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DECEMBER, 1811. Government. If, however, such were the objects force to be resisted or subdued was not known or intended, a more effectual mode to accomplish believed to be considerable, nor such as to require them could not be adopted.
the number of troops ordered to be raised; but If war becomes indispensable, you 'ought not that a majority of Congress took upon themto calculate that it will be of short duration. You selves, without sufficient cause, to raise this large can make war, but it does not rest with you alone army, incur this immense expense, and conseto make peace. Every effort ought to be made quently require those new burdeos to be imposed. to bring it to a speedy termination, and all the For all this, therefore, and the consequences that means ihat could be usefully employed afforded | may flow therefrom, such majority, and not the for that purpose. But you oughi not, in the be- Executive, must and will be responsible to the ginning, to waste unnecessarily your treasures, people. which are the sinews of war; your exertions Mr. C. said, he would now notice more parshould be proportioned to the resistance to be ticularly some of the arguments adduced by the overcome ; and no more of your energies and re- honorable member from Virginia, (Mr. Giles.) sources exhausted than the occasion requires; al. He did not propose followiog him through the ways reserving the residue to meet a more urgent various course of his reasoning, much of which, emergency. War once commenced, you ought however ingenious, did not appear to him relevant to calculate on supporting it, ob at least the same, to this subject, and although on that account if not on a more extended scale, not only for one, would not now be answered, he did not subscribe but for many years, as it cannot be knows how to. The honorable gentleman said, in case of long it may be continued.
war, your present military force of 10,000 men The American people, said Mr. C., will, with- would be required to protect your Western frontout a murmur, support any expenditures they be- iers, and prevent New Orleans and Florida being lieve necessary to maintain the rights and avenge taken by the British, &c.; and, therefore, that the wrongs of their country. But they will ex- 25,000 additional regulars would be necessary, and pect you to restrict those expenditures to such litile enough, to effect your purposes in the North, only as the emergency shall require; and that be- &c. Mr. Č. said no objeci could be more inter: fore you call on them for new contributions, you esting to the Western country than the security will be prepared to show you have disposed of of New Orleans; no one could feel more sensibly ibe means already in your hands to the best ad- than he did the importance of affording effectual vantage. Your Government has, no doubt, esti- protection to that place, as well as to Florida and maled the probable amount of force that would the Western frontiers; and he believed no one be required to accomplish the objects in view; was more anxious than himself, or would go furthey have probably made arrangements, so far as iher to provide the most ample means, and such rested with them, to meet the expenses of such as could be most usefully employed for those purforce; they would also, he conceived, be in a poses. He trusted the gentleman's professed regreat' degree responsible that it was competent gard for the protection of that quarter of the for the purposes for which it was raised, should be Voion was sincere and would long continue. He employed io effect those purposes, and that your would not, however, suffer himself to be induced finances could be rendered adequate to its sup-' by his anxiety for even those favorite and highly port. But what are you about to do by this bill? important objects, to abandon his solemn duty, Derange all those plans and change the respon- by raising a force so much larger than, in his sibility. Instead of twenty or twenty-five thou- opinion, the o«casion required. He was inclined sand, the number deemed sufficient, you force to believe 5,000 regular troops, with the aid of upon the Goveroment thirty-tive thousand regu- volunteers and militia, would be competent to lar troops. You thereby take upon yourselves protect New Orleans and its neighborhood. The the responsibility of raising a force much larger number of forces necessary to protect the Westthan was required, or can be usefully employed; ern frontiers would depend upon circumstances, of occasioning a great unnecessary expenditure, and the disposition of the neighboring Indian which will drain your Treasury, embarrass your tribes. But a considerable proportion of the finances, and probably com pel you to impose new force requisite for that purpose might consist of burdens on the people. Will ihey not inquire volunteers, or corps raised for a limited time, into the causes of those extraordinary measures, whose services would be equally useful, and and ask wherefore were those new taxes im- would enable the Government to dispense with posed, those expenditures incurred? What occa- the employment of any large portion of your reg, sion was there for so large a regular army?, On ular troops in that quarter. We have as yet, said what great emergency were they to be employed, Mr. C., taken possession of that part ooly of West and what numerous force was to be resisted or Florida, to which our territorial claim extends, subdued ? Those will be natural inquiries, and and there appears no ground, at present, to be the answers will, no doubt, suggest ihemselves, alarmed for iis safety. The employment, therethat a great portion of these expenditures was in fore, of so large a regular force as 10,000 men in curred contrary to the views of the Executive, that quarter, does not appear necessary, and can and for which he would in no respect be respon- furnish no good ground for raising so large an sible; that little more than half the regular force additional army as that contemplated by this bill. raised was deemed competent to effect all the But the gentleman inguires, what you would practicable objects within your reach"; that the think of New Orleans and New York being taken
Additional Military Force.
