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330 CONG....20 Sess.

Vindication of the Late James A. Bayard.

SENATE.

have been so long protracted, and that, the day before the cumstances in perfect recollection; and, sir, per- cans in all time to come. Sir, the memory of such last ballot, he declared, among his political friends, ii should

haps never, in the whole history of our country, men is the treasure of our country. Let us probe brought to a close the next day. He thought that the delay would cause a dangerous excitement in the country:

from the 4th of July, 1776, to the moment when tect it with sacred vigilance. The evening before the last ballot was taken, General I am addressing the Senate, were the American Mr. HUNTER. Mr. President, the Senator Morris informe me that he should not be in the House the people more excited than at that time. Independ- from Delaware has discharged a pious duty, and Dext day, and, in consequence, Mr. Jefferson would be

ent of the radical difference in the character of the discharged it well. He has rescued the memory elected. He said he was induced to secede by the repreCentations and at the request of Mr. Bayard, who thought two men who were presented to them, well known of his father from an imputation which might that he-General Morris--could secede with greater pro- and well appreciated, there was a great principle have tarnished it, and shown that he was guiltless priery than a person who was the only Representative of a

involved in that controversy—the principle of ihe of any such offense. His, sir, was such an of. Federal State, and Vermont, at the time, was nearly equally I distinct enunciation of the determination of the fering as filial affection might be glad to render divided on the subject; so that I always considered Mr. Bayard as the means of Mr. Jefferson's election, and I be- American people that Thomas Jefferson should be to the dead. It was not only his right, but his lieve he was so considered by many others.

their President. Now, sir, when the event has duty, to have risen, and to have done what he has That Mr. Bayard might have sportively said to General passed by, with all its feelings and passions, his- this day done. Smith what is attributed to him, is possible; and, if so, General Smith would not probably remember it. 'But it tory has ratified and commended the action of the But, sir, while he feels it to be his duty to take such conversation was held with corrupt views, for the pur- House of Representatives. There is not a man care of the reputation of his father, I may be alpose of influencing him, it is impossible be should have at this day who, in looking back to the history of lowed, perhaps, to say a word in reference to a forgotten it. I have no belief that Mr. Bayard would se

that period, and the subsequent events, will pre- || great name, which is deservedly cherished in my riously have made what amounts to a proposition to corrupt

tend to say that Colonel Burr should have been own Slate. That Mr. Jefferson believed what he another. I am, with great regard, your obedient servant,

chosen President, and Mr. Jefferson set aside. No recorded, I think no man can doubt who has ever ELIJAH PAINE.]

man, knowing the character of Colonel Burr, as studied his character or his history. That he was Mr. PEARCE. Mr. President, the Joint Com- evinced in his conflict with General Hamilton, can led into an error, and very naturally led into an mittee on the Library, of which I am a member, tell what would have been the consequences of

error,

under the excitement and the passions of were directed by an act of Congress to cause the such an event. Mr. President, you cannot look the day, I think has been very clearly shown. Jefferson papers to be published. These papers, sir, at the publications of European statesmen—and But, sir, that he is chargeable with culpability for were very voluminous. They consist of one hun- | they are coming to us every day, in the most preserving and for presenting to posterity such dred and thirty-four large bound volumes of man- | authentic form, in the papers left behind them memorials as those which he has left behind him, uscript, besides an immense mass of loose papers. I without finding similar errors into which they | I think, cannot be justly maintained, when we It was manifestly impossible for the Committee on have been led. Mr. Jefferson was led into this come to consider the importance and the value the Library, individually, to perform the duties of error in the same way as they were into similar of such historical documents. That they should editor. They therefore employed a gentleman of ones in regard to their countries. I repeat, how- contain errors is natural and probable enough; and talent and character, and direcied him, generally, lever, the vindication of the Senator from Dela- | that no man would have regretted those errors to make such a selection from the papers of Mr. ware to-day is complete and satisfactory; and, if more than Mr. Jefferson, if he had been aware of Jefferson, as were necessary and proper to exhibit | Mr. Jefferson were here, he would be the first to them, I believe I may say, and expect to be susfairly and fully his opinions, character, and public say so.

tained by the evidence of his life and his career. course.

Mr. President, I add my full concurrence to Sir, to say that it is wrong for such a man I regret very much that, during the course of what has been said by the honorable Senator as Mr. Jefferson, who figured in scenes so imthat publication, the attention of the committee | from Maryland. I had the honor, when a youth, portant, to leave behind him any memoirs of a was not called to the items in the “ Ana,' to which to see Mr. Bayard often. I lived, for a while, in personal character, or a daily record of the prothe Senator from Delaware has referred. Cero his own town. The impression which I derived ceedings of the times, would be to say that we tainly, sir, if that had been the case, I should have then, and it was the universal sentiment of the should have denied to the world such memoirs as deemed it my duty, and, ! presume, the commit- country, was, that he was a man of the highest those of Sully, and Clarendon, and De Retz, and tee would have deemed it theirs, to direct the honor and probity, of great talents, integrity, and Burnett, and many others to which I could allude, editor, either to omit the charges referred to, or, intelligence, and of the purest patriotism. I con- and which we would not willingly lose. Sir, of what would perhaps have been better, to accom- sider that one of the most glorious acts of his life all sorts of historical documents, these are among pany them with the refutation which had been when, in opposition to the feelings of his own the most important. I may say, also, that this given to the public. I well recollect the exposi- | party, he brought over the State of Delaware to kind of history is especially liable to error, and to tion made in the Senate of the United States, to the support of Mr. Jefferson. If a different result errors which are noi easily avoided. That such which the Senator has referred, and I have read had followed that controversy, this Union would | mistakes are to be found in Mr. Jefferson's more than once the pamphlet issued by the Sena- have been shaken to its very center. I do not writings, I admit. That the Senator from Delator and his brother. I considered the accusation recollect that my honorable friend from Delaware ware has proved that he was mistaken and deeply of Mr. Jefferson as being as fully refuted as it was alluded to the man who now dwells on my mem- erred in this case, I admit; but whilst I say so, I possible for any accusation to be refuted by human ory, Lewis Morris, of Vermont, who, according must be allowed to declare that I do not beliere testimony. Without the authority of his name, it to the best of my recollection, had a principal Thomas Jefferson ever recorded that which he did would have rapidly sunk into oblivion. With the share in the arrangement on the part of that State. not believe to be true, either in reference to the authority of his name, it has utterly failed to im- | I am not sure that he voted at all; but if he did it character of a fellow-man, or in regard to any pair the reputation of one who was eminent as a was for Mr. Jefferson. This, it will be recol- event of historical importance. I must, also, be statesman and citizen, and distinguished, not only | lected, was the action of distinguished Federalists, | allowed to say that, although writings of this charfor ability, but for enlightened and earnest patriot- | in opposition to the sentiments of a great portion acter may be liable to such errors, yet it does not ism, and for a public and private honor which was of their own party,

