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MARCH, 1806.

Non-Importation of Goods from Great Britain.

as well deliver up the cultivators of your soil, who are British subjects. You have many British subjects in the country who do not go to sea. Are these persons to be delivered up to Great Britain in exchange for your seamen? I trust not. If you could procure the release of your citizens on this ground it shall never have my support.

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perty, I suppose gentlemen will be willing to protect it. I rely on the documents of the Secretary of the Treasury. The commercial gentleman from Maryland, (Mr. MCCREERY) has proved the trade to the West Indies is carried on with American capital. He has shown, from the Treasury statements, that 21,371,311 dollars worth of produce of the West Indies has come to this country What is the proposition under consideration? the last year, and that an equivalent amount was A non-importation of British goods at a distant sent from this country, and sold in the West Indies. day. For myself and my friends, who are in fa- The calculation is sufficiently correct. I have exvour of this resolution, I may say that it is not amined it. The estimate is made upon the sales our wish that it should go into effect at all; we of the outward cargoes, and upon the fair cost of flatter ourselves that before the period arrives at the produce in that country. The documents on which it is to take effect, Great Britain will do us your table prove this, and the same thing may be justice. But gentlemen cry out, this is a war mea- established with regard to the trade to Europe. sure. This is their constant argument. But, sir, I find by the report of the Secretary of the Treait is not a war measure, it is a mere commercial sury, there is exported to France, Spain, Italy, and regulation, which we have a right to pass, and of Holland, to the amount of $24,259,114 in foreign which Great Britain cannot justly complain. goods, and of our own productions we export to Great Britain herself adopts commercial regula- those countries $12,183,000. These two sums, tions, which go to interdict the productions of added together, amount to $36.442,114. All these other countries. This she is in the daily habit of countries are enemies of Great Britain. The doing her whole commercial system is a system amount of importations from these countries is only of monopoly and exclusion. Her East India trade $25,475,000, the balance being about $11,000,000 is a monopoly; and our trade to her West India in our favor. It follows that we import from islands is carried on as a favor. In peace she these countries eleven millions less than we export entirely shuts up, and in war opens partially her to them. There is also the amount gained on the ports in that quarter. We do not quarrel with her sales in Europe. This may be fairly estimated at on this account-we do not cry out it is a war mea- four or five millions of dollars. What becomes sure. Look at her navigation act. She puts the of the difference? It goes to England in payment commerce of all other nations in chains. She of her balance against the United States, amountwants to engross the commerce of the whole civ-ing on an average to fourteen millions; this balilized world. ance exceeded fourteen millions the last year. This balance is made up by remittances from the other belligerent countries. You could pay Britain this balance in no other way. Could you get the specie in sufficient quantity from other countries, or from your own to pay this immense balance? You could not do it. It is impossible. It is remitted by bills of exchange from Italy, from Spain, from France, and particularly Holland. And yet, strange to tell, this is the very fund upon which Great Britain is continually making depredations, and which some gentlemen, so fond of the trade we carry on with Britain, are anxious to destroy by withdrawing all protection from it.

If we concede this principle to Great Britain we must make a like concession to France, who will undoubtedly capture our vessels trading to the British islands. France would have the same right to do it that Britain has. If we abandon it, we violate our neutrality, by giving to one of the belligerent nations a right not possessed by her at the beginning of the war.

I believe these unjust aggressions of Britain have arisen from a spirit of commercial rivalry, which is alarmed at our great and increasing revenue. In 1790, our revenue amounted to about two millions-in 1796, it amounted to six millions-in 1804, it amounted to upwards of twelve millions; and for the last year it may be estimated at thirteen millions. Our trade has increased beyond all calculation, and this has excited the jealousy of Britain. We have seventy thousand seamen, and a million tons of shipping. At the peace of 1783, we did not possess over two hundred thousand tons. Our exports and imports have increased in an equal proportion. In the last returns they are stated at seventy-five millions, and there can be no doubt of a great augmentation for the present year. Great Britain makes these aggressions on our rights, calculating on our divisions. Let us be united in resisting them, and we shall hear no more of her injustice. In support of this measure I will endeavor to prove that this trade is carried on with American capital, in opposition to the allegation that it covers enemies' property. If it can be proved to be American pro

