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Dec. 21, 1824.]
Gratitude to Lafayette.
man himself, that there was no occasion at this time to his favor would far exceed the amount which by this re-comınit the bill. The objection of his friend on his bill it is proposed to appropriate. But this, Mr. H. said, right (Mr. Macon) went to the root or the bill; for, Mr. was not the ground on which he was disposed to rest H. said, he understood that gentleman to say that, though the measure. He would appeal to higher and more an individual might have spent his substance in the ser. generous considerations. It is not that an account is to vice of his country, and put his hand into his pocket and be settled, but a debt of gratitude is to be acknowledged paid out money for its use, that money should not be -a debt which can never be discharged, refunded to him by the government. All this, said Mr. Mr. H. stated that there was an incident in the life of H. I shall be able to shew thal General Lafayette has , Gen. Lafayette, which was explained by the documents done, and that the adoption of the measure now propos- which he held in his band, and which presented his coned will be not only an act of justice to him, but a duty duct in such a delightful point of view, that he could which we owe to ourselves. Mr. H. said be beld in his not refrain from bringing it to the view of the Senate, hands documents which he had not intended to submit though he should not found upon it any claim for remuto the Senate, because he had already submitted them neration for the sacrifices which the General had incurvery generally to the private inspection of the members; red on the occasion alluded to. It would be recollected but, called upon, as he now was, he felt it to be his duty that, in March, 1803, Congress made a grant of 11,520 to present them publicly to the Senate. Mr. H. then acres of land to Gen. Lafayette. In the year followiog, submitted a statement, founded on a document which he was authorized to locate his warrant on any vacant hal been received from France by a member of the Se- land in the territory of Orleans; and, on the 7th April, nate, from which it appeared that, when General La 1806, his agent in this country did locate a tract of 1000 fayette embarked for America, in 1777, he possessed an acres vacant land adjoining the city of New Orleans. income of 146,000 francs, about $28,700-an income, On the 3d March, 1807, Congress, without adverting to which, it is well known, had been reduced by his losses this location in behalf of the General, and indeed, wholly and sacrifices in the cause of liberty throughout the unconscious of the fact that it had been made, granted world, to a very small sum.
to the Corporation of the city of New Orleans a space of It also appeared, from the same document, that, dur. six hundred yards around the fortifications of the city, ing six years, from 1777 to 1783, the General had ex including a valuable portion of the very land which had pended in the American service, 700,000 francs, equal been previously entered by the General. He was immeio 140,000 dollars. Mr. 81. adverted to further sacrifices diately informed of the fact; it was stated to him that which the General had made in the cause of Liberty, as his right to this land was unquestionable, and Mr. I. established by this document; but the only fact in it to held in his hand a statement made by an eminent law. which he wished particularly to draw the attention of yer and jurist, now a member of the other House, showthe Senate, was, that he sacrificed, more than forty years ing that a legal opinion was forwarded, assuring the Genago, one bundred and forty thousand dollars of his pri- eral that, in a contest with the city of New Orleans, he vate fortune in the service of this country. And how must succeed. Another document, which Mr. flarne Was this sacrifice made? Under what circumstances ? had obtained from a different source, stated that the val. Was he one of our own citizens—one of those whose le of the land had even then been discovered, and that lives and fortunes were necessarily exposed during the $50,000 com have been obtained for the Generals title vicissitudes of a contest for the right of self-government ? to it. in what was the conduct of Lafayette, on beNo, sir, said Mr. H. no such thing. If he had been a na ing informed of these facts? He promptly, and without tive American, and had lost his whole estate by the war, hesitation, communicated to his agent " that he would he would have incurred a misfortune to which all his fel-“not consent ever. to inquire into the validity of his tilow citizens