follow that it was improper in a man who saw without a stain. That character Mr. Bayard Mr. President, there is a beautiful passage in what he saw, and who bore such a part in the maintained, not only in his own State, where such the life of Mr. Bayard_a lesson for every Ameri- | public affairs of the world as he did, to leave such a reputation as I have described was always ac- can. He belonged to, I may almost say he was records as must be among the most valuable monucorded to him, but throughout the Union. The the head of, that great party which, from the foun- ments of human history; for the good more than tribute due to exalted character was not only paid dation of the Government, has contended with compensates for the evil which may be thus done. to him by his own political party, but in the cor- the Democratic Party for the administration of the Sir, they will be recurred to hereafter by posterity, dial acknowledgements of those to whom he was affairs of this country. He was among the most and they will be received as one of the legacies from politically opposed. His ability and patriotism | prominent and honored men of that party which him for which he will be honored and rememcould not have been more highly indorsed than opposed the war of 1812, no doubt from very con- bered, they were by the chief of his political opponents, scientious motives. But, sir, in the darkest crisis of Mr. MASON. Mr. President, I listened, as did Mr. Madison, who appointed him one of the com- the war, when it was thought best by Mr. Madison all the Senate, with deep interest and emotion to missioners to Ghent, to negotiate peace with Great to send an embassy to England, who was selected ? || the explanation which fell from the very able SenBritain.

This very man, against whom these imputations ator from Delaware, in vindication of the memory I have only to repeat, sir, my regret, that I was were circulated and sent to the ears of Mr. Jeffer. || of his father. I must be permitted to say, sir, not informed, during the progress of this publi- | son. Mr. Jefferson's friend and successor, and even in his presence, that, while it illustrated the cation, that these accusations were about to be confidential adviser, Mr. Madison, selected' him | filial virtues of his own heart, it betrayed an able included in the congressional edition of Mr. Jeffer. to accompany Henry Clay, Albert Gallatin, and and well-balanced intellect. I can appreciate the son's papers.

the other eminent men who negotiated the treaty painful necessity under which he was placed while Mr. CASS. Mr. President, I have listened, of peace. That was the stamp of his contempo- discharging this duty, achieved, I will add, with with great interest, to the vindication which we raries on his character. He went there in the such signal success in our presence. It would be have heard from the honorable Senator from Del- view of the whole world, and, to my knowledge, he gratuitous in me to say that the evidence, which aware, and I am sure that, if Mr. Jefferson were had an honorable share in the preparation of the he has been enabled to adduce from the mouldy now here to hear the statements made by that articles of peace. Those commissioners con- records of time, has been conclusive. honorable Senator, he would be the first to say ducted themselves like Americans. They would Sir, it is unfortunate that there was such a nethat the memory of the distinguished statesman not give up one inch of territory. When England | cessity. I agree with my friend and colleague, who has been alluded to, had been unjustly re- proposed to run a line south of Sandusky bay, I and with the honorable Senator from Michigan, flected on. Mr. Jefferson's high character, his | iaking off a part of the State of Ohio, and all north that, if we could recall the actors of those days, truth, and his frankness, would have led him, as of it to the Mississippi river, under the pretense || the distinguished statesman who recorded those soon as any other man, to disavow any erroneous that they wanted that territory for Indian country, pages would have been the first to obliterate them. reflections. The reports, on which the Senator what did the commissioners say? That they had the feelings which he carried to his grave in his from Delaware has commented, undoubtedly orig; not power to yield one foot of the territory of the latter days are strikingly depicted in the letter inated in that period of excitement which attended United States, and that one inch of it they never which was read by the Senator from Delaware, the presidential election of 1801. I bear the cir- I would yield. That ought to be a leason to Ameri. U one of his last letters to Mr. Adams, who pre

ate:

330 CONG....20 Sess.
French SpoliationsMr. Orr.

Ho. OF REPS. ceded him in office. The passions of the day had tory; and equally let none fear, who is interested of Claims, made an adverse report, which is a then subsided, and the excitement of feeling had for the memory of Mr. Jefferson, that it will leave thorough and lucid exposition of the whole quessubsided with them.

upon the public mind, or upon theunwritten future, tion. His report concludes with the following But now, sir, so far as history is concerned, we any other impression than regret, that so great a recommendation, which was adopted by the Senknow how utterly impossible it is, with the clear- man should have left the world before he was disest and least impassioned mind, clearly lo ascer- abused of this grave misconception, and had, him- “ Resolved, 'That the relief asked by the memorialists and tain the truth when there is excitement and preju- self, an opportunity to disclaim it.

petitioners ought not to be granted." dice mingled with it. Mr. Jefferson, undertook,

On the 31st January, 1822, Mr. Russell, of the unfortunately, as I think, to record conversations

House, from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, at some time after they had passed, and he under

FRENCH SPOLIATIONS.

made an adverse report, which was agreed to. On took it when the passions of the day had not yet SPEECH OF HON. JAMES L. ORR, I not call the attention of the committee to the high

the 24th March, 1824, Mr. Forsythe--and I need subsided, and when none, from the necessity of his position, had mingled more freely in them than

OF SOUTH CAROLINA,

qualities of head and heart that distinguished this he had done; and all can understand, who know IN THE House of REPRESENTATIVES,

favorite son of Georgia, for his history is a part anything of the difficulty of getting at truth, how natural it was that even such a man should have

January 25, 1855.

of the records of this country-made an adverse

report, concluding in the following emphatic lanmisinterpreted and misapprehended.

