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FEBRUARY, 1808.

Embargo.

H. OF R.

tures,

section, for the purpose of lessening the burden of sat day after day and night after night. I canthe nail required of the fishermen, and negatived not, therefore, possessing now the same opinions by large majorities.

whích governed me then, opposed as I still am to Mr. Bacon moved that the bill be recommitted the existence of the embargo act, I cannot conto the Commitee of Commerce and Manufac- sent to go on, for the purpose of extending the

operation of the evil more widely, for the purpose Mr. Alston said, when the bill was on its third of making that worse which is already ioo bad. reading, it might be recommitted, if good reason But this is different from our embargo law. It is could ihen be shown.

a non-intercourse bill. The more the original Mr. Quincy protested against this mode of le- measure developes itself, the more I am satisfied gislation without intelligence; he had listened that my first view of it was correct; that it was with attention, and could not precisely compre- a sly, cunning measure. That its real object was hend the whole extent of the operations of the bill. not merely to prevent our vessels from going out,

Mr. Alston, in reply, observed that the gentle but to effect a non-intercourse. Are the nation man had so often protested against this mode of prepared for this? If you wish to try whether legislation, and he had seen it had so little effect they are, tell them at once what is your objecton the nation or the House, that he was surprised tell them what you mean-tell them you mean to he should persist in it.

take part with the Grand Pacificator; or else stop Mr. GARDENIER.-I shall vote in favor of the your present course. Do not go on forging chains motion to commit; but not for precisely the same to fasten us to the car of the Imperial Conqueror. reasons which have been urged; but, as I appre- [Here Mr. Smilie, Mr. G. W. Campbell, and hend, for reasons more powerful. It has struck Mr. MONTGOMERY, and several others, rose tome, sir, that the more we legislate on this subject, gether, some calling to order, and others hoping the worse we legislate-the more we legislate, the ihe

gentleman might proceed.] more we legislate to the destruction of the coun- The SPEAKER hoped the gentleman would keep try. Why we passed the embargo law itself, I within the rules of propriety. have been always unable to tell. Why we have Mr. GARDENIER hoped the Speaker would keep passed the subsequent laws for the purpose of order in the House, (three gentlemen were still rendering the original evil more perfect and more standing) for, said Mr. G., it is impossible for me, universal, God only knows. It does appear to me, sir, to speak and keep order in the House at the şir, that we are led on, step by step, but by an un- same time. - [The confusion having ceased, Mr. seen hand. We are urged forward by a sort of GARDENIER proceeded.] If the gentlemen have spell, 10 the ruin of our country. Under the name composed themselves, and are in a condition to of an embargo we are in truth and in fact passing hear, I will proceed. I wish first, however, 10 put non-intercourse laws. Under the beguiling form them at ease on one point. They are not of suffiof a bill supplemental to the embargo law, a law cient importance to have been the objects at whom which prohibited the departure of vessels from I would level anything. I assure ihe gentlemen your ports and harbors, you are about 10 prohibit I did not mean them.] all iniercourse by land with any of the circumja- This, sir, whatever name or complexion it may cent territories of foreign nations. Between the bear, is in fact a non-intercourse bill. The meaoriginal measure and this, there is no connexion: sure it proposes can be of no possible benefit to us. the principle of the one is totally different from It has nothing in it to render palatable the distress the other. Nay, sir, this bill is totally at variance it must bring on a very considerable portion of with the President's embargo Message. [Mr. Gar- our citizens. I object particularly against the DENIER here read from the President's Message of fourth section. It forbids the exportation of our December 21, 1807:)

produce by land, in which mode there is no dan“The communications now made, showing the great ger of capture. When we passed the embargo and increasing dangers with which our vessels, our act, it was not done with a view to stop trade, but seamen, and merchandise, are threatened on the high was professed to be done with a view to keep safe seas, and elsewhere, from the belligerent Powers of our resources. The stopping of trade by water Europe; and it being of the greatest importance to keep was not the object, however it may have been the in safety these essential resources, 1 deem it my duty inevitable consequence of the embargo. It was to recommend the subject to the consideration of Con- an evil necessarily resulting from it. The majorgress, who will doubtless perceive all the advantage ity were willing to endure this evil, in considerawhich may be expected from an inhibition of the tion of the eventual good which would result departure of our vessels from the ports of the United from keeping (as the President expresses it) in States."