were liable in common with himself. But “tle; that he could not think of entering into litigation he was in the enjoyment of rank and fortune in his own with any public body in the United States; that the country, cheered by the smiles of his Sovereign, and property had been gratuitously bestowed upon him by rich in the treasures of domestic joy. And yet he tore "the United States, and it was with them to say what himself away from his country and his home, to fight the "had been given;" and he accompanied these declarabattles of freedom in a foreign land, and to make com. tions by a positive direction to his agent to relinquish mon cause with a people to whom he owed no duty--a his entry and to make a location elsewhere. This has people then engaged in a contest considered almost been done, and the certificate from the Land Office hopeless. Nor was he satisfied with the devotion of his proves, that the land substituted for that which has been personal services. He equipped and armed a regiment lost, is of very inconsiderable value. General Lafayat his own proper charge, and came here with a vessel ette, however, did not stop here. He had been induced freighted with arms and munitions of war, which he dis- to dispose of a part of his interest in this lanıl, to an tributed gratuitously among your people. And it is a Irish baronet, Sir Josiah Coghill. His contract with this matter of record on the piges of your history, that he gentleman created, of course, much embarrassment to put shoes on the feet of your bare-foot and suffering sol him; but the General only considered that it might also diery. For these services he asked no recompense embarrass the Government of the Uniteil Siatre. He made he received none. He spent his fortune for you; he an appeal to that gentleman, who, with a liberality worshed his blood for you ; and without acquiring any thing thy of all praise, agreed to relinquish his clairs to the but a claiin upon your gratitude, he impoverished him. land in question, and accepted a claim on other lands in self. And what, in recompense, has this government satisfaction for them. Lafayette stopped not even here: done for him? It was not until the year 1794, that they he was not satisfied wbile any thing remained to be gave to bim the full pay, without interest, which he was done. I have myself, said Mr. II. seen and examined catitled to have r ceived twelve or tourteen years be on file, in the Land Office, this deed of relinquishment, fore. Did they then attempt to remunerate hiin for the deposited there by General, Lafayette, himself, to se. service, other than military, which the gallant General cure the government from all future ditficulty. It only had rendered to the country? No, sir. Bilt, if an Amer. remains for me, said Mr. H. to adil, that, on a portion of can citizen had put his hand into his pocket, equipped the land thus generously relinquished, now stanuls a vala regiment for the service of his country, clothed iis na- uable part of the citv of New Orleans, valued by gentle; kedness, and put shoes upon their bleeding feet, would men well acquainted with it, (accoriling to estimates now le not have been entitled to compensation for such ex. before him) at from four lo fire hundred thousanı dollars. penditure ? Sir, it we were to resort to a calculation of It is perfectly immaterial, said Mr. H. to inquire, pounds, shillings, and pence; if we were to draw up an whether some legal difficulty might not have existed in account current with' Gen. Lafayette the balance in establishing the General's titlc. Nothing but a judicial Senate.]
Gratitude to Lafayette.
[Dec. 21, 1824.
investigation could bave settled the rights of the par- had been introduced, partly from a hope that it might ties; and, as the General has relinquished his claim, and induce the settlement of the beloved family in our coun. has never, at any time, claimed indemnity, that investiga. try. It would be a rich provision for the grand children tion would now be useless. But, the point on which he of Lafayette. It was thought, moreover, it would add delighted to dwell, was the magnanimity, the refinement to the grace of the measure. Without being over much of feeling, the noble delicacy of sentiment, which disposed to consult the opinions of Europe, it was imprompted the General at once to abandon his claims, to portant, as to its aspect abroad, that Congress should act refuse even to inquire into them,and, wholly regardless of upon this subject not only liberally, but gracefully. A his own interests, to look only to the interests of our thing of this sort, he might be allowed to add, to be well country.