The House being in the Committee of the Whole

guage: Sir, Thomas Jefferson has left his impression on the state of the Union

“The committee are not satisfied that the French Gov. upon the age in which he lived, not only in this Mr. ORR said:

ernment ever admitted the justice of the claims of the petibroad land, but at home, in his native State. No Mr. CHAIRMAN: There is difficulty in arriving tioners, or ever intended to pay them; that the Government man did more to mould, to cast into shape, and at the exact state of facts in this case upon which

of the United States used every effort-even to war itself

to rescue the property of American merchants from the form the Government which now prevails in this to predicate a correct conclusion. The mists of lawless violence of France; that its efforts to procure paycountry-a Republican Government, resting upon fifty long years have shrouded them in obscurity, ment were not discontinued until it was obvious that there popular institutions. The traces of his mighty veiled them with uncertainty; this is especially

was no bope of success; that this Government never re

ceived from France any equivalent for the claims of Amerintellect are everywhere in the history of the coun- true as to the facts relied upon to resist the admis

icans op France.” try. At home, after he had retired from public sibility of this claim. No one has been specially life, he gave his whole time, and all his thoughts interested in collating and preserving them. The

Again: to the institutions of his native State, and to the facts to sustain the claims have been preserved

"To justify their claims upon the United States, the

petitioners assume that France was right, and their own promotion of her welfare.

with scrupulous care. The claimants and their Government wrong ; that France was prepared to make a Sir, the James A. Bayard of that day has passed hired agents have pertinaciously pressed the con- just reparation for the outrage committed under her own into history, and it may be said of him, that he sideration of this claim upon Congress for half a

laws, until released from her obligations by the United

States, who, faithless to their trust in the first instance, and bore with a winning grace that high and lofty | century, and not only has every fact been pre- have been regardless of the obligations of justice ever name, which the Bayard of Dauphiny, had sig. | served, but every argument and consideration since! Assumptions not consistent with truth, nor creditnalized in the fifteenth century-the chevalier who, which human ingenuity could invent has been able to the patriotism of those who make them.” with the virtue of Scipio blended the graces of pressed with no less pertinacity. Not one, but On the 8th of February, 1827, Mr. Holmes, of Alcibiades, who lived without fear, and died with- many editions of every report and speech in favor the Senate, made, from a select committee, the first out reproach.

of the claims have annually been reproduced. No elaborate favorable report. So long as the memoNow, sir, one word as to what has fallen from single member of either House of Congress, for rials were considered by the standing committee the Senator from Maryland, in reference to the many long years, has failed to receive all the of either House, so long these reports were publication of the papers of Mr. Jefferson. It speeches and documents ever made in behalf of adverse, but when sent to a select committee, was at my instance, I think, chietiy, that the very the claim, and the result has been to form an composed, by universal parliamentary usage, of learned and able gentleman who was appointed by opinion exclusively upon ex parte representations, the friends of the measure to be considered, we the committee to edit this publication, was selected; These appliances had their effect on me when I || find it assumed and maintained that this Governa citizen of Virginia, then and still a professor in first entered Congress, though I remembered that ment had made itself responsible for the indemnity old William and Mary-our renowned and earliest | Calhoun, McDuffie, and other leading statesmen alleged to be due by France to our citizens, but seat of learning-Professor Washington. He con- of my own State, had denied, in the strongest these claimants coming before the Senale, under versed with me frequently and freely while he had terms, the validity of these claims. These ex parte the auspices of a favorable report, failed to secure this work under his charge; he conversed equally, representations appeared so just that I felt great from that body its favorable action. Appended I believe, freely with the honorable Senator from surprise that the American Congress had, for so to Mr. Holmes's report, is a statement from the Maryland, who was then, as now, chairman of long a period, obstinately denied common justice Department of State, showing the names of vessels, the Committee on the Library, to whom the duty to the sufferers from French spoliations. It led to

their owners,

and in some cases the amount of the of publication was intrusted. Professor Wash- an examination of the history and merits of the | spoliations. It appears the number on file is four ingion considered it his duty, and in that, I believe, claims, and, when ended, I felt that our predeces- hundred and forty-four. One fifth of that number he was sustained by the honorable Senator from sors had not repudiated their validity without shows the probable amount of the loss to be Maryland certainly he was by me—0 publish abundant cause." To my surprise, I found that $2,235,702. Assuming that they will be a correct everything which would contribute materials for many of the supposed facts in favor of the claims average, the entire amount of the spoliation future history, or which would show the political ha 'no foundation in truth. It has been alleged | amounted to $11,178,510. Of these figures I proopinions and tenets of Mr. Jefferson. I presume by the claimants that Mr. Giles reported in their pose to make some use in the subsequent part of there was no consultation with anybody as to the favor. A brief history of congressional action on my argument. A select committee in the Senate publication of the Anas. I never heard of it. My this subject will serve to correct this and many through Mr. Webster, its chairman, made a favor. impression is, however, that these Anas had been other misrepresentations.

able report in 1834, and the bill accompanying it, published in the private collection that was printed The “ memorial of sundry merchants and after an elaborate debate, which drew oul Messrs. by Mr. Jefferson's representatives after his death, traders " brought this subject to the consideration | Calhoun, Bibb, Wright, Benton, and other disand had gone to the world in that form, and if the of the House, and a select committee, of which | tinguished Senators in opposition, passed the inquiry had been made of me, or of the honorable Mr. Giles was the chairman, submitted their re- Senate by a small majority for the first time since Senator from Delaware, now before me, (Mr. port on the 22d April, 1802. After stating the their prosecution commenced, running through a Bayard,) upon the propriety of a reprint of this facts very succinctly, and without giving, directly, i period of thirty-two years. Subsequently, and book, it would have been a question of difficult any opinion, he sums up the question in a few | prior to 1846, reports favorable and adverse were solution; because, if they had been withheld, at a brief words:

submitted, but never definitely acted upon. In future day it might have been supposed that they “Upon the whole view of the case, the committee sub- 1846, a bill passed both Houses of Congress, and were suppressed from tenderness to the memory mit it to the House, to determine whether the Government

when it went to President Polk for his approval, of the gentleman who was assailed. A most unjust i of the United States be in any respect bound to indemnify and unfounded inference might thus have arisen,

it met from him a prompt veto. In his veto the inemorialists, and whether ihere be any ground for dis

crimination between the cases of losses sustained before the message, he says: had they been suppressed. I take it for granted,

acts of the 28th of May, 1798, the 7th of July, 1798, and the “It is scarcely probable if the claim had been regarded and if I am wrong the Senator from Maryland 9th of July, 1798, and cases of losses sustained atter those as obligatory upon the Government, or constituting an equi(Mr. PEARCE) will correct me, that the attention, periods."

table demand upon the Treasury, that those who were neither of the committee or of any other, was Can any fair or just interpretation of this para

contemporaneous with the events which give rise to it,

should not long since have done justice to the claimants. called by Professor Washington to the propriety | graph authorize the declaration that Mr. Giles

