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lingering glance, rather, behold the gorgeous Ensign of the Republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original lustre, not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured, — bearing, for its motto, no such miserable interrogatory as — What is all this worth? - nor those other words of delusion and folly -- Liberty first and Union afterwards, — but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole Heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart — Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable !
189. ON MR. WEBSTER'S DEFENCE OF NEW ENGLAND, JAN. 21, 1830. — Hayne.
Robert Y. Hayne was born near Charleston, S. C., Nov. 10, 1791, and died Sept. 24, 1839. He attained great distinction at the bar, and received the highest honors in the gift of his natire State. He was fluent and graceful in speech, and was esteemed one of the most eloquent men of his time.
The honorable gentleman from Massachusetts, after deliberating a whole night upon his course, comes into this chamber to vindicate New England; and, instead of making up his issue with the gentleman from Missouri, on the charges which he had preferred, chooses to consider me as the author of those charges; and, losing sight entirely of that gentleman, selects me as his adversary, and pours out all the vials of his mighty wrath upon my devoted head. Nor is he willing to stop there.
He goes on to assail the institutions and policy of the South, and calls in question the principles and conduct of the State which I have the honor to represent. When I find a gentleman of mature age and experience, of acknowledged talents, and profound sagacity, pursuing a course like this, declining the contest offered from the West, and making war upon the unoffending South, I must believe — I am bound to believe - he has some object in view which he has not ventured to disclose. Mr. President, why is this? Has the gentleman discovered, in former controversies with the gentleman from Missouri, that he is over-matched by that Senator? And does he hope for an easy victory over a more feeble adversary? Has the gentleman's distempered fancy been disturbed by gloomy forebodings of “new alliances to be formed," at which he hinted ? Has the ghost of the murdered Coalition come back, like the ghost of Banquo, to “ sear the eye-balls of the gentleman,” and will it not “ down at his bidding”? Are dark visions of broken hopes, and honors lost forever, still floating before his heated imagination ? Sir, if it be his object to thrust me between the gentleman from Missouri and himself, in order to rescue the East from the contest it has provoked with the West, he shall not be gratified. Sir, I will not be dragged into the defence of my friend from Missouri. The South shall not be forced into a conflict not its own. The gentleman from Missouri is able to fight his own battles. The gallant West needs no aid from the South
to repel any attack which may be made on them from any quarter. Let the gentleman from Massachusetts controvert the facts and arguments of the gentleman from Missouri, if he can; and, if he win the victory, let him wear the honors. I shall not deprive him of his laurels.
190. THE SOUTH DURING THE REVOLUTION.— Hayne, 1830.
If there be one State in the Union, Mr. President (and I say it not in a boastful spirit), that may challenge comparisons with any other, for an uniform, zealous, ardent, and uncalculating devotion to the Union, that State is South Carolina. Sir, from the very commencement of the Revolution, up to this hour, there is no sacrifice, however great, she has not cheerfully made, – no service she has ever hesitated to perform. She has adhered to you in your prosperity; but in your adversity she has clung to you with more than filial affection. No matter what was the condition of her domestic affairs, – though deprived of her resources, divided by parties, or surrounded with difficulties, – the call of the country has been to her as the voice of God. Domestic discord ceased at the sound; every man became at once reconciled to his brethren, and the sons of Carolina were all seen crowding together to the temple, bringing their gifts to the altar of their common country.