done, should be promptly done, and with unanimity. He But there are still grounds almost as strong as its equi- intreated of gentlemen, therefore, who were favorable ty and justice, said Mr. H. upon which this claim may to the principle of the bill, to yield op the objections be placed. According even to precedent, if prece- which they might feel to any part of the details, assurdents were consulted in such a case, the government ing them that much pains bad been taken to adapt them would be bound to recompense the services of Lafay to the prevailing sentiment of the members. ette. Do gentlemen doubt upon this point, I could re- There is still another consideration, which had influ. fer to numerous instances of legislation upon the same ence on the minds of the commiitee, and which Mr. principles on which this bill depends. Mr. Il. here re. UAYNE considered as not the least important connected ferred to several: to the act making compensation for with this subject. It is, that the provision to be made, the “sacrifices and services of Baron Steuben ; to that should not only be worthy of the distinguished person which appropriates, in the language of this bill, “ an for whom it is intended, but that it should be worthy of entire township of land” for a recompense to Arnold the character of the nation---Worthy of the American Henry Nohrman, for similar services; to the act making people. National character is national wealth; it gives provision for the daughters of Count De Grasse ; and to à tone to the public sentiment and feeling, which add that providing for the widow of Alexander Hamilton. strength and energy to the country. Mr. H. was cer
But (Mr. H. said, he would not rely upon precedent tainly not disposed to look abroad for a rule of conduct. for a justification of this measure. Wben thie govern- He would not consult the mistaken opinion of foreign ment of a nation consults the dictates of justice, and nations, when we had any great duty to perform. And obeys the impulse of noble sentiments, it does what con vet it was highly desirable that we should always so act tribirtes to the glory and interest of the people. Neither as to command the respect of the world. Now, what was there any danger to be apprehended on the score would be thought of us in Europe, if, after all that has of precedent, from the passage of this bill. Can this bill, passed, we should fail to make a generous and liberal said he, ever be drawn into precedent? Can such a case provision for our venerable guest ? We have, under ciras Lafayette's ever again occur? Can the nation be born cumstances calculated to give to the event great eclat, again? Can it assume a second childhood ? Can it ever invited him to our shores. We have received bim with be reduced to a state of such poverty as to require simi. the utmost enthusiasm The people have every where Jar services? And, if this nation couli be: shorn of its greeted him in the warmest terms of gratitude and afpower; be reduced to extreme distressed second fection. The attention of the civilized world has been struggle for its independence; and, in the safety of its drawn to the event, as one even of national importance. fortunes should be anxiously looking for succor, in arms, It is unfortunately too well known that the object of our in men, and in money; and, at such a crisis, a foreign affectionate attachment bas spent his foriune in the sernobleman, bound by no ties to us, should make a cru- vice of mankind, and that we ourselves have received a sade in our behalf; embark himself and his fortunes in large portion of the wealth which he has never hesitated our cause ; pour forth his treasures, shed his blood in freely to surrender in the holy cause of freedom. Now our defence; and, whilst the scale of our destiny is in what will be thought of us in Europe, and, what is much equipoise, throw himself into the balance ; would you more important, how will we deserve to be thought of, consider the example which you will set by this bill, as one / if we send back our venerable guest without any more which you ought not, in such a case, to follow ? No, sir : substantial proof of our gratitude, than vague expres. the case before us is one of its own kind; it can never sions of regard? We will be accused (and he knew not happen again; and if it coule, the possibility of such a how it could be said unjustly) of pretending to sentirecurrence ought to constitute no objection to the pro- ments which we did not feel, and with paying substanposed measure.
