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SENATE. rest upon the fortune of war; but a single act of
“QUEBEC, November 18. neglect or misconduct would certainly deprive “ President's Message.--Happily the expectation of the Administration of the public confidence. Mr. Madison's speech steps in opportunely, as some
If, sir, Great Britain should get possession of thing of an antidote to the effect of the European New York and New Orleans, and you should get dearth. From that speech shall we learn that the possession of Canada, you would be very glad to terrible being, John Bull, does not suffer his thousand make the exchange upon the termination of the armed vessels, manned and equipped at an enormous war. Therefore, take care of these two points. expense, to lie wholly idle; but that they are guilty of
Mr. G. said, he also requested the honorable the audacious tyranny of being, in some degree, a Secretary to consult with the President, and in- check on the violent inclinations of Dame Columbia to form him, as the President's Secretary, whether extend her arms to cherish, aid, and assist her admired the President wished to have the number of men hero, Napoleon, in effecting John's annihilation. Much reduced ? or whether he had a preference for any Ocean is not powerful to no purpose, and does not de
will the speech complain that the Sovereign of the other number? The reply, after the consultation, scend to, and put himself on a level with the imbecility very properly, was, that the President had no of the United States, with their dozen ships. Unparopinion to offer on that point. He considered it donable is the grievance that the Leviathan is not as a subject of legislative discretion, &c. Of course powerless as the Cod: that the Jackall, whom nature any informal Executive views ought not to be meant for the Lion's provider, is not permitted to substituted for our own discretion and responsi divert its provender to the support of the Tiger, with bility. Mr. G. said, he knew it had been suggest a view to the destruction of the Lion. ed, and perhaps from very high authority, that no- “The speech may not say these things in direct thing was necessary to induce Great Britain to re- terms; but such will, unquestionably, be its meaning: cede from her aggressions, but to convince her, “With syllogisms 'twill make a clatter, that, instead of opposing to them inefficient com- With abstract rights three-deckers batter; mercial resrictions, they would be resisted with An empty purse at millions shake, physical force; aud that raising ten thousand men And no trade 'gainst a free trade stake: would produce inis conviction, without incurring Of rotting produce count the gain, further expense. This suggestion furnished some A seaboard boast shut from the main; of his strongest objections to limiting the force to To seamen recommend the loom, be raised to ten thousand men. So far from pro
And on each mast to fix the broom; ducing that conviction on the British Cabinet, he
Merchants, for lack of foreign wares, was convinced it would produce precisely the
To retail apples, plums, and pears." opposite effect. The British Cabinet would look Limit all your mighty efforts to ten thousand at the means provided for effecting the object
, as men, and it will afford a better subject for another the best evidence of the object itself. And as pasquinade, than the President's Message had these means would be viewed so utterly inade. done for the one just read. He should not have quale to the purposes of war, the Cabinet would ventured to read these paragraphs to the Senate, necessarily conclude that we were not in earnest, however, if these impressions were merely local. that we were joking, even upon the most serious But he believed similar impressions pervaded subject; that war was not intended, and would Europe and America, and had unfortunately not be resorted to under any circumstances. This found their way into the French and British impression, the necessary result of our former Cabinets. Nor should he have thought these measures, has become so general, both at home and sarcasms worth regard, were it not for the truisms abroad, chat we have much to do to retrieve our with which they were poioted. When the Duc lost reputation; we do not stand upon original de Cadore, upon his review of our proceedings, ground. Our measures must be of a very differ- told us officially that he would have expected ent character from what they have been to pro- more from a Jamaica Assembly, he thought it duce the desired conviction, either at home or both impertinent and insolent; but the point of abroad. Having changed our principle of action, I the offence was a consciousness that it was too from commercial restrictions to physical force, much like the truth. It is a truism which forms limiting that force to ten thousand men would the sting of every sarcasm. We find the Embe, in his judgment, as much trifling with the peror Napoleon, too, acting under these same energies of the nation, as inefficient commercial impressions, when he seizes and confiscates your restrictions had heretofore been trifling with the property, without even a plausible pretext. The character and interests of the nation, and he feared only ground upon which he acted, was a convicwas dictated by the same unfortunate imbecile tion that you would not resent it, and he, therespirit
and policy. Mr. G. said, that whilst upon fore, might plunder with impunity. The same this part of the subject, he begged to be excused impressions direct the British Cabinet in its “infor reading a few paragraphs from a newspaper, flexible hostility," and its war upon our comwhich he accidentally picked up last evening, merce, both in character and effect, " brought containing the annunciation of the President's home to the threshold of our territory.” If our Message at Quebec, the very point to which the protracted moderation, wonderful moderation, proposed force might probably be directed. It &c.,, by which he presumed were meant our fully demonstrates ihe impressions existing there, feeble contrivances for the last three years, and and which have been produced by our former of which, he feared, the requisition of ten thoumeasures.
