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March 30, 1830.]
Mr. Foot's Resoluton.
appropriate character to fill it. The Agent of the Trea- passious and alienate the affections of the people, he has sury has a jumble of duties to perform: he has to super- been tut too successful. intend all the light-houses &c. on the coast, and, in addition, No one at a distance, without the means of explanation, is Agent for the Treasury in collecting the public debts. can red that speech, with its formidable array of charges, His (Mr. W's] object was to give force and efficiency to specifcations, and facts--- with its commentaries and crimithat office. He and a gentleman, formerly a member of nations, and not feel the prejudice they were intended to the other House, who is now abroad, reported at one time excite a bill to establish an office to be called that of “ Commis It has been said, in the course of the debate, that I am a sioner of Customs.” Our object was to have appointed a Westrn man, and the advocate of Western interests. Sir, competent man, who understood the laws, and could su- 1 ama Western man. I feel a strong degree of attachpervise the collection of the revenue--one who would be mentto the West. I will be her faithful Representative. qualified to see that these laws received an uniform con. I wil guard her interests and defend her rights. I shall struction: for this was not, nor is it now, the case. Un- be poud of her approbation. I am the advocate of Westder the same law, different regulations had, to his own ern återests, not merely because they are Western, but knowledge, been adopted in the custom houses of New becase they are equally a part of the interests of my own York and Boston. The Boston Collector gave it one in. Stat, and a part of the great interests of the whole. terpretation; the New York Collector gave it another; Irlooking to the interests of my State, after the securiand the Treasury gave it a different interpretation from ty o property and liberty under her own laws, I consider both, or, he believed, no interpretation at all
. To tell the the tability of this Union as the greatest and highest contruth, the honorable gentleman to whom he alluded and ceri. I look to the extent of this great country, its natuhe (Mr. W.) gave up the project, for already, in that ral nd political divisions, the objects of the Union, and stage of it, we had numerous applicants for the office, theconstitution established for its Government; and from none of whom were competent to fill it. Every one who thee I deduce my duties. Under this Union we find a had lost a place of any description, who had been removed maket for our productions, peace, security, and com. from a land office, or any other office, all who wanted em. mece, without which property would have no value, and ployment in general or particular, were candidates for the libety no enjoyment; and from these considerations I learn situation of Commissioner of Customs. But our object to herish and defend it. being to appoint a competent man, we had to abandon the
I comports with my own feelings, and with the sentimeasure. The Attorney General had, in Mr. W's opin- mets of my constituents, to take the most enlarged and ion, enough to do in the Supreme Court. He should be libral views of all our great national interests. While I engaged in studying his books of law, instead of superin- agee, in general, with the gentleman from Missouri, about tending the Clerks of either a Patent or Treasury vitice. th interests of the West, I am compelled to differ from He had not, he said, when he rose, any intention of occu- hin entirely in the mode of securing them. What is the pying the Senate so long; his object was to ask the gentle-grat interest of the Western States at this moment? To man who reported the bill to consent to a postponement obain some modification of the land system more favoraof the consideration of it, and appoint for it a particular blito the settlement of the West. And how does he pro. day. It was necessary that some provision should be poe to accomplish this object? By assailing the whole made to remedy the evils complained of, although he was Neth, by charging them with systematic hostility to the opposed to the present bill. He would, when the subject Wst for more than forty years. He has ransacked the was brought before the Senate again, take up the report arcives, collected every fact, arrayed cvery charge, and accompanying the bill, to which he haci adverted, prsented them under the highest coloring, to prove what Friday next was then fixed upon for considering the bill. caronly exist in his imagination-a settled policy, steadily
pusued on the part of the North, to stifle the birth and MONDAY, MARCH 29, 1830.
crijple the growth of the West, until he has driven every The Senate was this day principally occupied in the menber, from a sense of pride, into an opposition to eveconsideration of Executive business.
ry cheme he may recommend. And has he gained the
Soith, or a single vote in that quarter, more than he had TUESDAY, Manch 30, 1830.
bebre? Will they change their principles? Will the
chage against the North, and the comparisons with the Mr. FOOT'S RESOLUTION.
