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CHAPTER XII.

UNITED STATES.-Discussion in the Senate on the different Propositions

brought forward on the Oregon Question-Speeches of Messrs. Hannegan, Colquitt, and Dix-Effect of the Queen's Speech upon the Debates in Congress-Speeches of Messrs. Dayton, Allan, and CassJoint Resolution moved by Mr. Colquitt-Speeches of Mr. Webster and Mr. Crittenden-Resolutions passed by the House of Representatives for putting an end to the Joint Occupation of Oregon-Substituted Resolution moved in the Senate by Mr. Johnson and adopted Special Message by the President to the Senate-Speeches of Mr. Heywood, Mr. Hannegan, and Mr. Calhoun, in the Senate, on the Oregon Question-Resolution moved in the Senate by Mr. ClaytonSpeeches of Mr. Webster, General Cass, Mr. Benton, and Mr. Hannegan-Resolution passed by the Senate relative to the Notice to be given by the President Amendments carried in the House of Representatives— Conference between Committees of the two Houses— Resolution finally agreed to and adopted by CongressRatified by the President-Bill providing for Occupation of Oregon TerritoryMessage from the President relative to Differences with Mexico Proclamation of War against Mexico-Amicable Compromise on the Oregon Question offered by Lord Aberdeen-Accepted by the Senate and President- Articles of the Oregon Treaty-New Tarif BillAppointment of Mr. Bancroft as Minister to Great Britain.

E were correct in our confi- judicious compromise of the ques

,

however serious might be the diffi- the English Government on the culties in the way of an amicable first practicable opportunity, and adjustment of our differences with as readily accepted by the Senate the American Government, on the and President of the United States. subject of the Oregon Territory, In consequence of the happy terthey would not involve the two mination of the dispute, the discountries in the calamity of war. cussions which took place on the This year has witnessed the peace- subject in the American Congress ful triumph of diplomacy; and the have lost much of their interest; dark cloud which hung over our but as the Oregon question was relations with the United States the absorbing topic of debate has been entirely removed by a during the greater part of the

Session, and it is right that the Senate to the plantation whereon views and sentiments of the leading he had his dwelling. In corroborastatesmen in the United States, tion of these views, he went fully upon a subject which seemed so into the question of title. He had likely to bring their country into been accused of assailing the Prehostile collision with Great Britain, sident ; but who, he asked (after should be known and understood reading a portion of the Message), here, we propose to give an ac more nearly supported the Presicount of some of the more im dent—the senator from South Caportant propositions that were rolina, who went for all Mr. Polk brought forward, and an outline of had done which was in the grave, some of the principal speeches or he (Mr. Hannegan) who went which were delivered in Congress for all he had done which still with reference to it.

lived ? Mr. Hannegan proceeded In our last volume we mentioned at much length to dilate upon the the variety of resolutions which were value of the Oregon Territory, and submitted to the House of Repre- the high and solemn duty this sentatives on the question of Ore- country owed to itself and posgon. In the Senate, also, many terity to preserve the entire region ; were proposed of a similar cha- and he insisted that it must and racter, and we shall briefly allude would be secured ; that those who to the discussion which took place opposed the efforts to that end, there in February.

were engaged in the labour of Mr. Hannegan considered that it Sisyphus. was right to elect from among the dif Mr. Colquitt then addressed the ferent propositions before the Se- Senate. He had no knowledge, nate, upon this subject, those to he said, of the President's views which hcowould address himself, and in reference to this subject beyond accordingly had chosen to speak to what had been laid before the a series of resolutions introduced by public ; but he approved of all himself, which had been met by which had been done, and meant counter resolves from the senator to sustain the President, relying from South Carolina. Mr. Han- upon his wisdom, integrity, and negan then stated the substance of firmness. He was unwilling, howhis own propositions, and read ever, that the adversaries of the those of Mr. Calhoun. It would President should assert, or his be observed, he said, that the friends insinuate, that Mr. Polk senator from South Carolina con was secretly endeavouring to prostantly used the word “ claims,' voke war, when all his public comwhile he (Mr. Hannegan) as uni- munications breathed peace. formly spoke of "title." 'England was unwilling that the President put forth claims to Oregon, but she should be committed to a particular set up no title, and she had never line of conduct by those who prosucceeded in showing any title to fessed to be his mouthpieces and one single foot of soil in Oregon. to be in his especial confidence. They, on the other hand, had made He had not been wafted to his out as clear a title as ever was present high position upon the made out to soil and freehold by sighs and tears of widows and any nation on earth, or as could orphans, that necessity required be made out by any member of the him to finish his career amidst

