Page images
PDF
EPUB

more of native inhabitants, when reduced to cane is grown it is consumed in its crude state forced labor, were all speedily exterminated. or converted into molasses and rum. Coffee From the highest numbers, whatever those may be grown, but not enough is produced for may have been, only sixty thousand were left their own consumption, and it is imported and in the short space of fifteen years, and in forty sold at retail fortwenty five cents, gold. Nothyears no more than two hundred of the original | ing considerable is produced except tobacco. inhabitants remained. When their places were They are dependent on the United States for filled, from time to time, by millions more of even potatoes, onions, beets, flour, butter, other Indians and hardier sons of Africa, even lard, and cheese. They have some mahogany, these stubborn races gave way, and for two but there is no demand for it. I will ask the centuries the climate appears to have been

appears to have been | Secretary to read from the document as I have most destructive to the vitality of the human marked on page 338. race, drawn from whatever quarter of the globe. The Chief Clerk read as follows: The experiments made within the last five

Cotton and cocoa are raised in insignificant quanyears show that of some hundreds of men hired tities. There are no productions from mines in Santo to go and work on Santo Domingo plantations | Domingo. The exaggerated accounts published in

the United States are gotten up by adventurers who nearly all were stricken down by disease, and

have obtained concessions for nothing and expect to few lived to return. The woeful mortality which realize profits from the credulity of their fellowfollowed more than four hundred freedmen, an citizens. There is no question that there are indi

cations of copper and gold, as these metals have enterprise for a time in charge of the Senator

been found in small quantities, but it is extremely from Kansas, [Mr. POMEROY, ] landed at Isle à doubtful whether enterprises in search of these hidVache, Hayti, and from which our Government den riches would be profitable. As a warning to had to rescue the survivors at great expense

such as may be tempted to embark capital in Do

minican mining enterprises, it is proper to state that and scandal, is too notorious to be disputed. Mr. Heneken, an English gentleman who resided in Mr. POMEROY. As there can be no dis. this country more than thirty years, was constantly

engaged in visiting all parts of the island. He was cussion on this subject after the Senator con.

a member of the Geological Society of London, and cludes, I hope he will not connect me with employed scientific engineers and Cornish miners, any such scheme as that. I had no more to

but it proved to be labor lost. He died about five do with it than a dead man.

years ago, impoverished and disappointed. The

wealth of this country consists in its various cabMr. MORRILL, of Vermont. The Senator inet, lignum-vitæ, and dye-woods, and the fertility from Kansas had charge of the $500,000 raised

of its soil, which is capable of producing all tropical

plants in abundance; but it languishes in consefor the purpore of colonizing some freedmen.

quence of its constant revolutionary state, and beMr. POMEROY. But I say, as to those cause it has but a small and ignorant population. who went to Hayti, I had no more to do with

Efforts have been made at times to introduce a white

immigration, but unsuccessfully. Nearly all the it than a dead man, and protested against them

immigrants from Europe and the United States fell all the time.

victims to the climate in a very short time after their Mr. MORRILL, of Vermont. It was not arrival. This fact is repeatedly recorded in the ard

chives of this consulate. There are no white fieldmy purpose to impute any blame to the Sen

laborers in Santo Domingo," ator. One chapter of the bistorian, Alison, I think I have shown to be a chapter of blunders,

Mr. MORRILL, of Vermont.

I present and I shall now turn over another leaf and

this report of an authorized agent of our Gov. quote from a passage on the West India islands,

ernment, resident of Santo Domingo, and sent where he is sustained by all standard author

to Congress by the Secretary of State, as a ities, and where he is most probably entirely

very satisfactory document to be read and hung right. He says:

up alongside of the report of our late com

missioners ; but I must say that I have no "It is a land of slavery and pestilence, where indolence dissolves the manly character and stripes can

idea that our commercial agent, by anticipaalone arouse the languid arm; where death bestrid es tion, intended to refer to any exaggerated the evening gale, and the yielding breath inhales

accounts published by the commission. poison with its delight; where the iron race of Japhet itself seems melting away under the prodigality of the gifts of nature.

