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duct of the American government. This error probably originated with Mr. King; for, being much esteemed here, and always well received by the persons in power, he seems to have misconstrued their readiness to listen to his representations, and their warm professions of a disposition to remove the complaints of America, in relation to impressment, into a supposed conviction on their part, of the propriety of adopting the plan which he had proposed. But lord St. Vincent, whom he might have thought he had brought over to his opinions, appears never for a moment to have ceased to regard all arrangement on the subject, to be attended with formidable, if not insurmountable obstacles. This is obvious from a letter which his lordship addressed to sir William Scott at the time.' Here lord Castlereagh read a letter, contained in the records before him, in which lord St. Vincent states to sir William Scott the zeal with which Mr. King had assailed him on the subject of impressment, confesses his own perplexity and total incompetency to discover any practical project for the safe discontinuance of that practice, and asks for counsel and advice. Thus you see,' proceeded lord Castlereagh, “ that the confidence of Mr. King on this subject was entirely unfounded.'
Thus it is apparent, that at no time has the enemy been willing to place this subject on a satisfactory footing. I will speak hereafter of the overtures made by administration since the war.
The honorable gentleman from New York, (Mr. Bleecker,) in the very sensible speech with which he favored the committee, made one observation which did not comport with his usual liberal and enlarged views. It was, that those who are most interested against the practice of impressment, did not desire a continuance of the war on account of it, whilst those. (the southern and western members, who had no interest in it, were the zealous advocates of American seamen. It was a provincial sentiment unworthy of
that gentleman. It was one which, in a change of condition, he would not express, because I know he could not feel it. Does not that gentleman feel for the unhappy victims of the tomahawk in the western wilds, although his quarter of the union may be exempted from similar barbarities? I am sure he does. If there be a description of rights, which, more than any other, should unite all parties in all quarters of the union, it is unquestionably the rights of the person. No matter what his vocation; whether he seeks subsistence amidst the dangers of the deep, or draws them from the bowels of the earth, or from the humblest occupations of mechanic life: whenever the sacred rights of an American freeman are assailed, all hearts ought to unite, and every arm should be braced to vindicate his
The gentleman from Delaware sees in Canada no object worthy of conquest. According to him, it is a cold, sterile and inhospitable region. And yet, such are the allurements which it offers, that the same gentleman apprehends, that, if it be annexed to the United States, already too much weakened by an extension of territory, the people of New England will rush over the line and depopulate that section of the union! That gentleman considers it honest to hold Canada as a kind of hostage; to regard it as a sort of bond for the good behaviour of the enemy. But he will not enforce the bond. The actual conquest of that country would, according to him, make no impression upon the enemy, and yet the very apprehension only of such a conquest, would at all times have a powerful operation upon him! Other gentlemen consider the inva- : sion of that country as wicked and unjustifiable. Its inhabitants are represented as harmless and unoffending, as connected with those of the bordering states by a thousand tender ties, interchanging acts of kindness, and all the offices of good neighborhood. Canada innocent! Canada unoffending? Is it not in Canada, that the tomahawk of the savage has been moulded
into its deathlike form? Has it not been from Canadian magazines, Malden and others, that those supplies have been issued which nourish and continue the Indian hostilities? Supplies which have enabled the savage hordes to butcher the garrison of Chicago, and to commit other horrible excesses and murders! Was it not by the joint co-operation of Canadians and Indians, that a remote American fort, Michilimackinac, was assailed and reduced, while in ignorance of a state of war? But, sir, how soon have the opposition changed their tone. When administration was striving, by the operation of peaceful measures, to bring Great Britain back to a sense of justice, they were for old-fashioned war. And now they have got old-fashiioned war, their sensibilities are cruelly shocked, and all their sympathies lavished upon the harmless inhabitants of the adjoining provinces. What does a state of war present? The united energies of one people arrayed against the combined energies of another-a conflict in which each party aims to inflict all the injury it can, by sea and land, upon the territories, property and citizens of the other ; subject only to the rules of mitigated war practised by civilized nations. The gentleman would not touch the continental provinces of the enemy, nor, I presume, for the same reason, her possessions in the West Indies. The same humane spirit would spare the seamen and soldiers of the enemy. The sacred person of his majesty must not be attacked, for the learned gentlemen, on the other side, are quite familiar with the maxim, that the king can do no wrong. Indeed, sir, I know of no person on whom we may make war upon the principles of the honorable gentleman, but Mr. Stephen, the celebrated author of the orders in council, or the board of admiralty, who authorize and regulate the practice of impressment !
The disasters of the war admonish us, we are told, of the necessity of terminating the contest. If our achievements by land have been less splendid than those of our intrepid seamen by water, it is not because the American soldier is less brave. On the one element, organization, discipline and a thorough knowledge of their duties exist, on the part of the officers and their men. On the other, almost every thing is yet to be acquired. We have, however, the consolation, that our country abounds with the richest materials, and that in no instance, when engaged in action, have our arms been tarnished. At Brownstown and at Queenstown the valor of veterans was displayed, and acts of the noblest heroism were performed. It is true, that the disgrace of Detroit remains to be wiped off. That is a subject on which I cannot trust my feelings; it is not fitting I should speak. But this much I will say, it was an event which no human foresight could have anticipated, and for which the administration cannot be justly censured. It was the parent of all the misfortunes we have experienced on land. But for it, the Indian war would have been in a great measure prevented or terminated; the ascendancy on lake Erie acquired, and the war pushed on perhaps to Montreal. With the exception of that event, the war, even upon the land, has been attended by a series of the most brilliant exploits, which, whatever interest they may inspire on this side of the mountains, have given the greatest pleasure on the other. The expedition, under the command of governor Edwards and colonel Russell, to lake Pioria, on the Illinois, was completely successful. So was that of captain Craig, who, it is said, ascended that river still higher. General Hopkins destroyed the prophet's
We have just received intelligence of the gallant enterprize of colonel Campbell. In short, sir, the Indian towns have been swept from the mouth to the source of the Wabash, and a hostile country has been penetrated far beyond the most daring incursions of any campaign during the former Indian war. Never was more cool, deliberate bravery displayed, than that by Newman's party from Georgia: and the capture of the Detroit, and the destruction of the Caledonia, (whether placed to a maritime or land account,) for judgment, skill and courage on the part of lieutenant Elliot, have never been surpassed.
It is alleged, that the elections in England are in favor of the ministry, and that those in this country are against the war. If, in such a cause, (saying nothing of the impurity of their elections, the people of that country have rallied round their government, it affords a salutary lesson to the people here, who, at all hazards, ought to support theirs, struggling as it is to maintain our just rights. But the people here have not been false to themselves; a great majority approve the war, as is evinced by the recent re-election of the chief magistrate. Suppose it were even true, that an entire section of the union were opposed to the war, that section being a minority, is the will of the majority to be relinquished ? In that section the real strength of the opposition has been greatly exaggerated. Vermont has, by two successive expressions of her opinion, approved the declaration of war. In New Hampshire, parties are so nearly equipoised, that out of thirty or thirty-five thousand votes, those, who approved and are for supporting it, lost the election by only one thousand or one thousand five hundred. In Massachusetts alone have they obtained any considerable accession. If we come to New York, we shall find, that other and local causes have influenced her elections.
What cause, Mr. Chairman, which existed for declaring the war has been removed? We sought indemnity for the past and security for the future. The orders in council are suspended, not revoked; no compensation for spoliations. Indian hostilities, which were before secretly instigated, are now openly encouraged; and the practice of impressment unremittingly persevered in and insisted upon. Yet administration has given the strongest demonstrations of its love of peace. On the twenty-ninth of June, less than