blood and carnage. With him (Mr. Each of them declined to discuss Colquitt) the question was not the matter of title, the former bewhether the territory in question cause it was too late, and the latter was of more or less

ue, but was because it was not yet time. In our title to it of that character his view it was the very point which would make a surrender of which most merited attention, and any portion of it, in the way of upon which, both at home and compromise, disgraceful ? He con- abroad, the grossest misapprehentended that it was not. When the sions prevailed. He designed to President spoke of the title as examine it, and should avoid, as clear and indisputable, he meant far as possible, addressing a single no more than to express a strong word to passion or prejudice. Mr. conviction of its validity, and such Dix then entered upon a minute hiswas his own opinion; but there were torical investigation, which showed conflicting claims, and notwith- much industry and research. After standing the studied effort to make disposing of the question of title, the people believe that there was he said that he should vote for the no possible dispute of our right up notice, and also for a Bill to extend to and beyond the 54th degree, our jurisdiction, but excepting Briand that they were the only pa- tish subjects from the same, and triots who went for " every

inch

providing for their surrender by of Oregon, he was disposed to con our courts to the nearest British sider these conflicting claims, and authority. These were measures bring them to the knowledge of which he thought Great Britain the people. Mr. Colquitt then could not reasonably object to, for went into a detailed examination she had led the way in carrying of title, and concluded that there her laws there, in violation, as he were such conflicting claims as thought, of the convention. As to made negotiation and compromise war, he did not apprehend it, and just and politic. He alluded to thought, on the contrary, that the the swagger of some who were good sense of the citizens of both anxious for a fight, as being as countries would revolt at the idea disgusting as the same disposition of a contest from which neither manifested in schoolboys. As a could derive any good. If, howman, a Christian, and a statesman, ever, from events not now foreseen, he could join in no such game as a war should come, he hoped they this. He was for giving the notice, would not be guilty of the gross and liked the preamble of the se- folly of underrating the strength nator from Kentucky, but not alto- of our adversary. He trusted and gether the form of his resolution. believed that the whole difference He would, if no one anticipated would be amicably adjusted. him, make an additional resolution, Mr. Benton next addressed the at the proper time, in favour of Senate. He began by paying a negotiation and a speedy settle- merited compliment to Mr. Dix for ment of the controversy.

his luminous exposition of the title Mr. Dix said that he differed in which, he said, had he himself de. toto from both the senator from signed to discuss it, would have Ohio (Mr. Allen) and the senator been sufficient to deter him, as it from Delaware (Mr.J.M. Clayton), left nothing to be added. lle conwho first spoke on this subject. curred with the President in all

his actions upon this subject, and could not live thus, and they owed from a careful consideration of it, it to humanity to move speedily he was satisfied that Great Britain in the matter. The notice was had no right to complain. In not only a peaceful measure, but respect to the offer of the Presi- the first step in an indispensable dent to compromise, it had his series of measures for preserving cordial concurrence, and he be- peace. The present he regarded lieved that it had had a good as a most auspicious period for effect both at home and abroad. settling the matter. The two It had served to quiet the feelings Governments were at peace, and of Great Britain on the score of good understanding prevailed bethe inaugural address, and at home tween them. No collision had yet it had a good effect by showing occurred between the parties in our people that the Government possession, no blood had been shed, were prepared to make great sacri no point of honour was involved, fices to preserve peace ; we are and nothing had been done to now united, happen what may. arouse angry feeling. He should He concurred also in the rejection vote for the notice as an amicable of arbitration. Small matters measure, for such he regarded it, might be thus settled, but not a but come what might come, he question of territory, embracing should vote for it. rivers and harbours, and domain When the Royal Speech, deenough for a kingdom. He con livered at the opening of the curred fully with the President, British Parliament, arrived in both in what he had offered and America, its allusion to the queswhat he had refused. The fatal tion at issue between the two error they had committed was in countries became immediately the the convention, by which they let subject of criticism in Congress. the British in there, and this conven On the 25th of February, in the tion he bad opposed almost “ soli. Senate, Mr. Dayton moved that tary and alone.

