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MAY 23, 1836.)
[H. Or R.
(Here Mr. CAMBBELENG explained, and said that he suffering nature could bear it no longer. I forbear to meant the dutiable articles would not exceed that say more at present, for I may be misinformed, and I amount, but admitted that the importations would trust, for humanity, and for the honor of our Govern. amount to $150,000,000.]
ment, that I may be. But I will say, that whatever may Mr. Pickers resumed, and said he did not so understand or may not have been the treatment of the Indians, I the gentleman before. But if the gentleman admits that believe that many of those who have volunteered to de. our importations will equal $150,000,000, I am totally at fend your border have been, to say the least, treated a loss to perceive how he comes to the conclusion ihat with coldness and neglect. I do not stand here to com. our customs will then yield only $10,000,000. The sys. plain for them. What they have suffered and borne, tem is biennial in its reduction, and then only amounting to they have borne without a murmur, for the honor and ten per cent. Ifthe whole importations are $150,000,000, character of their State. But representing, as I do, pero unless the proportions vary entirely from what they haps as many of these spirited men as any other gentleman, have been heretofore, the dutiable articles must equal | Itake occasion to say that they volunteered their services, 66,000,000 of dollars, and this must yield a revenue not, as the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. ADAMS] of 17,000,000 of dollars, instead of $10,000,000. No, sneeringly says, because it was to them “fat business," but sir; with our increasing and wide-spreading popula. to defend your exposed frontiers, after this Government, tion, stretching itself over the exuberant valleys of the from neglect and injustice, had involved us in a cruel and Mississippi-the vast schemes of internal improvements merciless war of plunder and murder. These very men developing the resources of the interior-industry and who have so honorably sustained your stars and your enterprise, invigorating the remotest quarters of our stripes, were from amongst those whom your Govern. land-all, all, proclaim the increasing means of a great ment press here, and its pensioned bands, have denouncpeople, with corresponding wants and demands. Under ed for the last two years as traitors to their country. this prospect of things, I should be induced to think And what has been the fact? While they bave gone that in two years more our importations would reach forth to encounter hardship and exposure in vindication 170,000,000 of dollars, and that our customs would yield of your honor and your power, those who, some years $18,000,000. Your exports in cotton alone, for the year since, were so eager to exhibit their patriotism by vol. ending on the 1st of last October, sold for $73,000,000, unteering in a civil war of extermination to be waged and this year they will probably reach near $90,000,000. on their own brethren, have made no move in this reThis was the article which, in the plenitude of your wis. cent war to let off the exuberance of their spirit, but dom, you pronounced over-produced three years ago, bave kept back in that silence which belongs to their when we raised less than ten hundred thousand bags, servility. After all that our citizens have done in this and sold it for less than nine cents, and you declared unfortunale savage war, it ill becomes the officer you that production had then outrun demand. Last year placed there to command them, considering that he had we raised above 300,000 bags more, and sold it, note but recently come fresh from the fields of his triumph withstanding your over production, for sixteen cents. in mancuvring and strategy I say it little becomes No man can foretell the developments of this country him to cast a sneer over them as o volunteers," and not under a wise system of free trade. No man can foresee “ good troops." the immense increase of importations and exportations of But, sir, to return. The gentleman from New York, a free and unrestrained people, with the freshness of the (Mr. CAMBRELENO,) to exhaust the surplus, has put down virgin wilderness before them.
$10,000,000 for the war in which we will be involved The gentleman cannot make the surplus vanish by with Mexico on our Southwestern borders. figures. Even if all the reasonable expenditures that Mr. Chairman, to say the least of it, this declaration, bave been officially asked for be macle, we will have, coming from one who bears such a relation to this House on the 1st of January next, at least $46,000 000 of sur. and country as the gentleman does, was as imprudent plus in the Treasury, supposing the public lands to yield as any thing could well be. Every thing relating to the $17,000.000; and many put them as high as $25,000,000. affairs of Texas involves questions of the deepest and Goud faith and prudence demand that this should be de. most delicate interest, and it does not become us at posited, not in the corporations of the States, but in the present to say or do any thing that may lead to embar. Treasury of the separate States themselves, in propor. rassment. I trust there will be no war to which the gen. tion to their federal representation, they being respon. tleman alludes. Whatever may be the power or policy sible for the payment. This would give us the faith and of those Governments that are in their nature unlimited, credit of the states instead of the banks. But of this, I hold that, under our constitution, which we are sworn and of the gentleman's argument on the “ land bill," I to defend, with its limited trust powers conferred on us will say more on another occasion.