Soth, make any impressions on the South? Are they so The Senate resumed the consideration of the resolution easy won, and are they thus to be fattered out of their votes? of Mr. POOT, and Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, ad. sr, we had gained much in public opinion. The most dressed the Senate as follows:
favcable dispositions were manifested from all quarters. It is no vain ambition of display here, but a deep Several propositions had been made, by members of difsense of my public duty, (said Mr. J.] that induces me to ferat States, of great liberality. The member from Virtrespass on the time and patience of the Senate. I have giná (Mr. TAZEWELL) had some time since proposed, for waited until every gentleman has spoken: the topics are gret political considerations, to cede the lands to the exhausted; the attention wearied; the excitement has pas- Staes in which they lie. This was founded on the idea sed away; and I have neither the spirit nor talent to l'evive of placing the new States on a footing with the old States; the interest or give animation to the debate. The novel to art of the dependence upon the General Government; principles, and, as I think, the dangerous doctrines avow- to aminish the patronage of office, and the expense of leed here, as well as the extraordinary course pursued in the gisition, &c. Another gentleman from New York, now discussion, make it my duty to speak, however irksome the in he cabinet, (Mr. Van Buren] proposed to cede the task, and however inadequately that task may be performed. lancs for some reasonable equivalent. "We have had the
The attack made here, in behalf of the West, upon the graluating bill several times under discussion; and the ob. North, is of a character to make it necessary for me to dis-ject of graduating the price to the quality, and of reducavow the sentiments, and to disclaim for myself and for my ingthe price to settlers, the main object of the bill, has State any participation in the charge. If it was the object been much approved. The objection to it was as to the of the gentleman of Missouri (Mr. Bexton) to transfuse details to the mode of obtaining the object. It embraces his own feelings into the bosom of the West; if it was his too large a quantity of land, and runs down the price tco purpose to excite prejudice there; if it was his design to low and too rapidly. We have heard from the North and wound the pride and sensibility of the North, by injurious South, during this debate, the most liberal principles on reproaches and invidious comparisons; to exasperate the this subject. Without making any specific propositions,
M. Foot's Resolution.
(MARCH 30, 1830.
both the gentlemen from Massachusetts and South Caroli- expedient to try to stem that current. There can be no na bave the same enlarged, liberal, and statesmin-like Federalists now, (except the very few who are so from views. Our opinions began to approximate, ani there family pride or real independence of character) under fifwas every reason to expect a favorable adjustment of this ty years of age. Besides, many of the veterans have died, great interest.
I regret that the gentleman has trought or retired from the theatre of public life. Those that rethis a proper time to make this injurious attack ipon a main have suffered the ban of the republic, in the form large section of country, of whose justice and liber.lity to of proscription, for twenty-eight years. Many of them, the West we had so many proofs.
during the era of good feeling, in the belief that the conThere appeared to me, besides the votes that hav: been test was injudicious and unavailing, have given in. The referred to, a general coincidence of opinion betwen the few men that remain, advanced in life, seem still to be the North and the West, upon most questions of great vublic objects of bitter and unrelenting persecution. But, sir, interest: the construction of the constitution, the poicy of the accusation does not go even to this small remnant. It the Government, and especially upon the tariff, ad all excepts all those who supported the last war. It is aimed, subjects of Internal Improvement." I regret this attmpt, then, it is said, at the Hartford Convention; no, not even at this time particularly, to separate these interests. I de those of that class, who have supported the election of the precate the unfortunate influence it may exercise ove our President; they have received absolution; and of them, it legislation.
has been said in debate, there are many intelligent and Sir, I deny the right of the gentleman to speak i the honest men who had no improper designs, and were misname of the West. I deny his right to speak for re or led by the few ambitious leaders of the convention. Against for my State. I do not choose that any man should aake whom, then, is the accusation levelled? This bold charge, political friendships or enmities for me or my State. And then, against the North, dwindles down at last to be a mere i deny that the charge of hostility to the West ha any attack on a few old and retired politicians of the Hartford foundation.
