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Dec. 16—17, 1824.]
[Sen. & H. of R.
On motion of Mr. STORRS, the communication receiv. verted to the introduction of a bill in 1818 to provide ed some days since, from the Governor of New York, funds for paying the amount of the losses reported by a on this subject, was referred to the same committee. Commissioner appointed for that purpose under the
On motion of Mr. CAMBRELENG, the House then tormer act, its failure, and the ill success which had went into committee of the whole, Mr. TOMLINSON since attended, in Congress, individual claims for indemin the Chair, on the bill “to authorize the Secretary of nification, by his constituents, although other claims, of the Treasury to adopt a new Hydrometer, &c."
a similar nature, had succeeded. Under these circumMr. CAMBRELENG, of New York explained to the stances, the present bill had been prepared, with a view committee the objects of the bill, which, he said, was as to cover the whole mass of these claims, and bring their simple as its form. As early, he believed, as 1791, the justice fairly before the House Mr. T. went on to obgovernment bad, by law, adopted Dycas? Hydrometer serve, that the greatest obstacle which had hitherto for ascertaining the proof of spirits; that, since then, the operated against this allowance was a doubt, or clenial, ingenuity of our own countrymen had furnished us with that the loss of the property concerned was produced many hydrometers, which had been found more accurate, expressly by its use or occupation by the United States. and which were managed with more simple apparatus ; The present bill only contemplated to provide for such that the bill merely proposed to leave it at the viscretion cases as had been alrady decided upon favorably by the of the Treasury, with the sanction of the President, to Commissioner, which cases it proposed to refer to one adopt such hydrometer as might be proved, hy experi- of the Auditors of the Treasury, limiting the allowance ment and comparison, most accurate, and hest adapted for losses to one-half the amount of personal property to the purpose, &c. &c.
destroyed, but allowing the whole of the amount of real The bill was then reported, and ordered to be engros. property which shall be reported by that officer to have sed for a third reading.
been actually lost, &c.
Mr. WRIGHT rose in explanation, and in support of IN SENATE_THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1824. the amendment he had proposed. He adverted to the Agreeably to notice, Mr. TALBOT asked leave to in provisions of the previous acts, and compared them with troduce a bill further to regulate the jurisdiction of the those of the present bill, of which he complained as beSupreme Court of the United States.
ing too wide and unguarded. He thought that it was a Mr. MILLS suggested to the gentleman from Kentuc- correct principle, that compensation should be allowed ty, that, since the subject had been referred, generally, to for property destroyed during war, in those cases only the Committee on the Judiciary, it had better be left to in which the destruction of property had actually been that Committee to consider and report on it. There was, caused by its having been used in the service of the he said, no doubt that the subject had become one of
United States. so great importance that it was the duty of the Legisla
The debate was about to proceed farther-when, on lure to act upon it. But he thought it would be more in motion of Mr. DWIGHT, the committee rose, reported order to leave it with the Committee on the Judiciary, progress, and had leave to sit again. who, he had no doubt, would turn their whole attention to a subject of such moment.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES—Dec. 17, 1824. 311. TALBOT said, that he did not perceive the force Mr. TRACY moved to take up the bill authorizing of the gentleman's remarks. This subject was before payment for property lost or destroyed by the enethe Senate at the last session, and the bill he proposed my during the late war; which was carried-Ayes 91, would bring the whole subject before them at once. noes 42.
Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, said, he understood the The House accordingly went into committee of the usual course, after introducing a bill, whether of vital whole on that bill, Mr. CAMPBELL, of Ohio, in the importance or no, was to refer it to the proper Commit. chair tee. He presumed his colleague would have no objec. Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, said, that he contions to so referring it, provided the subject, in which sidered the question presented by this bill to be of nearly the State of Kentucky has so dep a stake, should re
as great importance as any that would occur during the ceive the early attention of the Committee.
present session of Congress; as proposing to revive the Mr. TALBOT made some remarks in reply, when the famous act of March, 1816, which had been the cause of question was taken, and leave being granted to intro- greater crain from the Treasury of the United States duce the bill, he introduced it accordingly, and it receiv- ihan had ever been made, upon the same principle, from ed its first reading
the Treasury of any civilized government on earth; for
no government ever had a standing law of the nature of HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.-SAME DAY.
that. The bill now before the House, in effect proposed On motion of Mr. TRACY, the House went into com a renewel of the most impartant section (the 9th) of that mittee of the whole on the bill "authorizing payment law. At this moment, Mr. W. said he felt himself en. for property lost or destroyed by the enemy during the tirely unprepared 10 go into sich an examination of this Jate war;" which was read.
question as it might require. He, therefore, boped the Mr. WRIGHT offered as an amendment a proviso, that House would indulge him, and others similarly situated, the injuries sustained, for which indemnity is to be pro- with further time for consideration of the subject. llis vided, shall have been caused by the occupation or use object was not unnecessarily to delay the consideration of the property by the United States.
of the subject; but he thought it important to have beMr. TRACY went at some length into an explanation fore the House, and in possession of every member, the of the circumstances of the sufferers for whom this bill correspondence which took place between Admiral proposes relief, more especially those on the Niagara Cochrane and the Secretary of State relative to the fruntier (whom he had the bonor to represent); the burning of property on the Niagara frontier. There relief proposed to be given to them by the act of 1816; was another document, also, which he wished the House the interruption of that relief by a suspension of the to be in possession of a document originally brought pover of the Commissioner of Claims; the proceedings here to carry these claims through the House, but which, of Congress thereon ; the passage of a second law, in since the year 1818, he had never been able to lay his April, 1817, which altered and relaxed in some degree hands upon. When these claims first appeared before the restrictions before imposed. He quoted and com- the House, the claimants never pretended to rest them mented o: the words of this law, and stated the pro- upon the ground that the buildings were occupied by ceedings which were had under its authority. He ad- tlie military authority at the time of their destruc:iou.
Sen. & H. of R.] Niagara Sufferers-Lafayette-Virginia Claims. [Dec. 20, 1824. They then maintained that all these burnings took place After some further conversation between Messrs. on the ground of retaliation by the enemy; and believing LOWRIE, NOBLE, and CHANDLER, the motion to that ground sufficient to sustain their claims, they pro- print the documents was lost, and the letter of the Se. duced all the proof of it that they could. But as the cretary of War alone was ordered to be printed. SubseHouse had refused to allow the claims on that ground, quently, they have now changed their position, and placed their On motion of Mr, MACON, the document was referred claims on a different one. Mr. W. wished, for his part, to the Committee on Pensions, with instructions to into examine fully the pretext upon which a re-enactment quire into the expediency of printing it. of the pernicious law of 1816 was claimed; and with these views he wished the committee to rise, in order to
GENERAL LAFAYETTE. have the papers printed.