This is the salubrity to which we are so ear- But were all oiher circumstances as favor. nestly invited! It appears to me the less we able to Dominican annexation as they are in have of it the better.

fact repugnant to the scheme, there still re. From the report on commercial relations mains one more vital consideration, namely, (Executive Document No. 18) transmitted to do the people of Santo Domingo really desire the House of Representatives December 5, to sink their independent existence and be 1870, by the Secretary of State, I find valuable permanently stitched to the mere selvage of information communicated by our commercial the United States? Decidedly no! The rulagent, J. Somers Smith, at Santo Domingo, || ing passion of the people, mainly descendants which fully corroborates the statements already of Indians and forty different African races, is given as to the utter poverty of the resources a hatred of the white race. Smothered it may of the country and its extremeunhealthfulness. be for a time, but it is sure sooner or later to The whole document shows that while sugar

In the Haytien part of the island,

[ocr errors]

BAEZ WANTS THE MORAL FORCE OF GUNSMHIS PEOPLE

MAY PREFER THE UNITED STATES TO BAEZ.

crop out.

where the same races prevail, white persons || "moral support” of our guns, as our Secretary are excluded from becoming citizens and from of the Navy softly calls it, shall be withdrawn, becoming owners of land. They have really Cabral and his party protest against the validsought independence, and have abundant faith ity of the whole transaction, are now in arms in their own autonomy, if they could only keep successfuly disputing it, and the popular vote the Haytiens at bay. The fact is conceded seems to have been a poor copy of the very by the commissioners that they would now poorest Napoleonism. It is clear that Santo prefer independence if they believed that to Domingo could only be held by a military and be possible.

naval force, as it has been held for the past A temporary gust may now blow in favor of year by our Navy. The masses, however conthe United States; they may want to realize || fused and unstable upon other matters, have a the $600,000 to pay off back salaries; they traditional aversion to the rule of any foreign may fear Baez while he seems to carry already nation, manifested in their public records, the United States flag; they may yearn for and on many bloody fields of battle, which it peace so that they will not be conscripted to would be sheer blindness to disregard. fight in the army of Baez; they may only echo It should be borne in mind also that the conopinions of leaders to day which they will be sent of Hayti seems to be as essential to the ready to change to-morrow; they may expect | transfer of territory as that of Santo Domingo sudden wealth and not taxation; but it would | itself. Without such consent even now borbe a great mistake to suppose that Dominicans der warfare seems breaking forth from every have more respect or affection for the United jungle and which Baez is incompetent to grap. States than they have for France or Spain. ple with, but piteously asks the United States From language, religion, and association their for aid to suppress. Cabral and Luperon, and inhering partialities must all be in favor of the their malcontents, with the aid of the dusky Latin race and the infallible Catholic church. warriors of Hayti, always ready for an unre:

In 1818 the present adventurer, Baez, lenting crusade against the whites, might prove attempted to sell out his country to France. a formidable foe in a desperate climate even In 1861, not to load the recital with other to the United States. instances, Santana made a transfer of Domingo It should also be noted that of the 22,212 to Spain, at the time with universal applause. square miles now claimed by Santo Domingo But very soon the people were inspired with 1,000 square miles are reported to be held other sentiments, and would not submit. Within and occupied by Cabral or by Hayti. Did the three years they drove all the Spanish forces commissioners penetrate this part of the island? out of their territory, and Spain, with enorm. But suppose it were to be admitted that every ous losses, once more abandoned Santo Do- Dominican, those who have large claims for mingo. There is no more reason to suppose unpaid salaries and those who expect salaries the people favor the annexation now pro- hereafter, as well as those who hold leases of posed than that which they then trampled in land in expectation of annexation, was known the dust of a revolution. The rival chiefs, to be in favor of the measure, would that be whose baseness is only equaled by their pride, any reason why we should be? It might be a and whose treachery is surpassed only by their very good bargain for them and yet a very bad servility, may seek safety, titles, and wealth one for us. Are we to accept of all peoples by such a measure; but the people, whatever and tribes who may express a desire for such they or others may now say or think, will ever a union? A patrimony quite ample, if propstand ready to accept the lead of any patriotic J erly husbanded, by such a course would soon chief who may hereafter raise, however rudely, squandered. the banner of revolt or of independence.

Finally, no Dominican can be legally bound Already evidence is accumulating which by any compact which carries with it terrishows the popular vote, obtained through the torial sovereignty. Their latest constitution enticements of Baez and the moral force of | declares that - neither the whole nor any part the guns of the United States Navy, to have of the territory shall be alienated." We know, been a delusive juggle. A vote so swift and therefore, that not even the conscience of 80 one-sided affords grounds for suspicion, Baez, nor that of any other Dominican, can especially when the imprisonment of the first be in the way of repudiating an act so maninegative voter disclosed the compulsatory festly illegal and constitutionally indefensible. part of the process. The banishment or im- It will be seen that I place little reliance prisonment oť' those known to be opposed to upon any evidence that the Dominican people annexation is also an ugly feature. . Cabral, are largely in favor of being annexed to the not interior in cunning nor in popular favor United States. If the assertion be made that to Baez, declares the popular vote in favor of fifty or more Americans would be sufficient to annexation a sham.' Cabral, and fighting | mold and shape the destinies of the whole of men enough to frighten if not to overwhelm Santo Domingo, it should be remembered that Baez, whenever the stars and stripes and the a greater number of Americans have been hov.

