« ZurückWeiter »
grand attempt to involve the entire nation
The report concludes with several imporin the disgrace of so deliberate a piece of tant suggestions. Mr. King shows the wickedness met with a most signal failure. necessity of a powerful military force to be Public opinion rose against them, and by established in California with the least posthe steady opposition of the Whigs, they sible delay; of an efficient harbor defence, were obliged to cover their retreat out of in case of war; of the establishment of this villainy by offering such terms as a mint; and completion of the rail way Mexico might reasonably accept, and with- across the Isthmus of Panama. The esout disgrace to herself. The new terri- tablishment of the mint he regards as of tories, it is to be eternally remembered, great importance to draw to San Francisco are by no means a conquest, but a pur- the 10,000,000 of silver bullion which are chase; and the right and title of the people annually sent from Western Mexico to of the United States to these territories is Europe. At San Francisco it would then founded upon value received, and is good be advantageously exchanged for gold coin, in the eyes of the law. Mexican and or would be coined itself to fit it for the Chilinean invaders, have therefore no pre- Chinese and American markets, to aid in text nor precedent, thanks to Whig influ- substituting Chinese and American manuence, for carrying the gold, by main force factures for those of Europe. and arms, out of the territories which Mr. King estimates that 50 millions of have been purchased by the people ; and gold will be dug during the current year. if the Mexican government itself abets He supposes that the entire difference in such proceedings, we shall by and by have the price of gold between New York and a casus belli for the war faction, which San Francisco, will be saved to the miners they will doubtless enforce, as becomes by the establishment of a mint; but it is them, with the arguments of a very high- clearly impossible that mere coinage should toned morality.
make gold at $16, worth $18 the ounce, The report continues: “ They may with or that the coinage should add even five as much right gather the harvest in the per cent. to its value. valley of the Connecticut, the Ohio, or the At the very lowest estimate, the increase Mississippi. No other nation, having the of emigration in California will create power to protect its treasure would suffer there a population of at least 100,000 of it to be thus carried away. I would American citizens during the year 1850, not allow them (the foreigners,) to pur- if, indeed, there is not already as great a chase permits, or work vein-mines, because number to be found there. It is not too the contributions, proposed to be required, large an estimate if we allow for each man are so moderate they will not cause the an outfit and expenditure of $500 ; by slightest inconvenience the miners, and which it will appear
that more than are not designed as an equivalent to these 50,000,000 of personal property have privileges. Foreigners, therefore, would been carried out of the United States into willingly pay their small sums for permis- that colony. An equal amount must be addsion to collect and carry away millions of ed for the sustenance of the population during dollars in value. The object is not only a the year 1850 ; and as much more for the suitable revenue, but to preserve, for the expenditure of the previous year. The exuse of our own fellow citizens, the wealth penses of the colony have then already of that region. The system of permits reached the enormous sum of at least will make all who purchase them police of- 150,000,000. It will be safe to add at ficers, to aid in excluding from the mines least 5,000,000 more for the employment all who are not entitled to, or who do not of sailors and shipping, and the various procure them, and to prevent deserters contingencies and losses attending such an from the army and navy from being pro- expensive adventure. If the entire cost tected in the mines. Sailors belonging to of the war, including the purchase money the mercantile marine would be thus pre- of the territories be estimated at vented from violating their engagements, 75,000,000, and one third of it put to the and the commerce of the country preserved account of California, the price of that from the disastrous consequences of the colony has risen, within two years, to abandonment of ships by their crews.” | 180,000,000. But if the 100,000 citizens who have gone to California, had remained professional services, give opportunities at home, they would have remained here unknown in other countries for the rapid as producers. Let us suppose that each accumulation of wealth. This accumulaof these would have earned $200, during tion is by the transfer of the wealth of two years, which is certainly not too many into the hands of a few. The high an estimate ; that is 20,000,000 of usual causes of inequality existing with actual production, lost in time and labor; far greater intensity than in other commuand the new colony of California will now nities, their effects are increased by the have cost the United States, in the brief carelessness and ignorance of new comers, space of two years, 200,000,000.