tial services with unmeaning professions of esteem. By As to the objection which had been urged by the hon bringing Lafayette to the United States, we place him orable gentleman from Ohio, on the details of the bill, in a new and extraordinary situation in society. We Mr. H. would only observe, that it was impossible, in a have connected him with our history. You have made measure of this nature, to meet the views of every gen. him a spectacle for the world to gaze on. He cannot tleman. The committee had found that, while great go back to France and become the private citizen he unanimity prevailed among the members as to the ihing was when he left it. You have, by the universal honi10 be done, much difference of opinion existed as to the axe of your hearts and tongues, made his house a shrine, best manner of doing it. He could only conjure gentlemen, to which every pilgrim of liberty, from every quarter of therefore, who concurred in the principle, to come pre- the world, will repair. At least. let him not, after this, pared to surrender their peculiar views in relation to want the means of giving welcome to the Americans ihe details. Some gentlemen prefer a grant of money ; / who, whenever they visit the shores of France, will reothers stock; and others land. The committee bar pair, in crowds, to his hos itable mansion, to testify their taken great pains to give to their propositions a form veneration to the illustrious compatriot of their fathers. which should be, as far as possible, acceptable to all. Lafayette will be a connecting link between the old Stock was preferred to money, because, while it was world and the new, By your voluntary act you have equal in value, and was always convertible into money, placed him in this extraordinary situation, and, if, after even at a premium, it woull furnish a secure and certain all that has been done and said, we permit him to return income, which would render the veteran comfortable in home, without passing the bill on your table, we must the evening of his days, and smooth his path to the suffer a loss of reputation at liome and abroad, which grave; and, being the last of our debis to be redeem-time cannot repair. Mr. Hayne concluded, by regretcil, would remain upon record as a standing monument ting that he had been compelled to say even thius much s'ile gratitude of a free people. The donation of land on the subject. He knew that in this House, as in the
Dec. 21, 1824.]
Gratitude to Lafayette.
[S. & H. of R.
nation, there existed but one feeling of gratitude and So the bill was passed and sent to the House of Reaffection for Lafayette. He knew that the bill would presentatives for concurrence. pass with more than usual unanimity, but he consider- Mr. BARBOUR submitted the following, which was ed gentlemen, who had scruples on the score of prece- taken up and agreed to. dent, or who objected to the details of the plan, as en. “Resolved, That the President of the United States titled to the explanations, which he bad attempted to be requested to cause to be communicated to the Se. give, of the views and opinions of the committee. nate, such information as he may possess (and which may
Mr. MACON rose to disclaim the belief that Gen. La. be safely communicated) relative to the piracies referred fayette bad ever furnished any document, or made to any to in his Message, and the means heretofore adopted by person any intimation whatever, on the subject of the the Executive for their suppression; and that the Presi. measure now before the Senate As for himself, Mr. M. dent be also requested to state the additional means nesaid, he wished it to be understood that, in opposing this cessary and expedient to be enstrusted to the Executive bill, he discharged what was to him a painful duty. His for the suppression of the same." objection was not to the details, but to the principle of After consideration of Executive business, the bill, and the arguments of the gentleman had not sa- The Senate adjourned. tisfied him that the objection was not well founded. Not that he had any doubt of the truth of the statements HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES-SAME DA which had been made by the gentleman from South
Mr. RANDOLPII, from the Committee on the Services Carolina. With respect to Europe, Mr. M. said that he and Sacrifices of General Lafayette, reported a bill had no doubt that all the respect which had been shown “concerning General Lafayette;" which was twice read to General Lafayette here, was unpleasant to the rulers and made the order of the day for to-day: [This bill of that country. On this side of the water, all were glad corresponds with the bill yesterday reported in the Se. to see him; even the tories who were yet living would nate on the same subject, except that, instead of 200,be glad to see him. Among a nation of strangers to his 000 dollars in stock of the United States, it proposes to person, General Lafayette could go no where in this give him the same amount in money, with the addition country without meeting with friends. No hand, in any proposed by the Senate's bill, of an entire township of part of this country, touches his but he may feel the
land.) heart's blood beat in its fingers. Mr. M. said he should
After some reports of committees were made, and the regret it, if the South, when he goes there, should be usual morning business disposed of, behind any other part of the Union in their demonstra
Mr. RANDOLPH moved that the orders of the day be tions of regard for this distinguished man. He did not dispensed with, in order to take up the bill concerning believe they would be. Wherever he moves, among the General Lafayette. Mr. BEECHER hoped the House mountains, or on the plains, he receives a heartfelt wel would not consent to do so--but, the question not adcome. This, Mr. M. said, would sufficiently satisfy Eu. mitting debate, it was put, and carried by a large marope, if any doubt remained on that point, what is the jority. opinion which this country entertains of the services of
The "me accordingly went into committee of the Lafayette.