The honorable Speaker does not seem to know how this balance stands. He cannot depend on the information he receives from your custom houses. But though he may not rely on the accuracy of your export to particular countries, as a vessel does not always go to the port for which she clears, he may implicitly rely on the state of the imports; there can be no deception in the imports, and the value of the exports cannot be materially erroneous; and he may rest satisfied that if Great Britain seizes property destined to belligerent nations, your merchants will be unable to pay her the balance they owe her. But it is said I do not understand calculation; and the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. RANDOLPH) has made an allusion to a debate on a former occasion, but which has no possible bearing on the present question. On that occasion I said, that if I were to buy three per cents. I should be obliged to give for them

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more than one half their nominal amount; but that if I meant to keep them I would not choose to give more and I say so still. The only question, however, sir, before us is, whether we will interdict the importation of British goods? We are not fixing the value of three or six per cent. stocks. We are driven to the necessity of taking some measures to compel Great Britain to do us justice. Her friends, however, do not wish the non-importation measure ever to go into operation; they hope that Britain will do us justice, rather than submit to the injuries it will inflict upon her. But if she will not release our sailors, and restore or make payment for our ships, I do wish it to go into operation, and to continue until she has restored them. The luxury of a woollen blanket is not such as I wish to enjoy at the expense of the rights and honor of my country. The gentleman from Maryland (Mr. NICHOLSON) may enjoy it if he pleases. and he has told you he does not wish to relinquish a luxury of that nature. But I would rather submit to be clothed in a bear skin-rather than submit to this degradation I would agree not to wear a single article of British manufacture during my life. Sir, I would rather go naked. I ask pardon of the Committee, but I speak the honest sentiments of my heart.

MARCH, 1806.

the smallest nations of the earth-I would hold it were I a citizen of the petty Republic of St. Marino,-were my rights invaded I would fight till I could fight no longer. Do you want to damp the ardor of the American people, because Great Britain and France are powerful nations, and the former has determined to annihilate our commerce? Mr. Chairman, I am no public speaker, and I have not arranged my ideas, or clothed them in the language I could have wished; but I do say we have reached a crisis which imperiously demands the adoption of measures for the maintenance of our commercial rights, which so far from impairing, will promote the interest of agriculture. For, sir. they are inseparable; they are twin-sisters-children of one birth, of the same parents, begotten by one common father-they must live or die together-you cannot separate them-by sacrificing the one you sacrifice the other. More than this, sir, the people of this country will not submit to these aggressions on their rights. The people are both agricultural and commercial, and they know that the fall of commerce will be soon followed by the destruction of agriculture. And should this Congress or any other abandon their commercial rights, they will send other men to represent them. They ought to do it, and you may be assured they will do it. Mr. Chairman, what is to become of the surplus productions of agriculture? Shall they be suffered to rot or perish in your warehouses or on your plantations? If they cannot be sold abroad, and the returns be permitted to be made to this country, and afterwards re-exported, this will be the case with a large part. What will become of a number of persons employed in agriculture? Will you dispose of the slaves in the Southern States? Gentlemen will not consent to it. Then, I say, afford a reasonable protection to commerce.