Mr. HAYNE, from the committee to whom was referMr. CAMBRELENG, of New York, said, he hoped red the subject of making provision for Gen. Lafayette, that no delay would be interposed in bringing this sub- reported the following bill: ject before the House--but that they should be called "A BILL making provision for Gen. I afayette. to act upon it immediately; being persuaded that they “Be it enacted, &c. That the sum of Two Hundred were as fully prepared to do so now, as they would be Thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, granted to at any future time. He expressed his astonishment that, Major General Lafayette, in compensation for his imof all the members of the House, the Chairman of the portant services and expenditures during the American Commitee of Claims should profess any want of infor- Revolution, and that, for this purpose, a stock to that mation on this subject--since, from his official situation, amount be issued in his favor, dated the 4th of July, 1824, as well as the able and conspicuous share be had had in bearing an annual interest of six per cent. payable former discussions on this matter, he should have sup- quarter yearly, and redeemable on the 31st December, posed him to be better informed of every circumstance 1834. relating to it, than any other person. If permitted to “Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That one complete proceed, Mr. C. said that he should contend that, on the and entire Township of Land be, and the same is hereby, ground first taken by the claimants, viz. that the injury granted to the said Major General Lafayette, and that their property had sustained was inflicted by the enemy the President of the United States be authorized to cause as a measure of retaliation, their claim was just, inas- the said Township to be located on any of the Public much as it was in retaliation of injuries first inflicted on Lands which remain unsold, and that patents be issued the enemy by the express order of this government, to General Lafayette for the same." through the late Secretary of War, in the burning of the The bill was twice read, by general consent, and Mr. village of Newark. On this ground, the claim was per- HAYNE gave notice that he should move its third readfectly sustainable ; as, also, it would be on the other ing to-morrow. ground assumed, viz. that the injuries were sustained in consequence of the occupation or use of the property HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.-SAME DAY. by the United States. If either ground were established, Mr. A. STEVENSON, of Virginia, rose to ask the these claims ought to be allowed. Mr. WILLIAMS renewed his motion that the commit- to Virginia, and merited an early consideration. It re
attention of the House to a subject which was interesting tee rise: but once more suspended it, at the particular lated to the unsatisfied claims of that state for advances request of Mr. TRACY, who made some explanation in of money made by her for the use of the General Governreply to what Mr. W. had said, as to the disappearance ment, during the late war. The subject, Mr. $. said, had of the document he had referred to. No public paper been presented to Congress by the President, in a very on the subject had been withdrawn, but, on the contrary, strong message, at the last session; but, owing to cir all the papers connected with the general subject, bad cumstances unnecessay to mention, had not been acted been printed with the report of the committee.
He wished it taken up, and finally disposed of. It The committee then rose, reported progress, and had was proper, however, that he should state to the House leave to sit again ; and on motion of Mr. WILLIAMS, that Virginia would press the payment only of that part the papers referred to whilst in committee of the whole, of the claim which related to interest actually paid by her were ordered to be printed.
on moneys borrowed for the use of the General Govern
ment, and disbursed in its service. He stated this fact, to IN SENATE-MONDAY, Dec, 20.
prevent any misunderstanding as to the character of the A letter was received from the Secretary of War, trans- claim, and the principles which it involved. Of its memitting a report, made in obedience to a resolution of rits, Mr. S. said, he would not now speak. At a proper the Senate at the last session, of the names of the pen- time, he would endeavor to shew to the House that the sioners at present on the list, the several amounts paid claim asserted by Virginia was founded in justice and to each, together with the state to which each belongs ; authority, and ought to be paid. This, however, he also, a list of applicants for pension rejected; a list of would say, that, whatever the conduct of other States in the names of the widows and children of the several pen- the Union might have been during the late war, there sioners, with the amount paid to them, &c.
was not one who had been more steadfast and disinteMr. NOBLE made a motion that the report and ac- rested in her services than Virginia, or more loyal in the
She companying documents be printed.
devotion of her resources to the general defence. Mr. LOWRIE said that, in the year 1820, a report si- now only asked that her claims should be speedily ad. milar to the present was made, and ordered to be print- justed upon fair and just principles. This was due as ed, the expense of which was very considerable, and a well to this Government as to Virginia, and with that more useless expense he had never seen. He suggest- view he begged leave to submit the following resolued to the chairman of the Comınittee of Pensions whether tion: it would not be better to refer it to that committee. “Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs be
Mr. NOBLE said, that the object of the resolution instructed to inquire into the propriety of providing by adopted at the last session, was to have merely a list of law for the reimbursement of the amount of interest paid the names of the pensioners furnished to the Senate; by the State of Virginia upon loans of money negotiated but the object of the present motion was to have the vo- oy her for the use of the General Government, during lume, no matter how large, laid on the table of each the late war between Great Britain and the United member, that it might serve as a looking-glass in which States." to view our follies, but that a list of the names merely Mr. HAMILTON, Chairman of the Committee on Mi. rould be of no use whatever to the Senate.
litary Affairs, suggested that, as this was a purely legal
Dec. 20, 1824.]