ly, be

THE PUBLIC VOICE AGAINST THE MEASURE.

ering in and about the island for more than a it is the first step in a policy of diseased enlargeyear and a half. Doubtless they have not been ment, which any lover of his country might wholly without influence; but the disinterested look upon with the gravest apprehension, there government of Baez, whose salary, and that of should be some opportunity left for escape. all his cabinet, legislature, and jadiciary, will The annexation of Santo Domingo would be be likely to remain unpaid unless annexation the extension of empire unaccompanied by any succeeds, has staked its existence upon the addition to the empire of national stability and success of the scheme. Hence the anxiety for virtue. Our territory is already enormous, and success, without which they must fight for the every map, through constant additions and new doubtful honor of supremacy in the adminis. explorations, becomes annually antiquated and tration of the Government. There is an exi. as useless as a gray-haired almanac. We should gency which requires foreign aid to relieve. build our Republic to last, and not for the show That may be the opinion of the entire party of of a single season. When Alexander retreated Baez. I do not think the United States Gov. from India he caused to be made and scaternment ought to be used for his extrication. tered arms much larger than his men could use,

and higher mangers and heaver bits than were I have admired the President's inflexible per- suitable for his horses, to impress foreign na. severance more than his political sagacity in tions with an exaggerated idea of his greatness. adhering to the policy of Dominican annexation But this trick of the showman is now only in the face of undeniable evidence that there was remembered as a folly. We shall fail to imno sentiment in the country of any party or of press the world by playing the giant abroad and any State warmly in its favor, because it brings || the pigmy at home, or by spreading great Amer. to mind his inflexibility in braver and grander | ican Aags abroad while those at home, torn enterprises, and I have no doubt of his patri. | and tattered, fail to command respect and obeotic motives. The House of Representatives, || dience, or by sending our symbols of power by a vote of nearly two to one, have once pro- where they will be surrounded, not only by a nounced against it. On the 1st of February, || Babylonian confusion of languages, but where 1869, a resolution giving the assent of Con. we can have no directing and constructive gress to the project of annexation was defeated power over the character of the people. To be by a vote of 110 against 62. The non-commit- strong we must have the love of a thoroughly tal amendment to the joint resolution author. || amalgamated people, and something more than izing the expedition to Santo Domingo was a mere local patriotism. Real strength does not hostile one, and it was carried in the House | consist so much in power to conquer the world of Representatives by thirty majority, and I as in power to resist the world, and even wealth am assured that the naked question of annex. is much less often found by going abroad after ation would have been defeated by a still larger new objects than by search at home for and majority. In the present House of Represent- diligent use of such as we already possess. We atives it is likely to receive a more decided may also virtually extend our territory by exrebuff; and yet a vote of the House will be tending our knowledge of that we now have, necessary, or the appropriation to carry the and cultivating its preseut resources, its natmeasure into effect will fail. The Senate, as ural affinities, and its future possibilities. The we learn from the message, bas rejected a glory of a State does not consist merely in the treaty of annexation. All this should be l magnitude of its extent, but largely in a fit corcounted conclusive as to the unbiased opin| respondence of all its parts and the mutual ion of the highest legislative bodies of the respect and habitual affection of its people. country, and most likely as fairly reflecting the sentiments of the people. Opinions of No one can doubt if the late treaty had been any other sort can be put off as cheaply as ratified, or if annexation should at last succeed, put on, and it would not be complimentary || that the United States, having diverted the to the national Legislature to suppose they | little remnants of what it is a farce to call the would act on any other.

national property of Santo Domingo, having The treaty of annexation itself awakened || shielded her by absorption from responsibility no enthusiasm, and was smothered by cold to other nations as well as to individuals for neglect and by an almost universal silence. debts, and having appropriated all her resources So improbable seemed its success that it was from customs duties, would be bound, by internot even dignified by denunciation. But upon national law as well as by honor, to, pay all a measure of so much gravity ought not the of her outstanding obligations, whatever the people to be heard from before the question is amount, however contracted, and under what. settled forever? Let the people, at least, have ever administration. No stipulation between time to consider whether they could afford to ourselves and Baez to the contrary, if made, accept any part or the whole of the island even would have any more lasting force than that as a gift; much more, whether they can afford made with Texas, or would bind other parto buy it at any price, or at the cost of war. If Il ties, or be worth the paper upon which it

SANTO DOMINGO AND HER DEBTS GO TOGETHER.