I will not however detain the Committee with many additional remarks: I will only call on gentlemen not to sacrifice the best interests of commerce, by giving way to the principle which Britain has assumed. In sacrificing them, will they not at the same time sacrifice the interests of agriculture? I cannot see a distinction between them. Without we protect commerce, what can we do with our surplus productions? But because we call upon you to protect commerce, are we to be stigmatized as the friends of a fraudulent trade? No; we are willing to let those who cover enemy's property with a neutral flag take care of them- Sir, I must have fatigued the Committee-I fear selves. I am further charged with a wish to meet I have been troublesome at this late hour of the Great Britain in war. But, sir, I have no such day-I hope I will be pardoned. Weak and feeble wish my only wish is to obtain an honorable com- as has been my defence, and the support I have pensation for the injuries she has committed. We attempted to give this resolution, I have done what are charged with going back to the times of the I considered a duty, and I trust my motives will Revolution, and comparing the temper of our coun-not be called in question. I shall not trouble the try at that time with its present temper. Sir, I was a child when the Revolutionary war commenced I have scarcely a recollection of the times of the Revolution; but would such language as we have heard on this occasion been then tolerated? That a gentleman should get up and tell us we ought to succumb to Britain, because she had 800 ships on the ocean, is astonishing to me. I cannot comprehend its tendency. Such sentiments were not uttered during the Revolution. Then, with a population of two and a half millions, we boldly met that nation, and triumphed over her arms; and if necessary, we can meet her again, or any other nation that shall treat us with the same injustice. Under like circumstances I would meet France, Spain, or England-I would meet them all collectively, if necessary, and I have no doubt we would be a match for them all, though for saying so I may be denominated a madman. I would hold this language if I belonged to one of

Committee any further on this subject.

[It being the usual hour of adjournment, Mr. SMILIE moved that the Committee should rise, and said that he would to-morrow agree to take up in committee the proposition of the gentleman from Maryland. The Committee then rose, and the House adjourned.]

THURSDAY, March 13.

The House proceeded to consider the amendments proposed by the Senate to the bill, entitled "An act for establishing rules and articles for the government of the armies of the United States:" Whereupon,

Ordered, That the said amendments, together with the bill, be referred to Mr. VARNUM, Mr. SAILLY, Mr. KENAN, Mr. COVINGTON, Mr. KELLY, Mr. GOODWYN, and Mr. TALLMADGE.

A message from the Senate informed the House

MARCH, 1806.

Non-Importation of Goods from Great Britain.

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that the Senate have appointed a committee, on they talked of national honor. But, on this subtheir part, to join with such committee as theject, I agree with the poet:

House of Representatives may appoint, to con-
sider and report what business is necessary to be
done by Congress, in the present session.
On a motion made and seconded that the House
do come to the following resolution:

Resolved, That Major General Arthur St. Clair be heard at the bar of the House in support of his claim. Ordered, That the said resolution do lie on the

table.

On motion, it was

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury be directed to lay before this House the names of the persons in whose favor bills have been drawn on the Treasury of the United States, by the Ministers of the United States near the Government of France, under the stipulations of the Convention between the United States and France, concluded at Paris, on the thirtieth of April, one thousand eight hundred and three, specifying as far as possible, the amount and nature of each particular claim for which bills were so drawn.

On motion, it was

Resolved That the Postmaster General be directed to lay before this House a list of the names of the persons who have made contracts for carrying the mail of the United States, since the last day of December, one thousand eight hundred and four, specifying the terms and duration of each contract, respectively.

IMPORTATIONS FROM GREAT BRITAIN.

The House again resolved itself into Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union-Mr.

GREGG's resolution still under consideration.

"Act well your part, there all the honor lies."

I am not disposed to be a duellist for national honor. I am disposed to view this as a question of profit and loss; and if the loss will be greater than the gain, to reject it; and it is because I

think that the United States will incur more loss believe it will have a warlike aspect, and therethan profit by it, that I wish to get rid of it. I fore I am against it. I have no idea of fighting all the world. I hope, from the course which this discussion has taken, and from the conviction which it has produced of the inability of the United States to carry this measure into effect, that we will enter on the discussion of some other to get rid of this resolution in the easiest way, and measure more likely to be effectual. I am willing I therefore move you to discharge the Committee from its further consideration.

Mr. ALSTON. The gentleman bottoms his motion on the idea that this is the most ready way to get rid of the resolution; but, on this motion, discussion were on the resolution. If, however, the subject remains as much before you as if the we are permitted to go into the Committee of the Whole, we may there refuse to take it up without any discussion, and we may then take up any

other resolution.

Mr. LEIB. There is no doubt the gentleman thinks his path the straightest, and his conceptions the most luminous. I do not like, however, this resolution remaining on the table; as it will still remain in the power of the Committee to call it up.