When they were the further discussion of the subrestored to their rights there, after ject be postponed for a fortnight. the war, it was admitted by Lord He did not think that any good Castlereagh (and the admission could come from a discussion at should not be forgotten there or this time. The character of the in Great Britain) that they were late intelligence had impressed him the party who had a right to pos as very amicable, and it was proper session while the title was dis to meet it in the same spirit. cussed. British law came in with They could not, in a better man. the convention, and ought to go ner, meet that amicable disposition out with it; for it was, as the than by showing that they were in senator from New York (Mr. Dix) no hot haste. said, a great abuse. For thirty Mr. Allan said : In regard to years they had negotiated, and the pacific news of which we had made no advance, but they had heard so much men might well now reached a point where we differ in opinion. He had seen must act—act for the preserva- nothing in the language of Ministion of peace.

The Governments ters or in that of the press, which of the two countries must separate afforded any evidence of a change their people. Even the patriarchs in the designs of England. The

British Cabinet were too sagacious their right to give the notice was to disclose their designs in ad- indisputable. vance; and if we were to gather Mr. Dayton afterwards withdrew any thing from their declarations, his motion to postpone. it would be the very reverse of Mr. Colquitt then brought forwhat they professed. But the ward a motion, or "joint resoluBritish Government had had the tion as it was called, the object President's Message before them of which was to express the sense for two months, and they knew of the Senate, that the Oregon what measures were proposed by question was a fit subject for nego. us. There was no propriety in tiation and compromise. The foltheir taking counsel from the move- lowing were the resolutions proments of Great Britain ; and if posed by him :they now postponed the subject, “ That notice be given, in terms it would show that they lacked of the treaty, for abrogating the nerve and heart for the work they convention made between Great had undertaken. This subject Britain and the United States on had now become connected with the 20th of October, 1818, and another of greater importance, their continued by the convention of political relations with other coun- 1827, immediately after the close tries. He alluded to the project of the present Session of Congress, of a monarchical government, under unless the President, in his discreEuropean guarantee, for Mexico. tion, shall consider it expedient to

Mr. Dayton.—The senator from defer it to a later period. Ohio may be right. The senti. “ And be it further resolved, ments of the British Ministers and that it is earnestly desired that the press might not be a fair exponent long standing controversy respectof the designs of the British Go-ing limits in the Oregon territory vernment. If so, he wished that be speedily settled by negotiation a little of the same discretion and compromise, in order to trancould be manifested here. He did quillize the public mind, and to prenot propose a postponement with serve the friendly relations be. a view to shrink from the question, tween the two countries. but with a view to more deliberate This gave rise to a debate, in action. The Senate was not now the course of which Mr. Webster, prepared to act, and the discussion after alluding to the importance of had become stale.

an expression of opinion on this Mr. Cass made some remarks subject, by the Senate, in referwith a view to justify his former in ence to the interests of the busiferences as to the position of the Bri ness community, which were suftish Government on this question. fering by the state of suspense, Nothing in the Queen's Speech inquired whether the senator from or in Parliament showed any pacific Kentucky (Mr. Crittenden) had intention towards the United States, determined to accept the proposibut the reverse. He was asto tion of the senator from Georgia nished at the assertion that the (Mr. Colquitt). news from Great Britain

Mr. Crittenden had determined, pacific.

he said, to accept the point alone; Mr. Berrien was disposed to sup and he would accept the latter with port the motion; but he agreed that some qualification. Mr. Crittenden

was

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