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without any serions danger to the govern- | free white race. To incorporate Mexico, ment.
would be the very first instance of incorpora. " Yet the English have not wholly escaped. ting an Indian race, for more than half of the Although they have retained their liberty and Mexicans are Indians, and the other is comhave not fallen into anarchy and despotism, yet posed chiefly of mixed tribes. we behold the population of England crushed “I protest against such a union as that! to the earth by the superincuinbent weight of Ours, sir, is the government of the white man, debt. Reflecting on that government, I have The greatest misfortunes of Spanish America often thought that there was only one way in are to be traced to the fatal error of placing which it could come to an end that the weight these colored races on an equality with the of the pediment would crush it. Look at the white race. That error destroyed the social neighboring island of Ireland, and instead of arrangement which formed the basis of society. finding in her identity, we find that England The Portuguese and ourselves have escapedhas to support her out of her laboring and vig- the Portuguese at least to some extent—and we orous population--out of her vast machinery are the only people on this continent which and capital, and keep up a peace establishment have made revolutions without anarchy. And almost beyond her means. Shall we, with yet it is professed and talked about to erect these certain and inevitable consequences in a
ihose Mexicans into a territorial government, government better calculated to resist them and place them on an equality with the people than any other, adopt such a ruinous policy, of the United States. I protest utterly against and reject the lessons of experience ? So much such a project. ther, Mr. President, for holding Mexico as a “Sir, it is a remarkable faci, that in the province.”
whole history of man, as far as my knowledge • There are some propositions,” says the civilized colored races being found equal to the
extends, there is no instance whatever of any distinguished Senator, “too clear for argu- establishment of popular rights, although by far ment, and before such a body as the the largest portion of the human family is Senate, I should consider it a loss of time composed of these races. And even in the to undertake to prove, that to incorporate savage state we scarcely find them anywhere Mexico would be hostile to, and in conflict with equal government, except it be our noble with, our free popular institutions :" but savages-for noble I will call them. They for
the most part had free institutions, but they he is here addressing the Senate of the
are easily sustained amongst a savage people. United States, which is the representative Are we to overlook this fact? Are we to body of all the States; can any man associate with ourselves as equals, companions, doubt the sincerity of the remark ? Does and fellow-citizens, the Indians and half-breeds not the veteran statesman know the senti. of Mexico? Sir, I should consider such a ments of that august body? Let us then thing as fatal to our institutions.” entertain no fears that Mexico will be
It is the settled policy of a majority of seized upon and annexed, for we have his this nation to recognize no political differword for it, that the Senate know that such
ences among men, excepting those which an act would be at variance with the necessarily arise from age, sex, and mental spirit and genius of this nation.
sanity, -and it is an equally established The Senator speaks for the nation, in its policy of a minority, to regard no race as past, its present and its future; he declares capable of liberty but the Caucasian or the law that governs the destiny of Repub- wbite race. Because liberty did not lics, but the grandeur of his argument is originate with the nation as a whole, but somewhat diminished by a necessary was first recognized and established in the tinction between the polity of the nation individual States, they were regarded—and and the polity of individual States.
must be regarded—as the defenders and “ The next reason which my resolutions as- sources of private liberty ; nor was the sign, is, that it is without example or precedent, Constitution itself formed by slaves,-its either to hold Mexico as province, or to authors were the freemen of the nation, incorporate her into our Union. No example and they could extend it to whom they of such a line of policy can be found. We pleased. And yet, the number of persons bave conquered many of the neighboring tribes of Indians, but we never thonght of holding granted by the States has been too small
of other races to whom liberty bas been them into our Union. I know farther, sir, that for a satisfactory proof that they are o have never dreamt of incorporating into capable of liberty. It is not yet proved
Jnion any but the Caucasian race-the that Republican institutions can exist even
in all white nations of the Caucasian tribe ; Amid these reflections suggested by the and of that tribe, which embraces a vast Senator, himself a great example of repubportion of the human race, only here and lican and native virtue, one is startled by there a free nation, inconsiderable in num- the following remarks :bers but powerful in character and intelligence, has been able to establish liberty.