whose property slips easily through their The remittances of gold to the United hands and falls into the purses of those States have not, if we are rightly informed, who stand ready to appropriate and use it. much exceeded 15,000,000, and that sum It is only after severe losses and bitter is, by many, thought to be too large an sufferings, for the most part, that the poor estimate. Let us suppose, that in addition and inexperienced colonist is able to estabto this, 5,000,000 of profit have been lish himself in tolerable comfort. As Calirealized by exporters and traders; there is fornia is described to us by eye witnesses, 20,000,000 for the first year, to the credit nothing can exceed the waste and reckless of California. Now, by Mr. King's esti- profusion of those who meet with a sudden mate for the current year, 50,000,000 of turn of luck in the great lottery of the gold will be dug in California during the mines. Their fortune is shared with them year 1850. There is 70,000,000 to the by their brother adventurers, who have had credit of California. But no, this estimate the wit to engage in easier but more ingeis too large ; it is not to be supposed that nious kinds of speculation. more than 30,000,000 of the proceeds of Let us suppose that, by a kind of mirathe current year will be sent to the United cle, the entire population of California, States ; leaving only 50,000,000 to the together with the one hundred and fifty credit of the new colony for the proceeds millions which have been sunk during the two of two year,
years enterprise of that colony, could have It is impossible to come to any other been converted into an agricultural comconclusion than this, that this new colony munity, and transported to the interiorof California has cost the United States let us say, of Ohio, or Pennsylvania. One 150 millions in personal property and the hundred thousand farmers, with each a labor of its citizens, for which no return or capital of $1500! Each one of them profit has been received ; that is to say might safely undertake to put the one-half the colony has cost $1500 per man. We of one hundred acres of wood-land in good have sent away
100,000 men, and order for cultivation, and in five years to with each one of them $1500. It is im- convert fifty of those acres into rich and possible to escape from the conclusion. full bearing cornfields and meadows. Five
A great deal has been said and written millions of cultivated acres, producing in ridicule of English colonial economy. each $20 worth of produce. There would It is a fair subject of doubt, however, be already created an annual income, to whether England ever sent out a colony this agricultural colony, of 100 millions ; more costly for the time of its duration than needing only to have suitable roads to conour Californian one.
vey the surplus of their products to marWe are, therefore, to conclude, and our ket, and the establishment of manufacconclusion is well fortified by facts which tures with a portion of that surplus among have been communicated to us through themselves, to convert them into one of several adventurers who have sought their the wealthiest communities in the Union; fortune in California, that the rapid for- living, not as our unfortunate Californian tunes made there are, by no means, as brothers now live, in danger of malaria, some have imagined, taken out of the murder, starvation, and every species of earth with spade and pick-axe, and by natural accident; deprived of home, comstrength of hand. In newly settled coun- forts, and all the aids and consolations of a tries more than in any other, sudden aug- peaceful society; but living, as men should mentations of the value of land, and of live, civilized, organized, and in peace.
The spirit which possesses a large por- | sunk, and forever buried and consumed on tion of the American people at this time, the slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Barren, seems to possess it, like an eccentricity of deceitful, burning country, the country of genius, or like the blindness of a Samson ; diseases, wasteful, unfortunate country; by its own folly it grinds in the mill of cursed, like a young heir, with an inheritpoverty and destitution, and he who grinds ance of gold, which it must waste, and is not responsible for himself alone ; he spend, and devour, until all is gone, before compels others to suffer with him. He it can assume the garb and the habit of compels others, by the share which he severe, honest, and saving industry ? bears, as a practical legislator in the affairs Such, however, is our fate. The steed of his country; he legislates practically by will run away; and while he does run, we his vote; by his vote he throws down can only guide him. Since extension is those natural protections and barriers, the rule, let us make the best we can of it. peaceful, but insuperable barriers, which if, by a false and injurious system of legismay be erected by the laws against the lation, we have driven our brothers into hostile enterprise of other nations, more the wilderness, let us do all we can for adroit, and steadfast, and far-sighted than them where they are. Let us make their
And by this perverse spirit he fate bearable ; infuse into them a spirit of is driven out, like Ishmael, with his tribe humanity, and of kindness; extend over into the wilderness to fall a prey there to them the protection of the happier and the harpies that haunt untilled lands. more powerful States ; give them every With agriculture alone, such is the eternal assistance in their attempts to organize law of progress, begins the enduring pros- themselves, and encourage all their efforts perity of communities. Upon the shoul- to build up a secure and peaceful State. ders of that Atlas the sphere of civilization They must come into the Union, sooner rests with its full weight.