sand men was a breach, both in spirit and policy,
DECEMBER, 1811. should still be continued, he believed it would tions, not of Great Britain. Great Britain has degenerate into something of a very different had her share of the spoils also.. character, and would receive a very different Let us then not undervalue our enemy. Sir, denomination from the public.
this project of limiting our efforts to ten thousand Mr. G. begged the Senate to turn its atten- men, seems to be too much upon the plan of a tion to the means of resistance now actually in scarecrow, and it appears to be regarded in that Canada, which would probably be opposed to the light by some genilemen. He said Great Britain contemplated force. From the best information was the last nation on earth, that he would underhe could obtain, the British had at this time in take to frighten with scarecrows; besides, even Canada from seven to ten thousand regular troops, upon the scarecrow plan, he should suppose that and from twelve to fifteen thousand well appoint-twenty-five thousand men would be better than ed, well furnished militia, drawn from a popula- ten thousand. Mr. G. said he disliked this protion of nearly three hundred thousand souls. If
, ject extremely, from another consideration, which therefore, your troops could be ready to act in it forcibly impressed upon his mind. It must the Spring before the breaking up of the ice, and evidently have been recommended by that same Before the British could throw further succors spirit and policy which had heretofore relied into that country, it appeared to him there would upon the chapter of accidents for success, and not be very good employment for twenty thousand upon our own energies and resources. It seems men in subduing this force and population; and, to have been founded on the hope that Great if undertaken with fewer men, a failure of the Britain would recede without an effort on our enterprise would probably be the consequence. part. It is a fallacious hope. The hope itself Besides, sir, we should recollect that Great Brit- will always defeat its own object, by avoiding ain is the same Great Britain we encountered in the means to insure its own success. 1775, 1776, &c.; and although some gentlemen
Mr. G. said we had enjoyed a long course of seemed to suppose that she was fully occupied prosperity, but we ought not to calculate upon with her European war; that she was impover-, perpetual exemption from the common calamities ished, fighting for her existence, &c., and of of nations. When days of adversity shall arrive, course had at command very little disposable we should meet them with becoming fortitude force, he viewed the subject very differently.