Mr. LEIB explained, by observing that he had said his impression at first was in favor of the resolution.

Mr. SMILIE. Whether the course recommendMr. LEIB. From the course which has beened by my colleague be the best, the House will pursued for several days, I am induced to move judge; but he has assigned a curious reason for that the Committee of the Whole on the state of it. I think he said, at first he was in favor of the the Union be discharged from the further consid-resolution. eration of this resolution, and that of the gentleman from New Jersey. Without entering into the merits of the resolution, I will confine myself to stating the reasons on which I make this mo- Mr. SMILIE. That was just what I stated. tion. I did expect, when this subject first came The gentlemen expected, it seems, also, to have under discussion, to have heard something re- heard wonders, which he has not heard. It is specting its merits; that a comparison would have possible that that gentleman's mind may take a been drawn between the advantages and disad-higher tone than mine; and he may have expectvantages likely to ensue to the United States from its adoption, instead of which I found my colleague sailing round the coast without examining its tendency or bearing. He told us it was pacific, and, in the same breath, said it struck a dagger into the vitals of Great Britain. If, Mr. Speaker, I were to strike a dagger at you, would you not consider it a hostile act? And yet this measure is said to be pacific, and it is represented as having no tendency to war. When this measure was first proposed, I was in favor of it; I was impelled by my feelings against Great Britain, whose injuries I sensibly felt. But I have since listened to the arguments adduced in its. favor by my colleagues. What are they? Did they speak of its profits and loss; did they show that it would be advantageous to this country? Instead of this

ed a superior discussion to that which this subject has received; but I am not ashamed to say that I have received light from this discussion. I think, indeed, the question has been pretty well examined. I have, in this business, wished for peace-I have labored for it-and though I approve this resolution above any other, I am willing to part from it to meet those of my brethren, whose sincere wish it is to do something. I know it is best to do something that shall appear to be the sense of the nation. I am willing, therefore, to meet on middle ground. I have another objection to the course recommended by my colleague. Some gentlemen cannot be satisfied without enjoying a triumph. I should be willing to indulge them in these feelings if I thought they deserved one, but I do not think they do. If they wish

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peace preserved, and are desirous of serving their country, they will deprecate the effects of a measure which may distress and divide us.

MARCH, 1806.

them a bantling, and have offered it to the House. We do not like it, and they are for forcing it upon us. We revolt at this, and what do they say? Mr. EARLY.-I rejoice that this motion is made, They allow they cannot carry it; but say that, to as I had, in truth, intended to make it myself. It discharge the Committee of the Whole from its will be recollected that, when in Committee of the further consideration, will be to cover certain perWhole, I made a motion to pave the way for sub-sons with political disgrace. They are, therefore, mitting to the House this motion, in part, which for going into a Committee of the Whole, and I intended to make, as it embraces both the reso- when they get in Committee, refusing them leave lutions of the gentlemen from Pennsylvania and to act upon it. Is this parliamentary? Is it reg New Jersey. I consider the two resolutions as of ular for a Committee to refuse to decide on the the same family. It must be apparent to every business submitted to them by the House? Let member of the House that the subject is exhaust- us either adopt or reject the resolution, or dised, so much so that yesterday we were entertain- charge the Committee of the Whole from its ed for several hours with answers made to the further consideration. For what purpose was it arguments of gentlemen who intended to vote on referred to a Committee? For the purpose of the same side. Gentlemen declare themselves in not being acted on? For the purpose of our favor of an accommodation, who, though they going into Committee and then refusing to act cannot vote for this measure, are willing to adopt upon it? Will gentlemen refuse to discharge the some other. It was in this spirit that I made a Committee from the very resolution they do not motion yesterday, and it is in the same spirit that mean to act on? I do not understand this. It is I am in favor of the course now proposed. Let beyond my depth. Gentlemen should have ponus, then, take this business out of the power of dered well before they brought forward this measthe Committee, and place it under the control of ure. They should have felt for the support on the House, who may make such disposition of it which to rest it; and if they are ashamed of now as they may think proper. I do not feel particu- trying this support, they should withdraw their larly anxious as to the course which shall then be resolution. They ask too much when they compursued. If any gentleman will then move to plain of the course we propose to pursue. Should postpone the resolution to a day certain, I will the resolution continue in its present state, it is vote for it. liable to be called up at any hour, when there may be a thin House, and after gentlemen say they do not mean to act upon it. If the House do go into Committee, I hope the resolution will be acted on, and discussed-for though gentlemen have said the subject is exhausted, I do not believe it is exhausted, though they may be.

