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ernment and the people are now the same; and I pray to God, that what has been frequently remarked, may not, in this case, be discovered to be true, that they, who have the name of the people the most often in their mouths, have their true interests the most seldom at their hearts.

The honorable gentleman from Virginia wandered to the very confines of the federal administration, in search of materials the most inflammable and most capable of kindling the passions of his party.

He represents the government as seizing the first moment which presented itself, to create a dependent monied interest, ever devoted to its views. What are we to understand by this remark of the gentleman ? Does he mean to say, that Congress did wrong in funding the public debt? Does he mean to say, that the price of our liberty and independence ought not to have been paid? Is he bold enough to denounce this measure as one of the federal victims marked for destruction ? Is it the design to tell us, that its day has not yet come, but is approaching; and that the funding system is to add to the pile of federal ruins ? Do I hear the gentleman say, we will reduce the army to a shadow, we will give the navy to the worms, the mint, which presented the people with the emblems of their liberty and of their sovereignty, we will abolish-the revenue shall depend upon the wind and waves, the judges shall be made our creatures, and the great work shall be crowned and consecrated by relieving the country from an odious and oppressive public debt? These steps, I presume, are to be taken in progression.

The gentleman will pause at each, and feel the public pulse. As the fever increases, he will proceed, and the moment of delirium will be seized to finish the great work of destruction.

The assumption of the state debts has been made an article of distinct crimination. It has been ascribed to the worst motives: to a design of increasing a dependent monied interest. Is it not well known, that those debts were part of the price of our revolutionthat they rose in the exigency of our affairs, from the efforts of the particular states, at times when the federal arm could not be extended to their relief? Each state was entitled to the protection of the union, the defence was a common burden, and every state had a right to expect, that the expenses attending its individual exertions in the general cause, would be reimbursed from the public purse. I shall be permitted further to add, that the United States, having absorbed the sources of state revenue, except direct taxation, which was required for the support of the state governments, the assumption of these debts was necessary to save some of the states from bankruptcy.

The internal taxes are made one of the crimes of the federal administration. They were imposed, says the gentleman, to create a host of dependants on executive favor. This supposes the past administrations to have been not only very wicked, but very weak. They lay taxes in order to strengthen their influence. Who is so ignorant as not to know, that the imposition of a tax would create an hundred enemies for one friend? The name of excise was odious; the details of collection were unavoidably expensive, and it was to operate upon a part of the community least disposed to support public burdens, and most ready to complain of their weight. A little experience will give the gentleman a new idea of the patronage of this government. He will find it not that dangerous weapon

in the hands of the administration, which he has heretofore supposed it; he will probably discover that the poison is accompanied by its antidote, and that an appointment of the government, while it gives to the administration one lazy friend, will raise up against it ten active enemies. No! The motive ascribed for the imposition of the internal taxes, is unfounded as it is uncharitable. The federal administration, in creating burdens to support the credit of the nation, and to

supply the means of its protection, knew that they risked the favor of those upon whom their power depended. They were willing to be the victims, when the public good required.

The duties on imports and tonnage furnished a precarious revenue; a revenue at all times exposed to deficiency, from causes beyond our reach. The internal taxes offered a fund less liable to be impaired by accident; a fund which did not rob the mouth of labor, but was derived from the gratification of luxury. These taxes are an equitable distribution of the public burdens. Through this medium the western country is enabled to contribute something to the expenses of a government which has expended and daily expends such large sums for its defence. When these taxes were laid, they were indispensable. With the aid of them it has been difficult to prevent an increase of the public debt. And notwithstanding the fairy prospects which now dazzle our eyes, I undertake to say, if you abolish them this session, you will be obliged to restore them, or supply their place by a direct tax, before the end of two years. Will the gentleman say, that the direct tax was laid in order to enlarge the bounds of patronage? Will he deny, that this was a measure to which we had been urged for years by our adversaries, because they foresaw in it the ruin of federal power? My word for it, no administration will ever be strengthened by a patronage united with taxes which the people are sensible of paying.

We were next told, that to get an army an Indian war was necessary. The remark was extremely bald, as the honorable gentleman did not allege a single reason for the position. He did not undertake to state, that it was a wanton war, or provoked by the government. He did not even venture to deny, that it was a war of defence, and entered into in order to protect our brethren on the frontiers from the bloody scalpingknife and murderous tomahawk of the savage. What ought the government to have done ? Ought they to have estimated the value of the blood, which probably would be shed, and the amount of the devastation likely to be committed, before they determined on resistance? They raised an army, and after great expense and various fortune, they have secured the peace and safety of the frontiers. But why was the army mentioned on this occasion, unless to forewarn us of the fate which awaits them, and to tell us, that their days are numbered? I cannot suppose that the gentleman mentioned this little army, distributed on a line of three thousand miles, for the purpose of giving alarm to three hundred thousand free and brave yeomanry, ever ready to defend the liberties of the country.

The honorable gentleman proceeded to inform the committee, that the government, availing itself of the depredations of the Algerines, created a navy. Did the gentleman mean to insinuate, that this war was invited by the United States? Has he any documents or proof to render the suspicion colorable ? No, sir, he has none. He well knows, that the Algerine aggressions were extremely embarrassing to the govern

When they commenced, we had no marine force to oppose to them.

to them. We had no harbors or places of shelter in the Mediterranean. A war with these pirates could be attended with neither honor nor profit. It might cost a great deal of blood, and in the end it might be feared, that a contest so far from home, subject to numberless hazards and difficulties, could not be maintained. What would gentlemen have had the government to do? I know there are those who are ready to answer—abandon the Mediterranean trade. But would this have done? The corsairs threatened to pass the Straits, and were expected in the Atlantic. Nay, sir, it was thought that our very coasts would not have been secure.

Will gentlemen go farther and say, that the United States ought to relinquish their commerce? I believe this opinion has high authority to support it.

It has been said, that we ought to be only cultivators


of the earth, and make the nations of Europe our carriers.

This is not an occasion to examine the solidity of this opinion; but I will only ask, admitting the administration were disposed to turn the pursuits of the people of this country from the ocean to the land, whether there is a power in the government, or whether there would be. if we were as strong as the government of Turkey, or even of France, to accomplish the object? With a sea-coast of seventeen hundred miles, with innumerable harbors and inlets, with a people enterprizing beyond example, is it possible to say, you will have no ships, or sailors, or merchants? The people of this country will never consent to give up their navigation, and every administration will find themselves constrained to provide means to protect their commerce.

In respect to the Algerines, the late administrations were singularly unfortunate. They were obliged to fight or pay them. The true policy was to hold a purse in one hand and a sword in the other. This was the policy of the government. Every commercial nation in Europe was tributary to these petty barbarians. It was not esteemed disgraceful. It was an affair of calculation, and the administration made the best bargain in their power. They have heretofore been scandalized for paying tribute to a pirate, and now they are criminated for preparing a few frigates to protect our citizens from slavery and chains. Sir, I believe on this and many other occasions, if the finger of heaven had pointed out a course, and the government had pursued it, yet that they would not have escaped the censure and reproaches of their enemies.

We were told, that the disturbances in Europe were made a pretext for augmenting the army


I will not, Mr. Chairman, at present go into a detailed view of the events which compelled the government to put on the armor of defence, and to resist by force the

and navy:

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