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will be the stipulations of the treaty of alliance? Sir, I repeat to you that I wish for peace: These may be more or less onerous or perni- real, lasting, honorable peace. To obtain and cious. Certainly the British minister will not secure this blessing, let us, by a bold and decihazard the fate of his nation without the hope sive conduct, convince the powers of Europe of some correspondent advantage. One stipu- that we are determined to defend our rights ; lation is certain. We must agree to continue that we will not submit to insult; that we will the war until a peace can be obtained by com- not bear degradation. This is the conduct mon consent: and this is precisely the stipula- which becomes a generous people. This contion which we ought not to make, if it can be duct will command the respect of the world. avoided; because we shall then be no longer Nay, sir, it may rouse all Europe to a proper masters of our exterior relations. To this it sense of their situation. They see, that the may be objected, that we cannot expect aid balance of power, on which their liberties defrom Britain without a previous treaty. I ask, pend, is, if not destroyed, in extreme danger. what reliance you have for aid with treaty? | They know that the dominion of France has The answer is, that it will be her interest. | been extended by the sword over millions who And, sir, it is her interest to give that aid with- groan in the servitude of their new masters. out treaty.
These unwilling subjects are ripe for revolt. I have now gone through this tedious discus- The empire of the Gauls is not like that of sion. I have trespassed on your patience more Rome, secured by political institutions. It may than I wished, although, from the lateness of yet be broken. But whatever may be the conthe hour, much has been omitted of what I duct of others, let us act as becomes ourselves. ought to have said. I have endeavored to I cannot believe, with my honorable colleague, show, that, under the existing circumstances, that three-fourths of America are opposed to we are now actually at war, and have no choice vigorous measures. I cannot believe that they but manly resistance or vile submission; that will meanly refuse to pay the sums needful to the possession of this country by France is vindicate their honor and support their indedangerous to other nations, but fatal to us; that pendence. Sir, this is a libel on the people of it forms a natural and necessary part of our America. They will disdain submission to the empire; that, to use the strong language of the | proudest sovereign on earth. They have not gentleman near me, it is joined to us by the lost the spirit of '76. But, sir, if they are so hand of the Almighty, and that we have no base as to barter their rights for gold, if they hope of obtaining it by treaty. If, indeed, are so vile that they will not defend their honor, there be any such hope, it must be by adopting they are unworthy of the rank they enjoy, and the resolutions offered by my honorable friend. it is no matter how soon they are parcelled out Sir, I wish for peace; I wish the negotiation among better masters. may succeed, and therefore I strongly urge you My honorable friend from Pennsylvania, in to adopt these resolutions. But though you opening this debate, pledged himself and his should adopt them, they alone will not insure friends to support the executive governmen: if success. I have no hesitation in saying, that they would adopt a manly conduct. I have no you ought to have taken possession of New hesitation to renew that pledge. Act as beOrleans and the Floridas, the instant your comes America, and all America will be united treaty was violated. You ought to do it now. in your support. What is our conduct? Do Your rights are invaded, confidence in negotia- we endeavor to fetter and trammel the execution is vain: there is, therefore, no alternative tive authority? Do we oppose obstacles? Do but force. You are exposed to imminent we raise difficulties? No. We are willing to present danger: you have the prospect of great commit into the hands of the chief magistrate future advantage: you are justified by the clear the treasure, the power and the energies of the est principles of right: you are urged by the country. We ask for ourselves nothing. We strongest motives of policy: you are command-expect nothing. All we ask is for our country. ed by every sentiment of national dignity. And although we do not believe in the succese Look at the conduct of America in her infant of treaty, yet the resolutions we move, and the years. When there was no actual invasion of language we hold, are calculated to promote right, but only a claim to invade, she resisted | it. the claim; she spurned the insult. Did we I have now performed, to the best of my then hesitate? Did we then wait for foreign power, the great duty which I owed to my alliance? No-animated with the spirit, warm-country. I have given that advice which in ed with the soul of freedom, we threw our my soul I believe to be the best. But I have oaths of allegiance in the face of our sovereign, little hope that it will be adopted. I fear that, and committed our fortunes and our fate to the by feeble counsels, we shall be exposed to a long God of battles. We then were subjects. We and bloody war. This fear is, perhaps, illhad not then attained to the dignity of an in-founded, and if so I shall thank God that I was dependent republic. We then had no rank mistaken. I know that, in the order of his among the nations of the earth. But we had Providence, the wisest ends frequently result the spirit which deserved that elevated station. from the most foolish measures. It is our duty And now that we have gained it, sball we fall to submit ourselves to his high dispensations. from our honor ?
