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H. of R.

Non-Importation of Goods from Great Britain.

MARCH, 1806.

the French arms in 1793. And wherefore? Be- have struck no medals. This is not the sort of cause the case is changed. Great Britain can conflict that you are to count upon, if you go to never again see the year 1760. Her continental war with Great Britain. Quem Deus vult perdere influence is gone forever. Let who will be up- prius dementat. And are you mad enough to permost on the continent of Europe, she must take up the cudgels that have been struck from find more than a conoterpoise for her strength. the nerveless bands of the three great maritime Her race is run. She can only be formidable as Powers of Europe? Shall the planter mortgage a maritime Power; aud, even as such, perhaps his little crop, and jeopardize the Constitution in not long. Are you going to justify the acts of support of commercial monopoly, in the rain the last Administration, for which they have been hope of satisfying the insatiable greediness of deprived of the Government at our instance? trade? Administer the Constitution upon its Are you going back to the ground of 1798-'9? I own principles: for the general welfare, and not ask any man who now advocates a rupture with for the benefit of any particular class of men. England to assign a single reason for his opinion, Do you meditate war for the possession of Baton that would not have justified a French war in Rouge or Mobile, places which your own laws 1798? If injury and insult abroad would have declare to be within your limits? Is it even for justified it, we had them in abundance then. But the fair trade that exchanges your surplus prowhat did the Republicans say at that day? That, duets for such foreign articles as you require ? under the cover of a war with France, the Exec- No, sir, it is for a circuitous trade—an ignis fatuutive would be armed with a patronage and pow- us. And against whom? A nation from whom er which might enable it to master our liberties. you have anything to fear?—I speak as to our They deprecated foreign war and navies, and liberties. No. sir, with a nation from whom you standing armies, and loans, and taxes. The de- have nothing, or next to nothing, to fear; to the lirium passed away-the good sense of the peo- aggrandizement of one against which you have ple triumphed, and our differences were accom- everything to dread. I look to their ability and modated without a war. And what is there in interest, not to their disposition. When you rely the situation of England that invites to war with on that the case is desperate. Is it to be inferred her? It is true she does not deal so largely in per- from all this that I would yield to Great Britain} fectability, but she supplies you with a much No. I would act towards her now, as I was dismore useful commodity-with coarse woollens.posed to do towards France, in 1798-'9; treat With less profession indeed she occupies the place of France in 1793. She is the sole bulwark of the human race against universal dominion; no thanks to her for it. In protecting her own exist ence, she insures theirs. I care not who stands in this situation, whether England or Bonaparte. I practice the doctrines now that I professed in 1798. Gentlemen may hunt up the journals if they please; I voted against all such projects under the Administration of John Adams, and I will continue to do so under that of Thomas Jef ferson. Are you not contented with being free and happy at home? Or will you surrender these blessings that your merchants may tread on Turkish and Persian carpets, and burn the perfumes of the East in their vaulted rooms. Gentlemen say it is but an annual million lust, and even if it were five times that amount, what is it compared with your neutral rights? Sir, let me tell them a hundred millions will be but a drop in the bucket, if once they launch without rudder or compass into this ocean of foreign warfare. Whom do they want to attack? England. They hope it is a popular thing, and talk about Bunker's Hill, and the gallant feats of our Revolution. But is Bunker's Hill to be the theatre of war? No, sir, you have selected the ocean, and the object of attack is that very navy which prevented the combined fleets of France and Spain from levying contribution upon you in your own seas; that very navy which, in the famous war of 1798. stood between you and danger. Whilst the fleets of the enemy were pent up in Toulon, or pinioned in Brest, we performed wonders to be sure; but, sir, if England had drawn off, France would have told you quite a different tale. You would

with her, and for the same reason, on the same principles. Do I say I would treat with her? At this moment you have a negotiation pending with her Government. With her you have not tried negotiation and failed, totally failed, as you have done with Spain, or rather France; and wherefore, under such circumstances, this hostile spirit to the one, and this-I will not say what→ to the other?