bill, Mr. MÄRKLEY in the chair; and Mr. BROWN said, that, in the suggestion which he the
een read, had made about the creation of the stock, &c. it had
LL, of Ohio, rose, and said, that it might been no part of his intention to embarrass this bill. Be
appe warteous in any gentleman to oppose the ing assured, by some of the Senators, for whose opinion passage or a bill having such an object as that now behe had very great deference, that the bill di.I not inter-fore the committee ; yet, under present circumstances, fere with the prerogatives of the House of Representa- brought in as that bill had been, suddenly upon the tives, to allow it a direct vote on its merits, he withdrew House, and called, as gentlemen were, to act upon it, the motion for its recommitment.
without the opportunity of consultation, or a moment's The bill was then ordered to be engrossed for a third reflection, he felt it to be his duty to oppose its farther reading
progress. This might, perhaps, be considered as his Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, entirely according in the reproach ; but he felt it to be his duty, and he inust suggestion of the geritleman from South Carolina, that fearlessly discharge it. He could have wished that the whatever was done on this subject, if done, ought to be gentleman who introduced the bill had cultivated a little done quickly, noved that the bill should have its third more of the virtue patience. He did expect that, in reading this day.
presenting such a bill to this Heise, the merits and The engrossed bill making provision for General La Claims of "ibe individual for whose benefit it was intendfayette was accordingly read a third time: and the ques-ed would have been stated, and the reasons which had tion being stated on its passage.
induced the committee to fix upon this amount of comMr. NOBLE, of lidiana, profissing a due sense of the pensation would have been disclosed. He was far from merits and claims of General Lafayette, said, that, never-being insensible to the merits of that distinguished intheless, to a bill shapel as this was, he could not give dividual; and if, upon a deliberate statement of all the his sanction. If, for opposing it, the nation, or his con- facts of his case, he should be convinced that his clams, stituents, thought proper to condemn him, he was per- even to such a large amount of remuneration, were fectly willing to abide their verdict. To show that he founded in justice, he would go as far as any member of was so, he asked for the yeas and nays on the question the House in allowing them, and in voting an appropriaof the passage of thiş bill.
tion. Whatever might be thought of his present conThe yeas and nays were ordered accordingly, and duct, Mr. C. declared that he was neither insensible to were taken as follows:
the services of General Lafayette, nor ungrateful for YEAS.—Messrs. Barbour, Bouligny, Branch, Chand-them; but he disapproved of the manner in which the ler, Clayton, Dickerson, Eaton, Jackson, Johnson, of Ky bill had been attempted to be hurried through the Johnston, oi Lou. Kelly, King, of Alab. King, of n. Y. House; and, though he might not succeed in preventing Knight, Lanman, Lloyd, of Mass. Lloyd, of Maryland, its passage, he should certainly, in this public runner, Edwards, Elliott, Findlay, Gaillard, Hayne, Holmes, of enter, for one, bis protest against it. Maine, Holmes, of Miss. Lowrie, M‘Lean, Mills, Palmer,
Mr. GAZLAY, of Ohio, said, that he, too, felt it to be Parrott, Seymour, Smith, Talbot, Taylor, Thomas, Van his duty to protest, in common with his colleague, Buren, Van Dyke, Williams. NAYS.-Messrs. Barton, Bell, Brown, Cobb, Macon, No member of that llouse could be ignorant of the mul
against the passage of the bill, at least in its prsent form. Noble, Ruggles.
H. of R.)
Gratitude to Lafayette -Northwest Coast.