I know that war, with all its misery, is not
wholly without advantage. It calls forth the ought; and when the hour of trial comes, let it energies of character, it favors the manly vir- find us a band of brothers. tues, it gives elevation to sentiment, it produces Sir, I have done, and I pray to Almighty God national union, generates patriotic love, and in- that this day's debate may eventuate in the fuses a just sense of national honor. It, then, prosperity, the freedom, the peace, the power wo are doomed to war, let us meet it as we and the glory of our country.
ORATION ON HAMILTON.
This oration was pronounced at the porch of of strength for its own preservation; and that the old Trinity Church, over the body of Gene- | in consequence we should share the fate of
many other republics, and pass through anarral Hamilton, at the time of its interment, July
of its interment, Julychy to despotism. We hoped better things. 14th, 1804.*
We confided in the good sense of the American If on this sad, this solemn occasion. I should people; and, above all, we trusted in the proendeavor to move your commiseration, it wonld Itecting providence of the Almighty. On this
important subject he never concealed his opinbe doing injustice to that sensibility, which
ion. He disdained concealment. Knowing has been so generally and so justly manifested.
the purity of his heart, he bore it as it were in Far from attempting to excite your emotions, I
| his hand, exposing to every passenger its inmost must try to repress my own; and yet, I fear, that, instead of the language of a public speaker,
recesses. This generous indiscretion subjected you will hear only the lamentations of a wailing
him to censure from misrepresentation. His friend. But I will struggle with my bursting
speculative opinions were treated as deliberate
designs; and yet you all know how strenuous, heart, to portray that heroic spirit, which has
how unremitting were his efforts to establish flown to the mansions of bliss. Students of Columbia-he was in the ardent
and to preserve the constitution. If, then, his pursuit of knowledge in your academic shades,
opinion was wrong, pardon, O! pardon that when the first sound of the American war
single error, in a life devoted to your service.
| At the time when our government was orcalled him to the field. A young and unprotected volunteer, such was his zeal, and so bril
ganized, we were without funds, though not
without resources. To call them into action, liant his service, that we heard his name before
and establish order in the finances, Washington we knew his person. It seemed as if God had called him suddenly into existence, that he
sought for splendid talents, for extensive infor
mation, and above all, he sought for sterling, might assist to save a world! The penetrating eye of Washington soon
incorruptible integrity. All these he found in perceived the manly spirit which animated his
Hamilton. The system then adopted, has been youthful bosom. By that excellent judge of
the subject of much animadversion. If it be men, he was selected as an aid, and thus he be
not without a fault, let it be remembered that came early acquainted with, and was a principal
nothing human is perfect. Recollect the cir
cumstances of the moment-recollect the conactor in the more important scenes of our revolution. At the siege of York, he pertinaciously
flict of opinion—and, above all, remember that insisted on, and he obtained the command of a
ya minister of a republic must bend to the will Forlorn Hope. He stormed the redoubt; but
of the people. The administration which
Washington formed was one of the most effilet it be recorded that not one single man of
cient, one of the best that any country was the enemy perished. His gallant troops, emu
ever blest with. And the result was a rapid lating the heroism of their chief, checked the uplifted arm, and spared a foe no longer resist
advance in power and prosperity, of which
there is no example in any other age or nation, ing. Here closed his military career.
The part which Hamilton bore is universally Shortly after the war, your favor-no, your
known, discernment, called him to public office. You
His unsuspecting confidence in professions, sent him to the convention at Philadelphia; he
which he believed to be sincere, led him to trust there assisted in forming that constitution, which is now the bond of our union, the shield of our
too much to the undeserving. This exposed
him to misrepresentation. He felt himself defence, and the source of our prosperity. In
obliged to resign. The care of a rising family, signing the compact, he expressed his appre
and the narrowness of his fortune, made it a hension that it did not contain sufficient means
duty to return to his profession for their sup
port. But though he was compelled to abandon • See New York Evening Post, July 16th, 1804; and Cole- public life, never, no, never for a moment did man's Collection of Facts, relative to the death of Hamilton, he abandon the public service. He never lost page 41.
