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depress the gallant ardor of our countrymen by such topics, let me inform him that true courage regards only the cause, that it is just and necessary; and that it defpises the pain and danger of war. If he really wishes to promote the cause of humanity, let bis elo. quence be addressed to Lord Wellesley or Mr. Perceval, and not the American Congress. Tell them if they perfift in such daring infult and injury to a neutral nation, that, however inclined to peace, it will be bound in honor and interest to refift; that their patience and benevolence, however great, will be exhausted ; that the calamity of war will ensue, and that they, in the opinion of wounded humanity, will be answerable for all its devastation and misery. Let melting pity, a regard to the interest of hu. manity, stay the hand of injustice, and my life on it, the gentle. man will not find it difficult to call off his country from the bloody scenes of war. We are next told of the danger of the war! I believe we are all ready to acknowledge its hazard and accidents; but I cannot think we have any extraordinary danger to contend with, at least, so much as to warrant an acquiescence in the inju. ries we have received--On the contrary, I believe no war can be lefs dangerous to internal peace, or national existence.
But we are told of the black population of the southern States. As far as the gentleman from Virginia speaks of his personal knowledge, I will not pretend to contradict him—I only regret that such is the dreadful state of his particular part of the country. Of the southern section, I too have some personal knowledge, and can say, that in South Carolina no such fears in any part are felt. But, fir, admit the gentleman's statement ; will a war with G. Britain increafe the danger? Will the country be less able to reprofs infurrection ? Had we any thing to fear from that quarter, which I sincerely disbelieve, in my opinion, the precise time of the greatest safety is during a war, in which we have no fear of invasion—then the country is most on its guard ; our militia the best prepared ; and standing force the greatest. Even in our revolution no attempts were made by that portion of our population; and, however the gentleman may frighten himself with the disorganizing effects of French principles, I cannot think our ignorant blacks have felt much of their baneful influence. I dare say more than one half of them never heard of the Fr. revolution. But as great as is the danger from our slaves, the gentleman's fears end not there—the standing army is not less terrible to him. Sir, I think a regular force raised for a period of actual hoftilities cannot be called a standing army. There is a just distinction between fuch a force,and one raised as a peace eftablishment. Whatever may be the composition of the latter, I hope the former will conGift of some of the best materials of the country : The ardent patriotism of our young men and the reasonable bounty in land which is proposed to be given, will impel them to join their country's Itandard and to fight her Battles ; they will not forget the citizen in the soldier, and in obeying their officer learn to contemn their constitution. In our officers and foldiers we will find patriotisme no less pure and ardent than in the private citizen; but if they should be depraved as reprefented, what have we to fear from 25 or 30,000 regulars? Where will be the boafted militia of the gentleman ? Can one million of militia be overpowered by thirty thousand regulars? If fo, how can we rely on them against a foe invading our country? Sir, I have no such contemptuous idea of our militia—their untaught bravery is sufficient to crush all for. eign and internal attempts on their country's liberties. But we have not yet come to the end of the chapter of dangers. The gentleman's imagination, so fruitful on this subject, conceives that our conftitution is not calculated for war, and that it cannot stand its rude shock. This is rather extraordinary-we muft then depend upon the pity or contempt of other nations, for our existence. The constitution, it seems, has failed in its effential part, “to provide for the common defence." No, says the gentleman from Virginia, it is competent for a defensive, but not an offen. five war. It is not necessary for me to expose the error of this opinion. Why make the distinction in this instance? Will he pretend to say, that this is an offensive war ; a war of conquest? Yes, the gentleman has dared to make this affertion ; and for reasons no less extraordinary than the assertion itself. He says, our rights are violated on the ocean, and that these violations af. fect our shipping, and commercial rights, to which the Canadas have no relation. The doctrine of retaliation has been much a. bused of late by an unnatural extension ; we have now to witness a new abuse. The gentleman from Virginia has limited it down to a point. By his system, if you receive a blow on the breast, you dare not return it on his head ; you are obliged to mealure and return it on the precise point on which it was received. If you do not proceed with this mathematical accuracy, it ceases to be just felf-defence; it becomes an unprovoked attack. In speaking of Canada the gentleman from Virginia introduced the name of Montgomery with much feeling and interest. Şir, there is danger in that name to the gentleman's argument. It is facred to he. roism! It is indignant of fubmiffion! This calls my memory back to the time of our revolution; to the Congress of '74 and 75. Suppose a speaker of that day had risen and urged all the arguments which we have heard on this subject; had told that Congress, “your conteft is about the right of laying a tax; and that the attempt on Canada had nothing to do with it ; that the war would be expensive; that danger and devastation would over. spread our country, and that the power of Great Britain was irre. filtible.” With what sentiment, think you, would such doctrines have been then received ? Happy for us, they had no force at that period of our country's glory. Had they been then acted on, this Hall would never have witnessed a great nation convened to deliberate for the general good; a mighty empire, with prouder profpects than any nation the fun ever shone on, would not have risen in the West. No! we would have been vile subjected colonies, governed by that imperious rod which Britain holds over her dit tant provinces. Sir, the gentleman from Virginia attributes the preparation for war to every thing but its true cause. He endeavored to find it in the probable rife of hemp. He represents the people of the Western States as willing to plunge our country into a war for such bafe and precarious motives. I will not reason on this point. I see the caufe of their ardor, not in such base motives, but in their known patriotism and distinterestedness. No lefs mercenary is the reason which he attributes to the Southern States. He says that the non-importation act has reduced cotton to nothing, which has produced a feverish impatience. Sir, I acknowledge the cotton of our farms is worth but little ; but not for cause afligned by the gentleman from Virginia. The people of that section do not realon as he does ; they do not attribute it to the efforts of their government to maintain the peace and independence of their country. They fee in the low