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The gentleman talked about the cause of humanity | Were the interests of humanity benefited by such scenes as he had described, and which were the legitimate consequence of this sort of agitation? Let the gentleman look at Hayti: once one of the most flourishing islands of the Caribbean sea. The negroes there were once a happy, contented race, cultivating their fertile soil, and enjoying every comfort suited to their condition. And what were they now A wretched gang of indołent vagabonds, tearing each other to pieces in domestic feuds, and fast relapsing into their pris&ine state of barbarism. Let him look throughout the West India Islands, and wherever the control of the white man was withdrawn, instead of bands of happy and contented laborers, singing at their easy tasks, you beheld a wretched mass of squalid, lazy free-negroes, without one idea in their heads of what real freedom was. In the British Islands emancipation took place under 'more favorable auspices than it ever can again. The negroes underwent a long probation; the masters were compensated for them, and the British army was there to keep them in subjection. But although effected under these favorable circumstances, the Engłish Government now admitted it had been a failure, and that both the white man and the black had been injured by it. Liberate three hundred thousand negroes by a stroke of the pen Who did not know that it could not be done but through scenes of carnage and of horror from which humanity recoiled - Born as Mr. B. had been in a country blessed with civil and religious liberty, he wished to see these rich blessings extended to every country on the face of the globe; but having witnessed nothing but unutterable wo to result from such measures as that in which the gentleman from Ohio so exulted, instead of sharing the gentleman’s joy, he regretted that such an attempt should have been made; he was pained at it. It was that measure, together with one or two other features, which marked the movements of the new government in Paris, which alone marred the satisfaction, otherwise without alloy, with which he had learned the struggle of the French people for a republican government. In concluding, Mr. B. observed that the House would bear him witness that he had not been in the habit of addressing it in a spirit or with the feelings which he had manifested to-day. He had sought altercation with no man; he never had vol. unteered to wound the feelings of any of his fellowmembers. But the provocation this day had been
so great, the conduct of the movers in this matter
had been so outrageous and unpatriotic, that he had not attempted to restrain his feelings.
MoMDAY, April 10, 1848.
The Joint Resolution from the Senate tendering the congratulations of the American people to the French people, being under consideration in the House, and Mr. As HMUN having spoken in reply to Mr. B., he obtained the floor, and said, when he had spoken one week ago upon this question, he had spoken without one
Mr. ASHMUN interposed, and desired the gentleman to give way for a moment while he added a few observations on a topic which had escaped him.
Mr. BAYLY assented, and Mr. ASHMUN proceeded with his remarks; after which— Mr. BAYLY resumed the floor, and proceeded. He said he was about to remark, when he had yielded the floor to the gentleman from Massachusetts, that when he had spoken a week ago on this subject, he had spoken without one moment of preparation, and under the feeling very manifest to the House at the time, and which he did not attempt to suppress. The gentleman from Massachusetts, subsequently on the same day, had obtained the floor, and declined then, under circumstances similar to those under which he had spoken, to reply. He had taken a week to fortify himself, and all he (Mr. B.) asked now was, not a week for preparation to rejoin to him, but the attention of the comraittee. He should follow the gentleman step by step through his remarks. And, first, as to what the gentleman had said in reference to his (Mr. B.'s) suggestion as to the form in which the resolutions of congratulation to the French people ought to be presented by this country. The gentlenian said he had objected to the resolutions of the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. CUMMINs, because they had not come from any committee of this House, or even from a gentleman connected with the committee having charge of our foreign relations, and had seemed to intimate that that was ground of objection on his (Mr. B.’s) part to the resolutions themselves. On the contrary, gentlemen knew very well that it was impossible to get this subject before the House in the imposing form he (Mr. B.) had desired, until they had first been submitted by some member. His (Mr. B.’s) argument had been in favor of referring the resolutions, and nowhere had he objected on account of the gentleman from Ohio having introduced them. The gentleman had quite as much right to introduce them as anybody else. They had come with quite as much propriety from the gentleman from Ohio, as they could have come from anybody else. But he (Mr. B.) had desired to give them an imposing appearance. He had desired that they should not seem to be the suggestion of a single individual, but rather the deliberate and well-considered action of this House. He had not understood the resolutions of the gentleman from Ohio, nor had the gentleman from Massachusetts himself understood them as referring to the subject of