by the British ? and observes, if this should take here it might seem natural to inquire, if the genplace, you would not remain in power, or be the tleman was, at the time, informed of designs enmen who would end the war, &c. It might not tertained by the Administration, so derogatory to be very important, said Mr. C., to the nation, the character, as well as dangerous to the dignity whether the men now, in power should long con of the nation, and so evidently ruinous to the tinue to enjoy it or not; or wbether, in case there Western portion of the Union, why he did not should be war, they or their successors should make them known to the public, or at least to terminate it. Measures and not men is the maxim those who were so deeply interested in guarding by which we ought to regulate our conduct; and against their consequences? But, said Mr.C., if their successors should be equally or more com- in 1808–9, the time it is presumed alluded to, petent to execute the important trusts reposed in when some apprehensions were entertained for them the nation would have nothing to appre- the safety of New Orleans, I was a member of hend' from the change. It was, however, a doc- the other House. It became my duty to ascertrine io which he couid pot subscribe, that they tain, so far as circumstances 'rendered it proper, were to act contrary to what they believed their the measures intended to be adopted, and the duty, in order to avoid losing their places. But means that were to be used for the protection of why this attempt, said Mr. Č., to exaggerate the that place, whose safety was so important to the dangers and raise the fears of the citizens of New people I represented ; and if confidence could be York and New Orleans? and to excite in the placed in the declarations of those who then public mind apprehensions for the safety of those composed the Administration, (and their veraplaces? This could answer no valuable purpose; city, it is believed, has hitherto never been justly its only effect would be to produce groundless questioned,) it was their intention and solemn alarms, and inflame, for a while, the public sen- determination to defend it to the last extremity, sibility. There appeared no substantial grounds in case it was attacked, by all the disposable force to be alarmed for the safety of either of those and means in their power. That this was their places. The position of New Orleans is such as real intention appears sufficiently established by renders it difficult of approach to an enemy, and, their subsequent conduct, in sending a consideraby the employment of proper means, capable of ble number of troops, as well as gunboats, to that being successfully defended. The fortifications place for the object alone of protectiog it; and of New York are stated by those best informed who were ordered to take such position as should on the subject to be in such a state of completion be best calculated for that purpose. The destrucas would enable that place to resist any attack tive calamity experienced by those troops from likely to be made upon it; and there is no ra- the insalubrity of the climate, must be fresh in tional ground to doubt that Government will em- the recollection of all. But the uniform conduct ploy the best means they possess for the security of the late Executive, during the whole course and protection of those places.