safety our essential resources. But as one mad To prevent our ships and vessels from leaving measure usually begets more, so, in the present their ports, for the purpose of preserving them as instance, it has happened, that the original object resources to meet a state of war, if that should of the embargo, ruinous as it was, is abandoned, ultimately come, was all that the President pro- and gentlemen seemed to vie with each other in fessed to have in view, all that he wished us to do, their endeavors to render our situation in every at least, at that time. And I state it to the ever- respect intolerable. I ask the intelligent and canlasting honor of the minority on that occasion did men of this House, whether to prevent the as long as I live I shall be proud of the share I farmers of Vermont from selling their pigs in had in that honor—that to resist even that lawwel Canada is calculated to increase or diminish our

H. OF R.

Embargo.

FEBRUARY, 1808.

essential resources? Whether the object which safety. But, at any rate, is it wise to hazard everythe President professed to have in view is coun- thing upon the experiment? for at best it is but teracted by a traffic of this kind. No, sir. It is an experiment. If it shall be proved ultimately not only in direct hostility to the interests of the to have been a good measure, it will also prove to country, but what some gentlemen will probably have been strong enough to produce good enough regard quite as much, to the wishes of the Presi

. to satisfy every rational theorist. If a bad one, it dent. I repeat it; the objects of the bill, particu- will have produced calamity enough, full as much larly of the fourth section, and of the embargo, as our poor country can stagger under. are totally distinct.

I have in view no object but my country's good, Instead of measures of this description; instead and when I see it threatened on every side, it is of fettering commerce; instead of putting their my duty to speak out, boldly and earnestly, to this ingenuity to the rack, in devising means to para- House and to this nation. And I will again. enlyze completely all the commercial activity of treat gentlemen to reflect whether the continual the country, I should have been happy to have extension of the non-intercourse system, is calcuperceived in the gentlemen who manage matters lated to make us better prepared to engage in a in this House, I should have been glad to have war either with France or Great Britain. For, perceived in the Administration, a disposition to upon that ground, was the original measure of the encourage as much commercial activity as could embargo demanded by the President; upon that be possibly consistent with the professed object of ground only could it be even plausibly defendthe President-the safe keeping of our resources. ed. Sir, it is high time to stop. We have done I should have been happy to have found them enough. content with the ruin and distress their darling If it is wise to contrive that every pårt of the project had already produced, without aiming at country should suffer, if this strange notion be the utter, the total stagnation of all the commercial indeed good policy, I could wish gentlemen would, powers of the political body. But, unhappily, in- instead of bolting at me in the fulness of their stead of ameliorating, we go on to make worse rage, endeavor to satisfy my poor understanding and worse the condition of our devoted country. by cool reasoning that they are right. That they Suppose Vermont should send some of her pro- wo

show me how this measure will prepare duce to Canada; or Georgia to the Floridas; in us for war-how the weakening, by distressing what are the interests of the rest of the Union to every part of the country, is to increase its strength suffer by it? Or are we to go on passing these and its vigor. No. I cannot be deceived in the laws, zealous in our exertions to make bad worse, view I have taken of this measure, and I will not upon the principle, which sume gentlemen in this cease to protest against it with all the energies of House have very gravely advanced, that we ought which I am possessed. to make the public suffering as equal (in other I am grieved to see that we are perpetually enwords) as universal as possible to extend it to gaged in making additions and supplements to every nook and corner of the Union; that no por- the embargo law. Wherever we can espy a hole, tion, no section however remote, however seclu- if it be no bigger than a wheat straw, at which ded, should escape from taking its due proportion the industry and enterprise of our country can of the bitter draught; none, which the fatal gan- find vent, all our powers are called into requisition grene should not reach? If we are running mad, to stop it up. The people of this country'shall sir, we have at least this consolation; we have sell nothing but what ihey sell to each other. " method in our madness."