Virginia Claims-Occupation of the Mouth of the Oregon.
[H. of R.
question, its proper direction was rather to the Commit- with that defence of the measure, to leave the bill to its tee on the Judiciary, than to that on Military Affairs. fate.
Mr. STEVENSON observed that he felt no great so. I know, that it is an opinion much urged, and genelicitude as to what direction the resolution should take; rally adopted, that we should keep our population as but he thought his friend from South Carolina was mis much condensed as possilole ; that there would be dantaken in supposing that the resolution embraced a ques- ger in erecting a territory at so great a distance, as protion of a purely legal character. It was a question tection would be difficult, if not impossible, and that which arose entirely out of military transactions. In send there would be danger of separation; that, in all militaing it to the Military Committee, he had been guided by ry operations, the frontier to be protected should be as the suggestion of some of the oldest members of this small as the nature of the case would permit, and that House, whose opinions he had consulted, and also by well fortified. the reference of a similar question in the other House of In replying to all these objections, I would not wish to Congress.
be understood, as urging my own opinions. I will canMr. HAMILTON adhered to his amendment, being didly state to the House, that, to me, it seems very persuaded that the resolution could in no case pertain to doubtful, whether military posts and fortified places are the Military Committee. If it did not properly belong at all necessary in a country situated as ours is. Notto the Committee on the Judiciary, it ought to go to the withstanding these are my opinions, I am willing to Committee on Claims.
grant any thing in reason which the administration of the Mr. P. P. BARBOUR thought that, from the nature country may think necessary to its defence. We often of the functions of the Committee on the Judiciary, receive opinions from others, and from books, taking (which had cognizance of courts and of laws,) this sub- the subject up as presented by writers, rather than using ject could not belong to them. The principle of the them as the means of becoming acquainted with the gentleman from South Carolina would send every ques. matter, and, by our own mature reflection, apply them tion in which law was concerned to that committee. This to the existing state things. This, I believe to be was a question concerning disbursements for military the case, as it regards our notions of military defences. service, and, as such, properly pertained, he should sup- It is indeed true, that, in the early ages, Europe was held pose, to the Committee on Military Affairs.
by some powerful nations, who fortified their cities. At The question was then taken on Mr. HAMILTON'S that day, the nation was almost altogether in the city, amendment, and lost; when
the country being lilled by the poor sent out for the purMr. SHARPE, of New York, moved to amend the repose, or by slaves; and, when it was overrun by the solution, so as to refer the subject to the Committee of northern barbarians, they were obliged to defend themClaims; which was carried, --ayes 94, noes 63.
selves in these fortresses as they could; it was not war, 1 hus amended, the resolution was agreed to. but conquest and extermination.
Mr. MALLAKY, of Vermont, then offered the follow- The fierce contest was soen over; the country was ing resolution :
parcelled out among the barons who followed their darResolved, that the Committee on Naval Affairs being chief, or king, the great baron of the invading force. instructed to inquire into the expediency of making an Thus placed amid a new and beautiful country, fertile appropriation for collecting materials, and preparing for and abounding in wealth, these fierce and baughty barthe building of a steam vessel of war for the defence of barians soon engaged in acts of strife and mutual agLake Champlain.