The Treasury has often been in a condition to enable the of publishing the Anas with the other papers. Í reported favorably on the claims. This is the Government to do so without inconvenience, if these therefore am not in possession of his reasons for language he uses, and even that is now distorted claims had been considered just. Mr. Jefferson, who was having included them; but I can very well under into a favorable opinion on the merits of the claim. I fully cognizant of the early dissensions between the Gov.

ernments of the United States and France out of which stand, knowing that gentleman, as I do, to be a man In 1807, Mr. Marion, from a select committee, the claims arose, in his annual message in 1808, adverted not only of correct taste, but of sound and judicious made a favorable report, without stating, how. to the large surplus then in the Treasury, and its probbead, that if the question occurred to him as to the lever, the grounds fully, and without committing able accumulation, and inquired, whether it should lie

unproductive in the public vaults, and yet these claims, propriety of a reprint, he would have solved it | himself on the question, whether the spoliations

though then before Congress, were not recognized or paid. by saying, “ If it is with held, the act may be committed after July, 1798 were subject to indem- Since that time, the public debt of the Revolution, and of deemed equivocal, and unfounded inferences may nity. Mr. Giles' report was acted on in the House, the war of 1812, has been extinguisbed, and at several pebe drawn." the vote in favor of paying the claims was yeas

riods since, the Treasury has been in possession of large Mr. President, let none fear that what is re- 33, nays 54.

surpluses over the demands upon it. in 1836, tbe surplus

amounted to many millions of dollars, and for want of corded in those Anas, after the refutation we have These claims slumbered on from 1807, and we proper objects to which to apply it, it was directed by Conreceived to-day, will leave the slightest shade upon hear nothing of them until March, 1818, when gress to be deposited with the states." the memory of Bayard with posterity or in his- || Mr. Roberts, of the Senate, from the Committee These claims have been urged with unabated

330 Cong....20 Sess.

French Spoliations Mr. Orr.

Ho. OF REPS.

ments.

zeal since the veto, and we are here to-day en- greatly aiding her enemy, and that Government at once that if he conceded this fact, no tenable gaged in their consideration. Such, sir, is a brief determined that we should no longer enjoy free ground was left for these claimants to stand upon. outline of their legislative history, sketched for the trade with her enemy-as stipulated by the treaty. I will demonstrate, to my own satisfaction, at double purpose of exposing the misrepresenta- Growing restive under its operations, without | least, and I hope to the satisfaction of the comtions of interested friends, and that the country consulting us, in May, 1793, France repudiated | mittee, by various acts of Congress-by the declamay understand with what little favor they were one of the material stipulations of the treaty, and rations of our Ministers who negotiated the treaty viewed by our predecessors, for a period of two declared that the French people are no longer of 1800, by the declarations of the French negoand thirty years, after their introduction into this permitted to fulfill towards the neutral Powers in tiators, and by the position assumed by the French Hall. I caution gentlemen to look to the original general the vows they have so often manisested,” | Government during the negotiation—that war documents for the facts; do not rely upon the and “making its operation retrospective to the actually existed between France and the United loose statements, though in print, of the friends of date of the declaration of war and prospective to States, and that France denied all liability for inthese claims for the facis. Your constituents may the period when the enemies of France should demnity to our citizens on that account. The inrequire you to explain a_vote which absorbs cense the depredations of which it complained,” || itiative to the war was an act passed by Congress $5,000,000 from the public Treasury, and will not and established the rule—not as laid down in the the 18th of May, 1798. It authorized the capture be satisfied, if given under misapprehension, when treaty, but in violation of it—that French cruisers of all armed vessels of France which had comyou had reliable information that is perfectly had ihe same right to seize and condemn goods | mitted depredations upon our commerce, or which accessible.

and merchandise in American vessels as British should be found hovering upon the coast for the I now propose, Mr. Chairman, to state briefly cruisers. From the date of this decree commenced purpose of committing such depredations. the origin of these claims, and to examine the a series of depredations on our commerce which The second act was passed June 25, 1798, and grounds upon which it is insisted that this Gov- entailed much loss upon our merchants, and which | authorized the merchant vessels of the United ernment is liable for their payment.

defied our treaty rights. It continued until Sep; | States to arm and defend themselves against any On the 6th of February, 1778, treaties of amity, tember, 1800, when a new treaty of peace and such restraints or seizures of vessels sailing under and commerce, and of alliance, were concluded | amity was concluded between the two Governo French colors, to repel force by force, to capture between the United States and France. By these

any French vessel attempting search, restraint, or treaties, each party secured to itself the right of This, sir, brings me to the consideration of one seizure, and to recapture any American merchant fitting out vessels, condemning and disposing of of the material questions involved in this discus- vessels which had been captured by the French. prizes, enlisting soldiers or seamen in ihe ports sion: What action was taken by our Government On the 28th of June, 1798, a third act wag of the other. It was stipulated that the enemies to stay these spoliations on the commerce of our passed, authorizing the forfeiture and condemnation of either Power should be denied these privileges. citizens, and what diligence was exercised in of all French vessels captured in pursuance of the It was further agreed to reduce that class of goods efforts to secure indemnity? The Government | preceding acts, and provided for ihe distribution of known as contraband of war, to intruments and did not look with cold indifference on the sweep- prize money, and for the confinement and support, munitions of war, allowing unrestricted commerce ing destruction which overtook our merchanis. at the expense of the United States, of prisoners in all kinds of provisions,

cloths, timber for ship- From 1792 up to 1798 the French Court resounded taken in captured vessels! Prisoners ! and yet there building, anchors, and many other articles under with appeals from our Ministers for justice. We was no war!! And here a most obvious distincche law of nations, as then accepted, which were pointed to the broken treaty and violated faith of tion must be made in the positions of France and contraband, and liable to seizure and confiscation. || France; we remonstrated; we expostulated; we England, and the United States. Thetwo former The treaties also contained mutual guarantees. sent special envoye, who were insultingly driven were at war; we were neutral. They being at The United States guaranteed to France, against from the country. All, however, yielded no fruit. war, claimed the right of seizure; and confiscation all other Powers, " the present possessions of the We were refused indemnity for past outrages, and of all contraband merchandise which was admisCrown of France in America, as well as those denied security for the future. This Government sible by the then settled practice of nations, the which it may acquire by the future treaty of I will never again, I trust, submit so passively for same authority authorized the seizure and appropeace;" and France guaranteed to the United six long years to such a series of humiliating priation of enemies' goods in neutral bottoms. States “their liberty, sovereignty, and independ- || indignities as France, in the might of her power, If there had been no treaty with France, we would ence, absolute and unlimited, as well in matters chose to impose upon us in the weakness of our have had no just cause of complaint, for we would of Government as commerce, and also their pos- | youth. For whom were these indignities brooked? || have violated our neutral position by dealing in sessions and the additions and conquests that their | To enforce and secure whose rights were these | contraband goods. But this act of Congress auConfederation may obtain from any of the domin- efforts made? I answer, sir, the claimants under thorized our ships to restrain, seize, and confisions now or heretofore possessed by Great Britain this bill. The enormities of the French nation cate French commerce in the same manner which in North America.” These guarantees were de- would have justified a declaration of war long was being done by England, one of the belliger. clared to be " forever.” Such, sir, is a brief out- before 1798; but there were ties connecting us with ents. No international law would have justified line of the stipulations contained in the treaties. that people not easily dissevered. France had it without authority of Congress. If Congress