But a great deal is said about the laws of nations. What is national law but national power guided by national interest? You yourselves acknowledge and practice upon this principle where you can, or where you dare with the Indian tribes for instance. I might give another and more forcible illustration. Will the learned lumber of your libraries add a ship to your fleet, or a shilling to your revenue? Will it pay or maintain a single soldier? And will you preach and prate of violations of your neutral rights when you tamely and meanly submit to the violation of your territory? Will you collar the stealer of your sheep, and let him escape that has invaded the repose of your fireside-has insulted your wife and children under your own roof? This is the heroism of truck and traffic-the public spirit of sordid avarice. Great Britain violates your flag on the high seas. What is her situation? Contending, not for the dismantling of Dunkirk, for Quebec, or Pondicherry, but for London and Westminster-for life. Her enemy violating at will the territories of other nations, acquiring thereby a colossal power that threatens the very existence of her rival. But she has one vulnerable point to the arms of her adversary, which she covers with the ensigus of neutrality; she draws

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Non-Importation of Goods from Great Britain.

H. OF R.

the neutral flag over the heel of Achilles. And house of the British Navy, whom it is not more can you ask that adversary to respect it at the ex- the policy and the interest than the sentiment of pense of her existence? and in favor of whom? that Government to soothe and to conciliate-ber An enemy that respects no neutral territory of sole hope of a diversion on the continent, and her Europe, and not even your own. I repeat that only efficient ally. What this formidable Power the insults of Spain towards this nation have cannot obtain with fleets and armies, you will been at the instigation of France; that there is command by writ-with pothooks and hangers. no longer any Spain. Well, sir, because the I am for no such policy. True honor is always French Government does not put this in the the same. Before you enter into a contest, public Moniteur, you choose to shut your eyes to it. or private, be sure you have fortitude enough to None so blind as those who will not see. You go through with it. If you mean war, say so, and shut your own eyes, and to blind those of other prepare for it. Look on the other side; behold people, you go into conclave, and slink out again the respect in which France holds neutral rights and say, a great affair of State!"— C'est une grande on land; observe her conduct in regard to the affaire d'Etat! It seems that your sensibility is Franconian estates of the King of Prussia. I say entirely confined to the extremities. You may nothing of the petty Powers of the Elector of 1 be pulled by the nose and ears, and never feel it, Baden. or of the Swiss-I speak of a first rate but let your strong box be attacked, and you are Monarchy of Europe, and at a moment, too, when all nerve-"Let us go to war!" Sir, if they its neutrality was the object of all others nearest called upon me only for my little peculium to to the heart of the French Emperor. If you carry it on, perhaps I might give it; but my make him monarch of the ocean, you may bid rights and liberties are involved in the grant, and adieu to it forever. You may take your leave, I will never surrender them while I have life, sir, of navigation-even of the Mississippi. What The gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. CROWN-is the situation of New Orleans if attacked toINSHIELD) is for sponging the debt.` I can never morrow? Filled with a discontented and repinconsent to it; I will never bring the ways and ing people, whose language, manners, and relimeans of fraudulent bankruptcy into your com-gion, all incline them to the invader—a dissatis mittee of supply. Confiscation and swindling shall never be found among my estimates to meet the current expenditure of peace or war. No, sir, I have said with the doors closed, and I say so when the doors are open, "pay the public debt;" get rid of that dead weight upon your Government-that cramp upon all your measures and then you may put the world at defiance. So long as it hangs upon you, you must have revenue, and to have revenue you must have commerce-commerce, peace. And shall these nefarious schemes be advised for lightening the public burdens; will you resort to these low and pitiful shifts; dare even to mention these dishonest artifices to eke out your expenses, when the public treasure is lavished on Turks and infidels, There are now but two great commercial na on singing boys and dancing girls, to furnish the tions Great Britain is one, and the United States means of beastiality to an African barbarian? the other. When you consider the many points Gentlemen say that Great Britain will count of contact between our interests, you may be sur upon our divisions. How? What does she know prised that there has been so little collision. Sir, of them? Can they ever expect greater una to the other belligerent nations of Europe your nimity than prevailed at the last Presidential elee-navigation is a convenience. I might say, a necestion? No, sir. it is the gentlemau's own con- sary. If you do not carry for them they must science that squeaks. But if she cannot calculate starve, at least for the luxuries of life, which cus upon your divisions, at least she may reckon upon tom has rendered almost indispensable; and if you your pusillanimity. She may well despise the cannot act with some degree of spirit towards resentment that cannot be excited to honorable those who are dependent upon you as carriers, do battle on its own ground; the mere effusion of you reckon to browbeat a jealous rival, who, the mercantile cupidity. Gentlemen talk of repealing moment she lets slip the dogs of war, sweeps you the British Treaty. The gentleman from Penn- at a blow from the ocean And cui bono? for sylvania should have thought of that, before he whose benefit? The planter? Nothing like it. voted to carry it into effect. And what is all this The fair, honest, real American merchant? No, for? A point which Great Britain will not aban- sir, for renegadoes; to-day American, to-morrow, don to Russia, you expect her to yield to you- Daues. Go to war when you will, the property, Russia! indisputably the second Power of Conti- now covered by the American, will then pass nental Europe; with not less than half a million under the Danish, or some other neutral flag. of hardy troops; with sixty sail-of the-line, thirty Gentlemen say that one English ship is worth millions of subjects, and a territory more exten- three of ours; we shall therefore have the advansive even than our own-Russia, sir, the store-tage in privateering. Did they ever know a na