abolition in the French colonies; because, if he had, why did he move his amendment? The resolutions had created no excitement here, though the gentleman from Massachusetts now maintains that they contain the substance of his amendment. There had been no ill feeling, no indisposition to vote them when they were brought forward in a proper form. Was it that the gentleman found, that although thus containing his amendment, as he now maintained, they were not likely to excite broil and discord here, and hence he deemed it necessary to give additional point to it, to render it obnoxious, as far as their feelings were concerned, and thus raise the storm of which he now complained The gentleman had one of the two horns of the dilemma: he must either admit that he did not understand the resolutions as he now maintained them to be, or, being everything he desired, yet, as they were going quietly along, his purpose of agitation was not likely to be attained, and therefore it was necessary for him to interfere
with his amendment. So far from the gentleman's explanation having relieved him from any odium, which he (Mr. B.) undertook to say his amendment had brought upon him, in the estimation of three-fourths of the members of this House, they only served to fix it more indelibly upon him. The gentleman had expressed surprise that the resolutions of the gentleman from Ohio, which, as he contends, contained a virtual congratulation at this abolition movement in France, should have come from this (the Democratic) side of the House, and said that “but for the position” (emphasizing the word) of the gentleman on this side of the House, he would have been more explicit in its utterance. What did the gentleman mean Had it come to this? Had a leader of the Whig party in this House been brought to admit that the position of a member on this side of the House was a restraint upon him in throwing an apple of discord here, which did not prevail on that (the Whig) side of the House? They all knew—scarcely any man was so inattentive to what was going on here, from day to day, as not to know—that such was the fact; but he had thought that the calculating prudence of the gentleman from Massachusetts, on the eve of a Presidential election, when the vote of southern States is wanting to elect a Whig, would have restrained him from the open, undisguised avowal of it on this floor. But the gentleman said that the resolutions were premature; that he was willing, at a proper time, to express sympathy with France, but wished to wait until he saw the result of the movement there. He wished to wait until republicanism was consolidated in France, before he could express a word of sympathy with this movement in the direction of free principles. He desired that the movement should be consummated before we should open our lips. He (Mr. B.) wished for no such ill-timed delay. In this contest for free principles, waged in imitation of our own glorious contest of '76, he did not wish now, any more than France did then, to wait for the movement to be consummated before the cheering voice of sympathy was heard. If the calculating prudence of the gentleman had been practised at that time by France, perhaps our Revolution would never have been consummated. So far from its being premature, it was in the midst of the strife, when the issue was yet uncertain, when these people were contending for their political rights, that they required the cheering voice of sympathy. It was at such a period as that that he (Mr. B.) wished to speak—whilst the contest waged, not when it was over. Then would be a time for congratulation when they had achieved the glorious object for which they were struggling; now was the time to send over to them the voice of sympathy and encouragement. He had none of that cold, calculating policy which would restrain him from sympathizing with men fighting for their liberties because perchance they might be stricken down in the struggle. He ardently hoped that France might establish, on a firm basis, her republican principles; and it was precisely because he entertained that hope that he wanted to cheer them in the effort. It was precisely because he did not want to produce despondency for lack of the sympathy of this great nation that he did not want to wait. If we were not to rejoice now, because there had
been something to be regretted in what had occurred, we never could rejoice at the inception of any movement of this sort. Somewhat of irregularity, confusion, disorder—somewhat (he was sorry to add) of error, must always precede the success of any great revolution. He asked again: was France premature when she not only aided us by her cheering voice of sympathy, but with men and money? It was precisely as premature in France then, as it was in us now. He repeated, he had no sympathy with the gentleman in his illtimed prudence. But the gentleman from Massachusetts could not speak to these resolutions—with all his professed anxiety to produce no discord, to discharge his duties merely—he could not speak to these resolutions without recurring to the conduct of our Government in the Mexican war, virtually charging us with hypocrisy—not in terms, but that was. the effect of his argument—charging, that at the
time we were exulting at the birth of a Republic
in the Old World, we were exerting the power of our nation to crush a Republic on this continent. What had we done in reference to Mexico that showed any disposition on our part to put the iron heel of war upon her ? Had not our course towards.