Late in the year of 1792, war broke out between given our fathers the powerful aid of her name- had not authorized it, an attempt by the crew of England and France, and General Washington, | material aid in men and money, in the dark night one of our ships to seize a French vessel would then the President of the United States, determined of the Revolution, and gratitude plead for the have been piracy. The supreme power of the that our Government, which was still weak, should longest forbearance. It was extended with no State authorized it, and in doing so made war. maintain the strictest neutrality. Neither himself | stinted hand; but, finding that the plunder of our But, sir, the next act to which I shall refer, shows nor his Cabinet construed the treaty in such a way citizens had become the fixed purpose of France, that it was the purpose of Congress to throw off as to make us liable, on the guarantee, in an offen- our Government, by congressional legislation, the quasi war and assume a position of open, sive war. Mr. Genel, the French Minister, declared || determined to authorize a retaliatory defensive undisguised hostility. On the 7th of July, 1798, an to Mr. Jefferson, and to the President himself, the policy, which, in a few brief months terminated, act passed declaring that the United States were satisfaction of his Government at our position of as I shall show from the records, in war-a war of right free and exonerated from the stipulations neutrality. He commenced fitting out ships, arm- | having its inception in the determined purpose of of the treaties and consular convention concluded ing them and enlisting our citizens for the French our Government to secure satisfaction for the with France, and that the same should not henceservice. Great Britain complained, and took the spoliations, now the subject matter of these very forth be regarded as legally binding on the Gov. ground that such privileges to a belligerent were claims we are called upon to pay:

ernment and citizens of the United States. wholly inconsistent with neutrality; and it was Where an injury is done a citizen by a foreign Our Government was fully justified in this true, according to well-defined principles of inter- Government, it is the duty of that Government | proceeding, for France had, by solemn decree, national law. We yielded to these remonstrances, entitled to his allegiance to seek reparation. If renounced the binding obligation of the treaty in and refused to continue the permit to France. || denied, it must then determine whether it will go its most material and important provisions; and This decision of our Government was acquiesced to war or not. Sometimes the general interest of the conduct of its citizens was consistently conin after some hesitation, and it was not long the whole State would be so greatly prejudiced formable in practice to the decree of May, 1793, until France discovered that a strict interpretation | that the nation may properly decline an appeal to to which I have already adverted. Congress very of the treaty was resulting in great benefit to

properly declared the treaty no longer obligatory Great Britain. Our commerce on the high seas, In this particular case, so many citizens had suf- on the United States. so far as Great Britain was concerned, was regu- fered, that, when reparation was refused, the Gov- But this act develops, most prominently, a wide lated by international law, whilst the treaty regu- ernment, to enforce it, embarked in a quasi war. distinction between these claimants, whó now all lated it as to France. France then saw that the It is conceded by all, that, when a nation goes to unite in a common application for indemnity. It goods of her citizens were liable to seizure by war, it resorts to the last and highest vindication requires only to be stated—not argued—to perBritish cruisers in our bottoms without any indig. 1 of its injured citizen; and if the war terminates ceive the distinction. Every seizure made by nity to our flag, and that British goods in our without an express stipulation on the part of the French cruisers after the 7th July, 1798, of Amer. ships could not be seized by French cruisers, 1 offending nation to pay indemnity for the injury || ican vessels having on board merchandise contrabecause her treaty forbade it. So, too, provisions then all further claims against the offending Gov-band of war, (and most of them were freighted and other contraband goods, could be carried by ernment is foreclosed, and it is equally clear that with provisions, ship timbers, &c.,) as well as our ships to English ports, and French cruisers the citizen can have no claim of indemnity against | English merchandise, whether contraband or not, were not authorized to molest them, under the his own Government; for the men and money of were lawful prizes for the French; and if they treaty, whilst the law of nations gave no such the whole State have avenged the wrong by ap- could be legally seized and forfeited, what claim exemption to contraband goods in neutral ships || pealing to war.

resulted to the American merchant or ship-owner entering French ports. England, therefore, se- Failing to secure indemnity through negotia- | against France? It was the treaty which made cured most of the provisions carried by our ves- tion, our Government went to war for these claim- the seizures illegal, and when our merchants' own sels, and in lieu of confiscation, fixed and paid its ants. I know this will be controverted. The Government declared it abrogated, pray what right, own price. The effort of France, then, to extend gentleman from Ohio (Mr. DISNEY] denied that under the treaty, remained to the citizen? If it the immunities of commerce on the high seas, was there was war, in his speech yesterday. He saw should be determined that indemnity be due to any

arma.

331 Cong....20 Sess.

French SpoliationsMr. Orr.

Ho. OF REPS.

of these claimants, I demand to know upon what || hostilities that hence there was no war. At that fied by the Senate. When the fellow-citizens of basis spoliations committed after the abrogation time the United States were in no condition to these claimants cheerfully submitted to greatly aug. of the treaty by the American Congress, can be send troops to France, the country was still groan- mented taxation, to maintain a warasserting their recognized; for they certainly never constituted a ing heavily under the pressure of the debts and rights, giving them the highest redress, and faillegal or equitable demand against the French

Gov- sacrifices of the revolutionary war, nor was France ing to secure payment on the conclusion of peace, ernment? more fortunate than ourselves. That Govern.

are they now to be taxed again to make up all the Sir, congressional legislation did not stop there. ment was engaged in a desperate conflict with losses of these claimants ? Neither justice nor the On the 9th of July, 1798, an act passed authoriz- England and the continental Powers, and their law of nations require it, and no parallel can be ing the capture, by the public armed vessels of the troops could not be withdrawn from the sanguin. found where any Government on the globe has, United States, of all French armed vessels, whether ary fields of Europe. Land engagements are not under such circumstances, indemnified the losses within the jurisdictional limits of the United States, || indispensable to constitute a state of war. of its citizens out of its own exchequer, after or upon the high seastheir condemnation as prizes-- I regard the fact of the existence of war so im- | making an unsuccessful war to enforce their rights. their sale and the distribution of the prize money, portant to the just determination of these claims,

