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works of the creation,) such characters as Gengis, Tamerlane, Kouli-Khan or Bonaparte. My instincts involuntarily revolt at their bare idea. Malefactors of the human race, who have ground down man to a mere machine of their impious and bloody ambition ! Yet under all the accumulated wrongs, and insults, and robberies of the last of these chieftains, are we not, in point of fact, about to become a party to his views, a partner in his wars?
But before this miserable force of ten thousand men is raised to take Canada, I beg gentlemen to look, at the state of defence at home; to count the cost of the enterprize before it is set on foot, not when it may be too late; when the best blood of the country shall be spilt, and nought but empty coffers left to pay the cost. Are the bounty lands to be given in Canada ? It might lessen my repugnance to that part of the system, to granting these lands, not to these miserable wretches who sell themselves to slavery for a few dollars, and a glass of gin, but in fact, to the clerks in our offices, some of whom, with an income of fifteen hundred or two thousand dollars, live at the rate of four or five thousand, and yet grow rich; who, perhaps, at this moment, are making out blank assignments for these land rights. I beseech the House, before they run their heads against this post, Quebec, to count the cost. My word for it, Virginia planters will not be taxed to support such a war-a war which must aggravate their present distresses; in which they have not the remotest interest. Where is the Montgomery, or even the Arnold, or the Burr, who is to march to the Point Levi?
I call upon those professing to be republicans, to make good the promises, held out by their republican predecessors, when they came into power; promises, which for years afterwards, they honestly, faithfully fulfilled. We have vaunted of paying off the national debt; of retrenching useless establishments; and yet
have now become as infatuated with standing armies, loans, taxes, navies and war, as ever were the Essex Junto.
[Mr. Randolph apologized for his very desultory manner of speaking. He regretted that his bodily indisposition had obliged him to talk, perhaps, somewhat wildly; yet he trusted some method would be found in his madness.]
SPEECH OF JOHN C. CALHOUN,
DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
UNITED STATES, DECEMBER 12, 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, I UNDERSTOOD the opinion of the committee of foreign relations, differently from what the gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Randolph,) has stated to be his impression. I certainly understood that committee as recommending the measures now before the House, as a preparation for war; and such in fact was its express resolve, agreed to, I believe by every member, except that gentleman. I do not attribute any wilful misstatement to him, but consider it the effect of inadvertency or mistake. Indeed, the report could mean nothing but war or empty menace. I hope no member of this House is in favor of the latter. A bullying, menacing system has every thing to condemn and nothing to recommend it; in expense it is almost as considerable as war; it excites contempt abroad, and destroys confidence here. Menaces are serious things, and, if we expect any good from them, they ought to be resorted to with as much caution and seriousness, as war itself; and should, if not successful, be invariably followed by it. It was not the gentleman from Tennessee, (Mr. Grundy,) that made this a war question. The resolve contemplates an additional, regular force; a measure confessedly improper, but as a preparation for war, but undoubtedly necessary in that event. Sir. I am not insensible of the weighty import
ance of this question, for the first time submitted to this House, as a redress of our long list of complaints against one of the belligerents; but, according to my mode of thinking on this subject, however serious the question, whenever I am on its affirmative side, my conviction must be strong and unalterable. War, in this country, ought never to be resorted to but when it is clearly justifiable and necessary; so much so, as not to require the aid of logic to convince our reason, nor the ardor of eloquence to inflame our passions. There are many reasons why this country should never resort to war but for causes the most urgent and necessary. It is sufficient, that under a government like ours, none but such will justify it in the eye of the nation; and were I not satisfied that such is our present cause, I certainly would be no advocate of the proposition now before the House.
Sir, I prove the war, should it ensue, justifiable, by the express admission of the gentleman from Virginia; and necessary, by facts undoubted, and universally admitted; such as that gentleman did not pretend to controvert. The extent, duration, and character of the injuries received; the failure of those peaceful means, heretofore resorted to for the redress of our wrongs, is my proof that it is necessary. Why should I mention the impressment of our seamen; depredation on every branch of our commerce, including the direct export trade, continued for years, and made under laws, which professedly undertake to regulate our trade with other nations; negociation resorted to, time after time, till it is become hopeless; the restrictive system persisted in to avoid war, and in the vain expectation of returning justice? The evil still grows, and, in each succeeding year, swells in extent and pretension beyond the preceding. The question, even in the opinion and admission of our opponents, is reduced to this single point; which shall we do, abandon or defend our own commercial and maritime rights and the personal liberties of our citizens employed in exerting
them? These rights are essentially attacked, and war is the only means of redress. The gentleman from Virginia, has suggested none; unless we consider the whole of his speech as recommending patient and resigned submission as the best remedy. Sir, which alternative this House ought to embrace, it is not for me to say. I hope the decision is made already, by a higher authority than the voice of any man. It is not for the human tongue to instill the sense of independence and honor. This is the work of nature; a generous nature that disdains tame submission to wrongs.
This part of the subject is so imposing, as to enforce silence even on the gentleman from Virginia. He dared not to deny his country's wrongs or vindicate the conduct of her enemy.
Only one point of that gentleman's argument had any, the most remote relation to this point. He would not say, we had not a good cause of war; but insisted, that it was our duty to define that cause. If he means that this House ought, at this stage of the proceeding, or any other, to enumerate such violations of our rights, as we are willing to contend for, he prescribes a course, which neither good sense nor the usage of nations warrants. When we contend, let us contend for all our rights; the doubtful and the certain; the unimportant and essential. It is as easy to struggle, or even more so, for the whole as a part. At the termination of the contest, secure all that our wisdom and valor and the fortune of the war will permit. This is the dictate of common sense; such also is the usage of nations. The single instance alluded to, the endeavor of Mr. Fox to compel Mr. Pitt to define the object of the war against France, will not support the gentleman from Virginia in his position. That was an extraordinary war for an extraordinary purpose, and could not be governed by the usual rules. It was not for conquest, or for redress of injury; but to impose a government on France, which she refused to