her, from the dawn of her independence to this
time, been that of forbearance and friendship; while hers, in turn, had been nothing but outrage and hostility ? Has not our forbearance towards. her been such, that if it had been practised towards a strong instead of a weak nation, it would have stamped us with pusillanimity? Was Mexico less likely to be free, less likely to be republican, after the termination of this war, which the gentleman’s course had tended so much to protract, than it was before ? Was there any man, who had looked attentively at the course of events, who believed that this war would result in injury to Mexico, as far as her civil and political condition was concerned;
who did not know that there the reign of military
despots had been cut short; that after this war, the principles of liberty would be better understood, and the rights of man be more respected, than they ever had been before? This war, as far as Mexico is concerned, though “a toad ugly and venomous, hath yet a jewel in its head.” The gentleman had referred to the remarks of the French minister, and had quoted from his book what he had said on the subject of slavery in the West India Islands. Now, he (Mr. B.) begged leave to say to this House, that he attached precisely the same importance to Lamartine's description of slavery in the West Indies, that he did to the constant descriptions of slavery in the southern States by the gentleman and his associates on this floor. He had never lived in those colonies. He knew nothing of their condition. He was precisely as ignorant of it as the gentleman from Massachusetts and those who coöperated with him were of the condition of slavery in the southern States; and as presumption would never supply the place of knowledge, he attached precisely the same importance to the opinions of Lamartine upon a subject which he did not understand, that he did to the opinions so often expressed here by a class exactly in the same category. But does not the gentleman know that Lamartine was speaking of the condition of slavery in St. Domingo at the time of the insurrection, and not. of the condition of slavery at this time in the French Islands? Besides the reason which he had given for attaching no importance to Lamartine’s description of the condition of the slaves in St. Domingo, there were others. He was not sustained by better informed historians. Most of them represented the negroes as contented and happy, until they were made to believe, by the interference of foreign famatics, that they were oppressed and deprived of the natural rights of man. But although he attached no importance to what Lamartine said of the condition of the slaves in St. Domingo, yet he did attach importance to what he had said in the extract which the gentleman had read on another point, about which he was informed. Mr. B. alluded to what Lamartine said about the effect of the insurrection. He referred to the fact that the Constituent Assembly had proclaimed the liberty of the blacks, and said, “ St. Domingo, the richest of the French colonies, was swimming in blood. FRANCE was PUNISHED For HER Egotis M.” Yes, she was punished for her egotism, in attempting to control an institution, which the great mass of her people and statesmen knew nothing about, in the massacre of her white citizens in St. Domingo in the first instance, and in the loss finally of the finest of all of her colonies. And civilization and humanity itself was punished, in the loss to both, of one of the finest and most productive portions of the globe. .. And (continued Mr. B.) if it were possible for the gentleman and his associates to succeed in abolishing slavery in the southern States of this Union, we would not be the only persons who would suffer. They and their constituents would also, though not to the same extent with us, be punished for their egotism. w But the gentleman from Massachusetts had said that he had been in error in what he had said in reference to abolition in St. Domingo. The gentleman seemed to suppose that he had maintained that it was the action of the French Government which brought about that emancipation, and had undertaken to show that it occurred prior to any action of the Government on that subject. He had never said that abolition in St. Domingo was brought about by the action of the French Government. On the contrary, in as explicit terms as he could employ, he had said it was brought about by the agitation of the subject by English and French fanatics, without the concurrence of the Government of France, and by the operation of societies there of the character of those to which the gentleman belonged. f Mr. ASHMUN (Mr. B. yielding) said he had understood the gentleman to make use of these words, precisely as he was reported in the Intelligencer. Mr. A. here read a passage from the Intelligencer’s report of Mr. B.'s speech. Mr. BAYLY (resuming) said, if the gentleman would hand him, the report he would show him exactly what he had said. That report, considering the circumstances under which he had spoken, he was free to say, was a very faithful one. But much he had said was omitted. The remarks immediately after what the gentleman quoted showed clearly enough what was his understanding. He
had said the thing had been effected. How By
these men changed his views.