All our surplus produce shall rot on our hands. : It is strange, it astonishes me, that by an em- God knows what all this means! I, sir, I cannot bargo, we should be led to the measures contem- understand it. I am astonished -- indeed I am plated in this bill. Because you wish to preserve astonished and dismayed. I see effects; but I can your vessels and seamen, those essential resources, trace them to po cause. Yes, sir, I do fear that in your seaports, you are, therefore, to prohibit all there is an unseen hand, which is guiding us to trafficking across your territorial lines; though it the most idreadful destinies-unseen, because it is evident that by permitting it, your citizens, of cannot endure the light. Darkness and mystery course your country, will be benefited. Sir, I overshadow this House and this whole nation. cannot express my amazement at the dreadful in. We know nothing, we are permitted to know nothfatuation which pervades the public councils. I ing: We sit here as mere automata ; we legislate conjure the members of this assembly to cease for without knowing, nay, sir, without wishing to a moment their exertions-1 conjure them to know, why or wherefore. We are told what we sheath the destroying sword; in the name of our are to do, and the Council of Five Hundred do it. suffering country I entreat them to save it from We move, but why or wherefore, no man knows; these new and accumulating evils. The great we are put in motion, but how, I for one cannot object of your President is secured. Leave a lit- tell. tle to your distressed people. Do not, I implore Sir, the gentlemen of this House with whom I. you, permit yourself to be persuaded thai the have the honor to act, and a distinguished hopor I public interest cannot be subserved unless every consider it, are disposed to do all that men can body is destroyed.

do for their country. But we wish to know what I doubt whether experience has proved that the we are doing—the tendency of the measures we original law was for the public interest. Hitherto are called upon to adopt. If the motives and the our ships might have navigated the ocean in principles of the Administration are honest and

FEBRUARY, 1808.

Captain Pike.

H. of R.

patriotic, we would support them with a fervor ject. Since an embargo had been laid, he was which pone could surpass. But, sir, we are kept willing to render it effectual, and equalize its opein total darkness. We are treated as the enemies ration. He then gave some reasons why the bill of our country. We are permitted to know noth- should be recommitted. ing, and execrated because we do not approve of Mr. Rhea, of Tennessee, moved to adjourn; measures the origin and tendency of which are negatived-55 to 25. carefully concealed from us! We are denounced Mr. LIVERMORE said he had seconded the mobecause we have no confidence in the Executive, tion for recommitment, because he thought the at the moment the Executive refuses to discover bill required revision. There had been exceptions to us-even this House, nay, sir, this nation, its taken to several parts of it; were gentlemen actual condition. Like the Israelites in Egypt, we ready to go into a discussion of them at this late are to make brick and find our own straw. We hour, and this late day in the week? He thought are to have faith, and find out our own reasons for not; and, for this reason, wished them to be exit. This course will do in this country no longer. amined by the committee. [The SPEAKER called Mr. G. to order. Mr. Al- Mr. J. MONTGOMERY.—Now, at this late hour, STON wished the gentleman might be permitted charges of a very serious nature against the to proceed.] Mr. GARDENIER.-I do not desire House have been made on this floor by a gentleperinission of that gentleman. I shall permit man from New York. Not on this day are they myself to proceed. I have wandered, sir, through made for the first time; they have been sent a wide field I confess. I return to this bill. I abroad in the public prints. It is important to wish to soften its asperities-to make its operation know how those charges originated. At this late more mild. Particularly to have the fourth sec-hour they cannot be repelled. Let us pursue this tion expuoged. I will, therefore, vote for its com- course on this awful business ; let the question be mitment.