for the interest and benefit of this people, we have no The gentleman, in his calculations to reduce the sure right to go into a war except purely for self-defence. plus, has placed $7,000,000 to be appropriated for In. There are certain great moral obligations which should dian treaties, and in this I suppose he is correct. ever bind Governments as well as individuals, and which, also put down $5,000,000 for the Florida war. Mr. particularly under our peculiar institutions, should never Chairman, I will not say that this is too much, but I will be forgotten on any occasion, no matter how tempting. say that it is four times as much as it ought to have been. A war with Mexico, fur conquest, would lead to a con. I will here take occasion also to say that this is one of Aict with European Powers, the end of which it would the most disgraceful wars that has ever occurred-dis. not be casy to foretell. I have as much cause to feel graceful in its origin, and of no credit to those who sympathy as most gentlemen, for I had the companion have had the termination of the first campaign. I am of my boyhood - the friend of my maturer years-brave, rather induced to believe that the gentleman from Vire chivalrous, and daring to the highest degree, inhumanly ginia (Mr. WISE) has given us the true causes of this butchered in the fall of the Alamo. But I shall never war. It is not improbable that it was engendered by suffer the feelings and sympathies of my heart to prompt iniquitous authority given to agents and others, who, un. me, under impulse, to do any thing calculated to involve der the vile pretext of seizing fugitive slaves and pur. others in consequences the most serious, unless under a chasing others before the emigration of the lawless sava. case of clear justification. ges could take place, attempted in some instances to But, sir, whatever may have been the calculations of seize even the children of their chiefs for bondage and gentlemen, the recent glorious and triumphant victory sale, and then committed imposition and outrage until gained to the arms of Texas bas entirely dispelled them.
H. OF R.]
[Mar 23, 1836.
I deprecated debate heretofore, because I feared that it preservation? Is this Congress to do nothing that can might lead to consequences calculated to embarrass the bind those who are to come after us? Go back at once negotiating power of this Government. I frankly avow and tear up your declaration of independence itselfthat it is an object near and dear to my heart, to acquire scatter into a thousand pieces the parchment of your Texas for this Union. Sir, I desire this, not, as has been constitution, and substitute, in the place thereof, the said, to extend the boundaries of slavery, but for the shouts of a mob proclaiming their triumphs of to-day, purpose of extending the boundaries of liberty. Who or the power of a lawless multitude waving over a bloodis there so cold and heartless that he would desire to stained land the sceptre of anarchy tomorrow. No le. limit the confines of this great and growing republic? / gislation bind posterity! Where is faith? Where is If even all the nations of Christendom were anxious to honor? Where is public law? Where is public morality? adopt our constitution, and cover themselves under its Sir, this is a doctrine at war with peace, policy, and principles, is there a man here whose heart would not honor. It breaks down all that is venerable, virtuous, beat, and whose eye would not kindle with joy, at the and consecrated, in the institutions of civilization itself. anticipation of such an event? And who is there so nar. If this be the doctrine that the gentleman and the party row and contracted that would not extend our union and with which he is identified intend practically to enforce protection to those who are our neighbors, who speak in this country, I can tell him, that when he attempts it, our language-identified with us as they are in inter a bunlred thousand plumes will wave over a hundred est and in feeling-who went from our fire-sides and thousand lances, couched to vindicate all those sacred from our altars, who are our own brethren and relatives? rights which have been acquired under the plighted Who is there among us that would turn his hand upon
faith of this Government. the hardy enterprise of a brave and daring people? But, sir, the gentleman dropped another remark that
Yes, sir! they are ours by position; ours by all the struck me with peculiar force. He asserted that the sympathies of our nature, ours by all the bonds of in time would soon come when the Government should sell terest; ours by all the ties that can bind man to his fellow. the public lands to none but emigrants who were actual man. I desire their union, not because it would strengthen settlers. Where is the right under the constitution by the slaveholding States-1 scorn to place it upon any which this Government would attempt to exclude any such narrow grounds—but because I desire to nurture class of free citizens from purchases of the public dowith our fostering care a noble empire for the free, just main? Where is the right by which you shall claim to now quickening into life; because I desire that our ban. distribute it amongst a particular class? If it be intended ner may float aloft, and that the whole race of civilized by this to feed the appetite and minister to the desires man shall sleep in peace under its broad and benignant of that class who may have no peculiar ties or interests folds.