" It has been the work of fortunate circumBut, leaving untouched the question of the stances or a combination of circumstances, a capability of various races, we know that succession of fortunate incidents of some kind,
which give to any people a free government. republican institutions are the most difficult It is a very difficult task to make a Constitution of all others to be preserved, because they to last, though it may be supposed by some that rest upon a certain moral superiority of they can be made to order and furnished at the the people, or rather of the majority of the shortest notice. Sir, this admirable Constitupeople, which appears in their constitution of our own was the result of a fortunate tions , their Manners, and their Religion. combination of circumstances. It was superi
or to the wisdom of the men who made it. It It has never happened in any age that a
was the force of circumstances which induced stupid, cowardly, and faithless nation have them to adopt many of its wise provisions. attained to permanent freedom. Free Well, sir, of the few nations who have had the institutions are not proper to the white good fortune to adopt self-government, few man, therefore, but to the courageous, have had the good fortune long to preserve that upright and moral man; and if a race of government; for it is harder to preserve than mongrels or negroes, educated so far as to perity, remember the tenure by which their
to form it. Few people, after years of prosorganize a society, were found to have liberty is held; and I fear, Senators, that is our these qualities, it could not be denied that
own condition; I fear that we shall continue to they were capable of free institutions. involve ourselves untilour own systein becomes We, a nation derived from the Saxon, a ruin.” Norman and Celtic races, claim to be capable of liberty, because we and our ances
This observation of the Senator, that tors have always discovered more or less our admirable Constitution was the work of the republican virtues—and for no other of fortunate circumstances; that it stands, reason—not inquiring whether those virtues so to speak, in the palm of fortune, to be were an immediate gift of Heaven, or a cast down as it was raised up, at her pleasnatural inheritance, or an effect of education. ure; agrees better with the rhetoric of a
The framers of the Constitution did not military adventurer, than of a grave and extend liberty to the enslaved colored wise legislator. Nor does it add the least population of the States: the liberation force to that prediction of the destiny of uf slaves was a right which all the States, this Union, uttered in the same breath with whether of the North or South, reserved | it. Predictions, if they be not inspired, to for their private exercise, to hasten, de- gain respect, must rest upon a knowledge of lay, or refuse, at their private pleasure. history and of the laws that govern human The slave must be freed before he could events; if we believe that fortune presides sustain a relation of freedom to the Nation over those events, it shows more vanity itself, and his liberty lay in the gift of his than discretion in us, to predict their issue, master, and of the Individual State. or even to raise a finger to control them.
It is necessary, therefore, to protest But it is not so: the agents in the affairs against this doctrine of the Senator, that of men are themselves men, or rather the "ours is the government” (solely)“ of the passions and the reason of men; and those white man,” for by the admission of this who predict their course, predict from doctrine he would deny to the Individual their estimate of the force of passion States that great power to confer liberty and reason in men themselves, be they a and free suffrage upon whom they pleased, legislative body or a nation. Had not the be they Indian, African, or mongrel, ac- Senator known this, he would not have cording to the Sovereign Will of the peo- ventured to predict the fall of this Union. ple. This government is not merely a Was it by a mighty and incommunicable government of the white man, but of logic, that he ventured in the same breath whomsoever the Individual State shall see to predict the fall of our institutions, and fit to make free.
declare them the work of happy accidents ?
to raise them on lawless chance, and then come as certainly as I am now addressing the declare the law of their continuance ? to Senate, and when it does come, awful will be give them first to fortune and then to the the reckoning; heavy the responsibility some
where." gods ? Absurd conclusion of the Senator ! This
This warning comes from no noisy denation have fortune in their hands, and can claimer, or heated enthusiast. It is the whirl her idle wheel backward or forward voice of years and of experience. It is at their pleasure. They have but to agree not a trope, or stroke of rhetoric; it is that honor and honesty shall rule, and the plain announcement of a fact. We they rule—that the Constitution shall re
have secured our liberty, and believe that main, and it remains. On that side they it will remain secure, while we are occuhave a divine, an omnipotent authority; pied in destroying that of other nations. on the other they are powerless. On the We think that by augmenting our power one side, they have fortune-on the other,
we shall only perfect our freedom; forgetdivinity ; here chance, there reason ; here ful that not power, merely, but lawful favor, there honor; here lying, there truth; forms of power, are the support of freedom. here robbery, peculation, conquest, fear, Our power may indeed fret and spend itand the sinking of all in mere despond; self in vast enterprises ; but we are losing there law observed, credit, equity, hope, the grand privilege of freemen, to control and the fruit of all the past.
the councils of the nation: we may retain And yet—it was only by a figure of rhet- our domestic freedom, but we are powerless oric that the orator appealed to Fortune, in the affairs of our country. Party Orto inspire us with a salutary terror; and ganization, the sole lever of the politician, when he afterward points out the true neglected by one party, and skillfully emcause of our danger, and shows that it is ployed by the other, has wrested the sceprather through forgetfulness that we are
tre from our gripe; we have allowed ourfalling, it is evident that he is truly no selves to believe in Public Opinion, until, worshipper of Fortune, but a firm believer too late, it is discovered that Party Organin the laws of Reason and of Nature.