Convention; and, to sustain the charge, it is necessary to arAgainst whom is this charge levelled? Against the ray before the public the votes of all the States of New Eng; North, including all the States north of the Potomac. Ind land, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, ard can it be intended to make this sweeping accusation aginst Maryland, in regard to the defence and settlement of the eleven States of the Union, and to induce the peope of West,during all the eventful period ofthe Revolutionary war. the West to believe that they have been, from the om But, sir, what does the charge turn out to be? A system of mencement of the Government, unfriendly to their irer. hostility, pursued for many years, to prevent the settlement ests? Yet all the charges equally affect the five Midle of the West. These charges, and the facts adduced to es. States, It was unfortunate, during the confederation, hat tablish them, have been fully examined and explained, by the Potomac was considered the line that separated he both Senators from Maine, (Messrs. Sprague and HOLMES.] North and the South, and it no doubt at some times eer. They have done their duty, by vindicating their country. cised an unfavorable influence upon legislation. Tl-re Sir, I take a very different view of the subject. The charge was a general coincidence of opinion in the States neth involves a palpable incongruity of conduct. The States of that line, upon all great questions of that period, nd demanded the cession of the Western lands as a part of the so there was upon all the subjects affecting the Westen acquisition of the war, and for the purpose of applying country, but without the slightest feeling of hostility to their avails to discharge the debt created in carrying it on. wards it
. In all the great measures taken in referenc to They contended with spain, during a long and arduos the navigation of the Mississippi, the Southern bounary negotiation, for the utmost Southern boundary; and finalline with Spain, and the defence of the West, they vere ly established the thirty-first degree of North latitude, actuated by their own patriotic views of the great intersts l'hey instructed the minister to adhere to this line, and of the country, under the peculiar and often pressingcir- would not even authorize the treaty, without its final raticumstances of the times. In the midst of a war of geat fication by themselves. They afterwards gave Georgia sacrifice and suffering, in which every nerve was exeted, more than a million of dollars, and undertook the extin, the whole Soutlı overrun, how could they go to the rlief guishment of the Indian title. They subsequently paid of the West? Instead of these reproaches from the West, five millions of dollars to settle the Yazoo claim. The they ought to reccive the homage of our gratitude forthe country northwest of Ohio was conquered from the Infirmness, the fortitude, and constancy, with which hey dians, after a conflict of several years, at an expense of five carried us through the trying scenes of the Revolution millions of dollars. They have, besides, paid large suitis
No great measure that was adopted, requiring the con- for the extinguishment of Indian titles. They established sent of nine States, could be carried, without the vots of the ordinance of 1787, for the Government of this territoat least five of these Northern States. Will not New York, ry, and passed laws for the surveying and sale of the lands; and New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Mary- and now, it is gravely said that they have pursued a sysland, see, that they concurred with the other Nortern tematic course of hostility to the West; that the sagacicus States in all the measures of hostility imputed to them? and intelligent men, who have acquired these lards at so That their names are formally arranged, side by sid, in much cost, and who pursued this object with so much per high relief, with the States of the North? And will hey severance, and for so long a time, had no object in view comprehend how they escape from the charge? Will hey but to stifle the birth, and cripple the growth of the West, see how the exception can exclude them from all the odum, The whole charge is utterly inconsistent with itself, and if any, that these measures are calculated to excite inthe the facts themselves refute it. minds of the people of the West?