to bind them to the place of their nativity-if it be in. Mr. Chairman, I come now to examine some of the tended to catch that class who move through the land abstract doctrines which fell from the gentleman from from one end to the other, having no home, and feeling New York, (Mr. CAMBRELENG,) and which I heard with for no country—then it is vile agrarianism. Has it come profound astonishment. The gentleman, after speaking to this, that a man is to be excluded from the benefits of the triumphs of the democracy, proclaimed that he and privileges under this Government because, by in. hoped the time was soon coming when the people would dustry, economy, or enterprise, he should be so fortudeclare, in language not to be mistaken, "ihat no legis. nate as to accumulate property, or because he may hap. lation should bind posterity.” Sir, if this sentiment had pen to be associated with others who have! Are citizens been uttered only by the colleague of the gentleman on whose ties and interests may bind them to reside in one my extreme right, (Mr. Moore,] it would have excited State, to be excluded from holding a freehold in another? in me no attention, for I took that gentleman's wild dec. If this syslem of selling alone to a certain class be in. lamation to be better suited for the “loco foco" party tended by the gentleman as an equal division of the in the streets of New York than for the halls of legisla- public domain, then he should remember, that when the tion; but coming as it did from the chairman of the Roman people came to receive their distribution from “ Ways and Means," who from his years and experience the public granaries, they became prostituted and demay be supposed not to speak without reflection, it is a based. When their conquering generals came loaded doctrine which deserves the most serious attention of with the spoils of devastated provinces, and were ena. this country. I am aware that this doctrine claims for bled to deal out bread and bounties to this class or that its origin high authority-authority which in my opinion class, then, through bribery and corruption, they bought has been looked to with full as much reverence as it de. their way to power over the prostrate liberties of their serves. I am aware that it has recently been promul. | country: gated in an ingenious pamphlet from Ohio against all But the gentleman made another declaration, which I corporations, and that it is openly preached in the North. confess filled my heart with the most gloomy foreboern and middle sections of this Union, where in all prob- dings for the future. After speaking of the bloated state ability it will soon become the popular doctrine of the of things in the country at present, he concluded by deday.
claring that “the whole nation was now one common What, sir! no legislation bind posterity! Push this gambling house!” Considering the position he occudoctrine to its consequences, and where does it lead to? pies in this House, and the relation he bears to the domWhat becomes of your public faith? What becomes of inant party that now rules this confederacy-considering your national honor? Let it be known that those treaties that, from his residence, he must be intima'ely acquainted which bind you in your intercourse with the nations of with the secret springs of speculation and commerce--I the earth are to be disregarded and defied by the wbim, confess I heard this solemn declaration with no ordinary the interest, or the ambition, of the ascendant party of emotions. This nation one common gambling house! to-day, and we must then necessarily be excluded from And who made it so? Let those who hold thereins of Gove civilized society. No legislation bind posterity! What ernment answer this awful question. Mr. Chairman, next bore us in glory and in triumph through the war of our to the omnipotence and omnipresence of that superintend. Revolution, but that legislation which bound posterity to ing Providence that moves upon the affairs of the world, redeem the debt incurred to sustain your armies upon there is no power that exercises so great an influence the field of battle? What sustained us througb the sec. over the feelings, the sentiments, and the very nature of ond war of our independence, but the power to pledge man, as the Government that acts upon him, and those the resources of this nation for the great purposes of self. who administer its authority. Let an individual become
Mar 23, 1836.]