THE AMERICAN CHARACTER WORTH PRESERVING.

might be written. A State or Territory cannot there not something like this looming up in be prosecuted for debt like an individual. The Dominica ? Will not her creditors say, as United States itself would resist any such in- Ruth said to Naomi, “Entreat me not to dignity, and would be held to account for the leave thee, or to return from following after old scores of any territory annexed as surely thee, for whither thou goest I will go. as the husband, if the wife be indebted before marriage, is bound afterward to pay the debt, The people of the United States have some having adopted her and her circumstances pride as to their character-personal and natogether; and this Dominican debt nominally || tional-that which they inherited and that amounts to millions, as it has been contracted which they have made for themselves. They upon a depreciated credit and a depreciated claim that all men were born equal, but they currency, itself a debt yet to be redeemed. do not claim that all have equally improved the The creditors are widely scattered, and some talents given to them by the great Father of all are citizens of nations who will protect their mankind. They claim, and justly, that selfrights to the last extremity.

government is the best of all governments; Many of these debts may be questionable;

not that all men can or will govern them: but the proof of their validity, supported by selves, nor that it can be safely intrusted to interested swearers, would be impregnable. the untrained, unlettered people of many other There are many large unsettled war claims nations. Is Santo Domingo one of the transwhich cannot even be estimated. Hayti an- cendent exceptions ? Not at all; and we know pounces a very large claim, by no means easily that its incorporation under our flag would be to be settled. One administration acknowl. the incorporation of an inferior element, deedges one class of claims and another a differ- signed to invite much larger accessions of the ent class. Who is to decide? Is it not absurd same sort; and as such a precursor it may be for the present Dominican Government to give encouraged by those who would like nothing a schedule of their debts, which is reduced by so much as to chronicle republican degradatheir own illegal and arbitrary edicts from four tion, though themselves not unwilling to be hundred to one, from sixty to one, from thirty | released from such far-off dependencies. Toto one, and from one third to one sixth? Will day Great Britain does not regard Gibraltar, their creditors abide such scaling? It is wholly | Quebec, or Malta as essential to British power. improbable; and yet it is solely by this process

Of what use is Gibraltar as against Russia or and by omitting all account of interest they have Prussia ? Greui Britain cannot suppose the contracted to pay, and which is overdue, that

United States are afraid of Quebec. She is they are able to compress their debt within the conscious that her North American provinces, prescribed limits of $1,500,000. Instead of though inhabited by a gallant people, could $1,500,000 in gold, the whole debt is quite | not be held in time of war for a single month likely to be very much more, how much no as against its more powerful neighbors, and one can tell. Ratify such a treaty and the knows equally well that, in like circumstances, bottom of Dominican claims would not be she could terminate any hold we might have sounded in the present generation, but a fresh

on Santo Domingo in a much shorter time. brood of claim agents, like carrion birds, Fortified places count very little in the preswould flock to the Capitol for their prey. Our ence of a vigorous enemy. The engineers of action in the case of Texas is not likely to be

destruction nearly always prove more poteut forgotten. The joint resolution in that case, than the engineers of defense. March 1, 1845, roundly and stoutly provided :

Annexation of any sort, if to be accepted by

us—and there is no possible annexation which That Texas should retain all her public lands, debts, taxes, and dues of every kind, and all vacant

would not be more profitable to the party an. and unappropriated lands, to be applied to the pay- nexed than to ourselves--should seek us, and ment of the debts and liabilities of said republic of Texas, and the residue of said lands, after discharg

ought not to be bought, conquered, or obtained ing said debts and liabilities, to be disposed of as

by any of the common acts of diplomacy. It said State may direct, but in no event are said debts should come, spotless as a prairie homestead, and liabilities to become a charge upon the Government of the United States."

as a free-will offering of lands, hands, and

hearts, and not be too eagerly sought, as though And yet, when the clamorous Slidell and a few acres of the nether regions were indisothers had become the holders of these claims || pensable to our paradise. Were all Spain to to a large amount, on the 9th of September, be offered to us to day on the same terms pro1855, all claim upon the United States for posed by Baez for Santo Domingo it would, of liability was once more relinquished, and Con- course, be instantly declined, and yet its incorgress paid to the State of Texas in bonds the

poration into our system presents less insupersum of $10,000,000; but Texas was not even able objections; the people are much more trusted to pay these greedy creditors herself, intelligent; but larger numbers, by magnifying as they were adroitly required to give receipts the enormity, only make the ugly features of to the United States themselves for not less such a proposition more visible. than $5,000,000, or their share of the job. Is The United States should have too much

museums.