the action of the Government 2 No such thing. This was what he had said; and he read from the Intelligencer’s report as follows: “Then the thing had been effected by the busy intermeddling of visionary fanatics, just as it was now sought to be done by the gentieman from Ohio and his associates. There was then a band of fanatics in London who met in the Old Jewry, and who passed resolutions very similar to the amendment which it was now sought to foist on the pending resolutions. « It was then proposed to aid these negroes with men and money in a struggle for their freedom ; and similar resolutions were at the same time adopted in France by an association similar to that to which the gentleman and his abolition friends belonged among us. These fanatical visionaries set the revolt of the blacks in St. Domingo in motion ; their machinations succeeded in exciting a servile insurrection, in the course of which every white man and woman and child in the island was massacred, with the exception of a small remnant, who fled to the shipping in the harbor, and barely escaped with their lives. Whole hecatombs of dead bodies were piled up in the streets, amid burning, murder, and pillage.” He had made other remarks which were not in this report. The House would recollect—those who had paid attention to his speech—that he had referred expressly to the fact that the Abolition Societies of London and Paris had furnished Ogé with a ship, with men and money; and it was by this aid, thus furnished by persons belonging to associations precisely similar to those that existed here, that these negroes had been stirred up to insurrection, and been enabled to succeed, by cutting the throats of every white man, woman, and child in the land, except a few that escaped. Mr. ASHMUN wished to correct the gentleman on one point. Ogé's mission, he presumed the gentleman would recollect, was to vindicate the rights of the mulattoes against the whites. His mission was not emancipation. Mr. BAYLY knew, as well as a man could expect to know from general reading, the history.of that transaction. Let the gentleman look to the authority he had quoted, or to his own historian, Edwards, and he would find that although Ogé, when he left St. Domingo, contemplated nothing more than to assert the rights of the free mulattoes before the Constituent Assembly of France, yet in France he became associated with the Society of the Friends of the Blacks, and in England he was made acquainted with the abolitionists there. The association with He became intimate in France with Barnave, whose fanatical maxim was, “ Perish the colonies rather than a principle;” and he returned to St. Domingo, bent upon a general insurrection, which he contrived very soon to set in motion. Let him read any authentic history of the times, and he would find not only that the insurrection was brought about by foreign abolitionists, but that the whites would have succeeded in suppressing it, but for the men and money furnished by these abolition fanatics of England and France. And how did the mulattoes profit, whose conjoint action with the negroes enabled them to succeed 2 As he had said the other day, after the whites were exterminated by the joint action of the blacks and the mulattoes, they were not yet satiated with blood, and at a subsequent period the blacks turned upon the mulattoes themselves, and from that hour to this there had been nothing but confusion and bloodshed in that island, until it was fast relapsing into that barbarism which he verily believed it was impossible to keep the negro out of in any other way than by the guardianship and protection of the white man. . / Look to the British Islands: British statesmen had admitted that their attempt at emancipation there had proved a failure. It had taken place under circumstances more favorable than could ever again occur: the masters were in some sort compensated for their slaves by the appropriation of $100,000,000, and there was not that acute sting of wrong which would occur where they were not thus emancipated; they underwent a probation of ten years; in England heavy discriminating duties were laid in their favor for their protection; they had British bayonets, there to keep them in order and protect the white men against their murder;--and yet, with all these safeguards, with all these favorable circumstances, which never did occur before, and which never could occur again, what was the condition of things in those islands? Look to the debates in the British Parliament;
look to the admission of her statesmen and of her leading journals, and it was everywhere conceded that the attempt had proved a failure. It had been maintained in the British Parliament, as it was here, that white labor would be more profitable than slave labor; that emancipation would enhance the products of those islands. We of the South (said he) knew otherwise. As young as he was
at the time, he reviewed, in one of the periodicals of the day, these positions; he was not wise after the fact; in 1833, in this article which was in print, he had predicted exactly what had since occurred. He undertook to say there was no man in the South who understood the negro character who had not foreseen precisely what had occurred. English statesmen, or such of them as were influenced by this reasoning, as very few of them in fact were, did not understand the fact—which it seemed could not be learned here—that presump
