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H. of R.)
Ardent Spirits in the Nary.
(FEB. 25, 1830.
that there were many abuses connected with the institu- tions would evaporate, and the adoption of these regula. tion; but, as the resolution ought not to be hastily acted tions would not be attended with any practical results. No on, he moved to lay it on the table, and print it; which mo- one in the service was now obliged to drink ardent spirits, tion was agreed to.
and he thought its discontinuance could not be enforced
with advantage. ARDENT SPIRITS IN THE NAVY.
Mr. WICKLIFFE said, he did not believe that any pracMr. CONDICT offered the following resolutions: tical results would be derived from the adoption of this re
1. Resolved, that the Committee on Naval Affairs be solution. He did not like the introduction of such topics instrueted to inquire into the expediency of inducing the into this Hall; and, when he said so, he did not intend any seamen and marines in the navy of the United States, disrespect to the gentleman who moved the resolution. voluntarily to discontinue the use of ardent spirits, or vinous He knew (he said) that temperance societies of ladies and or fermented liquors, by substituting for it double its gentlemen had been established throughout the country, value in other necessaries and comforts whilst in service, and he did not doubt the benevolence of their efforts to or in money payable at the expiration of the service. prevent the use of ardent spirits. He objected to them
2. Resolved, also, As a further inducement to sobriety for one reason only. What (he asked] would the future and orderly deportment in the navy, as well as with a view historian of this country have to say when he should be to preserve the lives and morals of the seamen and marines, called upon to write the history of the events of the early that said committee be instructed to inquire into the ex- part of the nineteenth century? Will he not describe us pediency of allowing some additional bounty, in money or as a nation of drunkards? That historian would say, to clothing, or both, to be paid to every seaman and marine, such an extent had this vice been carried, that ladies format the expiration of his service, who shall produce from ed themselves into societies for the promotion of tempe. his commanding officer a certificate of total abstinence rance, and for the suppression of the vice of drunkenness. from ardent spirits, and of orderly behavior, during the He hoped that to such a description of the state of our soterm of his engagement.
ciety, erroneous in point of fact, Congress would not give 3. Resolved, also, That the said committee inquire and its false sanction by legislating on this subject, and espe. report whether or not the public service, as well as the cially when no practical benefit can arise from the adophealth, morals, and honor of the naval officers would be tion of this resolution. promoted by holding out to the midshipmen and junior offi. Mr. W. moved to lay the resolution on the table, but cers some further inducements and incentives to abstinence subsequently withdrew it at the request of from all intoxicating liquors.
Mr. DRAYTON, who said the gentleman from New Mr. CONDICT remarked that this subject had been York (Mr. HOFFMAN) is opposed to the resolution, because already referred to the Committee on Military Affairs, but he thinks what it seeks for cannot be accomplished. He they, under the impression that it was not within their pro- says, that in the Naval Committee ihe subject has been vince to report with respect to the navy, merely reported more than once considered, and that no practical mode ocwith respect to the army. They made a favorable report curred to its members, hy which they could put a stop to in regard to the army; and it was because they declined intemperance in the navy or marine corps; that he deplorreporting on the other branch of the service, that he of- ed its existence as productive of the most injurious consefered this resolution to refer the inquiry to the Committee quences, and would gladly eradicate it, if it were in his on Naval Affairs.
power to do so. He added, that whiskey, in moderate Mr. HOFFMAN said that no man could rejoice more quantity, was not prejudicial; that it was sometimes nethan he would if the use of ardent spirits were discontinu- cessary to the health and vigor of the seamen; that it ought ed in the navy of the United States; nor was any man more not, therefore, to be altogether interdicted; and that he convinced than he was of its injurious effects. But this placed no relance in legislation as a remedy for the evil ought to be left to the discretion of individuals, for he bc- complained of. The surgeons and the officers in the army lieved that no regulations would effect the object which and the navy tell us, as will be seen by documents which the honorable mover of the resolution has in view. The have been laid upon our tables, that ardent spirits never resolution, it appears, deems whiskey that vulgar, demo- contribute to the health or permanent comfort of the sailor cratic drink which Captain Basil Hall so strenuously con- or the soldier; and that the intemperate use of them, in a demned.
Mr. H. said, that when the people could pro- greater degree than all other causes combined, occasions cure good wine, although it is not so strong a drink, yet crimes, insubordination, punishments, diseases, and deaths. they would not ask for whiskey. With all our anxiety, it Admitting, then, that a small quantity of strong liquor is would be found that any regulations we can introduce not injurious, as it is not beneficial, no reasons exist for will be impracticable. The matter should be left optional drinking it. But it cannot have escaped our observation, with the officers and sailors themsclves; and the example that its habitual consumption, even in moderation, too fre. set to them by our people, and the judgment of the coun- quently excites a desire for more, and gradually leads to try, will be more effectual than any regulations we can the grossest excess. Much as I deprecate the baleful conadopt. It may be expedient (said Mr. H.] to make our sequences of drunken debauchery, I entirely concur with sailors cold water drinkers. He did not think so. He the gentleman from New York, in the impolicy of endeafeared it woull have the effect of reducing their efficiency, voring to correct it by a prohibitory law, which might raise of impairing the courage, the generosity, and bravery, and a spirit of discontent, counteracting the object of the law. all the other qualifications incidental to the character of I am opposed to sudden and violent innovations. our navy. If by the resolution it is intended to dispense mation must commence with the delinquent himself. If, entirely with the use of ardent spirits in our navy, the object by appealing to the moral sense of the sailor, by diminishwould not, in his opinion, be obtained. If any gentleman ing the temptations to which he is exposed, by increasing will point out some practical scheme whereby to do away his comforts, and adding to his pecuniary stipend, an inwith this practice-because some practical measure will pression can be made upon him, hopes may be entertain. be necessary--he would willingly give it his support. He led that the impression will be durable. Those powerful called on any gentleman to point out a practical scheme. inducements to human action, self-respect and interest, He felt indebted to the humanity of the gentlemen who may thus be brought to operate upon him. And this course, brought this subject under consideration; but he repeated according to the language of the resolution of the gentlethat he wanted them to send to the committee some prac- man from New Jersey, (Mr. Condict] is all that is requirtical scheme to effect their object, which the committee ed from this House. That from it beneficial effects may could report; otherwise, all their good and humane inten- be calculated upon, has been demonstrated by several in
FEB. 25, 1830. ]
(H. of R.
stances, in which it has proved successful in the army, in Indian tribes within their limits, will unavoidably be drawn the navy, and in our merchant ships.
into the debate. The questions, whether these laws conThe gentleman from Kentucky, (Mr. WICKLIFFE] is ad- Alict with the existing treaties of the United States with verse to the resolution, because he conceives it to have these tribes? with any of the admitted rights of the Inoriginated in temperance societies, or similar associations, dians or of the United States? These are grave questions, from which have issued numerous memorials and petitions which we must decide. These laws, therefore, ought, in of a certain cast, with which our tables have been fre-his opinion, to be published; and, unless they are, he quently covered. Sir, no one condemns more than I do would ask, how are the people to judge whether the imthe language and the spirit of many of the papers to which pressions they have already received are correct? When the gentleman alludes. I can assure him, that the only we send out the commentary on these laws, why not also persons with whom I have had any communication relat. send out the laws themselves, so that the public may be ing to the subject before us, are physicians in the army and enabled to decide whether the commentary is sustained by navy and military officers. But wcre it otherwise--were the text. Entertaining these views, he moved that the this resolution pressed upon us by visionaries and theo- laws of Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi, extending their rists, pushing their abstract notions of morality and bene- jurisdiction over the Indian tribes within their territorial volence to fanatical or ridiculous extremes, if it contained limits, be printed, and appended to the report of the Comsuggestions useful and practical, I would listen to them. mittee on Indian Affairs. Whether we shall be enabled, by any means which we can Mr. LUMPKIN said that the proposition of the gentledevise, to effect what is contemplated by the resolution, 1 man from Ohio appeared to him to be one of an extraorwill not undertake to determine. It is our duty to make dinary character. A standing committee of this House the effort. If we fail, we shall have the consolation of re.makes a report on a subject according to their views of it; Hecting, that we have attempted to check the progress of and, after having presented it, and the House bas ordered a vice which renders its victims not only useless and dis- it to be printed, a gentleman gets up in his place, and gusting, but a burden upon society. If we succeed, proposes that certain information, which he supposes is though success may be only partial, we shall improve the required, should be added to it. For my own part (said intellectual, and moral, and physical condition of our army Mr. L.] I have no objection to the laws referred to, being and our navy. I trust, therefore, that the resolution will distributed through every hamlet, town, and county in the be adopted, and that an opportunity will be afforded for United States; nor do I care how they are distributed; but making an experiment, by which much may be gained, I cannot consent that they shall be appended to a report and from which no possible injury can result.
of a standing committee of this House. There would be Mr. HOFFMAN rose to reply, but the expiration of the no impropriety in a motion to print these laws; but, to hour cut short the debate.
move that they should be printed as an appendage to a
report, is, in my opinion, rather an extraordinary idea. INDIAN AFFAIRS.
The gentleman, with equal propriety, miglit move to print The rule having been suspended,
and attach to this report the laws of New York, MassachuMr. VINTON moved the following order:
setts, &c. relating to the Indian tribes. We are not unwilOrdered, That a law of the State of Georgia, and a law ling to publish these laws, but we object to have a report of the State of Alabama, and Mississippi, to extend the of a committee of this House encumbered with them. We jurisdiction of those States over the Indian tribes within have had presented to us so many memorials on this subtheir respective territorial limits, be printed, and appended ject, with references to books of history, &c., that it would to the report of the Committee on Indian Affairs, directed be impossible to append them all to the report, without yesterday to be printed.
rendering it too voluminous. The committee have, thereMr. VINTON said, that he wished, yesterday, when the fore, exercised their judgment in making selections from question on printing an additional number of copies of the the whole. report of the Committee on Indian Affairs was under con. Mr. GOODENOW said, he did not rise to enter into the sideration, to make an inquiry of the chairman of that debate, but merely to make a few remarks with regard committee, but it was decided by the Chair that such an into the propriety of adopting the motion made by his colquiry was not then in order. The object he had then in Icague, (Mr. Vixton) whose suggestion, that peradlvenview, was to ascertain whether the laws of the States of ture the committee inay not have made fair inferences Georgia and Alabama, extending the jurisdiction of those from the laws of the States, by them quoted or referred States over the Indian tribes residing within their limits, to, and therefore we ought to append to their report were appended to the report of the committee. Having those laws, tends to cast suspicion upon the committee since learned that they were not, he said that he had now and their report, and weakens its effect. To adopt this risen to move that these laws be printed, and appended to it. motion, would be setting a precedent, improvident, to say It was yesterday said that wrong impressions had obtained the least of it. When a respectable standing committee of in the community; that much misrepresentation had gone this louse make a report upon a subject referred to them, abroad in reference to the intentions of Georgia towards and illustrate their views by refer ences or extracts from the Indian tribes within her territory; but as he had not the laws of the States or of the Union, why suspect their seen the laws of that State relating to this subject, he was integrity, or their commentaries, at the threshold, before unable to form any opinion whether these impressions are any examination of that report is made--before an inaccucorrect or not. It is ( said Mr. V.] a fair presumption that rate quotation is detected--before any erroneous conclu. the State of Georgia intends to execute her laws, what. sion or inference is exposed? We refer matters submitted ever they may be, bearing on this matter; and perhaps it to the decision of this House to a committee always supwould be unfair to presume that she intends to do any posed to be in favor of the subject referred, who are exthing more than execute them. For the purpose of cor- pected to present in their report a fair, and, usually, the recting the erroneous impressions which, it is said, have most favorable view of it; and, without knowing whether gone abroad, and to arrest the progress of the alleged mis- they have honestly and ingenuously examined, and made representations, he voted to print an extra number of co. a full and impartial exposition of it, why should we cenpies of the report of the committee, to be clistributed sure them, hy tacking to their report that which they did amongst the people, so as to give them correct information not consider necessary to accompany it? The opposition on the subject. When the bill for the removal of the In- to the report, in its present form, seems to rest on the dians shall come up for discussion, the character of the suggestion that perhaps the laws, sought now to be incorlaws of these States, extending their jurisdiction over the porated at large in the printing of the report, may be
H. of R.]
FEB. 25, 1830.
inaccurately quoted, or an unfair exposition thereof may " That the Clerk of the House be ordered to have have been made. When the gentleman shall have detect- printed the laws of the several States, extending and cre. ed any misquotation, or error in commentary, then will ating jurisdiction over the several Indian tribes within their the time come for the House to act upon his proposition. limits.” I hope my colleague will see, on reflection, that it would Mr. VINTON said, it was not his object or desire to be setting a bad precedent, to say, by a solemn act of the conceal from the House, or the people, any information House, before any inaccuracy or error be detected in a that might exist in relation to this subject. He was willing report of a respectable committee, lest it may contain an to modify his resolution so as to include the laws of all the erroneous commentary, the original text shall be publish States referred to, if gentlemen so pleased. I have had ed, and appended to it. I wish the report to go to the said Mr. V.) no opportunity of seeing the laws of Alaba. world as the committee have given it to us, unincumbered ma and Georgia; and shall I be, under sich circumstances, by any extraneous matter; and I do hope, on further re- compelled to decide on this subject without ever having flection, my colleague (Mr. Vixton) will perceive the im- seen the laws relating to it? In my opinion, this informapropriety of urging his motion.
tion is required, not only by the people of this country, Mr. FOSTER, of Georgia, said he did not intend to but by this House, for a fair and full examination of the complain of the resolution proposed. He must, however, subject; and when I say that, without it, the report is be permitted to say, it was one of a very extraordinary incomplete and imperfect, I do not mean to cast any recharacter. He would venture to say, that, if the journals flections on the committee. In order to judge of the report of this House, from the organization of this Government correctly, we must read the laws upon which the report down to the present day, were searched, a proposition to is founded; and when I have had an opportunity to do so, print the laws of a particular State, for the information of for one, I will endeavor to form a just and impartial opinion the people at large, could not be found. The House fre of their true character. I am willing, therefore, to accept quently, and for the use of its own members, on particu- the modification of the gentleman from Georgia, (Mr. Fos. lar occasions, order the printing of a State law; but to TER) and I hope he will withdraw that part of his motion publish them for general information, is unprecedented. which proposes to lay the whole upon the table. Mr. V. But, (said Mr. F.] what is the reason assigned for the said he wished to have all the information which can be passage of this resolution? It is, that the people at large procured in relation to this question laid before the House may be correctly informed as to the provisions of the laws and the country. which are to operate on the Indians. Now, sir, what ob. Mr. WILDE said, he would not oppose printing any ject is to be thus attained? What effect can the particular document wanted for the information of the House: it provisions of those laws have on the question of the right could hardly be requisite, however, for that purpose, to of jurisdiction? If the States have the riglıt to extend the print ten thousand copies of the laws in question. They operation of their laws over the Indians within their limits, had long since been published in the gazettes of the States the General Government cannot interfere, even if those which passed them, and copied into other newspapers laws be of the most cruel and sanguinary character. On throughout the Union. If they were now wanted for the the contrary, if they have not the right, they could not use of the members of Congress, the usual number would acquire it by the enactment of laws the most mild and be- be sufficient. But if information of this description was nignant. He did not intend, at present, to go into an ex- required, it occurred to him that a liberal curiosity would amination of this right--that would more properly present not be satisfied by looking into the laws of two, three, or four itself on a future occasion. He wished now merely to im- States only. He trusted it would extend itself to the acts press upon the House that the tendency of this resolution of every State and every provincial assembly which had was to involve us in a discussion as to the character of legislated for the Indians. Much interesting matter might State laws, the internal regulations of a State--a matter thus be embodied, very satisfactory to the curious in legisla, with which Congress cannot interfere.
tion. An opportunity would be afforded for philosophical But, if gentlemen are determined to publish the laws reflection on the polity of different communities, and vaof Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, for the purpose of rious stages of society. He must be allowed, however, informing the public at large of their provisions, Mr. F. to express a doubt whether any errors in public opinion insisted on attaching to them the laws of all the other would be corrected, the harmony of the House increased, States which have extended the operation of their laws for the dispassionate consideration of Indian Affairs proover the Indians within their limits. If those three States moted, by singling out a few laws from a few States, to be are to be put on trial before the country, let others, simi- dispersed over the country in the form of an appendis to larly situated, be brought to the same tribunal. Let them the report of our committee. If injustice had been done undergo a general inspection; place the different statutes to the Indians any where, by State Legislatures, and we of each side by side, and let the public have an opportn-are competent to its redress, let the inquiry be co-exten nity of judging impartially between them. For this pur- sive with the evil. Why not embrace all states and all pose, Mr. F. Lad prepared a substitute for the resolution Indians? If our interference is proper in one instance, is of the gentleman from Ohio, (Mr. Viston] which he would it not equally proper in the rest? But, in any event, it presently send to the Chair. But he protested against could be necessary, in his view of the subject, to print having these laws attached to the report of the Committee only what was required for our own information; all be. on Indian Affairs. The printing of that report had already yond that would be sheer waste. He therefore moved to been ordered, and he wished to have it before the public strike out so much of the resolution as proposed to print as soon as possible; but if these laws are to accompany it, an extra number of copies to be appended to the report, considerable delay must be produced. He hoped, there and offered an amendment, which he hoped his colleague fore, that, if the House determined to publish these laws at would accept as a substitute - And, also, so much of the all, it would accept of his substitute, and print them sepa- laws of the several States as relates to the Indians within rately from the report. For himself, (said Mr. F.] he their limits.” would candidly add, that, even should the substitute be Mr. HUNTINGTON said that the gentleman from received, he should ultimately vote against its passage, Georgia, (Mr. WILDE) with his usual candor, had admitted conceiving it not only unnecessary, but improper, for úis that no objection to the printing of these laws could be House to undertake to publish the laws of the states for the made, if they were necessuy to enable the House to de information of the public.
cide correctly on the bill accompanying the report, but Mr. FOSTER then submitted the following, as a sub- that they ought not to be appended to the report; for, if stitute for the resolution of Mr. VINTON:
they were needed at all, it was only for the use of the
FEB. 26, 1830.]
Ardent Spirits in the Navy.
[II, of R.
House. If this be so, why was the printing of an extra drunkenness prevailed in a great extent in the navy, is exnumber of copies of the report deemed expedient? Ten tremely incorrect. The case is not so. He was not an thousand copies, surely, were not necessary for the House advocate of drinking ardent spirits in any form; but he merely. Was not this printing ordered on the motion of was opposed to the interference of the Legislature on this a gentleman from Pennsylvania, (Mr. Buchanan) who subject; he was opposed to the proposition to commute urged as a reason for it that erroneous impressions existed the wages of seamen, if they will not drink their rations in many parts of the country in relation to the subject em- of ardent spirits. This is a matter he would leave to their braced in the report; and that the people ought to be put own discretion; for, in attempting to devise measures nein possession of a document by which these supposed mis- cessary to effect this object, we must consult the habits conceptions and erroneous impressions could be correct. and dispositions of the people for whom these measures ed? Now, sir, I do not admit that these impressions are are intended. All men are the best judges of their own erroneous; that the feeling and excitement which exist, in concerns: sometimes we commit mistakes; but if we are regard to this subject, are without cause. I say nothing wrong in judging for ourselves, we may be wrong in judgnow on that point; but if it be so, and this report will ing for others. The seamen and marines of the United tend to remove errors and allay feeling, and an extra States' navy can judge as well for themselves as the Legisnumber of copies of it has been ordered to be printed to lature. These regulations may be adapted to the army, effect this object, surely the laws referred to in the reso- who are always supplied with good fresh water, and have lution of my friend from Ohio (Mr. Vinton) ought to ac- no necessity for the vulgar, democratic whiskey; but it company the report; for they, among other things, have was different with respect to the navy. He had no obtended to produce the state of feeling and of public senti-jection to stopping the use of ardent spirits in the army, ment, in some parts of the country, to which allusion has as it would, in his opinion, prevent desertions. Mr. H. been made. And if it be important that the report be ex- said, the officers, seamen, and marines of the navy would, tensively circulated, for the purposes suggested, is it not if left to themselves, follow the example set to them by as important that the laws which are connected with the the country. subject of that report should have an equally extended Mr. REED said, if it was right for this House to legis. circulation? Ought they not both to go forth together to late with respect to the navy, and to prescribe rules for it, the people of this country? I submit, therefore, whether it is certainly equally right to legislate on this subject. it be entirely consistent to vote for the printing of a large Dealing out spirits in the
navy in small quantities tends to number of the report, for the reasons which were urged in disqualify men for their duty, and is a direct way to make support of it, and to vote against printing an equal number them drunkards. Mr. B. referred to the temperance so. of the laws to accompany it, which are supposed to have cieties which had been introduced into the debate, and an important connexion with the subject of that report. said they contributed much to the improvement of the
Mr. H. said, he would make another suggestion. Would state of our society; manifestly so, to the great joy of all it not be as well for the State of Georgia, of which the bo- sober men. He had no hesitation in saying he attributed norable gentleman is so able a representative; indeed, this improvement to the temperance societies established should she not desire that these laws should accompany in the country. He had no doubt that the adoption of this the report, if, as is claimed, they afford no pretext for the resolution would have good effects on the navy. It has representations which have been made in various memo- been stated by the chairman of the Committee on Milirials presented to us, on the subject of the Indians within tary Affairs, (Mr. DrayToN] that it has produced benefiher limits? The honorable member is surely not unwil. cial effects in the army. why she asked] would it not be ling that the people should judge for themselves; and, if attended with similar effects in the navy? Mr. R. hoped these laws are of a nature which ought not to occasion the resolution would be adopted. any fears lest the rights of the Indians should be invaded, is Mr. RICHARDSON said, he should be unfaithful to the he unwilling that the people should be possessed of them? principles by whici he professed to be governed in this
The amendment proposes the printing of such of the House, and in all other places, if he gave not his voice in laws of the other States of the Union within whose limits support of the resolutions under consideration. The exIndian tribes exist, as extend or relate to the jurisdiction isting law (said Mr. R.) provides that each seaman and of such States over those tribes. I interpose no objection marine shall be supplied daily with rations of ardent spi. to this amendment, if they are appended to the report; rits. However temperate their habits, or disinclined by their though there seems to be a peculiar propriety in printing taste or early education to the use of ardent spirits, the those referred to in the original resolution, as the Indian law holds out to them a strong inducement to become intribes within those States are those to which our attention temperate. It is too well known to be doubted, that the has been particularly called, in the message of the Presi- constant use of the quantity of spirits allowed by the law, dent, and which the report of the Committee on Indian must necessarily form a strong propensity to excess. The Affairs embraces. I hope, therefore, the honorable mem- best judges of this matter agree that the use of ardent ber from Georgia will consent to modify his amendment, spirits gives neither vigor to the body, nor courage, nor so as to provide for the annexation of the laws named in it any other valuable property to the mind. It is said that to the report; and let them all go forth to the people at men are not compelled to the use of spirits. But, sir, it one and the same time, and in one and the same document. is provided for them by law, and by law measured out to
On motion of Mr. HOFFMAN, the resolution and them. If they reject it, they sustain so much loss. They amendment were laid on the table.--Yeas, 94—nays, 42. are not permitted to substitute for it articles of real use or
The ilouse then went again into Committee of the Whole necessity. Thus intemperance is virtually imposed on on the Judiciary bill, when Mr. SPENCER concluded them by public authority. And what do the resolutions the remarks which he commenced on a former day propose? They do not propose to deny to any the use of against the bill, and in favor of his amendment. The com- ardent spirits; but they propose to the seamen and mamittee then rose.
rines an inducement to abstain from the use of them. They
offer to them the option of having, instead of their rations FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1830.
in spirits, articles that may conduce to their comfort; or
double the amount of their rations, to procure bread for ARDENT SPIRITS IN THE NAVY.
their wives and children, or to provide for the seasons of The House resumed the consideration of the resolutions sickness and old age. Sir, (said Mr. R.) I thank the genmoved by Mr. CONDICT yesterday.
tleman (Mr. Condict] who offered these resolutions. Mr. HOFFMAN said, the supposition of gentlemen, that They do him honor as a friend to his country.
H. of R.)
Ardent Spirits in the Nary.
[FEB. 26, 1930.
I thank the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. believed and felt. We have it, too, from the highest in Draytoy) for the able remarks he made yesterday in sup- authority—from the honorable Secretary, and the officers port of them.
They furnish lessons friendly to public in the naval service. A very intelligent lieutenant of the virtue. The existing law cannot be defended. With navy recently informed me that a great proportion, I think one hand it holds out to those engaged in the public ser- he said eight-tenths, of the whipping on board of our na. vice a constant and strong inducement to intemperance; tional ships was made necessary by intemperance. He and, on the other hand, the penalties of disgrace and death said it was a monstrous evil; and who would doubt it, if it for crimes to which intemperance leads. Intemperance caused nothing else but the brutal and debasing practice is the great instigator of crimes. Its name is “Legion," of whipping. and its work destruction. The gentleman from Kentucky, Mr. E. said, he was astonished that some gentlemen in (Hon. Mr. WICKLIFFE) yesterday said, that the efforts this House looked upon this subject with so much indifmade “by temperance societies,” and what passed in this ference, if not contempt. As legislators, as men, we have House to check the vice of intemperance, would justify a responsible duty here to perform. We hold in our hands some future historian in describing this as a nation of the destiny of thousands, and the well-being of multitudes drunkards. Do attempts to prevent a vice prove its entire more. Sir, we legalize drunkeliness in our navy. By prevalence? (said Mr. R.} That gentleman has been zeal-law, we provide that all, both midshipmen and sailors
, shall ously engaged this session in the work of retrenchment. have their half a pint per day, under all circumstances, in But it is a fair inference, to say that such efforts prove that fair weather as well as foul. An enlistment is ordinarily this Government is extravagant and corrupt in all its de- for three years. Now, sir, where are the men to be found, partments? The premises will justify no such inference who, after having this daily allowance dealt out to them for as he thinks may be drawn from them. Sir, I have nothis period of time, do not become the victims of a vicious hesitation in declaring it as my opinion, and long and deep- appetite? It is almost impossible they should not. Some ly settled, that if there be one vice which, more than any few there may be, who have self-government and considerother, threatens the liberty and the prosperity of this ation enough to resist the beneficent provision of the law. country, it is the vice of intemperance. I therefore hope But hundreds comply where ten refuse. And such are that the resolutions will be adopted, and that they will re- the surrounding circumstances, that the young and iner. ceive the deliberate and solemn consideration of the ap- perienced cannot resist the influences upon them. We propriate committee.
tempt them to taste the poison. We virtually compel Mr. BURGES said, he could demorstrate from princi- them to do it. There are among our midshipmen boys, ples, and would undertake to do it before any college of mere boys; and so, too, among our sailors. Think, sir, of physicians, that nothing could be swallowed so invigorat. arranging these boys daily with the veteran topers, to paring, strengthening, and healthy, as cold water. He did ticipate in the ruinous potation, and drink their half a pint not say this in jest; it was too solemn a matter to jest twenty-three gallons per year. Let us blush for our about. Nothing could be more injurious than giving him laws. Let us mourn over the desolation and death we his regular eleven o'clock or his four o'clock. At first the pa- scatter through the land. late of the boy of fourteen rejects the spirit, but in the mess And now, (said Mr. E.) he had to ask if nothing can be room he sees, by the example of those who think cold water done? Is all remedy so perfectly hopeless, that we will not sufficiently stimulating, that he cannot become a man un- not even inquire if something may not be done? The intil he can take his ration. Let him follow this until he is thirty telligent lieutenant, to whom he said) he had already reyears of age, and unless his constitution is made of steel, ferred, told him that something could be done; something he will be, if not a drunkard, at least a confirmed tippler; like what is proposed in these resolutions; and Mr. E. and then, if his mind should be by some misfortune thrown said he would appeal to the good sense of gentlemen, if off its balance, he would resort to maddening potations. they did not believe much might be done. We certainly He thought if they succeeded in saving one soul from this can place before our seamen a temptation to temperance. perdition, they should do a deed making them worthy of This expedient has succeeded on land-it may on water. remembrance. When all seemed to be united in restoring Much (he said) had been done in some parts of this coun. the country to the station in which it was some years ago, try; and, although the honorable chairman of the Naval he thought the House would be acting agreeably to the Committee (Mr. HOFFMAX) had, he thought, attempted to desires of their constituents if they united with the tem- ridicule the efforts of temperance societies, and properance societies.
nounced a sort of eulogy upon that “democratic thing, Mr. ELLSWORTH said, he rose for the purpose of call-whiskey,” as he repeated several times, for what purpose ing the attention of the House to certain communications (said Mr. E.) he could not understand. He would lift up laid on our tables, from the then Secretary of the Navy, his voice, in this public place, in favor of these benevolent intimately connected with the subject of this resolution; and efficient means of saving our fellow-men. Health, and, as he was now up, he would express his regret that reputation, riches, and life followed in their train. The any gentleman of this House wished to suppress the be- tears of parents and wives had been dried up, and their nevolent inquiry proposed to be instituted. Mr. E. said hearts made to overflow with expressions of gratitude and there had been no resolution before Congress, this session, joy to the authors of these benevolent movements. Beof greater magnitude and urgency. He boped the House sides, sir, the experiment has been tried in naval service. would give it a most serious attention. It is one of vital Mr. E. appealed to France and England. The former (be importance to the navy and the country. He was per- said) used a cheap wine, and the latter beer, in their navies
. suaded that opposition must spring from either a disbe- We find, sir, [he said] in a letter from the honorable Seclief of the fact, viz. the prevalence of intemperance, or retary of War, laid upon our tables the other day, that, that all attempts to eradicate or restrain it were futile. As in his opinion, intemperance in the army cannot be reto the existence of intemperance, to a melancholy degree, strained, because the soldiers will obtain liquor from those in the navy, as well as in the army, no one could, he who plant themselves in the neighborhood of our military thought, doubt. He did not wish to speak to the dispa- posts and stations. He says, that the most successful ex. ragement of the navy: He honored, he gloried in its fame periment in the army has been to impose no restraints up. and gällant heroism; but as to the matter of fact, it is as on the soldiers, but let them have as much, and as often as certain as that we are in this hall of legislation. The they want, except so far as, by rules of their own making, loathsome objects we meet daily wandering in our streets, they impose restraints. Mr. E. said he was no believer in the tears and broken hearts of thousands in our land, of this doctrine. But, however difficult it might be to preparents, wives, and children, testified too strongly not to be vent solliers from getting liquor from persons in the neigh