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torbidden to human foresight to count their number, and measure their extent. Before we resolve to leap into this abyss, so dark and so profound, it becomes us to pause and reflect upon such of the dangers as are obvious and inevitable. If this assembly should be wrought into a temper to defy these consequences, it is in vain, it is deceptive to pretend that we can escape them. It is worse than weakness to say, that as to public faith our vote has already settled the question. Another tribunal than our own is already erect: ed. The public opinion, not merely of our own country, but of the enlightened world, will pronounce a judgment that we cannot resist, that we dare not even affect to des: pise.
2. Well may I urge it to men who know the worth of character, that it is no trivial calamity to have it contested. Refusing to do what the treaty stipulates shall be done, opens the controversy. Even if we should stand justified at last, a character that is vindicated is something worse than it stood before, unquestioned and unquestionably. Like the plaintiff'in an action of slander, we recover a reputation disfigured by invective, and even tarnished by too much handling. In the combat for the honor of the nation, it may receive wounds, which, though they should heal, will leave
I need not say, for surely the feelings of every bosom have anticipated, that we cannot guard this sense of national honor, this ever living fire which alone keeps patriotism warm in the heart, with a sensibility too vigilant and jealous.
3. If, by executing the treaty, there is no possibility of dishonor, and if, by rejecting, there is some foundation for doubt and for reproach, it is not for me to measure, it is for your own feelings to estimate, the vast distance that divides the one side of the alternative from the other.
4. To expatiate on the value of public faith may pass with some men for declamation---to such men I have nothing to say. To others I will urge,
can any circumstance marlupon a people more turpitude and debasement ?
Can any thing tend more to make men think themselves mean, o degrade to a lower point their estimation of virtue and thei standard of action.
5. It would not merely demoralize mankind, it tends t break all the ligaments of society, to dissolve that myste slous charm which attracts individuals to the nation, a??
to inspire in its stead a repulsive sense of shame and disgust.
6. What is patriotism? Is it a nurow affection for the spot where a man was born ? Are the very clols where we tread intitled to this ardent preference because they are greener ? No, sir, this is not the character of the virtue, and it soars higher for its object. It is an extended selflove, mingling with all the enjoyments of life, and twisting itself with minutest filaments of the heart. It is thus we obey the laws of society, because they are the laws of virtue. In their authority we see not the array of force and terror, but the venerable image of our country's honor. Every good citizen makes that honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious, but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense, and is conscious that he gains protection while he gives it. For what rights of a citizen will be deemed inviolable when a state renounces the principles that constitute their security ? Or, if his life should not be invaded, what would its enjoyments be in a country odious in the eyes
of strangers, and dishonored in his own ? Could he look with affection and veneration to such a country as his parent? The sense of having one would die within him, he would blush for his patriotism, if he retained any, and justly, for it would be a vice. He would be a banished man in his native land.
7. I see no exception to the respect that is paid among nations to the law of good faith. If there are cases in this enlightened period, when it is violated, there are none when it is decried. It is the philosophy of politics, the religion of governments. It is observed by barbarians--a whiff of tobacco smoke, or a string of beads, gives not merely binding force but sanctity to treaties. Even in Ale giers, a truce may be bought for money, but when ratified, even Algiers is too wise or too just to disown and annul its obligation. Thus we see neither the ignorance of savages, nor the principles of an association for piracy and rapine, permit a nation to despise its engagements. If, sir, there.could be a resurrection from the foot of the gallows--if the victims of justice could live again, collect together and form a society, they would, however loth, soon find themselves obliged to make justice, that justice under which they fell, the fundamental law of their state. They would perceive it was their interest to make others resvenjuar pect, and they would therefore soon pay some respect theinselves to the obligation of good faitly.
8. It is painful, I hope it is superiluous, to make even the supposition that America should furnish the occasion of this opprobrium. - No, let me not even imagine, that a repulli, can government, sprung as our own is, from, a people en: lightened and uncorrupted, a government whose original right, and whose daily discipline is duty, can, upon soleme debate, make its option to be faithless--can dare to act what despots dire not avow,-what-our own example evinces, the states of Barbary are 'unsuspected of... No, let me rauber make the supposition that Great-Britain vefuse to execute the treaty, after we have done every thing to carry it into effect. Is there any language of reproach pungent enough to express your commentary on the fact? What would you say, or rather what would you not say? Would you not tell them, wherever an Englishman might travel, shame would stick to him he would disown his country. You: would exclaim, England, proud of your wealth, and arrogant in the possession of power-blush for these distinctions; which become the vehicles of your dishonor. Such a tion might truly say, to corruption, Thou art my father, and to the worm, thou art my mother and my sisters. We should say of such a race of men, their name is a heavier burden than their debt.