carried over; let the House now adjourn. Atour Mr. Bacon.- I hope the House will do me the next meeting let us take up, and, if those charges justice to believe that there was no concurrence can be proven, if we are indeed so abandoned, so of views or unity of design in the simple motion profligate, so destitute of patriotism, so dead to which I had the honor to submit to the House for everything which concerns the interest of our the commitment of the present bill, and the most country, let us be stamped with infamy, and sent extraordinary rhapsody of “melancholy mad- home to our constituents. The crisis is serious, Dess,” (for I can call it by no other name,) which and calls for the attentive deliberation of the we have just heard from the gentleman from House. Let the gentleman from New York esNew York. In order, however, to prevent any tablish his charges; if he does so, I, for one, will more of those undue advantages being taken, to say, those persons, under this secret influence, insult the House, by the means of that motion, must be immediately expelled the House. If he and, in order that I may not be deemed accessory does not, some other course may be taken with to any more of those effusions of the pride which relation to that gentleman. the gentleman says he cherishes, in relation to his On motion, the House then adjourned. public character and his conduct on this occasion (and for which, if he does in reality entertain

MONDAY, February 22. inem, I most sincerely piry him,) I rise to withdraw the motion, which I had submitted for a

Mr. Boyle, from the Committee on Public very different purpose than that for which it has Lands, reported a bill to direct the mode of surbeen improved. If that gentleman or his friends veying land in the Orleans Territory, and for are ambitious that he should have any further op. grapting rights of pre-emption in certain cases; portunity for displaying himself in that way

before which was iwice read, and referred to a Committhe public, either he or they are welcome to renew

tee of the Whole. it. I wash my hands of any further participation into a Committee of the Whole on the bill for

On motion of Mr. M. Clay, the House went in it.

Mr. D. R. WILLIAMS.—I do renew the motion ; classing, the militia of the United States. The and I hope there is yet sobriety enough in the motion for striking out the first section being yet House, not to suffer themselves to be driven into under consideration, Messrs. Rowan and Liveran improper measure by any intemperance which MORE supported, and Mr. Nicholas opposed the aby member may have displayed. "Mr. W. then motion for striking out the first section when the gave some reasons why the bill should be recom

Committee rose, reported progress, and obtained mitted ; it had been so repeatedly and variously

leave to sit again. amended that it could not be understood. As a

CAPTAIN PIKE. further reason for commitment, he said, that the Mr. J. MONTGOMERY observed, that to Captains chairman of the committee himself had offered a Lewis and Clarke, who had explored the Western proviso, and, upon a reconsideration of it, had country, a compensation had been made; he held found it had not the operation he intended. in his hand a similar resolution for remunerating

Mr. DANA said, although not partial to the mea- Captain Pike for the important services he had sure of laying an embargo, he should endeavor to rendered on an almost similar expedition, which legislate effectually, to propose amendments or to he proposed, as follows: object to them to any bill whatever which should Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire be necessary to carry into effect the general ob- what compensation ought to be made to Captain Pike

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Embargo.

FEBRUARY, 1808.

and his companions for their services in exploring the tion of this subject, he was told it might be neMississippi river, and in their late expedition to the cessary to make a certain appropriation to explore sources of the Osage, Arkansas, and La Platte rivers, certain waters, and was told that Captain Pike together with their tour through New Spain; and that

was then engaged in it under the orders of the they have leave to report by bill or otherwise.

Government. Mr. Marion objected to the phraseology of the

THE EMBARGO. resolution, as sanctioning a general principle, to which he was not prepared to assent. The reso

The House resumed the consideration of the lution did not go to inquire if any compensation, bill amendatory of the embargo law; and the mobut what compensation, should be given; thus tion for recommitment being yet, before the taking for granted that some remuneration should Housebe made. Mr. M. wished it to be so modified as Mr. JOHNSON observed that it had been late in to inquire" if any, and, if any, what," compensa- the day on Saturday when a gentleman from New tion should be granted..