I proceed now, Mr. Chairman, to examine the Now, when it is remembered that England and ihat I proceed to other proofs. When the nogo- l grounds upon which these claimants mainly rely France were at war, and neither knowing the day tiations commenced, which led to the treaty of for indemnity. If war existed, I have shown the or the hour when they might come in collision, 1 | 1800, both parties proceeded on the basis that claims were extinguished. The claimants deny assume that every French vessel that sailed upon peace had not been destroyed, but before their

that any war existed between the two nations, and the seas was armed, and when authority was labors ended, the preceding hostilities were con- insist that the treaty of September, 1800, actually given to our vessels to capture and confiscale "all

sidered war.' The journal of the American Min- released, for a valuable consideration, to the United French armed vessels" it embraced every ves- isters, of the 12th September, 1800, says: States the claims of our citizens against France. sel in the merchant and war marine of France. 66 The President of the French commission declared that If this were true, then there is merit this bill. Does such legislation presuppose peace; and can

if the Government should think proper to instruct them to The second article of the treaty, and its subseits results be looked to as pacific? And finally,

make a treaty on the basis of indemnities, and a modified
renewal of the old treaties, he would resign sooner than

quent rejection by the Senate, it is contended, sir, Congress, to illustrate fully the interpretation

sign such a treaty; udding, that if the question could be furnishes evidence that France acknowledged the of its pacific action, on the 28th of February, determined by an indifferent nation, he was satisfied such liability, and its rejection by the Senate aban1799, provided for an erchange of prisoners with

a tribunal would say that the present state of things was doned the claims to rid us of the obligations of France and authorized the President at his discre

war, on the side of America, and that no indeinnities could
be claimed. The two other cominissioners made similar

guaranty contained in the treaty of 1778. The tion to send to the dominions of France, without declarations."

second, or rejected article, is in the following an exchange, such prisoners as might remain in the power of the United States. Well, sir, would How emphatic the declaration of the French words: it not be an anomaly if prisoners could be taken Ministers. The present state of things was war,

“ The Ministers Plenipotentiary of the two Powers not

being able to agree at present, respecting the treaty of alliand exchanged in time of peace--an exchange of and claims for indemnity therefore wholly inad.

ance of 6th February, 1778, the treaty of amity and comprisoners between two friendly Powers! Is

missible. It has been alleged that France acknowl- merce of the same date, and the convention of 14th Noargument required to subvert such a paradox?

edged her liability to pay for these spoliations. Ivember, 1788, nor upon the indemnities mutually due or But, sir, this pacific legislation does not end Does not the language of her Ministers entirely claimed, the parties will negotiate further upon these sub

jects at a conrenient time ; and until they may have agreed here. The prisoners taken by France from the refute and dissipate any such assumption ? Our

upon these points, the said treaties and convention shall fessels of the United States did not receive that own commissioners coincide with the French.

have no operation, and the relations of the two countries

shall be regulated as follows," &c. kind treatment which our Government thought After the treaty had been signed they wrote the they were entitled to. Cruelty, if not barbarity, Secretary of State as follows:

This article was stricken out by the Senate, had been practised on them by French authorities,

“ Nor is it conceived that the treaties between the Uni- and the following provision was inserted: and to prevent further outrage upon the persons of

ted States and France have undergone a more nullifying
operation than the condition of wur necessarily imposes.

“ It is agreed that the present convention shall be in force our prisoners, Congress on the 30 March, 1799, Doubtless the congressional act authorizing the reduction

for the term of eight years from the time of the exchange of declared, by an act of that date, that in case any of French cruisers by force, was an authorization of war,

the ratifications." citizen the United States, taken on board ves

limited, indeed, in its extent, but not in its nature. Clearly, Does the article furnish the evidence claimed for

also, their subsequent act declaring that the treaties had sels belonging to any of the Powers at war with

it? I cannot so construe it. On the contrary, it ceased to be obligatory, however proper it night be for the France, by French vessels, should be put to death, removal of doubis, was but declaratory of the actual state furnishes strong inferential, if not positive, proof corporally punished, or unreasonably imprisoned, of things; and certainly it was not from au exercise of the that France repudiated the liability, and intended to retaliate promptly and fully upon any French constitutional prerogative of declaring war that either of

to put itself in a position where it might, through them derived validity." prisoners in the power of the United States. *

all time, refuse further even to negotiate. When The fact is fully established that several hostile Again, our commissioners say:

were these four points of difference to be, not adactions actually occurred betwen the armed ves- “ All hope of obtaining indemnities, with any modifica- justed or paid, but negotiated upon? At a

consels of the two nations, and several captures were

tions of the treaties, had to be abandoned, and they de- venient time.” Such language, in an official paper, made of French vessels, both by public and pri

termined, by a temporary arrangement, (the treaty of Sep- || prepared by such a man as Talleyrand, can mean

lember, 1800,) to extricate the United States from the war, vate armed vessels of the United States, which or that peculiar state of hosilily in wbich they are at pres

nothing else than a perpetual repudiation by were condemned and sold as lawful prizes. The ent involved, save the immense property of our citizens How

France of all liability for these spoliations; and number captured was about eighty. Of the value depending before the council of prizes, and secure, as far Mr. Murray, one of our commissioners who exof the prizes I have no information. Who were

as possible, our commerce against the abuses of captures changed the ratifications, fully corroborates this

during the present war.” the beneficiaries of these prizes? Doubtless, the

conclusion. He says, with reference to the rejected merchants; perhaps, some of the claimants. If so, Have I succeeded, Mr. Chairman, in proving, article: have they abated their demands to an amount from the acts of Congress, actual_hostilities and “If the Senate meant, as I hope, to consider indemnilies equal to these reclamations ? captures, the declarations of the French authori

as worth nothing, the business, I presume; is closed.” Does the legislation I have recapitulated, show ties, and the admissions of our own commission

