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Congress, reminding them that the real object in voting the troops was, to countenance the exertions of the Government of Massachusetts; that the silent co-operation of these military preparations under the orders of Congress had had a great and double effect, in animating the Government and awing the insurgents; that he hoped the late success of the former had given a deadly blow to the disturbances, yet that it would be premature, whilst a doubt could exist as to the critical fact, to withdraw the co-operating influence of the Federal measures. He ticularly and pathetically entreated Congress to consider that it was in agitation, and probably would be determined by the Legislature of Massachusetts, not only to bring to due punishment the more active and leading offenders, but to disarm and disfranchize, for a limited time, the great body of them; that for the policy of this measure he would not undertake to vouch, being sensible that there were great and illustrious examples against it; that his confidence, however, in the prudence of that Government, would not permit him to call their determinations into question; that what the effect of these rigors might be it was impossible to foresee. He dwelt much on the sympathy which they probably would excite in behalf of the stigmatized party; scarce a man was without a father, a brother, a friend, in the mass of the people; adding that, as a precaution against contingencies, it was the purpose
of the State to raise and station a small military force in the most suspected districts, and that forty thousand pounds, to be drawn from their impost on trade, had been appropriated accordingly;
that under these circumstances a new crisis more solemn than the late one might be brought on, and therefore to stop the Federal enlistments, and thereby withdraw the aid which had been held out, would give the greatest alarm imaginable to the Government and its friends, as it would look like a disapprobation and desertion of them; and, if viewed in that light by the disaffected, might rekindle the insurrection. He took notice of the possibility, to which every State in the Union was exposed, of being visited with similar calamities; in which event they would all be suing for support in the same strain now used by the Delegates from Massachusetts; that the indulgence now requested in behalf of that State might be granted without the least inconvenience to the United States, as their enlistments, without any countermanding orders, would not go on whilst those of the State were in competition; it being natural for men to prefer the latter service, in which they would stay at home, and be sure of their pay, to the former, in which they might, with little prospect of it, be sent to the Ohio to fight the Indians. He concluded with the most earnest
. entreaties, and the fullest confidence, that Congress would not, at so critical a moment, and without any necessity whatever, agree to the motion, assuring them that in three or four weeks, possibly in less time, he might himself be a friend to it, and would promote it.
Mr. PINCKNEY, in reply, contended, that if the measures pursuing by Massachusetts were such as had been stated, he did not think the United States bound to give them countenance. He thought them
impolitic, and not to be reconciled with the genius of free governments; and if fresh commotions should spring from them, that the State of Massachusetts alone should be at the charge, and abide by the consequences of their own misconduct.
Mr. MADISON would not examine whether the original views of Congress, in the enlargement of their military force, were proper or not; nor whether it were so, to mask their views with an ostensible preparation against the Indians.
He admitted, indeed, that it appeared rather difficult to reconcile an interference of Congress in the internal controversies of a State with the tenor of the Confederation, which does not authorize it expressly, and leaves to the States all powers not expressly delegated;-or with the principles of republican governments, which, as they rest on the sense of the majority, necessarily suppose power and right always to be on the same side. He observed, however, that in one point of our view military precautions on the part of Congress might have a different aspect. Whenever danger was apprehended from any foreign quarter, which, of necessity, extended itself to the Federal concerns, Congress were bound to guard against it, and although there might be no particular evidence in this case of such a meditated interference, yet there was sufficient ground for a general suspicion of readiness in Great Britain to take advantage of events in this country, to warrant precautions against her. But waving the question as to the original propriety of the measure adopted, and attending merely to the question whether at this moment the measure ought, from a change of
circumstances, to be rescinded, he was inclined to think it would be more advisable to suspend than to go instantly into the recision. The considerations which led to this opinion were
First. That though it appeared pretty certain that the main body of the insurgents had been dispersed, it was by no means certain that the spirit of insurrection was subdued. The leaders, too, of the insurgents had not been apprehended, and parties of them were still in arms in disaffected places.
Secondly. That great respect is due on such occasions to the wishes and representations of the suffering member of the Federal body, both of which must be judged of by what comes from her representatives on the floor. These tell us that the measures taken by Congress have given great satisfaction and spirits to their constituents, and have co-operated much in baffling the views of their internal enemies; that they are pursuing very critical precautions at this moment for their future safety and tranquillity; and that the construction which will be put on the proposed resolution, if agreed to by Congress, cannot fail to make very unhappy impressions, and may have very serious consequences. The propriety of these precautions depends on so many circumstances better known to the Government of Massachusetts than to Congress, that it would be premature in Congress to be governed by a disapprobation.
Thirdly. That every State ought to bear in mind the consequences of popular commotions, if not thoroughly subdued, on the tranquillity of the Union, and the possibility of being itself the scene of them. Every State ought, therefore, to submit
with cheerfulness to such indulgences to others as itself may, in a little time, be in need of. He had been a witness of the temper of his own State (Virginia) on this occasion. It was understood by the Legislature that the real object of the military preparations on foot was the disturbances in Massachusetts, and that very consideration inspired the ardor which voted, towards their quota, a tax on tobacco, which would not have been granted for scarce any other purpose whatever, being a tax operating very partially, in the opinion of the people of that State who cultivate that article; yet this class of the Legislature were almost unanimous in making the sacrifice, because the fund was considered as the most certain that could be provided.
Fourthly. That it was probable the enlistments, for the reasons given, would be suspended without an order from Congress; in which case the inconvenience suggested would be saved to the United States, and the wishes of Massachusetts satisfied at the same time.
Fifthly. That as no bounty was given for the troops, and they could be dismissed at any time, the objections drawn from the consideration of expense would have but little force.
Sixthly. That it was contended for a continuance of the apparent aid of Congress, for only three or four weeks, the members from Massachusetts themselves considering that as a sufficient time.
After the rejection of the motion, as stated on the Journal, a dispute arose whether the vote should be entered among the secret or public proceedings. Mr. PINCKNEY insisted that, in the former case, his view,