of his administration, (of which unreserved canThe gentleman did indeed make a statement, dor was a distinguishing characteristic,) and in said Mr. C., which, at the time, very much sur: particular, the just regard he paid on all proper prised me. It was, (as I took his words down,), occasions to the best interests of the Western " that he did know it was the intention of the people, are of themselves more than sufficient to former Administration in case of war. not to shield him against the imputation of the views protect New Orleans, but let Great Britain take now ascribed to him. I cannot, however, but it; and that the Western people would be left to express my regret that this statement, made at relake it themselves ;" " that he did not know the this time, should have the appearance of throwintention of the present Administration on this ing a censure on the conduct of the late venerasubject, but believed it to be the same with that ble President. He has retired, accompanied by of the former.". This appears to me, said Mr. the plaudits of his fellow-citizens, and the high C., a charge of the most serious and alarming na- respect of the real friends to civil liberty throughture, and, if well-founded, would merit the most oui the world, to the shades of private life. Why severe reprehension. But to establish it, under not suffer him to repose there undisturbed ? I existing circumstances, would require strong and can hardly persuade myself it was intended by incontestable proofs. That the Government should, this statement to impeach the purity of his mowithout any known inducement, abandon one of tives ; but I cannot omit observing, that it appears the most important places in the nation, and, to me a melancholy proof of the malignity of without attempting its defence, suffer it to pass the human mind, that so many attempts should into the hands of an enemy, is, in itself, so im- be made to sullý the well-earned reputation of probable, and would argue so great a weakness, that illustrious statesman, whose fame will suror what is worse, such political depravity, that if vive the lapse of ages, and glide down the tide I had no koowledge of ihe transaction alluded to, of time unimpaired, while that of bis enemies or of the persons then composing the Govern- will vanish like the fleeting smoke or descend meng, I could not, without the most convincing with themselves to the tomb of oblivion. evidence, persuade myself to believe it. I should With regard to the present Administration, be forced to conclude that however sincerely the Mr. C. said, he did not know their particular gentleman might believe what he stated, he must views on this subject; he had, however, no reahave been misinformed on the subject, or have son to believe that they were such as the gentlemistaken the views of the Administration. And man seemed to consider them.' He could not for
DECEMBER, 1811. a moment entertain the idea that they intended are, with little variation, consistent with the stateto abandon the protection of New Orleans, and ment, termed inofficial, said to be made' by the he did not believe there was a single act of the Secretary of War. They are, to fill up the ranks Executive that would justify such a conclusion, of the present regular troops, for wbich a bill bas
The honorable member asserted this motion already passed ; to raise an additional (or auxiliwas in opposition to the spirit of the President's ary) force of nearly 17,000 men; and also, to auMessage, and the measures therein recommended, thorize bringing into service such volunteer corps &c.; he observed, the Secretary of War did in- and portions of the militia as the occasion may deed state, in conversation, to him, that ten thou require. This will make the auxiliary force much sand additional regular troops might answer the larger than the principal force, in aid of which it present purpose, but that he differed entirely in is required ; and it would seem a fair construction opinion with the Secretary on this subject, and of the words of the Message, as already, stated, gives you to understand that this inofficial state that the auxiliary force, as said to be suggested. ment, (as he chooses to call it,) which he coosid by the Secretary of War, should be equal only to ers as coming from the Executive, was at vari- the principal force; the whole regular force thus ance with his official communication in his Mes provided would be nearly 27,000, which, with the
volunteers to be authorized, (who were undoubt." Mr. C. said he could not admit the correctness edly considered by the Executive as an efficient of the conclusions which the gentleman drew part of the troops to be employed.) would put in from his premises. It did not appear to him that ihe power of the Government a disposable force, this motion, or the statement alleged to have exclusive of the militia, of at least 40.000 effective been made by the Secretary of War, was in or- men. This force, which might be increased as position to, or at variance with, either the spirit circumstances should require, is certainly compeof the Message, or the specific measures recom- tent to accomplish all the attainable objects ihe mended therein. It is rue, the honorable gen. most sanguide can have in view. . To what retleman differed in opinion from the Secretary spect, then, can these measures be considered in with regard to the number of regular troops né- opposition to, or at variance with, either the spirit cessary to effect the purposes iniended; and it or language of the official communication ? If would seem the principal question was, whether the forces furnished be fully competent to effect on this subject the opinion of the former, who the purposes for which they were required, will professed to have no knowledge on military af- you not, then, have put the United Siates i into fairs, or that of the latter, as the organ of the an armor and an attitude demanded by the crisis, Executive, (as he was alleged to be,) deserved and corresponding with the national