I sight of your interests. I declare to you, before that God, in whose presence we are now there was no offence; no guile. His generoue especially assembled, that in his most private hand and heart were open to all. and confidential conversations, the single ob- Gentlemen of the bar-you have lost your jects of discussion and consideration were your brightest ornament. Cherish and imitate his freedom and happiness. You well remember example. While, like him, with justifiable, and the state of things which again called forth with laudable zeal, you pursue the interests of Washington from his retreat to lead your ar- your clients, remember, like him, the eternal mies. You know that he asked for Hamilton principle of justice. to be his second in command. That venerable Fellow-citizens-you have long witnessed his sage well knew the dangerous incidents of a professional conduct, and felt his unrivalled military profession, and he felt the hand of time eloquence. You know how well he performed pinching life at its source. It was probable the duties of a citizen-you know that he never that he would soon be removed from the scene, courted your favor by adulation or the sacrifice and that his second would succeed to the com- of his own judgment. You have seen him conmand. He knew by experience the importance tending against you, and saving your dearest of that place—and he thought the sword of interests, as it were, in spite of yourselves. America might safely be confided to the hand And you now feel and enjoy the benefits resultwhich now lies cold in that coffin. Oh! my ing from the firm energy of his conduct. Bear fellow-citizens, remember this solemn testimo- this testimony to the memory of my departed nial that he was not ambitious. Yet he was friend. I charge you to protect his fame. It charged with ambition, and wounded by the is all he has left-all that these poor orphan imputation, when he laid down his command, children will inherit from their father. But, he declared, in the proud independence of his my countrymen, that fame may be a rich treasoul, that he never would accept of any office, sure to you also. Let it be the test by which unless in a foreign war he should be called on to to examine those who solicit your favor. Disexpose his life in defence of his country. This regarding professions, view their conduct, and determination was immovable. It was his fault on a doubtful occasion ask, Would Hamilton that his opinions and his resolutions could not have done this thing? be changed. Knowing his own firm purpose, You all know how he perished. On this last he was indignant at the charge that he sought scene I cannot, I must not dwell. It might exfor place or power. He was ambitious only cite emotions too strong for your better judgfor glory, but he was deeply solicitous for you. ment. Suffer not your indignation to lead to For himself he feared nothing; but he feared any act which might again offend the insulted that bad men might, by false professions, ac- majesty of the laws. On his part, as from his quire your confidence, and abuse it to your lips, though with my voice-for his voice you ruin,
will hear no more-let me entreat you to Brethren of the Cincinnati—there lies our respect yourselves. chief! Let him still be our model. Like him, And now, ye ministers of the everlasting after long and faithful public services, let us God, perform your holy office, and commit cheerfully perform the social duties of private these ashes of our departed brother to the life. Oh! he was mild and gentle. In him bosom of the grave.
ROBERT GOOD LOE HARPER.
Of those learned and eloquent men, who belonged to the Maryland bar, during the lattor portion of the last and the beginning of the present century, no one was more justly celebrated than General Harper. He was a native of Spottsylvania county, Virginia, where he was born in the year 1765. His parents removed, during his childhood, to Granville, in North Carolina. From this time until his appearance in the American service as a soldier in a troop of horse under General Greene, the record of his life is wanting. He was then but fifteen years old. At the age of twenty he entered the College of New Jersey, at Princeton, where, while perfecting his course, he acted as a tutor to some of the less advanced classes. In September, 1785, he received his first degree, choosing as the subject of his discourse, The Proper Objects of Education.*
Soon after leaving college he embarked for Charleston, South Carolina, and after experiencing a boisterous and stormy passage, arrived at that place, “a stranger, with only a few dollars in his possession." Through the kindness of a gentleman, of whose son he had been a teacher while at Princeton, he was enabled to enter upon the study of law. So rapid was his improvement that he commenced practice in a year, and with a view of obtaining a larger sphere for his professional operations, he removed to the interior of the State. Here he became distinguished as a powerful political writer, and at a later period, was elected to the legislature of the State. On his retirement from this office, he was delegated to the lower house of the United States Congress, in which body he gained the enviable distinction of being an “earnest supporter of the measures of Washington, and a devoted, fearless friend of his country.”