izations are manufactories of public opinion. “ Sir, there is no solicitude now for liberty. We have neglected to manufacture a quanWho talks of liberty when any great question tum of true and liberal opinion on the side comes up? Here is a question of the first of Justice and the Constitution, and the magnitude as to the conduct of this war; do you hear anybody talk about its effect upon our
consequences are just beginning to be felt liberties and our free institutions ? No, sir. by ourselves and by the world. That was not the case formerly. In the early As it was not by fortune nor the constages of our government the great anxiety currence of fortunate accidents, that we was, how to preserve liberty. The great anx- arrived at our present condition, but by iety now, is for the attainment of mere military strenuous and virtuous endeavor for our glory. In the one we are forgetting the other. country and kind, so it will not be by The maxim of former times was, that power is always stealing from the many to the few ; the
evil fortune that we fall, if fall we must, price of liberty was perpetual vigilance. They but by the neglect of those means bs were constantly looking out and watching for which we rose. And what were those danger. Not so now. Is it because there has means ?. The purifying first of our own, been any decay of liberty among the people ? and next of other minds ; the banishment Not at all. I believe the love of liberty was never more ardent, but they have forgotten the trial of all public questions by the rule
of all but the most elevated passions, the tenure of liberty by which alone it is preserved.
“We think we may now indulge in every- | private morality; the fearless and spiritthing with impunity, as if we held our charter ed declaration of right opinion, in the face of liberty by " right divine”--from heaven itself. of unpopularity and false enthusiasm, by Under these impressions we plunge into war, all who can speak or write with force or we contract heavy debts, we increase the pat- with discretion; the constant inculcation ronage of the Executive, and we talk of a cru- of the faith in principles,—that principles sade to force our institutions, of liberty, upon all people. There is no species of extravagance
are strictly the expression of divine laws which our people imagine will endanger their “which execute themselves," and must be liberty in any degree. Sir, the hour is approach proclaimed and obeyed by all men and ing--the day of retribution will come. It will l nations who are ambitious of power, or of
permanent and universal wealth :--these and public men. To accomplish this end, means, well used, cannot fail to effect their every spirited citizen will strain every ends. But it is also necessary to have thought. If he has accumulated wealth, faith in the people.” What is meant by he will apply his acquired knowledge of faith in the people ? A question worth economy and finance to the consideration answering. Put the case that the same of the public finance. If he is a lawyer, multitude were addressed by two orators, his knowledge of the nice differences of and on the same question and occasion; rights will serve him to detect the fallacies that the first of these orators considered and dishonesties of men in power. If he in his mind that the people he addressed is a clergyman, he has the law of God, were to be controlled by several passions, “which fulfills itself," written in his mind fear, vanity, admiration, interest, envy, the in a clear and legible scripture, easily lust of power, and the enthusiasm of a applied to all events and all actions as a novel enterprise ; that accordingly, hav- rule. If he is a farmer, or an independent ing this opinion of the men he addressed, mechanic, he knows that individual liberty an opinion drawn necessarily from the begins with him--that representative govstudy of his own heart, he begins by a ernment is sustained by him--in its original skillful dattery,—throws in arguments to purity and force, and that in his place he the purse, to national vanity, to the admi- is the main pillar of the state, on whom ration of great names, to popular enmities depends finally the Union and the public and prejudices, the love of domination and security ; but being no linguist nor much the love of change,—and rousing in his read in the law, he will be compelled to hearers' hearts a tumultuous, uneasy enthu- shape his estimate of public men and siasm, which then he and his colleagues measures by those plain rules from which direct to their ends :—this orator may be all laws spring, and which come to him fairly said to have no faith in the people ; direct from heaven. he rather believes that they are creatures But especially, at this crisis, when the of passion, and subject to none but base polity of the nation is being settled for a and selfish impulses. But now the second
course of centuries, by the establishment orator rises, a Chatham, a Webster, a Peri- of new forms of opinion and new modes cles, a Clay; his generous spirit expands of government, it becomes the men of itself through the vast auditory, and he leisure and of letters to throw themselves believes that he is addressing a company into the strife; not like gladiators shining of high-spirited men, citizens. They see with the oil of sophistry, and wielding an the grandeur in his eye, and before a unscrupulous sword, but rather firm and word has escaped his lips, they are struck sure, organized, with the modern obedience with an irresistible sympathy with the and the modern discipline. If, instead of man. Then, he speaks. When he says degrading themselves by idle and aimless *** fellow-citizens,” they believe him, and production, the frivolous trifling of boys, at once, from a tumultuous herd, they are they would remember that they are citiponverted into men-into a nation, for the zens of a Republic more magnificent than tine being; the universal voice is speak- Athens, and that soon must be the irreins, and every man's soul is attuned by sistible power of the world—that in it; a common purpose seizes them, a com- this Republic there is no aristocracy but inon energy,--and by a wonderful effect, that which rests in native uprightness and their thoughts and feelings rise to an sincerity, no fame but that of usefulness, heroical height, beyond that of common no respectability but in the public service; men or common times. This second orator they would cease from their trifling, and ** had faith in the people;" he addressed unite their exertions and labors to overthe better part of each man's nature, sup- throw the ambitious man who usurps, the pusing it to be in him ;—and it wus in him. impostor who misleads, and the coward
The great problem of our politics is, who sells himself. If, despising toil and to bring the minds of the majority up resigning the poor privilege of a little to a pitch of knowledge and confidence fretful originality, a thing smiled upon and that will enable them to use their pri- pitied by the truly great, they would join vate judgment upon public questions as true fellow-soldiers against lying, quackery, and tyranny, of whatever kind ;/ but because it is in human nature to err. in less than an age, the Union would be it is, therefore, always necessary for a settled upon eternal foundations, and the free people to watch their rulers, and men of this age be remembered as the check the career of their ambition. We, second founders of the Republic.