spirit and most weight, and ought to be most relied upon." expectations ?" And will not all the objects of Mr. C. said he had already stated the sense in the Executive recommendation be complied with ? which he understood the Executive recommend. There does not, therefore, appear any ground ation on this subject, and endeavored to show the whatever, except in the imagination of the genforce proposed to be raised by thiş motion, con- tleman, for the alleged variance between the offinected with the other measures he wished adopt-cial and responsible communication of the Execued, was in conforority to the views presented by tive, and that which has been termed inofficial the Message. He would now, however, again and irresponsible. Nor was he able to perceive recur to the words of the Message itself, and see what public good could arise from statements eviif they furnished any just grounds for the gen- dently calculated, if not intended, to misrepresent tleman's deductions and satirical strictures. The the views of the Administration. He was hinnparts particularly alluded tó are in the following self convinced, from sources to him entirely satiswords: "With this evidence of hostile inflexi- factory, the views of the Executive were really bility, in trampling on rights which no inde- such as had been presented to the public by his pendent nation can relinquish, Congress will Message; such as they ought to be, and such as feel the duty of putting the United States in to would, if supported and promptly carried into an armor and an attitude demanded by the effect by Coogress, maintain the rights and vincrisis, and corresponding with the national spirit dicate the honor of the nation. and expectations. I recommend, accordingly, It seems, however, you must raise the number that adequate provision be made for filling the of troops contained in the bill, whether they can ranks, and prolonging the enlistments of the be usefully employed or not; for the honorable 6
regular troops; for an auxiliary force to be en- gentleman says, if you raise less, Great Britain gaged for a more limited term ; for the accept- will not believe you are in earnest, or that you 'ance of volunteer corps, whose patriotic ardor inean to use physical force, &c.; and further ob'may court a participation in urgent services; served, she had in Canada seven thousand regular for detachments, as they may be wanted, of other troops and fourteen thousand militia, &c. I canportions of the inilitia, &c.
not, said Mr. C., subscribe to the doctrine ihat we Here we see, said Mr. C., the specific measures åre to raise a force greater than is competent to officially recoinmended by the Executive, and accomplish the substantial objects we have in may form an opinion of the spirit of his Message, view, for the purpose alone of convincing that nato which allusion has been made. Let us now tion we are in earnest—that is, that we mean examine the measures proposed to be adopted by what we say. This would appear to me beneath those in favor of the present motion, and which the dignity of the Legislature, and derogatory to
pu de er
Additional Military Force.
the national character. Besides, there is no rea-cial talents; but he inquired what evidence he son to believe it would bave the proposed effect; had ever given of a capacity to devise ways and it would only waste unnecessarily your resources, means to bring money into ihe Treasury, and said without producing the least public advantage. he believed none; and added, that his (ihe SecreThere are some of your owo citizens who pretend tary's) talents had induced us to get rid of the di. to believe you are not seriously determined 10 rect tax, and of the salt tax, &c. The financial prosecute the avowed objects of your prepara- talents of the gentleman at the head of the Treastions; and the British Goveroment, as usual, may ury Department are too well known, said Mr. C., probably lake its tone from theirs. The use you to be made at this time the subject of investigation, make of your troops, as well as the decision and or require new proofs to support them. Every energy with which you act, and not ibe number man, in any tolerable degree conversant with the you raise, will best prove your sincerity, and will proceedings of your Government for the last fifalone probably convince that nation that you are teen or twenty years, must possess sufficient data not only in earnest in your preparations, but that to enable him to form an opinion for himself on you know and will maintain your rights; and this subject. He must, however, be permitted 10. ibat you feel your wrongs, and will avenge ihem. declare, Mr. C. said, this was the first time he With regard io the forces Great Britain has in had heard the talents or financial capacity of Canada, said Mr. C., there is no reason to believe that officer, since he came into the Government, as already stated, the regular troops there exceed brought into question by any gentleman of known six thousand, or that there could be more than standing and information. The sources from ten thousand militia brought into actual service. which your revenue must arise, are in their naSuppose, however, the statement of the gentleman cure neither numerous nor very complex, and correct, would not double the number of your must be obvious to most, if not all men of any regular troops be sufficient, under all supposable tolerable information. Duties on importations, disadvantages, lo oppose the seven thousand Brit- and the proceeds of your public lands, constitute ish troops? Aud could not your volunteers suc- the sources on which you must principally rely, cessfully encounter Canadian militia? No one, unless you resort to internal taxation, which the it is presumed, would be willing to deny this course pursued by gentlemen will probably reUpon what solid ground, theo, can it be contended quire. The Secretary had no power to draw that twenty-five thousand regular troops would money from any other sources ihan those probe necessary for that service ?
