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ners at Washington. Let the American people receive this as an undoubted truth, which experience will verify. Whoever plants the American standard on the walls of Quebec, conquers it for himself, and not for the people of these United States. Whoever lives to see that event-may my head be low in the dust, before it happen!—will witness a dynasty established in that country by the sword. He will see a king, or an emperor, dukedoms, and earldoms, and baronies, distributed to the officers; and knights' fees, bestowed on the soldiery. And such an army will not trouble itself about geographical lines, in portioning out the divisions of its new empire, and will run the parallels of its power by other steel than that of the compass. When that event happens the people of New England, if they mean to be free, must have a force equal to defend themselves against such an army. And a military force, equal to this object, will itself be able to enslave the country.
Mr. Speaker, when I contemplate the character and consequences of this invasion of Canada, when I reflect upon its criminality, and its danger to the peace and liberty of this once happy country, I thank the great author and source of all virtue, that through his grace, that section of country in which I have the bappiness to reside, is in so great a degree, free from the iniquity of this transgression. I speak it with pride, the people of that section have done what they could, to vindicate themselves and their children, from the burden of this sin. That whole section has risen, almost as one man, for the purpose of driving from power by one great constitutional effort, the guilty authors of this war. If they have failed, it has been, not through the want of will or of exertion, but in consequence of the weakness of their political power. When in the usual course of divine providence, who punishes nations as well as individuals, his destroying angel shall, on this account, pass over this country; and sooner or later, pass it will; I may be permitted
to hope, that over New England his hand will be stayed. Our souls are not steeped in the blood which has been shed in this war. The spirits of the unhappy men, who have been sent to an untimely audit, have borne to the bar of divine justice no accusations against us.
This opinion, concerning the principle of this invasion of Canada, is not peculiar to me. Multitudes, who approve the war, detest it. I believe this sentiment is entertained, without distinction of parties, by almost all the moral sense, and nine tenths of the intelligence of the whole northern section of the United States. I know that men from that quarter of the country, will tell you differently. Stories of a very different kind are brought by all those, who come trooping to Washington for place, appointments and emoluments; men, who will say any thing to please the ear, or do any thing to please the eye of Majesty, for the sake of those fat contracts and gifts which it scatters; men, whose fathers, brothers and cousins are provided for by the departments; whose full grown children are at suck at the money distilling breasts of the treasury; the little men, who sigh after great offices; those, who have judgeships in hand, or judgeships in promise; toads that live upon the vapor of the palace; that swallow great men's spittle at the levees; that stare and wonder, at all the fine sights, which they see there; and most of all, wonder at themselves—how they got there to see them. These men will tell you, that New England applauds this invasion.
But, Mr. Speaker, look at the elections. What is the language they speak? The present tenant of the chief magistracy rejected, by that whole section of country, with the exception of a single state, unanimously. And for whom? In favor of a man out of the circle of his own state, without much influence, and personally almost unknown. In favor of a man, against whom the prevailing influences, in New Eng
land, had previously strong political prejudices; and with whom, at the time of giving him their support, they had no political understanding; in favor of a man, whose merits, whatever in other respects they might be, were brought into notice, in the first instance, chiefly, so far as that election was concerned, by their opinion of the utter want of merit of the man, whose re-election they opposed.
Among the causes of that universal disgust, which pervaded all New England, at the administration and its supporters, was the general dislike and contempt of this invasion of Canada. I have taken some pains to learn the sentiments, which prevail on this subject, in New England, and particularly among its yeomanry; the pride and the 'hope of that country. I have conversed with men, resting on their spades and leaning on the handles of their ploughs, while they relaxed for a moment from the labor, by which they support their families, and which gives such a hardihood and character to their virtues. They asked,
6 What do we want of Canada ? We have land enough. Do we want plunder? There is not enough of that, to pay cost of getting it. Are our ocean rights there? Or is it there our seamen are held in captivity ? states desired? We have plenty of those already? Are they to be held as conquered territories? This will require an army there, then to be safe, we must have an army here. And, with a standing army, what security for our liberties?"
These are no fictitious reasonings. They are the suggestions, I doubt not of thousands and tens of thousands of our hardy New England yeomanry; men, who, when their country calls, at any wise and real exigency, will start from their native soils and throw their shields over their liberties, like the soldiers of Cadmus,“ armed in complete steel;" yet men, who have heard the winding of your horn to the Canada campaign, with the same apathy and indifference, with
which they would hear in the streets, the trilling of a jews-harp or the twirring of a bandjoe.
The plain truth is, that the people of New England have no desire for Canada. Their moral sentiment does not justify, and they will not countenance its invasion. I have thus stated the grounds, on which they deem, and I have felt myself bound to maintain, that this contemplated invasion of that territory, is, as it respects the Canadians, wanton and cruel; because it inflicts the greatest imaginable evils on them, without any imaginable benefit to us; that, as it respects the United States, such an invasion is senseless, because ultimately ruinous to our own political safety; and wicked, because it is an abuse of the blessings of Divine Providence, and a manifest perversion of his multiplied bounties, to the purpose of desolating an innocent and unoffending people.
I shall now proceed to the next view, I proposed to take of this project of invading Canada, and consider it in the light of a means to obtain an early and honorable peace. It is said, and this is the whole argument in favor of this invasion, in this aspect, that the only way to negociate successfully with Great Britain, is to appeal to her fears, and raise her terrors for the fate of her colonies. I shall here say nothing concerning the difficulties of executing this scheme; nor about the possibility of a deficiency both in men and money. I will not dwell on the disgust of all New England; nor on the influence of this disgust, with respect to your efforts. I will admit, for the present, that an army may be raised, and that during the first years it may be supported by loans, and that afterwards it will support itself by bayonets. I will admit further, for the sake of argument, that success is possible, and that Great Britain realizes the practicability of it. Now all this being admitted, I maintain that the surest of all possible ways to defeat any hope from negociation, is the threat of such an invasion, and an active preparation to execute it. Those must be very
young politicians, their pinfeathers not yet grown, and however they may flutter on this floor, they are not yet fledged for any high or distant flight, who think that threats and appealing to fear are
the ways of producing a disposition to negociate in Great Britain, or in any other nation, which understands what it owes to its own safety and honor. No nation can yield to threat what it might yield to a sense of interest; because, in that case, it has no credit for what it grants, and what is more, loses something in point of reputation, from the imbecility which concessions made under such circumstances indicate. Of all nations in the world, Great Britain is the last to yield to considerations of fear and terror. The whole history of the British nation is one tissue of facts, tending to show the spirit with which she meets all attempts to bully and browbeat her into measures inconsistent with her interests or her policy. No nation ever before made such sacrifices of the present to the future. No nation ever built her greatness more systematically on the principle of a haughty self-respect, which yields nothing to suggestions of danger, and which never permits, either her ability or inclination to maintain her rights, to be suspected. In all negociations, therefore, with that power, it may be taken as a certain truth, that your chance of failure is just in proportion to the publicity and obtrusiveness of threats and appeals to fear.
The American cabinet understand all this very well, , although this House may not. Their policy is founded upon it. The project of this bill is to put, at a still further distance, the chance of amicable arrangement, in consequence of the dispositions which the threat of invasion of their colonies, and attempt to execute it, will excite in the British nation and ministry. I have some claim to speak concerning the policy of the men who constitute the American cabinet. For eight years I have studied their history, characters and interests. I know no reasons why I should judge them