York. in giving some of his reasons why this bill Mr. MONTGOMERY acceding to this alteration, should be committed, had made use of observathe resolution was adopted.

tions which he had at that time wished to repel; Messrs. J. MONTGOMERY, D. MONTGOMERY, that he hoped he should be excused a few moRowan, L. J. Alston, and HUMPHRIES, form the ments this morning, io expressing to the House committee.

his sentiments of the course of that discussion, Mr. Rowan said he had been absent when a and what should always be his conduct so long as resolution was this morning adopted for inquiring he held a seat in the councils of his country. if any, and what, compensation should be render- I presume, said he, that the rules which govern ed to Captain Pike for his services on an expedi- this House are reciprocal; and, though I cannot tion into the Western country. It was in his feel myself justified in making an attack on any power to give someinformation on the subject. He member, without reasons by which to substantiate had some time ago received a letter from Orleans charges which I may make against them, yet I that a Mr. Joseph Ballenger, a friend of Burr, had will abandon my seat at that moment in which I returned from an expedition with Captain Pike, am not permitted to repel any attacks made on and was incensed ai Wilkinson for blowing up the House, in which I am, in common with the the expedition, as he had engaged two or three rest, included. I represent a portion of the citinations of Indians to join Colonel Burr. I have, zens of the United States. Before they sent me said Mr. R., since that spoken to Colonel Ballen- here they knew my sentiments; I had not con. ger, a brother of this person, who informed me cealed them. I have, since I have been here, on that his brother had been sent by Wilkinson for all occasions voted from a sense of duty, and upon the purpose of promoting the project. Colonel evidence derived from sources accessible to all. Ballenger is a man of truth, and entitled to credit. I am a friend to liberal discussion and freedom of The Mr. Ballenger, the broiher of the gentleman debate; but I am an enemy to insinuations unjust mentioned, is in Kentucky, and his evidence founded and attacks unprovoked. I know that, in could be had. If this is the case, and Mr. Pike the ardor of debate, expressions may have escapis privy to this confederacy, he ought not to re- ed the lips of myself or any gentleman ; I may ceive compensation. In obedience to my duty, have been betrayed into a hurried expression, in and from no other motive, I have given this in- which, perhaps, upon retrospection, I might noc formation to the House, which the Speaker may feel myself justified, but from the ardor of debate. communicate to the committee, or take such fur. But a direct charge against any members on this ther order as he pleases.

floor, tending to put them in a degraded and infaThe Speaker said the gentleman might com- mous view, is contrary to honorable conduct, and municate it to the committee appointed if he cannot be excused, much less can it be justified. thought proper; or it could be reduced to writing I have differed in opinion with gentlemen on this and referred to the committee.

floor; and, potwithstanding this difference, I reMr. J. Montgomery said that, from his own spect them individually, so far as I am acquainted knowledge, he could state that Captain Pike's ex- with them, and so far as they have treated me pedition was for a very different purpose. It was with that politeness due from one gentleman to commenced, continued, and concluded, under the another. I should consider myself as derogating orders of the Government, and the report of the from the dignity of a Representative, were I to expedition was made to the Secretary of War. level a reflection against any member, because he

Mr. Rowan begged to be understood that he differed from me in political sentiment. But knew Captain Pike, respected him, and would not what expressions bave we heard, on a subject on wish unnecessarily to wound his feelings. He which they were not applicable, when every one was willing to discard any idea he might have of all parties seemed to join to render the embargo formed, upon proper information to refute it. He effectual, as a national measure should be! To had no desire to appear before a committee as an this House, and to those who vote for the ineas. informer or prosecutor.

ure, have been applied the observations, that an Mr. W. Alston said it would be recollected invisible hand guided us; that we we were told that he was chairman of the committee appoint- what was wanting, and that the Council of Five ed to inquire what compensation should be made Hundred voted it; that we are governed by forto Captains Lewis and Clarke. On the investiga-eign influence; that our steps are marked by folly

FEBRUARY, 1808.

Embargo.

