No. 8.
Mr. 7. S. Smith to the Marquis Wellesley.

Bentinck Street, July 3, 1811. I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of the documents transmitted to me yesterday by your lordship; and in reply to the request that I should furnish an explanation of the transaction to which they reser, have to state, that to this moment no information has been received by me from my government on this subject, but from the known justice of the United States, and their uniform desire to preserve harmony with Great Britain, his majesty's government can be assured that they wil never be unwilling to repair any injury they are conscious of having committed.

I have the honor to be, &c. (Signed) J. S. SMITH.

Mr. Monroe to Mr. Foster. Sir,

Department of State, Sept. 14, 1811. I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 4th instant, respecting the encounter between the United States' frigate the President and his Britannic majesty's ship Little Belt, which I have laid before the President of the United States.

In the first interview which took place between us, after your arrival at Washington, I stated explicitly that no instruction had been given to take any seaman from on board a British ship of war, nor any order whatever of a hostile nature. I made the same declaration afterwards, at your request, in a more formal manner; and it is with the same frankness that I now again repeat it.

Such a declaration was deemed proper, in order to obviate misapprehensions, which might obstruct any conciliatory and satisfactory propositions with which you might be charged. It was in conformity also with the candor and friendly fit icy which have been shewn by this government, in all its transactions with Great Britain.

If the answer to your former letter was limited to this disavowal, of hostile intentions on the part of this government, it need scarcely be remarked that no further view of the subject could then, nor as yet can, be entered into, on the demand of the British government, without forgetting an essential preliminary to such a demand.

It might be added, that with the circumstances of the transaction, as officially before this government, the true ground on which it claimed attention, was that of a violent aggression by a British on an American ship, in a situation and manner authorizing the strongest appeal to the British government for redress. If an instant representation and demand to that effect were not made, it was a proof only that this government permitted the event of the encounter to temper the feelings and retard the complaint prompted by the origin and character of it.

It is not seen without surprise, that the case of the Chesapeake is cited as an example, supporting a demand of reparation, in the present case. No other remark will be made, than that the fifth year is now

elapsing without reparation in that case, although so palpably and even confessedly due to the rights of the United States, and the honor of their flag.

In the instructions to captain Bingham, thus frankly communicated, the President sees a token of amity and conciliation, which, if pursued in the extent corresponding with that in which these sentiments are entertained by the United States, must hasten a termination of every controversy which has so long subsisted between the two countries. I have the honor to be, &c. (Signed)

JAS. MONROE. [Documents to be continued.]

[Debates continued.] On the second Resolution reported by the Committee on Foreign Relations.

MR. CALHOUN.-Mr. Speaker, I understood the opinion of the committee of foreign relations differently from what the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Randolph) has stated to be his impression. I certainly understood that committee as recommending the measures now before the house, as a preparation for war; and such, in fact, was its express resolve, agreed to, I believe, by every member, except that gentleman. I do not attribute any wilful mis-statement to him, but consider it the effect of inadvertency or mistake. Indeed the report could mean nothing but war, or empty menace.

I hope no member of this house is in favor of the latter. A bullying,menacing system, has every thing to condemn and nothing to recommend it; in expense, it is almost as considerable as war; it excites contempt abroad, and destroys confidence here. Menaces are serious things, and, if we expect any good from them, they ought to be resorted to with as much caution and seriousness, as war itself; and should, if not successful, be invariably followed by it.-—It was not the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Grundy) who made this a war question. The resolve contemplates an additional regular force ; a measure confessedly improper but as a preparation for war, but undoubtedly necessary in that event. Sir, I am not insensible of the Weighty importance of this question, for the first time submitted to this house, as a redress of our long list of complaints against one of the belligerents ; but, according to my mode of thinking on this subject, however serious the question, whenever I am on its affirmative side, my conviction must be strong and unalterable. War, in this country, ought never to be resorted to, but when it is clearly justifiable and necessary; so much so, as not to require the aid of logic to convince our reason, nor the ardor of eloquence to inflame our passions. There are many reasons why this country should never resort to war but for causes the most urgent and necessary. It is sufficient

that, under a government like ours, none but such will justify it in the eye

of the nation ; and were I not satisfied that such is our present cause, I certainly would be no advocate of the proposition now before the house.

Sir, I prove the war, should it ensue, justifiable, by the express admission of the gentleman from Virginia ; and, necessary by facts undoubted, and universally admitted ; such as that gentieman did not pretend to controvert. The extent, duration, and character, of the injuries received; the failure of those peaceful means heretofore resorted to for the redress of our wrongs, is my proof that it is necessary. Why should I mention the impressment of our seamen ? depredation on every branch of our commerce, including the direct export trade, continued for years, and made under laws which professedly undertake to regulate our trade with other nations ? Negociation resorted to, time after time, till it is become hopeless: the restrictive system persisted in, to avoid war, and in the vain expectation of returning justice. The evil still grows, and in each succeeding year swells in extent and pretension beyond the preceding.-The question even in the opinion and admission of our opponents is reduced to this single point ; which shall we do, abandon or defend our own commercial and maritime rights and the personal liberties of our citizens employed in exercising them? These rights are essentially attacked, and war is the only means of redress. The gentleman from Virginia has suggested none ; unless we consider the whole of his speech as recommending patient and resigned submission as the best remedy. . Sir, which alternative this House ought to embrace, it is not for me to say. I hope the decision is made already, by a higher authority than the voice of any man. It is not for human tongue to instil the sense of independence and honor. This is the work of nature ; a generous nature that disdains tame submis. sion to wrongs.

This part of the subject is so imposing, as to enforce silence even on the gentleman from Virginia. He dared not to deny his country's wrongs, or vindicate the conduct of her enemy.

Only one point of that gentleman's argument had any, the most remote relation to this point. He would not say, that we had not a good cause of war ; but insisted, that it was our duty to define that cause. If he means that this House ought at this stage of the proceeding, or any other, to enumerate such violations of our rights, as we are willing to contend for, he prescribes a course, which neither good sense or the usage of nations warrants. When we contend, let us contend for all our rights; the doubtful and certain ; the unimportant and essential. It is as easy to struggle, or even more so, for the whole as a part. At the termination of the contest, secure all that our wisdom and valor and the fortune of the war will permit.This is the dictate of common sense ; such also is the usage of nations. The single instance alluded to, the endeavor of Mr. Fox, to compel Mr. Pitt to define the object of the war against France, will not support the gentleman from Virginia in his position. That was an extraordinary war for an extraordinary purpose, and could not be governed by the usual rules. It was not for conquest ; or for redress of injury ; but to impose a government on France, which she refused to receive ; an object so detestable, that an avowal dare not be made. Sir, here I might rest the question. The affirmative of the proposition is established. I cannot but advert, however, to the complaint of the gentleman from Virginia the first time he was up on this question. He said he found himself reduced to the necessity of supporting the negative side of the question, before the affirmative was established. Let me tell that gentleman that there is no hardship in his case. It is not every affirmative that ought to be proved. Were I to affirm the House is now in session, would it be reasonable to ask for proof? He who would deny its truth, on him would be the proof of so extraordinary a negative. How then could the gentleman, after his admissions, with the facts before him and the nation, complain? The causes are such as to warrant, or rather make it indispensable in any nation not absolutely dependent, to defend its rights by force. Let him then shew the reasons why we ought not so to defend ourselves. On him then is the burthen of the proof. This he has attempted ; 'he has endeavored to support his negative.

Before I proceed to answer the gentleman particularly, let me call the attention of the House to one circumstance ; that is, that almost the whole of his arguments consisted of an enumeration of evils always incident to war, however just and necessary; and that, if they have any force, it is calculated to produce unqualified submission to every species of insult and injury. I do not feel myself bound to answer arguments of the above description ; and if I should touch on them, it will be only incidentally, and not for the purpose of serious refutation. The first argument of the gentleman which I shall notice, is the unprepared state of the country. Whatever weight this argument might have in a question of immediate war, it surely has little in that of preparation for it. If our country is unprepared, let us remedy the evil as soon as possible. Let the gentleman submit his plan; and if a reasonable one, I doubt not it will be supported by the House. But, sir, let us admit the fact and the whole force of the argument; I ask, whose is the fault? Who has been a member for many years past, and has seen the defenceless state of his country, even near home, under his own eyes, without a single endeavor to remedy so serious an evil? Let him not say, “I have acted in a minority.” It is no less the duty of the minority than a majority to endeavor to serve our country. For this purpose we are sent here ; and not for that of opposition.

We are next told of the expenses of war; and that the people will not pay taxes. Why not? Is it a want of capacity? What, with 1,000,000 tons of shipping ; a trade of near 100 000,000 dollars ; manufactures of 150,000,000 dollars, and agriculture of thrice that amount, shall we be told the country wants capaci. ty to raise and support 10 or 15,000 additional regulars ? No: it has the ability, that is admitted ; but will it not have the disposition? Is not the course a juít and necessary one? Shall we then utter this libel on the nation? Where will proof be found of a fact so disgraceful? It is said in the history of the country 12 or15 years ago. The cafe is not parallel. The ability of the country is greatly increased since. The object of that tax was unpopular. But on this, as well as my memory and almost infant cb. fervation at that time ferve me, the objection was not to the tax, or its amount, but the mode of collection. The eye of the na: tion was frightened by the number of officers; its love of liberty 1hocked with the multiplicity of regulations. We, in the vile spirit of imitation, copied from the most oppressive part of European laws on that subject, and impofed on a young and virtuous nation all the severe provisions made necessary by corruption and long growing chicane. If taxes should become neceflary, I do not hesitate to say the people will pay cheerfully. It is for their government and their cause, and would be their interest and duty to pay. But it may be, and I believe was said, that the nation will not pay taxes, because the rights violated are not worth defending; or that the defence will cost more than the profit. Sir, I here enter my solemn protest against this low and calculating avarice” entering this hall of legislation. It is only fit for shops and counting houses, and ought not to disgrace the seat of fove. reignty by its fqualid and vile appearance. Whenever it touches sovereign power the nation is ruined. It is too short fighted to defend itself. It is an unpromising {pirit, always ready to yield a part to save the balance. It is too timid to have in itf If the laws of felf-preservation. It is never fafe but under the shield of honor. Sir, I only know of one principle to make a nation great, to pro. duce in this country not the form but real spirit of union, and that is, to protect every citizen in the lawful pursuit of his business. He will then feel that he is backed by the government, that its arm is his arms, and will rejoice in its increased strength and prof. perity. Protection and patriotism are reciprocal. This is the road that all nations have trod. Sir, I am not versed in this cal. culating policy; and will not therefore pretend to estimate in dol. lars and cents the value of national independence, or national af. fection. I cannot dare to measure in shillings and pence the mis. ery, the stripes and the slavery of our impressed feamen ; nor even to value our shipping, commercial and agricultural losses under the Orders in Council and the British system of blockade. I hope I have not condemned any prudent estimate of the means of a country, before it enters on a war. This is wisdom, thejother is folly. Sir, the gentleman from Virginia has not failed to touch on the calamity of war; that fruitful fource of declamation by which pity becomes the advocate of cowardice ; but I know not what we have to do with that subject. If the gentleman desires to

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