What, Sir, was the conduct of the South during the Revolution 2 Sir, I honor New England for her conduct in that glorious struggle. But, great as is the praise which belongs to her, I think at least equal honor is due to the South. They espoused the quarrel of their brethren, with a generous zeal, which did not suffer them to stop to calculate their interest in the dispute. Favorites of the mother country, possessed of neither ships nor seamen to create a commercial rivalship, they might have found in their situation a guarantee that their trade would be forever fostered and protected by Great Britain. But, trampling on all considerations either of interest or of safety, they rushed into the conflict, and, fighting for principle, perilled all, in the sacred cause of freedom. Never was there exhibited, in the history of the world, higher examples of noble daring, dreadful suffering and heroic endurance, than by the Whigs of Carolina, during the Revolution. The whole State, from the mountains to the sea, was overrun by an overwhelming force of enemy. The fruits of industry perished on the spot where they were produced, or were consumed by * the foe. The “plains of Carolina” drank up the most precious blood of her citizens. Black and smoking ruins marked the places which, had been the habitations of her children: Driven from their homes, into the gloomy and almost impenetrable swamps, even there the spirit of liberty survived; and South Carolina, sustained by the example of her Sumpters and her Marions, proved, by her conduct, that, though her soil might be overrun, the spirit of her People was invincible.
191. THE SOUTH DURING THE WAR OF 1812. — Hayne, 1830. I COME now to the war of 1812, - a war which, I well remember, was called, in derision (while its event was doubtful), the Southern war, and sometimes the Carolina war; but which is now universally acknowledged to have done more for the honor and prosperity of the country than all other events in our history put together. What, Sir, were the objects of that war ? " Free trade and sailors' rights !” It was for the protection of Northern shipping, and New England seamen, that the country flew to arms. What interest had the South in that contest ? If they had sat down coldly to calculate the value of their interests involved in it, they would have found that they had everything to lose, and nothing to gain. But, Sir, with that generous devotion to country so characteristic of the South, they only asked if the rights of any portion of their fellow-citizens had been invaded ; and when told that Northern ships and New England seamen had been arrested on the common highway of Nations, they felt that the honor of their country was assailed ; and, acting on that exalted sentiment “ which feels a stain like a wound,” they resolved to seek, in open war, for a redress of those injuries which it did not become freemen to endure. Sir, the whole South, animated as by a common impulse, cordially united in declaring and promoting that war. South Carolina sent to your councils, as the advocates and supporters of that war, the noblest of her sons. How they fulfilled that trust, let a grateful country tell. Not a measure was adopted, not a battle fought, not a victory won, which contributed, in any degree, to the success of that war, to which Southern councils and Southern valor did not largely contribute. Sir, since South Carolina is assailed, I must be suffered to speak it to her praise, that, at the very moment when, in one quarter, we heard it solemnly proclaimed that it did not become a religious and moral People to rejoice at the victories of our Army or our Navy,” her Legislature unanimously
“ Resolved, That we will cordially support the Government in the vigorous prosecution of the war, until a peace can be obtained on honorable terms; and we will cheerfully submit to every privation that may be required of us, by our Government, for the accomplishment of this object.”
South Carolina redeemed that pledge. She threw open her Treasury to the Government. She put at the absolute disposal of the officers of the United States all that she possessed, - her men, her money, and her arms. She appropriated half a million of dollars, on her own account, in defence of her maritime frontier; ordered a brigade of State troops to be raised; and, when left to protect herself by her own means, never suffered the enemy to touch her soil, without being instantly driven off or captured. Such, Sir, was the conduct of the South — such the conduct of my own State — in that dark hour “which tried men's souls!”
192. DEFALCATION AND RETRENCHMENT, 1838.-S. S. Prentiss. B. 1810, d. 1850.
Since the avowal, Mr. Chairman, of that unprincipled and barbarian motto, that “ to the victors belong the spoils," office, which was intended for the service and benefit of the People, has become but the plunder of party. Patronage is waved like a huge magnet over the land; and demagogues, like iron-filings, attracted by a law of their nature, gather and cluster around its poles. Never yet lived the demagogue who would not take office. The whole frame of our Gorernment all the institutions of the country are thus prostituted to the uses of party. Office is conferred as the reward of partisan service; and what is the consequence? The incumbents, being taught that all moneys in their possession belong, not to the People, but to the party, it requires but small exertion of casuistry to bring them to the conclusion that they have a right to retain what they may conceive to be the value of their political services, — just as a lawyer holds back his commissions.
