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lutions moved by my friend: “It does not consist with the dignity of this country, to hold a right so important by a tenure so uncertain.”

But the honorable member from Maryland has told us, that we need not cross the Atlantic to seek for precedents, that we have enough on our own archives; and he has had the goodness to mention our humble petitions presented to the king of Great Britain in 1775. We sent, says he, petition after petition. I am sure that honorable member has no wish that a minister should be sent to bear our humble petition to the footstool of the first consul's throne. But, sir, whether we treat or pray, it will end as it did in 1775, by war, unless we are determined to give up that independence which we then fought to establish. Let us consider, a moment, the natural course of this negociation. It is the interest of France to foster in us a hope from treaty, until she has put herself in a condition to frustrate all other hope. There can be no question, therefore, that she has avoided, and will avoid a direct refusal. And as long as we are content to accept of smooth speeches, general assurances, vague assertions, and loose evasions, we shall have no want of that court currency. But why, it may be said, has she not already taken possession? Because her original plans have been greatly deranged. St. Domingo presented obstacles unexpected, and that enterprize must not be abandoned; for though the island may not in itself be of much consequence, though it must be ruined before it can be conquered, yet conquered it must be, for the world must continue to believe, that the first consul cannot fail in what he has undertaken. Much of his power rests on that opinion, and it must, therefore, be maintained. But there are other incidents besides those of St. Domingo, which have had the same tendency. There followed, on the general peace, a serious discussion of the German indemnities; then the affairs of Italy; lately of Switzerland; and during the whole momentous period, it was doubtful how far England would

bear a continued invasion of the liberties of Europe. And it was evident, that should the war recommence with England, the force sent to this country would be totally lost

. It was important, therefore, to gain time; and for that very reason, we should have insisted on an immediate decision. Such, then, is the state of this treaty so fondly desired-a treaty, by which we are to ask much and offer nothing—a negociation, in which we have no means to persuade. Have we any to intimidate? Where is your public force? You have none; and seem resolved not to have or use any. My honorable colleague tells us, that war will increase our debt one hundred millions, and that our people are not fond of taxes. He says we are trying a new experiment to pay our debts in a given period, which war would derange. It would injure, moreover, our pacific character, and might draw down the jealousy of all nations who have colonies. He believes that three fourths of our people are opposed to war; but yet he thinks that nine months hence we shall be in a better condition. What is the effect of this language? Is it not to convince the adverse party that he has nothing to fear from a refusal ? As to this experiment for the payment of our debts, whether it has the merit of novelty I shall not inquire; but I am bold to assert, that the merit, be it what it may, is due to one of my worthy friends who formerly administered our finances. The same plan, also, has been adopted by another great statesman, (Mr. Pitt,) who has for many years past provided regularly a fund to liquidate, in a given period, each debt which his nation has incurred. But does England trust her safety to the protection of her sinking fund ? No. She has fifty thousand seamen employed, and a hundred thousand soldiers. These form the shield of her defence. A gentleman near me has told us, that in case of war, our mercantile capital is exposed in every part of the world. To this I answer, first, that the same objection will apply with equal weight upon any and every occasion. But further, I say, the argument is directly and completely against him. How does it stand? He admits, that if negociation fails, he will draw the sword. He goes further, and says he will throw away the scabbard. Now, sir, it is clear that if we operate at once, notice may be given to our merchants. Advices may be sent in season to every sea. And here let me say, that it is a duty of the government to apprize both our insurers and shippers of their dangerous situation. It is unwise as well as unjust to lull them into a fatal security. But suppose the treaty shall fail, and remember that the success or failure depends on Bonaparte, he will weigh the present declarations and act accordingly. He will commence a war on your commerce long before you know that war exists. I say, therefore, the argument is directly against the gentleman who used it. And here let me say one word on the comparative merits of the resolutions on your table. Those moved by my honorable friend, give the President command not only of the militia, but of the naval and military force. They place money at his disposal, and what is most important, they put it in his power to use these efficient means. The resolutions moved as an amendment, authorize, indeed, a call for a greater number of militia, but when called they can do nothing but consume their rations. There is no power to bring them into action, and of course the expense is useless, even for the purpose of influence.

Having endeavored to show, that we have no hope from treaty, it only remains to consider the natural effect of taking an immediate possession. Against this measure it has been said, that war, instead of giving relief, will absolutely shut up the Mississippi. That a single seventy-four in the mouth of that river would stop it effectually. I believe, sir, it would not only stop, but turn it; for a seventy-four would run aground and obstruct the channel. But what is the amount of these observations ? The gentlemen all agree that if they cannot obtain their object without war, they will fight for it. The mischief they deprecate must therefore arrive, unless there be a well grounded hope from treaty; and the only difference is, that they are willing to take a longer term of sufferance, because they have a stronger expectation of relief without the exertion of force. I have no such expectation. I shall, therefore, proceed to consider what will follow, if we take possession without a previous alliance with Britain, or with such an alliance. I have heard it urged in conversation, that such alliance should first be made, and, therefore, I think it proper to take up the subject in debate. I cannot, however, but remark on the different language now held, from that which we heard a year ago. Then it was the fashion to say, we had nothing to do with other nations. And when a man of plain sense observed, that this disposition was of little avail, because other nations would have something to do with us; and when the particular danger we now see was pointed out; oh! then, to be sure, there was nothing to apprehend from our dear sister republic! I censure no man for adopting other and wiser principles. I have no question, but that as gentlemen proceed in the business of government, they will see the folly of many other fanciful notions, but I must entreat them not to fly from one extreme to the other. I hesitate not to give my opinion, that we ought to take possession without consulting Great Britain. And having done so, let us declare to France, that we mean to live with her in perfect amity. Let us offer every assistance in our power to conquer and preserve St. Domingo. Let us show her, that we have done an act of mere defence. Let us prove our pacific disposition by declaring, that we are under the tie of no obligation to her rival. To Spain let us hold a similar language. Let us point out her present danger and demonstrate the utility of our possession. To both, let us offer to relinquish our claims for spoliations on our commerce and pay our own merchants. We can well afford to purchase with that price, a price paid to ourselves. Finally, if our representations do not produce the desired effect, let us tell them that we will ally ourselves to England, and aid in the conquest of all their American dominions. Sir, this language will be listened to. Rely on it, that, under such circumstances, neither France nor Spain dare send hither a single regiment or a single ship. The existence of the British naval force will alone produce all the effect you could ask from its operation. But what are we to hope from a delay until an alliance shall be made? What will be the stipulations of the treaty of alliance? These may be more or less onerous or pernicious. Certainly the British minister will not hazard the fate of his nation without the hope of some correspondent advantage. One stipulation is certain. We must agree to continue the war until a peace can be obtained by common consent: and this is precisely the stipulation which we ought not to make, if it can be avoided; because we shall then be no longer masters of our exterior relations. To this it may be objected, that we cannot expect aid from Britain without a previous treaty. I ask, what reliance you have for aid with treaty? The answer is, that it will be her interest. And, sir, it is her interest to give that aid without treaty.

I have now gone through this tedious discussion. I have trespassed on your patience more than I wished, although, from the lateness of the hour, much has been omitted of what I ought to have said. I have endeavored to show, that, under the existing circumstances, we are now actually at war, and have no choice but manly resistance or vile submission ; that the possession of this country by France is dangerous to other nations, but fatal to us; that it forms a natural and necessary part of our empire; that, to use the strong language of the gentleman near me, it is joined to us by the hand of the Almighty, and that we have no hope of obtaining it by treaty. If, indeed, there be any such hope, it must be by adopting the resolutions offer

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