and energy. He deprecated that spirit which ap
peared to be longing and whining after prosperity It is true Great Britain is engaged with a formi- that is passed, as if it feared to look adversity in dable enemy; but hitherto she has greatly the ad- the face. Mr. Presideni, when adversity comes, vantage in the war. Where has she lost one inch of territory? What acquisitions of territory and you must look her in the face; yes, sir, you must population has she not made, both in the East with courage, and with means sufficient to sub
stare her out of countenance; you must meet her and West Indies? What obstacles is she now due her. Mr. President, if after we have been opposing to the occupation of the Southern Pe- solemnly called together to receive communicaninsula by her enemy? So far from her popula- tions of great and weighty matters, and after our tion being diminished at home, it appeared io be meeting have been told that our independence is greatly increased by the last census, notwith at hazard, that there is actual war, both in charstanding all the distresses and starvations we acter and effect, upon our lawful commerce, have heard of, &c. Count the number of French brought home to the threshold of our territory; and English prisoners, and you will find that that rights are trampled upon, which no indepenGreat Britain had the advantage of perhaps ten dent nation can relinquish, &c.; when, in short,
Her fleet is unrivalled; of course left our wrongs are painted in such glowing terms, more free to act than at any time during the as to have set the whole nation on fire-if
, after Revolutionary war. He, therefore, concluded all this, we should taper down to providing ten that we should have to contend now with the thousand men to subdue such a crisis, would it same Great Britain we did then, with renovated not be a wonderful discovery in the art of sinking ? powers and resources. Yet to this Power it is Would it not undervalue the resources and enerproposed to oppose only
ten thousand additional gies of the nation? Would it not insult and deceive iroops. Mr. G. said it was uncertain how long the national spirit and expectations? Whether Great Britain might keep her army upon the he viewed this subject in reference to the interPeninsula ; but whenever it shall be withdrawn, ests of the nation, or the party in power, he should either by choice or necessity; she will have a equally protest against this little miserable policy formidable disposable force in numbers, skill, and of resorting to means so utterly incompetent to bravery; and whether she withdraws that army the objects. He cautioned the party in power or not, you will find that she will command a respectable force for the protection of Canada, if sporting with the national sensibility, the national you wait for the breaking up of the ice, which character, and the national interests. now envelopes all the avenues of that country. Time, therefore, is all-important, and not a mo- degree of force required, the committee was pre
Mr. G. said, in making the calculations of the ment for preparations ought to be lost.
cluded from taking into the estimate any auxiliary France, it is true, has astonishingly aggran- force to be derived from the militia ; because an dized herself during the existing war in Europe; impression appeared to be almost universally enbut it has been done at the expense of other na- 1 teriained, that Congress could not constitutionally
SENATE. command the services of the militia beyond the curred with the other experienced military gentlelimits of the United States; of course, the regular men in these respects. force must be proportionally augmented. He Mr. G. said, upon an impartial view of all the said, although he believed he stood single and considerations he had the honor to suggest, he alone, he protested against this doctrine. He did thought it was demonstrated, that the force pronot propose now to examine this question, be- posed was not more than competent to the objects cause it would be useless. He would, however, of the Government; and that a smaller number read the clause of the Constitution, which gave would correspond neither with the national spirit 10 Congress the power of calling forth the militia, nor expectations. He would therefore proceed and make one or iwo remarks on it. Congress to consider, whether the number proposed exshall have power to provide for calling forth the ceeded the national capacity to furnish. militia, to execute the laws of the Union, to sup- It will appear, said Mr. G., from the census press insurrections, and repel invasions." The lately taken, that the population of the United first object for which the militia may be called States is perhaps not less than seven and an half forth, is to execute' the laws of the Union. A millions of souls. Now, sir, this must be a populaw declaring war, is a law of the Union; and if lation of a most extraordinary character, and unthe war is to be carried on beyond the limits of der the influence of a government of a most exthe United States, it is still a law to be executed, traordinary organization, if it cannot command although beyond the limits of the United States; the services of thirty-five thousand men, upon the and he could see no reason why the militia could most extraordinary exigencies. But we are not pot be called forth to execute it. Indeed, it is one without a memorable experiment upon the popuof those laws to the execution of which force is in- lation and Government of the United States, at dispensably and properly applicable; and if the a former period. In 1775, 1776, we commenced laws can have a legitimate influence beyond the the Revolutionary war with Great Britain, with limits of the United States, the power of Congress a population very little, if at all, exceeding two over the militia must be co-extensive with the millions of souls.* Let us see the number of laws, which are thus required to be executed. He regular troops, not merely voted, but actually would only observe further, that when this sub- brought into the field, and paid for their services ject was more particularly brought into discus. during the whole of that war. They are as folsion upon a former occasion, it was said, that low: Total in pay, in 1775, 27,443 ; in 1776, even in Great Britain, the militia could not be 46,891 ; in 1777, 34,820; 1719, 27,699; 1780, 21,ordered out of Great Britain ; no, not even to 015; 1781, 13,292; 1782, 14,256; 1783, 13,476. Ireland. But it should now be recollected, that These are the regular troops actually in.pay, exsince that time, the British Parliament, without clusive of militia. even a question as to the right, has ordered Brit- In making this comparative estimate, he was ish militia to Ireland, and Irish militia to Great willing, in these degenerate days, to give two, nay, Brilain. Twenty-six regiments are said to be three for one, over the population of 1775 and transposed at this time.