Mr. SMILIE Considered the course recommended by the gentleman from North Carolina, (Mr. ALSTON,) most correct. When in Committee of the Whole, we may agree not to consider the resolution, and to consider some other, The resolution under consideration may, in the meantime, remain before the Committee, subject to being acted upon at any future period, should we agree to no other.

Mr. G. W. CAMPBELL.-I feel a little surprised at the sentiment expressed by the gentleman from Georgia, as I did understand him yesterday, as having expressed himself willing to adopt the course pointed out by the gentleman from North Carolina. I do believe that course most proper, and I do not see any reason for a different course. I am against discharging the Committee of the Whole from the consideration of this resolution. I can see no use in this, unless to give gentlemen the appearance of a triumph. Though I believe there is a decided majority at present against the adoption of either the resolution offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania, or that offered by the gentleman from New Jersey, I do not know whether a week hence there may not be a majority in favor of one of them, in consequence of receiving further information. Under this impression, I hope the resolutions will be permitted to lie on the table.

Mr. J. RANDOLPH.-I do not know, Mr. Chairman, that I understand the question, unless the gentleman from Pennsylvania and his friends are willing that their favorite measure should be strangled in the dark, from an unwillingness that it should suffer a political death. The two gentlemen from Pennsylvania have produced between

Mr. CONRAD said, his wish was to cultivate harmony He wished this was the sentiment of every member he hoped it was. If those who were for taking stronger ground, were willing to accommodate, he hoped they would be met in a spirit of amity-he hoped there would be a strong vote in favor of the measures adopted to convince this people and the world we are not so timid as some gentlemen seemed to imagine. He was in favor of the course pointed out by the gentleman from North Carolina.

Mr. STANTON. Mr. Chairman, the resolution on your table is considered, by the enemies of it, a war measure. Is it possible that men of information or common sense should view it as a hostile measure? I disavow that opinion. The idea is chimerical. It is, in fact, a commercial measure; the regulation of which is vested in Congress by the Constitution. But, we are told, it will lead to war. Such a construction might be put on our revenue laws, and many other of our other public acts. Such inferences are whimsical. Sir, the honorable member from Virginia tells the House, we have a negotiation pending with Great Britain, and we ought to wait the result. I ask how long-seven years-until our commerce is annibilated, and three thousand more of our citizens impressed into the service of Great Britain? The Executive has repeatedly remonstrated, but to no purpose. The gentleman has commenced a vol

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A gentleman from Pennsylvania, on my right, who is in unison with the gentleman from Virginia, tells you the citizens are destitute of fortitude sufficient to abstain from the use of many of the articles contained in the resolution on your table-particularly coarse woollen cloths-the people are so attached to them by habit, sir, if they were given to the laborer they would come dear by paying the tailor's bill for making them up; a seven-knot breeze of wind would blow out the filling, and leave but little remaining.

use of British manufactures for years, and the ladies voluntarily discontinued the use of their favorite, delicious India shrub, in order to obtain liberty and independence. The gentleman's age does not permit him to remember these noble acts of patriotism, which are fresh in my recollection.

