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COMPRISING THE PERIOD FROM MAY 24, 1813, TO APRIL 18, 1814,
COMPILED FROM AUTHENTIC MATERIALS.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY GALES AND SEATOR.
The Loan Bill.
H. OF R.
two countries engage in war. Can it be true, that any of our rights as an independent nation, in persons who have expatriated themselves under order to secure that object. Let us stand firmly such circumstances, can be bound to allegiance by our own rights, and depend upon our own exto their original country ? Could such have been ertions for security. the understanding of any of the persons concern- Sir, I will not enter into an examination of the ed? It does seem to me to be at war with the question, whether this war was declared at the plainest principles of reason and humanity. In precise point of time when it ought. I will not this case, the population is thrown off upon the endeavor lo prove that it ought to have been deprinciple of self-preservation in respect to the clared sooner, or that the declaration ought to original country; it is received into the second, have been postponed awhile. We are engaged upon the principles of humanity; and afterwards, in war, and the great desideratum seems to be, in forsooth, it turns out that they are bound to be what way we can most probably get out of it the enemy, or at best, but inefficient friends to the without loss or disgrace. Neither will I undercountry in which they reside; into which they take to investigate the question, whether this war have been hospitably received, and by the laws has been skilfully conducted or not. I feel unable of which they have been protected. Doctrines to say that it has been ably managed; it does leading to such consequences cannot be true. seem to me, that the means furnished have not
But, sir, it is the practical consequences of this been well directed to the end. But this does not preteaded right of "Great Britain, of which we furnish, to my mind a sufficient argument for have the greatest cause to complain. Under the withholding ihe means. When we furnish the pretext of impressing English sailors, thousands means, we have done our duty; the responsibility of native-born American seamen have been forci- will not rest on us; and I am entirely averse to bly dragged from their ships, their country, and take on myself the responsibility that might be friends, and compelled to endure a state of mili- consequent upon a denial of the means. tary imprisonment on board British ships of war, I will now come to the question presenting itto fight against those who were not cheir enemies, self more directly by the bill under consideration. and for those who had despoiled them of their This bill proposes to authorize a loan, the object liberty, and all which can endear life to man. It of which is to procure money to defray the exis true, the British Government disavows this penses of the war. We have passed sundry bills practice, but it is equally true that it is persisted with a view to the prosecution of the war, which in; and it is equally true, that they are not igoo- are all dependent, as to their efficacy, upon this; rant that such musi be the consequence of the all of which will be entirely lifeless without this. practice of impressniegt.
This is necessary to add sinews and give motion Gentlemen bere lay great stress on what they to the whole machinery. Is it not expedient to are pleased to call the necessity of Great Britain's pass it? I hold that it is. In reflecting upon this exercising this practice in order to secure her subject, I have concluded in my mind, that it is maritime power, which power, they say, is ne- always expedient, when a nation is engaged in a cessary to preserve her existence. I do not admit, state of war with a strong Power-with a Power sir, that the overgrown power now possessed by capable of taking advantage of its errors and enGreat Britain is necessary to her existence; bui, dangering its rights—to prepare amply and proseif it is, it is no argument with me for abandoning cute the war vigorously, without reference to the any of our rights. This doctrine of necessity, as original cause of the war. I would pursue this applied to the British navy, is extremely vague; course, sir, because I would be unwilling to put and if settled as a principle, would lead to con- to hazard any of the unquestionable rights of ihe sequences, by a very plausible kind of reasoning, nation, by a feeble and inefficient course of warwhich would destroy the maritime rights of every rare; because, sir, I would rather the nation to other nation. The naval superiority of Britain which I belong would have it in its power to dicis necessary to secure her existence; the naval late the terms of pacification than to be dictated superiority of Britain cannot be supported with. 1o. I am not willing to admit, that as an indiout just as much of the commerce of the world vidual, there are not many acts of injustice which as she deems necessary to effectuate this object; I would rather suffer than do; in which I would therefore, Britain ought to have the monopoly of rather be acted upon, than be the actor; but, sir, all commerce; she ought to carry for all; 'she I will frankly declare, that I would rather iake ought to buy and sell for all, if necessary to sup- upon myself the proper dividend of almost any port her navy. Gentlemen, I hope, are not pre- act of injustice to a foreign nation, than my porpared to admit this; but really, when we see the tion of the disgrace that might be consequent various attempts which the British Government upon a war feebly and inefficiently prosecuted. have made to change the old settled principles of The nation against which we are making war, is national law, or rather to introduce new princi- a strong nation; of this we have ample evidence; ples, I am compelled to believe she desires some very recently by her prowess, and through the ihing like sueh monopoly. I am, for one, not means of her financial resources, the gigantic prepared to yield to the correctness of her rea- power of Bonaparte has been broken and dissisoning as to the necessity of pursuing such a pated in Spain and Portugal; she has been the course for ihe security of her national existence, very soul, the animating principle, and given sinor the existence of her Government; neither am ews to that formidable league on continental EuI, admitting its correctness, willing to surrender | rope, which has defeated and driven the Emperor 13th Con. 2d Sess.-46
H. OF R.
The Loan Bill.
of France within the limits of his own empire. and as I would, as a Carthagenian, have regretted Have we then nothing to fear from her enterprises the lack of the means which, in all probability, upon the supposition of remissness or negligence would have led to the subjugation of Rome, in on our part? I apprebend we have. We pre preference to the losses and degradation of my seat to her enterprises a frontier of about four own country, without reference to the cause of thousand miles, vulnerable to her and her red al, the war; so, as an American, I would regret that lies at many points; already has she seized and we should sustain any losses, or be compelled to held for more than a year, one of our territories ; submit to degrading terms; and I would ihe more it is still vulnerable; one of our States is feeble regret it, if it should seem to be the consequence in population, and in a manner severed from the of negligence. I would prefer that we could dicrest of the nation. If we are remiss, will she noi tate the terms of peace, rather than be dictated have it in her power to seize upon some weak to, without any reference to the cause of the point and hold it, demanding as the price of res. titution some commercial sacrifice not before
A strong example, sir, to show how unreasonbrought into view? She may tell you, we will ably nations at war will rise in their terms with not yield this advantage without an equivalent; success, is exhibited in the celebrated war in Euthis equivalent may be some restriction on your rope for the succession to the Spanish throne. In commerce; or it may be the entire use of the that war, Lewis XIV., with the greater part of lakes, with barrier towns on this side to secure the Spanish nation, was arrayed on the one side, that 'object, or both. Have we any pledge that contending for the right of a Bourbon to the our enemy will not have the disposition to make throne; on the other, the Emperor of Austria, the most of any successes consequent upon our the United Provinces of Holland, and England, negligence? The history of her usurpations, ex-contending in favor of a descendant from the actions, and bloodshed in India, will answer the House of Hapsburg. In the progress of the war, question ; and the affair of Copenhagen will guar- Louis was so hardly pressed, that he offered, in anty that answer.
order to secure his own dominions, to withdraw Sir, the history of all nations and ages will his forces from aiding his connexion; but so much admonish us against remissness or negligence in were the allies elated with their success, that this the conduct of a war. I will cite one or two ex: would not satisfy them; they demanded that he amples. The history of the origin, progress, and should turn his arms against the competitor of termination of the second Punic war, between the Bourbon family, his grandson. He refused Carthage and Rome, exhibits 10 us an awful this, and the result was such as it ought to have warning against any the least remissness. The been. I am decidedly of opinion, that it is expeostensible origin of ihal war was the territorial dient to authorize the loan. The honor, interest limits of the two nations in Spain. Rome ad- and safety of this nation, I believe, require it. monished the Carthagenians against crossing the I will vote, sir, for this loan, with a view to river Iberus, and against molesting the people of pave the way for a vigorous prosecution of the Saguntum, her ally; she was probably right in war; and I am decidedly opposed to any legal so doing; she claimed not anything of Carthage geographical limit to our military operations; I in Africa. The Carthagenians regarded not her am uuwilling that we should by law, as some admonition; a large, well-disciplined army un desire, confine our exertions to our own territory. der Hannibal, the General of Carthage, the great. If we were thus to limit ourselves, the enemy est warrior of the age, cornmenced iis march for would have it completely in their power to choose the invasion and subjugation of Rome; this ar- the time and place of battle, and could never be my crossed the Pyrenees, iraversed the length of expected to fight us but when they were able to Gaul, crossed over the Alps, and fell down upon beat us: if we marched an army io any point of Italy'; several great battles were fought, in which our frontier to oppose and give them batile, they the arms of Carthage prevailed; and by the great would not be there unless able to beat us; but victory of the Caribagenians at Cannæ, ihe power you would immediately hear of some incursion of Rúme seemed to be alınost annihilated; it into our territory in some other part; march an seemed to be limited to the walls of the city. army 10 this second point, and you will not Here was an important crisis in this war; imme- find them unless in sufficient force to beat you. diately after this victory: the Republic of Car. Again, sir, under this system of confining ourthage ought to have amply and promptly supplied selves to geographical límits, the enemy will be their General with fresh troops and money: Car- permitted to make the utmost of any victory obthage was remiss; the consequence was, that the lained near our borders, whilst on the other hand power of Rome revived; and finally, the fate of the crossing the line in flight will save their Carthage was settled on ibe plains of Zama. She routed arnies. I cannot consent, sir, to shield a was compelled to sue for peace; she lost her pos
flying foe by an act of Congress. I wish, sir, to sessions in Spain; she yielded Rome tribute, and see this war conducted according to the best rules was ignominiously restricted in her navy and of the art: the sum of which is, toʻproduce to our commerce. Now, sir, although I do not indulge enemy the greatest possible loss of blood and a fear that it will be as bad with us as with Car- treasure by the least possible loss on our side. I thage; yet I cannot but fear, that through negli- believe this will be better effected by concentragence, we may lose much; that we may be com- ling a sufficient force and making an invasion of pelled to submit to terms disgraceful in themselves; their territory, than by waiting for their enter