1776; and it would appear, that the committee had Mr. G. said, that in considering the peculiar not drawn upon the existing population beyond geographical situation of the United States, with moderation. With a double, nay threefold popucolonies at each end of them, belonging to pow- lation ; with more than quadrupled pecuniary reerful distant nations, with which we may be often sources; with a capacity for furnishing munitions brought into collision, it would be unfortunate of war above one hundred fold, the committee for the United States if the militia bordering on proposed to draw upon the existing population the lines of separation could not be called forth for thirty-five thousand regular troops in the for any purpose of chastisement, or any other ob- whole. In 1776 there were actually in the field ject the Government might have in view, in re- and paid, forty-six thousand eight hundred and lation to those culonies or their respective mother ninety-one regular troops, exclusive of militia. countries. If such be the unfortunate organiza- Greai Britain, with a population of but little tion or interpretation of the Constitution, an
more than double that of the United States; laamendment for remedying so important a defect boring too under a debt of more than seven ought to be instantly proposed and adopted. Its bandred millions of pounds sterling, has, at this inconvenience is now sensibly felt, in precluding time, in her land and naval service, perhaps, all reliance upon that important auxiliary force. three hundred thousand men; yet an alarm seems Gentlemen, however, purpose to remedy this de- to be produced here by a proposition to call into fect, by a volunteer force. Mr. G said, he would the service of the United States thirty-five thounot reject
, nor did he mean to disparage, this sand men. This too for repelling the aggressions species of force. But, from the nature of its of the same Great Britain we encountered in organization, it cannot be suited to offensive war, 1775 and 1776; and for the same cause. Yes, nor to the occupation of a country after it should sir; it is as much a question of independence be taken. He had been told too, by military gen. now, as it was then. It was then a question, ilemen, without exception, that it was always whether Great Britain should impose à lax of found to be the most expensive and least efficient force. He hardly expecied to have heard it relied • Population of the United States, at four several opon for ibe contemplated object, by the honor- periods, viz: 1780, 2,051,000; 1790, 3,929,326; 1800, able mover, because he thought gentlemen con-1 5,308,666; 1810, 7,239,903.
Additional Military Force.
three pence per pound on tea, when in our colonial gentlemen who express so much concern for the state. It is now a question whether Great Brit- | Treasury Department, tell us that the gentleman ain shall regulate by force the whole of our com- at the head of that Department possesses the merce, in contempt and violation of the laws of most splendid financial talents, &c. 'Mr. G. said, nations, when we affect to be in an independent he hoped he did; and he was not disposed to destate. If, sir, our fathers had condescended to tract aught from this impression ; but he could calculate the costs of a tax of three pence on a not help remarking that he should feel more conpound of tea, compared with the costs of the war fidence in that gentleman's financial reputation, for achieving our independence, as some of their if it were founded more on facts, and less on rusons are now doing with respect to ihe value of mor and anticipation. The honorable Secretary's our commerce submitted to the regulation of financial reputation was made to his hands by Great Britain, we should not now have it in our others. He had litle or no share in it. He has power 10 degrade their memories, by the profli- annually given us the most lucid views of the gate abandonment of the independence achieved amount and manner of revenue received at the for us by the profusion of their blood and treasure. Treasury, which was provided by others, and the And what, sir, became of the forty-six thousand manner in which it has been disbursed for the eight hundred and ninety one men raised to op- purposes of the Government. But this is no difpose Great Britain in 1776? We know they ficult task, and is po evidence of financial skill, were often compelled to fly before superior Brit- which he understood to consist in the faculty of ish forces, and by the waste of the war and short getting the most money into the Treasury, with enlistments, were reduced in 1783, to 13,476. Yet ihe least inconvenience to the contributors. He we seem now to be willing to fall into this same was not disposed, however, to complain of this fatal error--and for what? and for what cause ? inactivity on the part of the honorable Secretary, From groundless and visionary fears of the pos- because ihe Government had never called upon sible influence of regular troops upon our liberhim for greater exertions, and, perhaps, had no ties. But, sir, these fears