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abandoned and profligate, and the consequences of his binding upon him, by all the principles of sound morality, vice and iniquity are for the most part confined to him. as his pledged honor in private; and he who would wan. self, and those immediately around him. But let those tonly disregard the one would violate the other. Those who hold in their hands the destinies of a great people public men who notoriously set at defiance all the become corrupt and lawless—let them trample over the pledges that they have ever made, go very far to set an great fundamental painciples of the Government-lel example well calculated to produce looseness of morality them become ambitious and profligate--and the conse- and general profligacy, all tending to make the nation quences are felt in the remoiest circles of society; the a common “gambling-house," where falsehood and highest and the lowest come under this tremendous influ. | treachery hold a triumphant sway. ence. Look over the world and see its fairest portions, What has been the fact with reference to the first where civilization, art, and refinement, once held their pledge, to which I have alluded? More members of soft and mingled sway, now laid low in ruin and decay. Congress have been appointed to office than under any Go, walk by the broken columns of the Parthenon, or three administrations since the commencement of the stand on the grave of Miltiades--go and visit the lomb Government. And as to dismissals from office for politiof Virgil, or the villas of Tully—and why is it that you cal opinions, I have only to state the remarkable fact, hear no longer the voice of the orator, or see no more that in all the administrations of this Government up to the poet and the warrior? Is it because the uplifted hand the present, all the dismissals together amount to only of God has forever blighted those fairest portions of his seventy-four, while in this administration there have been creation? No, no; it comes from the iniquity of corrupt, upwards of nine hundred; and two hundred and thirty fallen, ambitious man. It is his usurping hand that has laid of them important officers. Is this the principle the these fair regions low, and made a degenerate, despond-gentleman (Mr. McKeon) would advocate? As to the ing, and broken-hearted people.
reform pledged in the inaugural, we have had it. This And, sir, when it is now announced that our “nation modern reform. has come over us, with all its blessings. is one common gambling-house,” let those who sit on True, there has been a change, but it has only been a the seats of power tremble for the future. They may change from those who were in office, to the vilest and pass through this world, and receive its applause; they most lawless crew that were ever raised up under the may proclaim in triumph that they have received the ap- dispensations of Providence to scourge a degenerate and probation of their country, and when the gnawings of a ungrateful people. Sycophancy and servility have taken guilty conscience shall be felt, they may pour upon it the place of all ihe heroic and manly virtues. The rooks, the sweet unction that rises from the huzzas of a passing together with obscene birds, have perched themselves mob; but when they shall have gone through these in the high places of the land, and we sit here beneath, scenes, and shall come to that last sad day when the se. surrounded daily with their filth and putrified corruption, crets and recesses of the human heart shall be laid open office-holders (now become miserable dependants) and before a tribunal that is never deceived and that never office-seekers infest every turn and corner; and let it be errs; when they rise before the searching eye of an known that any man has influence, from his being the avenging God, then let the question be asked, who made tool of those who have patronage to confer, and he is this nation one common gambling house; and, if I mistake overwhelmed with the bowing and cringing of these not, you will see them quake and tremble as did Baby slaves and beggars. Crowds of miserable hungry beings lon's corrupt and revelling crew when they beheld upon creep and crawl, in the darkness of midnight, through the wall the handwriting ihat announced their guilt and the hidden recesses and gloomy avenues that lead up to proclaimed their destiny.
the throne of royal favor. These creatures, generated Mr. Chairman, I propose to examine, who “made us as they are in despotism, are pervading the country and one common gambling-house.” Another gentleman from becoming more loathsome than the creeping lice or New York (Mr. McKeon] took this occasion to pass a “slimy frogs of Egypt" ever were in the days of God's eulogy upon the present administration. He also ex. judgments. This, sir, is the reform with which we are bibited the claims of the different candidates for the blessed. presidency, making all merely sectional, except one, who Mr. Chairman, we cannot shut our eyes to what we see stood upon broad and enlarged principles, that embraced passing around us. The Government is virlually changed, the whole Union—who stood pledged to carry out the and the people seem to be sinking into acquiescence. principles of the present administration. And this gen. The dismissal of the first cabinet, upon the notorious ileman, at the conclusion of his remarks, with quite as principles involved, was an open avowal that arbitrary much modesty as discretion, thought proper to read us a will should govern even in private circles. The war lecture on parties, deprecating all party topics, as not to waged upon all the constituted authorities of the landbe drawn into discussion on this great bill of so much upon the Supreme Court, upon the Senate, and even interest. Yes, sir, this Pharisaical party, who'arrogate at first upon this House, because they were favorable to to themselves all virtue, and thank God that they are not a recharter of the United States Bank, and then the ap. as other men, have the effrontery to call upon us to hold peals constantly made to the people as one aggregate our peace, while they stand pledged to carry out the mass-all, all, announced, in language not to be mistaken, principles of the present administration! Let us briefly that the constitutional republic of States was to be brolook back and see what are these principles.