gression. It became a matter of importance to each, to Mr. MALLARY observed, that it was well known to secure himself against the sudden attack of his neighbor, the House, that the Government had, some time since, which, ay means of beacon tires, kindled on the tops of erected fortifications, on an extensive scale, with a view mountains, a blast from the trumpet, or other signals of to the defence of Lake Champlain; but that, owing to a co-operation, irruptions were frequently made on each dispute or error with respect to the boundary line, other's dominions, without an hour's notice; hence, which separates that part of the United States from Ca- strong castles or fortresses became necessary, or rather nada, those works had been abandoned. The lake was, indispensable. Warring with each other, and sometimes in consequence, now left destitute of any defence whal- with the king, filled up the space of many years. The ever, as the navy, which, for a time, floated on its wa- executive, however, gradually increasing its power, vioters, was now dismantled, and fast going to decay. It lating the rights of the people, and constantly encroachthe general principle of defence on which the country ing on the power of the barons, established itself more was acting, in relation to our Atlantic seaboard, was a firmly : yei, the castles were not fina ly destroyed on just and wise principle, it surely applied with additional the continent, until about the reign of Henry IV. As strength to a case where the country of the enemy was the barons were subdued, and their fortresses demolishnot on the other side of the Atlantic, but in immediate ed, standing armies, by degrees, were introduced, and adjacency to our territory.
each king maintaining an army, greater perhaps than The resolution was adopted.
the actual state of things required, compelled his neighMr. FLOYD, of Virginia, moved that the House go bor to resort to the like means for security and defence: into committee of the whole on the state of the Union, thus the circle of the kingdom was fortified instead of with a view to take up the bill “ for the occupation of the barony, and the nations of Europe came to fortify the mouth of the Columbia (or Oregon) River;" which themselves against each other, just as the petty barons was agreed to, and the House went into committee ac- had done; the frontier was enlarged, but the system not cordingly, Mr. A. STEVENSON in the chair.
changed; hence, the multitude of fortresses that cover The bill was read by sections, and the several blanks Europe. Here, however, we have nothing of this sort were filed.
to fear; our country is of such vast extent, that we are Mr. FLOYD, of Virginia, said, so much, Mr. Chair- protected by it from the broils of petty powers, tormentman, has been said and written on this subject, that I ing by their intrigues, and secure from the unwarrantawill be as concise as possible, as I do not wish to con- ble ambition of the great states, by being removed from sume the time of the committee. This subject has been them. We have no enemy, nor can have any, but such so long before the House, that I presume the mind of as comes from Europe-Europe, the disturber of the every gentleman must be satisfied as to the propriety of world ! the measure; I will, therefore, only present a few new Should we at any time, unfortunately, find ourselves ideas and additional facts which are in my possession, involved in war with any power in Europe, we shall aland my inferences from those facts, and content myself, ways have time enough to prepare for the event; and,
H. of R.]
[Dec. 20, 1824. as we should have to meet in battle, I believe it would It is, at all times, a disagreeable task for me to recur be of little consequence to the American people, bow, to the scenes which took place in the Western Country or where. Our large cities, concentrating much wealth, thirty or forty years ago : none have so deeply suffered and attracting the attention of an enemy, ought to be by those wars, agitated and produced by British agents secured by strong and judicious fortifications; for the and British traders: that country must be secure-these rest, the arms of the citizens should be their fortresses, troubles shall cease-the trade ought to be our own. as none can doubt, that, in all time to come, should an The Western Country, perhaps, fared as well as cirenterprising enemy come to our shore, and wish to land, cumstances would permit; our Government, at the he can do so, in despite of all the fortifications raised, or peace of 1783, was in a situation which disposed it to to be raised. Again, might it not be an objection to agree to almost any terms of peace which should recog. this vast system of fortifying our frontier, the favorite nize the independence of onr country; I do not mention plan of some, that the fortress might fall into the hands it in terms of reproach, on the other hand, they were wise of an enemy, and offer him a safe place to obtain water, and prudent. But the British were on better ground to and secure their ships, and repair all damage to the ar- negotiate ; they provided for their trade ; they knew my and navy? This occurrence would be a most serious well the value of the fur trade of the West, and the imthing to us. He would then have to be beaten out by a mense