(Dec. 21, 1824.
titude of claims which, for these ten years past, had been SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST COAST. continually presented to its notice for pensions for revolutionary services. The soldier of the Revolution, and On motion of Mr. FLOYD, of Virginia, the House he would add the American soldier, had been again and went again into committee of the whole on the bill " for again at their door, asking compensation for services and occupying the mouth of Columbia river,” Mr. A. STEsacrifices in the cause of his country. Was it sufficient VENSON in the chair. that he should merely mention his claim? No-he must
The amendment offered yesterday by Mr. POINSETT, state and explain the grounds on which it was founded. to insert, after the clause which empowers the President Was it enough that lie should do this once ? No-he to erect a fort on the Oregon river, in the region of had to do it again and again-he must do it twenty times tide water," the following, viz: “ or at such other point over-there was no eye to pity him, no hand to relieve as, after an accurate survey of the coast and adjoining him. After waiting on this House for years, he often country, shall be found most advantageous for the esta had to go away at last without reward, because he could bụishment of a military post,” was again read, and adopt. not explain and prove the precise amount and extent of ed; when the committee rose, and reported the bill as his services. Now, sir, said Mr. G. what I would not amended. give to the poorest American soldier, I would not give
In the House, to a king upon his throne, should he ask it of me. The
Mr. BUCHANAN moved to strike out the 4th section, gentlemen who have the charge of this bill have pur- which is as follows: “That the President be, and he is sued the wrong course in thus hastening the measure. hereby, directed to open a port of entry within the said There was another course which would better serve territory, whenever he shall deem the public good may their object--which would unite all hearts and all hands: require it, and shall appoint such officers as may be nelet the case be soberly and candidly set before the cessary for the same, after which, the revenue laws of House : let the facts be explained-give gentlemen time the United States shall extend to, and be in full force in to reflect and to deliberate, and he did not doubt they said territory;” to which, (though on all other grounds would do what was right in this matter. But, to the bill highly approving it,) he objected, as interfering with as now pressed upon the House, he could by no means the treaty with Great Britain. By that treaty, a free and consent, and he should therefore move to postpone the open trade is guarantied, in common, to both powers, further consideration of it till Monday next.
for a certain term of years, which is diametrically in opThe question being taken on the motion to postpone, position to the establishment of a port of entry, and the was lostmayes 75, noes 94.
consequent demand of duties from British traders to the Mr. STERLING, of Connecticut, then moved to Oregon. amend the bill by striking out the second section, Mr. GAZLAY thought that, as the treaty was the su(which grants a section of land,) but the motion was lost preme law of the land, the establishment of a port of enby a considerable majority, only fifty-eight members ris- try would only cause duties to be collected from other ing in its favor.
powers, the treaty stipulation protecting the trade of Mr. VANCE, of Ohio, then moved to the sum Great Britain from those duties. in the bill to $150,000: but this motion
Mr. FLOYD explained. The gentleman would pera still larger majority; when
ceive, if he looked once more at the section, that the Mr. GAZLAY moved to reduce the an.
,000 establishment of a port of entry was only to take place, dollars, on which question he demanded and when the President shall “deem that the public good Nays, which were ordered.
may require it." It did not interfere with the enjoyMr. TRACY, of New York, then rose, and observed, ment of an equal trade by both parties, during the pethat it must now be evident to all, that there existed in riod stipulated by the treaty, but was intended to put our the House a difference of opinion as to the form of the citizens, as early as possible, on an advantageous footing measure proposed by the bill
. To the measure itself
, for the prosecution of commercial enterprise. he was persuaded, no gentleman on that floor was oppos
Mr. TAYLOR, of N. Y. then rose, and moved to ed, and he presumed that the friends of the bill, as re. amend the bill by striking out the whole of the 5tla secported, would not think, under such circumstances, of tion, (which empowers the President to appoint a Gopressing the bill through the House while the minds of vernor, Judges, &c. for the territory, and defines their inembers were in a state so unprepared to act with uni- powers, emoluments, &c.] He approved of that part of son upon the subject. He confessed, that to himself it the bill which provides for the establishment of a milihad appeared somewhat extraordinary, that a measure tary post, but he thought that the erecting of a territoof this kind had been