ken down, and that a simple democracy of brutal num. One of the first avowals of principle was the indirect bers, with an elective and unlimited monarchy, was to be pledge made by the President in his famous letter to the raised over the ruins. Tennessee Legislature, in which he laid it down that no The President has habitually, through Aattery, apmember of Congress should be appointed to office du pealed to the passions and prejudices of all that is igno. ring his membership, and for two years afterwards. The ble and low in society, to sustain him in bis reckless next great pledge made in the canvass was that no man career upon the institutions of his counlry. In this he should be dismissed from office for opinion's sake. This has pursued the course of all those who have intended principle was indirectly avowed by the war made upon to usurp the liberties of ihe people. Cæsar, when he those who were supposed to have done so. Then came crossed the Rubicon, did it to bless the people and pre. the celebrated inaugural, in which reform! reform! stood serve the laws. He refused the crown that was urged out in bold relief in every line, The "Augean stables upon him, and then took royal power to please the peowere to be cleansed.” Now, I hold that the public ple. By what authority is it that the President makes pledges which a man makes before the world are as his appeals to the people, as contradistinguished from the
H. OF R.]
[Mar 23, 1836.
laws and constitution of his country? He was elected, that even the intelligent and educated are falling under not by a simple majority of the whole, but by majorities the delusions of the day; and if they be so blind, what from the States. Every principle in the constitution is must be expected from others who bask in power and against making this a simple majority Government. It live by deception? I hope there is no man now, who was made, and can alone be altered, by States. The can look back upon these two measures to which I have Stales are equal in one branch; and even the representa- alluded, and then see what he now knows to exist around tion in this House is differently modified fror different bim, without learning some impressive and solemn les. States. Change this state of this things, and convert it sons as to the downward career of the republic. into a simple unmixed democracy, and you immediately But to return. While triumphal arches were raised, raise one interest in society in deadly hostility against upon which was inscribed “the principles of the procanother, which must end, as all simple democracies lamation, the principles of New England”—while he have done, in a dictator or an elective but unlimited whose life had been an open war upon all law was remonarchy. To restrain the Executive interest in all ceiving in the halls of universities the Battering unction Governments, there must be created some independent of “doctor of the learned laws" poured upon his head-and antagonist interest in society, which shall be babit- what was the remarkable fact? 'He was then actually ually felt in the practical operation of the Government. penning the order for the lawless seizure of the whole You have wisely abolished the aristocracy of the old treasure of the nation. world; but unless we substitute for it, in the action of Considering the state of things, this was a sagacious ibis Government, the territorial interests of the States, and profound move, and those who planned it well to be felt in full effect through a co-ordinate branch, we understood the downward progress of events, and the have improved nothing on English liberty. The Exec recorded history of liberty, Usurpation upon usurpa. utive, without this check, necessarily becomes the tion had been perpetrated. The great principles of source of all honor and power, and absorbs all other the constitution had been subverted. This measure was interests.
absolutely necessary to sustain the power that had been Is this not the fact now? Is there a practical man acquired, and to transmit it to a successor. It diverted here who does not know that the Executive is at this public attention from what had been done. Despotism moment ibe controlling and unrestrained power of this and usurpation, in other countries, rely upon the sword confederacy? Is it not proclaimed with triumph that he and a standing army to sustain themselves; but, from the has a majority in both 'Houses? Where, then, is the nature of our institutions, they are compelled here to practical check?