price of their produce, the hand of foreign injustice. They know well, without the market to the continent, the deep and steady current of fupply will glut that of Great Britain. They are not prepared for the colonial state to which again that power is endeavoring to reduce us. The manly spirit of that fection of our country will not submit to be regulated by any foreign power. The love of France and the hatred of England has allo been afligned as the cause of the present measures. France has not done us juftice, says the gentleman from Virginia, and how can we without partiality re. lift the aggressions of England ? I know, fir, we have still causes of complaint against France; but it is of a different character from those against England. She profeffes now to respect our rights, and there cannot be a reasonable doubt but that the most objectionable parts of her decrees, as far as they respect us, are repealed. We have already formally acknowledged this to be à fact. I, however, protest against the whole of the principles on which this doctrine is founded. It is a novel doctrine, and no where to be found out of this House, that you cannot select your antagonist without being guilty of partiality. Sir, when two invade your rights you may resist both or either at your pleasure.It is regulated by prudence and not by right. The stale imputa. tion of partiality to France is better calculated for the columns of a newspaper than for the walls of this House. I ask, in this par. ticular, of the gentleman from Virginia, but for the same meafure which he claims for himself. That gentleman is at a loss to account for, what he calls, our hatred to England. He asks how can we hate the country of Locke, of Newton, Hampden and Chatham ; a country having the same language and customs with ourselves, and defcending from a common ancestry. Sir, the laws of human affections are uniform. If we have so much to at. tach us to that country, powerful indeed must be the cause which has overpowered it,
Yes, sir, there is a cause ftrong enough. Not that occult court. ly atfection which he has supposed to be entertained for France, but it is to be found in continued and unprovoked insult and injury. A cause so manifest that the gentleman from Virginia had to exert much ingenuity to overlook it. But, fir, here I think the gentleman, in bis eager admiration of that country, has not been sufficiently guarded in his argument. Has he reflected on the cause of that admiration? Has he examined the reasons of our high regard for her Chatham ? It is his ardent patriotism, the he. roic courage of his mind that could not brook the least infult or injury offered to his country, but thought that her interest and honor ought to be vindicated at every hazard and expense. I hope, when we are called on to admire, we shall also be asked to imitate. I hope the gentleman does not wilh a monopoly of those great virtues to remain to that nation. The balance of power has also been introduced as an argument for submission. England is faid to be a barrier against the military despotism of France. There is, fir, one great error in our legislation. We are ready enough to protect the interest of the States; and it should feem from this argument to watch over those of a foreign nation, while we grossly neglect our own immediate concerns. This argument of the balance of power is well calculated for the British Parliament, but not at all fiited to the American Congress. Tell them that they have to contend with a mighty power, and that if they perfist in insult and injury to the American people, they will compel them to throw the whole weight of their force into the scale of their en. emy: Paint the danger to the m, and if they will defift from injury, we, I answer for it, will not disturb the balance. But it is abfurd for us to talk of the balance of power while they by their conduct smile with contempt at our fimple, good natured policy. If, however, in the contest, it should be found that they under. rate us, which I hope and believe, and that we can affect the bal. ance of power, it will not be difficult for us to obtain such terms as our rights demand. I, fir, will now conclude by adverting to an argument of the gentleman from Virginia ufcd in debate on a preceding day. He asked why we did not declare war immediately. The answer is obvious-because we are not yet prepared. But, says the gentleman, such language as is here held will provoke Great Britain to commence hostilities. I have no such fears. She knows well that such a course would unite all parties herea thing which above all others she most dreads. Besides, such has been our past conduct, that she will still calculate on our pa. tience and submiffion till war is actually commenced,
[Debates to be continued.]
TweLFTH CONGRESS.... FIRST SESSION.
[Debates continued.] On the second Resolution reported by the Committee on Foreign Relations.
MR. JOHNSON said he rose to thank the committee for the Report which was offered to the House, and the resolutions which were recommended; though the measures fell short of his wishes, and he believed of the public expectation. The ulterior measures, however, promised by the committee satisfied his mind, and he should give the report his warm support. The chairman had given the views of the committee; the expulsion of the British from their North American possessions and granting letters of Marque and Reprisal against Great-Britain are contemplated. Look at the message of the President. At a moment least to be expected, when France had ceased to violate our neutral rights, and the olive branch was tendered to Great Britain, her orders in council were put into a more rigorous execution; not satisfied with refusing a redress for wrongs committed on our coasts and in the mouths of our harbors, our trade is annoyed, and our national rights invaded—and to close the scene of insolence and injury, regardless of our moderation and justice, she has brought home to the “ threshold of our territory," measures of actual war. As the love of peace has so long produced forbearance on our part, while commercial cupidity has increased the disposition to plunder on the part of Great-Britain, I feel rejoieed that the hour of resistance is at hand; and that the President, in whom the people have so much confidence, has warned us of the perils that await them, and has exhorted us to put on the armor of defence-to gird on the sword, and assume the manly and bold attitude of war. He recommends filling up the ranks of the present military establishment, and to lengthen the term of service; to raise an auxiliary force for a more limited time; to authorise the acceptacce of volunteers, and provide for calling out the militia as circumstances may require. For the first time since my entrance into this body, there now seems to be but one opinion with a great majority that with Great Britain war is inevitable—that the hopes of the sanguine as to a returning sense of British justice have expired; that the prophecies of the discerning have failed, and that her infernal system has driven us to the brink of a second revolution as important as the first. Upon the Wabash through the influence of British agents and within our territorial sea by the British navy, the war has already commenced. Thus the folly, the power, and the tyranny of G. Britain have taken from us the last alternative of longer forbearance.