come too late. They occasion to have made such a call, un til about should have come upon us long ago. It is too three years ago. But, sir, what does this gentlelate to say, we are more afraid of the means of man tell us, upon whose splendid' talents we all annoyance, than the enemy to be annoyed. We rely? That the national resources are equal to oughi to have submitted long ago. We have now all the pational exigencies. In his last report, he takeo the ground of resistance, and cannot re says, in substance, there can be no doubt of the cede. He hoped that the considerations urged ability and the will of the nation to furnish all the other day upon this subject, were sufficient the necessary supplies. If, then, reliance can be to demonstrate the fallacy of these alarms, and placed on his splendid financial ialents, only give their unfortunate tendency in relation to the pub- them scope for action ; apply them to the national lic welfare in the present state of our affairs, ability and will; let them perform the simple task Upon these views of the whole subject, he trusted of pointing to the true modus operandi ; and what that the Senate would concur with the commit- reason have we to despair of the Republic? What tee in opinion, that the number of men recom- reason have we to doubt of the abundance of the mended is not too great for the purposes of the Treasury supplies ? Until now the honorable. Government, nor beyond the convenient abil. Secretary has had no scope for the demonstration ities of the United States.
of his splendid financial talents. Of all the revMr. G. said, he would now proceed to the ten- enues receivable at the Treasury, he knew of but derest point of this discussion-the decrepit state one fund for which we are indebted to the sugof the Treasury Department. Mr. G. said, he did gestion of that gentleman. That is what is called not think this the true standard for estimating the the Mediterranean fund; and that is annually national resources, nor energies; nor for estimat- presented to us in a very awkward and crooked ing the means necessary for repelling aggressions form. But, against this may be placed the repeal upon our national rights; nor is it the one recom- of the salt'tax ; one of the most improvident mended in the President's responsible Message. measures ever adopted by this or any other Gov. But the honorable mover had said it demanded ernment. He presumed the Secretary, at least, and ought to receive our first attention. He com- yielded his assent to that measure. Mr. G. said, plained, 100, that Mr. G. bad said the objects at he was extremely opposed to this measure at the stake were too great for counting the costs. Mr. time of its adoption; had twice reported against G. said this was not precisely ihe view he had it, as the chairman of a committee, to whom the before presented on this part of the subject. The subject was referred; and he believed it was twice opinion he expressed was, that there would be an rejected by this honorable body.. His single vote, economy in furnishing means sufficient to effect he believed, turned the scale. He should have your objects; thai the costs could not be deemed persevered in his opposition, notwithstanding the excessive, which would insure success; but if you popular cry raised at the time; but he yielded at dealt out your means so sparingly as to fail of length to an imposing claim urged on him by many your object, it would then become prodigal waste members of the House of Representatives. The and profusion of economy. To this opinion he House of Representatives was peculiarly intruststill adhered ; and he thought there never was an ed by the Constitution with the power of raising occasion where the remark would apply with revenue; and it could hardly be considered as more force and propriety than at present. The l'correct in a single individual, in the other brane
Additional Military Force.
of the Legislature, to put his veto to a measure, in opposition of the Executive, acting, he believed, relation to revenue, which was recommended by under the same unfortunate influencé. This so large a majority of that branch, to whose dis measure consisted in presenting to the aggressing cretion all subjects of revenue were intrusted in belligerents an impartial and honorable proposia peculiar manner. To this claim, and the very tion for accommodation; and in the event of its high respect he entertained for the House of Rep- rejection, to issue letters of marque and reprisal resentatives, he yielded a reluctant consent, upon against the refusing nation. This measure was condition that the repeal should be postponed until so strongly and obviously recommended by the one month after the ineeting of the next session peculiar circumstances under which we were of Congress, and that the House of Representa coercively placed by both the belligerents, that tives would again review and consider the sub- he was astonished at the apxioas opposition it ject. The month elapsed without re-enacting the received; and to the success of that opposition, law, and the tax ceased.
