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for those very manufactures. We furnished her with the necessaries of life, and in exchange, accepted her luxuries. How was our trade with France and Holland? Our exports to both these countries amounted to eighteen millions, our imports to twentyfive millions. Considering the superiority in trade with us which Great Britain enjoyed over her rival, would she have relinquished that superiority, would she have given up her profitable trade, for the single purpose of humbling that of her antagonist? Would she have hazarded the evils of a war with this country for this object? No, sir, she sees in our numberless ships, whose sails spread upon every sea; she perceives in our hundred and twenty thousand gallant tars, the seeds of a naval force, which in thirty years, will rival her on her own element. She therefore commences the odious system of impressment, of which no language can paint my indignant execration; she dares to attempt the subversion of the personal freedom of our mariners. She aims at depressing our commerce, which she foresees will induce our seamen to enter her service, will impair the means of cherishing our navy, of protecting and extending our commerce, and will at the same time raise her own power. Sir, we are told this government is not calculated to stand the shock of war; that gentlemen will lose their seats in this and the other House; that our benches will be filled by other men, who after we have carried on the war, will make for us an ignominious peace. I cannot believe that to retain their seats is the extent of the amor patriae of gentlemen in this House. Can we let our brave countrymen, a Daviess and his associates in arms, perish in manfully fighting our battles, while we meanly cling to our places? But I cannot persuade myself that the nation will be ungrateful. I am convinced that when they know that their government has been strictly impartial towards the belligerents—for surely no gentleman in this House can be so base 8.8 to ascribe partiality or other improper motives to us—when they perceive the sincere and persevering exertions of their government to preserve peace; they will continue to adhere to it, even in an unsuccessful war to defend their rights, to assert their honor, the dignity and independence of the country. But my ideas of duty are such, that when my rights are invaded, I must advance to their defence, let what may be the consequence; even if death itself were to be my certain fate. I must apologize for having trespassed so long upon the patience of the Committee. I trust that I have fully established these three positions: that the quantum of the force proposed by the bill is not too great —that its nature is such as the contemplated war calls for; and that the object of the war is justified by every consideration of justice, of interest, of honor, and love of country. Unless the object is attained by peaceful means, I hope that war will be waged before the close of the session.

HENRY CLAY

SPEECH ON THE CHARGE OF CORRUPTION DELIVERED AT LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, JULY 12, 1827

Mr. Clay visited Kentucky in 1827, while Secretary of State under Mr. Adams, and was received by large gatherings of his former constituents and fellowcitizens, who insisted on meeting him around the festive board. At Paris, Bourbon County, in Woodford County, and at Lexington, he met and addressed large assemblages of the people. At the latter place, the following toast was given:

“Our distinguished guest, Henry Clay—The furnace of persecution may be heated seven times hotter and seventy times more he will come out unscathed by the fire of malignity, brighter to all and dearer ‘to his friends; while his enemies shall sink with the dross of their own vile materials.”

Mr. Clay, after the above toast had been drunk, addressed the company as follows:

MR. PRESIDENT, FRIENDS AND FELLowCITIZENS:

I beg permission to offer my hearty thanks, and to make my respectful acknowledgments, for the affectionate reception which has been given me during my present visit to my old Congressional District, and for this hospitable and honorable testi

mony of your esteem and confidence. And I thank you especially for the friendly sentiments and feelings expressed in the toast which you have just done me the honor to drink. I always had the happiness of knowing that I enjoyed, in a high degree, the attachment of that portion of my fellow-citizens whom I formerly represented; but I should never have been sensible of the strength and ardor of their affection, except for the extraordinary character of the times. For near two years and a half I have been assailed with a rancor and bitterness which have few examples. I have found myself the particular object of concerted and concentrated abuse; and others, thrusting themselves between you and me, have dared to arraign me for treachery to your interests. But my former constituents, unaffected by the calumnies which have been so perseveringly circulated to my prejudice, have stood by me with a generous confidence and a noble magnanimity. The measure of their regard and confidence has risen with, and even surpassed, that of the malevolence, great as it is, of

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