fied people, who despise the miserable Governor you have set over them-whose honest prejudices and basest passions alike take part against you. I draw my information from no dubious source; but from a native American, an enlightened member of that odious and imbecile Government. You have official information that the town and its dependencies are utterly defenceless and untenable. A firm belief that (apprized of this) Gov. ernment would do something to put the place in a state of security, alone has kept the American portion of that community quiet. You have held that post, you now hold it, by the tenure of the naval predominance of England, and yet you are for a British naval war.

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Non-Importation of Goods from Great Britain.

MARCH, 1806.

tion to get rich by privateering? This is stuff, occasion again to trouble you. I know not that I sir, for the nursery. Remember that your pro- shall be able, certainly not willing, unless products are bulky, as has been stated; that they re- voked in self-defence. I ask your attention to quire a vast tonnage to transport them abroad, the character of the inhabitants of that Southern and that but two nations possess that tonnage. country, on whom gentlemen rely for support of Take these carriers out of the market. What is their measure. Who and what are they?" A simthe result? The manufactures of England, which ple, agricultural people, accustomed to travel in (to use a finishing touch of the gentlemen's rhet- peace to market with the produce of their labor. oric) have received the finishing stroke of art, Who takes it from us? Another people, devoted lie in a small comparative compass. The neu- to manufactures-our sole source of supply. I tral trade can carry them. Your produce rots in have seen some stuff in the newspapers about the warehouse. You go to Eustatia or St. Tho- manufactures in Saxony, and about a man who is mas and get a striped blanket for a joe, if you can no longer the chief of a dominant faction. The raise one. Double freight, charges, and commis- greatest man whom I ever knew-the immortal sion. Who receives the profit? The carrier.author of the letters of Curtius-has remarked Who pays it? The consumer. All your produce the proneness of cunning people to wrap up and that finds its way to England, must bear the same disguise in well-selected phrases doctrines too deaccumulated charges-with this difference, that formed and detestable to bear exposure in naked there the burden falls on the home price. I appeal words; by a judicous choice of epithets to draw to the experience of the late war, which has been the attention from the lurking principle beneath, so often cited. What then was the price of pro- and perpetuate delusion. But a little while ago, duce, and of broadcloth? and any man might have been proud to have been But you are told England will not make war; considered as the head of the Republican party. that she has her hands full. Holland calculated Now, it seems, it is reproachful to be deemed the in the same way in 1781. How did it turn out? chief of a dominant faction. Mark the magic of You stand now in the place of Holland, then words. Head-chief. Republican party-domiwithout her Navy, and unaided by the preponder-nant faction. But as to these Saxon manufac ating flets of France and Spain, to say nothing of the Baltic Powers. Do you want to take up the cudgels where these great maritime States have been forced to drop them? to meet Great Britain on the ocean, and drive her off its face? If you are so far gone as this, every capital meas ure of your policy has hitherto been wrong. You should have nurtured the old, and devised new systems of taxation, and have cherished your navy. Begin this business when you may, land-taxes, stamp-acts, window-taxes, hearth-money, excise, in all its modifications of vexation and oppression, must precede or follow after. But, sir, as Can any man who understands Europe pretend French is the fashion of the day, I may be asked to say that a particular foreign policy is now right for my projet. I can readily tell gentlemen what because it would have been expedient twenty, or I will not do. I will not propitiate any foreign even ten years ago, without abandoning all renation with money. I will not launch into a gard for common sense? Sir, it is the statesmau's naval war with Great Britain, although I am province to be guided by circumstances; to antiready to meet her at the Cowpens or on Bunker's cipate. to foresee them; to give them a course and Hill-and for this plain reason, we are a great a direction; to mould them to his purpose. It is land animal, and our business is on shore. I the business of a counting-house clerk to peer will send her money, sir, on no pretext whatever, into the day book and leger, to see no further than much less on pretence of buying Labrador, or the spectacles on his nose, to fe I not beyond the Botany Bay, when my real o ject was to secure pen behind his ear; to chatter in coffee-houses, limits, which she formally acknowledged at the and be the oracle of clubs. From 1783 to 1793, peace of 1783. I go further: I would (if any- and even later, (I dont stickle for dates.) France thing) have laid an embargo. This would have had a formidable marine-so had Holland-so got our own property home, and our adversary's had Spain. The two first possessed of thriving into our power. If there is any wisdom left manufactures and a flourishing commerce. Great among us, the first step towards hostility will al- Britain, tremblingly alive to her manufacturing ways be an embargo. In six months all your interests and carrying trade, would have felt to mercantile megrims would vanish. As to us, al- the heart any measure calculated to favor her though it would cut deep, we can stand it. With-rivals in these pursuits. She would have yielded out such a precaution, go to war when you will, you go to the wall. As to debts, strike the balance to-morrow, and England is I believe in our debt.