rely upon leagued banks, money, office holders and I maintain, sir, that the Government, in fact, is office-seekers, bribery and corruption. Lawless power changed, has become absolute? Look at the history here relies upon deception and fraud, while elsewhere of the times, and doubt it if you can! Some two years it relies upon force. since the President issued a proclamation for the open I question very much whether, in this country, we purpose of bringing down civil war upon an independ- can ever have even the privilege of an appeal to revolu. ent State of this Union. This extraordinary document tion. Each State has its own peculiar local interests and declared that the States “ were not and never were at peculiar public opinion. This almost forbids all system any period sovereign and independent.” This assertion and concert of action; and he who is at the bead of was directly in the face of all bistory, for the declaration affairs must have little talent indeed, if, with his treof independence itself announced that these colonies mendous power and patronage, he is not able to play are, and of right ought to be, free and independent off one part of the community against the other. But States.” The second article of confederation declares there is another cause which I fear may prove fatal to that “each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and the prospects of liberiy. I very much doubt whether independence.” And yet, not withstanding this bare even a reform can ever take place. With our immense faced falsehood, what was the result? This instrument, system of credit, extending itself into all the ramifica. by which the sovereignty, pride, self-respect, and inde- tions of the community-with our seven hundred banks pendence of the States were cloven down by a single pressing down upon all the secret springs of society, and dash, was received amid hallelujahs; and the very States iransacting business upon calculations made for the that were disgraced by it, instead of calling up the future-I say I doubt whether, under this vast and comspirit of the entombed constitution, bowed down in sub- plicated sysstem, the various interests of which no man serviency, while the whole nation, by universal acclama can fathom, whether even reform can ever take place. tion, seemed to join in the modern apotheosis of its nom All those who may be directly or indirectly (and who is inal author. Is there any man now, who looks back not?) interested in this stupendous system would precoolly, that does not believe this to be the proclamation fer to acquiesce under a despotism rather than to run that changed the republic?
the bazard of a change from reform or revolution. And here let me refer to an instance, as illustrating Those who seized the moneyed resources of the nation the change of the times, and to show that the whole well knew the resistless power they were to wield, concountry, the high and the low, are sinking under delu trolling as it does, direcily and indirectly, at least one sion into the universal "bumbuggery” of the day. Last hundred millions of capital. Other people have lo subsummer I observed an account of a large meeting in the mit to the sword drawn over them by a conqueror, who refined, polished, and hospitable city of Boston, called may at least have the manliness of courage to command to attend the ceremony of presenting their distinguished some respect; but we have to submit to a mean and inand intellectual citizen with a silver cup, on which was famous despotism, sustained by a moneyed power, coninscribed the defender of the constitution.” Who sus: trolling, through bribery and corruption, all that is aban. tained the principles of the proclamation? who imbodied doned and profligate in society. No wonder that "the them in the “force bill?" who carried that measure whole nation is one common gambling-house." through, and placed it on the statute book, consecrating Let us now look to a more recent event, as distinctly the usurpation of all power in the hands of the Execu- marking this great change in our Government. And on tive? This “defender of the constitution.” And it is this point I will take the facts as stated with so much remarkable that he, in the very speech in which he re. spirit by the gallant gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. turned his thanks, declared that the constitution was vir. Wise,) and which I have never seen the slightest pretually changed, and that all power was now in the bands tence to deny. I allude to the last night of the last of the Executive. I refer to this scene merely to show I Congress, when scenes occurred of the deepest impor
Mar 23, 1836.)
[H. OF R.
tance to the liberties of this country. It was then that has the Vice President to his present position, except the President, with the first officer of bis cabinet, and that he is supposed to be the chosen favorite of him who the second officer of the Government, came into the has trampled over the liberties of his country? The dark recesses of this Capitol, and, through his vile min. gentleman from New York (Mr. McKeon) has declared ions and miserable tools, defeated a measure of vast im- him to be the only candidate who has claims upon the portance, before this House, for the notorious purpose of whole Union. waging a popular war upon the Senate. Cromwell
For the present I pass by an investigation into his went into the House of Commons, at tbe head of armed political principles, and shall only refer to one document, men, and ordered its dissolution. But here, sir, we have which speaks a language not to be mistaken, and de. a President who comes not like a soldier, but at the head | velops the feelings and the nature of the man—which of his servile courtiers and sycophants, and practically writes his history and his character more fully than all asserts his ascendency over both branches of our Legis- the volumes that can be composed by a flattering biog. lature by management and duplicity. Is this our inde- rapher. No man can read it without knowing its author. pendence under the constitution? Is this the check that It is a letter written from London, in answer to a comwe were designed to exercise by the provisions of that mittee in New York, who condoled with him for his noble instrument? Where is the spirit of our fore- rejection as minister to the court of St. James. I will fatbers? Better, far better for us to be “dogs, and bay read from it the following extract in relation to General the moon,” or “ toads, and feed on the vapor of a dun- Jackson: geon," than to hold our seats here only to disgrace the “In testimony to my public conduct, they are pleased memory of those who have gone before us. I know that
to speak with eulogium of me, as contributing, while in we are apt to become indifferent and callous under the the cabinet, to the success of the present administration. habitual contemplation of evils which seem almost to That signal success, I feel called upon to declare, is forbid a remedy. And it is from this that liberty is lost. pre-eminently due to the political sagacity, anwearying We sit here and see things which we have not the industry, and upright, straight-forward course, of our courage or manliness to resist.
