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willed it, they must be free. This population, I have already stated, consists of distinct nations, having but little, if any, intercourse, the largest of which is Mexico; and they are so separated by immense distances, that it is impossible there should be any coöperation between them. Besides, they have difficulties to encounter which we had not. They have a noblesse; they are divided into jealous castes, and a vast proportion of Indians; to which adding the great influence of the clergy, and it will be seen how widely different the circumstances of Spanish America are, from those under which the revolution in this country was brought to a successful terinination. I have already shown how deep-rooted is the spirit of liberty in that country. I have instanced the little island of Margarita, against which the whole force of Spain has been in vain directed; containing a population of only sixteen thousand souls, but where every man, woman, and child, is a Grecian soldier, in defence of freedom. For many years the spirit of freedom has been struggling in Venezuela, and Spain has been unable to conquer it. Morillo, in an official despatch, transmitted to the minister of marine of his own country, avows that Angostura and all Guayana are in possession of the patriots, as well as all that country from which supplies can be drawn. According to the last accounts, Bolivar and other patriot commanders, are concentrating their forces, and are within one day's march of Morillo; and if they do not forsake the Fabian policy, which is the true course for them, the result will be, that even the weakest of the whole of the provinces of Spanish America, will establish their independence, and secure the enjoyment of those rights and blessings, which rightfully belong to them.
ON THE SEMINOLE WAR.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, JANUARY 17, 1819.
[The Seminoles were a tribe of Indians inhabiting Florida, and parts of the adjacent country. During the war between the United States and Great Britain, from 1812 to 1815, the Seminoles and Creek Indians made attacks upon our frontier seillements in the south west, and in consequence, general Andrew Jackson, then a major-general of militia in Tennessee, was sent against them, at the head of a considerable force, by which, after a sanguinary contest, the Indians were sulxdued, and a treaty concluded with the Creek nation, in 1914. Allier the peace of 1515, the Seminoles, being sheltered in Florida, at that time a Spanish province, made frequent depredations upon the people of the United States. In December, 1517, ihe department of war ordered general Jackson, who in 1814 was appointed a majorgeneral in the United States army, to assume the command of the forces in the southwest, and march against the Indians; also to adopt the necessary measures to terminate a confiint which has since been called the Seminole war. In the early part of 1818, general Jackson took command of an army of regulars, militia, ant friendly Creeks, and pursued the Seminoles into Florida, destroying their towns, and killing and capturing many Indians and run-a-way negroes. He also took possession of the Spanish fortresses of St. Marks, Pensacola, and the Barancas, during a period of peace between Spain and the United States. Two Indian traders, Arbuihinor, a Scotchman, and Ambrister, an Englishman, were taken prisoners, (being found among the Indians and Spaniards,) tried by a court martial, and executed by order of general Jackson. Two Indian chiess, who were captured, were also put to death by his order, and sundry other cruel and high-handed acts committed, to which the attention of congress was called, at ihe session of 1819-19.
The subject having been referred to the committee on military affairs. that committee brought in a report, concluding with the following resolution : “Resolved, that the house of representatives disapproves the proceedings in the trial and execution of Alexander Arbuthnot and Robert C. Ambrisier.' To this resolution, Mr. Cobb, of Georgia, moved to add others, disapproving of the execution of Indian captives, and declaring that the seizure of the Spanish posts was contrary to the constitution, and so forth. The discussion on these resolutions caused one of the most exciting and interesting debates ever known in congress. Thirty-one of the most distinguished members of the house participated in the debate, which was opened on the eighteenih of January, in committee of the whole, and concluded on ihe tenth of February, when the question on the resolutions was taken, and decided in the negative, by majorities varying from thirty lo forty-six, in a house of one hundred and seventy members present. General Jackson, besides his own popularity, as the victor of New Orleans, had the advantage of being sustained by the influence and power of Mr. Monroe's administration, the president being considered as implicated with him in some of his transactions in Florida, by having sanctioned the same.
Among those who coincided with Mr. Clay, in condemning these proceedings, were Messrs. Cobb, of Georgia, Storrs, of New York, Colston, J. Johnson, T. M. Nelson, and Mercer, of Virginia, Hopkinson, of Pennsylvania, Williams, of Connecticut, Harrison, of Ohio, Tyler, of Virginia, (the two latier since presidents of the United States,) Lowndes, of South Carolina, and Reed, of Maryland, while, on the other sile, Messrs. Holmes, of Massachusetts, Tallmadge, of New York, P. P. Barbour, and Floyd, of Virginia. Baldwin, of Pennsylvania, R. M. Johnson, of Kentucky, and others, made able speeches in support of the administration, and general Jackson's military course in this campaign.
Mr. Clay twice addressed the committee of the whole on the subject; the firs' speech only, is reported at length, as follows. ]
MR. CHAIRMAN :
Ix rising to address you, sir, on the very interesting subject which now engages the attention of congress, I must be allowed to say, that all inferences drawn froin the course which it will be my painful duty to take in this discussion, of unfriendliness eiiber to the chief magistrate of the country, or to the illustrious military chieftain whose operations are under investigation, will be wholly unfounded. Towards that distinguished captain, who shed so much glory on our country, whose renown constitutes so great a portion of its moral property, I never had, I never can have, any other feelings than those of the most profound respect, and of the utinost kindness. With bim my acquaintance is very limited, but, so far as it has extended, it has been of the most amicable kind. I know the motives which have been, and which will again be, attributed 10 me, in regard to the other exalted personage alluded to. They have been and will be unfounded. I have no interest, other than that of seeing the concerns of my country well and bappily administered. It is infinitely more gratifying to behold the prosperity of my country advancing by the wisdom of the measures adopted to promote it, than it would be to expose the errors which may be committed, if there be any, in ibe conduct of its affairs. Litle as has been my experience in public life, it has been sufficient to teach me that the most humble station is surrounded by difficulties and embarrassments. Rather than throw obstructions in the way of the president, I would precede him, and pick out those, if I could, which might josile him in his progress; I would sympathize with him in his embarrassments, and coinmiserate with him in his misfortunes. It is true that it has been my mortification to differ from that gentleman on several occasions. I may be again reluctantly compelled to differ from him; but I will with the utmost sincerity, assure the committee, that I have formed no resolution, come under no engagements, and that I never will form any resolution, or contract any engagements, for systematic opposition to his administration, or to that of any other chief magistrate.
I beg leave further to premise, that the subject under consideration, presents two distinct aspects, susceptible, in my judgment, of the most clear and precise discrimination. The one I will call its foreign, the other its domestic aspect. In regard to the first, I will say, that I approve entirely of the conduct of our government, and
cause of complaint. Having violated an important stipulation of the treaty of 1795, that power has justly subjected herself to all the consequences which ensued upon the entry into her dominions, and it belongs not to her to complain of those measures which resulted froin her breach of contract; still less has she a right to examine into the considerations connected with the domestic aspect of the subject.
What are the propositions before the committee ? The first in order, is that reported by the military committee, which asserts the disapprobation of this house, of the proceedings in the trial and execution of Arbuthnot and Ambrister. The second, being the first contained in the proposed amendment, is the consequence of that disapprobation, and contemplates the passage of a law to prohibit the execution hereafter of any captive, taken by the army, without the approbation of the president. The third proposition is, that this house disapproves of the forcible seizure of the Spanish posts, as contrary to orders, and in violation of the constitution. The fourth proposition, as the result of the last, is, that a law shall pass to prohibit the march of the army of the United States, or any corps of it, into any foreign territory, without the previous authorization of congress, except it be in fresh pursuit of a defeated enemy. The first and third are general propositions, declaring the sense of the house in regard to the evils pointed out; and the second and fourth, propose the legislative remedies against the recurrence of those evils.
It will be at once perceived, by this simple statement of the propositions, that no other censure is proposed against general Jackson himself, than what is merely consequential. His name even does not appear in any of the resolutions. The legislature of the country, in reviewing ihe state of the union, and considering the events which have transpired since its last meeting, finds that particular occurrences, of the greatest moment, in many respects, have taken place near our southern border. I will add, that the house has not sought, by any officious interference with the doings of the executive, to gain jurisdiction over this matter.