I hope, sir, to be excused for proceeding in this desultory course. I flatter myself I shall not have

tures. What became of their Dresden china? Why the Prussian bayonets have broken all the pots, and you are content with Worcestershire or Staffordshire ware. There are some other fine n.anufactures on the continent, but no supply, except perhaps of linens, the article we can best dispense with. A few individuals, sir, may have a coat of Louvier's cloth, or a service of Sevres china; but there is too little, and that little too dear, to furnish the nation. You must depend on the fur trade in earnest, and wear buffalo hides and bear skins.

then to her fears and her jealousy alone. What is the case now? She lays an export duty on her manufactures, and there ends the question. If Georgia shall (from whatever cause) so completely monopolize the culture of cotton as to be able to lay an export duty of three per cent. upon

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Non-Importation of Goods from Great Britain.

it, besides taxing its cultivators, in every other shape, that human or infernal ingenuity can devise, is Pennsylvania likely to rival her and take away the trade?

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every measure short of war, and even the course of hostilities depends upon him. He stands at the helm, and must guide the vessel of State. You give him money to buy Florida, and he purBut, sir, it seems that we, who are opposed to chases Louisiana. You may furnish means; the this resolution, are men of no nerve, who trem- application of those means rests with him. Let bled in the days of the British treaty-cowards (I not the master and mate go below when the ship presume) in the reign of terror? Is this true?is in distress, and throw the responsibility upon Hunt up the journals; let our actions tell. We the cook and the cabin-boy. I said so when your pursue our old unshaken course. We care not doors were shut; I scorn to say less now that they for the nations of Europe, but make foreign rela-are open. Gentlemen may say what they please. tions bend to our political principles and subserve They may put an insignificant individual to the our country's interest. We have no wish to see ban of the Republic-I shall not alter my course. another Actium, or Pharsalia, or the lieutenants I blush with indignation at the misrepresentations of a modern Alexander playing at piquet, or all-which have gone forth in the public prints of our fours, for the empire of the world. It is poor proceedings, public and private. Are the people comfort to us to be told that France has too de- of the United States, the real sovereigns of the cided a taste for luxurious things to meddle with country, unworthy of knowing what, there is too us; that Egypt is her object, or the coast of Bar- much reason to believe, has been communicated bary, and, at the worst, we shall be the last de- to the privileged spies of foreign Governments? voured. We are enamored with neither nation; I think our citizens just as well entitled to know we would play their own game upon them, use what has passed as the Marquis Yrujo, who has them for our interest and convenience. But with hearded your President to his face, insulted your all my abhorrence of the British Government, I Government within its own peculiar jurisdiction, should not hesitate between Westminster Hall and outraged all decency. Do you mistake this and a Middlesex jury, on the one hand, and the diplomatic puppet for an automaton? He has wood of Vincennes and a file of grenadiers on orders for all he does. Take his instructions from the other. That jury-trial, which walked with his pocket to morrow, they are signed Charles Horne Tooke and