unteer apologist for that unprincipled Government, and tells the House we tried negotiation with Spain, and failed-at the same time avers there is no Spain-it is France and Bonaparte, and Talleyrand; they have bullied Spain out of her existence. He proceeds, and asks the House this question-can you expect Great Britain will respect our neutral flag at the expense of her existence is she not fighting for her life? and tells us that the combined fleets of Holland, France, and Spain, are no more, and that Great Britain has eight hundred ships-of-the-line, including Sir, the people of New England at the comother smaller vessels of war; and Russia is the mencement of the Revolutionary war with Great second Power of continental Europe, with half a Britain, and previous to an open rupture, possessmillion of hardy troops with sixty sail of-the-ed fortitude sufficient to totally abstain from the line and thirty millions of subjects; a territory more extensive than our own; that she is a storehouse for the British navy, and solemnly warns us before we enter into a contest public or private, be sure you have fortitude enough to go through with it-if you mean war, say so, and prepare for it. Behold the disrespect in which France Sir, the honorable member from Virginia is holds neutral rights on land! as though we were fully prepared to go to war with all the Powers bound to tamely submit to the unprovoked in- of Europe, except Great Britain. As for Spain, sults of Great Britain, because France is playing who he wishes to fight, she is annihilated, and the same game on the continent of Europe-for cannot be found; she has sunk under the wing of he smoothly slides over the nefarious conduct of Talleyrand. I presume the gentleman will posGreat Britain, to the impressment of our citizens, sess prudence enough not to risk himself on the and dwells with apparent delight on the omnipo- watery element, nor near the seashore, lest the tence of the British navy. I am at a loss to ac- voracious shark should attack him, and deprive count for this miraculous conversion of the gen- him of his proboscis. The gentleman generously tleman to the British interest. I am ready to say, continues to give you wholesome advice. Get rid with astonishment, oh! how is the mighty fallen, of your national debt; it is a dead weight, that how is the fine gold become dim, tell it not in the cramps your measures-I am free to confess, this streets of Askelon, lest the tyrants of Europe and is the best part of his harangue, and the only part the aristocrats of New England rejoice! Pardon, that has weight in it-and then, he says, you may sir, the digression. He has injudiciously attacked bid defiance to all the world. Sir, this is comprethe official invulnerable character of the Execu-hensive and strong language; it puts me in mind tive and Head of Department. I have quoted a line or two from the best of books. Sir, it is to be deplored, that a man of brilliant talents, and great merit should, by his poignant irony, have increased the number of his opponents; but, why should I wonder? That was the case with the celebrated Where a nation is insulted, as we are, the stale French orator, Mirabeau, whose predominant pas-doctrine of passive obedience and non-resistance sion and insatiable thirst for pre-eminence led ill becomes an independent nation, much less the him into numerous errors and inconsistencies; American character. Such pusillanimous conadd to this the gentleman's fondness for Cabinet duet will not obtain redress. Mr. Chairman, when rank and Utopian glory. But, notwithstanding I take a retrospective view of the nefarious conthis dereliction from the principles of the Ameri- duct of the British Government toward the Unican Revolution, I hope he will not long continue ted States, and consult my feelings, my very soul enveloped in the fog of aristocracy, but reassume is fired with just indignation at the unprovoked his former honorable and useful station. Mr. insults offered the American flag, and the pirati Speaker, is it not a great misfortune that a gen-cal and systematical plundering system adopted tleman of superior talents and elegance should speak day after day without making a single convert or disciple? The gentleman now flatters himself that the friends of the resolution will aban don it; and he affirms that they are ashamed of it, and despair of its adoption. Let that be as it may, I can assure the honorable member I am not ashamed of it, and wish to occupy higher ground and stronger measures-even a non-intercourse with Great Britain-unless she will discontinue her piratical measures against us, by a restoration of property and a liberation of American citizens.

of the young man who expressed a wish to his father, that all the people in the world were dead, except himself and his brother Jonathan; for then he said, they would buy and sell land and get money like all the world.

by the Government of Great Britain against neutral rights. I am almost as anxious to make war against Great Britain as the honorable member from Virginia is to make war against Spain, if she was to be found. But, sir, in cooler moments of serious reflection, the little judgment I possess dictates to me to avoid war, as one of the worst evils that can or does afflict a people. The calamities inseparable from war are incalculable. Under this view of the subject, I am induced to believe that the interest of my country, and the happiness of the State I have the honor to represent, will

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