Talleyrand, the negotiator, the subtle, sagacious that war existed between the two countries? What ers, that war existed between the United States Talleyrand, who never did his work awkwardly single element is wanting to make it open, undis

and France? And, if we went to war, whose or unmeaningly for his Prince, interpreted the guised naval warfare? Årmed vessels meet on the rights was it to assert, whose wrongs to avenge? true intent of the second article to be an indefinite high seas, they engage in battle, use every instru- These claimants. It was their claims, and not postponement of the four open points; and when ment and missile of death to destroy each other. broken treaties, that led to the shedding of blood, that article was expunged, he said it was renounced The deck is strewn with the dead and dying, the the raising of armies, and the levying of taxes. "as susceptible of producing disquiet in future heavy limbers in the vessel are riven by balls and Mr. Cambreleng, in his report, recapitulates what by promising nothing but an ulterior and discordant shells, the colors are hauled down, the crew be- we have already done for these claimants: negotiation." When the article was rejected, it is come prisoners of war, the vessel is brought into “We renounced our treaties ; authorized our merchant- true, the further prosecution of the claims was port, the vessel and cargo, consisting perhaps of men to arm; ordered the capture by our public and private renounced by our Government, not for a considFrench silks, is sold, and the proceeds distributed armed vessels, and the condemnation of all armed French

eration, but because France pertinaciously and vessels; loans, appropriations, and taxes for the purposes amongst the owners and the triumphant crew. of war, amounting to joore than twelve millions of dollars;

firmly refused to acknowledge her liability after Did our vessels do more or otherwise in the Revo- ordered six seventy-fours, and six sloops-of-war to be we had gone to war. But what paragraph in the lution in the war of 1812?

built; the raising of thirty-six regiments and two battalions; second article secured anything to the claimants ? There seems to be no room left to doubt; and I and, in case of invasion, the President was authorized to

The extent of concession to them is, that, ata con. call into the field an army of seventy-five thousaud men." repeat it, sir, if this Government went to war for

venient time, the two Governments will further these claimants and felt, looking to the general in- After all these steps had been taken, the whole negotiate upon the subject. What was such a terest of all its citizens, that peace must be made country favored a restoration of peace. We sent contingent recognition worth? Could not France, even if the indemnity could not be secured, then our commissioners, and instructed them to insist if the article had been retained without any violathere rested no obligation on France to pay these upon the payment of indemnity for these spolia- tion of its provisions, have said five, ten, or claims; they were extinguished, and if France was tions. They succeeded in getting two classes twenty years afterwards, that a “convenient time" never liable, or has been released from their pay recognized, but all “ indemnities for seizures and to negotiate had not arrived? When our commisment without any other consideration than peace, captures” were expressly excepted, because France sioners consented to this provision, is it not apwe are not liable. And let it not be attempted to denied its liability. The French commissioners parent that it was the nearest approach to recogresist the force of these facts and this reasoning by said, You have gone to war to enforce these claims, nition they could obtain, and that, by reserving the plea, that as no land forces were engaged in and they, therefore, cease to be a charge on our for future consideration the subject, they had

treasury. We will neither recognize or pay them. followed as nearly as possible their instructions *I am indebted to the speech of Hon. Silas Wright, re

What alternative was left our Ministers' but to to demand indemnities? Here was a demand, but published in Colonel Benton's " Thirty Years' View," for conclude a treaty without securing the indemnity, I was the response promising? France delicately, the abstract of much of the legislation on uris subject. which they did, and which was subsequently rali- || yet very emphatically, said, we never mean to rec

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ognize these claims, and the postponement was any Government than this will be? If the claims never believed that these private claimants would, a courteous negation of liability. The striking || be just, pay, all, or plead, in your act making in one case out of twenty, derive any benefit from out of the article could not strengthen the rights the appropriation, poverty or bankruptcy for the the measure. I have never doubted that they have of the claimants beyond the recognition therein | residue.

been used by the managers and agents of these contained; and if there was no recognition, then Sir, the prospect of the speedy passage of this corporations for their own purposes. Influence no rights were released.

bill in the House of Representatives gives me was wanted to secure the success of the bill. The These claimants, however, contend that the much real pain. When it shall go upon your associated wealth of these companies has been declaration of Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul, statute book, it will be a recorded rebuke of all freely employed in printing reports, speeches, and attached to the treaty, furnishes evidence that the great names and intellects who have gone be- essays, in securing the services of numerous their claims were released for a consideration. fore us in these Halls, for their inexorable injus- | agents, in ascertaining the name and residence of After the treaty had been ratified, it was sent back tice in denying the citizen his just dues. Were every person directly or remotely connected with to France to approve the amended treaty, and they niggardly and parsimonious—are we to be just any party who suffered from French spoliations, Bonaparte returned it with a declaration, which and generous? Sir, they were actors when these and by addressing circular letters to all such perwas certainly no part of it, but his opinion of the spoliations were committed; they knew the facts, sons, advising them to urge their representatives in effect of the action of the Senate striking out the and they refused to do that which we will soon Congress to vote for the indemnities to which they second article, in the following words:

do-charge the Treasury with all these spolia- | were told they had an unquestionable claim. The “That, by this retrenchment, the two States renounce tions. When we consummate the act, I fear that aid of the State Legislatures has been sought, the respective pretensions which are the object of said our countrymen will not commend our liberality, and resolutions of instruction obtained from them,

and that they will charge us with infidelity in adopted, with no more accurate views of the very These were the four adjourned points deferred | guarding the Treasury with that patriotic vigilance intricate subjects to which they relate, than could to a "convenient time." Mr. Madison, the Secre- that distinguished the earlier statesmen of the be acquired from the one-sided documents and tary of State, says: Republic.

plausible representations that were submitted to “I am authorized to say that the President does not

ihem. regard the declaratory clause as more than a legitimate in- Note.-Since this speech was delivered in the Sir, when the bill is passed—when the numerous ference from the rejection, by the Senate, of the second House of Representatives, a friend has called my private claimants and their descendants and conarticle."

attention to a decision made by the Supreme Court || nections, and friends, have performed the service And when the treaty was again sent into the of the United States, which fully settles the ques. required of them, we shall see them occupying a Senate, without adopting this declaration of Bona- tion by the highest legal tribunal known to our very different relation to these companies. No parte, they resolved that they “ consider the said || laws, that war existed, as I have contended, be- longer useful as dupes, they will be sacrificed as convention as fully ratified. Is this to be the tween the United States and France.

victims. Admit the insurance companies to the foundation of our liability-an inference drawn The case is Bas vs. Tingy, reported in 4th benefits of the bill, and it will then be their interest from a declaration of Bonaparte, which was no Dallas, 35. The opinion of the court is unani. to depreciate the very claims they are now conpart of the treaty?