after the embargo was abandoned, may clearly Mr. G, said he never gave a vote more against be traced all our present sufferings and degradathe convictions of his own judgment than he did tions. Both the belligerents had détermined that on that occasion, although the motive' was one we should be no longer neutral; and had adopted which he conceived ought to exempt him from the most injurious measures in relation to us, to censure. If gentlemen will now multiply the coerce us into the war; each urging us to war product of that tax, by the number of years since against its 'enemy. What was the proper and it was taken off, they would find it would have manly reply to these aggressing nations? Here produced all the sums which have since been is a proposition of accommodation to each of you;. called for by loans, provided no greater expendi- if either accepts, we pledge ourselves to issue lettures had been incurred by the Government than ters of marque and reprisal against the other, it have taken place. Besides the diminution of refusing the accommodation. This was the very Treasury funds, it has had the most baneful in situation in which each wished to place us against fluence upon the salt works which had been its enery; and of course both would probably established under its protection, and which would, have accepted the proposition ; one or other cerunder the influence of the same protection, in a tainly would; and if the acceptance of one before very short time, have rendered us independent of the other would have produced a state of hostiliforeign nations for the supply of this article of the lies against the other, it would have been of very first necessity. He was not disposed, however, short continuance; because neither of them would on these accounts, to distrust the splendid financial find any interest in a war against us, and each talents of the honorable Secretary; although wished us to take a part in the war, not against candor. compelled him to acknowledge that he itself, but against its enemy; and perhaps the acshould feel more confidence in them, if it were commodation would not be the less durable for not for the unwillingness evidently manifested having been sealed with blood. This measure by that gentleman himself, during ihe last three was not opposed upon its intrinsic merits nor deyears, in affording their usefulness to the Gov- merits, but it required to be backed with other eroment, in times which imperiously demanded measures of preparation and expense, and hence their full and prompt exertions.
the real cause of its failure. The practical ún: Mr. G. said the recession of the Treasury De- derstanding of the rejection of this measure, both partment from the trying difficulties of the nation at home and abroad, was' subinission to the belduring that period, must be evident to every im- ligerent aggressions ; or, in other words, notwith. partial observer; and he believed he was acquaint- standing all our previous patriotic speeches and ed with circumstances which amounted to a resolutions, we were determined not to resist by knowledge that all the measures which have dis- force. And what has been the result of this conhonored the nation during the same time, are, in viction on the part of the belligerents, of submis. a great degree, attributable to the indisposition of sion on our part ? Great Britain immediately the late and present Administration to press on disavowed an arrangement made by Mr. Erskine, the Treasury Department, aud to disturb the under the influence of instructions given under popularity and repose of the gentleman at the. a contrary conviction, a conviction produced by head of it. That the inexecution of the embargo the measures of this body, and by a report made is properly attributable to that cause, he had no by a gentleman, then a member of the House of doubi; and notwithstanding all the clamor upon Representatives, and whom he then saw with that subject, its inexecution produced its repeal pleasure on this floor, and a resolution adopted in The Executive refused to incur the expense, and consequence of that report. This resolution deaccept the means necessary for its effectual exe- clared our determination to resist the belligerent cution; which, he believed, would have been aggressions, with only two dissentient votes. The readily and zealously granted by Congress upon measures of this House, without any declaration, the Executive request, at any moment, When were calculated to produce the same conviction. we were driven from that measure by the inexe- In this state of things Mr. Erskine received his cution of the law, this honorable body proposed a instructions, and a satisfactory arrangement with substitute, in his judgment infinitely better ca Great Britain was the consequence; but the moculated to retrieve the honor and promote the in- ment Great Britain found we had receded from terest of the nation, than the embargo itself. It our own 'ground, and falsified our professions, she was done too against the known and anxious disavowed the arrangement, and now perseveres