present venerated chief. All the humble merit I can What is now passing before this country in the bistory claim is, that of having exerted myself to the utmost to of the day! An attempt is now openly being made to execute his patriotic and single-hearted views, and of expunge the constitution, and drag down the Senate in baving sacrificed all personal considerations to insure humble penitence before a master, for having dared to ex. their success, when threatened with extraneous embarpress an independent sentiment. If this succeeds, it will rassments. That my exertions were arduous, painful, be the consummation of our downfal.
and incessant, I may, without vanity, assert; whether Sir, I am aware that under certain circumstances an in my sacrifices have not been repaid with unmerited dedividual may desire that his crimes should be expunged traction and reproach, I leave to my countrymen to from tbe memory of man-lam aware that there are those determine. Still I shall ever regard my situation in that who would desire to convert the whole earth into one cabinet as one of the most fortunate events of my life; universal pandemonium, only that they might become placing, as it did, me in close and familiar relation with prominent from their very iniquity, and reign triumphant one who has well been described by Mr. Jefferson as from their very guilt. But I am totally at a loss to “possessing more of the Roman in his character than understand the feelings that could prompt any buman any man living,"and whose administration will be looked being to desire to see a whole body of men, intended to, in future times, as a golden era in our history. To by our ancestors to be exalted and independent, bow- have served under such a chief, at such a time, and to ing around the throne of a lawless and reckless man, have won his confidence and esteem, is a sufficient bearing in their hands the constitution to be burned, glory; and of that, thank God, my enemies cannot de. that the smoke thereof may rise to satiate bis vengeance prive me." and appease bis wrath. Sir, it is, it is the reign of Mr. Chairman, I am perfectly aware that many a man Cæsar, and we are cowards, dastards, slaves, if we might have uttered such sentiments without any extraorsubmit to this state of things, and shall deserve to have dinary degradation. If they had come from one who our children raise before us their little hands, and shake bad forever retired into private life, it would have been their manacles, saying, thou did it! thou did it!
of no great importance. if they had come from one who Mr. Chairman, I have said that this is the reign of was humble and lowly, and had received private favors Cæsar. Sir, I have read the history of the Roman from a benefactor, it would have attracted no attention. people to little advantage, if I am to be deceived at this But coming as they did from one who was artful and late day in what I see passing around me. We are now sagacious-who had fixed his eye on the first offices of where that people were when the empire was to be his country, with an ambition that has never varied--who divided between Anthony, Octavius, and Lepidus. Cæsar was gazing with eagerness for partisan support--I say, had folded his robes and perished under the dagger of sir, that under all the circumstances of the case, they are Brutus. And although we may have none at present base, vile, degraded, and degrading sentiments, which with the fine talents and acquirements of Anthony, yet no freeman ever conceived in his beart, and none but a we have many with bis private profligacy and abandoned flatterer ever uttered. If I am to have a leader, in the principles. As to Lepidus, I need only point to the name of all that is lofty and bonorable, let him be one gentleman from Kentucky, (Mr. R. M. Johnson;] but, who has the feelings, the independence, the heart, of a as he is a member of this House, I forbear to trace the if I am to follow, let it not be one who cringes parallel at present. The beardless Octavius had done before, and fawns upon, the hand of a master. Every nothing to identify himself with the glory and the honor feeling of my soul revolts with scorn and indignation at of his country, but he became prominent from the fact such sentiments. that he was supposed to inherit the sympathy that was But, sir, look around, and what is the glaring fact in then running so strong in favor of the fallen Cæsar. the history of the day? These sentiments have had their Wary, artful, and sagacious, he saw his position, and weight. Is not the whole patronage and power of this made the most of it.
Government, at this moment, wielded for the open pur. We too have a modern Octavius, who, winding his pose of rewarding their author? Is it to be disguised way under the robes of royal favor, proclaims himself ihat the Baltimore convention assembled to nominate a the true and anointed successor, pledged to carry out successor under the dictation of the President? Is there the principles of his master. What other earthly claim a man, who has sagacity to perceive consequences, that