mous in declaring that public war existed between | cerned to magnify. The smaller the number who But it is said that we released the claims to the two countries. A part of the abstract of the share the five millions of dollars, the larger will relieve ourselves of the alliance and guarantee opinion, by the Reporter, is as follows:

be the dividend of each. Confiscations that now under the treaties of 1778. The guarantees were “ Limited hostilities authorized by the legitimate author- cry loudly for redress, will then be made to appear mutual, reciprocal; if, indeed, the treaties were ity of two Governments, constitute public war, and render as lawful captures. Outrageous aggressions upon considered of force; and I do not perceive how the parties respectively enemies to each other."

neutral commerce will be shown as justifiable they could be then said to be subsisting; for Mr. Justice Washington, in delivering his seizures of contraband goods. Documents and France, in 1793, violated the treaty by solemn opinion in the case, on the question whether

papers now represented as incontestible proofs, decree, and the United States, in 1798, declared | “enemy" is not descriptive of France and her will be scouted as the flimsiest testimony on which them void. The acts of the two Governments armed vessels, says:

a claim was ever founded. And, sir, it must be

“ The decision of this question must depend upon had, in fact, abrogated the treaties; and, if that be

admitted that, in these contests, the companies another, wbich is, whether, at the time of passing the act true, what consideration could be due from us to of Congress of the 2d of March, 1799, there subsisted a

will have much the advantage of the private claimrelieve us of the guarantee. If the treaties were state of war between the two nations? It may, I believe,

ants. When uninsured property was captured, subsisting in 1800, they were mutually binding be safely laid down that every contention by force between the report of the master or supercargo would give and obligatory; and the release of France from two nations, in external mattery, under the authority of

the owner full intelligence of his misfortune. He their respective Governments, is not only war, but public her obligation to protect our liberties and posses

had comparatively small inducement to possess war." sions, was as great a good to her as her release of

himself of those formal documents required by Again, he

says: our obligations to guarantee her American posses

the insurance companies before they would adjust sions.. What consideration, then, was there for

“ In fact, and in law, we are at war. An American vegsel fighting with a French vessel, lo subdue and make her

the losses for which they were liable. Even us to receive from France for these claims? None.

prize, is tighting with an enemy, accurately and techni- where proofs were procured, they are now, after We abandoned them because we could not, accord. cally speaking,” &c.

the lapse of sixty years, in many cases, mislaid or ing to international law, justly require their pay. This case arose out of the construction of two destroyed. But not so with the companies. Their ment by France, because we went to war; and, if acts of Congress, the first passed the 28th of June, documents have been carefully filed away and prewe did not go to war, they were abandoned after 1798, and the second on the 2d of March, 1799; || served, and I now confidently predict, that if this long negotiation, open hostility, and renewed ne- and the case was determined in the Supreme Court commission is created, nearly the whole of the five gotiation, because France denied her liability, and of the United States, in August, 1800. Can the

millions will be distributed to insurance compawould not pay. In the latter case we were justi question of war or no war, after this decision, be nies, not only because they are the largest claimfiable, and the citizen has no just cause of com- any longer contested? Justices Washington. ants in interest, but because their proofs have plaint. If it had been clear that France was liable, | Moore, Chase, and Patterson, all delivered con- been so much more skillfully fortified. even then we had a perfect right to abandon the current opinions. No adverse opinion was held. Sir, in proposing to confine to the private claim. claims rather than plunge the country into a gen

ants the relief provided by this bill, I am not eral and devastating war to enforce them; and the

seeking to make an arbitrary discrimination. 1 United States, in such a case, would not be, equi.

FRENCH SPOLIATIONS.

trust I shall be able to show that the exclusion of tably or morally, bound to pay the claims of the

insurance companies is demanded by the same injured citizen. SPEECH OF HON. J. S. MILLSON,

considerations of equity or mercy that are believed In every aspect of this subject I deny any ob

to entitle the sufferers from French spoliations to ligation to indemnify these claimants. They were

OF VIRGINIA,

compensation from Congress. These companies prosecuted with extraordinary diligence; we tried IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

have never been sufferers from French spoliations. to enforce them by reprisals, by war; we pressed

January 25, 1855.

They have reaped large profits from French spolithem, subsequently, in negotiations; we, at last,

ations. Many of them grew rich upon them. abandoned them, but without a consideration, and

The House being in the Committee of the Whole

These spoliations constituted their business, their because France persisted in refusing to pay them. on the state of the Union

capital, their stock in trade, their very life. Had For fifty-two years these claims have been suc- Mr. MILLSON said:

there been no spoliations they would not have cessfully and steadily repudiated by our prede- Mr. CHAIRMAN: At the very moment when my got the enormous premiums exacted from those cessors; what new lights have dawned upon us friend and colleague (Mr. LETCHER) submitted his whose property they insured. Their calculations to justify so large an expenditure of the public proposition to exclude all insurance companies were deliberately made. They understood their treasure? Sir, this is but the initiative to 'much from the benefits of this bill, I was, without any risks, and took care to indemnify themselves by heavier appropriations for these same claims. Il conference with him, without any knowledge of demanding such premiums as would make good stated, at the outset of my remarks, that these his purpose, in the act of preparing a similar amend. || their probable losses, and leave them their ex. claims, without interest, amounted to upwards of ment. These companies are by far the most nu- pected profits. They knew that in one case out eleven millions of dollars. Can you pay such a merous class of claimants. Nay, sir, it is scarcely of three the vessel and cargo would be captured, sum with five millions ? If eleven millions of an exaggeration to say, that nearly all the claims and they regulated their percentage accordingly. dollars are due, and the liability of the Govern- of magnitude are represented by them. If they | Their usual rate was about fifty per cent. From ment is established for any portion, as you do in are allowed to participate in the indemnities pro- A, and B, and they would receive fifty dollars this bill, how can you avoid paying the whole vided, but few, if any, of the private claimants will on the hundred. The vessels of A and B get sum? Will you force your citizen, after acknowl- ever derive any advantage from this bill. Now, I safely into port, but that of C is captured. They edging the justice of his demand, by a solemn act sir, I wish to prevent this result. If the bill should receive $150, and pay $100, leaving $50 as their of Congress, to receive only forty cents in every pass I wish to secure to those of my constituents, gain. Do not let us be told, then, that these insurdollar, and give you a receipt in full? When was who conceive themselves to have an interest in it, ance companies were sufferers from French spolithere ever more odious repudiation practised by ll at least a chance of sharing its benefits. I have ations. With as much propriety muy you say

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