influence it gave her over the Indian, which, acmuch superior force, which would require an expense cording to her avowed principles, she could use in war. correspondingly large, nor could these vast fortresses be That trade was demanded, and it was wholly surrendersafely entrusted to a few men; the force ought to be at ed to them. England has shown, in all her treaties, that least sufficient to man the works, which, at one point in she knew well the value of this trade, and, from the moVirginia, I have understood, would require from seven ment she got possession of Canada until the present to ten thousand men, this too, at a place, where, during time, she has cherished it; and, in her late treaty with the late war, we had not a man I repeat it, that, in my us, she has displayed her sagacity and great knowledge opinion, the rifle, and a knowledge of its use, is the of the subject, and the value of the trade of the Oregon. best defence for our cointry, with the exception of the She has driven our citizens from that country : we can commercial cities, which should be secured by strong no longer trade there ; and, by an arrangement with the forts. Sparta thought so, in days long past; and Napo- East India Company, and South Sea Company, their leon has proved, in the late wars of Europe, how easy it traders are permitted to ship their goods from London is to march by those fortresses, and conqiter his enemy, and Liverpool direct to the mouth of that river. Our which had cost so much time, labor, and expense, be- traders, on the other hand, have two shipments to make, sides the loss of so many lives, in the fine armies com- paying a duty of from 25 to 37) per cent. so that, when manded by Saxe, Marlborough, and others.
they come into competition with the Briton, he is only I am, nevertheless, willing to act prudently upon the selling at cost that which the Englishman is disposing of plan approved to the country, and continue their plans; at a profit equal to the duty paid by us: the occupation yet, admit'ing the course to be correct the number of contemplated by this bill, with the aid of a Custom military posts, and the points at which they should be House, at no distant day would go far to remedy this erected, becomes another question. For my own part, evil. in casting my eyes over the country, I cannot perceive It has been hinted by some, that the inhabitants of that more than twenty-three or four, or, at most, twenty- Oregon, in time, might become strong, and be disposed five, fortified places are necessary; they are these which to separate from us. What, let me ask, cou ld be the inI hold in my hand, and disposed as follows : Maine, ducement to such a measure! With a vast power to the Portsmouth, Boston, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New South and to the north pressing upon them, with no re. York, Delaware, Baltimore, Norfolk, perhaps Old Point ciprocal interest, they would find themselves drawn more Comfort, North Carolina, Charleston, Savannah, St. Au- closely to the Union, supplying by their industry these gustine, Pensacola, Mobile, the Mississippi river, Platts- powers, and finding an immense country to the East inburg, Niagara, Detroit, some arsenals and deposites. The habited by their friends and relations, obeying the same fortresses on the sea board might be taken care of by a laws, and taking from them many of the rich produc. portion of the infantry and the artillery; the residue tions of the East, without an increase of expense. Be. might be distributed on the northern and western fron- sides, what has their local legislation to do with na. tier.
tional affairs? What do we know of the legislation of There is, as I understand, a regiment at Sackett's Har Maine or New Hampshire, or of Georgia? Do not our bor, at this time, a force, in my opinion, too great for the judges expound the laws of Congress as well in those post: part of that regiment could well be spared, or even states as in Maryland or Virginia Would not a judge in a part of those now at the Council Bluffs, and posted at Oregon do his duty as well as a judge in Missouri : Does the mouth of Columbia or Oregon river, which would it matter where, or in what place, the laws are made ? obviate any objection which might arise on that point. What is the appearance of things when Congress ad
If, however, this should be objected to, which I can journs, the President retired to his farm, and his Secrenot perceive, from the fact that ihe army, small as some taries gone to their homes? All local or state affairs the say it is, nevertheless is deficient by several hundred of people of Oregon could transact for themselves, as well its proper number, could be filled by enlistments for that as the states on this shore; their obedience to the laws service, or authority might be given to increase the ar- of the Union would be the same; the interest of the my by law to two hundred "common soldiers more, people on that side of the Rocky Mountains would be which, organized as our army is, could be done with per identified with the interest of the people of the whole fect convenience, by adding a few men more to each Atlantic coast, in a stronger degree, in my opinion, than company, and not cost more than, perhaps, two thou- Vermont and Louisiana, and will continue as long. sand dollars.