9. The refusal of the posts inevitably it we reject the treaty) is a measure too decisive in its nature to be, neutral in its consequences. From great causes we are to look for great effects. A plain and obvious one will be, the price of the western lands will fall. Settlers will not choose to fix their habitation en a field of battle. Those who talk so much of the interest of the United States should calculate how Jeeply it will be affected by rejecting the treaty-how vast a tract of wild land will almost cease to be property. This loss, let it be observed, will falt upon a fund expressly devoted to sink the national debt. What then are we called upon to do?. However the form of the vote and the protestaions of many may disguise the proceeding, our resolution.is in substance, and it deserves to wear the title of a resolution to prevent the sale of the western lands and the discharge of the public debt.
10. Will the tendency to Indian-hostility: be contested hy
Experience gives the answer. The frontiers
any one ?
were scourged with war till the negotiation with Great-Bvi tain was far advanced, and then the state of hostility ceased: Perhaps the public agents of both nations were innocent of fomenting the Indian war, and perhaps they were not. We ought not, however, to expect that neighboring nations, highly irritated against cach other, will neglect the friendship of the savages"; the traders will gain an influence and will abuse it--and who is ignorint that their passions are easily raised and hardly restrained from violence ? Their situation will oblige them to choose between this country and Great-Britain in case the treaty should be rejected. They will not be our friends and at the same time the friends of our enemies.
11. If any, against all these proofs should maintain that tlie peace with the Indians will be staple without the posts, to them I will urge another reply. From arguments calculated to produce conviction, I will appeal directiy to the hearts of those who hear me, and ask whether it is not alreaciy planted there? I resort especially to the conviction of the western gentlemen, whether, supposing no posts and no treaty, the settlers will remain in security ? Can they take it upon them to say, that an Indian peace, under these circumstances, will prove firm ? No, sir, it will not be a peace, but a sword; it will be no better than a lure to draw victims within the reach of the tomahawk.
12. On this tlieme my emotions are unutterable : If I could find words for them, if my powers bore any proportion to my zeal, I would swell my voice to such a note of remonstrance, it should reach every log house beyond the mountains. I would say to the inhabitants, wake from your false security. Your cruel dangers, your more cruel apprchensions, are soon to be renewed ; the wounds, yet unheaied, are to be torn open again. In the day time, your path through the woods will be ambushed. The darkness of midnight will gitter with the blaze of your dwellings. You are a father-ine blood of your sons, shall fatten your coin-fields. You are a mother-the war hoop shall wake the sleep of the cradle.
13. On this subject you need not suspect any deception on your feelings. It is a spectacle of horror which cannot be overdrawn. If you have nature in your hearis, they will: speak a language compared with which all I have said or can say, will be poor and frigid.
14. Who will accuse me of wandering out of the subject? Who will say that I exaggerate the tendencies of our measures ? Will any one answer by a sneer, that all this is idle preaching? Will any one deny that we are bound, and I would hope to good purpose, by the most solemn sauce tions of duty for the vote we give ? Are despots alone to be reproached for unfeeling indifference to the tears and blood of their subjects ? Are republicans unresponsible? Have the principles on which you ground the reproach upon cabinets and kings no practical influence, no binding force ? Are they merely themes of idle declamation, introduced to decorate the morality of a newspaper essay, or to furnish pretty topics of harrangue from the windows of that stato house ? I trust it is neither too presunptious por too late to ask-can you put the clearest interests of society. at risk without guilt and without remorse?
15. By rejecting the posts, we light the savage fires—we bind the victims. This day. we undertake to render account to the widows and orphans, whom our decision will make, to the wretches who will be roasted at the stake, to our couna try, and I do not deem it too serious to say, to conscience and to God. We are answerable--and if duty is any thing more than a word of imposture, if conscience is not a buga bear, we are preparing to make ourselves as wretched as. our country.
16. There is no mistake in this case, there can be none. Experience has already been the prophet of events, and the cries of our future victims have already reached us. The western inhabitants are not a silent and uncomplaining sacrifice. The voice of humanity issues from the shade of their wilderness. It exclaims, that while one hand is held up to 'reject this treaty, the other grasps a tomahawk. It suinmons our imagination to the scenes that will open. It is no great effort of the imagination to conceive that events so near are already begun. I can fancy that I listen to the yells of savage vengeance and the shrieks of torture. "Al.. ready they seem to sigh in the west winds already they mingle with every echo from the mountains.
17. Look again at this state of things on the sea coast, vast losses ủncompensated on the frontier, Indian war, actual encroachment on our territory. „Every where disa content ; resentments, tenfold more fierce because they