tion was no substitute for knowledge, and that men cannot wisely regulate a subject they do not understand. But, to look further: What must inevitably be the ultimate moral effect of extensive emancipation? He said now, whether by the torch of the incendiary and the dagger of the assassin, or by the peaceful action of the Government, emancipation could never take place in any country where there was a large proportion of blacks without absolute destruction to the whites or the blacks. There was no man that reflected about the matter who could believe that the two races could ever live together in the same community as equals: they never did anywhere, and never could. Free the blacks in the southern States, and a strife would inevitably arise between them and the whites which would become a war between races, the most deadly of all wars, in which it would be necessary “that one should perish that the other might live.” The gentleman said, when he (Mr. B.) pro
nounced his amendment a libel on one-half of the States of this Union, he was virtually saying that the Declaration of Independence was equally a libel. What was the resolution of the gentleman, as modified by his friend from Ohio, [Mr. SchENck?] It was a declaration that slavery, domestic slavery, was a violation of a cardinal republican principle. He said that that declaration was a libel on one-half of the States of this Union, because it affirmed that those States were living in the habitual violation of a cardinal republican principle; and he maintained it still. But had the gentleman’s resolution any analogy to the Declaration of Independence? Did the Declaration of Independence speak of anything else than political rights? When the Declaration of Independence declared that all men are created equal, did it mean to assert the untruth that all men were in fact created equal in their social and physical condition? Did it mean to say that the idiot was created equal in every respect with the man of genius the dwarf with the giant? In what were they equal? Equal in stature? in intellect? in any gift of God? The Declaration of Independence never meant to assert any such absurdity as that. It meant to assert that men are equal in their native rights, before they were modified by law after they entered into society. That was what it declared, and that was all it declared; and there was no ingenuity which could torture the Declaration of Independence into having the remotest allusion to the institution of domestic slavery. The gentleman had read a long list of bright names that represented Virginia at that time in the old Continental Congress—the name of Lee, who introduced the resolution that “these colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States;” of Benjamin Harrison, Carter Braxton, and other eminent men, who participated in that movement. Did he not know that every one of these men at that time were large slaveholders— among the largest in that State? that every one of them continued to be slaveholders till the day of their death? With what purpose, then, did he come in here and assert that these men propounded any such doctrine as he now contends for I say (said Mr. B.) that the Declaration of Independence is a libel on my State! Sir, it is the handiwork of her noblest and most gifted sons. But it is as little like the resolution of the gentleman from Massachusetts, either in its purpose or sentiment, as he and his associates are like the eminent men who asserted and maintained it! And, in saying that, I do not know how I can draw a stronger contrast. But to recur to the subject of the Declaration of Independence. The gentleman had said that every creature that had the form of a man was entitled to the right of citizenship. He asked the gentleman in what State of this Union did any such right obtain He asked him in what State of this Union, except, perhaps, his own, did free negroes enjoy any of the fundamental rights of citizenship? Did they vote? Did they serve on juries? Had they the right, which was secured by the Constitution to every citizen, of going to any State they please to reside? Did not the gentieman know, that although he talked so much about negroes being deprived of their rights by the institution of slavery, they were as much deprived of every political right in the other States as they were in Virginia? Mr. ASHMUN was understood to say, (Mr. B. yielding,) that there were other States beside Massachusetts in which the black population were entitled to vote. This was the case, he believed, in Democratic New Hampshire. Mr. BAYLY. Do the negroes vote there? Mr. ASHMUN. Yes, and in New York. Mr. BAYLY (continuing) undertook to say—he did not presume to be as well acquainted with their State constitutions as their own Representatives were—but he undertook to say, that neither in New York nor New Hampshire did the negroes stand on the same footing with the white voter. There were discriminations against them; and if there were any discriminations, they did not enjoy all the privileges of citizenship. In New York they require the negroes to possess a large property qualification, not required of the whites, which effectually excludes them from the polls. In New Hampshire there are very few free negroes, and the law, perhaps, may allow them to vote; but oy not kept by public sentiment from the Ołłs 2 Mr. TUCK interposed, and (the floor being yielded) begged leave to correct the gentleman in regard to New Hampshire. Free negroes voted in New Hampshire; and he would inform the gentleman that very many of them were intelligent and respectable men. [A laugh.] Mr. BAYLY continued. How many of them had the gentlemen ever seen on the jury, at the bar, on the bench of justice? Not one, he would