Sir, I have given you but three or four cases of defalcations. Would time permit, I could give you a hundred. Like the fair Sultana of the Oriental legends, I could go on for a thousand and one nights; and even as in those Eastern stories, so in the chronicles of the office-holders, the tale would ever be of heaps of gold, massive ingots, uncounted riches. Why, Sir, Aladdin's wonderful lamp was nothing to it. They seem to possess the identical cap of Fortunatus. Some wish for fifty thousand dollars, some for a hundred thousand, and some for a million, - and behold, it lies in glittering heaps before them! Not even
“ The gorgeous East, with richest hand,
Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold” in such lavish abundance, as does this Administration upon its fol. lowers. Pizarro held not forth more dazzling lures to his robber band, when he led them to the conquest of the “ Children of the Sun.”
And now it is proposed to make up these losses through defaulters by retrenchment! And what do you suppose are to be the subjects of this new and sudden economy? What branches of the public service are to be lopped off, on account of the licentious rapacity of the office-holders ? I am too indignant to tell you. Look into the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, and you will find out. Well, Sir, what are they? Pensions, harbors, and light-houses! Yes, Sir; these are recommended as proper subjects for retrenchment. First of all, the scarred veterans of the Revolution are to be deprived of a portion of the scanty pittance doled out to them by the cold charity of the country. How many of them will you have to send forth as beggars on the very soil which they wrenched from the hand of tyranny, to make up the amount of even one of these splendid robberies? How many harbors will it take, - those improvements dedicated no less to humanity than to interest, those nests of commerce to which the canvas-winged birds of the occan flock for safety? How many light-houses will it
take? How many of those bright eyes of the ocean are to be put out ? How many of those faithful sentinels, who stand along our rocky coast, and, peering far out in the darkness, give timely warning to the bardy mariner where the lee-shore threatens, — how many of these, I ask, are to be discharged from their humane service? Why, the proposition is almost impious! I should as soon wish to put out the stars of Heaven! Sir, my blood boils at the cold-blooded atrocity with which the Administration proposes thus to sacrifice the very family jewels of the country, to pay for the consequences of its own profligacy!
193. AMERICAN LABORERS.-C. C. Naylor. THE Gentleman, Sir, has misconceived the spirit and tendency of Northern institutions. He is ignorant of Northern character. He has forgotten the history of his country. Preach insurrection to the Northern laborers! Who are the Northern laborers! The history of your country is their history. The renown of your country is their renown. The brightness of their doings is emblazoned on its every page. Blot from your annals the words and the doings of Northern laborers, and the history of your country presents but a universal blank. Sir, who was he that disarmed the Thunderer; wrested from his grasp the bolts of Jove; calmed the troubled ocean; became the central sun of the philosophical system of his age, shedding his brightness and effulgence on the whole, civilized world; whom the great and mighty of the earth delighted to honor; who participated in the achievement of your independence, prominently assisted in moulding your free institutions, and the beneficial effects of whose wisdom will be felt to the last moment of “recorded time"? Who, Sir, I ask, was he? A Northern laborer, a Yankee tallow-chandler's son,
a printer's runaway boy! And who, let me ask the honorable Gentleman, who was he that, in the days of our Revolution, led forth a Northern army,
yes, an army of Northern laborers, and aided the chivalry of South Carolina in their defence against British aggression, drove the spoilers from their firesides, and redeemed her fair fields from foreign invaders ? Who was he? A Northern laborer, a Rhode Island blacksmith, — the gallant General Greene, who left his hammer and his forge, and went forth conquering and to conquer in the battle for our independence! And will you preach insurrection to men like these ?
Sir, our country is full of the achievements of Northern laborers ! Where is Concord, and Lexington, and Princeton, and Trenton, and Saratoga, and Bunker Hill, but in the North? And what, Sir, has shed an imperishable renown on the never-dying names of those hallowed spots, but the blood and the struggles, the high daring, and patriotism, and sublime courage, of Northern laborers? The whole North is an everlasting monument of the freedom, virtue, intelligence, and indomitable independence, of Northern laborers! Go, Sir, go preach insurrection to men like these !