Notwithstanding this, suppose there should be a sepaOn the score of economy, this measure can be justified rate government, and they become an independent peo. as the army now stands, to even a greater extent. The ple, is there any thing very shocking in this? Is it not in report originally presented to this House, contemplates unison with our own principles to separate freely and also a post at the Mandan Villages, as well as at the peaceably, when the force of circumstances makes it mouth of the Oregon; troops at these points would re manifestly necessary? And would it not be better to lieve the necessity of intermediate posts, and not length- have our children there, than the Spaniard, Englishman, en the line of defence; this would give greater security or the rough Russian? Surely, if we do not occupy it, to the country, and, by diminishing the number of posts, some foreigner will, as so large, beautiful, and fertile a diminish also the public expenditure.
country, abounding in productions better in the rich
Dec. 20, 1824.)
Occupation of the Mouth of the Oregon.
[H. of R.
markets of India and China than silver and gold, cannot the truth of which, none doubt, that he was never able be left untenanted. Moreover, the law of nations, which to accomplish it: because, on consultation with his we respect, would go far to justify them in taking posses. ablest naval commanders, and on various calculations, sion of it. Would we, in that case, wage war to recover he found that the feet would be deficient, as he observ: it? if so, that war would cost much more than the occu- ed, in one month's supply of water. If, then, we secure pation proposed by this bill. Would you abandon it? the possession of Oregon, and avail ourselves of the fine Then say so, and let the enterprize of your citizens harbors and ship timber which we know how to use, . choose the course. Many now go to Mexico and to Ca- which fact, the English, at least, ought not to doubt, we nada, where they get land for the asking: the induce- take the strongest and surest security of Britain, for her ment to Oregon would not be confined to that poor pros future good behaviour. She will be very cautious how pect of a piece of land.
she evinces that wantonness and injustice, and utter Mr. Chairman, this river must be occupied; so noble disregard of the rights of this Republic, which led to the a stream, watering with its branches a tract of country last war with her when she knows that, in thirty or forty from the 42d to the 53d degree of north latitude, and days, we can, at any time, strike a blow on her East Infrom the Pacific Ocean a thousand miles in the interior, dia possessions, which, of all others, she would feel the with a climate, though north of this city several degrees most sensibly and sorely. This would be a better guarof latitude, yet as mild as this, cannot remain unoccupi- antee for our future peace, than her faith in the obsered. This country, too, if there is a spot on the face of vance of treaties, or her impressions of justice. We the globe destined to feel less of the calamity of war should, too, obtain the entire control of that ocean, than another, it is this place : this, I should think, would where we have, even now, annually, eight or ten mil. be another strong inducement for its settlement. lions of property. Mexico, Peru, Chili, and Colombia
Ali the wars which have agitated the world, have cannot, and Britain, in those seas, must forever remain been in, or had their rise in Europe-all the wars we too weak to cope with 19. We will be in good ports at have had, and perhaps will have for ages, can only be home; they have all the dangers of a voyage round a from Europe. All the defences we have planned, and cape proverbial for its storms, and two oceans, making are planning, is to secure ourselves against the wars of a distance of perhaps thirty thousand miles. If, in any Europe-from all this, Oregon will be comparatively future war, a ship should be taken from the enemy in freed. If there is a man, whose religion, or whose judg- that sea, instead of burning it, or suffering it to rot, as ment or feelings disapproves of war, then let him settle was done by the intrepid Porter, we would have a near in Oregon, where himself, and bis descendants for ages and safe port to enter, where all prizes could be secured, to come, will be unmolested by the din of arms. Rus and, by a court of admiralty, the property changed, sia, from the situation of her capital, her commanding which could be sold to the merchants of any, or all of the