vided by law. He could not create new sources But the honorable gentleman says he has not of revenue; he could recommend the imposition much confidence in volunteers; ihat they will of new taxes, in order to bring money into the melt a way like a ball of snow, &c. This doc- Treasury; but the extent of your expenditures trine, said Mr. C., is, as has been already stated, hitherto, it appears, did not require it; and Mr. of modern dale among those professiog to be Re- C. said he sincerely wished, as did, he believed, publicans; it was once considered rank Federal the great majority of the nation, that this might doctrine, which gave alarm to the friends of lib-long be the case-that there might be no call for erty, and contributed in a great degree to destroy the exertion of his great financial calents to intheir-confidence in those avowing it. The militia vent new modes of squeezing money out of the bave always been considered, by the most distin- people's pockets without their beiog sensible of it, guished advocates of sound principles, the bul- to replenish your exhausted Treasury; for, whatwark, of our liberties, and, on emergencies, the ever may be the nature of taxes, they must be guardians of our righis. Volunteers are the bet-, ultimately paid by the people; and the inquiry ier sort of militia, and at least equally to be relied can only be with regard to the mode in which upon; they have, on any occasions during the ibey may be induced most willingly to make the Revolution, distinguished themselves by iheir .pa- required contributions. This is the art that would, triotism and bravery. Why should we now place above all others, answer the gentleman's idea of no confidence in them, or insinuate they would great financial capacity that is, the capacity to desert their posts? Will they not serve out the bring money into the Treasury. But it is betime for which they may engage; and cannot lieved that the only opportunities afforded that then their places, if necessary, be supplied by officer, according to our present fiscal arrangeothers?
ments, of exercising fivancial capacity, consist in Mr. C. said, it was difficult to perceive how skilfully conducting the collection of the revenue some of the arguments adduced by ibe honorable from the sources created or established by law, member could be reconciled; for, at the same and managing it afterwards with correctness and time that he insists upon increasing your expend- economy to meet the public demands; and those
itures much beyond what he states to be the views important duties, it seems admitted, have been : of the Government, he gives you to understand satisfactorily performed; for the gentleman says,
ibat the person who has the direction of your that that officer has annually made you very lucid revenue is not well qualified to provide the means reports on your finances, showing the receipts and necessary to meet such expenditures. If this be expenditures, &c. the case, it would seem a strong argument for In relation to the repeal of taxes ascribed to the circumscribing your expenses as much as practi- Secretary of the Treasury, the honorable gentlecable. He told you the Secretary of the Treas- man must have labored under a mistake. He ury had the reputation of possessing great finan- stated, the repeal of the direct lax; he probably
he understood it from himself at the time hich the United States, to declare the same by proc
DECEMBER, 1811. meant of the indirect taxes; the former was im- it was understood to be the opinion of the Execuposed for a year only, and the law expired before live, that war ought then immediately to succeed, ihat officer came into the Government; the indi- and substitute the embargo. The nation then rect taxes were repealed afterwards; and though would have been prepared for the event; its forfrom the information he, Mr. C., had obtained on bearance would have been sufficiently evinced; it the subject, that officer had no agency whatever would have possessed all its own resources unimin such repeal, he believed the measure was very paired, and had also within its power more than generally approved of by the Republicans through. iwenty millions of the property and treasures beout the Union. He could speak with more cer- lunging to one of its expected enemies, wbictatainty relative to the repeal of the salt tax, being might justly be made to contribute to support the then a member of the other House, and in a situ- war that should be thus forced upon us. The ation that made it his particular duty to attend to spirit of the nation was not only unbroken and that subject; and it was then distinctly under- firm, byt rising with the growing danger of the stood, the Secretary of the Treasury did not ap- crisis, and its character stood high at home and prove of the measure, (as