introduced and pressed with so rial government was matter of high legislation, which much precipitaney: For his own part, he woulil not say the House should not put out of thei- own hands, withthat he was either in favor of the bill or opposed to it in out special and urgent reason. He saw no such reason its present form. He had deputed 10 no committee the in this case. A territorial govemment would not be right of graduating bis feelings on this subject, nor wanted on the river Oregon for many years to come, and would this House submit to have the measure of its gra. would be attended, at present, only with unnecessary titude dictated to it by any committee. It must have expense. time to think and to act for itself. Such time had not Mr. SMYTH, of Virginia, addressed the chair, and said, been given, He would not say the amount was too that he had intended to offer some amendments to the Jarge-others might think it was, and others, again, bill
, which, that his object might be understood, he might consider it too small: opportunity must be allow would now read to the committee.[These were to strike ed to gentlemen to express their views. No committee out all the sections except the second and last, and to could gauge in a moment the feelings and sentiments amend the second, so as to authorize the President to of the House on such a subject, and he was oppos- occupy " the territory of the United States on the Northed to such precipitate legislation. Our judgment, said west coast of America," without giving it a name as one be, is to be consulted as well as our feelings-and, hop of the territories of the United States.]. It might, he said, ing that the friends of the bill would themselves be sen- be expected that he should explain why it was, that sible of the impropriety of attempting thus to hurry it he, though chairman of the committee on that part of through the House, he should move to lay the bill upon the President's message which relates to this subject, the table.
had not convened the committee. He thought it due The question was taken on Mr. TRACY's motion, to his friend and colleague, (Mr. Floyd) who certainly which was carried in the affirmative-ayes 93, noes 84.
would have been appointed chairman had he been preSo the bill was laid upon the table.
sent, who had, with so much industry and ability, inves.
Dec. 21, 1824.]
Occupation of the Mouth of the Oregon.
[H. of R.
tigated the subject, that he should take the lead in not intended to exterminate. We have a large populabringing it before the House, and that it should be de- tion of another description, which it is not inten'ed to cided on his bill and report, already in possession of the exterminate. These, on failure of other plans, might be House. I have, (said Mr. S.) some remarks to make removed to the country beyond the limits of the states, which may be now properly made, on the motion to and let the population of the states be homogeneous strike out the 5th section of the bill. My colleague has on the whole, I think that, if aline is drawn far enough shown the expediency of establishing a military post; beyond the Mississippi, to include two tiers of states, it but I differ with the gentleman from Kentucky, (Mr. might be wise and proper to declare it unchangeable. Trimble) as to the expediency of establishing a post at Those beyond this line might be in alliance with us, or the mouth of Columbia river. The surrender of the under our protection, and live under governments of post at that place, to our agent, at the close of the war, their own, suited to their
circumstances, but for no could not affect the right of either nation. The surren- part of our confederacy. The effect of a too rapid in: der was made in compliance with a stipulation of the crease of states, and bringing too much land into mar. treaty of peace, that all places taken by either party dur- ket, is already severely felt by the old states on the sea ing the war, should be given up; but it left the question board, which are perpetually drained of the flower of of right to the territory undecided. Great Britain has, at their population. That must continue to be so, and the this moment, a military post on the Columbia river, evil will increase the further we extend our limits. It which, under the convention, I presume, she has a right we open, on the western coast, a fertile country, offering to retain until the expiration of the ten years. The spot temptations to emigrants from among us-it will carry whereon a British post is now situated, is a very impro- off many of our enterprizing and valuable people; the per one to select for placing one of ours. I therefore country will rapidly increase in population, until it will approved of the amendment offered by the gentleman drop off and become a separate nation. from South Carolina, (Mr. Poinsett.). But the principal All that was asked for by the President, was the sancquestion to be now settled is, Sball the plan of my col. tion of Congress to the establishment of a military post. league, to establish a territorial government, be adopted? He did not ask for an appropriation of money, and it was or, Shall we adopt the proposition of the President, to not important whether it