interests, and the mass of her population, will remain an powers below, or eren to the Russian. This, then, gives European power--she cannot disturb es at so distant a us the cominand of that ocean, from the Bay of Bengal, point. The coast of Asia is too distant, too wild and to Cape Horn, and to Behring's Straits, Kamtschatka and unimproved, to become the seat of Royalty; and should Ochotsk. var arise with that power, Europe and the Atlantic must From this bill will' result all these important consifeel its effects. Should England be the enemy, the re- derations. We procure and protect the fur trade, worth sult would be the same-hal territory is too distant by to England, three millions of dollars a year. We ensea to enable them to fit out any thing like a heavy gross the whale trade, a most valuable branch of comforce: wherefore, the danger of molestation would be marce, so plenty on that coast, that Portlock, an Engsmall. From the coast of "China, we know there is no lish navigator, states, that in 1787, when in latitude 57° danger. The experience of many centuries of exemp. he saw the ocean covered with whales as far as the eye tion from war, has taught her the wisdom of peace. She could see. We control the South Sca trade, as it is callwill got, cannot war with us. From Mexico, Peru, Co-ed--the trade in Seals, and in the islands of the Pacific. lombia, and Chili, there will be little danger; as the We must govern the Canton trade. All this rich comproducts of the two countries are totally difierent, we merce could be governed, if not engrossed, by capitalcannot compete in the market; and they have no timber ists at Oregon, making it the Tyre of America, to supply to become a naval power: from that quarter we are safe. the whole coast below, and thus obtain the silver and If, however, the Republic should be plunged in war, it gold of those rich countries on that coast, more valuable must be on the Atlantic shore, where it can defend it to us than the mines themselves; for the nation which self; that coast would ask no protection. The whole works in iron, and labors in commerce, has always, and shore of the ocean is almost a perpendicular rock, only will forever, govern those who work in gold. Here is a approached through the mouths of the rivers, easily se- way, then, to supply the market of Canton with all it cured, and easily defended, which leaves all at ease with wants, without a dollar in specie from the Republic. in, tranquillity and peace.
What four, and cotton, and tobacco, is taken from the There is, Mr. Chairman, another point of view in United States, by ships in that trade, on what they call which this subject presents itself, still more important to indirect voyages, are first disposed of in Europe or the us, and one which ought to engage the most serious at. Mediterranean, for silver, opium, &c. and these are shiptention of the Republic.
ped to China, where the opium is better than silver. The This river is the largest which empties itself into the ginseng of the Oregon, the fur of that river and that sca, Pacific Ocean on the whole coast of America, or on the with sandal wood, and other valuable productions of the coast of Asia, as far, at least, as China. It has soil and islands, will purchase all we want, not only to supply timber, to any extent, fine harbors, and much health. our own wants, but to dispose of in Europe, and return From this point, the whole Pacific ocean can be com- the proceeds to our own country. Much can be taken inanded; and is the only point on the globe, where a na- to Oregon, and from thence, shipped to the governments al power can reach the East India possessions of our below, or furnished to the merchants of Mexico, Gua. eteraal enemy, Great Britain. It is well known to every timala, and others, as they may find it convenient to ap. member of the House, that through all her struggles ply for them, by so short a voyage--from ten to twentywith Napolcon, and amidst all the gigantic schemes and two days. exhaustless resources of that great man, her trade to In. The trade to Canton has never been properly regarded dia remained untouched and secure. It is well known by us; when viewed in a proper light, it is of great va. that he had planned a descent upon her East India pos- lue to the United States, and ought to be cherishël, or, sessions; but as he himself declared in his conversations as sometimes happens, the best thing that can be done, with Mr. O'Mearn, at St. Helena, a book all have seen, I is, to do nothing; and this is emphatically one of these
VOL. I.--No. II.