H. OF R.

and madness; that we are forging chains to bind Our commerce would have been swept from the us to the triumphal car of the French Emperor; ocean, and scarce a vessel left; and therefore a that we are mere automatons; that we wait for system was adopted to retain the property of the the word of command, and we obey. Expres. United States at home, and preserve it from capsions of this kiod, I never expected to hear on this ture on the ocean. Did the gentleman contemfloor. Such expressions, I never expected to hear plate that there were already about three thoufrom the Representative of a free people ; and I sand of our own seafaring men on board vessels of pronounce them derogatory to the Republican foreign Powers? Did he reflect on the frequent character, and highly reprehensible. If by such seizures by the belligerent Powers, and that they expressions the gentleman means to charge me, dealt wide destruction to the commerce spread or if any man shall say that I am governed by over the ocean? Had he contemplated these any other impulse than duty, or influenced by any things the House would surely not have been so other motives than my own, I say that I consider assailed. To the assertion that they had been it a base and unprincipled calumny. And what legislating against the interest of the nation, what I have said, I am glad I did not say until this did the people themselves say? The embargo morning, because it is now deliberately done. A was generally approved throughout the United member may say wbat he pleases with respect 10 States, except by a few persons, probably holding himself; that he is governed by such or such in the same political opinions with the gentleman fluence. But, when a charge is made that I am from New York. From the East to the Southgoverned by any other impulse than that of an west, and from the Atlantic to the Ohio, the meaAmerican, and that I am a tool to others, I pro sure had been approved. With what confidence nounce it a slander. Under this impression, I and assurance then could the gentleman say that make this reply. And I would be understood they were legislating against the interest of the that, if any one considers himself injured, or the nation, or how could a gentleman permit himself resentment of any gentleman is awakened by any, to depart so far from facts as to make these asserthing which I have said, that I do not consider tions? myself as shielded by the splendid walls which The gentleman had said they were guided by surround me, nor by the privileges of a member. an unseen hand. In saying this

, according to my What I have said, I shall not retract.

interpretation of it, said Mr. R., he said more than Mr. Rhea said he should not vote for reference; he intended. I refer to that mighty Being who for if the bill should be committed to the Com- raises and depresses nations when he pleases. This mittee of Commerce and Manufactures, and after is the only hand that I acknowledge, and if it is wards be referred to a Committee of the Whole, the same which the gentleman meant, I will agree it would unnecessarily occupy time, when it could with him. But if he means that we are under as well be understood by being printed. It was any other influence than such as is dictated by with no pleasure to himself that he sat out to take the honor of our country, I do positively and uneany notice of a most extraordinary address from quivocally deny the truth of his assertion. When a gentleman from New York on Saturday last; a nation does an act at which no other nation on and it gave him pain that any gentleman should earth can justly take offence, and that act is apso far depart from the politeness which should proved by the people, it appears strange that it characterize every one, as to have used such lan- should be said by any one that it was favoring guage as was then heard. The gentlemen could the designs of any nation in Europe. This nation not bave intended to enlighten the House; for his fears not the designs of any nation in Europe; whole speech was unconnected-consisted of no neither has it a partiality for any one. This bechain of reasoning, but of assertions of a most ex. ing the case, how can it be said ihat the carrying traordinary nature, and those not bottomed upon this act into effect is aiding or abetting the designs fact. In the course of that extraordinary speech, of any foreign Power? I shall always agree to We were told that we were legislating against the assert the honor and dignity of my own country. interest of the nation-applying the observation ! shall never make assertions that it is under the particularly to the laws respecting the embargo. influence of a foreign Power; and before any genThe gentleman had made many observations on tleman makes such assertions he ought to have the embargo, and among others, as Mr. R. under- facts to confirm us in the belief. Unless strong stood him, that the minority on that question, reasoning or proof can be adduced in support of to their eternal honor, had opposed the systemhis assertions, he has descended to a gult from There were many gentleman in the minority on which it will be difficult to extricate himself. that occasion, who supported this bill, and would It has been said that this embargo is a sly and far from accord in their views with that gentleman cunning deception, or a non-intercourse law. It

In expressing his opposition to the embargo, has the same operation which every similar act did the gentleman for a moment take into view has heretofore had. So long as we can support the present state of things in Europe; the decrees a neutrality, so long will I do any act which conof blockade adopted by those mighty Powers in duces to it; and if anything can support it, it is their attempts to destroy each other?' if the gen- the embargo, by preventing those conflicts which tleman's mind had for a moment expanded, he would take place on the ocean between the armed would not have permitted such expressions to merchant vessels of the United States and the escape his lips. For if the embargo law had not armed vessels of the maritime Powers. passed, what would have been the consequence ? But it appears the gentleman bas taken great

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