undertake to say. And they could not marry a white man or woman. [A laugh..] And yet gentlemen came here and talked about their being free and equal. It was not the fact anywhere. Look at Connecticut, in the very heart of New England: on a late occasion, by an overwhelming popular vote, she had denied them the right of suffrage. Look at New York, Pennsylvania, to every State in the Onion. In none of them were they entitled to the enjoyment of equal rights with the white; and yet gentlemen talked to them about emancipating their slaves. Go home, (said he,) and emancipate your free negroes. When you do that, we will listen to you with more patience. Until you have taken the beam out of your own eye, do not undertake to remove the mote from ours. The gentleman from Massachusetts asked (continued Mr. B.) if the ordinance of 1789 was a libel on the States of the South. He (Mr. B.) did not choose to anticipate now what he should have an opportunity on another occasion to say, when he should pay his respects to that ordinance, and show all it ever was, or is. It contained no such sentiment as that expressed by the gentleman. The gentleman had also asked him if the Oregon bill, with the anti-slavery restriction, was a libel on the southern States. He regretted that the gentleman had made it necessary for him to refer to the circumstances under which the anti-slavery restriction was put in that bill. It had been in none
* Lamartine, in describing the insurrection in St. Domingo, says:
“A rivalry of cruelty seemed to arise between the two eolors. If certain noble and faithful slaves placed themselves
between their old masters and death, they were sacrificed together. Gratitude and pity are virtues which civil war never recognizes, Color was a sentence of death, without exception of persons; the war was between races, and no
longer between men. The one must perish for the other to live. Since justice could not make itself understood by them, there was nothing but death left for them. Every gift of life to a white man was a treason which cost a black man’s life. The negroes had no longer any pity. They were men no longer; they were no longer a people, hut a destroying element, which spread over the land, annihilating everything,”—Vol. I, page 317. x
of the territorial bills that had preceded it, except the Wisconsin bill, and there in so loose and general phraseology that it had escaped the attention of the House. The effort had been abandoned in the case of the Iowa bill. When the Oregon bill came into this House in 1845, reported by a gentleman from a non-slave State, and from a conimittee the majority of whom were from non-slave. holding States, there was no such restriction in it. It was placed there—and he regretted it—on the motion of a gentleman whose elevated personal character, whose elegant accomplishments, whose urbanity, whose ability, whose statesmanship, ought to have made him scorn to participate in any such proceedings—by the gentleman who then, as now, represented the city of Boston, [Mr. Speaker WINTER op.] It was introduced against all precedent, against all necessity, and for the purpose, as he regretted to believe, of keeping up abolition excitement. If it had come from such a source as this amendment, he should have expected nothing better; but he confessed he was disappointed, mortified, to see it come from the source from which it did. But the gentleman had not been content with a legitimate reply to his argument, but had seen fit to come into this Hall, in a manner which every gentleman here must feel to have been offensive, to
drag before the nation and to denounce the conduct
of the Senate of Virginia for refusing to pass certain resolutions in reference to the death of Mr. Adams. It was not for him to defend that body, composed as it was of patriots and statesmen. They were able to defend themselves, and they had defended themselves before the tribunal to which they were responsible. He should not defend them before this, to which they were not. He plead to their jurisdiction. But why was it that the Senate of Virginia had not passed those resolutions They were willing to pass such resolutions as were becoming the occasion. They of. fered to pass resolutions of regret at the death of the man; but they were unwilling to stamp hypocrisy upon themselves, and to pass general resolutions of approbation of the public conduct of a gentleman whose public conduct, it was well known, had never met the approbation of Virginia. He spoke of his political course. Of his private char. acter as a man, of his ability as a statesman, no man in Virginia had ever undertaken to speak in terms of disparagement. . But they were not willing to pass sweeping resolutions of approbation of his political conduct; and the friends of Mr. Adams were the sole cause of the failure to pass proper resolutions. They made the attempt to avail them. selves of the reluctance which men ever have to refuse to say anything laudatory of the dead, and to seize upon a solemn occasion of that sort to effect a party purpose, and to make the people of Virginia, on such an occasion, pass a vote of condemnation upon themselves. The Senate of Virginia had firmness enough, had respect for itself enough, not to unite in any such movement. Proper resolutions could have been passed, and would have been passed unanimously; but the friends of Mr. Adams insisted on that being done which the
Senate of Virginia, with proper respect for itself,
could not possibly do. to g o o But suppose the Senate of Virginia in this respect had erred. Suppose their conduct had been