the private citizens, must make the man Men do not respect that which is a in place respect and fear our free vote, growth of accident or fortune, and could and our free opinion. On perpetual vigithey bring themselves to regard the insti- lance, and not on a curiously adjusted systutions of their fathers as the fruit merely tem of checks and balances, must we rely of happy concurrences, they would despise for the vindication of our rights. their very liberty, and wish to defy for- But first, before attempting to check or tune, and let her do her will. Regarding limit any power, it is necessary to know, the Union as transitory and fortuitous, to feel, its exact weight and importance
. we are less grieved with the thought of It is idle to argue against it, or pretend corruption in the general state : we become not to see it—to smile at, or disrespect it; accustomed to contemplate its decay, and we must estimate it, measure it, take its are less indignant when it is proposed full dimension, compare it with others and to reduce it to an association for gain. with itself, and finally, consider its growth, That despair, too, which sometimes affects permanency, and tenacity of life. A dry good men of a feeble temper, may well study of the Constitution, or of historical spring out of this opinion, that we lie commentaries, will not give a true idea, at the mercy of chance. To know the much less a true feeling, of the central obstacle is half to conquer it ; to know the power. It springs from each one of us, danger is almost to escape it, with a spirit as from millions of living roots. We conof that temper of which freemen are cede to it, in the economy of the whole, a made. Let it, therefore, be fairly seen power original and forever established; it and defined : different men will see it dif- is the most efficient and unobstructed Exferently and with different degrees of ecutive Power in the world, and able, by apprehension ; but he cannot be esteemed keeping a vast number of persons in the worthless, or unserviceable, who gives his hope, or in the fearful and conditional ensole attention to that shape of the public joyment, of office, to exercise a direct perdanger which affects him most, and which sonal power over one half the people. threatens the most immediate peril.
When supported by a strong minority The Senator has distinctly indicated the in Congress, it can initiate any law it present danger of the Republic--" the pleases, and suppress any which it thinks increasing power of the Executive,” its may be injurious to itself. It is not afraid assumption of an authority and an influence of impeachment, for it will always control beyond the spirit, if not beyond the letter a strong minority in the Senate and the of the Constitution, its aggression upon the House. It is not disposed to encroach liberties of the States and of the nation. openly upon the Constitution, but has It is discovered at last, that in our own, as always advocates and excuses to defend in the English Constitution, the only effec- itself against the direct charge. It is intual control over an Executive backed stinctively ingenious with the people, and by a powerful minority, is by the refusal takes care never to seem to injure the of supplies, or by the affixing of condi- landed interests. It never touches, or tions to appropriations.
seems to touch, the liberty of the individIt is necessary to thelife of all great pow- ual, or of the State, of which the northern ers, that they should tend to burst their and southern Democracy are so exclusively bonds, and seem continually to threaten jealous; but it reaches over the heads of tyranny: the power of wrong must be coin both, and eludes both. Its immense powcident in them with the power of night; and er rests unmoved upon the tumultuous sea few men there are—there is no man, of a of opposing interests and passions; the spirit fit to be the chief servant of the small waves (if we may so speak) of local nation, who will not sometimes encroach tumults cannot overturn it. The broader on liberty; not because he does not love the base the more securely it stands; and
V, or that he means to be tyrannical, should its power ever be extended over