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the sentiments and feelings of that distinguished citizen who is now our minister at the court of St. Petersburg. They breathe the spirit of an American who“ cherishes the constitution, under which we are assembled, as the chief stay of his hope; as the light which is destined to gladden his own day by the prospect it sheds over his children." Let us examine whether the gentleman from Massachusetts falls“ not behind him in such sentiments.' The inhabitants of the country which our minister in Russia declared to be of such immense importance to this union are about to be admitted to a participation of those rights which belong to every American citizen, and the country itself incorporated into the United States. Compare, I beseech you, sir, the language of the gentleman from Massachusetts, with that used by the Russian minister. “ If this bill passes, (says the gentleman,) it will justify a revolution in this country; the union will be virtually dissolved ; civil war will become sanctified as a matter of right in each of the states, if they are not permitted to separate peaceably; political jealousy is inculcated between the eastern and western states; every circumstance which is calculated in the remotest degree to excite discord and divisions, is studiously adverted to. The inhabitants of Louisiana are represented as wild and uncovered, in the woods, and dependent on the eastern states for clothes to cover their nakedness; they are called at one time the wild men of Missouri, and at another, the Anglo-Hispano-Gallo-Americans, who bask on the sands in the mouth of the Mississippi; and to cap the climax, we are alarmed with the apprehension, that six new states are to be formed in the west, which are to swallow up the power of the original partners to the constitution, and control the nation. Are these the suggestions of a mind which “yields to none in its attachments to the constitution?" Sir, they are the ebullitions of political drunkenness, designed to produce internal “ war, dismemberment and despotism." I do not think the gentleman from Massachusetts has any
reason to congratulate himself on the reference which he made to the opinions of the Russian minister. On the one hand, we discern nothing but patriotism and union; and on the other, political jealousy, revolution, disunion, and the inseparable associate of these, despotism. But, Mr. Speaker, the people of the eastern states will never give their assent to a dissolution of the union. They are bound to the western country by the inseparable ties of nature and of interest. The hardy and adventurous sons of New England will, in a short time, compose a large proportion of the population on the waters of the Mississippi, and, I undertake to assure the gentleman from Massachusetts, that they will never return to break into his house, or the houses of his friends, to filch their children's clothes in order to cover their nakedness." In that new and fertile region, the hand of industry is rewarded with a rich return of the comforts of life, which the liberality of its inhabitants distributes with benevolence and hospitality. Besides these natural bonds, which are every day increasing between the eastern and western portions of the United States, there is a reciprocal advantage in the intercourse which is preserved between them. The western country is peculiarly adapted to the pursuits of agriculture, and the river Mississippi is the great highway, through which their bulky articles are conveyed to a suitable and profitable market.
The eastern states have long been, and will long continue to be, the carriers of these surplus products to the sea-port cities of the United States, to the West Indies and to Europe. Is it not, then, the interest of those, who are engaged in the carrying trade, to give encouragement to agriculture? There are mutual benefits in this interchange of labor, which tends to promote the welfare of each section of the union. No collision of interest can ever exist between the
growers of hemp, flour, cotton, tobacco and sugar, and the carrier, who finds employment in their transportation to the countries in which they are consumed. If any
advantage could be derived from a separation of these states, it would be found to preponderate in favor of the western division. We should at once become possessed of the public lands, which are said to be a fund, on which the nation may rely for revenue to an incalculable amount. These lands have been acquired at the national expense, and it would, therefore, be unreasonable and unjust, to confer them wholly on the western states. But if the deleterious consequences, which have been predicted by the gentleman from Massachusetts, should be realized, such will be the inevitable effect in relation to the territory belonging to the United States.
Surely, sir, there is patriotism enough, even in the city of Boston, to counteract the deteriorating principles of that gentleman. Let us adhere to the maxims of wisdom, and, by a union of sentiment and action, convince the nations of Europe, that we are too powerful to be conquered, and too happy to be seduced from the allegiance we owe to the government of our choice.
SPEECH OF JOHN RANDOLPH,
DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED
STATES, DECEMBER 10, 1811,
On the second resolution reported by the committee of foreign rela
tions ; “ That an additional force of ten thousand regular troops, ought to be immediately raised to serve for three years ; and that a bounty in lands ought to be given to encourage enlistment.”
MR. SPEAKER, This is a question, as it has been presented to this House, of peace or war. In that light it has been argued; in no other light can I consider it, after the declarations made by members of the committee of foreign relations. Without intending any disrespect to the chair, I must be permitted to say, that if the decision yesterday was correct, “ that it was not in order to advance any arguments against the resolution, drawn from topics before other committees of the House,” the whole debate, nay, the report itself, on which we are acting, is disorderly; since the increase of the military force is a subject, at this time, in agitation by a select committee, raised on that branch of the President's message. But it is impossible that the discussion of a question, broad as the wide ocean of our foreign concerns, involving every consideration of interest, of right, of happiness and of safety at home; touching, in every point, all that is dear to freemen, “ their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor,” can be tied down by the narrow rules of technical routine.
The committee of foreign relations have, indeed, decided that the subject of arming the militia, (which has been pressed upon them as indispensable to the public security,) does not come within the scope of their authority. On what ground, I have been and
still am unable to see, they have felt themselves authorized to recommend the raising of standing armies, with a view, (as has been declared,) of immediate war -a war not of defence, but of conquest, of aggrandizement, of ambition—a war, foreign to the interests of this country; to the interests of humanity itself.
I know not how gentlemen, calling themselves republicans, can advocate such a war. What was their doctrine in 1798–9, when the command of the army, that highest of all possible trusts in any government, be the form what it may, was reposed in the bosom of the father of his country—the sanctuary of a nation's love-the only hope that never came in vain! When other worthies of the revolution--Hamilton, Pinkney and the younger Washington, men of tried patriotism, of approved conduct and valor, of untarnished honor, held subordinate command under him. Republicans were then unwilling to trust a standing army even to his hands, who had given proof that he was above all human temptation. Where now is the revolutionary hero, to whom you are about to confide this sacred trust? To whom will you confide the charge of leading the flower of our youth to the heights of Abraham? Will you find him in the person of an acquitted felon? What! then you were unwilling to vote an army where such men, as have been named, held high command ! When Washington himself was at the head, did you show such reluctance, feel such scruples; and are you now nothing loth, fearless of every consequence? Will you say that your provocations were less then than now-when your direct commerce was interdicted, your ambassadors hooted with derision from the French court, tribute demanded, actual war waged upon you?
Those, who opposed the army then, were indeed denounced as the partizans of France; as the same men, (some of them at least,) are now held up as the advocates of England : those firm and undeviating republicans, who then dared, and now dare, to cling