self-respect to accept of any annexation save having acquired in seven years an empire as such as would add political and moral strength large as that acquired by the Romans in seven to her free institutions, wisdom to her coun- hundred; but the great Alexander was no cils, and buttresses to her Constitution, and sooner dead than his colossal empire was cannot afford to favor, nor can President Grant | found to be as incurably debauched as he was with his grand history afford to favor, the an- known to have been himself, and the empire nexation of a people, confessedly inferior to was at once broken into numerous military the French, or to the Spanish, or to any other fragments to vex the world with new wars and European nationality, whose latest constitu- a fresh brood of tyrants. At last Macedonia tion forbids the alienation of their soil, and itself, the ancient seat of Philip and the base of whose present chief is confessedly too weak to the son's power, was reduced to a mere Roman maintain ascendency over his own countrymen | province, while the city of Alexandria, built except through the standing menace of the to perpetuate the name and splendor of its flag and guns of the United States Navy. It | founder, has long been a conquest under the will touch our honor if it shall turn out that dominion of the Turks, who give away its we hold up a chief in order to make or to hold | ruins, with barbaric munificence, to British up a treaty. We may even make some of the ancient British acquisitions of Lord Clive and The decline and fall of Rome was made cerWarren Hastings in India respectable by such tain when it commenced its work of centuries a modern indorsement.

of triumpbant and ferocious territorial aggranI cannot but regard a policy, though it be dizement. In his last will the advice of Augustus only the first step in the direction of what may against this policy came too late. The blunder be called tropical annexation, which would he would restrain had already been committed. tend to make our nation a conglomerate of dif- The people of vast untutored provinces were ferent habitudes and nationalities, instead of made Roman citizens, but these foreign-made one united, compact whole, as fraught with citizens only served to undermine the power unmistakable calamities. An empire may be and glory of the original seat of Roman greatable, through its more despotic rule, for a time ness, which diminished in its stamina and to hold discordant peoples in subjection ; but virtue—the main pillars of any State--as rapmake such materials sovereign and equal, as we idly as it increased in its bulk of gross material must--for we accept for ourselves nothing less, possessions. Gibbon asserts and abundantly crowning all with our fourteenth and fifteenth

proves that the Roman people were dissolved amendments and it would be only a question into the common mass and confounded with of time as to how soon they would, by intro- millions of inferior provincials. The instituducing extravagance, corruption, local divis. tions of Rome were destroyed by the poison ions and collisions, wreck the best form of everywhere lurking in and around ill-advised constitutional government ever devised by the territorial expansions. Even the exalted type wit of man and ruin the fairest hope of the of ancient Roman virtue and manhood was world.

unequal to the strain, and the country of the

Scipios and Cæsars was finally vanquished, Unfortunately, the life of republics has not and vanquished by even the Huns--even as been immortal. There is one, however, that || Egypt was conquered and for centuries ruled has stood unchanged fourteen hundred years by the Mamalukes. So much for ancient examid all surrounding changes; but San Marino | amples. Let us now come down to a later is not only the oldest but the smallest State in period of history, without even glancing at the Europe, a State that never courted destruction rapid decadence of Mohammedan conquests, by expansion.

and watch the inflexible result. The lessons of history, I am aware, are litte Spain under Charles II became the proudest heeded, and a fast people in a headlong pur- nation of the earth, in consequence of the suit of material interests often refuse to recog. extent and importance of its territorial acquisinize that they are on the same road marked.by || tions, both in the Old World and the new. She the bleached skeletons of nations wasted or could boast of Castile, Aragon, and Navarre, fatally stricken down by the results of a similar of Milan, Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia, of mad ambition. Conceding that the despotism | Cape Verd and the Canaries, of Tunis, of the which controls an empire may be the best Philippines and the Moluccas, of Peru, Chili, adapted among all governmental institutions and Mexico, and finally, under Charles V, for the control of colonies, distant provinces, of Cuba and Hispaniola ; and it is a part of and foreign territories, let us see how it has this last ill-omened island which our excellent fared with a few of such examples in the past, President has so earnestly sought to clutch. and where success might be looked for, if any. But all of these more or less magnificent where.

Spanish appendages contributed only a mo. Alexander pursued territorial acquisitions mentary splendor to Spain, and then for the until tradition records that he wept because he most part they dropped from the parent stem could no longer find a new world to conquer, like overripe fruit, and brought a deeper and

THE WARNINGS OF HISTORY.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »