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the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude .which I owe to my beloved country, for the many honours it has conferred upon me; still more for the stedfast confidence with which it has supported me; and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered, to our praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that, under circumstances, in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious—vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging-in situations, in which, not unfrequently, want of success has countenanced the spirit or criticism the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans, by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows, that Heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and brotherly af. fection may be perpetual; that the free constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained ; that its administration, in every department, may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these states, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete, by so careful a preservation, and so prudent a use of this blessing, as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption, of erery nation which is yet a stranger to it.
7. Here, perhaps, I ought so stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments, which are the result of much reflectien, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only feel in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former, and not dissimilar, occasion.
8. Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.
9. The unity of government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence; the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that, from different causes, and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth"; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union, to your collective and individual happiness ; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immoveable attachment to it; accustening yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safely and
prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest, even to a suspicion that it can, in any event, be abandoned ; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfee ble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.
10. For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have, in a common cause, fought and triumphed together; the Independence and Liberty you possess are the work of joint councils, and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.
11. But these considerations, however powerful they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.
12. The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds in the production of the latter, great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprize, and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefitting by the agency of the North, sees its agrichannels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invi. gorated-and while it contributes, different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength, to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already, and in the progressive improvement of interiour communications, by land and water, will more and more find a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort ; and what is, perhaps, of still
. greater consequence, it must, of necessity, owe the secure enjoyment of indispersible outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural con nexion with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.
13. While, then, every part of our country thus feels the immediate and particular interest in Union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts, greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and what is of inestimable value, they derive from. Union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighbouring countries, not tied together by the same government; which their own rivalship alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues, would stimulate and embitter. Hence, like wisc, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establish
ments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty. In this sense it is, that your Union ought to be considered as the main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other. 14. These considerations speak a persuasive language to every
reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union, as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt, whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To linten to mere speculation, in such a case, were criminal. We are anthorized to hope, that a proper organization of the whole, with the auxiliały agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a li appy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to Union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its inpracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those, who, in any quarter, may endeavour to weaken its bands.
15. In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs, * matter of serious concern, that any ground should have been furnished Gir characterizing parts by Geographical discriminations: Northern and siouthern-Atlantic and Western ; whence designing men may endeavour 10 excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and siews. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence, within parlicular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartfurnings, which spring from those misrepresentations : they tend to render clien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.. The inhabitants of our western country have lately had a usesul lesson on this head : they have seen, in the negotiation by the ExecuLive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the treaty with pain, and the universal satisfaction at that event throughout the United States—a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the general government, and in the Atlantic States, unfriendly to their interests in regard to the MISSISSIPPI : they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Eritain, and that with Spain, wliich secure to them every thing they could desire, in respect to foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the Union, by which they were procured? Will they not, henceforth, be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren, and connect them with aliens ?
16. To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensible. No alliances, however strict, between the parts, can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances, in all times, have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a Constitution of Government better calculated than your former for an intimate Union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This Government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation, and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and com within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to you. tha fidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make, and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But, the Constitution, which, at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish Government, presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.
17. All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, controul, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force-to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small, but artful and enterprizing, minority of the community ; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the illconcerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans, digested by common councils, and modified by mutual interests.
18. However combinations, or associations of the above description, may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subyert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion..
19. Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist, with care, the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the form of the constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrowni. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments, as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitutions of a country that facility in changes upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion ; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigour as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty, is indispensible. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprizes of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.
20. I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the etate, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical dis
Let me now take a comprehensive view, and warn you,
in the most solema manner against the most baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally
19. This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controuled, or repressed: but in those of the popular form, it is seen in greatest rankness ; and it is truly their worst enemy.
20. The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissention, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism-But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security, and repose in the absolute powe er of an individual : and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of
his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty. 21. Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight) the common and continual mischiess of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
22. It serves always to distract the public Councils, and enfeeble the public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill founded jealausies and false alarms: kindles the animosity of one part against another, fonents occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreigo influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the govern. ment itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
23. There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks pon the administration of Government, and serve to keep alive the spi. lit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true : and in GoVernments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, į not with favour upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular aracter, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encoura jed. From their natural tendency it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
24. It is important likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country, should inspire caution in those intrusted with its administration, to conline themselves within their respective constitutional sphercs, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necesssity of reciprocal power; by dividing and distributing into different depositories, and constituting each the Guardian of the Public Weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern ; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the peos.