federation of the States, and would compel them to exercise the right which is inherent in every province, of forming a constitution and state-government for themselves. This im
portant affair in which the interests of justice and humanity were threatened on one side, and the integrity of the North American union on the other, has subse
uently engaged the most serious j of Congress, but the result remains to be reported
in the history of the og
ear. In the meantime, the fosowing appalling statements respecting the magnitude of the evil of slavery in the United States, has been published in that country, from documents of unquestionable authority.
The whole number of slaves in all the States of the Union was, as appears by the census of each of the following years,
In 1790 In 1800 In 1810
The slave population from 1790 to 1800 increased 14-81 per centum; from 1800 to 1810, 35-84; and from 1790 to 1810, 70-75 per centum; and the ratio of increase, it will be observed, is augmenting, the first ten years being under 24 per centum, and the latter ten years upwards of 3% per centum per annum. The number of free persons in the United States, according to official returns, were, in
1790 ... 3,190,455 | 1800... 4,356,032 | 1810 ... 5,947,678
From these facts, principally extracted from “Scybert's Statistics,” it appears that in the year is 10, when the last census was taken, nearly 1-6th part of the whole population were slaves | They were at that time divided among the states as follows, viz.
108 || North Carolina ......... 168,824 Connecticut ..... - - - - - - e 310 | South Carolina ..... .... 196,365 New York ............... 15,017| Georgia .................. 105,218 New Jersey ............ 10,851 | Kentucky ............... - 80,561 Pennsylvania............ 795 | Tennessee ............... 44,535 Delaware ............... 4,177 | Louisiana ............... 34,660 Maryland ............... 111,502 Virginia.................. 392,518 Total ......... 1,165,441
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Ohio, are already fortunately exempted from the presence of this great moral and political evil. Pennsylvania and New York will likewise soon take their station in the same rank, having made the re
quisite legislative provision. The
increase in number, since the year
1810, is probably 300,000 more. The commercial embarrass
ment and distress so prevalent
in Europe, has reached Ame
rica also; a sudden and ruinous fall in the value of every species of