After the acquisition of an immense territory, by cesBut, sir, New England is the real point of attack. No, sions from the States, and by treaties with foreign nations not even New England, not the republican party of Jew at a vast expense, and after securing it by conquest or by England, which consti:uted, at every period for the last purchase of the Indians, they adopted a wise and paternal twenty years, not less than one-half of the people of hat system of administration. The whole has been divided section; and, especially, is excluded the democracy of the into territories of convenient and compact size, that now North, as they are now called, par excellence, to distinguish form States of the Union. There are sis surveyor genersome of them from their republican brethren here, vho als' offices, and more than two hundred millions of acres now represent the North. The attack is aimed onl: at of land surveyed and ready for market. These lands are the federal party there. But then that party is mostlyex- divided into squares of six miles, and subdivided down to tinct. None have joined the ranks since 1801. No poli- eighty acres, so as to suit every class of purchasers. There tician, coming into life since that time, has found it wise or are forty-two land offices in the inost convenient situations
MARCH 30, 1830. ]
(SENATE. for the sale of the lands; the price was reduced in 1820 great public confidence, was not permitted to conclude a to one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre; and several treaty without the approbation of Congress. pre-empiion laws have passed, to secure the rights of set The United States, exhausted by the war, destitute of tlers, and a general privilege of entering, at the minimum funds, without public credit, with an inefficient Governprice, any land that has been once offered for sale. There ment, were in no situation to go to war with Spain, then is nothing in all this that seems to indicate a spirit of hos- connected with France and other Powers of Europe. On tility to the growth of the West. The conduct of the the contrary, it was our policy to form a commercial treaty, Government has been marked by extreme liberality as then proposed to her on the most favorable terms, and to well as wisdom, towards the new States. They gave them prevent any coalition with England. After the most ur. one twentieth of the proceeds of the sales of the lands for gent representations were made by our minister, with reroads. One section in every township for schools, and gard to the navigation of the river, the concluding antwo townships in every State for colleges, in consicleration swer, said he, to all my arguments, has steadily been, of exempting these lands from taxation for five years af- that the King will never yield that point, nor consent to ter the sale. Besides this five per cent., they have ap- any compromise about it; for that it always has been, and propriated more than a million and a half of dollars to the cortinues to be, one of their maxims of policy, to exclude Cumberland road, and its continuation through the West- all mankind from their American shores.” ern States, besides the proceeds of the five per cent. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, [Mr. Jay) in this situaThey have given more than two millions of acres of land tion, reported to Congress that the treaty with Spain was to different Western States for canals; and they released of great political and commercial importance; that, unless purchasers of public lands to an inmense amount. These this point could be settled, no treaty, however advantalands were ceded to the Government, and pledged for the geous, could be concluded; that Spain then excluded us payment of the public debt; they lave been disposed of from that navigation, and held it with a strong hand against with that view. They have broughtinto the treasury near us; that she would not yield it peaceably, and, therefore, forty millions of dollars. The price has been modierate, we could only acquire it by war; that we were unpreparsuch as to enable the people to bu!, and to prevent the ed for war with any Power; that the Mississippi would acquisition of large quantities on speculation. And what continue shut, France would tell us our claim was ill foundis the result? More ihan four millions of industrious and ed, the Spanish posts on its banks would be strengthened, intelligent people, more than the original stock at the Re- and we must either wait in patience for better days, or volution, a country highly improved, and rapidly advanc. plunge into an unpopular and dangerous war. In this ing. If it was the object of the North to prevent the situation, he submitted to Congress the expediency of growth of the West, they have been smgularly unfortu- yielding our right to Spain for twenty-five years, without nate. Great and flourishing communities have risen up in waiving our right to resume it, at a time when we should the wilderness, in spite of their supposed hostility. be more competent to maintain it. On one side were pre
The reduction of the price to one doilar twenty-five sented peace, commerce, and friendship, with a powerful cents, in the year 1820, is now brought as a serious charge. State; m the other, war, with all its evils, in defence of It became a matter of prudence and necessity, in conse- a valuable right, or the waiver of that right for a limited quence of the great and increasing rage for speculation, time, wth a view to its permanent security. Seven Northwhich had raised the debt from eight millions to twenty- ern and Eastern States, including New York, New Jersey, one and a half millions, in less than three years. The and Peinsylvania, were in favor of making this proposiGovernment wisely stopped the credit system, which put tion--a sacrifice they felt bound to make under the pecuan end to purchases on speculation, reduced the price, liar and pressing exigencies of the times; . but there was and then generously gave relief to the people. The con- not,”sid Mr. Lee, in the Virginia Convention, "a gentle. tinuation of that system would have created an immense man ir that Congress, who had an idea of surrendering debt in the West to the General Government, oppressive the navigation of that river." And Mr. Madison said, to the inhabitants, and ruinous to the country. It is great- they had no idea of absolutely alienating it: the tempoly to be regretted that the change had not been made when rary cession, it was supposed, would fix the permanent the debt began to accumulate.
right in our favor, and prevent a dangerous coalition with But, sir, let us return to the other charges. The charge England.". Whatever opinion may be now formed of the of surrendering the navigation of the Mississippi is again wisdon of this proposition, it must be manifest that no renewed, to give color to the idea of hostility to the West. feelingof hostility to the West influenced their judgment. Mr. Madison says, that, soon after the commencement of They obtained the greatest possible concession of territothe war with England, at the period of greatest distress, ry fron England; they maintained our right through this the Northern and Eastern States refused to relinquish the whole negotiation, to the thirty-first degree of north latinavigation, even for the substantial aid and succor of tude; they tried by every means to obtain the navigation Spain, “sensible it might be dangerous to surrender that of the river from Spain; and it was not until all hope was important right, particularly to the inhabitants of the West- abandoned that they consented, as the means of peace, ern country.' And when instructions were afterwards and to avoid a war, for which they were unprepared, to given to our minister to negotiate a treaty, it was express- forbear the use of it until a more favorable period. But ly enjoined upon him to stipulate for the right of the they dd not stop here; they instructed the Secretary of United States to their territorial bounds, and the free na- Foreign Affairs to propose, and, if possible, to obtain, the vigation of the Mississippi, from the source to the ocean, right ic transport our productions from the thirty-first deas established by treaties with Great Britain, and that he gree to New Orleans, with a right of deposite at New neither conclude nor sig;n any treaty until he had commu- Orleans &c. but nothing was done under these instrucni cated the same to Congress, and received their approba- tions, and the whole subject was referred to the new tion. Congress had obtained, from Great Britain, a re- r'ederal Government. A treaty was eventually made cognition of a conditional boundary, to extend to the thir- with Spain, which secured to us the thirty-first de. ty-first degree of north latitude, and the right to navigate gree of north latitude, our utmost Southern boundary, and the Mississippi. These instructions evince the determina- the righ: to navigate the river, with a deposite at New Ortion of Congress to maintain their territorial rights to the leans, &c. 'The
Government immediately obtained a cesutmost Southern limit, and with them the concomitant sion of the lands embraced by this treaty from the State right to the free use of the river. And so jealous were of Georgia, erected two Territorial Governments, exthey of these rights and privileges, that the minister, the tended over them the laws of the Union, extinguished the then Secretary of Foreign AĦairs, Mr. Jay, a man of Yazoo title, adjusted the private claims, and, so far from
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
[MARCH 30, 1830.
feeling that the growth of the West was incompatible with depredations, the South conceived the necessity of marchthe interest of the North, they have done every thing to ing a large armed force
into the Indian country, to compel foster it. The Government having expended more than them to make peace. The North considered these as irseven millions of dollars in the acquisition of this coun- regular parties, making incursions without the authority of try, are now accused of the folly and absurdity of prevent the tribes; and thought that they ought to organize the ing its growth and settlement.
Indian Department, and adopt such measures as would seWhen, at a subsequent period, the right of deposite was cure peace to the Indians and safety to the inhabitants of violated, these men, who are now aimed at, maintaned, the frontiers. with more spirit than prudence, the right of the United The resolution to detach four companies had the approStates to the free navigation of the river, and proposed to bation of but one State; the resolution to detach two, had authorize the President to take possession of New Orleans. the negative of but one State. The objection, therefore, But Mr. Jefferson entertained more wise ard moderate was to the number of companies to be moved, and to views. He proposed to obtain redress by pacific means, weakening the other points of defence. The North was and instituted the embassy which fortunately terminated opposed to carrying the war among the Indians, but in in the acquisition of Louisiana; and these arc his senti- favor of employing the militia for defence, when necesments on the subject:
sary. The South desired “an expedition into the Indian “The question which divided our Legislature (but not territory,” and to call out one thousand militia. The the nation) was, whether we should take it at once, and North desired to treat with the Indians amicably, to avoid enter, singlè handed, into war with the most powerful na. war and expense, and :o use the military only for defence. tion on the earth, or place things on the best footing prac. They were unwilling to make war, because they thought ticable for the present, and avail ourselves of the first the object could be tetter obtained by peaceful means; war in Europe (which it was clear was at no great distance, they were unwilling to incur the expense, in their exto obtain the country as the price of our neutrality, or as hausted situation, of calling out one thousand militia; a reprisal for wrongs which we were sure enough to re- they were unwilling to derange the disposition of the ceive. The war happened somewhat sooner than was ex. regular troops that lad been stationed at all the proper pected; but our measures were previously taken, and the points of defence along the line of the Ohio. But they thing took the best turn for both parties. Those whowere passed a resolution on the 30th June, 1786, to inform the honest in their reasons for preferring immediate war, will, Governor of Virgina that they were desirous to give the in their candor, rejoice that their opinion was not follwed. most ample protection; and they requested him to give They may, indeed, still believe it was the best opinion, orders to the militia to be in readiness to unite with the according to probabilities. We, however, believed other regular troops, in such operations as the commanding wise, and they, I am sure, will now be glad that we did.” officer may judge necessary for the protection of the
The gentleman from Missouri has accused the Federal frontiers. On the 20th of October, 1786, Congress resolv. Government of entire neglect and abandonment of the ed, unanimously, to raise one thousand three hundred and West, from 1774 to 1790. He has presented a shocking forty troops, in addition to the seven hundred, “ to form picture of savage warfare. This is a chord that wili vibrate a corps of two thousand and forty,” not only “for the in the West, and is well calculated to excite prejudice in support of the frontiers of the States bordering on the the minds of those who have not the means of corect in- Western Territory and the settlements on the Mississippi
, formation. He might, with equal propriety, hav: giren but to establish the possession and facilitate the surveying Tis a description of the distress, and suffering, and sacri- and settling those intermediate lands, which have been so fice, of the revolutionary war in the East; during which much relied on for the reduction of the debts of the all our cities were successively occupied by the enemy, United States.” And, on the 21st of July, 1787, Conand during the three last years of which the whol South gress resolved to hold treaties with these hostile tribes; was overrun and laid waste. The people knew hat, in to hear their complaints; and inquire into the causes of going to the West, at that period, they went beyond the their quarrels with the settlers, and to make peace. That, protection of the Government; that it had neither the means for this purpose, the troops should be placed in such nor the men to give succor or relief. He comes down, positions as to afford the most effectual protection to the however, to the year 1786, to accuse the North of urre frontier inhabitants of Pennsylvania and Virginia
, from lenting severity" towards the West. No charge was ever the incursions and depredations of the Inclians; for premore unjustly made. Instead of taking an enlarged and venting intrusions on the federal lands, and promoting a liberal view of the general policy of the Governnent in favorable issue to the treaty: that the Governor of Virgiregard to the Indians of the West, he has singled out a nia be requested, on the application of the commanding particular occurrence, in which there was a difference of other, to embody a part of the militia, not exceeding one opinion, not in relation to the object, but in the node by thousand, to co-operate with the troops of the United which both sides sought to obtain it. Both parties in this states, in making such expeditions against the Indians as question were anxious for peace with all the Indias, but Congress may direct, &c. These resolutions passed unaentertained views somewhat different as to the node in nimously, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Penn. which that object was to be obtained. One party desired sylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Ca. to give peace and security to the frontiers by amicable rolina, Georgia, voting in favor of them. treaties with the Indians—the other by military force; but Now, this insulated case is singled out, disconnected neither, for a moment, thought of abandoning the West. with the whole subject matter, and spread before the As soon as the definitive treaty was signed, Congress set on Western people, to induce a belief that, in consequence foot conventions with all the Indian tribes, and, to expc-1 of Northern jealousy and Northern hostility, they utterly dite the bolding of treaties, three hundred and fifty nien und unfeelingly neglected to give any protection to the were held in readiness to protect the commissioners. Trea- West against the Indians. The effect of it may be to er. ties were successively made with all the tribes of Indians. cite prejudice, to create dissension, and set apart the In 1785 a treaty was made with the Wyandot, Delaware, people of the different sections of the country; but, when
Chippewa, and Ottawa tribes; and on the 31st January, examined, it will be found destitute of any foundation. , 1786, a treaty was concluded at the mouth of the Great In pursuance of this system, a treaty was concluded 9th
Maini, with the Shawnee pation. Seven hundred men, January, 1789, at Fort Harmar, by General St. Clair, with drawn from New England, were placed in the Western the Wyandot, Delaware, Ottowa, Chippewa, Pottawatamie, country, to defend the frontiers. Congress were pursu- and Sac nations of Indians. But difficulties continued to ing steadily this system, when, in consequence of some occur with the Indians, until the Government was obliged
MARCH 30, 1830.
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
to send a military force to conquer them, which was privileges, and prerogatives, of citizens of the United finally accomplished in 1794, and was followed by the States." treaty of Greenville. Throughout this whole period, from In his speech on this subject, Mr. Adams said: “I am 1786 to 1794, Congress labored with the most patient, extremely solicitous that every tittle of the engagements persevering, and patriotic exertions, to procure peace for on our part in these conventions should be performed with the Indians, and safety to the frontier; and now the gen- the most scrupulous good faith.” “I trust they will be tleman from Missouri says “that Massachusetts and the performed, and will cheerfully lend my hand to every act Northeast abandoned the infant West to the rifle, the necessary for the purpose: for I consider the object as of hatchet, the knife, and the burning stake of the Indian.” the highest advantage to us. And the gentleman from But this charge relates equally to all the States north of Kentucky himself, who has displayed, with so much elothe Potomac, and to a period anterior to the existence of quence, the immense importance to this Union of the the republican and federal parties; and it has been seen possession of the ceded territory, cannot carry his ideas with what justice it has been made against any portion of farther on that subject than I do.” “I shall give my that Congress to whose patriotic services and public vote in its favor." labors the country owes so deep a debt of gratitude. I have quoted these opinions of Mr. Adams to show,
We now pass over a period of twelve years, from the that none of those imputations rest upon him, and that formation of the constitution to the acquisition of Louisi- there may be no misapprehension or doubt left even by ana, during which there is no charge of hostility to the implication. settlement of the West. The cession of Louisiana was “It was,” he says, “upon the same principle, a conobtained in 1803, when political parties were very violent; scientious belief that Congress had not, by the constituwhen some feared that an enlargement of our limits might|tion, the power to exercise the authorities, (without an weaken the Union, and others thought, conscientiously, amendment of the constitution) that I voted against the that there was no power in the constitution to acquire other acts relating to Louisiana.” “There remains in the territory. Yet, under these circumstances, there were country a power competent to adopt and sanction every twenty-seven votes in the Senate in favor of the treaty, part of our engagements, and to carry them entirely into and half of these North of the Potomac, and four from execution. For, notwithstanding the objections and apNew England. This shows that there was no unity in the prehensions of many wise, able, and excellent men in North—10 concert, even in the federal party--no hostility various parts of the Union, yet, such is the public favor to the West.