Hardy through the flames of Maurice Talleyrand." Let the nation know what ministerial persecution is, I confess, more to my they have to depend upon. Be true to them, and taste than the trial of the Duke d'Enghein. (trust me) they will prove true to themselves and to you. The people are honest-now at home at their ploughs, not dreaming of what you are about. But the spirit of inquiry, that has too long slept, will be, must be, awakened. Let them begin to think-not to say such things are proper because they have been done-of what has been done, and wherefore, and all will be right.

Mr. Chairman, I am sensible of having detained the Committee longer than I ought; certainly much longer than I intended. I am equally sen sible of their politeness, and not less so. sir, of your patient attention. It is your own indulgence, sir, badly requited indeed, to which you owe this persecution. I might offer another apology for these undigested, desultory remarks-my_never having seen the Treasury documents. Until came into the House this morning I had been stretched on a sick bed. But when I behold the affairs of this nation instead of being where I hoped, and the people believed, they were, in the hands of responsible men, committed to Tom, Dick, and Harry, to the refuse of the retail trade of politics, I do feel, I cannot help feeling, the most deep and serious concern. If the Executive government would step forward and say, "such is our plan, such is our opinion, and such are our reasons in support of it," I would meet it fairly. would openly oppose, or pledge myself to support it. But, without compass or polar star, I will not launch into an ocean of unexplored measures, which stand condemned by all the information to which I have access. The Constitution of the United States declares it to be the province and the duty of the President "to give to Congress. 'from time to time, information of the state of the Union, and recommend to their considera'tion such measures as he shall judge expedient ' and necessary 29 Has he done it? I know. sir, that we may say, and do say, that we are independent, (would it were true;) as free to give a direction to the Executive as to receive it from him. But do what you will, foreign relations,

The Committee then rose, and the House adjourned.

THURSDAY, March 6.

Mr. CONRAD from the committee to whom was referred, on the twelfth of December last, å letter in the German language from David Christoph Mau, addressed to the Speaker, presenting to Congress a copy of his works, made a report thereon; which was read, and considered: Whereupon

Resolved, That the Librarian be directed to receive and take charge of the said books, and that the Speaker be requested to acknowledge by a letter addressed to the said David Christoph Mau, the acceptance of the said books.

The House proceeded to consider the amendments proposed by the Senate to the bill, entitled "An act for the relief of the Governor, Judges, and Secretary, of the Indiana Territory:" Whereupon,

Ordered That the said amendments, together with the bill be commited to a Committee of the whole House on Monday next.

The House proceeded to consider the amend monis proposed by the Senate to the bill, entitled "An act relating to bonds given by Marshals:" Wnereupon.

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Non-Importation of Goods from Great Britain.

Ordered, That the said amendments, together with the bill, be referred to Mr. TALLMADGE, Mr. CLARK, and Mr. HASTINGS.

The bill sent from the Senate, entitled "An act for the punishment of counterfeiting the current coin of the United States, and for other purposes," was read twice, and committed to a Committee of the whole House on Thursday next.