The presi: dent, in his message at the opening of the session, communicated the very information on which it was proposed to act. I would ask, for what purpose ? That we should fold our arms and yield a tacit acquiescence, even if we supposed that information dis. closed alarming events, not merely as it regards the peace of the country, but in respect to its constitution and character ? Impossible. In communicating these papers, and voluntarily calling the attention of congress to the subject, the president must himself have intended, that we should apply any remedy that we might be able to devise. Having the subject thus regularly and fairly before us, and proposing merely to collect the sense of the house upon certain important transactions which it discloses, with the view to the passage of such laws as may be demanded by the public interest, I repeat, that there is no censure any where, except such as is strictly consequential upon our legislative action. The supposition of every new law, having for its object to prevent the recurrence of evil, is, that something has happened which ought not to have taken place, and no other than this indirect sort of censure will flow from the resolutions before the committee.
Having thus given my view of the nature and character of the propositions under consideration, I am far from intimating that it is not my purpose to go into a full, a free, and a thorough investigation of the facts, and of the principles of law, public, municipal, and constitutional, involved in thein. And, whilst I trust I shall speak with the decorum due to the distinguished officers of the government whose proceedings are to be examined, I shall exercise the independence which belongs to me as a representative of the people, in freely and fully subunitting my sentiments.
In noticing the painful incidents of this war, it is impossible not to inquire into its origin. I fear that it will be found to be the famous treaty of Fort Jackson, concluded in August, 1914; and I must ask the indulgence of the chairman while I read certain parts
of that treaty.
Whereas an unprovoked, inhuman, and sanguinary war, waged by the hostile Creeks against the United States, hath been repelled, prosecuted, and determined, successfully on the part of the said states, in conformity with principles of national justice and honorable warfare : and whereas consideration is due to the rectitude of proceedings dictated by instructions relating to the restablishing of peace: Be it terembered, that, prior to the conquest of that part of the Creek nation hostile to the United States, numberless aggressions had been committed against the peace, the property, and the lives of citizens of the United States, and those of the Creek nation in amity with her, at the mouth of Duck river, Fort Mimms, and elsewhere, contrary to national faith, and the regard due to an article of the treaty concluded at New York, in the year 1790, between the two nations; that the United States, previous 10 the perpetration of such outrages, did, in order to insure future amity and concord het weeii the Creek nation and the said states, in conformity with the stipulations of former treaties, fulfil, with punctuality and good faith, her engagements to the said nalion ; that more than two thirds of the whole number of chiefs and warriors of the Creek nation, disregarding the genuine spirit of existing treaties. sutfered themselves te he instigated to violations of their national honor, and the respect due to a part of their own nation, faithful to the United States, and the principles of humanity, by impostors, denominating themselves prophets, and by the duplicity and misrepresentations of foreign emissaries, whose governments are at war, open or understood, with the United States. Article 2. The United States will guaranty to the Creek nation the integrity of all their territory eastwardly and northwardly of the said line, (described in the first article.) to be run and described as mentioned in the first article.
Article 3. The United States demand that the Creek nation abandon all communieation, and cease to hold intercourse with any British post. garrison, or town; and that they shall not admit among them any agent or trader, who shall not derive authority to hold commercial or other intercourse with them, by license from the President or other anthorized agent of the United States.
Article 4. The United States demand an ackn wledyment of the right to establish military posts and trading houses, and to open roads within the territory guarantied to the Creek nation by the second article, and a right to the free navigation of all its
Article 5. The United States demand that a surrender be immediately made, of all the persons and property
taken from the citizens of the United States, the friendly part of the Creek nation, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations, to the respective owners; and the United States will cause to be immediately restored to the formerly hostile Creeks all the property taken from them since their submission, either by the United States, or by any Indian nations in amity with the United States, together with all the prisoners taken from them during the war.
Article 6. The United States demand the caption and surrender of all the prophets