or later ; every man knows that they must He and his tribe must go into the wil- be brought in, with or without their antiderness, because at home they have shut slavery provision ; it makes no difference. their eyes
and set their teeth against the Legislation is the highest act of which only means of prosperity. They will be men are capable ; it should, therefore, as free traders,—they, or to ruin they will its effects are the most momentous, be the go. They are martyrs, forsooth, for a clearest, and the least doubtful. It is cerprinciple.
tainly unfortunate, not only for California Let us now suppose that, by an opposite but for the nation, that the question of her system of legislation to that which has admission should, in all these proceedings, been now, for twenty years, pursued, not have been confounded with other, and one hundred thousand unfortunate adven- wholly irrelevant matters. What we deturers, but ten times that number had been sire to see accomplished, during the present suffered to find employment for their strong session, is, first, the admission of the new hands, their free and ready genius, and State, not with reference to any system of their quick wits, in new modes of industry, encroachment upon the rights of the South, in the heart of the old States. In two -for the admission is no part of any such years, by the imposition of 25 millions upon system, nor can be made such a part,—but the entire country, in the shape of duties, simply, because it is right and necessary would not four times that amount of value for the prosperity of California herself. have been created, by new shapes of industry protected, and springing up vigor- accomplished is the immediate and effecously in all the towns and villages of the tual abolition of the slave traffic in the DisUnion ? whereas now, under our free trade trict of Columbia. Were it our part to do legislation, and our sad and terrible spirit so, we would bend every effort toward the of Ishmaelitism, of desert wandering, of removal of this sore and canker on the body of gold hunting, and robbery, and conquest, the State. We would not suffer that queswe have incurred already some 75 millions tion to be entangled with any others. Thirdof unavoidable taxation, with interest, and ly, and as insubordinate in importance, we as much more, at the last estimate, in per- would endeavor to accomplish the establishsonal property taken away from us to be I ment of an effective government for the terri
tory of New Mexico; not with any reference and engage the more ignorant part of the to the question whether she should become, people in a crusade against Southern inor should not become, a slave State in stitutions, future, but only because it is just and ne- It is a pity, it is a thing deeply to be cessary that such a government should be deplored, even if it cannot be helped, established. We would not revoke the that Southern Legislators should insist ordinances of the Mexican Government, upon this hashing together, and making an but leave the law as it is, and give the indistinguishable mass of things, which, by people full liberty, and every advantage for their nature, refuse to be conjoined, and the formation of a new State, under such which have a separate importance and Constitution as might please themselves, interest, and require to be treated, each, and not us.
from the view of its own facts and its own The settlement of the boundary ques- consequences. If it is admitted to be a detion between New Mexico and Texas, sirable thing—and who denies it ?—for the ought not to interfere, and cannot interfere new State on the Pacific to be made a with the duty of the general Government. member of the Union, the admission of Let' an arbitrary line be drawn, and all that State does not become a precedent without that line be left under the protec- against the South. The nature of the tion of the Texan Government. If a line necessity is such as to put aside every specannot be agreed upon, let one be assumed cies of compromise. We cannot draw a as debateable, and subject to litigation line through California, dividing her popubefore the Supreme Court; let the bill be lation into slave-bolding and non-slaveso framed as to leave open the adjustment holding. We cannot identify her citizens of the line ; let the territorial government
with those of New Mexico. We cannot be merely a protective and temporary gov- fix a law upon the people of New Mexico ernment; but still effective, and sufficient compelling them to admit slave-holders, as for the purpose ; let the bill by which it a condition of being themselves admitted is established be unencumbered by any to the Union. species of proviso, and made good, by and If, however, it is impossible by any other for its own reasons and necessities, and course to pacify the heat of the two facseparately enacted into a law.
tions, let us, at least, move expeditiously The present policy of the Southern Sen- and promptly in the course adopted, ators is, to hold up continually, and to re- using the greatest care in this new kind of iterate, the constitutionality of the designs legislative joinery, to unite only such parts of certain Northern agitators. They agi- as will adhere. tate in every shape certain propositions and A bill, boldly constructed, and forced principles as well known to, and as deeply through the Senate, may be rejected by the rooted in, the minds of Northern politicians | House ; and then, we are no better off than as their own.
The North does not need at first. Indeed, we are worse off than at to be informed of what the South is con
the political effect would be worse. tinually assuring them.