was made or not. The meaestablish a military post only?. This question ought to sure recommended by the President would be a proper depend on the answer to be given to another. Do we one-possession would strengthen our claim in our nego. contemplate the eventual establishment of a state gotiations with foreign powers. In our arrangement with vernment on the Northwest coast of America ? This de- Russia, we gave up all claim to the country north of 54 pends on another question of importance, and worthy of degrees 40 minutes. Perhaps we might have justly serious consideration, to wit: Where shall the western claimed as far as the 58th degree north." We have suc. limits of the United States be fixed ? I do not mean the ceeded to the claim of Spain, who held by the right of limits of their territory, or the extent of their power. first discovery, Hunboldt, who, when at Mexico, invesWe may have establishments on distant shores; but tigated the subject, speaking of the voyage of discovery where shall the limits of the states, the members of this the Spanish navigator Perez made in 1774, he says, confederacy, be fixed? The institutions of nations should “On the 9th of August they anchored, the first of all ihe be adapted to their extent, and other circumstances. European Narigators, in Nootka road, which they called The federative system offers advantages for governing the port of San Lorenzo, and which the illustrious Cook, well an extensive nation ; but there is some linit, be four years afterwards, called King George's Sound." He yond which it should not be extended. It will not be also tells us, that, in the following year, 1775, the Spancontended, that this system of government is adapted to ish navigator, Guadro, discovered the mouth of :he coinclude the whole earth, nor the whole continent of Ame- lumbia river, and Mount Edgecumbe ; and he adds, "I rica; perhaps not even the whole of North America. possess two very curious small naps, engraved in 1788, There was evidently a limit to it, in the very nature of in the city of Mexico, which give the bearings of the things. The representatives of the states and people, coast from the 17th to the 58th degree of latitude, as under this system, must meet together once a year for they were discovered in the expedition of Guadra.” the purpose of legislation; and the confederacy might Sir, (said Mr. S.) let the post which we establish, be be so extended that this would be impossible. All the purely military ; a navy yard might constitute a part of institutions of this country depend on the will of the the establishment. So far I deem it wise and fit to go; people, and cannot exist a moment but by the appro- but let not our citizens be invited to that country by bation of a majority. Our system may be properly ex. grants of land, or the expectation of a state governtended to include all who have a mutual interest in re- ment being established there. maining united; but no further. Beyond this there is The question was then taken on striking out the fifth no bond of union sufficiently strong to keep the confe- section of the bill, and carried. deracy together. He conceived that this principle of The question then recurring on the amendment offerunion from mutual interest, might bind together all those ed by Mr. A. SMYTHwho inhabit the waters of the Mississippi ; as their pro- Mr. FLOYD rose in reply to the remarks of that gen. ducts would seek one sea port; and that country would tleman. He recapitulated some of the reasons before be bound to the Atlantic states, by commercial interests, urged by him, against placing the numerous and mixed and especially for naval protection. But I apprehend, population on the Oregon river, under the control of a that if this union included Mexico, it would be dissolved military commander. He appealed to the gentleman by mutual consent to-morrow. There would be no tie himself, (one of the most uniform republicans this counof mutual interest to hold us together. The exact point to try had ever seen,) whether it was possible that so many wbich the confederacy might be extended for the mu. ships, with their crews, stopping, and refitting, &c. at tual advantage of all, it might be difficuli to ascertain the post to be established, involving the interest of a Perhaps we may safely include one or two tiers of states property afloat of ten millions, a mass of 1,600 or 2,000 beyond the Mississippi; but, in my judgment, we ought traders, farmers, and fishermen, would, with propriety, nol to extend our federative system further; and I would be placed under the despotism of a military law? He particularly recommend it to the gentlemen who repre- had all due confidence in the officers of our army; but sent the Atlantic states to consider the possible effects he knew it was so easy to feel power and forget right, of a furthe extension, when the Western states shall be that he did not like to confide too much to them. So coine filled with people.
difficult was it for citizens to conform themselves to army There is another consideration to be taken into view. regulatins, &c. no American would submit long to be We have a considerable Indian population, which it is put under martial law. As to the danger of erecting