MARCH. 1806.

we had not an active commerce among our own citizens, it is evident that foreign merebants and nations only, would be enriched by the profits of our agriculture, would convert us into mere diggers of the soil for their benefit, and would thereby gain the means of insulting and degradtug us more abundantly. The price of our produce will lessen in the proportion that we curtail the means of transporting it to the best foreign markets, and the means will assuredly be curtailed if we withdraw our protection from the enterprise of our citizens upon the ocean. Declare to foreign nations that the active commerce of this country meets no longer the fostering care of Government, and you will soon hear of their tenfold insolence upon the seas; and our vessels, frowned from the enjoyment of their rights there, will find an asyResolved, That provision ought to be made for open-lum in our harbors only, where they will be left ing and improving the navigation of the river Tennessee, through the Muscle Shoals, in the Mississippi Territory.

Mr. G. W. CAMPBELL, one of the members from the State of Tennesseee, presented to the House certain resolutions of the General Assembly of the said State, for the opening the Muscle Shoals, in the river Tennessee; which were read, and referred to Mr. G. W. CAMPBELL Mr. VAR NUM, Mr. WALTON, Mr. LEWIS, and Mr. SPALDING. Mr. G. W. CAMPBELL, moved the following resolution:

Ordered, That the said resolution be referred to the committee last appointed.

NON-IMPORTATION OF BRITISH GOODS. The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union on Mr. GRGG's resolution.

Mr.N. WILLIAMS.-The subject now under consideration calls for a display of all the knowledge and experience of commercial men and statesmen. And although I do not profess to be of either class, yet if I should chance to bestow a mite of information upon a subject of such vast importance to this country, it will no doubt be favorably received by this honorable Committee.

The resolution now under discussion has for its principal o ject the protection of the active commerce of our country; it therefore becomes us perhaps, before we enter into the merits of the measure proposed, to inquire whether commerce is of itself so important to us, as to demand our protection. This first inquiry might seem unnecessary, and even extraordinary, had we not witnessed so recently, upon this floor, the very light and trivial manner in which the commerce of this country has been treated, and had we not heard the very strange opinion, that it ought to be left to take care of itself.

It is possible that the agricultural class, which embraces a very great and respectable part of the population of our country, will look for some evideuce of the benefits to be derived to them from the protected enterprise of our merchants. Those benefits, however, are so obvious to an attentive observer, that very little need be urged to render them apparent. It has been justly said that agriculture and commerce are handmaids to each other. Indeed their interests are strongly and durably interwoven. Commerce has a direct tendency to raise the price of the product of the farmer's labor, by seeking in every part of the world the best markets for our articles of export, and by bringing back and scattering though the country that circulating medium, which cherishes industry, and sweetens the toils of the laborer. If

to rot. The produce of our country must share a similar fate, unless we consent to dispose of it to foreign merchants and speculators, at any price they may please to offer for it. But what is not less important, if we have a regard for morals and happiness, a horrid picture here presents itself; that moment you stagnate the vent of your grain, an extensive inland country will be inundated with whiskey and the destructive vices which flow from the free use of it.

Although important, this is far from being the most important view which may be taken of this subject. It is a conceded point, that our Government must by some means or other have revenue. The greatest statesmen and patriots of this country, have united, I believe, in considering commerce as our most fruitful source of revenue and riches. It presents a mode of fiscal exaction, the most in union with the spirit and feelings as well as the interests of the American people that of indirect taxation. By this mode the consumers of articles of foreign growth and manufacture, contribute freely and copiously to the support of our Government, and to that fund which is destined to the payment of the national debt, and this too without feeling in a great degree the weight of the contribution. But the moment, sir, we give up this source of revenue, or expose it to the cupidity and rapacity of foreign Powers, a re sort to modes of taxation less congenial with the spirit of freedom must be inevitable. Let those who are for giving up this, look about and see what other sources of revenue our country can furnish. Experience, that mother of wisdom, has already instructed us, that excise laws are too odious in many parts of our country, to be borne; indeed this source of revenue would at best be trifling. Personal property is of a nature too occult and too liable to shift and change to become a safe and permanent source of revenue. The sale of the public lands, relied on by some, is an expedient which on many accounts will be slow and inefficient; but if the sentiment prevails of leaving commerce to take care of itself, and my notions are correct that such a measure will paralyze the industry of the farmer, it may very justly be doubted, whether our wild lands will meet with a ready market. What then, I

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