Were a bill simply for the admission of Resolutions to the effect that Congress California rejected by the Senate itself, the has no power to abolish slavery in the Dis- blame would rest, where it belongs, and trict of Columbia ; that Congress ought there would be no charge against us for not to abolish slavery in the ports and temporizing, or mincing, and encumbering dock-yards of the United States, serve only the question. to waste the time of the Senate and to ex- It seems to be a very general opinion, asperate the passions of both parties. To among those who have kept an eye upon become a portion of the fundamental law, the proceedings of Congress, that no sepathey must pass through both Houses, un- rate and independent bill for the admission der the conditions required by the Consti- of California will be allowed to pass the tution. And unless such an enactment Senate at this session; that every bill for could be accomplished, they are of no the admission, of necessity, will be encumvalue, except to such agitators in the bered, previous to, or during its passage North as will use them as a powerful po- | through the Senate, with a provision for terlitical leyer to break
up the old party lines ritorial governments in New Mexico without
any clause for the prohibition of slavery. In | entire system of the Union. The stone the House on the contrary, the intention of will roll along the other slope. Political the anti-slavery proviso prevails so far, it power will cease to emanate from Southern is held certain by some that every encum
centres. The heat of the Northern will bered bill of that character will be rejected, then exceed and subdue that of the Southand that, consequently, California will not ern fire ; and we have fixed the date of a be admitted into the Union as a State, new epoch in party history. during the present session.
Opposition to slavery is by no means a The results of such a course of legisla- fluctuating, but always a steady and intion, or rather of non-legislation, or refusal creasing motive in our national politics. It to legislate, when the spirit from which it cannot be extinguished; it cannot be subrises comes to be considered, will be disas- dued; it cannot be even diminished the trous not only to the South in particular, minutest fraction of a thought. Every but to the tone and harmony of the nation. word that is spoken contemptuously of it, As for its effects upon the people of the infuses into it a fresh life and vigor. Every territories and the West generally, their opprobrious epithet heightens its crest. alienation cannot be doubted. In Califor- As it is fanatical, it is thick-skinned and nia, as well as in Ohio, it will create an in- dangerous. As it is allied with superstitense and peculiar hostility. In New Eng- tion, it is popular, and pervading. land, the effects of such a conduct are As it is a perpetual leaven, it is used on equally certain. In the South itself it can- all occasions to leaven every species of aginot fail to produce, in time, a violent re- tation. Like the Greek fire, it burns in action against itself. In a word, it will
In a word, it will all elements: it burns in the Southern as everywhere arouse and fortify that spirit of well as in the Northern element; there is innovation and of hostility to Southern in- no condition of society which refuses to stitutions which has lately appeared in such wear it, or which does not imagine that in a formidable shape, but which might have assuming it, they have won a new claim been annihilated, and may yet be annihila- upon the favor of God. ' Its movement is ted, perhaps forever, by a single act of the Crusade of the day. magnanimity on the part of the Senate. Viewing these things in such a light, the At the end of this long and idle session, opposition of some injudicious legislators to during which not a single measure of na- the free introduction of California, because tional importance will have been adopted, of that one clause which she has incorporated a feeling of disgust will spread itself over in her constitution, sounds to us like what the country, and a sense of the necessity is sometimes vulgarly called a tempting of of sending other and more forcible men to Providence. Could the South be made do the work of legislation, will take strong aware of the immensity of the mischief possession of the people's mind. In every which these noisy partizans are pulling village, throughout the entire Union, there down upon her head, we have confidence will be a struggle. In two-thirds of these, enough to believe they would be silenced there will be a visible decline of favor to by their constituents. the South, and a loss of power in the A committee of thirteen of the most exstruggle. The mind of the people is not perienced and respectable members of the yet fully made up; they are willing to con- Senate has probably by this time been apcede to Southern Senators, those qualities pointed to take into consideration not the of magnanimity and that spirit of liberality expediency of admitting the new State, in legislation to which they have hitherto (for upon that point the majority seem to laid so exclusive a claim. Let this feeling be agreed,) but of joining to the instruof involuntary respect for Southern men ment of admission certain other legislative and their ways, which has come down to provisions. us from the days of Washington, be once Mr. Clay will doubtless be made chairfairly eradicated from the popular mind, in man of this committee, as the movement the North and West, and there will ensue originated, or, at least, is mainly supportsuch an overturning, such a sudden ine-ed, by him. At former epochs, the most quality and change in the much desired severe and dangerous, he has identified balance of power as will give a shock to the I himself with the policy of peace and na