attending the transaction, which commenced by the It is well known that many wise and excellent men negotiation of this treaty, and which, I hope, will termibelieved the acquisition was an extra-constitutional act, nate in a full, undisturbed, and undisputed possession of and that it would require an amendment to the constitu- the ceded territory, that I firmly believe, if an amend. tion. Mr. Jefferson entertained this opinion himself. In ment to the constitution, amply sufficient for the accombis letter to Mr. Dunbar, July 17, 1803, he says: “they plishment of every thing for which we have contracted (Congress) will be obliged to ask from the people an shall be proposed, as I think it ought, it will be adopted amendment to the constitution, authorizing the receiving by the Legislature of every State in the Union." the province into the Union, and providing for its govern Mr. Adams gave a signal instance of his freedom from ment; and the limitations of power which shall be given all party influence, of the independence of his mind, and by that amendment will be unalterable but by the same the elevation of his views over all ordinary, local, and · authority.” In his letter to Mr. Breckenridge, 12th Au- political calculation, in approving the acquisition of I.ou. gust, 1893, he says: “ This treaty must, of course, be isiana. laid before both Houses, because both have important When, some years afterwards, the attack was made on functions to exercise respecting it. They, I presume, the Chesapeake by a British ship of war, Mr. Adams was will see their duty to their country in ratifying and paying among the first to take side with the country, and to pledge for it, so as to secure a good which would otherwise pro. himself to aid and assist the constituted authorities with all bably be never again in their power. But I suppose they his personal influence and exertions to support them in must then appeal to the nation for an additional article to such measures as they might adopt. He attended the the constitution, approving and confirming an act which meetings of the people in Boston to express their septi. the nation liad not previously authorized. The constitu- ments, and they are worthy of the place and the occasion. tion has made no provision for our holding foreign terri. He was on the committee that proposed the resolutions for tory, still less for incorporating foreign nations into our the first meeting, of which Mr. Gerry was moderator, and Union. The Executive, in seizing the fugitive occurrence chairman of the committee which reported the resolutions which so much advances the good of the country, have at the second meeting. done an act against the constitution.” It is well known that Mr. Adams entertained the same
“Boston, 10th July, 1807. opinions, and he thought that the consent of the people
“ Mr. Genny, Moderator-George BLAKE, Secretary. should be obtained, by an amendment of the constitution, “ Resolved, unanimously, That the late aggression comand the approbation of the people of Louisiana. “ It is mitted by a British ship of war on a frigate of the United well known,” said he, “ that my voice and my opinions States, for the avowed purpose of taking from her, by were in favor of the acquisition of Louisiana, and of the force, a part of her crew, was a wanton outrage upon the ratification by which it was acquired.” “Entertaining persons and lives of our citizens, and a direct attack upon these opinions, I voted for the bill appropriating eleven our national sovereignty and independence: That the millions two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to carry spirited conduct of our fellow-citizens at Norfolk, on this into effect the Louisiana convention; and, in a speech to occasion, before the orders of Government could be obthe Senate on the passage of that bill, I declared at once tained, was highly honorable to themselves and to the my approbation of the measure, and my belief, that, to nation. carry the treaty into entire execution, an amendment to “ Resolved, unanimously, That the firm, dignified, and the constitution would be necessary;" and he moved the temperate policy adopted by our Executive, at this momen. appointment of a committee to inquire whether any, and, tous crisis, is entitled to our most cordial approbation and if any, what, farther measures were necessary to carry support. into effect the Louisiana cession treaty; to prepare “for * Resolved, unanimously, That, with all our personal the annexation of the people of Louisiana to the North/ influence and exertions, we will aid and assist the constiAmerican Union, and their accession to all the rights, tuted authorities in carrying the proclamation of the Pre