In the animated and protracted discussion which followed the publication of the Treaty of 1794, General Harper took a prominent part. During the winter of the next year he published an elaborate address to his constituents, giving his reasons for approving the measure. After pointing out its merits, and answering with ability the objections of its opponents, he concludes :—" Such are the reasons which have induced me to believe, that the treaty in question is proper and expedient. * * * * * * * * Whenever it comes before us I shall give my voice for its going fully into effect; convinced that it is consistent with the honor and conducive to the interest and happiness of my country; of that country among whose citizens and whose sons it is my boast and my pride to be numbered, and to which it is my highest ambition to be useful." +
In May, 1797, he published his Observations on the Dispute between the United States and France, and during the same month delivered a masterly speech on the necessity of resisting the encroachments of the latter nation. He continued in Congress during the three succeeding years, when, on the accession of President Jefferson, he retired for a time from public life; and, having married the daughter of Charles Carroll of Maryland, he removed to that State, and settled at Baltimore. Here he again commenced the practice of the law. His great professional qualifications were now brought into operation. In 1805, he was associated with Luther Martin
See New Jersey Gazette, of October 10th, 1785. + Select Works of Robert Goodloe Harper, vol. 1, page 41.
and Joseph Hopkinson, as counsel for Judge Chase, in the celebrated trial which resulted in the acquittal of that officer on all the charges in his impeachment.
In 1812, he was a member of the House of Representatives, from his adopted State. The following year he delivered the eulogistic speech in honor of the Russian victories, and soon after another similar oration on the Recent Triumphs of the Cause of Mankind in Germany.* About this time he held the rank of General, and distinguished himself honorably, in repelling the attack of the British on Baltimore.
In the colonization of Africa, he took an active interest. One of the reports of the Society formed for that object, which was prepared by him, contains an elaborate exposition of the merits of the system. He viewed the plan of colonization as the only method by which the mischiefs of slavery could be lessened, and cherished the hope, that the day would come when the scourge of slavery would no longer be felt in the land, when the rod of chastisement should be withdrawn, and all voices should join in the sung of freedom. “The alarming danger of cherishing in our bosom a distinct nation,” he says, " which can never become incorporated with us, while it rapidly increases in numbers, and improves in intelligence; learning from us the arts of peace and war, the secret of its own strength, and the talent of combining and directing its force; a nation which must ever be hostile to us, from feeling and interest, because it can never incorporate with us, nor participate in the advantages we enjoy; the danger of such a nation in our bosom needs not to be pointed out to any reflecting mind. It speaks not only to our understanding, but to our very senses; and however it may be derided by some, or overlooked by others, who have not the ability or the time, or do not give themselves the trouble, to reflect on and estimate properly the force and extent of those great moral and physical causes, which prepare gradually, and at length bring forth, the most terrible convulsions in civil society; it will not be viewed without deep and awful apprehensions by any who shall bring sound minds, and some share of political knowledge and sagacity, to the serious consideration of the subject. Such persons will give their most serious attention to any proposition which has for its object the eradication of this terrible mischief, lurking in our vitals." +
In 1824, Mr. Harper advocated, in a powerful speech, the connection of the waters of the Ohio and the Chesapeake, by a canal through the District of Columbia. This speech was soon after published, together with a reply to some of the objections of the opponents of the scheme. The welfare of his adopted city always won his earnest attention, and although actively employed in his professional duties, he became identified with every project of public utility which was devised to increase the power and prosperity of the State.
On the fourteenth of January, 1825, he died. “He dropped down dead," says Wirt, "and it is said by his physician, died probably before he reached the floor. He had no recent warning of the approach of death : on the contrary, he had been unusually well for some time past. On Thursday (the day previous to his decease), he was well in court, and made one of the best arguments he ever made in his life-an argument three hours long. I met him again in the afternoon, at a watchmaker's, and he told me that he did not experience the slightest inconvenience from his exertions in speaking in the morning, and that he never felt better. That night he was at a ball, and, I am told, was uncommonly gay and agreeable. On Friday morning he was again well, and had eaten his breakfast as usual, and was standing up before the fire, reading a newspaper, when death struck him, in the manner I have mentioned." I His death was deeply felt in the community in which he had lived, at the bar of which he was such a distinguished ornament; and the nation mourned one of its purest and most enlightened patriots.
* This speech was delivered at Annapolis, Maryland, on the 20th of January, 1814, and subsequently published.
+ Annual Report of the American Society for Colonizing the Free People of Color of the United States, 1823. North American Review, vol. 18, pago 62.
# Extract from a letter of William Wirt to his daughter, written two days after the death of General Harper.-Ion nedy's Life of Wirt, vol. 2, page 195.
$ See Washington National Journal of January 17th, 1825.