will sufficiently appear abroad; but the fatal proposition to repeal the from his official reports;) that he considered that embargo, like a demon, or the evil genius of the fax not an oppressive one, at the same time that nation, presenting itself, paralyzed, as if by enit was productive and collected without any ex-. chantment, the best concerted ineasures, and dissitraordinary expense; the Executive, however, re- pated all those fair prospects. It always appeared commended the repeal of it, and after several up- to him, Mr, C. said, as placing the National Lesuccessful attempts, the measure at length suc- gislature (he would not say the nation) in the ceeded. The Secretary of the Treasury cannot, san.e situation that the unwarrantable desertion therefore, be considered in any respect whatever of his post, in the day of danger, would place au responsible for the repeal of those taxes; and it individual. He had often been surprised at the must appear very extraordinary that, after a great pumerous attempts made, in and oui of Congress, majority of the nation has so long unequivocally by some of those very persons who voted for the approved that measure, it should now be brougbt repeal of the embargo, lo charge unjustly, in his forward as evidence of the incapacity or miscon- opinion, the whole responsibility of that measure duct of that officer.
on the Administration. But he could not comThe honorable gentleman says, the inexecution prehend upon what ground the honorable gentleof the embargo produced its repeal, &c.; and that man from Virginia, who bimself introduced and this was occasioned by the Executive resusing to supported the measure, could at this day expect accept the means offered himn by Congress to en- to transfer the odium of it to the Executive and force the execution of 'it; and strongly insinuates Treasury Department. all this was produced by the influence of the The members of the National Legislature are Treasury Department, through the Executive. undoubtedly accountable to the people for the The repeal of the embargo, Mr. C. said, was a laws passed by their votes; and it must be with subject on which he did not wish to enter. It a very bad grace they ascribe their enactment to was always to him the most unpleasant that could the influence of others. The honorable gentle. present itself. It had at the time met with all the man informed you, he proposed to issue letters of feeble resistance that was then in his power (weak marque and reprisal as a substitute for the emas his state of health was) to oppose to it. He bargo, as being in his opinion better calculated considered it a measure which not only damped, than that measure to maintain the honor and but chilled the spirit of the nation, and impressed promote the interests of the nation, &c. Mr. a stain on its character, to wash out which would C. said, he understood the provision alluded to, probably require much of its best blood. It was in a sense very different from that stated by the not, however, the inexecution of the embargo that gentleman. Its true meaning would, however, occasioned its repeal, nor was it the influence of be best understood by recurring to the provision the Treasury or Executive Departments. It was itself. It is found in ihe 11th section of the nonthe fatal panic with which certain members in intercourse bill, as passed by the Senate in 1809, both Houses were seized, in consequence of the in the following words: "That the President of clamorous threats of the opposition in certain the United States be, and he hereby is authorquarters of the Union, that produced that effect. 'ized, in case either France or Great Britain The plan of the Executive undoubtedly was, (as shall so revoke or modify her edicts, as that they ·
to shall cease to violate the neutral commerce of continue and enforce the embargo, combined with the non-intercourse, until the extraordinary ses-lamation, after which the trade of the United sion proposed to be held in the following May; States suspended by this act, and by the act which would give time for that measure to have · laying an embargo on all ships and vessels in its full effect on the belligerents; would add but the ports and harbors of the United States, and little to the pressure felt by our own citizens, and the several acts supplementary thereto, may be would afford all the chances of avoiding war,' renewed with the nation so doing, and to cause arising from the probability of those Powers being to be issued, under suitable pledges and precauinduced to rescind their unjust edicts, and again tions, letters of marque and reprisal against the respect neutral rights. Should this favorable nation thereafter continuing in force its unlawchange in their conduct, however, not take place, ful edicts against the commerce of the United